Although it’s not the capital, there is little doubt that Sydney remains Australia’s premier city. The Harbour City, home to over 4.5 million people, offers a blend of vibrant bars and beaches that’s a draw for young people, but it also has a laid-back and self-confident vibe that will appeal to visitors of all ages.

Sydney is symptomatic of an evolving Australian culture, often being described as one of the most cosmopolitan and charismatic cities on the planet. Sydney residents are also renowned for going out of their way to make visitors feel at home, making this an ideal holiday destination.

Sydney plays host to some of the world’s most recognisable tourist attractions, with the inner harbour housing the distinctive Sydney Opera House and the ocean side boasting the warm golden sands of Bondi Beach, perennially lapped by clear blue waves.

There is much to explore elsewhere within the city, however. In the CBD, Sydney Tower provides breath-taking views over the city, and is the starting point for the popular Skywalk—a guided tour around the outside of the tower, 268 metres above the ground. If heights aren’t your thing, Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens provide a beautiful backdrop for a relaxing harbour-side stroll, and lead visitors to the iconic Sydney Opera House. From here, it’s a short walk to Circular Quay, where you can catch a ferry to many harbour locations, or just enjoy the round trip. Dock into Darling Harbour and explore the award-winning Sea Life Sydney Aquarium and the fascinating Australian National Maritime Museum.

Sydney’s waterfront throngs with diverse restaurants and bars. The Surry Hills, Darlinghurst and Potts Point areas are famed for the fine-dining choices they offer. Numerous scenic parks provide a relaxing location to enjoy food and drink if you prefer the self-catering option.

If you’re looking for some scenic thrills, don’t miss Luna Park with its roller-coaster, Ferris wheel and other traditional amusements, right under the famous Harbour Bridge. If you have a head for heights, try the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb for spectacular views.

Kids will love Taronga Zoo, home to many species of native Australian animals, while the inner-city suburbs of Paddington and Newtown will appeal to adults with their café culture and eclectic mix of boutiques and galleries. For some retail therapy, make your way to Bondi Junction, and the well-stocked Westfield mall.

Above all else, Sydney’s uniquely Australian natural beauty shines through at all times, with the Bush, beaches and the Harbour City’s coastline only a stone’s throw away. A relatively mild climate, stunning scenery, excellent transport networks and no end of things to do make Sydney a simply unmissable experience.

Known for

shopping, dining and museum

Explore map

Where to stay in Sydney

Sydney Central Business District
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Sydney Central Business District

Ports, Shopping, Opera Houses

Sydney Central Business District is a metropolitan neighbourhood that’s popular for its restaurants. The neighbourhood has many appealing features, among them its architecture. Other highlights include the local shopping and opera houses, as well as the natural splendour of the gardens.

Darling Harbour
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Darling Harbour

Ports, Shopping, Dining

Darling Harbour is a welcoming, romantic neighbourhood with convenient options for restaurants and cafes. For a taste of local culture, you can visit the shopping and casinos.

Parramatta CBD
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Parramatta CBD

Parramatta CBD is a welcoming neighbourhood.

Wynyard
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Trover photo by Debbie Jeffrey

Wynyard

Friendly People, Ports, Walking

Wynyard is a welcoming, walkable neighbourhood with convenient options for restaurants and bars. For a taste of local culture, you can visit the opera houses and shopping.

Chatswood CBD
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Trover photo by Andy Yee

Chatswood CBD

Chatswood CBD is a welcoming neighbourhood.

Collaroy Beach
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Trover photo by Fran Tapia

Collaroy Beach

Collaroy Beach is a welcoming neighbourhood.

