airport_transferbarbathtubbusiness_facilitieschild_activitieschildcareconnecting_roomcribsfree_wifigymhot_tubinternetkitchennon_smokingpetpoolresturantski_in_outski_shuttleski_storagesmoking_areaspastar
Sign In
Sydney cityscape
Sydney cityscape | © Rudy Balasko / Shutterstock
Save to wishlist

20 Must-Visit Attractions in Sydney, Australia

Picture of Tom Smith
Updated: 16 March 2018

Sydney is one of the world most loved and visited cities in the world and it is no wonder why. With a bustling city and world-class beaches, there is no shortage of incredible attractions to see. To make the job of compiling your Sydney bucket list a little easier, here is a list of the top 20 must-visit Sydney attractions.

Sydney Opera House
Opera House
Sydney Opera House © Jimmy Harris / Flickr

Sydney Opera House | © Jimmy Harris / Flickr

The Sydney Opera House has to be the city’s most well known landmark. The beautiful, pearly white building sits right on the Sydney Harbour on the edge of the city. Make sure you not only admire the outside, but also check the amazing architecture by Jørn Utzon inside too.
More Info

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair)

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours

Atmosphere:

Historical Landmark, Architectural Landmark

Manly Wharf
Building
Manly is one of Sydney’s most bustling sea-side neighborhoods and is only a short and incredibly scenic ferry away from the city. The suburb has its own fitting slogan: “Seven miles from Sydney and a thousand miles from care” and it’s not hard to see why at Manly Wharf. There are plenty of relaxing bars and restaurants to enjoy at your leisure.
More Info

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair)

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Touristy

Sydney Harbour Bridge
Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge © Mike Russell / Flickr

Sydney Harbour Bridge | © Mike Russell / Flickr

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is another Instagram worthy Sydney landmark which connects the city to Sydney’s lower north shore. If you want a truly unforgettable Sydney experience you can climb the bridge and enjoy panoramic views across the whole harbour in every direction.
More Info

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair), Dog Friendly

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Instagrammable, Historical Landmark, Architectural Landmark

Sydney Harbour
Natural Feature
Sydney Harbour foreshore in Kirribilli © Nicki Mannix / Flickr

Sydney Harbour foreshore in Kirribilli | © Nicki Mannix / Flickr

The Sydney Harbour is one of the most beautiful in the world. Many of the city’s suburbs make the most of the incredible views with plenty of restaurants located on or near it, but the best place to see it is from the sky. Sydney Seaplanes offer scenic flights and experiences so you can see the beautiful city from a bird’s eye view.
More Info

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Touristy, Instagrammable

The Rocks
Building
The Rocks © Taras Vyshnya / Shutterstock

The Rocks, Sydney | © Taras Vyshnya / Shutterstock

The cute-as-a-button Rocks precinct has huge historical significance for Sydney as it was the place Europeans first colonised in the 18th Century. Now the historic district has been transformed into a vibrant place to enjoy some of Sydney’s best restaurants, bars, galleries and markets.
More Info

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair), Family Friendly, Dog Friendly

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours

Atmosphere:

Touristy, Historical Landmark

Sydney Tower
Building
Sydney’s skyline, including the Sydney Tower © Olga Kashubin / Shutterstock

Sydney’s skyline, including the Sydney Tower | © Olga Kashubin / Shutterstock

This standout tower will draw your eye’s attention when you’re looking at the city skyline. The needle like building is Sydney’s tallest free-standing structure which stands tall at 309 metres. For an unforgettable dining experience you can eat at 360 Bar and Dining which is the revolving restaurant located on Sydney Tower’s top floor.
More Info
Mon - Sun:
9:00 am - 9:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair)

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours, Entrance Fee

Atmosphere:

Architectural Landmark

Palm Beach
Natural Feature
If you’re visiting Barrenjoey Lighthouse, a swim at Palm Beach is a must-do activity. You might recognise the sandy shores from the famous Australian TV show, Home and Away.
More Info

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly, Dog Friendly

Services & Activities:

Picnic Tables, Lifeguard

Atmosphere:

Outdoors

Bondi Beach
Natural Feature
Sunrise at Bondi Beach © Taro Taylor / Flickr

Sunrise at Bondi Beach | © Taro Taylor / Flickr

Made famous by many TV shows, including Bondi Rescue, Bondi Beach is one of the most loved and popular beaches in the whole country. You can some and enjoy local life here, have a swim or simply watch the sunrise over the ocean.
More Info

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair), Dog Friendly, Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Picnic Tables, Lifeguard

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Instagrammable, Touristy

Royal Botanic Garden
Botanical Garden
Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney © Olga Kashubin / Shutterstock

Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney | © Olga Kashubin / Shutterstock

Tucked in behind the famous Sydney Opera House is the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens. Nestled on the water’s edge, this is the perfect place to get some reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the city which is only a stone’s throw away.
More Info
Mon - Sun:
9:00 am - 5:30 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair), Family Friendly, Dog Friendly

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours, Free

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Scenic

Barrenjoey Lighthouse
Building
Barrenjoey Lighthouse © Suzanne / Flickr

Barrenjoey Lighthouse | © Suzanne / Flickr

The Barrenjoey Lighthouse stands tall on top of Barrenjoey Head at Palm Beach, located in Sydney’s north. It was built in 1881 and has become a much loved heritage attraction. There are guided tours held every Sunday.
More Info

