Sydney Opera House – Image courtesy of Tourism New South Wales
Sydney offers visitors a plethora of iconic sights and attractions, from the Australian National Maritime Museum and Sydney Aquarium at Darling Harbour to the Sydney Opera House and trendy Manly on the north shore.
What to do and see in Sydney
Enjoy an evening performance at the Opera House followed by cocktails and your choice of the diverse menu at the Opera Bar; it’s hard to beat this waterfront location at any time of day or night, with spectacular, uninterrupted views of the Sydney skyline.
Take a sunset harbour cruise or stretch your legs with a city beach walk: the Bondi to Coogee track winds, dips and turns through gorgeous coves and beaches. For a weekend break, head out to the famous Blue Mountains or tour wineries in the nearby Hunter Valley.
Major sights in Sydney include the following:
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Climb to the top of the ‘Coathanger' for an exhilarating experience. Or take a 30-minute stroll across the 503m-span bridge from the south to the north side for panoramic views over Sydney Harbour and beyond.
Stroll the winding streets of Sydney's historical birthplace, past historic buildings and some of Sydney's oldest pubs, including the Hero of Waterloo Inn.
Sydney Tower Skywalk
From the top of Sydney’s tallest building, don a special suit and step outside onto a glass-floored platform 260m above the city for breathtaking views. Don’t worry – you are connected to a safety rail with a sliding harness.
Stroll underwater tunnels to see Australia's diverse aquatic life, including giant rays and grey nurse sharks in one tank and seals in another tank.
See thousands of colourful reef fish at the Great Barrier Reef exhibit, hand feed black-tip reef sharks and check out fierce looking saltwater crocodiles and cute fairy penguins.
Sydney Opera House
Book a seat for a performance of opera, chamber music, symphonies and ballet in this architecturally significant performing arts complex and national icon.
Or take a guided tour – conducted daily from 9am to 5pm, except Good Friday and Christmas Day. Afterwards, enjoy a drink or dinner overlooking the harbour.
Australian National Maritime Museum
Clamber over several vessels, including an Australian navy destroyer, an Oberon Class submarine, an Aboriginal boat and a replica of the Endeavour, the ship that carried Captain James Cook to Australia.
Active pursuits in and around Sydney
The best surf beaches on the south side of Sydney Harbour are found at Bondi, Tamarama and Maroubra beaches.
On the north side you’ll find the best surf at Bilgola, Collaroy, Manly, Narrabeen and Palm Beach. Lessons suit beginners as well as advance surfers, with wet suits and surfboards easily rented on most surf beaches.
While Sydney can’t compare with the Great Barrier Reef, the waters around Coogee and Shelley beaches provide reefs and colourful fish.
All the beaches around Sydney offer good swimming – some are just more sheltered from the sea and wind than others.
Centennial Park and the beachside promenades at Bondi and Manly provide the best places for rollerblading.
Various skippered, bare boat and sail training options are available to explore Sydney’s amazing harbour.
Couples celebrating a romantic honeymoon in Sydney are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a beach: the city boasts more than 30 beaches within metropolitan Sydney.
Elsewhere, Greater Sydney offers more than 150 beaches, including those on the Manly peninsula to the north of the city.
To the south of Sydney, a coastal track from Bondi to Coogee offers the opportunity to escape the bustle of Bondi and mix with local residents on smaller beaches.
Read more about several of Sydney's best beaches: › Sydney beaches…
Where to stay in Sydney
Sydney offers a huge range of accommodation options to suit all budgets, including the following 5-star hotels…
Park Hyatt Sydney
Location: 7 Hickson Road, CBD, Sydney,
Ave nightly price: AUD1,050 per room
Description: At Park Hyatt Sydney guests can spend the day tanning by the heated pool and then treat themselves to a pampering session at the spa and wellness centre. For those more energetic guests, there is a fitness centre available. As you walk into your room you will notice the luxury furnishing, fittings, plush carpets and designer lighting that are standard in all Sydney Park Hyatt rooms. Free WiFi is included. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors open onto private balconies. Modern bathrooms offer complete flexibility, with the choice of remaining private from the main bedroom, or transforming into an open-plan design. The hotel’s dedicated team of butlers provides 24-hour personalised service for all guests. Park Hyatt Hotel Sydney brings modern luxury accommodation to the edge of Sydney Harbour. This contemporary hotel is situated between the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Park Hyatt Sydney is less than 6 minutes' walk to The Rocks and 10 minutes’ walk from Circular Quay. Sydney International Airport is 25 minutes’ drive away.
