Top Art Galleries in Sydney, Australia

With its many galleries, Sydney is the perfect travel destination for art lovers
With its many galleries, Sydney is the perfect travel destination for art lovers | © rudi1976 / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Claire Dalgleish
16 September 2020

Those who want to explore the art scene in Sydney don’t have to wander too far. Institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art sit proudly by the water in Circular Quay, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales is perched at the top of the city’s Botanical Gardens. If you want to explore off the beaten track and find some hidden gems away from the main streets, we recommend these top galleries.

Artereal Gallery

Art Gallery
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Hyan Hee Lee, Artereal, 2015 / Courtesy of Artereal Gallery

Set in the funky streets of Rozelle, surrounded by the lively cafes and bars of Darling Street, Artereal Gallery is a unique space that celebrates the experimental work of international and national and emerging and established artists that work across a range of formats. The diversity of Artereal’s exhibition schedule means you will always find new trends and movements in contemporary art on display to inspire and intrigue you. Although the gallery has a sleek and minimalist interior, Artereal Gallery sits within an 1890s historic fire station, and you can’t miss the beautiful building from the street.

Sarah Cottier Gallery

Art Gallery
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The leafy suburb of Paddington is a must-see for anyone looking to experience Sydney life off the main street. Paddington is home to some of Sydney’s biggest leading commercial galleries, and it is easy to spend an entire day in this part of town, hopping between gallery spaces with brief coffee stops in between. If you make the trip to this cultural pocket, a visit to Sarah Cottier Gallery will undoubtedly impress and inspire you. This space exhibits a stellar range of contemporary art and installations that engage audiences and deliver works in innovative ways.

Carlton Projects

Art Gallery
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Based in the thriving precinct of Central Park (a large vine-covered building near Central Station with apartments, dining, retail and entertainment choices), Carlton Projects is constantly evolving, much like the fast-paced environment within which it sits. Also close to the Chippendale Art Precinct, this space displays a vast range of emerging contemporary artists in an incredibly versatile space. Think light installations that play with shadow, glass sculptures and geometric works with paper – all displayed in a white cube space.

S.H. Ervin Gallery

Art Gallery
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Observatory Hill is a unique location. Based next to Harbour Bridge, it has the thriving cosmopolitan life of the Rocks at its feet, and, yet, in itself, is a quiet refuge from another time. With fig tree-lined paths and sandstone walkways, it overlooks stunning views of the city. S.H. Ervin Gallery exhibits a high range of contemporary and historical Australian art that makes for a diverse exhibition calendar that caters to all tastes. Exhibitions include well-established high-profile artists as well as emerging graduates working across the disciplines painting, sculpture and photography. Based on the historical site of Fort Street Girls’ School, the gallery also boasts a retail art shop and cafe to spend the afternoon in.

These recommendations were updated on September 16, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.