Things to Do in Sydney

Courtesy of Marriott International

Located within spitting distance of the Manly wharf, this is a great choice for those who want to drink handcrafted pints on the same premises as the... Read More

A groovy little jazz club on Surry Hills’ Cleveland Street, 505 is a small dark place perfect for unwinding over a stiff drink and a cool collection of... Read More

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is your first port of call if you want to see a wide range of art both classic and contemporary, and admission is... Read More

This is the place to see and be seen—bronzed boys and gorgeous girls line the glass deck, which juts out over the harbour for perfect views to the north... Read More

The pool may be closed in the winter months, but they keep things warm in the yoga studio, where you can om to your heart’s content with an unparalleled... Read More

If it’s after midnight in Sydney you can often be left wondering where to eat. This wine bar near Kings Cross keeps the kitchen open until the wee... Read More

Wanna have a big night? ARQ is the place to do it: sweaty, shirtless men; pumping sound systems on two levels; debauchery all around. Sydney’s biggest,... Read More

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

The archetypal Aussie hotel (really just a pub with a few rooms to stagger upstairs to), the Australian has a charming brick exterior, terrific beer,... Read More

Established in 1827, this natural history and environmental sciences museum is a favorite for family outings. The institution also has an excellent... Read More

The oldest museum in Australia keeps its focus on natural history and anthropology, with popular exhibitions covering off dinosaurs, native birds, and... Read More

A particular favorite with local surfers of all ages and that ‘other’ most popular beach on Sydney’s north shore, Avalon lies between two headlands and... Read More

The Woolloomooloo neighborhood location of Bambino Trust Restaurant has an old-world interior with ornate, wrought-iron chandeliers and stone floors.... Read More

Popular with the business crowd, this intimate wine bar is part of the Bambini Trust Restaurant, located on the ground floor of the 1923 St. James Trust... Read More

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

You have to go down, down, down to experience many of Sydney’s best cocktail bars. They don’t so much pronounce themselves with flashy exteriors as they... Read More

Sure they’re Brazilian, but comfy Havaianas flip-flops may very well be Australia’s signature footwear. Pick up a pair, along with items... Read More

This hidden gem at the end of Elizabeth Bay is popular with locals like to meet friends for beers on the harbor, though the Beare Café is also a good... Read More

This sprawling, three-story outpost in Paddington lies directly across the street from the city’s most popular independent cinema, so it’s a perfect... Read More

So named because of the azure haze that often settles above them, the Blue Mountains—which, in actuality, are not so much a series of peaks as they are... Read More

This criminally photogenic wonder is perched at the eastern edge of Bondi Beach, and is part of the Bondi Icebergs Club complex, which also houses one... Read More

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

The most popular sliver of beach in all of Australia is packed on summer weekends and gloriously quiet (but just as beautiful) in the middle of winter.... Read More

The most famous beach in Australia is crowded, hard to reach, and not nearly as pristine as you might be led to believe. It doesn’t matter: Bondi is the... Read More

Oprah Winfrey famously dropped in to Bondi Icebergs during her much-ballyhooed 2011 visit to Australia, which means this place has essentially been... Read More

The Southern Highlands are a preferred vacation spot for many Sydneysiders, who enjoy its rolling hills and quiet surroundings; it’s a great place to... Read More

Men shouldn't miss this downtown boutique with its updated classics, including easygoing suits, shirts, and sweaters. Read More

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

At practically any hour of the day, you can look at the Sydney Harbour Bridge and see what looks like a procession of ants moving slowly along its... Read More

This lovely coastal walk begins at Ben Buckler Point, on the northern end of Bondi Bay, and winds south for two miles along sandstone cliffs and white... Read More

Blink and you’ll miss this cute little stopover on Surry Hills’ otherwise unimpressive Fouveaux Street. It’s a cute little place, all dim lighting and... Read More

The bionic baristas at this java mecca in Newtown can turn out over 200 perfect coffees an hour without missing a beat. And how can you not love a place... Read More

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

At roughly 470 acres, Centennial is the crown jewel of Sydney’s parks. Every day, you’ll find runners, bikers, amblers, picnickers, athletes, and even... Read More

This sprawling green space is actually three parks—Centennial, Moore, and Queens—and lies at the intersection of numerous suburbs in the city’s east.... Read More

Specializing in homemade Middle Eastern desserts, this cash-only Lebanese pastry shop is located 30 minutes southwest of Sydney in the suburb of... Read More

