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60 Best Sydney Attractions Every Tourist Must See

If you’re only looking at Sydney attractions based on picturesque ads and billboards, you’d be forgiven to think the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House and Sydney Tower Eye are the main attractions. These should definitely be on your must see list, but there’s a lot more to Sydney than just architectural wonders.

60 Most Popular Attractions in Sydney

1. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

  • SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, formerly known as the Sydney Aquarium, is an attraction in the Darling Harbour area of Sydney. Designed by Australian architects
  • Adults $28, Child $19.60
  • 61 1800 199 657
  • SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Wheat Road, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Daily 9:30am-6pm
  • Website
  • 3

Tickets & Tours

2. Chinese Garden of Friendship

  • The Chinese Garden of Friendship, located at the south end of Darling Harbour, is a symbol of friendship between Sydney and Guangzhou in China. A walk
  • Adult $6, Child $3
  • Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Daily 9:30am-5pm
  • Website
  • 7

Tickets & Tours

3. Queen Victoria Building (QVB)

  • The Queen Victoria Building, known by locals as QVB, is a famous historical building in Sydney CBD that is home to a variety of boutique stores and cafes.
  • Free
  • 61 2 9265 6800
  • 455 George St, Sydney, NSW, 2000, Australia
  • Mon-Sat 9am-6pm; Sun 11am-5pm
  • Website
  • 9

Tickets & Tours

4. Sydney’s Paddy’s Market

  • Free
  • 02 9325 6200
  • Paddy's Market Haymarket, Sydney, Hay Street, Haymarket, New South Wales, Australia
  • Wed-Sun 10am-6pm
  • Website
  • 5

5. Taronga Zoo

  • Taronga Zoo is a city zoo located in Sydney. The zoo, which is managed by the Zoological Parks Board of New South Wales is home to some 2,600 animals from
  • $23 – $46
  • 61 2 9969 2777
  • Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman, NSW, 2088, Australia
  • Daily 9:30am – 4:30pm
  • Website
  • 6

Tickets & Tours

6. Featherdale Wildlife Park

  • Featherdale Wildlife Park is one of Australia’s best privately owned wildlife parks, located in the Doonside area of New South Wales. Known as Sydney’s
  • Adults $29,50, Children $16
  • 61 2 9622 1644
  • Featherdale Wildlife Park, Kildare Road, Doonside, New South Wales, Australia
  • Daily 9am-5pm
  • Website
  • 6

7. Bondi Beach

  • Bondi Beach is a popular, and very well-known, beach located in Sydney. It’s about 7km east of the city centre and is an ideal spot to enjoy on a
  • Free
  • Bondi Beach, New South Wales, Australia
  • Daily
  • 24

Tickets & Tours

8. Sydney Capitol Theatre

  • Varies depending on show
  • (02) 8240 2290
  • 13 Campbell St, Haymarket, NSW, 2000, Australia
  • Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm
  • Website
  • 2

9. Sydney Opera House

  • The Sydney Opera House is one of Australia’s most famous architectural creations, well-recognised landmarks and indeed an icon for Australia’s
  • Tours $24-165
  • 61 2 9250 7111
  • Sydney Opera House, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Mon-Sat 9am-5:30pm
  • Website
  • 18

Tickets & Tours

10. St Mary’s Cathedral

  • St Mary’s Cathedral is the centre of Sydney’s Catholic community, and the seat of Sydney’s Archbishop. Standing on the place where the
  • Free
  • (02) 9220 0400
  • St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Mass times at 7am, 9am,10:30am, 6pm
  • 7

Tickets & Tours

11. Darling Harbour

  • Darling Harbour is one of the main tourist destinations in the city centre of Sydney that is also home to a large entertainment and pedestrian precinct.
  • Free
  • 61 2 9240 8500
  • Darling Harbour, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Daily
  • Website
  • 16

Tickets & Tours

12. Sydney Harbour Bridge

  • The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of Australia’s most famous, and likely most well-photographed landmarks. It might not be the longest steel bridge
  • Free
  • +61 2 9903 2159
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Daily
  • Website
  • 12

Tickets & Tours

13. Sydney Tower Eye

  • The Sydney Tower Eye is an attraction that has been a part of the Sydney skyline for the past 30 years. In that time it has made a name for itself as an
  • Adult $26, Child $15
  • 61 1800 258 693
  • Sydney Tower Eye, Market Street, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Daily 9am-10:30pm
  • Website
  • 6

