21 Top Things To Do In Sydney To Get A Feel For Australia'S First City


Sydney is Australia’s answer lớn New York: a cosmopolitan a hive of activity, which never sleeps, but also boasts gorgeous beaches, fantastic weather và mild winters. Sydney has over 4 million residents, making it Australia’s largest city, & is also the most touristed destination in the country, attracting over 32 million visitors per year.

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Tip – Get the Ultimate Sydney Pass for a combination of đứng top attractions (including the Sydney Tower Skywalk)

The city is very multicultural, so the food on offer is delicious, and it’s also a fantastic shopping destination. The various suburbs have very different atmospheres, so you’ll find something for everyone in this tourist paradise.

Lets explore the best things to bởi in Sydney:

1. See a show at the Opera House


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the Opera House

The Opera House may be the first thing lớn come khổng lồ mind when you think about Sydney, or indeed Australia.

The world-heritage listed building is stunning in person, and it is illuminated beautifully at night.

There’s always plenty of events & shows going on in the Opera House và the surrounding area, và you can also tour the opera house or enjoy a tasty meal inside the premises.

Recommended tour: The Sydney Opera House Tour

2. Stroll Darling Harbour


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Darling Harbour

The Darling Harbour is a popular recreational complex adjacent to lớn Sydney’s đô thị centre, with breathtaking river views and plenty to lớn keep you well-fed and entertained.

There’s a massive variety of attractions in the Harbour, but some favorites include the serene Chinese Garden of Friendship & its lovely teahouse, the Carousel, the National Maritime Museum, và the beautiful Dockside Pavilion.

There’s also a vibrant nightlife scene in the harbour, the excellent Harbourside Shopping Centre (including laze tag), an aquarium, a Madam Tussauds and much more.

It’s best to lớn dedicate at least a day to the Harbour khổng lồ see as much as possible of this Sydney icon.

3. Get a local perspective with a free walking tour


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Free Walking Tour

The “I’m Free” walking tours are a great way lớn get to know Sydney.

Guided by passionate volunteering locals who want to giới thiệu their love of the thành phố with you, they’re a wonderful way lớn get a deeper understanding of the sights that you’re seeing and the history và meaning behind them.

There’s 3 tours per day, và what you’ll learn on the tour makes for a great starting point from which to lớn explore the city.

4. Visit the iconic Paddy’s Markets


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Paddy’s Markets

These markets have been a Sydney institution for over 150 years.

Paddy’s is the biggest market in Sydney, with over 1,000 stalls between the Haymarket & Flemington locations.

You’ll find very reasonably priced souvenirs, bric-a-brac & general fun items, as well as a great atmosphere & tasty food.

5. Bondi Beach


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Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach is one of Australia’s most famous beaches, và a popular hangout for Sydney’s beautiful people, as well as local & international celebrities.

It’s always busy here, but usually not too busy, and the atmosphere is exciting.

The surrounding suburb has some great retail & dining options.

Bondi Beach is on the Australian Heritage List, and is also noteworthy for holding the Guinness World Record for the largest swimsuit photo shoot, with 1010 bikini-clad women taking part.

6. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge


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Sydney Harbour Bridge

This iconic bridge is another of the most well-known symbols of Sydney, & is one of the world’s few climbable bridges.

You’ll be prepared with health và safety essentials, and any weather-appropriate gear that you’ll need for the climb, and venture out on your climbing adventure with a group of other climbers và an experienced Climb Leader.

The view during the climb is exceptional, và it’s a truly different way of experiencing the bridge! You’ll find more information here.

7. Have dinner at Circular Quay


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Circular Quay

Circular tảo is known for its excellent gourmet dining options, và the views of the crystal-blue Sydney Harbour waters are truly stunning.

Some particularly delicious options include ARIA, the Sydney Cove Oyster Bar, Yayoi Garden và Tapavino; there’s also budget options such as Banh You Vietnamese Street Food, burgers at đô thị Extra or the weekly meal đơn hàng at the Ship Inn.

8. Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens


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Royal Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens were established in 1816, making them the oldest botanic gardens in Australia, as well as the oldest scientific institution.

They recently celebrated their 200th birthday with a series of popular commemorative events throughout the year.

Various guided and self-guided tours are available, và the Choo Choo express offers a quick, scenic way to get around the gardens.

You’ll learn many interesting facts about Australian botanical history, as well as being able to lớn enjoy plenty of gorgeous plant-life! The Royal Botanic Gardens are only a few minutes’ walk from the Sydney CBD và the Opera House, and are one of Sydney’s most touristed attractions with over 5 million visitors per year.

9. Enjoy a cảm ứng of Australiana with a trang chủ and Away tour


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Home & Away tour

One of Australia’s most best-loved exports, home and Away is a TV soap opera that has been running since 1988, making it the second-longest drama series in Australian TV history; you can catch it on Channel 7 at 7pm from Monday lớn Thursday, for 45 weeks of the year.

The show is sold lớn 80 countries worldwide, and is particularly loved in the United Kingdom.

Home và Away is set in the fictional Summer Bay, and filmed largely in Palm Beach; fans of the show will recognize many of the sights of Summer Bay, và you may even be there while filming is being done! Palm Beach boasts stunning scenery – clear-blue waters and pristine trắng beaches – so it’s also a lovely spot khổng lồ relax & rejuvenate.

Recommended tour: Official home and Away Tour khổng lồ Summer Bay

10. Get an adrenaline rush at Luna Park


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Luna Park

Luna Park is worth visiting for the so-kitsch-it’s-cool entrance alone; it makes a hilarious photo backdrop.

If you’re into amusement park rides, you’ll have a great time here: the Wild Mouse is perfect for that terrifying-yet-awesome rollercoaster thrill.

On the other hand, if you’re in the mood for a thắm thiết dinner, then Luna Park is perfect too – you can actually enjoy first-class dining inside a ferris wheel carriage on Sundays.

There’s also a Coney Island area, inspired by the actual Coney Island in the US: it’s an old-school funhouse with sideshow games, a mirror maze, & traditional retro fun.

Skip-the-Line ticket available: Luna Park Sydney: Unlimited Rides Pass

11. Visit the picturesque seaside town of Manly


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Manly is a relaxed beachside suburb, a short (and gorgeous!) ferry ride away from Sydney’s city centre.

It’s extremely popular with locals và tourists alike – a whopping 8 million visitors per year! – and it’s ideal for beach and water activities such as beach volleyball, running, kayaking, scuba và surfing.

Manly also boasts excellent al fresco dining options, a lovely museum, a sea life sanctuary, and even a shark-diving experience! Various guided walking tours by knowledgeable locals are also available.

Available tour: Snorkel Tour at Manly, North Sydney

12. Take a cruise or ferry around the lovely Circular Quay & Darling Harbour


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Cruising past the opera house and enjoying the stunning views of the water is a wonderful way to relax after a long day of pounding the pavement.

There’s various sightseeing cruises available, many of which are catered, but if you’re on a budget, you can enjoy the same views at a much cheaper price via public transport: a trip from Circular Quay lớn Darling Harbour is under $4.

13. Go museum-hopping


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The Hyde Park Barracks Museum

As you’d expect from Australia’s largest city, Sydney is trang chủ to some world-class museums that offer a fascinating insight into the city’s past, present và future, as well as interesting collections from all over the world.

The Australian Museum has a great natural history collection – get up close with all of Australia’s scariest nasties, but without the whole risk-of-death thing.

The Powerhouse Museum has a focus on science, design, innovation & technology, & the fun exhibits range from steam-engines, to life in the 80s, lớn an awesome dancing robot that will fight for its right khổng lồ party.

The Hyde Park Barracks Museum are a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site that provide an oft-depressing step back into history, having previously been first a convict barracks and then an asylum for women.

