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Raise your hand if you automatically think Sydney when someone mentions “Australia”! As the country’s largest city, there are many interesting must visit places in Sydney for all traveler types. From iconic landmarks to beaches and galleries, Sydney is a traveling hub for those looking for modern, sophisticated destinations in Australia.
Interesting Facts About Sydney
Sydney is dubbed “Harbour City”, a name that requires little imagination. However, do you know that the other nickname for it is “Emerald City”? How did Sydney acquire that name?
The name came from Sydney, a satirical stage drama from 1987. Created by Australia’s iconic playwright David Williamson, the name refers to how his characters viewed Sydney: a hedonistic city with dazzling but superficial sceneries. In the play, the city is described as an “Emerald City of Oz”, offering only illusions for fame and fortune seekers.
Sydney is one of the most important cities in Australia. As the largest city in the country, it boasts 66 percent of the state’s population, housing almost 5.3 million people. Sydney also boasts many sophisticated and modern attractions, giving you plenty of choices even if you stay for a short while.
11 Top Places to Visit in Sydney!
Sydney is a must-visit for all travelers visiting Australia. Here are the best must visit places in Sydney, including the most iconic ones.
Sydney Opera House
The enduring symbol of Sydney, the Sydney Opera House is perhaps one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. Situated on the glittering Sydney Harbour, this opera house is also one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You can watch various shows, from concerts and musicals to stage plays and modern art performances.
Every May and June, Sydney Opera House becomes the venue for a colorful light show called Vivid Sydney. You can also join a guided tour or enjoy the delightful menu at Opera Kitchen and Opera Bar.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge was built from 1923 to 1932 and dubbed the world’s largest steel arch bridge. Nicknamed “coat hanger” because of its shape, Sydney Harbour Bridge is a center for various fun activities. One of the most popular itineraries is signing up for a ferry tour to enjoy the sight.
You can climb up the bridge’s structure with BridgeClimb Sydney to see a majestic city view. Many restaurants and bars view Sydney Harbour Bridge, such as The Gantry, Bennelong, Altitude Restaurant, Quay, and Café Sydney.
Sydney’s Darling Harbour
Sydney Darling Harbour is a great place to walk around and explore different things. This bustling waterfront area has dining, entertainment, and shopping establishments. You can walk to a zoo, aquarium, and various restaurants and nightclubs. The area is also close to an IMAX cinema, bowling place, and Madame Tussauds Museum. Children can have fun at the Darling Quarter Playground. Chinese Garden of Friendship offers relaxation with its exotic plants, beautiful pathways, and waterfalls.
Surfing enthusiasts and beach lovers will love Bondi Beach, a sunny spot surrounded by various attractions. A 30-minute drive from the center of Sydney, this beach offers great spots for swimming, surfing, and snorkeling. Bondi Beach is also close to trekking paths overlooking the beautiful coast. It also has numerous restaurants, bars, and cafes overlooking the sea.
Known as Australia’s oldest public park, Hyde Park offers numerous places to sit and relax or have a picnic under lush trees. The park also has shaded walkways, a café, and several statues. Hyde Park has several historical landmarks, such as Archibald Fountain, Fort Macquarie Cannon, Thornton Obelisk, Anzac Memorial, Pool of Remembrance, and many more.
Luna Park Sydney
Craving for thrilling, family-friendly attractions? Visit Luna Park Sydney, the city’s most famous amusement park. It offers thrilling and family-friendly rides, such as roller coasters, Ferris wheels, a carousel, and various sideshow games. Luna Park Sydney is also home to Volare, Australia’s largest swinger ride.
Art Gallery of New South Wales
The Art Gallery of New South Wales is one of the largest galleries in Australia. Established in 1872, this gallery houses thousands of Australian and international arts, including indigenous arts. The building has amazing stonework on its classic exterior, and its interior is separated into sections with distinctive decorations and lighting to emphasize the artwork.
Witness the beauty of artworks by notable Australian artists, from historical ones like Frederick McCubbin and Bertram Mackennal to contemporaries like Margaret Preston, William Dobell, and Grace Cossington Smith. Don’t forget to explore interesting sections, like Asian art exhibitions and artworks by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island artists.
If you love animals and are in Sydney Harbour, don’t forget to visit Taronga Zoo. It has 2,600 animals from 250 species, a perfect place to learn about common and exotic animals from Australia and other regions. The zoo is divided into various zones such as Wild Australia, African Savannah, Gorilla Forest, Rainforest Trail, and Great Southern Oceans.
SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
Visiting Sydney Harbour is not complete without seeing its aquarium. SEA LIFE has Australia’s biggest collection of sea creatures, and its exhibition areas are divided into distinctive zones. Witness sharks, jellyfish, colorful fish, stingrays, and manatees, and stand in awe as you are surrounded by rich sea life behind giant glass walls.
Sydney Tower Eye
Sometimes, you only want to see the city from the highest place possible. Sydney Tower Eye is 309 meters high, making it the tallest structure in this city (and the second tallest in the Southern Hemisphere). Make sure you do not miss the beautiful night view as you enjoy dinner in its revolving restaurant.
Queen Victoria Building
Queen Victoria Building is a must-see for a historical trip to Sydney. This restored 19th Century was the legacy of the British colony and is now used as a marketplace. One of its notable features is the Royal Clock, an intricately beautiful clock commissioned by Queen Elizabeth II and displays scenes of British royal history. Every hour, from 9 AM to 9 PM, the clock will play trumpet music.
Finally, if you are all about nightlife, don’t skip Marquee Sydney. This international club is a hub of night entertainment in Australia. The club has become a venue for many international artists, such as Drake, Post Malone, Bruno Mars, Tiesto, Calvin Harris, Future, and Armin van Buuren.
Are you looking for modern, fun, and historical attractions in one place? These best must visit places in Sydney offer something for all types of travelers.