27 Things To Do In Sydney

Things To Do In Sydney

Welcome to Sydney, a vibrant city famous for its stunning harbour, iconic landmarks, and a dynamic cultural scene. Whether you’re visiting for the first time or are a local rediscovering the city, Sydney offers an endless array of activities to suit every interest and age group. From its breathtaking natural wonders and historic sites to its bustling markets and thrilling adventures, the city never fails to amaze. This guide highlights the best things to do in Sydney, ensuring you experience the very heart and soul of this spectacular metropolis.

Things To Do In Sydney

  1. Explore the Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House, with its distinctive sail-like architecture, stands as a global icon of artistic brilliance. Embark on a guided tour to uncover the stories behind its construction and gain access to areas usually closed to the public. The building hosts over 1,500 performances each year, including opera, theater, dance, and music shows. After your tour, relax at one of the waterfront restaurants and enjoy a meal with a view of the stunning harbor.

  1. Take a Ferry to Manly Beach

Experience Sydney’s picturesque coastline by taking a ferry from Circular Quay to Manly Beach. The 30-minute ride offers panoramic views of the Sydney Harbour, passing landmarks like the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Once in Manly, you can sunbathe, swim, or surf in its famous waves. The Corso, a lively promenade lined with shops, bars, and restaurants, is perfect for a leisurely stroll or grabbing a bite to eat.

  1. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge

For an adrenaline rush and a bird’s-eye view of the city, embark on the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. This adventure takes you to the top of the iconic bridge, where you can enjoy 360-degree views of the harbor and beyond. The climb is safe and guided, with all necessary equipment provided. It’s a thrilling way to see the city from a different perspective and capture some unforgettable photos.

  1. Visit the Royal Botanic Garden

The Royal Botanic Garden, located near the Opera House, offers a serene escape from the city’s hustle. Spread over 30 hectares, the gardens house an extensive collection of plants from around the world. Free guided walks or self-guided tours can help you explore the lush landscapes, themed gardens, and rare plant species. It’s a perfect spot for a picnic, leisurely walk, or simply a moment of relaxation amidst nature.

  1. Wander Through the Rocks

The Rocks is Sydney’s historic area, where European settlers first landed. Today, it’s a vibrant precinct that tells the stories of the city’s past. Wander through cobblestone streets and explore the mazes of courtyards, museums, and art galleries. On weekends, the Rocks Markets offer artisan crafts and gourmet street food. The area also hosts various street performances and historic pub tours, making it a cultural feast for visitors.

  1. Experience the Art Gallery of New South Wales

Art lovers will revel in the rich collections at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, one of Australia’s most important cultural institutions. The gallery showcases an impressive array of Australian, Aboriginal, European, Asian, and contemporary art. Regularly changing exhibitions and special events keep the gallery experience fresh and exciting. Entry to the general exhibition space is free, making it an accessible cultural outing in Sydney.

  1. Enjoy Taronga Zoo Sydney

Nestled on the shores of Sydney Harbour, Taronga Zoo Sydney offers a captivating wildlife experience with over 4,000 animals from various parts of the world. Take the cable car to enter the zoo and enjoy sweeping views of the harbour and city skyline. The zoo is committed to conservation and offers educational talks and exciting shows throughout the day. Visitors can even spend the night at the zoo’s unique “Roar and Snore” glamping experience.

  1. Discover Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour is a vibrant waterfront area packed with a variety of attractions. You can visit the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium to see Australia’s rich marine life, the WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo for a dose of Australian fauna, or the Madame Tussauds wax museum for fun photo ops with celebrity figures. The area also boasts a children’s playground, cinema, and numerous dining options, making it ideal for family outings.

  1. Shop at the Queen Victoria Building

The Queen Victoria Building (QVB), a stunning Victorian structure in the heart of Sydney, is more than just a shopping center. Its elaborate Romanesque architecture, complete with stained glass windows and intricate tiling, makes shopping here a luxurious experience. Housing an array of high-end boutiques and historic displays, the QVB offers a unique shopping experience and is a great place to pick up souvenirs.

  1. Relax at Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach is perhaps Australia’s most famous beach, known for its golden sands and excellent surf conditions. You can sunbathe, swim, or join the surfers in the waves. The Bondi to Coogee coastal walk starts here and is a scenic trail along cliffs, beaches, and parks. Numerous cafes and restaurants near the beach offer delicious meals and superb views of the ocean.

  1. Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art

Located on the edge of Sydney Harbour, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia is dedicated to exhibiting, collecting, and interpreting the work of today’s artists. With a focus on both Australian and international art, the museum hosts a range of exhibitions, workshops, and public programs. The rooftop café offers stunning views of the Opera House and Harbour, making it a perfect spot to unwind after exploring the art.

  1. Attend a Performance at the State Theatre

The State Theatre, an ornate heritage-listed building, is one of Sydney’s cherished cultural venues. Known for its lavish interiors that feature chandeliers, marble staircases, and beautiful murals, the theatre hosts a variety of performances including concerts, comedy shows, and film screenings. Attending a show here is a step back in time and a fantastic way to experience Sydney’s lively arts scene.

  1. Explore Paddington Markets

Established in 1973, Paddington Markets are a Sydney institution and a great place to explore on a Saturday. Located in the fashionable suburb of Paddington, these markets are famous for showcasing local designers, vintage fashion, handcrafted jewelry, arts, crafts, and gourmet food stalls. It’s a fantastic spot to find unique items and enjoy the vibrant local culture.

