Best things to do in Sydney

Best things to do in Sydney

Best things to do in Sydney

Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

There is no denying that Sydney is a beach town. From the calm waters of the port’s stately beaches to the rougher waves of coastal beaches like Maroubra, the warmer months are spent stripping, skimming and diving. But it’s not all surfing in Harbor Town. The city is vast and diverse, home to great museums, boutique galleries, cultural walks, upscale shopping, grungy street art, and well-manicured public parks and gardens.

Read on for our expert advice on the best attractions, as our guides are dedicated to Sydney’s best hotels, restaurants, bars, nightlife, beaches and shops, as well as what to do for free and how to spend a weekend in Sydney.

Town center

Climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge

Sydney Harbor Bridge is one of Sydney’s most famous sites; what you may not know is that there are many ways to get to the top. A twilight climb shows Sydney in all its glory at sunset. If you are here in June, try Vivid Climb. It ends with a dance under the stars on a 70s-inspired dance floor at the top.

Expert tip: If you’re ready for a leisurely exploration of the famous steel structure, take the three-and-a-half-hour bridge climb. If speed is more your thing, sign up for Express Climb, with fewer steps and stops.

Contact: bridgeclimb.com
Nearest Metro: Circular quay
Price: £ £ £

Climb to Sydney Harbor Bridge, Australia

Climb to Sydney Harbor Bridge, Australia

Take a walking tour of Aboriginal heritage

There is much more to Sydney’s oldest neighborhood than the history of those who colonized it. Sydney’s indigenous history unfolds on this 90-minute walking tour led by an indigenous guide. The concept of “Dreamtime” (the Aboriginal belief system about the origin of the world, its creation and the history and interconnectedness of all its antennas), traditional plants and objects and how the culture of Aborigines ties to the modern Sydney landscape are among the many topics covered.

Expert tip: Ask about the Dream Time Identity, a special smoking ceremony where Dream Time Keepers are invited to watch over the attendees throughout their time in Australia.

Contact: bestof.com
Nearest Metro: Circular quay
Price: £ £

Explore the Sydney Tower

The highest point in the city, the Sydney Tower, extends 268 meters above the ground, exactly double the height of the Harbor Bridge. The 360-degree views stretch west to the Blue Mountains, north across the Harbor Bridge, east along the headlands to the Pacific Ocean, and south to the shores of historic Botany Bay.

Expert tip: Those feeling more adventurous should join the 45-minute SKYWALK guided tour along the glass-floored viewing platform outside Sydney Tower (no need for vertigo sufferers to apply). Booking tickets online is much cheaper than buying at the door and you will skip the lines.

Contact: sydneytowereye.com.au
Nearest Metro: city ​​Hall
Price: £ £

Sydney Tower, Australia

Sydney Tower, Australia

Visit the Australian Museum

The Australian Museum, the oldest in the country, has been at the helm of Australian history, research and education for nearly 200 years, with exhibits on indigenous Australia, Australian archeology, Pacific cultures and world culture. The museum houses 10 complete dinosaur skeletons, eight life-size models and Australia’s largest mineral collection.

Expert tip: If you’re traveling with kids, go straight to level two for the excellent (and fenced!) Under-five area. For the ultra aficionados, check out the museum’s Roar and Snore program; children and their parents can spend the night with the dinosaurs.

Contact: australianmuseum.net.au
Prices: £

Australian Museum, Sydney

Australian Museum, Sydney

Royal Botanical Gardens

Located right on Sydney Harbor and adjacent to the Sydney Opera House and Central Business District, the Royal Botanic Gardens are a 30-hectare oasis in a perfect location. The grounds on which the gardens are located was once home to the Gadigal people. This important story is told through guided tours where participants are able to seek out and eat traditional foods from the indigenous bush. The new exhibition space, The Calyx, hosts the largest vertical green wall in the southern hemisphere.

Expert tip: There are free guided walks that take place every day and explore both the heritage of these historic gardens and plant varieties.

Contact: rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
Prices: Free

Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, Australia

Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, Australia

The New South Wales Art Gallery

The Art Gallery of NSW houses an eclectic mix of Western, Contemporary, Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island, Pacific and Asian art. There are also regular lectures, film and event screenings, and two restaurants to choose from, including famed chef Matt Moran’s, Chiswick at The Gallery.

Expert tip: The gallery can get very busy during large exhibitions. After 2pm on weekdays it is a good time to visit as all school excursions are over.