It’s a reminder of a cruel way of life that would be considered terrible by today’s standards; but it’s also wonderfully refreshing & full of hope when you consider how far we’ve come.

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14. Check out Sydney’s famous nightlife


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Oxford Street

Sydney is known as one of the southern hemisphere’s best destinations for nightlife, & for good reason.

In particular, Oxford Street (the centre of Sydney’s gay area) has many popular venues that cater for gay, straight và mixed crowds; some popular venues elsewhere include Chinese Laundry và Home. (There’s also plenty of bars and clubs in Kings Cross, but the area can be very seedy at night, so it may be best avoided.)

15. Go sports-mad at the SCG


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Sydney loves its sports, & you’ll notice how passionate the locals are about their favorite teams.

The SCG is the place lớn catch a game with your new Sydney-sider friends: there’s something going on most weekends, và the venue plays host to lớn a wide variety of sports including cricket, rugby & AFL. Even if you’re not into sports, it’s fun lớn breathe in the palpable excitement at a game, and you may even want to lớn buy some souvenirs for your sporty friends back home.

16. Get in cảm biến with nature at Garigal National Park


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Garigal National Park

Garigal is a protected national park in the North Shore region of Sydney.

Only 20km from the CBD, it’s a gorgeous oasis just a short trip away from the hustle and bustle, và it’s a popular weekend getaway for locals.

The national park is huge, at 2202 hectares, and the park trails are very popular with walkers, hikers & cyclists; the Cascades are particularly lovely.

You’ll find exquisite scenery here, as well as interesting local flora and fauna; there’s also 100 ancient Aboriginal sites recorded within the park, including cave art và rock engravings.

17. Combine bar-hopping with history on the Sydney Historic Pub Crawl


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the Sydney Historic Pub Crawl

Pubs have played an important part in Sydney’s culture since the early days of European settlement. The 4-hour historic pub crawl will take you to lớn four of the oldest pubs in the city, as you learn about the sometimes-seedy, always fascinating history of the area: gang life, brothels, unsolved murders & more.

Sydney is a đô thị that is rich in stories, & the pub crawl is a great way to lớn get familiar with some of the stories from the underbelly of society.

Book online: Sydney Historic Pub Crawl Walking Tour

18. Get close khổng lồ koalas, giraffes, penguins and owls at Taronga Zoo


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Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo is a short ferry away from Sydney’s city centre, but it feels like a different world.

This well-kept zoo is trang chủ to a diverse range of animals, & is passionate about conservation, sustainability & public education.

There’s also a sky-high ropes adventure course, offering gorgeous views of Sydney Harbour.

It’s quite a large zoo, but the zoo train và the Sky Safari will help you get around in comfort.

It’s also possible khổng lồ sleep the night at the zoo in safari-style tents.

Book online: Taronga Zoo Tickets

19. Go on a spooky ghost tour


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Quarantine Station Ghost Tour

Another side of Sydney that people don’t often come into liên hệ with (literally or figuratively!), a ghost tour is a great way to learn about the spooky bits of Sydney, which was originally founded as a convict colony.

Several different companies offer ghost tours, where you’ll hear true stories of murders, suicides, hangings and more.

One of these tours is of Quarantine Station, a location which was used to lớn isolate people believed khổng lồ be carrying contagious diseases.

It is believed lớn be one of Australia’s most haunted sites, và tour options include an “extreme ghost tour” working with real paranormal investigators.

Recommended tour: Haunted Sydney Ghost Tour

20. Get nostalgic at the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace


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Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace

The Hayden Orpheum is a gorgeous little piece of cinema history, và a window into the picture theatres of your grandparents’ era.

This cinema has been operating since 1935, & you can catch the latest flicks in plush 30s luxury.

The retro neon signs out the front are also a blast from the past, và a xinh đẹp photo backdrop to lớn boot.

Some movie sessions even start with a theatre organ being played; while these were very commonplace in the era of silent film, very few are still playing in cinemas today, so it’s quite a unique, enchanting experience.