This is the bustling center of harborside life in Sydney and home to the Overseas Passenger Terminal and the Museum of Contemporary Art to the west,... Read More

Sydney’s version of Carnegie Hall has a reverent, almost religious air that complements the importance of the acts it draws—internationally renowned... Read More

Sydney’s own version of Alcatraz housed convicts for three decades in the mid 1800s, so it’s got plenty of character. It’s also a bit spooky. In summer,... Read More

The Merivale hospitality group is responsible for many of the city’s most successful venue makeovers over the past decade. They have a way of coming in... Read More

A Sydney stalwart known for its tightly edited international collections (Marc Jacobs, Isabel Marant, and Benah). Read More

In a city where clothing can sometimes be ridiculously priced, it’s nice to know that Cream on Crown is hiding some gems in its well-stocked racks. My... Read More

There are three C’s in the city. The shop has locations Newtown, Surry Hills, and right on Broadway in Glebe, so you’ll surely be able to find something... Read More

A converted factory housing 10 independent art galleries, this complex is one-stop shopping (or at least hopping) for the contemporary art-walk set.... Read More

This is the biggest playground in central Sydney, and admission is free. Take the kids on swings, slides, climbing ropes, the “flying fox” (that’s... Read More

Aside from having the coolest name of any karaoke joint in Sydney, it also has nifty fluorescent hieroglyphics and a snack bar. This is one of the older... Read More

Walking into a Dinosaur Designs shop will perk you right up. They’ve sell playful wares made of resin, ceramic, silver, and glass across all colors of... Read More

This lovely little boutique caters to those who want to wear vintage—but don’t want to look like tragic consignment shop victims while rocking the old... Read More

A clutch of celebrities from Hong Kong founded this sprawling complex that houses a wine bar, restaurant, lounge, and two choices for those who want to... Read More

Each Wednesday and Sunday evening, this old-school watering hole near Bronte Beach hosts an impromptu, David Lynch-ian karaoke night that turns into a... Read More

Join the New Cocktailians at this 2010-opened bar, already a legend for its speakeasy vibe, vintage bar paraphernalia, and killer Dark & Stormies ... Read More

This sumptuous speakeasy took great advantage of Sydney’s relatively recent small-bar explosion – there’s a clandestine vibe the minute you walk to the... Read More

This gorgeous spot on Sydney’s “Golden Gay Mile” (Oxford Street) is only gay on Saturday nights, when the Unity party shakes up the joint with a... Read More

This historic Art Deco landmark in Sydney’s inner west welcomes a huge array of acts—from name-brand rock stars (Interpol, Courtney Love) to nostalgia... Read More

Part fresh produce retailer, part dry goods warehouse, and part café, this is the store Sydney foodies flock to for superbly fresh gourmet... Read More

First things first: there will be a ridiculous line outside this sliver of a dessert destination. Even when it’s cold outside, people need their fix... Read More

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

Entering Goodgod feels a bit like stepping into Fred Flintstone’s favorite nightclub—if it were designed by David Lynch. It’s a dark, cavernous space... Read More

An absolute treasure. Gould’s is a Sydney institution and a bit of a bête noire ... Read More

Love Scandinavian design? You’ll need to visit Great Dane. (Their logo is a dog, but their name references their objects’ pedigree.) Step down the... Read More

Head to this encyclopedic drugstore for pre-flight essentials, such as paracetamol (Tylenol), eye drops, lotion, and dissolvable Berocca tablets,... Read More

This glorious art-deco cinema just north of the bridge in Cremorne has six screens, a working Wurlitzer organ, special luncheons, and a fantastic series... Read More

Probably the swankiest bar in the city, Hemmesphere, part of the complex that also includes the Establishment Hotel, has killer cocktails and plenty of... Read More

Atop South Head at the very eastern edge of the Harbor’s lower lip, this unique (and delightfully tourist-free) spot has stupendous views of the city... Read More

This peaceful studio located on the edge of the verdant Redfern Park is an oasis for locals who want to stretch out, stay fit, and get blissful. It’s... Read More

Color yourself a wine aficionado? Then you’ll love the Hunter, which is a huge region located just a couple hours’ drive north of Sydney. People flock... Read More

Sydney’s far smaller but no less impressive version of Central Park houses the gorgeous Archibald Fountain, the ANZAC War Memorial, and an obelisk on... Read More

Australia’s bleak history as a penal colony comes to vivid life inside this historic site, where convict men and boys were housed once they arrived in... Read More