Tickets & Tours

14. Sydney Fish Market

  • Free
  • 02 9004 1100
  • Sydney Fish Market, Bank Street, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Daily 7am-4pm
  • Website
  • 7

Tickets & Tours

15. Museum of Contemporary Art

  • The Museum of Contemporary Art (often called the MCA) in Sydney, is an Australian museum showcasing an impressive collection of contemporary art, from
  • Free
  • 61 2 9245 2400
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, George Street, The Rocks, New South Wales, Australia
  • Daily 10am-5pm
  • Website
  • 1

Tickets & Tours

Travel Guides & Inspiration for Sydney

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Architecture

Sydney Tower Eye Admission Tickets & Restaurants

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The Sydney Tower Eye is an attraction that has been a part of the Sydney skyline since 1981. In that time it has made a name for itself as an iconic Sydney l...

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Natural

Sydney Chinese Garden of Friendship Admission Tickets

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The Chinese Garden of Friendship, located at the south end of Darling Harbour, is a symbol of friendship between Sydney and Guangzhou in China. A walk in the...

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Wildlife

WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo Tickets & Attractions Deal Darling Harbour

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WILDLIFE Sydney Zoo is a unique inner city zoo attraction in the heart of Darling Harbour. Different from most zoo attractions, the WILDLIFE Sydney Zoo combi...

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Architecture

Queen Victoria Building (QVB) – Shopping & Architecture

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The Queen Victoria Building, known by locals as QVB, is a famous historical building in Sydney CBD that is home to a variety of boutique stores and cafes. It...

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Cities

15 Fun Family Things to Do in Sydney at Night

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Sydney is a bustling Australian metropolis, home to around 4.5 million people and visited by nearly 10 million tourists (both domestic and international) every ...

Sydney Attractions FAQs

What’s the weather like in Sydney?

Summer in Australia starts officially on the 1st of December and continues through to the end of February. This is the time when temperatures can soar to thirty degrees Celsius. The temperate autumn, from March to May, has a milder climate as does the springtime, September to November, when humidity is at its lowest. Winter, from June through to August, sees lower temperatures ranging from thirteen to seventeen degrees Celsius and the possibility of rain. Sydney is blessed with three hundred recorded days of sunshine a year while June sees the highest average rainfall.

 

When is the best time to visit Sydney?

The best time to visit Sydney is from March to May which is just after the tourist peak season of December to February. Prices are lower, major attractions are less crowded and temperatures are comfortable for sightseeing activities. These autumnal months in Sydney are also referred to as the whale watching months. During this period humpback whales pass through the area on their migratory journeys.

Whale Watching in Sydney

Join a tour to see the largest animals on the planet – whales! It’s a site you don’t want to miss on a sunny day in Sydney.

September through to November, Sydney’s Springtime, is also a good time to visit the city. It precedes the peak Summer/Christmas period and the lower humidity means a more climatically comfortable stay.

 

Are there annual events in Sydney?

Sydney has a full calendar of annually celebrated events beginning in January with the Sydney Festival. The festival, which lasts for three weeks, encompasses fringe theatre, circus and art both in performances and workshops throughout the city.

In February two major events color the city streets as the Chinese New Year and LGBTQI Mardi Gras take place simultaneously.

For the rest of the year, from a nude boardriders battle on the waves to classic opera live on Sydney harbour to the Royal Easter Show, there’s not one week when there’s nothing happening in Sydney. A comprehensive, month by month event guide is available on the sydney.com website.

 

What happens on New Year’s Eve in Sydney?

Sydney brings in the new year big style. Centred around the Sydney harbour area the evening begins with aerial and aquatic displays to entertain the crowds gathering at the many diverse viewing vantage points. This is followed with a ritual cleansing by eucalyptus smoke of the harbour water in homage to Sydney’s aboriginal ancestry. A brief firework display for children at 9pm precedes the Harbour of Lights Parade where illuminated boats dance across the harbour waters.

As the clock strikes twelve, the night skies above Sydney receive a stunning and one of the biggest in the world, extended firework display. To date, attendance figures for Sydney’s new year event have reached a one million.