The Picture Palace sometimes hosts themed movie nights, so it’s worth taking a look at their website to lớn see if there’s something special on.

21. Step back in time at Elizabeth Farm


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Elizabeth Farm

Elizabeth Farm is Australia’s oldest homestead, mix in the grounds of a re-created 1830s garden.

It is an ‘access all areas’ living museum, with no barriers or locked doors: it truly feels like walking around a home in the early 19th century.

Elizabeth Farm is an interesting insight into the lives of early European settlers through the story of the MacArthur family which inhabited the home.

Various tours are available, including a tour by candlelight, và a family tour.

There is also a tearoom on site, where you can enjoy Devonshire tea.

22. Enjoy a beautiful panoramic view from the vị trí cao nhất of Sydney Tower


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Sydney Tower

The Sydney Tower Eye is the highest point in Sydney, from which you can see 360-degree panoramic views.

It’s lovely both during the day và in the evening; it’s particularly worth coming shortly before sunset so that you can enjoy the daytime và the night-time views, but there’s never really a time when it’s not a wonderful sight.

The Tower is open every day of the year, & you can also sign up for a SKYWALK tour of the outer perimeter.

Tip: this is included in the Ultimate Sydney Pass

23. Taste the freshest catch of the day at Sydney Fish Market


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Sydney Fish Market

Australia is known for its delicious seafood, and the Sydney Fish Market is a great place khổng lồ find exceptional quality.

As well as a delight for your tastebuds, it’s also got a great atmosphere, & behind-the-scenes tours are available.

There are several cafes and restaurants onsite, as well as a sushi bar & a Chinese seafood restaurant specializing in yum cha.

24. Visit The Rocks


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The Rocks

The Rocks is the first site of European settlement in Australia, and is rich in history; it was particularly important first as a convict site và then as a working-class part of town.

It’s also home to Cadman’s Cottage, the oldest residential house in Sydney.

The Rocks is also well-known for its markets, cobblestoned laneways, & the stunning views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

You’ll find several excellent art galleries in this area, & great dining options.

25. Kiểm tra out Cockatoo Island


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Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island is an island located in the middle of Sydney Harbour, easily accessible by ferry.

Parts of the island have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, as one of 11 historical sites that khung the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property.

The Australian Convict Sites are the best surviving evidence of the convict transportation & forced labour used lớn build australia as a European colony.

The convict precinct of Cockatoo Island is a sometimes shocking testament khổng lồ the appalling cruelties of convict life.

The island also has a fascinating maritime history, which continued until 1979, & was used as a reform school.

As well as being historically fascinating, the island is also gorgeous, & a popular camping spot.

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There’s also a giant chess board outside the Visitor’s Centre.

Categories nước australia Tags Sydney

25 Best Things To bởi vì In Sydney (Australia):

See a show at the Opera HouseStroll Darling HarbourGet a local perspective with a không lấy phí walking tourVisit the iconic Paddy’s MarketsBondi BeachClimb the Sydney Harbour BridgeHave dinner at Circular QuayVisit the Royal Botanic GardensEnjoy a cảm biến of Australiana with a trang chủ and Away tourGet an adrenaline rush at Luna ParkVisit the picturesque seaside town of ManlyTake a cruise or ferry around the lovely Circular Quay và Darling HarbourGo museum-hopping14. Check out Sydney’s famous nightlife15. Go sports-mad at the SCGGet in touch with nature at Garigal National ParkCombine bar-hopping with history on the Sydney Historic Pub CrawlGet close lớn koalas, giraffes, penguins & owls at Taronga Zoo19. Go on a spooky ghost tour20. Get nostalgic at the Hayden Orpheum Picture PalaceStep back in time at Elizabeth FarmEnjoy a beautiful panoramic view from the vị trí cao nhất of Sydney TowerTaste the freshest catch of the day at Sydney Fish MarketVisit The RocksCheck out Cockatoo Island