18 Best Things To Do In Sydney

Sydney is a vibrant and modern city, with a variety of activities to do. It is known for its breathtaking landscapes and iconic landmarks like the Sydney Opera, as well as an exciting nightlife. Whether you are looking for outdoor fun, cultural experiences or delicious food, Sydney has so much to see and do. So if you're looking for the best things to do in Sydney, this article will give you an insight into the top attractions and activities you can enjoy in the city.

1. Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House Pin

The Sydney Opera House is one of the most iconic landmarks in Australia. It stands as a symbol of Australian culture, history and proudly showcases the creative works of artists from all over the world. The building has become an integral part of the skyline, with its towering white sails, and is easily recognized by people around the world.

Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, construction began in 1959 and was completed in 1973. The Opera house unique design won international acclaim for its innovative use of technology and materials to create something truly special. Despite criticism at first, Utzon's vision ultimately prevailed becoming one of 20th century’s greatest architectural accomplishments. Today it houses more than 1,500 performances annually including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra performances, opera, theatre, concerts and ballets attracting visitors from around the globe each year.

Contact:

Address: Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Phone: +61 2 9250 7111

2. Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour Pin

Darling Harbour is one of the most popular destinations in Australia. Situated in Sydney, it comprises close to 30 hectares and provides a range of activities for locals and tourists alike. It is home to some of the city's most iconic attractions such as SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and the Wild Life Sydney Zoo, as well as plenty of shops, restaurants, cinemas, cultural institutions and exhibitions. The area also has a number of parks including Tumbalong Park which features green spaces for visitors to enjoy.

The harbour has lots to offer, from families seeking fun-filled days out at the nearby amusement parks or museums; couples looking for a romantic outing beside the waterfront; or those who simply want to experience some local hospitality with an array of bars and restaurants located around the precinct.

3. Paddy’s Markets

Paddy’s Markets sydney Pin

Paddy’s Markets is a phenomenally popular weekend destination in Sydney. Located on the corner of Hay St. and Thomas St. in Chinatown, this diverse marketplace has been one of the city’s most beloved attractions since it was founded in 1834. The unique atmosphere of Paddy’s Markets creates an incredible shopping experience for everyone who visits. There are over 700 independent stallholders selling everything imaginable; from fresh produce to vintage clothing and handmade crafts. It's truly a shopper's paradise.

The bustling energy at Paddy’s will make you feel like you're really part of the local culture. There are also plenty of delicious food stalls serving up all sorts of traditional dishes, so you can take a break from shopping and fill your belly with some amazing food while soaking up the sights and sounds around you.

Contact:

Address: 9/13 Hay St, Haymarket NSW 2000, Australia

Phone: +61 2 9325 6200

4. Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach in Australia Pin

Bondi Beach is known as the most famous and iconic beach in Australia. It is located in the eastern suburbs of Sydney and is a great place to relax and unwind. The area has become increasingly popular over the years, attracting thousands of visitors from all over the world. Even though Bondi Beach can be quite crowded during peak times, there are plenty of activities to enjoy here for people of all ages.

The beach itself has white sand with crystal-clear waters, making it ideal for swimming, surfing or just relaxing by the water. There are also plenty of places nearby where you can find shops, cafes and restaurants that offer delicious local food. With its bustling atmosphere and stunning views out to sea, Bondi Beach truly encapsulates everything that makes Sydney such an amazing city.

5. Sydney Observatory

Sydney Observatory Pin

Sydney Observatory is a heritage-listed site located in the Sydney suburb of Millers Point. It is an astronomical observatory that has stood for over 170 years and is known for being the first government observatory in Australia. The purpose of the building was to observe and study the stars, as well as providing time signals that could be used to accurately set clocks throughout Sydney. It is now a museum offering interactive exhibits about astronomy, space exploration and astrology.

Visitors can explore the galleries inside which include information about famous astronomers from history, such as Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton and Edwin Hubble; fascinating displays showing how technology has changed over time; telescope demonstrations; and even a planetarium show illustrating how stars form and die. The exhibitions are enhanced by regular lectures held by experts on topics ranging from astrophotography to star gazing techniques.

Contact:

Address: 1003 Upper Fort St, Millers Point NSW 2000, Australia

Phone: +61 2 9217 0222

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6. Sydney Jewish Museum

Sydney Jewish Museum Pin

The Sydney Jewish Museum is a unique destination for tourists looking to learn about Jewish history, culture and art in Australia. Situated in the heart of Darlinghurst, this museum offers an impressive range of educational and interactive exhibitions that tell the story of the Jewish community’s journey over time. Not only does it provide invaluable insight into their history, but it also encourages guests to think more deeply about cultural diversity.