Nicole Walsh and Rod Galbraith run this airy studio in the heart of Surry Hills, and they clearly thought things through during the planning process—a... Read More

One of Sydney’s premier shopping destinations, Ivy is a complex of bars, restaurants, and retailers in the central business district. Owned... Read More

With multiple levels, this showy venue in the middle of Sydney’s central business district caters to a pretty young crowd. The pool club located on the... Read More

This massive complex in the heart of Sydney's CBD is a hedonist's delight—floor upon floor of bars, clubs, lounges, and even rooftop pool bar. You might... Read More

This latest night-owl haven is part of a multilevel complex with 18 bars, a ballroom, and rooftop cabanas. Read More

Mowen has curated this gorgeous little corner studio on the northern end of placid Redfern Park with care and craft. You’ll find beautiful artworks,... Read More

The boutique stocks block-printed tube and tunic dresses come in colors as bright as the Sydney sun. Read More

Sydney’s oldest spot for karaoke has, thankfully, been renovated, so you can sing in spic-and-span surroundings. It has a huge song selection, and the... Read More

Home to the Woollahra Sailing Club, this eastern harborfront is packed on weekends with sailing yachts, outrigger canoes, and kayaks. From October to... Read More

At the separate Qantas Domestic Terminal, check out the slick, Scandinavian-style (but all-Aussie) designer stationery and gifts chain. Read More

This behemoth located directly opposite Kings Cross’s iconic Coca-Cola sign has something for everyone: a basement dive bar with pool table; a... Read More

The store carries Aboriginal craftwork, such as the one-off lampshades traditionally woven with bush string. Read More

Just south of the airport, this favorite with southern Sydneysiders is a casual, scene-free gathering spot for families and nudists alike—a five-minute... Read More

It’s not in the most convenient of locations—the Local is situated at a very busy intersection of three major boulevards—but it’s still worth it. This... Read More

Located in the central lounge of Sydney Airport’s Terminal 1, Lonely Planet is a retail shop for world travelers. The store’s shelves are... Read More

This beloved Paddington institution is British by design; it has 18 local and imported beers on tap, sports on the TVs at all times, and a cheery... Read More

This historic pub on the less-traveled western end of The Rocks (it claims it’s Sydney’s oldest licensed beer joint) has a cozy vibe perfect for... Read More

Walk through the gigantic (and, frankly, somewhat creepy) giant mouth that has beckoned visitors to Sydney’s own version of Coney Island for decades.... Read More

Some of Sydney’s best beaches lie just across the harbor from the main part of the city. Although they’re easily reachable by car (just... Read More

Children will be hard-pressed to get bored at Manly, which has a netted ocean swimming pool where they can splash all they want, a highly regarded... Read More

This Sydney landmark is good for a getaway. Grab the ferry at Circular Quay for an awe-inspiring 30-minute ride north from the harbor to Manly Wharf,... Read More

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

If you’ve ever wanted to jump on a longboard but had no idea how to even start, the instructors at MSS will have you sorted in no time. They specialize... Read More

Marquee was something of a game-changer when it first arrived in Sydney. The latest outpost of the globally popular dance club is located deep inside... Read More

Sydney’s premier modern art house does a good job of catering to kids. It regularly programs workshops and tours designed to get little ones into the... Read More

A recent overhaul transformed the Museum of Contemporary Art, which is located on the western end of Circular Quay just across from the Opera House. It... Read More

The city’s best-looking baristas bring the most meticulously sourced beans to dark, mellow perfection in the vintage house roaster. Try brewed... Read More

The Metro’s big calling card is you can stand pretty much anywhere and be guaranteed a good view of everything happening onstage. All the cool kids play... Read More

The Shift has been drawing ‘em in for decades. Sydney’s oldest gay venue is a sprawling, two-level watering hole and dance club with four bars, a pool... Read More

This local accessories specialist is renowned for its line of moderately priced bags, jewelry, and hair accessories that are always one step ahead of... Read More

A popular destination for locals needing outfits for fancy dress parties (no formalwear here—“fancy dress” is Australian for “costume”), Mister Stinky... Read More

This unassuming spot on a very busy stretch of George Street also doubles as a Japanese restaurant and bar, so you can order drinks and hand rolls to... Read More

The lawns of the Belvedere Amphitheatre Centennial Park are dotted with movie-lovers every night of the week for three months each summer. The program... Read More

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

Learn all about the rich history of Australia’s biggest city at this well-curated museum, built atop the remains of the first Government House. It does... Read More

