Travel - Destinations
By: - at March 8, 2014

The Top 15 Best Things to Do and See in Sydney

An Introduction to Sydney
Sydney is considered one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, with over 4.5 million people who have their roots in many different regions. Today, Sydney is also top on the list of leading global cities, with strong influences in finance, commerce, media, culture, creativity and tourism. There are numerous destinations and attractions to visit that attract millions. Many iconic landmarks in this city are said to be the best in the world.

Downtown Sydney, Australia Overview:
Downtown Sydney, Australia Overview

Queen Elizabeth II in Sydney Harbour:
Queen Elizabeth II in Sydney Harbour
By Merbabu via Wikimedia Commons

Following are the top 15 things to do and see in Sydney if you ever want to organize a fabulous trip:


15)  The Queen Victoria Building
There are many shopping malls in Sydney but the Queen Victoria Building is the most famous. It is an elegant, high-end shopping center. The building itself is an architectural wonder with intricate tiling, stained-glass windows, metalwork, and an amazing grand staircase. You will find high-quality to inexpensive products here that offer a wide variety in shopping options. If you do not enjoy shopping, there are plenty comfortable, scenic areas to relax.

Exterior of Queen Victoria Building:
Exterior View of Queen Victoria Building Sydney, Australia
By Sardaka via Wikimedia Commons

Interior of Queen Victoria Building:
Interior of Queen Victoria Building Sydney, Australia


14)  Sydney Tower Eye
Sydney Tower Eye is an important piece of Sydney history, offering stunning sights of its world-famous skyline - right in the heart of the Central Business District (CBD). You can even go right up to the observation deck to see the magical 360-degree views of the city’s surroundings. If you are not scared of heights, you may choose to try the Skywalk on air 268 meters above the ground.

View from Hyde Park of The Sydney Tower:
View from Hyde Park of The Sydney Tower
By Greg O'Beirne via Wikimedia Commons

The 360 Bar also has wonderful meals to choose from at their revolving restaurant. One nice feature is that you can use binoculars at the top of the tower to zoom in on points of interests with a bird’s-eye view. Make sure to take a good working camera for unforgettable snapshots.

View of The Sydney Tower's Centerpoint:
View of The Sydney Tower's Centerpoint
By mollybob via Wikimedia Commons

Sydney Skyline:
Sydney Skyline
By Andy via Wikimedia Commons


13)  The Art Gallery of New South Wales
Located only 15 minutes from the CBD, The Art Gallery of New South Wales (NSU) is one of Sydney’s prime tourist attractions, and also the leading art museum in Australia. Millions of travelers visit each year.

Art Gallery of New South Wales:
Art Gallery of New South Wales
By Bidgee via Wikimedia Commons

It houses the permanent collection of Aboriginal, Australian, Asian, European and contemporary art. The gallery overlooks the magnificent Sydney Harbor and it is surrounded by breathtaking parklands. You can also enjoy lunch, coffee or tea in a number of deli-style cafés.

Art Gallery of New South Wales:
Art Gallery of New South Wales
By Pedro Szekely via Wikimedia Commons


12)  The Customs House
The Customs House is a heritage building which has been transformed into a popular, cultural destination. Located in Circular Quay, it considered one of Sydney’s top attractions to relax, meet friends, eat lunch, have a drink, and visit amazing exhibitions. Everything here is free to the public.

Sydney Customs House, Circular Quay:
Sydney Customs House, Circular Quay
By Greg O'Beirne via Wikimedia Commons

You can spend a whole day doing various things in The Custom House, which also feature, a television wall, newspaper and magazine salon, a stunning library/reading room, private function spaces (for hire), and many food venues.

Sydney Customs House Library Floor City Model:
Sydney Customs House Library Floor City Model
By Jason7825 via Wikimedia Commons


11)  Cockle Bay
Cockle Bay is filled with some of Sydney’s greatest attractions, such as: The Darling Harbor, The Maritime Museum, The Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Aquarium, Chinatown, and the King Street Wharf. Cockle Bay was once Sydney’s working harbor district and home to the poorest of the city’s residents.

