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Top 21 Attractions in Sydney

  • Sydney Opera House thumbnail
    A view of the Sydney Opera House at night.

    Australia’s most iconic building is the Sydney Opera House which nestles on the shores of Sydney Harbour at Bennelong Point. This multi-venue performing arts center was designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon and completed in 1973, before being added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.

    The Sydney Opera House is home to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Theatre Company, The Australian Ballet and Opera Australia, with shows scheduled throughout the year for visitors to experience its interior. Alternatively, you can join one of the daily guided tours to get a behind-the-scenes look at this famous venue and learn about its fascinating history ...

    Read more about the Sydney Opera House

  • Museum of Sydney thumbnail
    The sandstone facade of the Museum of Sydney.

    The Museum of Sydney explores the people and events that have shaped the city, built on the ruins of the house of New South Wales' first Governor, Arthur Phillip. Remnants of the original 1788 building, such as drains and privies, can still be glimpsed today through glass openings in the museum’s forecourt.

    Australia’s first Government House served as the social, ceremonial, and political heart of the New South Wales colony during its initial years and the focal point of the first contact between the indigenous Gadigal people and the colonizing British. It was demolished in 1846, but archaeologists exposed its foundations in 1983, and the modern museum was constructed ten years later ...

    Read more about the Museum of Sydney

  • Featherdale Wildlife Park thumbnail
    A little blue Penguin at the Featherdale Wildlife Park in Sydney, Australia.

    Located around 45 minutes drive west of Sydney’s city center is the Featherdale Wildlife Park, set across seven acres of land in the suburb of Doonside. It was established in 1972, primarily as a nursery for Australian native trees and plants while also providing a refuge for native animals.

    Today the Featherdale Wildlife Park is dedicated to educating the public about conservation and is home to Australia’s largest native animal collection. There are over 1,700 animals from more than 260 different species, including the largest captive population of koalas in Australia, with more than 200 individual bred here since they opened.

    They also conduct vital conservation work with endangered yellow-footed rock wallabies and tiger quolls, together with Tasmanian Devils ...

    Read more about the Featherdale Wildlife Park

  • Sea Life Sydney Aquarium thumbnail
    A white shark at Sea Life Aquarium in Sydney, Australia.

    Home to more than 700 different marine species, the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium is one of Australia’s largest and most impressive aquariums. It’s set across 14 themed zones, including Jurassic Seas, the Shark Walk, Dugong Island, the Southern Ocean and the Discovery Rockpool, as well as the world’s largest display on the Great Barrier Reef.

    The exhibits cover both fresh and saltwater environments, including Australia’s riverine species and the fragile nature of these ecosystems. You can walk through the underwater tunnel of Shark Valley (within what is one of the world’s largest oceanariums) to witness lemon sharks, gray nurse sharks, zebra sharks and eagle rays ...

    Read more about the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

  • Customs House Library thumbnail
    The facade of the Customs House Library in Sydney, Australia.

    With a magnificent setting at Circular Quay near the ferry wharf, the Customs House Library is set within one of Sydney’s finest historical landmarks. It was constructed from 1844 to 1845 to serve as the Customs Service headquarters before becoming a venue for exhibitions and functions in 1990. Since 2003, it has been home to the City of Sydney Library, set across three levels in the heritage-listed building.

    Step inside the entrance to see a 4.2m x 9.5m scale model of Sydney's city center on the ground floor, which is viewed through a glass floor and can be literally walked over. You can also view photographs of the building throughout its history as one of Sydney’s undisputed icons ...

    Read more about the Customs House Library

  • 7.8 /10
    Taronga Zoo thumbnail
    A girafe at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney.

    Just a short ferry ride from Circular Quay across beautiful Sydney Harbour will take you to the world-famous Taronga Zoo. It boasts magnificent water views across its 69 acres (“Taronga” is an indigenous Aboriginal word meaning “beautiful view”) and is home to more than 4,000 animals from 350 different species. Not only is there native Australian wildlife, but animals from across the globe, with the grounds divided into eight zoogeographic regions.

    Download their iPhone app to take advantage of the self-guided walking routes around the zoo, with plenty of information about each animal species. Get up close to Asian elephants, Sumatran orangutans, ring-tailed lemurs and Western lowland gorillas, then step inside their serpentaria to see boa constrictors, iguanas, chameleons, Komodo dragons and freshwater crocodiles ...

    Read more about the Taronga Zoo

  • Royal National Park thumbnail
    A bay view at the Royal National Park near Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

    Just to the south of Sydney lies the magnificent coastal cliffs, untouched beaches and native bushland of the Royal National Park. It stretches across 151 square kilometers and was the second national park to be established in the world, after Yellowstone in the United States.

    Tall limestone cliffs back idyllic and secluded beaches, while hardy, salt-tolerant species dominate the coastal heathland that stretches inland. There are also small remaining areas of littoral rainforest in the “Palm Jungle” along the Coast Walk, together with large tracts of both “wet” and “dry” sclerophyll forest.

    Lush valley floors provide a home for towering Australian cedar trees and large eucalyptus species, with ferns and wattles dominating the understory ...