Sydney New Years Eve Fireworks

Don’t miss out on getting the perfect view of the dramatic Sydney fireworks on New Year’s eve. You’re guaranteed a picture perfect view by jumping onto a ferry or cruise to see the Harbour Bridge light up on the stroke of midnight.

 

What are the must see attractions in Sydney?

The must see attractions in Sydney constitute a long list, but unmissable are the two iconic constructions which are the city’s most recognised landmarks, the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The Museum of Sydney is the place to visit to discover interesting facts about the city and its inhabitants, while the Australian National Maritime Museum exhibits cover the complex history of Sydney’s seafaring connections. To view classical and contemporary artwork then the Art Gallery NSW is a must do.

Walk the SkyWalk on the Sydney Eye Tower for an unforgettably, breathtaking experience and to see the city from an amazing height with uninterrupted views. For sheer aquatic diversion, the Wet and Wild Waterpark is well worth a visit. The massive waterpark has some thrilling water slides, Australia’s largest wave pool and to dry off, the biggest double Skycoaster in the world.

To explore the natural side of Sydney stroll the immense spread of the Botanical Gardens or spend the day in Taronga Zoo which specialises in conservation of endangered species. Meet Australia’s native land animals at the Wild Life or seven hundred Australian aquatic species at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium.

 

What attractions are a day trip away from Sydney?

There are some amazing places on the outskirts of Sydney which can be incorporated in a day trip away from the city. National Park areas abound and one must do is the Three Sisters rock formation in the Blue Mountains National Park. The Jenolan Caves, also in the Blue Mountains National Park, are publicly accessible labyrinth of underground caves and pools which are explorable with a professional guide.

Ku-ring-gai National Park is another fascinating outdoor place to experience which has genuine Aboriginal rock carvings on display. Lion’s Island, a penguin colony is just a short boat ride from the Ku-ring-gai National Park.

Australia’s capital city, Canberra, is a day trip away from Sydney. Both visits to the Captain Cook Memorial and to the Anzac Parade are worthy of any ones agenda.

For Australian soap opera fans, a must-see just a day away from Sydney is Palm Beach which is the filming location for the television series Home and Away.

Day Trips from Sydney

Easiest way to go on a day trip is to have someone else organize everything for you. No need to check maps, directions, or plan itineraries. Just sit back and relax. Let the tour guide show you all the best points of interest near Sydney.

You can find more information on Sydney day trips here.

 

Is there an Attraction Pass?

There are multiple attraction passes available for visiting many of the different sites around Sydney.

I-Venture is a multi-option discount card. Choose between 3 or 7 day validation with unlimited access to Sydney attractions for 3 or 7 consecutive days. Alternatively select an amount of attractions, either three, five or seven of your choice and the card gives you access to them for a period of three months.
Combi- tickets are available from Sea Life and Wild Life which give you admission to the park plus two, three or four other major Sydney attractions.
Sydney Pass offers a multi-entrance package which includes the Sydney Tower, Sea Life, Wild Life Madame Tussauds and a Sydney Harbour cruise. It’s an easy saving to see 5 of the most popular Sydney attractions with one pass.

 

What are the Best Sydney Attractions for Couples

There are some fantastic things for couples to do in Sydney, both romantic or otherwise. For an outdoor activity which includes a little light exercise take a stroll along the Federation Cliff Walk or for something more strenuous, there’s a scenic hike from Bondi Beach to Bronte which is well worth stretching your leg muscles for. Then spend an afternoon at the most photographed sea pool in the world, Bondi’s Icebergs Pool. Take a picnic with you and enjoy it along the coastal walk or if that’s sounds just too energetic, why not try visiting Wendy’s Secret Garden and eat your sandwiches among the flowers.

Sydney has several outdoor cinemas, St Georges Open Air Cinema and the Moonlight Outdoor Cinemas both have evening screenings of all the latest cinematic releases.

Sydney’s close affinity with the water means there’s no shortage of Dinner Cruises. Whether on a luxury yacht or a tall ship, there are spectacular night scenes of the city to enjoy with amazing accompanying sunsets which will make it a night to remember.

Sydney’s close affinity with the water means there’s no shortage of Dinner Cruises. Whether on a luxury yacht or a tall ship, there are spectacular night scenes of the city to enjoy with amazing accompanying sunsets which will make it a night to remember.