As one of the oldest museums in Australia devoted entirely to Jewish culture, the Sydney Jewish Museum has been hosting visitors since 1992. Its permanent exhibition tells stories from both pre-Holocaust Europe and post-war Australia while its temporary exhibitions highlight important events or individuals who have shaped this vibrant community.

Contact:

Address: 148 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst NSW 2010, Australia

Phone: +61 2 9360 7999

Booking.com

7. Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge Pin

Sydney Harbour Bridge is an iconic landmark in the city of Sydney. Spanning over 500 meters long and 134 meters high, it’s the world’s largest steel arch bridge. The bridge was designed by British firm Dorman Long & Co Ltd and built between 1923-1932. It consists of two railway tracks and eight lanes for cars, buses and cyclists to travel across.

One of the best ways to experience the grandeur of this structure is to climb it – an activity that has become a popular attraction among tourists visiting Sydney. This adventure takes place at dawn or dusk, where climbers gain access to areas off limits to everyday citizens - such as the upper arch catwalk, south east pylon lookout area and even the famous flagpole located at its highest point.

8. Circular Quay

Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens Pin

Circular Quay is a bustling harbor in central Sydney. It is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the world-famous Sydney Opera House. The quay has been used as an active port since the early 1800s and has served as a hub for maritime activities. Today, Circular Quay hosts many ferries that transport passengers on ferry rides to various points around the harbor, making it a great place to explore Sydney’s famous waterfront.

The area around Circular Quay offers plenty of activities for visitors and locals —from shopping in The Rocks to indulging in some of Sydney’s finest cuisine within its many bars and restaurants. You can also take part in bushwalking or kayaking excursions from Circular Quay if you wish to explore more of the harbour’s marine life.

9. Royal Botanic Gardens

Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens Pin

Royal Botanic Gardens is one of the most beautiful Sydney attractions that is free to visit. The Royal Botanic Garden's history dates back to 1816 when Governor Lachlan Macquaire initially set aside a portion of land for public enjoyment and recreation. Since then, it has grown into one of the largest and oldest botanic gardens in Australia with over 200 hectares of Australian flora.

The grounds include several themed gardens featuring exotic plants from around the world including Japanese influence, rainforest sections, palm trees, and more.

Contact:

Address: Mrs Macquaries Rd, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Phone: +61 2 9231 8111

10. Luna Park

Luna Park Sydney Pin

Luna Park is an iconic amusement park in Sydney, and one of the fun things to see. It first opened its doors in 1935 and has been entertaining visitors ever since. Luna Park is instantly recognizable for its iconic “face” which greets drivers and pedestrians who pass by on the harbor front. The amusement park features a variety of rides from family friendly rollercoasters to thrill rides that will have your heart racing. There are also plenty of carnival games, food stalls and cafes to enjoy during a day at the park.

One of the best attractions at Luna Park is Coney Island, an old-fashioned style fun house featuring three levels of interactive mazes and activities for everyone to enjoy. From dizzying slides to spinning barrels, it's sure to be an adventure every time you visit.

Contact:

Address: 1 Olympic Dr, Milsons Point NSW 2061, Australia

Phone: +61 2 9922 6644

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11. Art Gallery of New South Wales

Art Gallery of New South Wales Pin

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is one of the most noteworthy art galleries in Australia. It is renowned for its impressive collection of more than 38,000 works that span from colonial times to modern day. This notable Sydney museum is known for its diverse range of pieces from all around the world, with a focus on European and Australian collections.

One of the highlights of this museum is their expansive collection of Australian masterpieces, featuring works by some of Australia’s most renowned painters such as Arthur Streeton and John Glover. Additionally, there are also outstanding international collections ranging from 19th century French paintings to classical Greek sculptures.

The special exhibitions they host throughout the year offer visitors an insight into various cultures from across the globe. The gallery also has a number of educational programs that aims to engage young audiences with art history and appreciation.

Contact:

Address: Art Gallery Rd, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Phone: +61 2 9225 1700

12. St. Mary's Cathedral

St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney Pin

St. Mary's Cathedral is a monumental structure that has become one of the most iconic symbols of Australia. The stunning Gothic Revival-style building was designed by William Wardell, who was the heir to notable English architect Augustus Pugin. After over 30 years of construction and renovation, the cathedral opened its doors in 1928.

