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Exploring Sydney is amazing. From the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, to its colonial architecture and the famous surf spot of Bondi Beach – and so much more besides – it’s a city that’s definitely worth your time.
So we’ve made things easy for you and created a handy guide to the best things to do in Sydney. Whether you’re looking for romantic things to do with your partner, you need some family-friendly options, or even if you just want some fun things to do, we’ve got you covered.
There’s a whole lot of cool stuff to do in Sydney, so let’s see what this exciting city has on offer…
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Sydney is a lively, energetic and vibrant city, so of course, there are a whole load of fun things to do in Sydney. Stuff your days in this epic city full of fun activities: you might even be able to tick some things off of your bucket list, too!
Fun, you say? Well, how about climbing atop the amazing feat of engineering that is the Sydney Harbour Bridge? The Bridge Climb is a pretty iconic fun thing to do in Sydney, and you do so with a guide – and don’t worry, safety equipment is provided, too.
From 134 high you get some pretty astounding panoramic views of Sydney Harbour, including the Sydney Opera House and the Blue Mountains.
The guide also snaps pics you and the tour group as you clamber on catwalks and ladders to the summit. To commemorate this cool achievement you get an equally cool cap, as well as a certificate and a complimentary group photo, which you can show off to everyone when you get home.
For an even more epic experience, you can book to go at particularly beautiful times of the day: dawn, twilight, even night. Day tours are available too.
When it comes to fun things to do in Sydney, visiting the actual home of Home and Away is right up there at the top. Release your inner beach babe as you’re whisked from the city streets on a tour bus to the iconic beach of Summer Bay itself.
Spend the day on the Official Tour and indulge yourself in the world of the popular Australian soap opera as visit some of the most famous locations from the show.
Snap pics of yourself on the beautiful beaches to the North of Sydney, and learn fun facts and information about your favourite TV show.
You might even get lucky and turn up at the location in time to see some filming happening and have the chance to catch sight of your favourite actors and – if you‘re really lucky – you’ll actually get to meet them in person! Watching Home and Away will never be the same again after that.
So you may have seen Sydney Harbour from the iconic bridge, but what about seeing the dramatic landmarks from the sea? Hopping on a boat for a little cruise around the harbour is a great way to soak up the ambience of Sydney Harbour. It’s a harbour after all – what better way to explore it than by boat?
But seeing the cool harbour isn’t the main point of this activity. Nope. When it comes to fun things to do in Sydney, whale watching is a pretty exhilarating experience – and even more so if you’re an animal lover.
You’ll head into the Pacific Ocean and spot a whole host of marine life, including seals, penguins and even dolphins – but the whales are the stars of the show here. You could see fin whales minke whales, and southern right whales; between May and November the majestic humpback whales pass by on their annual migration.
In the city with your other half and in search of some really romantic things to do in Sydney? Well, look no further: you’re going to be able to spend an amazing holiday together with our round-up of the most romantic things to do in Sydney.
The icon of the city is the perfect backdrop for photo opportunities, but the majestic Sydney Opera House is just asking to be explored. A dream destination to visit, spend a few hours on this tour learning about the Opera House, hearing stories and discovering the history behind this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Head under the sails and inside to meet a knowledgeable and professional guide who will take you and your partner around the amazing architecture of the Opera House. Spend time wandering around the 300 corridors and over 1,000 rooms and learn about how the architect Jorn Ulzon’s dream for the building was realised more than 60 years ago.
One of the most romantic things to do in Sydney, you can combine your tour with a performance in the evening, as over 1,600 live shows are performed here every year.
No time of day, for some reason, is quite as romantic as sunset. Maybe it’s the feeling of having spent a day together. Or maybe it’s the beautiful colours in the sky. Either way, we know that this is easily one of the most romantic things to do in Sydney.
Grab your partner and hop on board a luxury boat that will whisk you around Sydney Harbour for an hour and a half of dinner and drinks. As the sun sets and night falls you tuck into a mezze starter, followed by a main course and dessert – drinks, whether you prefer wine, beer or soft drinks, are free flowing and included in the price of the sunset cruise itself.
