Sydney is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, and when it comes to what to see Sydney has it all. From world-famous buildings to award-winning conservation projects and fascinating cultural highlights, there are a wealth of Sydney attractions to discover on a tour of the city.
Here are the top ten entries on our essential ‘where to go in Sydney’ list.
1. Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney’s world-famous harbour is instantly recognisable around the globe, thanks to the Harbour Bridge, which links the Central Business District with the North Shore. Standing 135 metres tall at its highest point, it is the largest steel arch bridge in the world, a record it has held since its construction in 1932.
As one of Sydney’s main transport arteries, the bridge carries road and rail traffic as well as pedestrians, and features highly on most visitors’ lists of what to see in Sydney. It looks beautiful whether viewed by the light of day or when illuminated at night, and some of the best viewing angles are achieved from the ferry. For those who are feeling especially brave, the Sydney Harbour Bridge can be climbed if you make a prior arrangement, offering stunning views across the city and beyond.
2. Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House is one of the most distinctive and best-loved buildings in the world. Since its opening in 1973, visitors from around the globe have flocked to the building, making it one of the most popular of all Sydney attractions. Its design, which resembles a collection of shells, has become so iconic that the Opera House is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
As a multi-performance venue, Sydney Opera house offers plenty for visitors wondering what to do in Sydney. Its resident companies include Opera Australia, Sydney Theatre Company, the Australian Ballet and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and the venue also hosts a huge variety of performances by visiting artists each year, making it an essential stop on any tour of Sydney.
3. Bondi Beach
When you think of the Australian lifestyle, nothing sums it up quite as well as the beach, and Bondi Beach is probably the most famous of them all. The golden sand here offers the perfect vantage point for enjoying Sydney’s warm climate at any time of year, and both kids and adults can learn to surf here, inspired by the many experienced surfers who have become a top Sydney attraction in their own right!
The beach is overlooked by Campbell Parade, which offers some of Sydney’s trendiest cafes and bars, and the markets here on Sunday are essential if you’re wondering where to go in Sydney, as you can find plenty of local produce and handmade gifts for purchase right here. Or take a stroll up to the Northern Headlands, where you might be lucky enough to spot humpbacked whales during the migration season.
4. Royal Botanic Garden
If you are here for a for a short time and need to know what to do, Sydney offers a wide variety of outdoor attractions. Of all these attractions, perhaps the Royal Botanic Garden is the most iconic. Covering a total of 30 hectares, the garden is one of the world’s most important botanical centres, featuring an extensive variety of plant life from Australia and from around the world.
Established in 1816, the Royal Botanic Garden is a beautiful oasis where you can find hothouses, ferneries, and the Palace Rose Garden, as well as the Domain, a well-known event venue which attracts many international artists, performers, speakers, and other big names each year. The Royal Botanic Garden is located close to the Opera House and to Sydney CBD, and entry is free all year round.
5. Taronga Zoo
Taronga Zoo is an essential item on your Sydney list, as it offers you the chance to get close to some of Australia’s favourite residents, including kangaroos and koalas, as well as their animal friends from around the world. The giraffes, Asian elephants, lemurs and seals found here are some of Sydney’s most popular attractions.
Located in the exclusive suburb of Mosman, the zoo offers stunning views of Sydney harbour, which you can enjoy from above on the Sky Safari gondola. Operational since 1916, Taronga Zoo plays an important role in the conservation of rare animal species, and is a wonderful day out in Sydney for the whole family.
6. Sydney Tower
When it comes to finding out what to see in Sydney, one attraction stands out above the rest – literally! Sydney Tower is the city’s tallest free-standing structure, towering 309 metres above the ground in its prime city centre location.
The tower’s observation deck offers breathtaking panoramic views over Sydney and beyond, stretching as far as the beautiful Blue Mountains and historic Botany Bay. You can enjoy the views as you dine in one of the tower’s revolving restaurants; or if you’re feeling really brave, take a trip to the very top of the structure, where you can stand on the outdoor glass-floored viewing platform for the ultimate Sydney sightseeing experience.
7. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
Located in the bustling hub of Darling Harbour, the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium offers the perfect solution for great times with the family in Sydney. The aquarium is a firm favourite with visitors and Sydneysiders alike, as it contains the world’s largest collection of Australian sea creatures.
Here you can get up close and personal with turtles, penguins, dugongs and many more fascinating marine species – and you can even go snorkelling with sharks in an enclosure designed to replicate the Great Barrier Reef. With glass-bottomed boat tours and shipwrecks to explore, the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is one of Sydney’s top attractions, and offers hours of fun and education for the whole family.
8. The Rocks
The area of Sydney Harbour known as The Rocks is one of the most fascinating attractions Sydney has to offer. These days it is a bustling hub for visitors to the city, with its vibrant markets, gift shops and galleries nestling alongside some of the area’s best restaurants and bars. However, these picturesque, narrow lanes have previously been the site of some of the most significant developments in Australian history.
A visit to the Rocks Discovery Museum will explain how the district went from being the home of the Gadigal Aboriginal people, to a slum settlement for European convicts, through to the vibrant cultural hub it is today. You can also take in the oldest surviving house in Sydney here, which was built in 1816.
9. Queen Victoria Building
This stunning Victorian Gothic building in the city centre is high on many people’s lists of what to see in Sydney. Built in 1898, it is well worth a visit for its dramatic architecture, featuring stone statues, stained glass, mosaic floors and an imposing central dome. Step inside, however, and you enter a shopper’s paradise containing over 200 different stores, selling a wide variety of unusual luxury goods.
The Queen Victoria building is ostentatious in every way, from the replica of the Crown Jewels to the famous Royal Clock, where every hour you can see animated figures re-enacting historical events. You can also enjoy high tea in the opulent Tea Room.
10. Australian Museum
Sydney is home to Australia’s oldest museum, which is dedicated to the fascinating history of the country, as well as featuring important exhibits from around the world. Located in the Sydney CBD, the museum is a highly entertaining and educational experience for the whole family. The main highlights here include the cultural insights of the Aboriginal History and Spirituality section, and the Dinosaur Gallery, which features enormous Muttaburrasaurus and Jobaria specimens. You can also discover fascinating facts about the lives of some of the most important figures from Australia’s history, and get close to rare artefacts which bring the country’s past vividly to life before your eyes.
Established in 1827, the Australian Museum has a well-deserved international reputation for excellence in natural history, and is an unmissable stop on any Sydney tour.
Find out more about what to do Sydney
If you are visiting Sydney and want a convenient and comfortable way to visit as many of Sydney’s attractions as possible, Sydney Tours R Us can help. We offer exclusive guided tours of the city, taking in all the major sights and tourist destinations in luxurious, air-conditioned mini coaches, enabling you to discover Sydney in comfort and style.
Our highly experienced guides can offer a wealth of insights into the history and culture of the city, providing you with a well-rounded experience that caters for the needs of all visitors. You will end the tour feeling that you really got to know Sydney and the wonderful attractions it offers. You’ll leave with memories that you will treasure for a long time to come.
If you would like to find out more about our Sydney tours, please contact us. Our team are happy to help you find what you need. If you are ready to book our exclusive Sydney Tour, click on the button below.BOOK SYDNEY TOUR
Alternatively, read our next blog posts to get more ideas on how to experience the real Sydney.0