Sydney Sights

Sydney is a giant, stretching nearly 80 km (50 miles) from top to bottom and about 70 km (43 miles) across. The harbor divides the city into northern and southern halves, with most of the headline attractions on the south shore. Most travelers spend their time on the harbor's south side, within an area bounded by Chinatown in the south, Harbour Bridge in the north, Darling Harbour to the west, and

the beaches and coastline to the east. North of Harbour Bridge lie the important commercial center of North Sydney and leafy but somewhat bland suburbs. Ocean beaches, Taronga Zoo, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, and great shopping in the village of Mosman are the most likely reasons to venture north of the harbor.

Within a few hours’ drive of Sydney are the World Heritage–listed Blue Mountains and the renowned Hunter Valley vineyards. Although both these spots are worthy of an overnight stay, they're also close enough to visit on day trips from the city.

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Fodor's Choice


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The Rocks 17

Sydney Harbour 13

Darling Harbour 11

Domain and Macquarie Street 10

Sydney City Center 8

Inner City and the Eastern Suburbs 7

Greater Sydney 6

South of the Harbor 5

The Opera House and the Royal Botanic Gardens 5

Inside the Harbor 4

North of the Harbor 3

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Arts/ Performance Venue 2

Beach–Sight 12

Body Of Water/ Waterfall 1

Bridge/ Tunnel 1

Commercial District 1

Educational Institution 1

Garden/ Arboretum 2

Government Building 4

Historic District/ Site 5

Hospital–Sight 1

House/ Mansion/ Villa 2

Information Center 1

Island 1

Jail 1

Library/ Archive 1

Marina/ Pier/ Dock 1

Market/ Bazaar 1

Memorial/ Monument/ Tomb 2

Military Site 3

Museum Village 1

Museum/ Gallery 7

Nautical Site/ Lighthouse 2

Neighborhood/ Street 7

Observatory/ Planetarium 1

Park (National/ State/ Provincial) 4

Park/ Playground 1

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 4

Restaurant–Sight 1

Sports Venue 2

Store/ Shop/ Mall 1

Town/ Village 3

Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train) 1

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 6

Zoo/ Aquarium 5

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Family 11


Sydney Sights

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Art Gallery of New South Wales

  • Museum Village

Apart from Canberra's National Gallery, this is the best place to explore the evolution of European-influenced Australian art, as well...

Garden Palace Gates

  • Memorial/Monument/Tomb

These gates are all that remain of the Garden Palace, a massive glass pavilion that was erected for the Sydney International Exhibition...

Hyde Park Barracks

  • Jail

Before Governor Macquarie arrived, convicts were left to roam freely at night. Macquarie was determined to establish law and order, and...

Lands Department

  • Government Building

The figures occupying the niches at the corners of this 1890 sandstone building are early Australian explorers and politicians. James...

Museum of Sydney

  • Museum/Gallery

This museum built on the site of the original Government House documents Sydney's early period of European colonization. Aboriginal culture...

St. James' Church

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Begun in 1819, the colonial Georgian–style St. James' is the oldest surviving church in the City of Sydney, and another fine Francis...

State Library of New South Wales

  • Library/Archive

This large complex is based around the Mitchell and Dixson libraries, which make up the world's largest collection of Australiana. Enter...

State Parliament House

  • Government Building

The simple facade and shady verandas of this Greenway-designed 1816 building, formerly the Rum Hospital, typify Australian colonial architecture...

Sydney Conservatorium of Music

  • Educational Institution

Providing artistic development for talented young musicians, this institution hosts lunch time concerts (entry by small donation) on...

Sydney Hospital

  • Hospital–Sight

Completed in 1894 to replace the main Rum Hospital building which stood on the site since 1811, this institution offered an infinitely...