This industrial port town located just under two hours north of Sydney is the largest coal-exporting harbor in the world, and for far too long, it had a... Read More

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

You’ll have to pass through the Volare bistro and beer garden and take an elevator to get to this bird’s-eye-viewing deck. It’s the... Read More

The Ben & Jerry’s Openair Cinema program actually visits six cities around Australia each summer, and the Sydney leg takes place on a large expanse... Read More

With regular live music and stunning Harbour Bridge views, Opera Bar draws a steady crowd of opera and theater patrons and foot-weary tourists. The menu... Read More

This is a peaceful oasis amid buzzy Crown Street, where vintage shops, cheerful cafés, and consistently crowded pubs nudge against one another. It’s... Read More

Hop on board one of the famous red Ozjet shark boats—painted to look like, well, fearsome sharks—for their 30-minute thrill ride. It takes off from... Read More

Out in the suburb of Camperdown, this funky shop is a great place to dig through crates for old vinyl, but it also sells a well-sourced collection of... Read More

The shopt carries Ross Longmuir's streamlined beds, tables, and sofas, all made from Australian hardwoods (don't worry, they'll help with shipping). Read More

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

This peaceful stop lies in the heart of one of the city’s most appealing suburbs, offering locals and curious passers-by a clean, quiet place to get... Read More

Nearly a decade in the making, the recently restored swimming complex just south of Central Station offers visitors and locals alike a great place to... Read More

Australia is renowned for its sheepskin products, and this boutique is a smart spot to stock up on the country’s coziest exports: Ugg boots and... Read More

Open to first-class passengers on Qantas and British Airways flights (along with British Airways’ oneworld club members), the recently revamped... Read More

An absolute legend, Quay—which sits right at the end of Circular Quay and offers breathtaking views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge—is often named... Read More

The grand dame of Sydney’s old-school shopping arcades is a beautiful, multi-level show-off housing a huge variety of stores—shops from beloved Aussie... Read More

Want to continue the Man from Snowy River fantasy after you return home? Pick up a jaunty Akubra hat made from rabbit fur (try the Traveler or Cattleman... Read More

If you didn’t get a chance to visit Sydney’s fantastic Aboriginal art galleries, there’s still time to see some great indigenous arts... Read More

It’s anything goes at this basement bar directly across from Hyde Park. It was long a comedy club, but now it’s a watering hole where you can order any... Read More

Down the hill from New South Head Road in Double Bay lies this harbor-side gem, where locals gather at the outdoor café, on the small spit of sand, or... Read More

You can order kayaks, paddle boards, and motor boats from this spot on the water in pretty Rose Bay, but you don’t need to be an expert to do so. They... Read More

Take a trip to the North Shore for a day at Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, the country’s second-oldest national park and a haven for anyone who wants... Read More

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

Set just east of Bennelong Point and the Opera House (translation: right alongside sweeping views of the harbor), this sprawling 75-acre park is one of... Read More

Smack in the middle of Sydney’s city center is the gorgeous, verdant sprawl of the Royal Botanic Gardens, which are perfect for a leisurely midday... Read More

Australians being Australians, they’ve dubbed this place the “Nasho.” It’s the world’s second-oldest national park and there are all manners of... Read More

This place will blow your mind. What looks, from the outside, like a store tailor-made for your grandma (all pretty flowers and rococo furnishings) is... Read More

One of the city’s most popular small bars, Shady Pines is located on a laneway just behind the busy Oxford Street strip. It’s a dim, dusty little room... Read More

If you’ve ever wanted to go swimming with sharks—literally—head to Manly Sea Life Sanctuary, where skilled guides will throw you into an actual shark... Read More

Sheraton on the Park is a popular spot for famous people swinging through Sydney—and on top of that, they have an ace bar in the lobby where you might... Read More

Outdoor tables, feisty servers, and a decidedly neighborhood feel are as attractive as the sustainably grown, high-grade beans from exotic plantations.... Read More

The lone remaining drive-in in Sydney is actually located about an hour west in Blacktown, but it’s more than worth the drive. Get in early for an... Read More

Snorkel Safari has four “stores” in Sydney, and you can book a lesson at any one of them. Once you’ve sorted out which activity you want to try, the... Read More

Watching the screen rise from the waters of Sydney Harbour, with the bridge and the setting sun in the background, is one of those summertime... Read More

St. Mary’s is a trip – it’s a grand sandstone cathedral that looms over the eastern edge of Hyde Park, and it looks like it belongs…well, maybe not in... Read More