So if you’re into sunsets, dinner, drinks and a touch of the finer things in life, then this cruise around Sydney Harbour is bound to be something you’ll want to do.
Step back in time with your partner and learn about the history of Sydney and soak up some pretty amazing views, too. Stroll along the charming lanes through the historical The Rocks neighbourhood with your guide who will show you all of the most interesting sites.
Stop off at Cadman’s Cottage which dates back to 1816 (one of the oldest buildings in the city), and hear stories from this old British Australian settlement. The area is a buzzing creative hub with street performers and some of the oldest pubs in the city; ambling through this charming area is one of the most romantic things to do in Sydney.
Walk along the famous George Street, Greenway Lane and Kendall Lane, before visiting the hidden gem that is Foundation Park. Round off your tour of the picturesque district with a glimpse of that stunning Sydney Cove shoreline, with views out across Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.
Sometimes there’s nothing harder to decide what to do when you’re on holiday with your children. Where do you go? What things are child-friendly? Don’t worry. We’ve found some of the best things to do in Sydney with kids.
If you’re looking for things to do in Sydney with kids, a trip to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium should more than fit the bill. Not only will your children marvel at all the different marine creatures, but they (and you) will get to learn a thing or two about the underwater world of the Earth, too.
You and your family will see jellyfish, seadragons, turtles, sharks, stingrays – even penguins – as you explore the submarine world of Sydney Aquarium. You’ll get to discover huge Japanese spider crabs in the Creature Feature zone and the iconic platypus in the Southern Rivers area. But one of the coolest places in the aquarium is the Great Barrier Reef tank, full of colour, coral and sharks.
This is a super fun place to visit in Sydney with your family. They’ve got some of the biggest oceanariums in the world, some of them have glass tunnels so you can walk among the sea life itself!
Sydney is packed full of things to do and top sights to see so why not make your trip to the city easy and take the hop-on hop-off bus? Travelling around a city with children in tow isn’t always straightforward, so make sure you can get around the top attractions without hassle on the bus, making your visit to Sydney with kids (relatively) stress-free.
The easy to use service means you can see the city and the surrounding areas at your own pace and there’s a whole load of bus stops all of the city. The two-day bus ticket also gives you access to taking in the sights of Sydney town and a cruise around Sydney harbour with views of the Opera House.
You can make as many trips as you like over the two days; with buses running every 15 minutes from morning to evening, your family are going to have the best time seeing the city!
Australia is home to a whole host of increible wildlife so a visit to WILD LIFE Sydney ZOO is never going to be anything less than amazing. If you’re in the city with your little ones, a family day out the Zoo is one of the best things to do in Sydney with kids.
Get up close and personal with kangaroos, wombats and crocs as you all learn about Australia’s diverse habitats and the animals that call them home. You’ll feel as if you’ve left the city behind as you adventure through the various zone and habitats.
There’s some cool interactive displays for children to play with and learn more about the country’s indigenous wildlife and some really informative talks from the keepers themselves which will have your children enthralled. You can even step inside the world of butterflies and see where snakes are hiding under logs and spot turtles swimming through the water.
Are you backpacking in Sydney? Or maybe you’re on a budget? Maybe you just like the idea of a bargain! So do we, so we’ve looked at some of the top free things to do in Sydney so your wallet can rest at ease.
If you fancy getting out of urban Sydney for a spot of nearby nature, a walk along the coastline from Bondi to Coogee – in the city’s eastern suburbs – is a chilled way to spend the day. It’s not too strenuous, the views are beautiful, and what’s more: it costs nothing.
It’s also one of the best free things to do in Sydney if you’re looking for a laid-back day since the walk itself is only 6 kilometres. But since it’s such a lovely stretch of coastline, you could honestly take all day to do it.