Spanning an area of 4500 square meters, St. Mary's is built from local sandstone and granite, with stained glass windows crafted by renowned English craftsmen Clayton and Bell. It towers over visitors at its grand height of 61 meters, making it one of the tallest churches in Australia.

Inside are multiple chapels dedicated to Our Lady Help of Christian as well as other saints like Saint Josephs and Saint Patrick’s which were added during renovations between 1936-1941.

Contact:

Address: St Marys Rd, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Phone: +61 2 9220 0400

Booking.com

13. Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo is a wildlife conservation and preservation center home to some of the most exotic animals from around the world, including over 4,000 species of mammals, birds and reptiles. Every year thousands of tourists visit Taronga Zoo on a day trip to experience its diverse wildlife sanctuary.

The zoo offers many exciting activities such as animal shows, educational programs and interactive exhibits, making it an ideal destination for families with children. Vacationers can also explore the beautiful gardens that surround the zoo and have a picnic with their family. Furthermore, visitors have the opportunity to learn more about conservation efforts by participating in interactive talks and talks by experts.

Taronga Zoo Sydney makes an effort to ensure that all its animals are well taken care of; they provide enrichment activities for them as well as make sure they have enough space and natural habitat to live comfortably.

Contact:

Address: Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman NSW 2088, Australia

Phone: +61 2 9969 2777

14. Manly Beach

Manly Beach in Australia Pin

Manly Beach is a renowned beach in the northern Sydney suburb of Manly that should be on your Sydney bucket list. It is one of the most popular beaches due to its location and abundance of activities. Manly Beach is a great place to visit, surfers come to ride the waves, families take advantage of the picnic areas and playgrounds, sunbathers come to take in the sunshine, and nature-lovers to explore the rock pools that line the shore.

The ocean water at Manly Beach is crystal clear, making it a great spot for swimming or just enjoying an afternoon dip. For those looking for a more adventurous experience, there are plenty of surf shops available where you can rent boards and join in on some lessons as well. There are also volleyball courts available if you want to play a match with friends or family while soaking up some sun.

15. Sydney Tower

Sydney Tower Pin

Standing tall at a height of 309 meters, the Sydney Tower is the tallest structure in Sydney and the second tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere. Upon completion in 1981, this amazing structure was known as Centrepoint Tower before being changed to its current name in 1998.

The views from the top of Sydney Tower Eye are some of the most breathtaking sights I have ever seen, and one of the best things to visit while you're staying in Sydney. From here you can take in panoramic 360 degree views over the Sydney skyline and harbor up to 80 kilometers away on a clear day.

The panoramic view is so magnificent that it often feels like you are looking down from an airplane. There is a glass floor viewing platform located on one level which gives you an even more exciting experience by allowing you to literally stand above-it-all - gazing down upon all that lies below.

Contact:

Address: Westfield Sydney, Level 5/108 Market St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

16. Sydney Fish Market

Sydney Fish Market Pin

Sydney Fish Market is a great place for seafood lovers and tourists. Located in Pyrmont, Sydney, it is the largest fish market in the southern hemisphere. The market offers over 140 varieties of seafood from all over Australia and overseas, ranging from wild caught Australian king prawns to imported salmon fillets. Travelers can shop for fresh seafood at the market or enjoy a variety of delicious meals prepared with freshly caught fish and other seafood at one of its many restaurants.

The Sydney Fish Market also offers free guided tours around the market, providing visitors with an opportunity to learn more about day-to-day operations at the facility as well as gain insight into sustainable fisheries management practices used by fishermen on their boats. On these tours, you can even meet some of their local fishermen and get up close with many types of seafood available at the market.

Contact:

Address: Corner Pyrmont Bridge Rd &, Bank St, Pyrmont NSW 2009, Australia

Phone: +61 2 9004 1100

17. Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

Sea Life Sydney Aquarium Pin

Located in Australia’s Darling Harbour, the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in the world. It has a wide range of marine life from across the globe for visitors to experience. Its main exhibit holds over 700 species of fish, sea creatures and other animals that thrive in those habitats.

For example, there are Cownose Rays, Grey Nurse Sharks and Loggerhead Turtles living together in harmony. As well as this, there are interactive activities for guests to take part in, such as feeding sessions with some of the more friendly creatures. One particularly impressive feature of the Sea Life Aquarium is its underwater tunnel: you'll find yourself immersed in a 360-degree view of a majestic coral reef teeming with fish and other amazing marine animals.

