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Sydney

94 expert recommended attractions

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Sydney Opera House

Circular Quay & The Rocks 97 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Perched at the very end of Bennelong Point is Australia’s most recognizable building and she won’t disappoint you — The Telegraph

Overcome with admiration for the Sydney Opera House, notable architect Louis Kahn said, ‘The sun did not know how beautiful its light was until it was reflected off this building.’. — Lonely Planet

If possible, grab tickets to see the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Opera Australia, Sydney Symphony Orchestra or The Australian Ballet. — Afar Magazine

Don’t let the name fool you—there’s a lot more than just arias going on under the swooping, cantilevered roofs of Australia’s most famous architectural landmark. — Travel + Leisure

Only a handful of buildings around the world are as architecturally and culturally significant as the Sydney Opera House. — Frommer's

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour 93 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of Sydney’s most iconic images, with the Bridge Climb a must-do tourist activity — The Telegraph

Ultra-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge spans the harbour, connecting the northern and southern parts of the city — Michelin Guide

Whether they’re driving over it, climbing up it, rollerblading across it or sailing under it, Sydneysiders adore their bridge and swarm around it like ants on ice cream. — Lonely Planet

It's the quintessential thing to do in Sydney, and it's alot of fun! — Afar Magazine

One thing few tourists do, although it only takes an hour or so, is to walk across the Harbour Bridge. — Frommer's

Art Gallery of New South Wales

Central Business District 92 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Modern and contemporary works are displayed in the gallery's light-filled spaces, which is located in beautiful parklands overlooking the Royal Botanic Gardens. — Condé Nast Traveler

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is your first port of call if you want to see a wide range of art both classic and contemporary, and admission is free to peruse its permanent collection — Travel + Leisure

A superb panorama of European and Australian artwork including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. — Michelin Guide

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is a stunningly beautiful gallery which houses an impressive collection of Australian indigenous art, as well as contemporary works. — Afar Magazine

With its classical Greek frontage and modern rear end, the ultrareputable Art Gallery of NSW plays a prominent and gregarious role in Sydney society. — Lonely Planet

Royal Botanic Gardens

Circular Quay & The Rocks 91 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The Royal Botanic Gardens was established in 1816 as the colony’s veggie patch. The attitude is relaxed. — Lonely Planet

More than 80 acres of sweeping green lawns, groves of indigenous and exotic trees, duck ponds, greenhouses, and some 45,124 types of plants—many of them in bloom—grace these gardens. — Fodor's

Enjoy a lovely stroll through the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens. — Michelin Guide

Come for the flowers, stay for the bats!  — Atlas Obscura

Set just east of Bennelong Point and the Opera House (translation: right alongside sweeping views of the harbor), this sprawling 75-acre park is one of the city’s most beautiful places. — Travel + Leisure

Bondi Beach

Bondi to Coogee 88 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Even at just .62 miles long, Bondi remains one of Sydney's most popular tourist destinations for its surfing, strolling, and commercial area lining the beach. — Condé Nast Traveler

Bondi to Bronte is a stunning 30-45min walk along the coast — Afar Magazine

Wide, wonderful Bondi (pronounced bon-dye) is the most famous and most crowded of all Sydney beaches. — Fodor's

Definitively Sydney, Bondi is one of the world’s great beaches: ocean and land collide, the Pacific arrives in great foaming swells and all people are equal, as democratic as sand. — Lonely Planet

Seaside pleasures are an integral part of the daily lives of Sydney's inhabitants — Michelin Guide

Australian Museum

Surry Hills & Darlinghurst 86 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Established in 1827, this natural history and environmental sciences museum is a favorite for family outings. — Travel + Leisure

This natural-history museum, established just 40 years after the First Fleet dropped anchor, strives to shrug off its museum-that-should-be-in-a-museum feel. — Lonely Planet

A very thorough exploration of Australian wildlife and its biodiversity. — Michelin Guide

A well-respected academic institution... collection of plants, animals, geological specimens, and cultural artifacts from the Asia-Pacific region. — Fodor's

