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20 Must-Visit Attractions in Sydney

20 Must-Visit Attractions in Sydney

Picture of Hannah Lewis
Updated: 19 June 2017
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

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.

Manly Wharf

Manly is one of Sydney’s most bustling sea-side neighborhoods and is only a short and incredible 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 including Hugo’s which has become a Sydney institution and Papi Chulo.

The Harbour Bridge

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.

The Sydney Harbour

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.

The Rocks

This cute-as-a-button precinct The Rocks has huge historical significance for Sydney as it was the place the city and country was founded. Now the historic district has been transformed into a vibrant place to enjoy some of Sydney’s best restaurants, bars, galleries and markets.

Sydney Tower

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.  

Palm Beach

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

Bondi Beach

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.

Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens

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.

Barrenjoey Lighthouse

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.

Gordons Bay

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.  

Not a bad place to spend an arvo

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South Head

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.


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.

Rich in history and architecturally splendid, the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) occupies an entire block on Sydney's George Street, and has over 180 of Sydney's finest fashion boutiques, jewellery shops and homewares, accompanied by delightful cafes and restaurants. The grand building, built in the 1890s was erected as a Municipal Market on the scale of a Cathedral. The QVB was beautifully restored and re-opened in 1986, and quickly became Sydney's most popular and prestigious shopping centre. #qvb #queenvictoriabuilding #sydney #igsydney #newsouthwales #australia #australiagram_mobile #australianarchitecture #architecture #history #ig_sydney #ig_australia #ignewsouthwales #lonelyplanet #travel #travelphotography #fashion #jewelry #homewares #tourist

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Sydney Observatory

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, astronomical observatory. The views are incredible.

Cockatoo Island

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.

Hyde Park

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.

#Australia #HydePark #instadaily #instaview #travelling #travelogue

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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.

Shark Island

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!

Looking to swap our current office views for this view. ASAP 😍

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Luna Park

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.

Bronte Beach

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.