  1. Visit the Sydney Tower Eye

The Sydney Tower Eye offers one of the highest vantage points in the city, providing breathtaking 360-degree views of the entire metropolitan area, from the Blue Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Visitors can enjoy the observation deck or experience the thrill of the Skywalk, an outdoor glass-floored platform. The tower also hosts various exhibitions and interactive displays about the history and culture of Sydney, making it both an educational and exhilarating visit.

  1. Stroll Through Chinese Garden of Friendship

Tucked away in Darling Harbour, the Chinese Garden of Friendship is a tranquil haven designed by landscape architects from Sydney’s sister city, Guangzhou. This exquisite garden features waterfalls, lakes, exotic plants, pavilions, and hidden pathways. You can participate in a traditional Chinese tea ceremony or simply enjoy the peaceful surroundings that seem a world away from the bustling city outside its walls.

  1. Catch a Game at the Sydney Cricket Ground

Sports enthusiasts should not miss the chance to visit the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), an iconic sports stadium and the home of Australian cricket. The SCG offers guided tours that include visits to the dressing rooms, the Walk of Honour, and the members’ pavilion. If your visit coincides with the cricket season, catching a live match can be an unforgettable experience, imbued with the local passion for sports.

  1. Experience Luna Park

Just across the harbour from the Sydney Opera House, Luna Park is a historic amusement park known for its vintage rides and art deco architecture. The face entrance, a Sydney landmark, welcomes visitors of all ages looking for fun and entertainment. Ride the Ferris wheel for stunning harbour views, enjoy the various thrill rides, or try your luck at carnival games. It’s a delightful way to spend a day or an evening, with plenty of photo opportunities and fun.

  1. Explore the Barangaroo Reserve

Barangaroo Reserve is an urban park that features native Australian plants and a recreated Sydney Harbour headland. The area offers walking and cycling trails, picnic spots, and cultural events throughout the year. It’s a perfect spot for those looking to escape the urban environment and enjoy nature. The park also provides panoramic views of the Harbour Bridge and is a popular spot for watching the sunset.

  1. Visit the Museum of Sydney

On the site of the first Government House, the Museum of Sydney explores the stories and artifacts of the city’s past and present. Through a mix of multimedia exhibits and historical objects, visitors can delve into Sydney’s colonial backstory, its aboriginal heritage, and the evolution of its urban landscape. The museum also hosts temporary exhibits and installations that reflect Sydney’s dynamic culture.

  1. Kayak on Sydney Harbour

For the adventurous, kayaking on Sydney Harbour offers a unique perspective of the city’s stunning skyline and landmarks. Several companies offer kayak rentals and guided tours, allowing you to paddle around famous sites like the Harbour Bridge and nearby islands. It’s a fun and active way to experience the natural beauty of Sydney’s waterways and see the city from a different angle.

  1. Tour the Australian National Maritime Museum

Located in Darling Harbour, the Australian National Maritime Museum is a must-visit for history buffs and sea enthusiasts alike. This museum showcases Australia’s deep connection to the sea, featuring exhibits on naval history, the science of oceanography, and the stories of people who’ve migrated by sea. Visitors can explore both indoor galleries and historic vessels, including a submarine and a replica of Captain Cook’s HMB Endeavour.

  1. Picnic at Centennial Park

Centennial Parklands, known as ‘the lungs of the city,’ is a massive green space perfect for outdoor activities. Visitors can enjoy cycling, horse riding, or simply picnicking among the park’s beautiful gardens and ponds. The park also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, making it a lively spot for both relaxation and entertainment.

  1. Attend the Sydney Festival

For those visiting in January, the Sydney Festival presents an excellent opportunity to experience the city’s vibrant arts scene. This annual cultural celebration features hundreds of performances and events, including theater, dance, music, and circus acts from Australian and international artists. It’s a festival atmosphere with plenty of free and ticketed events scattered across the city.

  1. Dive with Sharks at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

For an adrenaline-pumping experience, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium offers a shark dive where visitors can come face-to-face with sea life including sharks, stingrays, and an array of tropical fish. This dive experience is safe and guided by professional instructors, providing a thrilling underwater adventure without the need for any previous diving qualifications.

  1. Explore the Blue Mountains

Just a two-hour drive from Sydney, the Blue Mountains are perfect for a day trip or a longer stay. Renowned for its dramatic scenery, the area offers numerous hiking trails, abseiling opportunities, and the famous Three Sisters rock formation. Visitors can take scenic world rides, including the world’s steepest railway, to fully appreciate the expansive views of valleys, waterfalls, and rugged sandstone tablelands.

  1. Enjoy Performances at the Opera Bar

Opera Bar, situated beneath the iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House, offers not only food and drinks but also a vibrant atmosphere enhanced by live music. It’s the perfect spot to relax after a day of touring, where you can enjoy performances from local artists against the backdrop of Sydney Harbour.

  1. Discover the Justice and Police Museum

This museum, housed in the historic Water Police Court (1856), offers a glimpse into Sydney’s darker side. The exhibitions include not only the history of crime and policing in the city but also re-created scenes of infamous criminal cases. Visitors can explore a magistrate’s court, a police charge room, and view various crime-related artifacts.


Sydney is a city that captivates its visitors with a blend of natural beauty, urban charm, and vibrant culture. With so many diverse and exciting activities, from exploring historical museums to kayaking in the harbor, and attending world-class festivals, there’s something to satisfy every curiosity and adventure level. Whether you spend your days soaking in the sun at Bondi Beach, enjoying the arts at the Opera Bar, or discovering wildlife at the Taronga Zoo, Sydney promises an unforgettable experience filled with lasting memories. Remember, every corner of this incredible city offers something unique, so dive in and explore all the amazing things to do in Sydney!

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