The Langham Sydney
Location: 89-119 Kent Street, CBD, Sydney
Ave nightly price: AUD467 per room
Description: Just 5 minutes’ walk from Darling Harbour, The Langham Sydney offers luxurious accommodation with panoramic city or bay views. It features a day spa, a tennis court and a hot tub. The stylishly decorated rooms feature mahogany furniture and a lavish marble bathroom. Each room boasts flat-screen satellite TV. Guests can take a dip in the swimming pool, or exercise in the well-equipped fitness centre. The sauna is the perfect place to unwind at the end of the day. Kent Street Kitchen offers innovative modern cuisine, served in an atmosphere reminiscent of a grand Parisian salon. Palm Court Lounge serves afternoon tea. The Langham Sydney is only 10 minutes’ walk from Circular Quay and The Rocks historic district. The Museum of Sydney is a 15-minute walk away.
The Darling at The Star
Location: 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont, Sydney
Ave nightly price: AUD358 per room
Description: Featuring a casino, a day spa and 20 bars and restaurants, The Darling at The Star is just 650 metres from Cockle Bay. It offers modern rooms, some with views over the city skyline, while others look towards Pyrmont and surrounding suburbs. The rooms feature a flat-screen satellite TV, an iPod docking station, minibar, tea-and-coffee maker and safety deposit box. Each air-conditioned room features luxurious bathrobes and Egyptian cotton sheets. Guests can relax in the Turkish bath, or enjoy swimming in the scented outdoor pool with its own bar. The hotel also offers 24-hour reception and valet parking. The hotel has a wide range of restaurants, including the award-winning Momofuku Seiobo and celebrity chef Luke Nguyen’s Fat Noodle. Rock Lily Bar offers live music and an extensive selection of tequilas. The Darling Sydney is 8 minutes’ drive from Sydney Opera House and The Rocks historic district. Sydney International Airport is a 20-minute drive away.
Location: Woolloomooloo, Sydney
Ave nightly price: AUD336 per room
Description: All accommodation offers an iPad and unique historic fittings. Guests enjoy an indoor pool and a fitness centre. Accommodation options include private rooms and loft suites. All rooms and suites include a free minibar, free WiFi, access to a fitness centre and pool and free self-service laundry throughout the stay. Each boasts ultra-modern furnishings, a 27-inch LCD TV, an iPod docking station and luxurious bedding. The Lo Lounge is a sleek multipurpose social area designed for hotel guests to work, network or simply kick back and relax. Available 24-hours a day, guests can grab coffee in the morning and enjoy all-day nibbles and refreshments. Guest facilities include a personalised concierge service, in-room massages and a valet laundry and dry cleaning service. Daily newspapers are also provided. The hotel is located in Woolloomooloo, next to the Royal Botanical Gardens. It is a 15-minute walk from Sydney Opera House.
Location: Cnr Phillip and Bridge Streets, CBD, Sydney
Ave nightly price: AUD316 per room
Description: Located in a historic 19th-century building in the Sydney CBD (Central Business District), the 5-star InterContinental Hotel overlooks the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. The heated indoor pool offers panoramic views of the city. All air-conditioned rooms at the InterContinental Rooms have views of the city or the harbour. Each room includes satellite TV and a minibar. Guests can make use of the 24-hour fitness centre, or enjoy a range of beauty treatments at Sebastian Salon. Café Opera features a buffet with global cuisine, and a seafood buffet on weekends. InterContinental Sydney hotel is located in the heart of Sydney city centre. The Rocks and the Royal Botanic Gardens are each an 8-minute walk away. Circular Quay is just a 4-minute walk away.
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
Location: 199 George Street, CBD, Sydney
Ave nightly price: AUD301 per room
Description: Overlooking Sydney's historic Rocks area, Four Seasons Hotel offers free WiFi, a bar, restaurant, fitness centre and swimming pool. Situated in Sydney CBD (Central Business District), it features luxurious rooms with panoramic views over the iconic Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay. All rooms at Sydney’s Four Seasons have been carefully designed and subtly furnished with the highest quality amenities. Each room offers an LCD TV, an iPod docking station and free Appelles toiletries. Slippers and Chinese tea can be provided in the rooms upon request. Guests can enjoy a modern menu at Pei-Modern restaurant, which offers quality cuisine cooked over an Australian wood-fired oven and grill. Grain Bar offers a selection of cocktails, wine, beer and spirits. The Four Seasons' state-of-the-art 350 square metre fitness centre is fully equipped and includes a relaxing sauna. Guests can also unwind in the hotel’s therapeutic spa and wellness centre, which offers skin treatments and relaxing massages. Airport transfers are available upon request.
Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about these and more Sydney hotels at TripAdvisor.
› For climate info: Sydney Weather Guide…
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