Starting in Bondi, you can watch the surfers as you stroll to Tamarama, chill and grab some food at Bronte Beach, amble along the boardwalk to Clovelly Beach – where you can stop for a snorkel – and then you get to enjoy the views of Gordon’s Bay as you make the final leg into Coogee.
Fancy taking in a little bit of culture? How about a visit to the Art Gallery of NSW? Located just a 15-minute walk from the centre of the city, entrance to the gallery is completely free and it’s packed full of amazing exhibitions which attract over 1.3 million people a year to visit, which definitely makes it one of the best free things to do in Sydney.
Housed inside a historic colonial building – which is cool to see by itself – the gallery dates back to 1874 as a place for the Australian public to be able to enjoy fine art. Today this storied gallery hosts numerous exhibitions, which feature important pieces from aboriginal art to classical and contemporary works.
For a slice of nature in the middle of the city pay a visit to the Royal Botanic Garden – it’s free to enter, making it a no brainer when it comes to free things to do in Sydney. Getting away from the skyscrapers of central and the clusters of buildings that come with urban sprawl is easy thanks to this little oasis of nature in the middle of the Sydney.
It was opened in 1816, which actually makes it the oldest scientific institution in Australia, which is pretty cool in itself. But the garden is infinitely cooler than the history itself (though that is interesting). It’s open every day of the year! Every single day!
Simply go to the gardens and relax on a bench, actually walk around and discover the different species that pepper the garden with beauty, or go snap some Instagram friendly photos at the succulent garden.
But it’s not just in the day (or at sunset) that Sydney shines. Being the global city that it is, there are some amazing things to do in Sydney at night – and we’ve whittled them down to just a few cool things to make life easier for you.
Yes, you can combine eating a delicious dinner and amazing views of the city at night and all whilst being spun around in the air. Don’t worry though: the rotating restaurant at the top of Sydney Tower won’t make you feel nauseous, but it will give you the most amazing panoramic views of Sydney Harbour to enjoy as you eat your dinner.
If you’re looking for one of the best things to do in Sydney at night to make your trip extra special, make your way up the town for the most memorable dinner ever. The night skyline is worth it alone.
All of the tables in the restaurant boast brilliant views and there’s a wide range of delicious food on offer.
A really special thing to do in Sydney at night, especially if you’re with children, is to take a trip to Sydney Observatory. Sat at the top of Observatory Hill, the observatory was built in 1858 and is an important heritage building which houses the oldest telescope in Australia.
So here you can spend a fascinating and educational evening learning more about the night sky from this amazing viewpoint. Perfect for amateur astronomers, you’ll be able to peer through the telescope and, if you’re lucky enough to visit on a clear night, spot the moon, stars and even some planets.
There’s also a magical planetarium and as well as the Space Theatre to wonder at, which is especially handy if you happen to visit on an overcast evening.
Right at the top of the best things to do in Sydney at night is a historic pub crawl. Not only do you get to soak up a little bit of the city’s historic side, but you get to drink your way around some pretty cool pubs, too.
Don’t worry, it’s not all drink. Pubs play a big part in the city’s culture so you’ll get to learn a whole lot more about Sydney’s European roots as you drink your way through some of the oldest drinking establishments in the city.
There’s also some pretty strange stories and seedy secrets hidden among the streets of the city, so make sure you learn about them as you crawl from pub to pub.
Well. Sydney is a really amazing place to visit, there’s so much stuff to pack into one trip that you’re never going to be stuck for things to keep entertained.
There’s romantic evening cruises around Sydney Harbour, buffet dinners in a rotating restaurant, botanic gardens to explore, amazing art to admire and a load of historical sites too, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
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Gin lover. Coffee addict. Nicola has traveled the world for 7 years and is a staff writer for Hotel Jules. Born in London, Nicola first got the taste of travel studying abroad in Barcelona. Since then she's been hooked - traveling the world non-stop. Passionate about green travel and vegan lifestyle, Nicola spends more of her free time staring at maps wondering where she will head to next!