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

Darling Harbour
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Darling Harbour

Known for port, shopping, dining

Once the site of disused railway yards and dilapidated wharves, one of Sydney’s greatest urban renewal projects has breathed life into this location once more.

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, NSW
RM621
per night
22 Sep-23 Sep
4.5/5Wonderful! (3,525 reviews)

"Amazing stay, great location with walking distance to Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Our view from our room was spectacular."…"

Reviewed on 14 Sep,2019

Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney
Image for PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney
PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney
4.5 out of 5
150 Day St, Sydney, NSW
RM505
per night
29 Sep-30 Sep
4.5/5Wonderful! (3,109 reviews)

"Great location and efficient friendly staff. Get a club level harbor view so you can see the fireworks. Walk to Darling Harbour restaurants and public transport"…"

Reviewed on 15 Sep,2019

PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney
Image for ibis budget Sydney Airport
ibis budget Sydney Airport
2.5 out of 5
5 Ross Smith Avenue, Mascot, NSW
RM259
per night
27 Sep-28 Sep
3.7/5Good! (272 reviews)

"The basin in the bathroom did not drain very quickly and there was no plug for the basin - room 211 -The breakfast was good. It was all basic but easy."…"

Reviewed on 17 Sep,2019

ibis budget Sydney Airport

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

RM120

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
Image for Sydney Tower Buffet Lunch or Dinner

Sydney Tower Buffet Lunch or Dinner

RM172

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

RM283

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
Image for BridgeClimb Experience at Sydney Harbour Bridge

BridgeClimb Experience at Sydney Harbour Bridge

RM769

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
Image for Sydney Attractions Pass including SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Sydney Attractions Pass including SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

RM186

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

RM149

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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