Contact:

Address: 1-5 Wheat Rd, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Phone: +61 1800 195 650

18. Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia Pin

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) is a striking and significant building located in the iconic Sydney Circular Quay. As one of the best places to visit in Australia, it displays works from some of the leading contemporary artists from around the world. Home to a vast collection spanning from 1970 to present day, visitors can explore the many different media formats including painting, sculpture, photography, video and installation art.

An exciting feature at the MCA is its diverse range of programs that are open to all ages and interests – offering art-making activities as well as talks and tours with knowledgeable curators and staff members. The educational programming also includes workshops where guests can learn various techniques such as printmaking and weaving. Furthermore, there are regularly changing exhibitions which provide an immersive experience into new themes and ideas while exploring contemporary art across multiple cultures.

Contact:

Address: 140 George St, The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia

Phone: +61 2 9245 2400

Best Flights To Sydney

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Sydney. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Sydney.

FAQ

Q: Why do people go to Sydney?

A: One of the most popular reasons for visiting Sydney is its natural beauty. With miles of coastline, visitors can spend their days soaking up the sun on some of Australia's most famous beaches such as Bondi or Manly. For those who prefer urban activities, they will find plenty of options in Sydney's cosmopolitan downtown area, including world-class shopping centers and restaurants serving cuisine from around the globe.

Another reason why people flock to Sydney is for its rich cultural heritage. The city offers a unique blend of western and eastern cultures with an array of museums, galleries, and historic sites to explore.

Q: What is the best time to visit Sydney?

A: The ideal time to visit Sydney is from September to November when spring is in full bloom. The temperatures are warm enough to enjoy outdoor activities during the day, while it cools down at night making it pleasant for sleeping. Additionally, this period falls right before peak tourist season so visitors can avoid large crowds and inflated prices on accommodation and tours.

Q: Are people in Sydney friendly?

A: According to recent surveys, Sydney ranks as one of the friendliest cities in Australia. A study conducted by travel website Big 7 Travel found that Sydneysiders ranked fourth out of ten Australian cities for friendliness. The survey polled over 1.5 million people worldwide and examined factors such as local hospitality, humor, and overall demeanor.

However, opinions on Sydneysiders' friendliness can vary depending on where you go within the city. Suburbs like Newtown and Surry Hills are well-known for their welcoming community spirit and lively social scenes.

Q: How far is Sydney airport from the city center?

A: The distance between Sydney airport and the city center is approximately 8 kilometers or 5 miles. Depending on traffic conditions, it can take around 20 minutes by car or taxi and up to 25 minutes by train to reach downtown Sydney from the airport.

Q: Is Sydney a cheap city?

A: When it comes to budget travel, Sydney may not be the first choice for many people. The city has a reputation for being one of the most expensive places to visit in Australia. But is this reputation justified? Is Sydney really that expensive or can you enjoy a budget-friendly trip to this vibrant city?

The answer is yes and no. While it's true that some aspects of visiting Sydney can be quite pricey, there are also plenty of ways to save money and stick to your budget. For example, accommodation can be very expensive in central Sydney, particularly during peak tourist season. However, if you're willing to stay outside of the CBD area and use public transport to get around (which is efficient and relatively cheap), you can find more affordable options such as hostels or budget hotels.

Q: Is Sydney a walkable city?

A: The answer is not really. One of the reasons why Sydney may not be as walkable as some other cities is because it's hilly, making it challenging to navigate on foot. Furthermore, the city's infrastructure does not always cater to pedestrians, with narrow sidewalks and busy streets that make walking uncomfortable at times.

PLAN YOUR TRIP TO SYDNEY

Book Your Hotel In Sydney

You can book your hotel in Sydney with Booking.com as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hotel, they also return the cheapest rates for accommodations like hostels, guesthouses and apartments.

Book Your Flight To Sydney

Use Skyscanner to find cheap flights to Sydney. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know you get the best rates.

Need a Rental Car In Sydney?

Here is a budget-friendly car rental resource. No matter where you’re traveling, you’ll be able to find the best — and cheapest car rentals in Sydney here.

Looking for an Airport Transfer Service In Sydney?

If you are looking for a convenient and affordable option to get to and from the airport in Sydney, here you will find all the answers to book your next airport transfer in Sydney.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will protect you against illnesses, an injury, luggage theft, and even trip cancellations. It’s a comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong during your trip. I never travel to Sydney without it as I’ve had to use it several times in the past. My favorite travel insurance companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the Best Travel Companies to Save Money With?

Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you go to Sydney. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m taking a trip. They will save you money when you travel too.

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