Cockle Bay:
Cockle Bay
By Adam.J.W.C. via Wikimedia Commons

It was surrounded by shipyards, wharves and quarries before a huge redevelopment project was erected in 1988. Today, this area is a lively and entertaining destination.

View of Sydney's Skyline from Cockle Bay:
View of Sydney's Skyline from Cockle Bay
By Gareth Edwards via Wikimedia Commons


10)  Australian National Maritime Museum
Sydney has one of the best maritime museums in the world. If you are interested in an assortment of watercrafts or a fleet of historic vessels, then there are plenty available to explore at the Australian National Maritime Museum. It is located right on Darling Harbor.

Side Profile of the Australian National Maritime Museum:
Side Profile of the Australian National Maritime Museum

You can also view exhibits including surfboards and ship convicts. Another adventure allows you to walk aboard many different destroyers and submarines, such as the HMAS Vampire and the HMAS Onslow. There are shopping areas all over to explore. This is the best place to learn how the sea has shaped the history and culture of Australia.

Small Vessel Collection at the Australian National Maritime Museum:
Small Vessel Collection at the Australian National Maritime Museum
By Saberwyn via Wikimedia Commons

HMA Ships Onslow, Vampire and the Replica HM Bark Endeavour Alongside the Australian Maritime Museum:
HMA Ships Onslow, Vampire and the Replica HM Bark Endeavour Alongside the Australian Maritime Museum
By Saberwyn via Wikimedia Commons


9)  Taronga Zoo
Taronga Zoo stretches over 78 spectacular acres of bush land landscape in the suburb of Mosman, and it overlooks Sydney Harbor. Its stunning setting offers fantastic views of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbor House. The zoo has around 4,000 exotic animals, which include tigers, lions, giraffes, and the famous Australian kangaroo and koala natives. The South American condor is also a sight to see while there.

Taronga Zoological Park - Sydney, Australia:
Taronga Zoological Park - Sydney, Australia
By tom heyes via Wikimedia Commons

You can experience the original environments for some animals by visiting the natural habitats such as the Australian Walkabout. Children can have fun in a children’s area within this very popular urban zoo. The zoo also offers educational talks and a number of popular shows such as the seal show and the popular bird show throughout the day. There are good food options if you are hungry while spending time in here. You may wish to try the Tree Top Café for a pleasant dining experience.

Taronga Zoo and View of Downtown Sydney:
Taronga Zoo and View of Downtown Sydney
By Ghislain Montvernay via Wikimedia Commons

Close-up of Animal Enclosure at the Taronga Zoo:
Close-up of Animal Enclosure at the Taronga Zoo
By Jon Ovington via Wikimedia Commons





8)  Bondi Beach
Although Bondi Beach is jam-packed all the time, most visitors enjoy their outing to this very popular place, located southeast of Sydney Harbor. Bondi Beach is one of the best city beaches in the world.

Overlook of Bondi Beach:
Overlook of Bondi Beach

Many tourists find it an ideal area to sprawl out to get some sun and surf although it is too crowded. Bondi Beach is well-known for its waves, perfect for surfing. It is also a wonderful beach for sunbathing (topless sunbathing is allowed here), swimming and strolling.

Waves at Bondi Beach:
Waves at Bondi Beach

Many visitors simply visit it for its popularity. If you do not want to get wet, you can still enjoy a great time by just walking alongside this “People’s Beach” and browsing the endless shops on the other side of the road.

Surf Rescue at Bondi Beach:
Surf Rescue at Bondi Beach


7)  Powerhouse Museum
The Power house Museum is one of Sydney’s several world-class museums, which has an extraordinary wealth of treasures, such as decorative arts and designs, social history, science, technology, space and transport. It is a must-see tourist destination in Sydney because of the range of cultural attractions it has to offer.

