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Things to see in Sydney

Attractions

Sydney Opera House

Opened in 1973, the Sydney Opera House is the most recognisable symbol of both Sydney and Australia. It's also considered one of the 20th century's greatest buildings. Designed to resemble a ship at sea with its roof appearing as a billowing white sail, Sydney Opera House is one of the busiest performing arts centres in the world. Housing a large complex of theatres and halls that play host to a wide range of performing arts. The Opera House also offers fascinating 'behind the scenes' tours and spectacular views of Sydney Harbour. Enjoy a pre-show beverage or bite at one of the many restaurants and bars along the Opera House's western side.

Address: , Bennelong Point, Sydney,
Telephone: +61 2 9250 7111 (general); +61 2 9250 7250 (tours).
Opening times:

Daily 0900-1700 (tours).

Website: http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

The Rocks

Nestled at the foot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Rocks (Sydney's historical birthplace) is a neighbourhood of winding streets, sandstone cottages and some of Sydney's oldest pubs. The site of the first landing from Plymouth, England in 1788, the area is now a busy tourist enclave with cafes, restaurants, galleries, museums, weekend markets and countless souvenir shops. Among the district's historic buildings are the Hero of Waterloo inn (built over a tunnel that was originally used for smuggling), the Sydney Observatory (on the site of the colony's first windmill) and Cadman's Cottage (Sydney's oldest building, built in 1816).

Address: , The Rocks, Sydney,
Telephone: +61 2 8273 0000.
Opening times:

Daily.

Website: http://www.therocks.com
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Affectionately known as 'the Coathanger', the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a feat of engineering genius. Opening in 1932, it took 1,400 workers (16 of whom died in the process), eight years, and $20 million to complete. The best way to experience the bridge is to climb it, and Bridge Climb gives thrill-seekers the chance to walk to the top of the 50-story-high bridge (over the cars and trains rumbling across the deck below) and down the other side. If you're afraid of heights or on a budget, you can walk or cycle across the bridge free of charge. Use the aptly named "Bridge Stairs" on Cumberland Street in the Rocks for an hour-long, round-trip stroll.

Address: The Rocks, 3 Cumberland Street, Sydney,
Telephone: +61 2 8274 7777.
Opening times:

Daily 0800-2100.

Website: http://www.bridgeclimb.com
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Darling Harbour

A former dockside area, this small harbour has been transformed into a major tourist site. The vast, paved and landscaped precinct is packed with restaurants and shops, as well as a number of tourist attractions. These include the Powerhouse Museum, Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney Aquarium, IMAX Theatre and the Chinese Garden of Friendship, a gift to Sydney from its sister city of Guangdong in China. Harbour Cruises leave the King Street Wharf area and there are weekend festivals and events aplenty.

Address: , Darling Harbour, Sydney,
Telephone: +61 2 8273 0000.
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website: http://www.darlingharbour.com
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Sydney Tower

Standing 309m (1,014ft) above Market Street, Sydney Tower is the city's tallest building and offers views over the city, the harbour, the Olympic Park and as far as Terrigal Beach, 100km (62 miles) to the north. Entry to the 250m-high (820ft) observation deck includes the Skytour, a 35-minute virtual tour/ride on the podium level. Thrill-seekers can go one better and take a Skywalk, an outdoor tour on two glass-floored platforms. Dine in the rotating restaurant for a unique and spectacular Sydney experience.

Address: , Corner of Pitt and Market Street, Sydney,
Telephone: +61 2 9333 9222.
Opening times:

Daily 0900-2200 (03 Oct–25 April); 0900-2130 (26 April—02 Oct).

Website: http://www.sydneytowereye.com.au
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Bondi Beach

Bondi is one of the world's most famous beaches, a crescent of sand strung between two rocky headlands, just 15 minutes from the city centre. During the summer, visitors jostle for towel space on the beach while the promenade bustles with activity. Campbell Parade serves up a mixture of busy bars, seaside cafes, and the ever-popular Sunday market. Topless sunbathing is tolerated and swimmers should always swim within the patrolled areas marked by the red and yellow flags. The coastal walk, which starts at Bondi's southern end and runs along the coast to Coogee, is a must for any visitor, especially in October and November when the annual "Sculptures by the Sea" is on.

Address: Bondi, Bondi Beach, Sydney,
Telephone: +61 2 9083 8000.
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website: http://www.waverley.nsw.gov.au
Admission Fees:

No.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Royal Botanic Gardens

A short walk from Sydney Opera House and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Royal Botanic Gardens sits on a slope overlooking the harbour and covers 30 hectares (74 acres) in the heart of the city. Established in 1816, it is Australia's oldest scientific institution and home to over one million specimens. Highlights include the Sydney Tropical Centre and the Rose Garden; there is a hop-on, hop-off trackless train to get around them all.

Address: , Mrs. Macquaries Road, Sydney,
Telephone: +61 2 9231 8111.
Opening times:

Daily 0700-1930 (Oct); daily 0700-2000 (Nov-Feb); daily 0700- 1830 (March); daily 0700-1800 (Apr and Sep); daily 0700-1730 (May and Aug); daily 0700-1700 (Jun-Jul).

