Top Things to Do in Sydney
If there was an official award for Australia’s most beautiful capital city, Sydney would win every time. It’s gorgeous – with iconic landmarks, harbourside homes spilling down to the water’s edge, and the kind of relaxed, outdoor lifestyle that makes it the envy of cities around the globe (and some closer to home too).
But Sydney’s beauty isn’t just skin deep. It runs to the very core of the city, and there are some easy ways to discover it.
You could join the locals for an early morning stroll along the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk, find yourself a patch of grass for a picnic at the Royal Botanic Garden or Hyde Park, attend one of countless festivals and gallery exhibitions, or even just hop aboard the ferry out to Manly to witness the city’s sapphire heart – Port Jackson Bay – at its most enchanting.
Keen to uncover more top things to do in Sydney? Here are some of our favourites.
For history buffs
As Australia’s oldest European settlement, it goes without saying that Sydney is brimming with history. Simply walking amid its maze-like streets can reveal a wealth of important sights. When you’re ready to delve deeper, Sydney Museums Pass is a great way to experience 10 of the city’s most fascinating museums, including Hyde Park Barracks. The Australian National Maritime Museum is another must-see, complete with its own submarine and destroyer!
For the family
It may be a concrete jungle, but Sydney is still home to its fair share of wildlife. At WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, housed within a distinctive building at Darling Harbour, you can get up close with a variety of animals, from koalas to crocodiles and the prehistoric-looking cassowary, which normally calls the Daintree Rainforest of northern Queensland home. Kids prefer something higher-tech? Entermission, a VR escape room with added special effects like the smell of gunpowder and heat on your face, could be just what the doctor ordered.
For the adventurous
Dialling up the adrenaline, Oz Jet Boating is a fast, furious, and heart-racing way to see the city sights – and a great option if you’re short on time too. Departing from Circular Quay, the 30-minute ride twists, turns and nose-dives its way past icons like the Sydney Opera House. A slower pace more your style? Grab a bike from Manly Bike Tours and enjoy a self-guided ride along 20kms of scenic pathways. With idyllic beaches and reserves to explore, plus ample spots to stop enjoy a dip or stop for fish ‘n chips, it’s an underrated gem!
For the curious
Sydney is full of stories. Tales from its convict past; urban legends that terrify and delight. The Rocks Walking Tour is a fun way to dive deeper into the oldest part of the city, exploring its origins and architecture, plus the stories of people who once called it home. If lost or vengeful spirits are more your style, the Haunted Sydney Ghost Tour is for you.
For architecture fans
We’ve all seen the majestic sails of the Opera House from a distance, but how many can say we’ve explored the hidden depths of its interior too? A 60-minute guided tour is a ticket to discover the history and stories of this local landmark, and access areas normally off-limits to the public. Rising 250 metres above the ground, and with 360-degree views of the city, Sydney Tower Eye is another must-visit. Time your visit for ‘golden hour’ for a real treat!
The Rydges Sydney Explorer Pass, powered by CityXplora, is your passport to more amazing attractions, tours, dining, and entertainment, all curated by local travel experts.