Exterior of Powerhouse Museum:
Exterior of the Powerhouse Museum

The Magic Garden, Zoe’s House and the interactive place offer great fun activities for children. You can also shop for unusual and exclusive gifts in this family-friendly museum.

Exhibit and Interior of Powerhouse Museum:
Exhibit and Interior of Powerhouse Museum
By Namiac via Wikimedia Commons

Remaining Portion of Train Exhibit at Powerhouse Museum:
Remaining Portion of Train Exhibit at Powerhouse Museum
By Hpeterswald via Wikimedia Commons


6)  Sydney Aquarium
It will not be an exaggeration to say that Sydney Aquarium is the number one tourist attraction in Sydney if you are interested in discovering Australia’s rich and diverse marine ecosystems. Take a journey through the world’s largest collection of Australian aquatic life and habitats, with over 12,000 marine animals, the largest Great Barrier Reef exhibit, and an extensive collection of sharks.

Guests Having Tea at the Mad Hatters Tea Room at the Sydney Aquarium:
Guests Having Tea at the Mad Hatters Tea Room at the Sydney Aquarium
By Eva Rinaldi via Wikimedia Commons

Walk under water to come face-to-face with dozens of fierce sharks, ferocious saltwater crocodiles, and giant rays if you are not faint-hearted. Explore other diverse aquatic life and habitats at the aquarium, which is one of the largest in the world.

White Shark at the Sydney Aquarium:
White Shark at the Sydney Aquarium
By Pedro Szekely via Wikimedia Commons

Watch the playful seals and sea lions, adorable penguins and platypus. Sydney Aquarium is a must-see destination in Sydney.

Marine Life at the Sydney Aquarium:
Marine Life at the Sydney Aquarium
By Cookaa via Wikimedia Commons


5)  The Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens is an aromatic and beautiful place founded in 1816, and one of the best things to experience while in Sydney. The spectacular gardens occupy the first area of cultivated land in Australia.

Gates at Royal Botanic Gardens Viewed from Art Gallery Road, Sydney:
Gates at Royal Botanic Gardens Viewed from Art Gallery Road, Sydney
By Bidgee via Wikimedia Commons

You can read here underneath the shade of an oak tree, have picnics, enjoy sunbathing, and watch the birds stealing people’s food. Maybe you will even spot an ibis or cockatoo.

Pyramid Glasshouse at the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens:
Pyramid Glasshouse at the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens
By J Bar via Wikimedia Commons

The gardens are like an oasis in the heart of the city. The Pyramid Glasshouse, the Rose Garden, The Herb Garden, The Fernery, the Oriental Garden and a walled Cactus and Succulent Garden with colorful flora and fauna. The Rose Garden is so beautiful that marriage ceremonies often take place there. The gardens offer a stunning view of the Sydney Harbor and the skyline of Sydney.

Pond and Surrounding Foliage at the Royal Botanic Gardens:
Pond and Surrounding Foliage at the Royal Botanic Gardens
By J Bar via Wikimedia Commons


4)  Sydney Harbor
Sydney Harbor is probably the most beautiful natural harbor in the world. It has been carved from the sandstone of the Parramatta and Lane Cover Rivers. It took these two rivers thousands of years to carve this amazing harbor from the sandstone.

View Under Sydney Harbor Bridge of Sydney Harbor and the Sydney Opera House:
View Under Sydney Harbor Bridge of Sydney Harbor and the Sydney Opera House
By Ian Brown. via Wikimedia Commons

The harbor is well protected from off-shore winds. Parts of this natural harbor are remarkably deep. Today, Sydney Harbor forms a lively array of apartment buildings and large residences. The harbor carries a number of working docklands, as well as pristine and secluded beaches, offering gorgeous harbor views and bustling maritime life. The Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Botanical Gardens offer stunning scenic and peaceful spots of the harbor. There are many types of boats available which you can hire for private charters on the harbor and also have access to some of the magnificent tourist attractions in Sydney.

