We have collected the top 20 things to do in Sydney
Sydney is the capital of Australia, and as such, its most populous city as well. The area has been inhabited by people for thousands of years, but it was not until the 18th century that Sydney was founded by the british. Sydney is a beautiful city that is visited by millions of people each year, with some very well known tourist attractions, and some other, more obscure places, that are still just as interesting as the rests. So, here is our list of the top 20 places to visit and things to do in Sydney while you are there.
- Sydney Opera House
Without a doubt the Sydney Opera House is one of the most iconic buildings in the world, and it’s the very symbol of both the city and Australia in connection. Around 8 million people visit this spectacular building every year to see the distinct style of it. The building resembles shells of top of each other, which give a beautiful vibe that people just can’t miss. The place has several venues for different kinds of performances, each of them being just as beautiful as the outside. It is must-see on the list of things to do in Sydney.
2. Circular Quay
The Circular Quay is one of the harbours of Sydney, and its popular among tourists, especially as a starting location for the cruises that can be used to appreciate the scenery of the city even more. The harbour has many shops, cafés and such along pedestrian walkways. Trains also lead here for those coming from farther.
3. The Rocks
The so-called Rocks is an area that is appreciated both for its past and its present. Historically, this area was inhabitated by the indigenous people of Australia and it was here that the first british settlement was built. The area got its name from the rocky coast nearby. The Rocks is now a tourists hotspot thanks to its beautiful architecture and the many shops, cafés, restaurants and the Rocks Discovery Museum, which shows the transformation of this area throughout the years.
4. Sydney Tower
The Sydney Tower is the tallest structure in Sydney, and one of the tallest observational towers. As one can imagine, the tower is popular among both visitors and citizens due to the wonderful view of the city it can provide. Those who go up the tower by elevator can then take in the amazing view and eat or drink at one of the restaurants up there. This place is a must-see for anyone wanting to have a good look at the entirety of the city.
5. Art Gallery of New South Wales
Just like its name suggests, the Art Gallery of New South Wales is a nation public gallery, and of the largest in Australia. It has free exhibitions as well, and a collection of Asian, European and Australian art, including artifacts from the indigenous people.
6. St. Mary’s Cathedral
The St. Mary’s Cathedral is perhaps the most important of the churces in Australia, although it’s not the largest of them. It’s a Roman Catholic church with a neo-gothic architecture. The front part resembles that of the Notre-Dame of Paris. The church is worth seeing for both religious and non-religious people.
7. George Street
Originally the first street of Sydney, George Street is now one of its busiest streets. More tall buildings can be found here then any other parts of the city, and important companies are in each of those. Traffic here is busy as well due to its central location.
8. Queen Victoria Building
The Queen Victoria Building was originally built as a marketplace at the end of the 19th century, but due to neglect and decay, the building was even considered for demolition. Fortunately, restorations have been started in the eighties and now the building is full of famous shops. Tourists are advised to take a look at the building, even if they don’t want to shop, as the place is beautiful both inside and outside.
9. Sydney Town Hall
Thanks to its location, the Sydney Town Hall is popular for not only the structure itself, but as a meeting place, since its located infront of the Queen Victoria Building at George Street. The building underwent many restorations, but it is still a beautiful structure, admired by many.
10. Royal Botanic Garden
The Royal Botanic Garden is like an oasis surrounded by skyscrapers and the shores. The garden was established two hundred years ago, and it’s still very important as a botanical institution for both Australia and the world. The garden is full of roses, palm groves, orchids, rare and threatened plants, and even fruit bats. It’s an excellent recreational spot for anyone visiting Sydney with a beautiful view of the harbor as well.
11. Government House
The Government House, just like its name suggests, is the official residence of the governor of New South Wales. The building is located alongside the Royal Botanic Garden, and was built in a romantic gothic revival style, which gives it an almost castle-like look. The building stands out between the other buildings of Sydney and the garden near it, so it is hard to miss.
12. Kings Cross
Kings Cross is an area in Sydney, most commonly known as the red-light district of the city. The area has regular services like bakeries and restaurants as well as night clubs and strip clubs. Even if one doesn’t plan to do anything of that sort there, the place itself is still worth visiting if you have free time. Because of its nature, it is advised to be visited without children.
13. Darling Harbour
The Darling Harbour is a hub for both tourists and citizens. It’s a busy harbour that is mostly used for recreational purposes. Lots of restaurants, museums, shops and bars can be found here, but it’s excellent for a regular stroll along the pedestrian walkways as well. The Austrialian version of Madame Tussauds wax museum is also located here. Other exhibitions include the Wild Life Sydney Zoo and the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium.
14. Australian National Maritime Museum
As a city with a maritime history, the Australian National Maritime Museum located at Darling Harbour is an important museum. Dedicated to naval collections, the museum consists of large exhibitions, including the discovery of Australia, the relationship between the indigenous people and the sea, the ocean as a resource and the naval defence of the country, among others. Museum ships are also located here, like a replica of the bark James Cook used when he discovered Australia, a destroyer and a submarine.
15. Sydney Beaches
Sydney and its surrounding territory is full of beaches where everyone can enjoy the sunny days, and they are popular among the things to do in Sydney. Surfers and regular swimmers can use these beaches, but should be aware of the signs marking areas that should not be used. Volunteer lifeguards patrol the beaches and lifeguard competitions are also held sometimes.
Like many big cities throughout the world, Sydney also has its own Chinatown. If you want to try out some famous asian cuisine or just see the shops, then this is the place for it. One of the best times for visiting this district is during January when they celebrate the Chinese New Year.
17. Hyde Park
Named after the park in London, Hyde Park is just as beautiful as the one in London. It’s a very popular recreational spot for those who want to take a nap, take a walk around the park or play with their friends. The park has numerous memorials, a fountain and the Australian Museum, which has the largest natural history collection in the country.
18. Macquarie Street
The Macquarie Street connects Hyde Park and the Sydney Opera House. This streets is mostly known for it being the location of almost every major governmental institutions in Sydney. Buildings that can be found here include the Parliament House, the Government House, the State Library, the St. James’ Church, the Hyde Park Barracks, the Sydney Hospital and the Sydney Mint, just to name a few. Walking along to street gives oppotunity to see all of these sites.
19. Taronga Zoo
The Taronga Zoo provides visistors a great opportunity to see the local wildlife of Australia, as well as interesting animals from all over world. The zoo is located on a hillside, so it also gives a beautiful scenery to look at inbetween watching the animals there. One of the best things you can do here is a program where you can stay for the night and see the nocturnal animals at the zoo.
20. Sydney Harbour Bridge
When talking about places to visit in Sydney, once can’t leave out the Sydney Habour Bridge. It’s one of the most known landmarks of Sydney, alongside the Opera House. It’s the largest steel arch bridge in the world, and a very popular site for tourists. A tunnel was also built here due to the increased traffic, but many people still choose the bridge if they want to see the beautiful view of the ocean and Sydney itself.
If you want to see photos of the “everyday life” of Australians, check out our collection here. Or if you wan to see other vacation spots that can scare people with its local animals, see this page.