St. Mary's Cathedral#13 in Best Things To Do in Sydney
Since 1821, a cathedral has been in this spot, but the St. Mary's you see today was constructed starting in 1868, with work continuing until 1928, though its spires were not added until 2000. (The first chapel was destroyed in a fire.) The Gothic Revival-style cathedral is home to gorgeous stained-glass windows and a crypt with a stunning mosaic floor depicting the Creation, as well as bishops' tombs and occasional special exhibits. Recent visitors called the cathedral a beautiful and impressive place to see, noting its architecture and stained-glass windows as highlights.
While it's free to visit the cathedral, there is a small fee (AU$5 or about $3.50) to visit the crypt (open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday). There are free guided tours of the cathedral offered every Sunday following the 10:30 a.m. Solemn High Mass. To get to the cathedral, you can take the train to the St. James, Museum or Town Hall stops, all of which are less than a 10-minute walk away. For more information, visit the church's website.
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#1 Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Harbour Bridge stands next to the Opera House as one of the city's most iconic landmarks. Lovingly called the "Coathanger" by locals, this towering structure is one of the world's largest steel arch bridges. And while you can capture stunning pictures of the bridge from one of Sydney Harbour's ferry boats, for an unforgettable experience, sign up for a bridge climb through BridgeClimb Sydney. Ranging from nearly two to nearly four hours in length, the bridge climb provides visitors with panoramic views of the Harbour, the Sydney skyline and the Opera House.
Although some former visitors complained of the high price tags, many said the bridge climbs are the best way to experience this iconic attraction, calling it a must-do experience. While climbs are offered throughout the day every day, travelers recommend scheduling a climb at twilight, which will give you three different views – daylight, sunset and nighttime – in one. If you're afraid of heights, reviewers still suggest you consider the experience as the staff is well-trained to help you overcome your anxieties.
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