We travel the globe so we can escape most of the winter months In Australia, but there’s absolutely nowhere else in the world we’d rather be during summer than our gorgeous home: Bondi Beach.
With it’s laid-back beach vibe and a melting pot of different cultures, locals and travellers from all over the world will tell you our home is one hell of a special place.
Our little slice of beach paradise has a certain magic –it grabs hold and hypnotises your heart, just ask the thousands of visitors who have come here for a short stay and never left. Some come for the pristine beaches, some for the world-famous surfing, others for the incredible food, bars and buzz. Others simply come to escape the city and unwind – just 20 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Sydney’s CBD, Bondi can make you feel like you’re an entire world away.
From must-do attractions to hidden local secrets – Bondi really has it all. It’s tough to narrow it down but these are just some of our favourite things to do and see in our bustling, beachside home.
1. Start your day right at the markets
If you’re in town over the weekend, you have to experience the Bondi Markets. Pay them a visit on Saturday for fresh local produce, great coffee and amazing food from one of the dozens of food stalls. We love grabbing corn fritters, a hot chai or fresh juice (depending on the weather!) and basking in the sunshine and listening to the live band on the grass. On Sundays, the markets come alive with rows and rows of arts and crafts. Grab a coffee and wander through local artisan goods, from handmade jewellery to local designer clothing, vintage goods to plants, yoga mats, fresh flowers and photography. There’s something for everyone and a great place to find a unique gift while you’re travelling.
Mingle with a mix of locals and tourists and soak up the good vibes until 3pm: link
2. Enjoy a day at the famous Bondi Icebergs
Look, it’s kinda touristy and may be the most instagrammed spot in Sydney, but it’s iconic for a reason. Start the day with a Yoga By The Sea class in this iconic spot – there’s nothing quite like zenning out while you’re overlooking one of the most stunning beaches in the world. Once you’ve worked up a sweat, take a dip in one of the two pools hugging the ocean, followed by a blissful sauna session! When you feel like you’ve had enough pool action, head upstairs to watch the sunset at the bar. It’s pretty special and the photo ops are second to none! Read more
3. Stay at an Airbnb to experience Bondi like a local!
There are a few cool hotels in Bondi, but we totally recommend to book an Airbnb so you get the full local experience! If you stay at a hotel, you’ll miss the real charm and vibe of the place – find a host who is willing to share their local secrets and involve you in their activities.
4. Check out the coolest house in town
….and realise it’s time to Stop making sense! You find this gem on Roscoe street and all three houses are actually available to rent under the name Jet Flamingo too. It fits 12-16 people so if you are a group and want the perfect beach-side abode (70 m from the beach!), THIS is the ultimate surfshack to stay at!
5. Indulge in some of the best breakfast you’ll probably ever eat. Really.
There are countless ah-mazing cafes in Bondi and we go to different places for different vibes – breakfast and brunch is a ‘thing’ in Bondi and you wont be hard-pressed to find spots who serve up your favourite meal of the day – all day. You’ll quickly get used to seeing ‘Brekkie Salads’ on the menu! For the prettiest view in town with an epic brekkie, head to Speedo’s or the infamous Porch and Parlour (Will Smith recommends the Green Pea Pancake!). For a great work spot for digital nomads to try Shuk, an Israeli style restaurant with incredible breakfast platters. For the perfect after-surf feels, Pura Vida is the place, with amazing acais bowls and smothies! The Depot is the cosiest local spot and if you’re after a guilt free meal, Bondi Wholefoods is your place to go for fresh, organic and healthy plates served up like art! The sprawling menu is almost too big but we can’t go past their nourish bowls, homemade paleo toast and decadent (but healthy!) smoothies whilst you lapping up the sunshine in their garden courtyard. Hot tip: For a real treat, try the Vegan Protein Pancakes – they are almost too beautiful to eat.
6. Work out on the beach
Spend 5 minutes in Bondi and you’ll notice that there are A LOT of fit, healthy people in ‘active wear’ , with a yoga mat or sipping a green smoothie. If you’re wanting to get your workout on, pretty much every gym, yoga studio or fitness group offers a free or cheap trial. And why be indoors when you could be getting your sweat on looking at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world? We LOVE working out by the beach -and there are countless of PT groups offering beach sessions in the morning – everything from HIIT and boxing, Yoga and everything in between. We recommend a 3 day trial at Bondi Vixen (ladies only). If you want to do your own thing, there’s the free Bondi Outdoor Gym on the northern end of the beach where our favourite PT @BuiltbyDylan runs his sessions – he is your man if you need that one-on-one attention. For those of you who like to try it all – check out ClassPass – it has amazing offers!
HOT TIP: train at sunrise. Trust us on this one -at 5am you’ll think you’re the only crazy person awake until you get to the beach and the whole place is buzzing! This is one of the few places in the world that is completely vibing so early – and it’s epic!
7. Sneak away for a swim in Tamarama
Escape the craziness of Bondi Beach itself and discover on of the locals’ favourite beaches. Just around the corner you’ll find picturesque Tamarama Beach – a popular spot for surfers and sunbakers alike. Grab a coconut from the beach’s only café and cool off in the aqua blue waters.