Website: http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Art Gallery Of New South Wales

Featuring the Yiribana Gallery, the world's largest permanent exhibition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, the Art Gallery of New South Wales is one of Australia's foremost art museums. Among its most impressive exhibitions is its Australian art collection, extending from the early colonial period to the mid 20th century. The Asian Galleries showcase the gallery's significant Asian collection and touring exhibitions. Shortlisted portraits in the Archibald Prize (Australia's most prestigious and controversial art award) are exhibited here annually.

Address: , Art Gallery Road, Sydney, 2000
Telephone: +61 2 9225 1700.
Opening times:

Thurs-Tues 1000-1700, Wed 1000-2100.

Website: http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Centennial Parklands

A grand park in the European tradition, the Centennial Parklands features landscaped gardens, statues, historic monuments and houses, ponds, formal gardens, wildlife habitat areas and grand avenues. There is a restaurant, cafe and facilities for every active pursuit under the sun.

Address: Bondi, Grand Drive, Sydney,
Telephone: +61 2 9339 6699.
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website: http://www.centennialparklands.com.au
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo boasts the largest variety of Australian flora and fauna under one roof, including Koala Encounter and Kangaroo Walk-About, providing a complete all-Australian wildlife experience in the heart of Darling Harbour. Visitors can watch over 6,000 animals including wallabies and wombats, sugar gliders and scrub pythons, living in their natural habitats and ecosystems.

Address: Darling Harbour, Aquarium Pier, 1-5 Wheat Road, Sydney, 2000
Telephone: +61 1800 206 158.
Opening times:

Daily 0930-1700 (last entry 1600).

Website: http://www.wildlifesydney.com.au
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Tourist Offices

Sydney Visitor Centre

Address: The Rocks, Corner Argyle and Playfair Streets, Sydney,
Telephone: +61 2 8273 0000.
Opening times:

Daily 0930-1730 (except Good Friday and Christmas Day).

Website: http://www.australianvisitorcentres.com.au

There is another visitor centre at Palm Grove between Cockle Bay Wharf and Harbourside, Darling Harbour.

Tourist passes

Combine up to five of Sydney’s best attractions - SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Sydney Tower Eye, Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary or Madame Tussauds Sydney with a Sydney Attraction Combo Pass, available from www.experienceoz.com.au or the Sydney Aquarium.

Sydney and Bondi Explorer Hop On-Hop Off Buses operate all day, every day. A 24- or 48-hour pass allows you to check out all the Sydney Harbour sights and take in Sydney’s most famous beach, Bondi, with guided commentary in up to seven languages.

Combined ferry and attraction admission passes are available from the Sydney Ferries ticket office at Circular Quay. For example, the Zoo Pass includes return ferry and bus transport to Taronga Zoo, entry to the zoo and an aerial cable car ride.

 

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Featured Hotels

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The Woolbrokers Hotel

In the heart of Darling Harbour, Woolbrokers Hotel is located near some of Sydney’s main attractions, including the Sydney Aquarium, Harbourside shopping complex, and Sydney Wildlife World. The heritage building has been redesigned with 27 rooms to accommodate groups, families, or solo travellers.

 

King’s Cross Backpackers

 Located in vibrant King’s Cross, KXB is popular among travellers looking to be in the heart of Sydney at a cheap price. Newly renovated in 2017, the hostel holds weekly rooftop barbecues, day and night activities, and free breakfast.

Cambridge Hotel

Close to the restaurant and shopping areas of Oxford and Crown Streets is this moderately priced hotel with 149 modern rooms and an on-site Italian restaurant. Adjacent to the hotel is an area that used to be a notorious no-go zone in the 1920s frequented by the city’s worst criminals.

Park Hyatt

Occupying a unique position on the water's edge of Sydney's Harbour, The Park Hyatt has a wide range of rooms to choose from all offering deluxe amenities including shoeshine, turndown, robes, gym access and 24-hour butler service. The hotel's restaurant, the Harbour Kitchen & Bar, offers incredible views of the harbour and opera house through floor-to-ceiling folding glass doors. This Sydney hotel also features a spa, fitness centre and rooftop swimming pool.

Four Seasons

The original luxe Sydney hotel the Four Seasons boasts one of the best views around. Located in the historic Rock’s area overlooking the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge the hotel’s 531 luxurious guestrooms and suites all feature a 42- inch LCD television iPod/MP3 player connectivity and wireless internet access. The spa is one of the best in the city and facilities include steam sauna and Sydney’s largest heated outdoor pool.

Ovolo Woolloomooloo

One of the most boldly conceived hotels in Sydney, Ovolo Woolloomooloo (formerly Taj BLUE Hotel) occupies the renovated interior of an old loading wharf, jutting out into the harbour at Woolloomooloo Bay. Retaining the original exterior and many of the interior beams, the refit is an ingenious exercise in industrial chic. Business travellers are well catered for with luxury meeting spaces with amenities such as AV equipment, TV screens, and other high tech features.