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

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Sydney Sights

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Argyle Cut

  • Historic District/Site

Argyle Street, which links Argyle Place and George Street, is dominated by the Argyle Cut and its massive walls. In the days before the...

Argyle Place

  • House/Mansion/Villa

With all the traditional requirements of an English green—a pub at one end, a church at the other, and grass in between—this charming...

Cadman's Cottage

  • Historic District/Site

Sydney's oldest building, completed in 1816, has a history that outweighs its modest dimensions. John Cadman was a convict who was sentenced...

Campbell's Cove

  • Nautical Site/Lighthouse

Robert Campbell was a Scottish merchant who is sometimes referred to as the "father of Australian commerce." Campbell broke the stranglehold...

Customs House

  • Government Building

The last surviving example of the elegant sandstone buildings that once ringed Circular Quay, this former customs house now features...

Dawes Point Park

  • Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook

The wonderful views of the harbor (and since the 1930s, the Harbour Bridge) have made this park and its location noteworthy for centuries.

Holy Trinity Garrison Church

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Every morning, redcoats would march to this 1840 Argyle Place church from Dawes Point Battery (now Dawes Point Park), and it became commonly...

Lower Fort Street

  • Neighborhood/Street

At one time the handsome Georgian houses along this street, originally a rough track leading from the Dawes Point Battery to Observatory...

Museum of Contemporary Art

  • Museum/Gallery

This ponderous art deco building houses one of Australia's most important collections of modern art, as well as two significant collections...

Nurses Walk

  • Historic District/Site

Cutting across the site of the colony's first hospital, Nurses Walk acquired its name at a time when "Sydney" and "sickness" were synonymous...

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