Best Things To Do in Sydney
Sydney's famous beaches are some of the city's most popular attractions for locals and visitors alike. Although they can get crowded on warm Aussie days, beaches like Coogee, Bondi and Manly cannot be missed. And if you'd rather take to the water, exploring Darling Harbour or Sydney Harbour by boat is a must. Sydney Harbour also offers prime views of some of the city's most famous landmarks, including the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There are plenty of museums to explore, too, such as the Hyde Park Barracks Museum, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Australian National Maritime Museum, while the Royal Botanic Garden and The Rocks neighborhood are ideal for a leisurely stroll.
- #1View all Photos...Read More »
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.
- #2View all Photos...Read More »
Many visitors say that Sydney Harbour's 150 miles of shoreline and more than 30 square miles of water make it the most beautiful natural harbor in the world, and they just might be right. Blue water laps up to sandy shores over which landmarks like the Royal Botanic Garden and the Sydney Opera House preside. Another iconic site, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, towers above the harbor's waters. But for the best view of Sydney Harbour, travelers must pay a visit to Mrs. Macquarie's Chair, which sits at the tip of one of the area's peninsulas.
- #3View all Photos...Read More »
Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the sailboat-inspired structure – submitted during an international design contest held in 1956 – features more than one million tiles on its four roof shells and six theater and music venues with top-notch acoustics. Bold purple carpeting and sweeping views of Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Harbour Bridge also await visitors in the Sydney Opera House's foyer, while a picturesque boardwalk – complete with a trendy bar – sits outside.
- #4View all Photos...Read More »
Darling Harbour is a pedestrian district filled with a number of entertaining things to do. For instance, you'll find the largest film screen in the world at the LG IMAX Theatre Sydney, as well as the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Harbourside Shopping Centre. Multiple kid-friendly attractions and the city's convention center are also found here, not to mention some delectable cafes and restaurants.
- #5View all Photos...Read More »
Though it's a bit smaller than its better-known northern counterpart Bondi, Coogee Beach is the quintessential spot for those looking to soak up some sun and swim in Sydney's famous waters. Snorkeling is also a popular pastime here, and the scenic, nearly 4-mile Bondi to Coogee coastal walk is a must. Plus, the eateries along the shore give beach bums several places to refuel.
- #6View all Photos...Read More »
Earning its name from the sandstone rocks that line Sydney Harbour, this neighborhood is as quaint as it is cool. Its cobblestone streets and 19th-century buildings are oh-so charming, but the shops, pubs, restaurants and galleries are very fun and very au courant. Plus, its prime location next to attractions like the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge makes this trendy neighborhood extremely convenient for tourists.
- #7View all PhotosfreeManly Beach#7 in SydneyBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
At first glance, Manly Beach, which is located about 10 miles northeast of downtown Sydney, may be just as crowded and active as other area beaches like Bondi and Coogee. However, this sprawling shoreline draws tons of praise from beachgoers, in part because of its distance from the city and prime surfing waves. Those who are hoping to swim, though, may want to venture elsewhere since these waters are known for their rough waves. Former travelers also suggest arriving early if you're planning a weekend trip and want to beat the crowds.
- #8View all Photos...Read More »
Founded in 1816, the 74-acre Royal Botanic Garden abounds with bright and colorful flora and fauna. The park is broken into multiple areas, including the Australian Rainforest Garden and the Palm Grove, which is home to the tallest tree in the gardens. Another popular area is the Palace Rose Garden, which houses nearly 1,800 roses and is a well-known Sydney wedding venue. Recent visitors also said the view of the Harbour Bridge is another highlight here.
- #9View all Photos#9 in SydneySightseeing, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPENDSightseeing, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
In 1810, Governor Lachlan Macquarie commissioned a bench for his wife, and the city's convicts obliged him by carving Mrs. Macquarie's Chair out of a sandstone rock overlooking Sydney Harbour. To this day, the landmark remains a top attraction thanks to its location, which provides picture-perfect views of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge within a single frame.
- #10View all Photos...Read More »
Bondi Beach is best known for its gnarly waves, which make it one of the top surfing destinations in the world. But if you're not ready to hang 10, don't fret. Bondi is also nice for strolling, sunbathing and swimming. Despite its popularity (and its plentiful souvenir shops and surf and fashion boutiques), Bondi maintains an alternative, edgy feel. Topless sunbathing is allowed here as well, though it's mostly limited to areas without children.
- #11View all Photos#11 in SydneyMuseums, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDMuseums, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
Situated in the same park complex that houses the Royal Botanic Garden and Mrs. Macquarie's Chair, the Art Gallery of New South Wales features a variety of indigenous, colonial and contemporary art collections. Everything from photography and Pablo Picasso paintings to aboriginal art and Tang dynasty ceramics can be found here. Additionally, several free artist talks and demonstrations are held throughout the year.
- #12View all Photos#12 in SydneyParks and GardensTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDParks and GardensTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
Located in Darling Harbour, this gem of a garden is a little breath of fresh air in the city. The Chinese Garden of Friendship was built as a symbol of friendship between Sydney, New South Wales and the city of Guangzhou in the province of Guangdong, China (sister cities of sister states), to mark Sydney's bicentennial in 1988. Recent visitors called it a serene and beautiful place to relax.
- #13View all Photos#13 in SydneyChurches/Religious Sites, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPENDChurches/Religious Sites, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
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.
- #14View all Photos...Read More »
No harbor city would be complete without a maritime museum, and Sydney's is one of the best. Here, you can view exhibits about everything from fish X-rays to pirates, but that's just scratching the surface. The standout at this maritime museum is the ships docked in Darling Harbour. All are open to museumgoers to board and explore. Notable vessels include the HMAS Vampire, a destroyer ship; the HMAS Onslow, a submarine; and the Akarana, an 1800s racing yacht.
Explore More of Sydney
Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019
Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019
Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019
Will WalkeyMarch 12, 2019
Gwen PratesiMarch 11, 2019
Zach WatsonFebruary 5, 2019
Lyn MettlerFebruary 5, 2019
Will WalkeyFebruary 5, 2019
Erin ShieldsFebruary 5, 2019