8. Enjoy a guilt-free treat at Cha-Chas.
For years, it was customary to pay Messina a visit after a meal – arguably the best ice cream in Australia. But now there is a new GUILT – FREE addition to Bondi’s esplanade strip, Cha- Cha’s is whipping up INCREDIBLE ice cream made from cashew nuts! Each flavour is completely dairy free and they don’t add sugar or artificial anything… so go on and treat yo’self. We love getting a scoop of the Hazelnut and the Tumeric (sounds gross but trust us here).
9. Get your shop on
Boutique shopping makes Bondi Beach so relaxed – a far cry from the gigantic vortex of Westfield Bondi Junction 10 minutes away. From local designers to international labels and everything in between, there’s something for everyone. Our favourite little local hotspot for cheap designer finds is Hunt & Muse on Bondi Road. The owner Natalie is a stylist, who hunts for second hand designer pieces – all in mint condition and in sync with current bohemian and beach trends. In between her curated bargains are also new labels, gorgeous leather bags and boho-style jewellery. She updates her racks weekly, so there is always something new to find. If high fashion is more your thing, head to Tu Chuzy on Gould St, for great vintage finds we love U-Turn Recycled and you can’t go past the iconic Aquabumps for photography and prints.
10. Zen out and get healed at the Acupuncture Collective
Whether you’ve never tried acupuncture or you’re swear by it – you’re going to love this community initiative. Run by a group of practicing acupuncturists, each Thursday they take over a room at at Power Living, a yoga studio just off Hall St. You choose a bed, tell your acupuncturist what you’d like worked on (everything from stress, anxiety, depression, pain, skin problems, fatigue and more) and let your troubles melt away. Some come purely to meditate and experience extreme relaxation for an hour. It’s only $25 a pop and you’ll leave feeling like a new brand new person. More info
11. Get your downward dog on in this yoga paradise
Bondi is Yoga central. There is pretty much a studio every few hundred metres or less! Most offer a free trial or a cheap one week or two week trial – perfect if you’re just passing through or are new to town. Our favourite studios are Power Living just off Hall Street and Yoga Time on Bondi Road (a small, hidden studio overlooking a gorgeous garden owned by our friend Wiebke) and as mentioned above – the unique Yoga by the Sea at Icebergs! If aerial yoga is more your thing, Yoga Bar on Curlewis St has you sorted.
12. Eat the best burgers in town at Boni Tony’s Burger Joint
This is hands-down our favourite burger joint in Sydney, let alone Bondi. The owner (you guessed it – Tony) worked in the music industry for over a decade and has themed the space around rock’n’roll. Signed records and posters adorn every inch of the walls and the music they play is reason enough to pay them a visit. The menu itself is music themed – our favourite burgers are the ‘Johnny Collide’ and the ‘Trippin’ Zeahorse’ (named after the bands Tony used to book, Children Collide and Zeahorse).
Hot Tip: We always ask for our burgers naked (without bun) – as oppose to many other places they’ll load you up with extra vege goodies here instead! And replace your fries with sweet potato fries – they are divine! Good music, great food and beers – what more could you ask for? More info
13. Drink with the locals at Neighbourhood Bondi
We love this stripped-back bar and restaurant for the vibe: a favourite with locals and home to Bondi Radio, the space has a cosy bar area that spills onto the street, an open, laid-back dining area and is often buzzing thanks to a DJ. The menu has something for everyone – from full meals and great salads, to different bar snacks like popcorn Cajun school prawns and jaffles (jaffles!). Hot tip: try at least one drink from their tropical cocktail menu – the house-blended rum is also a must. (See our shortlist of the best bars in down down below!) More info
14. Watch the sunset at North Bondi Grassy Knoll
Grab a picnic rug, a bottle of wine and some Mexican from Beach Burrito or Poke from Poke Bowl across the road and head to the North Bondi Grassy Knoll (hill) to watch the sunset. You’ll have a stunning view over the ocean while the sun dips behind Bondi’s hills and buildings. The area is technically an alcohol-free zone, but you’ll only get a warning from the cops if you’re unlucky. Just around the corner you’ll also find ‘Ben Buckler’ – a great spot to bask in the sunshine and jump off the rocks into the crystal clear waters.
15. When in Bondi, party on the waves
You can’t leave Bondi without catching a wave! As one of the worlds most famous surf beaches, there’s no better place to do it than here. If you’re a beginner, Let’s Go Surfing is Bondi’s licensed surf school – you’ll head out with a bunch of beginners and one of their legendary instructors. You can also book a private lesson if that’s more your thing. Once you’re up and on your way to becoming the next Kelly Slater, there are a bunch of board hire stalls along the beach to help you keep practicing.
Hot tip: the beach can get really crowded in summer, so try head out early.
Extra hot tip: A little secret tip for our wanderlust tribe – there’s a place where you can rent boards for free! We know right, sounds a bit too good to be true! It’s a cool little shop that offers the service for their shoppers, simply in exchange for a licence or ID. We don’t want the world to know about it but if you are in town and want to check it out – PM us on instagram and we’ll share it with you!
QUICK GUIDE: TOP LOCAL FOOD SPOTS
Porch and Parlour
Gertrude & Alice (their chai is a must-try!)
Thai Fire Fry
Le Paris Gogo (Amazing chicken salad)
North Bondi Fish
Brown Sugar (try the fish pie!)
The Corner House
Bucket List (sunday sessions!)
The Stuffed Beaver Anchor Bar