Top hotels in Sydney

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney
Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney
5 out of 5
176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks
RM569/night
18 Aug-19 Aug
4.5/5Wonderful! (3,395 reviews)

"The staff was awesome. We can’t wait to stay there or at one of their other locations. The restaurant we ate at for dinner, was a disappointment but the breakfast on the 30th floor, was great."…"

Reviewed on 21 Jul,2019

Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney
Image for Hyatt Regency Sydney
Hyatt Regency Sydney
5 out of 5
161 Sussex Street, Sydney
RM519/night
5 Aug-6 Aug
4.2/5Very Good! (3,638 reviews)

"By far the best hotel that we have been...definitely we’ Back soon."…"

Reviewed on 21 Jul,2019

Hyatt Regency Sydney
Image for Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel
Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel
4 out of 5
8 Arrival Court, Mascot
RM445/night
27 Jul-28 Jul
4.4/5Excellent! (6,387 reviews)

"Quiet room - perfect for early flight. Awful grill! Marginal food, incredibly shabby furniture."…"

Reviewed on 19 Jul,2019

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel

Popular things to do in Sydney

Sydney Opera House
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Sydney Opera House

Take in a performance or just take in the splendour of one of the world’s most famous buildings.

Bondi Beach
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Bondi Beach

This beach can lay reasonable claim to being the most famous expanse of golden sand on the planet, attracting visitors from Australia and all over the world.

Sydney Harbour Bridge
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Sydney Harbour Bridge

An iconic structure on a beautiful harbour with breath-taking views at any time of day or night. Climb it, walk it, photograph it or just stand back and admire it.

Circular Quay
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Circular Quay

Under the gaze of the magnificent Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Sydney’s transport hub is a terminal of unexpected beauty.

Taronga Zoo
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Taronga Zoo

For a wild experience combined with magnificent views over Sydney Harbour, this world-renowned zoo is a must-visit.

Manly Beach
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Manly Beach

Resplendent with golden sandy beaches, crystal blue seas perfect for swimming and surfing, and the best bars, shopping and views around. Welcome to Manly Beach.

Top activities in Sydney

Sydney Opera House Guided Tour
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Sydney Opera House Guided Tour

RM122

Discover the history and magic of the world-renowned Sydney Opera House with this Guided Tour that takes you beneath the world-famous sails. Go behind the scenes and hear the controversial story of the building's construction, as emotional and dramatic as any opera plot.

Sydney Tower Buffet Lunch or Dinner
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Sydney Tower Buffet Lunch or Dinner

RM174

Treat yourself to a feast for the eyes, mouth, and stomach with admission to the unforgettable buffet at the iconic Sydney Tower. Dine on a selection of more than 60 dishes ranging in style from Australian to Italian to Thai while basking in 360-degree views of the city as the restaurant revolves.

Sydney City Highlights Day Tour
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Sydney City Highlights Day Tour

RM286

Explore all of Sydney's famous sights in 1 day! From the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge to the famous Bondi Beach and bustling Kings Cross. Your guide will show you the highlights around every corner! You'll be picked up from your hotel and head north towards Manly, crossing over the incredible Sydney Harbour Bridge.

BridgeClimb Experience at Sydney Harbour Bridge
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BridgeClimb Experience at Sydney Harbour Bridge

RM659

Climb to the arched peak of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for unforgettable panoramic views of the city skyline and harbor. With a professional climber to lead the way, scale catwalks and ladders to reach the 440-foot (134-m) top and soak up bird's-eye views of the Sydney Opera House and beyond.

Sydney Attractions Pass including SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
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Sydney Attractions Pass including SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

RM123

See all that Sydney has to offer with the convenience of a single pass that lets you choose between 2 or 3 of the Harbour City's most popular and well-loved attractions. Start with admission to the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and then choose other attractions to enjoy on your own schedule.

Sydney Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
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Sydney Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

RM128

Discover the streets of Sydney and the sandy shores of Bondi Beach as you cruise around town on an open-air, double-decker bus. Experience all the excitement of Australia's famous harbour city, hopping on and off at more than 30 stops near great attractions.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Sydney

Walking Sydney
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Walking Sydney

Seeing the sights in Sydney on foot

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