    Read more about the Royal National Park

  • 7.8 /10
    The Rocks thumbnail
    A in street in The Rocks neighborhood of Sydney.

    On the Sydney Harbour Bridge's doorstep and immediately adjacent to Circular Quay lies The Rocks, a historic neighborhood of charismatic sandstone architecture and cobblestone streets. It was established as Australia's first European settlement in 1788 and is today packed with fascinating museums, boutique shops, and iconic pubs, making it worthy of an entire day’s exploration.

    Admire one of the colony’s original buildings at Cadman’s Cottage that dates to 1816 or tour the Susannah Place Museum's terrace houses that were built in 1844 by Irish immigrants. You can peer inside the restored 19th-century cells and charge room of the Justice and Police Museum or visit the heritage-listed Sydney Observatory to experience the southern night sky and learn more about space flight history in their 3D theater ...

    Read more about the The Rocks

  • Royal Botanic Gardens thumbnail
    Walking paths within the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, Australia.

    Australia’s oldest scientific institution, the Royal Botanic Gardens sprawl across 30 acres on the edge of Sydney Harbour. It was opened in 1816 and remains one of the most important botanical institutions in the world, home to an impressive collection of plants from Australia and around the globe.

    A historic hand-hewn sandstone seawall wraps around Farm Cove all the way to the Sydney Opera House, with the gardens gradually sloping up from here. It’s divided into four main areas - the Lower Gardens, the Middle Gardens, the Palace Gardens and the Bennelong precinct - together with grassy lawns where you can have a picnic and numerous other smaller gardens ...

    Read more about the Royal Botanic Gardens

  • Darling Harbour thumbnail
    A classical sail ship in Darling Harbour in Sydney.

    Sydney’s hub for entertainment is Darling Harbour, which lies a ten-minute walk from the CBD or a short ferry ride from Circular Quay. It’s home to the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo for up-close animal encounters, as well as great cafes and restaurants overlooking the water. Soak up the comings and goings at its historic wharf area, watch live street performers and musicians or get some retail therapy at its numerous shopping destinations.

    Darling Harbour is home to the National Maritime Museum that details the city’s rich maritime history dating all the way back to the first settlers, with full-size ships and a submarine to explore ...

    Read more about the Darling Harbour

  • Sydney Tower Eye thumbnail
    The top of the Sydney Tower in Australia.

    Soaring above the city skyline as Sydney’s tallest structure, the Sydney Tower Eye, also named Sydney Eye Tower, measures 309 meters. It features a 360-degree observation deck that offers unparalleled panoramas across the city, making it one of Sydney’s most popular tourist attractions.

    Look out across Sydney's iconic beaches through high-powered binoculars, with views stretching all the way to the Blue Mountains in the distance. The Observation Deck also features multilingual touch screens to help you learn more about the landmarks being viewed across the city, such as the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge ...

    Read more about the Sydney Tower Eye

  • Wild Life Sydney Zoo thumbnail
    Giant turtles in the Wild Life Sydney Zoo.

    Located in the heart of Darling Harbour, adjacent to the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and Madame Tussauds, is WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo. This award-winning, native wildlife park is designed like a rainbow serpent from the Aboriginal Dreamtime stories, with open-air exhibits enclosed by a stainless steel mesh roof that resembles the serpent’s ribs. The exhibits feature native trees and plants in their landscaping to provide a natural home for koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, platypus and even Tasmanian devils.

    WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo is divided into ten different zones, including the Kakadu Gorge where crocodiles roam and the Daintree Rainforest that is home to the unique cassowary bird ...

    Read more about the Wild Life Sydney Zoo

  • Capitol Theatre thumbnail
    A street view of the Capitol Theatre in Sydney.

    Entertaining Sydneysiders since the early 19th century, the beautiful Capitol Theatre is located in Haymarket. It hosts world class musicals, theatrical plays, ballets and concerts within its magnificent historic setting.

    The site was used by Sydney’s early settlers as a market for produce and hay (hence the name “Haymarket”), with the building designed by architect George McRae and structural engineer Norman Selfe. It originally housed a fruit and vegetable market, however, its distance from Darling Harbour meant it lacked commercial viability and its lease was transferred to the Wirth Bros in 1912 ...

    Read more about the Capitol Theatre

  • 7.8 /10
    Wharf Theatre thumbnail
    Facade of the Wharf Theatre in Sydney.

    Home of the Sydney Theatre Company, who perform both here and at the nearby Roslyn Packer Theatre. The company was formed in 1978 and initially worked out of numerous rented premises throughout the city, with actors such as Geoffrey Rush, Hugo Weaving, and Cate Blanchett having developed their careers here.

    Walsh Bay’s Wharf 4/5 was at the time a derelict space, with its ironbark timber warehouse having been built to load cargo onto ships. Its size and location made it attractive as a modern theater space, designed specifically to retain its historic integrity. In 1984 it was officially handed over to the Sydney Theatre Company ...

    Read more about the Wharf Theatre

  • Powerhouse Museum thumbnail
    An old steam locomotive in the Powerhouse Museum of Sydney.

