Things to do in Sydney

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It's all about the water in Australia's most popular city. Sydney’s natural charms will prove a major attraction during your stay, with dramatic beac... Read More

It's all about the water in Australia's most popular city. Sydney’s natural charms will prove a major attraction during your stay, with dramatic beaches, rock pools, and coves for cooling dips. Surfer-flocked Bondi Beach is a must-see, but don’t miss the coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee, lined with pretty spots for swims, snorkeling, or sipping a latte. Catching the ferry to cute Camp Cove beach at Watsons Bay or bush-fringed Shelly Beach at Manly are also great things to do. Outdoor swimming pools, such as the iconic Icebergs, and alfresco movie screenings in summer add to the healthy-meets-hedonistic fun.

Gorgeous green spaces beckon too, from Sydney’s romantic Royal Botanic Garden and the surrounding Domain to its newest harborside park Barangaroo Reserve, an artificial hill dotted with indigenous plants. For native wildlife, escape to Taronga Zoo, which boasts some of the best waterfront views in town (as well as kangaroos, wombats, and sleepy koalas).

For a different kind of animal magic, head to the White Rabbit Gallery in hip Chippendale, home to one of the world’s best private collections of contemporary Chinese art, alongside a stylish shop and teahouse. The intimate Brett Whiteley Studio and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (with its ace rooftop café) will also appeal to culture vultures. Foodies should make for the Saturday morning Farmers Market at Carriageworks arts complex.

Other notable things to do in Sydney include taking advantage of the great shopping, taking part in the lively gay subculture, or joining in on some of the city's cultural festivals. Every January for the last 40 years or so, for example, there is a massive cultural celebration known as the Sydney Festival, which lasts three weeks and features almost every artistic and musical genre you could imagine. Each mid-November, the cliffs along Bondi Beach are transformed into a sculpture garden with works by Australian artists; it's free and makes for a great walk along the shore. However you want to spend your time, look to T+L’s Sydney travel guide for tips on the best things to do.

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  • Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney Alamy
    Art Gallery of New South Wales

    Culture vultures should make a beeline for Sydney's major art institution, the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Established in 1871, it's an imposing... Read More

  • Barangaroo Reserve in Sydney Getty Images
    Barangaroo Reserve

    Sydney's newest park on the harbor shore, 22-hectare Barangaroo Reserve boasts Instagram-friendly views of Sydney Harbour Bridge. It makes a lofty spot... Read More

  • Bondi Beach in Sydney Alamy
    Bondi Beach

    Sydney's most iconic beach is beloved by locals and travelers, sporting a curvy strip of sand backed by hip bars, cafés, and shops. The impressive waves... Read More

  • Brett Whiteley Studio Surry Hills in Sydney Alamy
    Brett Whiteley Studio

    For an intimate gallery experience, check out the former home and studio of the late Australian artist Brett Whiteley (1939-1992) in Surry Hills.... Read More

  • Carriageworks Arts Centre in Sydney Alamy
    Carriageworks

    Set in a heritage-listed 19th-century building that once served as the bustling Eveleigh Rail Yards, Carriageworks opened in 2007 as an exciting arts... Read More

  • Glebe Foreshore Walk in Sydney Courtesy of Glebe Foreshore Walk
    Glebe Foreshore Walk

    Chilled-out inner-west residential neighborhood Glebe is a haven of quirky bookstores, cafés, restaurants, and pubs, including foodie-favorite Glebe... Read More

  • Sydney Harbor at Sunset Manly Alamy
    Manly Ferry

    The half-hour Manly Ferry ride from Circular Quay to the North Shore beach 'burb of Manly boasts stellar views of the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, and... Read More

  • Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Sydney Alamy
    Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

    It's modern art a-go-go at the MCA, Sydney's chicest art museum with a top harborside spot in the Rocks. A striking 1952 sandstone building with a... Read More

  • King Street Newtown in Sydney Getty Images
    Newtown

    For a non-touristy take on Sydney, inner-west 'burb Newtown is known for its alternative, eccentric culture, captured in blog and book Humans of Newtown... Read More

  • Potts Point in Sydney Getty Images
    Potts Point

    Heritage architecture fans should take a walk around Potts Point, an upscale Euro-accented neighborhood that's home to some of Sydney's gorgeous early... Read More

  • Royal Botanic Garden and The Domain in Sydney Courtesy of The Royal Botanic Garden
    Royal Botanic Garden and the Domain

    One of Sydney's best spots for a romantic ramble, the walled Royal Botanic Garden, founded in 1816, features an exotic mix of Australian natives, palms,... Read More

  • The Sydney Opera House Alamy
    Sydney Opera House

    It's easy to enjoy the Sydney Opera House without even stepping foot inside. The sinuous, shell-topped building, by Dane Jørn Utzon, is a modern marvel,... Read More

  • Sydney Theatre Company Getty Images
    Sydney Theatre Company

    If you're only going to see one show while you're in town, then the Sydney Theatre Company should be your go-to. Occupying an enviable location on a... Read More

  • Taronga Zoo in Sydney Alamy
    Taronga Zoo

    The breezy, 12-minute harbor ferry ride from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo is half the fun. Once there, a cable car whisks you to the top of this animal... Read More

  • Pier at Watson's Bay in Sydney Harbour Alamy
    Watsons Bay

    A 17-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay whisks you to Watsons Bay, where a mellow park flanks a cluster of cute harbor beaches. Opposite the wharf,... Read More

  • White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney Courtesy of White Rabbit Gallery
    White Rabbit Gallery

    Showcasing cutting-edge Chinese contemporary art from 2000 onwards, the fantastic four-floor White Rabbit Gallery houses the private collection of... Read More

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