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours

Atmosphere:

Historical Landmark, Architectural Landmark

Gordons Bay
Natural Feature
Gordons Bay © Martin7d2 / Flickr

Gordons Bay | © Martin7d2 / Flickr

If you love the outdoors and exploring the sights underwater, pack your snorkel and head to Gordons Bay. The bay is located near Clovelly Beach and can only be accessed by foot. The turquoise water is the perfect place to see some of Sydney’s sealife.
More Info

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Free

Atmosphere:

Local, Quiet, Outdoors

South Head
Natural Feature
Hornby Lighthouse, South Head © Edward Howard / Flickr

Hornby Lighthouse, South Head | © Edward Howard / Flickr

South Head is the southern point of the Sydney Harbour’s opening to the ocean. Here you will get incredible panoramic views across the harbour and ocean from the soaring heights of the cliff. The walk to get here is also pretty special, you will pass historic cottages and secluded beaches too.
More Info

Accessibility & Audience:

Dog Friendly, Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Free

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Photo Opportunity, Scenic

Queen Victoria Building
Building
Queen Victoria Building dome © Emerald City to Oz / Flickr

Queen Victoria Building dome | © Emerald City to Oz / Flickr

The Queen Victoria Building, otherwise known as the QVB, is one of Sydney’s premier shopping destination located in the heart of the city. Even if you don’t like shopping, you can marvel at the incredible 19th century architecture.
More Info
Mon - Fri:
9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat:
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sun:
11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair)

Services & Activities:

Boutique, Luxury

Atmosphere:

Indoors, Historical Landmark, Architectural Landmark, Touristy

Sydney Observatory
Building
Sydney Observatory © portengaround / Flickr

Sydney Observatory | © portengaround / Flickr

Located on top of a hill nestled between the city and Rocks district sits the Sydney Observatory. The site was once a fort and over time has transformed into a windmill hill in the early 19th century and later on, an astronomical observatory. The views of the harbour are incredible.
More Info
Mon - Sun:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair), Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours

Atmosphere:

Architectural Landmark

Cockatoo Island
Natural Feature
Cockatoo Island © alexmerwin13 / Flickr

Cockatoo Island | © alexmerwin13 / Flickr

This island in the middle of Sydney Harbour was off limits for visitors for over 100 years, as it was a place convicts were put to work. Since then, it has become UNESCO protected, opened its doors and become one of the most unique venues for a day trip and many of Sydney’s best events and festivals.
More Info

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair), Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Picnic Tables, Guided Tours

Atmosphere:

Scenic, Historical Landmark, Peaceful

Hyde Park
Park
Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park, Sydney © Taras Vyshnya / Shutterstock

Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park, Sydney | © Taras Vyshnya / Shutterstock

Hyde Park is the the oldest public parkland in the entire country. Spanning over 16 hectares, the park has become a much loved area for local city workers to soak up the sun at lunchtime and it hosts many cultural events throughout the year too.
More Info

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair), Dog Friendly, Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Free

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Scenic, Touristy

Museum of Contemporary Art
Art Museum
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney © Leonid Andronov / Shutterstock

Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney | © Leonid Andronov / Shutterstock

The Museum of Contemporary Art is located in the heart of Sydney at Circular Quay. The striking art deco building stands out among its older neighbours and is home to cutting edge modern art from both Australia and the rest of the world.
More Info
Thu - Tue:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed:
10:00 am - 9:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair)

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours

Atmosphere:

Peaceful, Architectural Landmark

Shark Island
Natural Feature
Shark Island in Sydney Harbour © byvalet / Shutterstock

Shark Island in Sydney Harbour | © byvalet / Shutterstock

This attraction is for the more adventurous. This small island is only 1.5 hectares and sits in the harbour not far from Point Piper and Rose Bay. It is the perfect picnic spot and you can get there by kayak, which you can rent at Rose Bay. Beware of the sharks on the way!
More Info

Services & Activities:

Kayaks, Free

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Scenic

Luna Park
Amusement Park
Luna Park entrance © Lenny K Photography / Flickr

Luna Park entrance | © Lenny K Photography / Flickr

If you have kids, or you’re just a kid at heart, then you will have plenty of fun visiting Luna Park. The theme park is located underneath the Harbour Bridge on the northern side. You can enjoy million dollar views of the harbour and the Sydney Opera House while riding the ferris wheel.
More Info
Fri - Sat:
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sun:
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Mon:
11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair), Kid Friendly

Services & Activities:

Picnic Tables, Entrance Fee

Atmosphere:

Touristy, Loud

Bronte Beach
Natural Feature
Bronte Beach © westewoud / Flickr

Bronte Beach | © westewoud / Flickr

Bondi Beach and Manly Beach are definitely worth a visit but if you want a beach that is a little more relaxing with less tourists, Bronte Beach is for you. Drop by the ocean pool and do some laps alongside the locals.
More Info

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly, Dog Friendly

Services & Activities:

Picnic Tables

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Local, Scenic

This article was originally written by Hannah Lewis and has since been updated.