Another great drinking hole from the folks behind Button Bar, Stitch is located in the heart of the city. It’s decorated with old sewing machines, heavy... Read More

It’s trashy, it’s stinky, it’s possibly on the verge of being closed down by health inspectors—and I absolutely love Stonewall, which has a chintzy... Read More

Look: it’s not exactly the sexiest place in town, but it is the first and last port of call for high flyers touching down and taking off from Sydney. If... Read More

The busiest airport in the nation, Sydney Airport has three passenger terminals and provides flights to 48 international, 23 domestic, and 28 regional... Read More

You know it’s a new year when Sydney Festival arrives: this multi-pronged event covers music, art, theatre, dance, kids’ events, and lecture talks. The... Read More

It may not be on the level of Cannes, Berlin, or Toronto, but each year’s Sydney Film Festival line-up is still worth seeing. Event director Nashen... Read More

The Sydney Fish Market is the largest fish market in the Southern Hemisphere and sells nearly 14,500 tons of fish each year. Located inside a huge blue... Read More

A riot of glamour and glitter that lasts an entire month? Yes, please. From early February through to the first weekend of March, Sydney is home to the... Read More

This patchwork of urban green spaces protects most of the city’s foreshore and islands. Hermitage Foreshore Walk, a mile-long trail, reveals vest... Read More

Where do I even begin? There are so many activities on this massive playground that cater to kids that you really need just show up, take your pick, and... Read More

There are three pools available for visitors at this sprawling locale west of the city, where all of the 2000 Summer Games swimming and diving events... Read More

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

Well, it’s why you came, isn’t it? No visit to Sydney is validated until you’ve seen one of the world’s most famous buildings up close. Stroll along... Read More

The big get here is a show in the iconic Concert Hall, which hits the sweet spot between cathedral space and lecture hall. But there’s a good assortment... Read More

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

The Skywalk, part of the Sydney Tower, is the highest open-air attraction in the city. A viewing platform with a glass floor, the Skywalk extends off... Read More

At the Sydney Writers Festival, four hundred writers participate in more than 300 hundred events—that’s right: this thing is huge. The festival... Read More

Avoid the crowds at Bondi and head to this tiny cove located halfway along the coastal walk to Bronte. Long been called ‘Glamarama’ by locals who know... Read More

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

Upon your entrance to this fantastic zoo located just a short ferry ride across the harbor in North Sydney, do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Go... Read More

Part of the mammoth Market City shopping complex, the Thai Kee IGA Supermarket is a one-stop shop for all things Asian. The store has aisles and aisles... Read More

The courtyard behind the historic Beresford buzzes with a fun, laidback scene any night of the week. But on Mondays during the summer, things slow down... Read More

Sure, this gay-owned and operated institution just north of Taylor Square has plenty of LGBT-themed books, but it also has a well-stocked collection of... Read More

Sydney’s most historic precinct recalls the back streets of stateside Colonial era hot spots like Boston, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. The city “started... Read More

The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) enables you to claim a tax refund on goods purchased in Australia.  ... Read More

Tim Tranter’s 40 years of living in the Blue Mountains makes him a formidable guide to this World Heritage-listed wilderness area (which begins... Read More

The hospitable Young sisters deliver on their promise of “coffee couture” in this white-and-robin’s-egg-blue space. Their rich, smooth... Read More

Another of the city’s well-maintained public pools, there’s also a gym, a small café, and a patch of grass where you can loll around on a lazy afternoon... Read More

This three-week celebration of ‘lights, music, and ideas aims to give locals (and visitors) a visual boost with an array of harbor-side light... Read More

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

Go here for the views, stay to luxuriate. Watsons Bay Hotel houses the Beach Club, which gives off a Miami Beach Down Under vibe, with its vivid... Read More

The December 2013 opening of this 62-acre, $80 million campus located in the western suburbs of Sydney was a game-changer for the city. You can easily... Read More

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

Inside Kit Willow's chic, bi-level boutique, you'll find flirty draped frocks in organza and tulle. Read More

This popular chain is known for its stylish—and affordable—clothes and accessories for women. Look for great shoes (especially summer... Read More

Head to Bondi Road and nip in to this pretty little shop where you’ll find furniture (sideboards, benches, chairs, and desks), artwork, cushions, and... Read More

You’ll have a hard time staying in downward-facing dog at one of these sessions, which take place at Bondi Icebergs and the Tamarama and Bronte Surf... Read More

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