Sydney is the biggest and most beautiful Australian cities and one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the southern hemisphere.
Broad sandy beaches, scenic cruises, first-class dining, plenty of shopping opportunities and varied cultural institutions make this harbour city a magnet for travellers looking for an enriching travel experience.
Sydney is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city that seduces visitors with its idyllic balance of architecture, iconic landmarks, a stunning harbour and tons of energy.
Whether you’ll spend your holidays in Sydney or it is the starting point of an adventurous road trip across Australia in a rental car, Sydney will seduce you.
Holidays in Sydney? Top-Rated Attractions You Can’t-Miss When You Visit!
With so many and different attractions to see and experience, it can be quite challenging to decide which ones you can’t miss and which ones can be left for a second visit.
So, without further ado, here are the top-rated attractions in Sydney that you have to see and enjoy is the famous Australia City.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Think of Sydney and probably the iconic peg-shaped Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House come to your mind immediately.
Known by locals as the “coathanger”, it’s one of the symbols of the city and it connects the north and south shores of the harbour in a curve that rises almost 135 meters above the water. Some of the most Instagrammable pictures of it can be taken from any of the cruises that sail across the bay.
But if you really want to enjoy stunning and unforgettable views of the harbour and experience first hand the majesty of the Bridge, why don’t you book a climbing excursion.
Why go? It offers the best sights of the beautiful Sydney harbour up to the Blue Mountains! It’s an adrenaline-filled experience that, although a bit pricey, it’s an absolute must-do activity.
There are three main climbs you can choose from and each of them starts with a breath test to make sure that participants haven’t taken any alcohol before the climb. You’ll be given a special grey suit for the climb and you’ll be attached to the bridge with belts, slider clips and hooks.
It’s a fantastic experience and there are plenty of stops that allow you to catch your breath and admire the views from high above. If climbing it is too much for you, you can always walk over it!
The Sydney Opera House
Located next to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the iconic Sydney Opera House is probably the other remarkable landmark in the city. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this graceful building shaped as sails or shells, is one of the most important cultural venues in the world.
There are guided tours that take visitors behind the scenes of this magnificent structure and share interesting information about its history and how it was built. It’s a great opportunity to admire the different areas of the complex, that includes exhibition halls, a concert room, theatres, a cinema, bars and restaurants.
Watching a music concert or opera performance is a great way to experience the Sydney Opera House from within!
Harbour Cruises From Circular Quay
Circular Quay is Sydney’s main ferry terminal and the best place from where to ride a ferry and enjoy the magnificent skyline of the city.
One of the most popular ones is the two-hour Sydney Harbour Coffee Cruise as it offers a great opportunity to admire the Sydney Opera House or the Harbour Bridge from a different angle.
During the annual winter migration, the Sydney Whale-Watching Cruise takes passengers out past Sydney Heads to view these magnificent creatures.
Taking a Ferry is also a great way to reach other important attractions in Sydney such as Taronga Park Zoo, Manly or Watsons Bay.
Circular Quay is also an inviting place where you can enjoy the city’s waterfront, go to a café or restaurant and see street performers.
Sydney is famous for its fabulous beaches: Bondi, Cronulla, Tamarama, Manly, Maroubra or Bronte are just some of them and they are amongst the top-rated attractions of the city.
If you’re into surfing or have always wanted to give this sport a try, you have to go to Bondi Beach, where you can also sunbathe and have a great relaxing time. It’s a great surf scene and a cosmopolitan atmosphere makes it the place to be all year round. The coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee along the cliffs offers fantastic ocean views as you pass by idyllic beaches such as Tamarama, Clovelly or Bronte.
Manly is one of the northern beaches and it’s a favourite amongst
Tourists. It’s wide and great for surfing and swimming. There’s also an interesting food scene, an ocean pool and excellent shops not to mention its fantastic Manly Art Gallery.
The Sydney Tower Eye
If crossing over the Sydney Harbour Bridge hasn’t fully satisfied your thirst of intense emotions, you can give yourself a second chance at the Sydney Tower Eye. With its 309 meters, it’s the tallest building in the city and offers stunning panoramic views of the city from its observation deck, a mind-blowing glass platform. There are also revolving restaurants and a café where you can enjoy something to eat and drink while absorbing the views.
This golden spire-topped turret is part of the Centrepoint shopping mall, so you can easily do some holiday shopping before taking the elevator to the top.
Darling Harbour and the SEA Life Sydney Aquarium
Darling Harbour is a beautiful pedestrian area set against the ocean where you’ll find plenty of food venues and entertainment options where you can easily spend the whole day. Considered as Sydney’s tourist hub, it’s packed with exhibitions, entertainment venues and very interesting museums.
The Powerhouse Museum with its interactive and hands-on science exhibitions or Madame Tussaud’s are really worth a visit but you can also go on a racing car adventure or ride a jet boat in the harbour if you please.
The SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is home of the largest collection of Australian marine creatures. It’s one of the best aquariums in the world as it includes over 700 marine species, including sharks and stingrays. There’s also all kinds of fish and aquatic creatures. Everything is organized in 14 different sections that offer plenty of activities to do. Children will just love to walk through the perspex tunnels with grey nurse sharks and huge rays gliding over their heads.
Taronga Zoo is probably one of the best locations in Australia where you can admire the distinctive and particular local fauna. If you’ve always wanted to enjoy close-up encounters with the fantastic Australian wildlife, see other animals from around the world plus great views of the city, then you can’t miss Taronga Zoo.
Located in the beautiful and posh suburban area of Mosman, Taronga Zoo surprises visitors with the Koala Encounter, the Seal Show or the Lemur Walk.
There are overnight states for the braver visitors and a sky safari which takes you from the bottom, where the ferry comes in, up to the top from where you can walk downhill and see different animals and exhibitions.
Don’t forget to say hello to kangaroos, koalas, lemurs, Asian elephants, giraffes and seals!
Visit Great Museums!
The Art Gallery of New South Wales is considered one of the best and most distinguished art museums in Australia. It boasts an interesting collection of works by European and Asian artists as well as contemporary art from around the world. It’s also the home of one of the largest collections of local aboriginal art.
The Museum of Contemporary Art is located at Circular Quay and offers visitors an interesting collection of modern art from Australian artists and the rest of the world. There are immersive exhibitions and a sculpture terrace as well that you can’t miss.
The exhibitions are well organized and the paintings really stand out in this fascinating Art Deco building.