For a different sailing try the Manly Ferry from Sydney Harbour. The half hour ferry journey crosses the bay, taking you past Sydney Opera House and Sydney Bridge before reaching the disembarkation point of Manly which is a renowned surfing beach, has a cosmopolitan atmosphere plus much more to explore.

If you’re looking for activities and attractions in the evening, check out the 21 most romantic things to do at night.

 

Are there any shore excursions for travellers on cruises?

There are many interesting and diverse shore excursions available for cruise passengers who disembark their ship in Sydney. There are tours which include cultural visits, attractions and walking. The stunning Blue Mountains combined with the Jenolan Caves are good after so much time at sea, or a day tour to Canberra if you’re docked for long enough.

A guided tour of Sydney Opera House is also an option or see Sydney from a different angle and take a helicopter flight over the harbour. If life on-board got a little stale, one guaranteed tour to spice things up a bit would be the Kings Cross Red Light District Tour of Sydney.

Sydney Shore Excursions

You will easily save more money by booking Sydney shore excursions externally instead of the cruise you’re with. Usually up to 50% (maybe more at times). It’s no secret cruise lines generally charge a premium fee to earn their own commission. Take a look at these shore excursions specifically tailored for travellers arriving from a cruise.

 

What Sydney attractions can you see on a budget?

Budget restrictions don’t put a dampener on visiting attractions in Sydney as there are plenty of low priced and cost free things to do in the city.

Sydney has a network of trails and walks which are suitable for all levels of fitness and cost no more than energy expenditure. From coastal walks and urban walks, one way of discovering Sydney on the cheap is on your feet.

Sydney has a buzzing Chinese community which is centred in Chinatown, a thriving hub of activity with everything from shops, markets, bakeries and restaurants.

Take a horticultural tour of the city and visit Sydney’s amazing gardens. The Botanical Gardens, Wendy’s Secret Garden are free to enter. The Chinese Garden of Friendship has a small admission charge.

Get artfully historical and take in the cultural sights of St Mary’s Cathedral, stop off at the Discovery Museum in the Rocks, a characterful inner suburb of Sydney, or visit the Contemporary Art Museum.

For budget amusement and thrills in a fairground atmosphere, it’s hard to beat Luna Park who have various discounted ticket offers available. Wet and Wild, the waterpark, also have a good value two day entrance pass which is worth splashing out for. Get there early both days to make the most of it.

 

Is there public transport?

Sydney has an excellent public transport network system. Trains, buses, light rail and ferry services make Sydney easy to get around. The light rail is the best for getting to and from popular shopping and entertainment areas, while the bus serves more outer lying areas of Sydney. Ferries sail from Sydney Harbour to Manly, Mosman Bay and Cockatoo Island on a regular basis.

The most economic way of using public transport in Sydney is by purchasing an Opal Card. Once charged, they are valid on all public transport services, ferries, light rail, buses and trains and regular fares are discounted by thirty percent.

 

How far is the airport from Sydney?

Sydney International and Sydney Domestic Airport is just a ten minute drive or ten minute train ride away from central Sydney. Take the T8 line which serves both from five in the morning until midnight. An Opal card or ticket is required to use the service and there is a statutory station access fee charged on top of the ticket.

Airport Transfers

If you’re after an easy ride into the city or someone to drop you directly at the footsteps of your hotel, there are a number of airport transfer options available at Sydney airport.

 

What Sydney attractions can you see on an airport stopover?

As Sydney Airport is so close to the city and has excellent transport connections, you can easily fit in a number of attractions depending on the length of time between flights. If your stopover is only 3 hours though, it might not be worth the risk.

Airport Lounge

For those who prefer to enjoy stay at Sydney airport, you can stay at a Premium Lounge which includes beverages, light buffet, shower, wifi, magazines and tv for entertainment.

 

Is there a Hop On Hop Off Bus?

Sydney has a Hop On Hop Off Bus. The Hop On Hop Off Buses are red, open topped, double deckers which run two separate routes. The Sydney Tour Red Route covers the Central Business District and surrounding areas with twenty three jump on, jump off stops while the Bondi Tour Blue Route covers the Bondi Beach area with stops at ten places of interest. Tickets can be purchased with a one or two day validity.

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