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Things to do in Sydney

Things to do in  Sydney

Welcome to Sydney

Sydney makes a brilliant first impression with its spectacular harbor and beaches. On second glance, you’ll find a wealth of outdoor activities, with diverse art, music, and food rivalling any global city.

Top 10 attractions in Sydney

#1
Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge

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Few sights are as instantly recognizable as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the grand centerpiece of Sydney Harbour and one of Australia's most photographed landmarks. The historic structure dates to 1932 and is the world's largest steel arch bridge. It's also an important transport hub, linking downtown Sydney with the north shore, Manly, and the area's northern beaches.More
#2
Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

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A world-class performing arts venue and iconic Australian landmark, the Sydney Opera House—with its distinctive Jorn Utzon design—defines the Sydney Harbour district. Distinguished by soaring halls with a white ceramic–tiled exterior shaped to evoke the sails of a yacht, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-see Sydney attraction and popular stop on most city tours.More
#3
Blue Mountains

Blue Mountains

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A UNESCO World Heritage Site covering an area of around 3,861 square miles (10,000 square kilometers), the Blue Mountains region is a popular day-trip destination from Sydney. Featuring tall forests, sandstone cliffs, dramatic canyons, and scenic lookouts and waterfalls, the area is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.More
#4
Taronga Zoo Sydney

Taronga Zoo Sydney

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Easily the wildest place in the city, the Taronga Zoo Sydney is a sprawling sanctuary where over 4,000 animals crawl and chirp just minutes from the heart of downtown. Admire fuzzy-faced koalas, playful lemurs, distinctive Malaysian sun bears, saltwater crocs, and more, before enjoying tours, keeper talks, animal shows, and activities suitable for kids and adults alike.More
#5
Hunter Valley Gardens

Hunter Valley Gardens

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Situated in the gorgeous Hunter Valley wine region of NSW, the Hunter Valley Gardens boast more than 60 acres of displays designed to showcase various vibrant colors and fragrances. There are 10 feature gardens, each individually planned and planted to create a stunning view and experience for visitors. The garden names lend themselves to the imagination: Sunken Garden, Storybook Garden, Rose Garden, Oriental Garden, The Lakes Walk, Italian Grotto, The Indian Mosaic, and the Formal, Chinese and Border gardens.Each is superbly landscaped to represent its chosen theme, with water features and other attractions included to present the most immersive experience. Hunter Valley Gardens is such a large site that the area includes its own village, complete with shops, restaurants and cafes full of local delicacies. Aside from the lush greens, Aqua Golf, the Hunter Valley Train and more than five miles of walking tracks within the gardens keep even the fussiest visitors entertained.More
#6
Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour

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With the iconic silhouette of Sydney Opera House and the dramatic arch of Sydney Harbour Bridge etched against a backdrop of glittering ocean and soaring skyscrapers, Sydney Harbour is Australia’s quintessential postcard image. The harbor, the natural heart of Sydney, features more than 150 miles (240 kilometers) lined with golden beaches, lush gardens, and vibrant neighborhoods.More
#7
White Rabbit Gallery

White Rabbit Gallery

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Spread out over four spacious floors, Sydney's trendsetting White Rabbit Gallery is the largest collection of Chinese contemporary art found outside of China. Privately owned by Judith Neilson, the gallery features work from hundreds of artists and completely changes every six months to feature a new collection.The White Rabbit Gallery styles its exhibitions from over 2,000 pieces of modern art personally sourced by Neilson on trips to China and Taiwan. Thought provoking and visually fierce, the featured art has included everything from paintings and sculptures to calligraphy, photography, and games. Opened in 2009, the White Rabbit Gallery as become a fixture in Sydney's art scene and is a popular stop on private art tours in the city.More
#8
Luna Park Sydney

Luna Park Sydney

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The harbor-side amusement park Luna Park Sydney has been entertaining locals and travelers with a lively midway, carnival games, rides, and big top concerts since 1935. More than 20 attractions range from the tame to thrilling, and although it’s small compared to modern amusement parks, Luna Park remains a Sydney family favorite with a nostalgic draw.More
#9
SEA LIFE® Sydney Aquarium

SEA LIFE® Sydney Aquarium

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The SEA LIFE® Sydney Aquarium encapsulates the diversity of Australia’s aquatic life. Wander exhibits that showcase everything from saltwater crocs and Southern Ocean penguins to turtles from the Great Barrier Reef and jellyfish. Plus, its prime Darling Harbour location lets you combine the aquarium with other family-friendly stops.More
#10
Palm Beach