Aerial View of Sydney Harbor:
Aerial View of Sydney Harbor
By Andy via Wikimedia Commons


3)  Sydney Harbor Bridge
Opened in March 1932, Sydney Harbor Bridge is the greatest icon of Sydney. This wonderful bridge took eight years to build. It links the city with North Sydney carrying eight lanes of road traffic. It also carried two railway tracks forming part of the city’s rail suburban network.

Sydney Harbor Bridge:
Sydney Harbor Bridge
By Adam J.W.C. via Wikimedia Commons

The road and railway track, which hangs from the arch, is 59 meters above sea level. At its highest point, the arch is 134 meters above sea level. The bridge is 1150 meters long taking into account the road approaches. Before it opened, the entire length of the Sydney Harbor Bridge was packed with railway carriage, trams and buses to test its ability to support a total traffic jam. The Western side of it is for bicycles. Walkers can cross the Sydney Harbor Bridge on the eastern side. Both walkways are perfectly safe being fenced with steel and wire.

Sydney Harbor Bridge and Downtown Sydney:
Sydney Harbor Bridge and Downtown Sydney


2)  Darling Harbor
Darling Harbor is a must-see destination located in the heart of Sydney. It is surely a place where fun never stops. It is an entertaining district of the city, filled with some great museums, the Harborside Shopping Center, the city’s convention center, the LG IMAX (the largest film screen in the world), Sydney Aquarium, and endless restaurants, cafés and parks.

Darling Harbor Sydney:
Darling Harbor Sydney
By Adam J.W.C. via Wikimedia Commons

You can also visit this place on a Saturday night for the fireworks show. Darling Harbor is a great family hangout. You may want to check out the world-famous Madam Tussauds wax museum here too.

Darling Harbor at Night:
Darling Harbor at Night
By Adam J.W.C. via Wikimedia Commons

Eastern Side of Darling Harbor Sydney:
Eastern Side of Darling Harbor Sydney
By Adam J.W.C. via Wikimedia Commons


1)  The Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is possibly the best-known landmark of Sydney. It has also become an international symbol. It is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Sydney with millions of visitors every year. The designs for the Sydney Opera house were masterminded by Danish Architect, Jorn Utzon. It took years to finalize the designs before the construction began in 1962, although the base for the building was started in 1959. It took 14 years to build this masterpiece of architecture. The HM Queen Elizabeth II opened it on October 20, 1973, and since then it has been one of the greatest tourist destinations in Sydney.

Sydney Opera House During Vivid Sydney 2013:
Sydney Opera House During Vivid Sydney 2013
By Adam J.W.C. via Wikimedia Commons

Today, the Sydney Opera House is a magnificent building and heart of Sydney’s cultural scene. It has an opera theater, a drama theater, a concert hall, a recital hall, and numerous restaurants and bars. Today, it has a fifth theater, which was added in 1988, within the existing structure.

Foyer of the Opera Theatre in the Eastern Wing of the Sydney Opera House:
Foyer of the Opera Theatre in the Eastern Wing of the Sydney Opera House
By jjron via Wikimedia Commons

The nearby accommodations provide unraveled views. The Sydney Opera House conducts regular tours of the building daily. Tourists can also take up the walking paths leading back towards the city center through the Sydney Botanic Gardens.

Sydney Opera House:
Sydney Opera House
By Knodelbaum via Wikimedia Commons


Conclusion
Sydney is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, famous for its world-class beaches, museums, parks, diverse cultures, creativity, and economic activities. Sydney has something for everyone, including sunbathing, swimming, surfing, climbing, dining, bowling, and shopping. Today, Sydney is a global city and a multiethnic hub for business around the world. The attractions attract millions of tourists from all over the world!


 

 

 

 

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