Contact: artgallery.nsw.gov.a
Prices: Free admission to the permanent collection

NSW Art Gallery, Sydney, Australia

NSW Art Gallery, Sydney, Australia

Catch a show at the Sydney Opera House

Embracing the end of Bennelong Point is Australia’s most recognizable building, the Sydney Opera House. Designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon in 1956, the “sails” are created from over a million white tiles. Catch a show in the Concert Hall if you can to experience the dramatic cathedral-like interiors and superior acoustics. Or take a tour of the house; tours last approximately one hour.

Expert tip: Get the most out of the house by seeing a show there. Arrive early and make your way to the forecourt for a bowl of sashimi from the Opera Kitchen and a glass of Riesling from the Opera Bar. Find a spot along the edge of the harbor, with The Bridge to your left and The House to your right. A perfect night in Sydney.

Contact: sydneyoperahouse.com
Nearest Metro: Circular quay
Price: £ £

Sydney Opera House, Australia

Sydney Opera House, Australia

Explore like a local

Local Sauce Tours owner Justin Steele runs a variety of small-group tours, from hidden downtown bar crawls to food safaris through Chinatown and Newtown. Steele is a born traveler and has a savant knowledge of Australian history, which he peppers during his tours. All are designed to inform and familiarize guests with local areas and include food and drink samples.

Expert tip: Chinatown was particularly hard hit during the Sydney lockdown. The Aussie Chinatown tour looks for the small family businesses that have suffered the most and are often overlooked, even by locals.

Contact: localsaucetours.com.au
Prices: £

Town center

Watch a movie at the Golden Age Cinema

This 60-seat Golden Age cinema used to be the screening room in the old Paramount building and was artfully remodeled with dark green walls and mahogany seating filling its original Art Deco curves. The cinema showcases both current arthouse films and old gold films and the bar is worth a visit even if you don’t have a butt of old school movies in your pocket.

Expert tip: The choctops are produced by the local legends of Messina ice cream and the popcorn is available in three flavors: sriracha and lime, sea salt or chocolate. There is live music in the bar on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Contact: ourgoldenage.com.au
Nearest Metro: Central Station
Price: £

North Sidney

Take a ride on the Ferris wheel at Luna Park

Luna Park occupies the main facade of the harbor, located in picturesque Milsons Point and nestled under the north tower of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Make sure you have the camera out if you are going up the Ferris wheel. Bring a packed lunch and snacks; the food offerings are low quality hot dogs and fish and chips and you will fight the seagulls for exclusive rights to your lunch.

Expert tip: Buying tickets online and at least one day in advance will save you a few dollars. And take the scenic route – the best way to get there is by ferry from Circular Quay.

Contact: lunaparksydney.com
Nearest Metro: Milson Point

Luna Park, Sydney, Australia

Luna Park, Sydney, Australia

Get out of the city, towards the Blue Mountains

Once a stately escape for wealthy colonial types fleeing the summer heat, the Blue Mountains remain a major draw for those who love the great outdoors. It is a 55-mile (90km) journey from Sydney and is easily accessible by train and bus. The range of mountains, escarpments, plateaus and valleys is home to waterfalls, pools, bushwalks, trails and the famous Three Sisters rock formation.

Expert tip: Stop at the Norman Lindsay Gallery in Faulconbridge; this is where the Australian artist and the enfant terrible lived and where much of his work is exhibited.

Contact: normanlindsay.com.au
Prices: £

Blue Mountains, Australia

Blue Mountains, Australia

Hop on a Sydney Harbor ferry tour

A day at Sydney Harbor is non-negotiable and consistently reliable ferries are the best way to explore the many pockets. Captain Cook Cruises’ Hop On Hop Off Rocket Ferry offers a flexible two-day pass that includes a 90-minute guided cruise with eleven stops. From Taronga Zoo to Watson’s Bay, Barangaroo, Fort Denison and Shark Island; hop on and off to explore many of Sydney’s most popular attractions.

Expert tip: If your visit falls between May and November, consider the whale watching cruise. In partnership with Taronga Zoo, the tour consists of a day at the zoo followed by a trip out of Sydney Harbor to witness the annual migration.

Contact: capitancook.com.au; transportnsw.info
Nearest Metro: Circular quay
Prices: £

Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

Bondi Beach

Ah Bondi, the queen bee of Sydney beaches. Take a stroll along the boardwalk, grab an ice cream, find a spot on the sand and lay back. The north end is popular with young families, mainly due to the enclosed rock pool, and there is a great view of the entire beach from the top of the grassy hill. At the south end of Bondi you’ll find the Bondi Icebergs Club, home to one of the city’s most popular ocean lane pools. An entry fee of AUD $ 9 (£ 5) will give you all day access to the pool and sauna and unlimited people watching.

Nearest Metro: Bondi junction
Prices: £

Bondi Beach, Australia

Bondi Beach, Australia

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