Palm Beach

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Aussies know this long, beautiful beach as the backdrop for the popular soap opera "Home and Away," but travelers love the quiet cove at the tip of a promontory for its white sand, calm waters, and relaxed vibe. Some of Sydney’s most exclusive real estate is nestled among the forested hillsides that surround “Palmie,” as locals call it.More

Trip ideas

Where to Find the Best Views in Sydney

Where to Find the Best Views in Sydney

Things to Do During Sydney Mardi Gras

Things to Do During Sydney Mardi Gras

Must-See Museums in Sydney

Must-See Museums in Sydney

Top activities in Sydney

Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruise

Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruise

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Hunter Valley Wine Tour from Sydney incl Lunch, Cheese, Chocolate and Distillery
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Infinity at Sydney Tower

Infinity at Sydney Tower

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Recent reviews from experiences in Sydney

star-5
Awesome
Stephen_G, Dec 2021
Journey Beyond Cruise Sydney Harbour - All inclusive Lunch Cruise
The food was also great and it was the best way to see Sydney’s top spots in comfort.
star-5
Biking around Sydney
Catherine_O, Apr 2021
Sydney Harbour Discovery Tour
Wonderful way to see some great parts of the city.
star-4
Local sees the tourist perspective
Danielle_N, Oct 2020
Sydney Harbour Tall Ship Twilight Dinner Cruise
We are locals but it was nice to see the magic of Sydney Harbour as if we were tourists.
star-4
Travelling around the harbour
Maurizio_R, Sep 2020
Sydney Harbour Progressive Long Lunch Cruise
A fantastic way to see Sydney from the water.
star-5
Blue mountains
Kristine_R, Mar 2020
PRIVATE All-Day Blue Mountains Tour with Professional Guide for Up to 4 People
A lovely way to see the countryside and Australian mountains rather than the high rise towers of downtown Sydney.
star-5
Great way to see “The Rocks” historic area and enjoy craft beer
Thomas_F, Feb 2020
The Rocks Pub Walking Tour
This walking tour is a great way to visit historic “The Rocks” Sydney neighborhood and enjoy craft beer at 4 pubs.
star-5
Excellent experience
Michelle_O, Feb 2020
Big Bus Sydney and Bondi Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Great value, great service and an excellent way to see the Sydney sights.
star-5
Great way to see Sydney
randy_e, Feb 2020
Sydney Harbour Hop-on Hop-off Cruise
This was a great way to see the Sydney Harbor and get to see many areas we might not have seen.
star-5
Sydney highlights
Paul, Feb 2020
Small Group Essential Sydney Tour Including Lunch
Great way to see the highlights of Sydney in a small group.
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Northern Beaches Tour
Gerald_K, Feb 2020
Sydney Harbour, Northern beaches and National Park
I would recommend this tour for all that visit Sydney and want to see the northern beaches and city.
star-4
Sydney sights
John, Feb 2020
Big Bus Sydney and Bondi Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Wonderful way to see Sydney, and all it has to offer.
star-4
Great boat ride experience
Edgar_F, Feb 2020
Sydney Harbour Top Deck Lunch Cruise
Be sure to visit the top deck for an incredible viewing experience.
star-4
Harbour sites
John_R, Feb 2020
Sydney Harbour Hop-on Hop-off Cruise
Great way to see Sydney from the ocean.
star-5
Excellent service & tour
Toni_H, Jan 2020
Sydney Half Day Highlights - Luxury Private Tour - Morning or Afternoon Avail
She was very responsive to our requests & covered all the key tourist attractions.
star-5
Enjoyable visit to the Blue Mountains
Sara_M, Dec 2019
All Inclusive Blue Mountains Small-Group Day Trip from Sydney
The ferry ride was a nice way to see the city.
star-5
LindaM
Linda_M, Nov 2019
All Inclusive Blue Mountains Small-Group Day Trip from Sydney
So many things to see and our tour guide, Kunal, was super knowledgeable about the history and a great guide.
star-5
Sydney Opera House was GREAT!
Passport611976, Nov 2019
Sydney Opera House Official Guided Walking Tour
Our tour guide was knowledgeable, allowed questions throughout and we were able to see the inside and outside from many angles and view points.
star-5
Great experience
Stephen_J, Oct 2019
Sydney Harbour Tall Ship Afternoon Discovery Cruise
Great way to see the different sights of the harbour.
star-5
Excellent Service
Alex_M, Sep 2019
Sydney Arrival Transfer: Airport to City or Overseas Passenger Terminal
Helpful and professional driver gave me a lot of recommendations on things to see in Sydney.
star-5
Very interesting and fun! Thanks Bettina.
Hrinder_T, Aug 2019
Private Sydney Half Day Tour including Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach
If you are unable to see eveything this is the best way to see all about Sydney.