    The Powerhouse Museum is situated in the old Ultimo Power Station building, just a short walk from Darling Harbour. It’s the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences’ main venue (aside from the historic Sydney Observatory), with outstanding collections that span science, technology, communication, transport, furniture, media, fashion and contemporary culture.

    While the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences has been in existence for more than 125 years, its Powerhouse Museum opened its doors in 1988. It’s set within what was an early 20th-century electric tram power station and has given this Sydney landmark a new lease on life ...

    Read more about the Powerhouse Museum

  • Manly Sea Life Sanctuary thumbnail
    Exterior view of the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary.

    Located in the beachside suburb of Manly on Sydney’s northern shores, the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary is a much-loved aquarium, dedicated to the conservation of marine species. It first opened its doors in 1965 as Marineland and has undergone numerous name changes and revamps since, eventually being launched as Manly Sea Life Sanctuary in 2012.

    The aquarium is divided into three sections - Penguin Cove, Shark Harbour and Underwater Sydney - with everything from octopuses to lion fish, seahorses and baby sharks on display. Penguin Cove is home to a colony of Manly’s famous little penguins and is the aquarium’s newest attraction, while Underwater Sydney features many of the species found in the surrounding waters ...

    Read more about the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary

  • Sydney Harbour Bridge thumbnail
    The famous and iconic Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia.

    The Sydney Harbor Bridge is an iconic image, along with the Opera House, of the city of Sydney in Australia.

    Experience the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the most thrilling way possible with BridgeClimb, an adrenalin sports company that will take you up and over the southern half of the bridge. You can opt to climb at dawn, during the day, at twilight, or at night, with the full experience of taking just over three hours. If you’re short on time, you can opt for the Express Climb that takes you to the middle of the bridge and up to the top in a little over two hours or the BridgeClimb Sampler, which ascends to the inner arch in an hour and a half ...

    Read more about the Sydney Harbour Bridge

  • Art Gallery of New South Wales thumbnail
    An interior view of one of the rooms in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia.

    Set across five levels on the edge of the Domain Parklands, the Art Gallery of New South Wales is one of Australia’s most popular art galleries. It boasts an impressive collection of Australian art, including one of the country’s largest galleries of indigenous art, as well as an extensive Asian gallery and the works of European masters.

    The Australian art collection includes celebrated works by John Glover and Arthur Streeton, as well as 20th-century icons Sidney Nolan, Russell Drysdale and Arthur Boyd. Admire the desert paintings by indigenous artists living on remote Western Desert outstations and bark paintings from the saltwater coastal communities, then peruse the ceramics and bronze work from across Japan, China and Southeast Asia ...

    Read more about the Art Gallery of New South Wales

  • Luna Park Sydney thumbnail
    A ride at the Luna Park amusement park in Sydney, New South Wales.

    Fronted by its famous nine-meter-wide smiling face, Luna Park Sydney is an amusement park situated at Milsons Point on the northern shores of Sydney Harbour. While it originally opened back in 1935, it’s undergone numerous name changes and revamps since then, reopening in 2004 after an extensive redevelopment. A number of its buildings are heritage-listed and it has been a popular filming location for movies and television shows.

    The Midway is the main thoroughfare in Luna Park, providing access to Coney Island, Crystal Palace and the Big Top. Sideshow games like “Laughing Clowns” and “Goin’ Fishin’” line the way, together with thrill-seeking rides such as the “Hair Raiser” and the historic “Wild Mouse” ...

    Read more about the Luna Park Sydney

  • Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney) thumbnail
    Exterior view of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Sydney.

    Set within the former Marine Services Board Building on the edge of Circular Quay, Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art is one of Australia’s most impressive modern art galleries. It features more than 4,000 works by both Australian and international artists, spanning media that includes painting, sculpture, photography and moving image.

    Depending on when you visit, the museum might be showcasing major thematic exhibitions or collections of particular artists, as well as new works by emerging artists and solo exhibitions. The art deco-style building is worthy of attention in its own right and stands as one of Sydney’s most iconic landmarks.

    The Museum of Contemporary Art also features a significant number of contemporary pieces by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists ...

    Read more about the Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney)

  • Sydney Chinatown thumbnail
    An entrance and arch in Sydney's Chinatown.

    Located in Haymarket, in the southern part of Sydney’s CBD, Chinatown is the heart of Asian culture in the city. It was originally established in The Rocks area of Sydney in the late 19th century, before moving to near Market Street in Darling Harbour. It gradually moved to its current location in the 1920s, centered around bustling Dixon Street.

    Sydney’s Chinatown is packed full of restaurants serving authentic dishes, as well as bakeries and sweet shops where you can grab a snack on the go. There’s also a range of herbal stores and market shops selling Chinese goods and souvenirs, including brightly colored kites and green teas ...

    Read more about the Sydney Chinatown

  • * Regular pre-pandemic touristic activity level.

    You can also rate and vote for your favorite Sydney sightseeing places, famous historical landmarks, and best things to do in Sydney by visiting the individual Sydney attraction pages.