All about Sydney

When to visit

In Sydney, there’s rarely a bad day to spend outside. That said, peak travel season is roughly late December through January, during the heart of Australia’s summer.

Summer is ideal for visiting some of the southern hemisphere’s most famous beaches, or taking a sunset harbor kayak tour. Whatever you end up doing, wear sunscreen, as the Australian sun is unforgiving.

Fall’s mild weather is perfect for coastal walks between beaches from Bondi to Coogee, or the less crowded Manly to Spit Bridge route.

Rainfall peaks during winter, especially in June—never a better time to stay dry indoors at the Australian Museum or the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Dry, warm spring weather is best for exploring collections at the Royal Botanical Garden, or the trails and lookouts of Blue Mountains National Park.

Getting around

Sydney’s public transport network radiates from the city center to the suburbs, and even national parks. The Opal smartcard is valid on buses, trains, ferries, and light rail.

Bus: TSW buses operate from hubs near central train stations, and are useful for reaching beaches, even taking the scenic route to Bondi. If you’re using the Opal card, tap when you board and disembark, otherwise you’re charged the max fare.

Rail: Sydney’s train lines typically get in and out of the city center faster than rideshares, but they also charge more during peak hours. The Blue Mountains Line runs from central Sydney to the national park in just over two hours, convenient for daytrippers who want to make the journey themselves.

On the water: If you have the choice and can spend a little more, we recommend taking ferries over buses and trains. Ferries operate as late as midnight, zipping around the harbour from Parramatta out to Circular Quay and Manly Beach. Water taxis are faster, pricier, and can pickup from nearly any point in the harbor.

Metro: The first line of the new Sydney metro opened in 2019 in Chatswood on the Lower North Shore; a second phase connecting the city center to the south side is currently under construction.

Traveler tips

There’s no getting around Sydney’s glorious harbour: it’s a great place to start your trip. Boat tours explore it from every angle, even sailing past the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge on vintage tall ships. Portside, travelers mingle with locals at the old pubs, markets, and laneways of The Rocks historic neighborhood, also home to the Museum of Contemporary Art. After that, it’s a matter of finding a suitable outdoor scene, from the bronzed beach-strutting of Bondi to the national parks that ring the city, including the Blue Mountains.

An alternative to Sydney BridgeClimb for those wanting views but without the heights, try the lookout on the Sydney Harbour Bridge’s southeast pylon. From there, it’s a short walk across the bridge to Wendy’s Secret Garden, where you can look back at the city through an oasis of greenery.

A local’s pocket guide to Sydney

Shalinee Singh

After a last-minute decision to “go to Australia for a bit,” Shalinee is still in Sydney six years later. When she’s not by the ocean, you’ll find her at a gig, drinking coffee, or stuffing her face.

The first thing you should do in Sydney is...

check out the views from Darling Harbour to Barangaroo, then jump on a ferry to Circular Quay and hit two Sydney landmarks in one as the Opera House appears under the Harbour Bridge.

A perfect Saturday in Sydney...

includes eating avo toast and coffee by the water at sunrise, paddleboarding in Rose Bay, and relaxing on one of our many beaches. Finish with dinner in Chinatown and sunset drinks in the Rocks.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

the Coogee to Bondi stretch of the coastal walk. Watch whales between May and November before getting affordable drinks and nibbles overlooking the iconic Bondi beach at Bondi Icebergs Club.

To discover the "real" Sydney...

head outside the CBD and get a taste of Sydney’s migrant culture—sample Sri Lankan food in Toongabbie, Vietnamese in Cabramatta, and Indian in Harris Park, to name but a few.

For the best view of the city...

cross to the north side of the Harbour Bridge around sunset to look back at the CBD from Kirribilli, Lavender Bay, or Cremorne Point.

One thing people get wrong...

is thinking Sydney is all style and no cultural substance. Our nightlife needs TLC, but we have great food, bars, grassroots arts, and plenty of beaches and nearby national parks.

Frequently Asked Questions
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