Though nowhere near as impressive as, say, the Natural History Museum in London, Sydney's premier natural history museum is still worth a look. — Frommer's

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Sydney Tower Eye and SKYWALK

City Centre, the Domain & Chinatown 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

It's been dominating the skyline for a quarter of a century, as both the highest point in the city and the highest observation deck in the Southern Hemisphere. — Concierge

The Skywalk, part of the Sydney Tower, is the highest open-air attraction in the city. — Travel + Leisure

Short of taking a scenic flight, a visit to the top of this 309-meter (1,000 foot) golden-turret-topped spike is the best way to see Sydney's spectacular layout. — Fodor's

Sydney Tower provides a panoramic 360-degree view from the Pacific Ocean in the east to the Blue Mountains in the west. — Time Out

The highest point in the city, Sydney Tower perches 268 metres above the ground, exactly double the height of the Harbour Bridge — The Telegraph

Taronga Zoo

Sydney 83 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The breezy, 12-minute harbor ferry ride from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo is half the fun — Travel + Leisure

Sydney's zoo, in a natural bush area on the harbor's north shore, houses an extensive collection of Australian fauna, including everybody's favorite marsupial, the koala. — Fodor's

A 12-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay or a short drive from Manly, Taronga Zoo has 75 hectares of bushy harbour hillside chock-full of kangaroos, koalas and similarly hirsute Australians. — Lonely Planet

Arriving by ferry and then being whisked by cable car high above the animals is the way to make an entrance to this sensational harborside zoo. — Concierge

Taronga has the best view of any zoo in the world. Set on a hill, it looks out over Sydney Harbour, the Opera House, and the Harbour Bridge. — Frommer's

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Hyde Park Barracks Museum

City Centre, the Domain & Chinatown 82 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Macquarie was determined to establish law and order, and in 1819 he commissioned convict-architect Francis Greenway to design this restrained, classically Georgian-style building. — Fodor's

These Georgian-style barracks were designed in 1819 by the convict and architect Francis Greenway. They were built by convicts and inhabited by prisoners. — Frommer's

The barracks now operate as a museum as part of the city's Historic Houses Trust. — Afar Magazine

Australia’s bleak history as a penal colony comes to vivid life inside this historic site, where convict men and boys were housed once they arrived in the city. — Travel + Leisure

Convict architect Francis Greenway designed this squarish, decorously Georgian structure (1819) as convict quarters. — Lonely Planet

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Australian National Maritime Museum

Darling Harbour 82 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The six galleries of this soaring, futuristic building tell the story of Australia and the sea. — Fodor's

Take time out to explore one of Pyrmont’s star attractions and learn some interesting nautical themed facts along the way. — On the Grid

Australia owes almost everything to the sea, so it’s not surprising that there’s a museum dedicated to seafarers and ships, from Aboriginal vessels to submarines. — Frommer's

The Maritime Museum sails through Australia’s inextricable relationship with the sea. — Lonely Planet

The National Museum of Australia explores the history of Australia, whether it's going back 50,000 years, harking back to the colony's beginnings in 1788 or to the Olympic games in 2000 — Michelin Guide

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Sydney Observatory

Circular Quay & The Rocks 81 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The city's only major museum of astronomy offers visitors a chance to see the southern skies through modern and historic telescopes. — Frommer's

Originally a signaling station for communicating with ships anchored in the harbor, this handsome building on top of Observatory Hill is now an astronomy museum. — Fodor's

Built in the 1850s, Sydney’s copper-domed, Italianate observatory squats atop Observatory Hill , overlooking Millers Point and the harbour. — Lonely Planet

Built in the 1850s, the Sydney Observatory houses Australia's oldest working telescope. — Condé Nast Traveler

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Museum of Contemporary Art

Circular Quay & The Rocks 80 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

A slice of Gotham City on Circular Quay West, the stately art-deco MCA has been raising even the most open-minded Sydney eyebrows since 1991. — Lonely Planet

Tucked down along the waterfront of the Rocks district, this hip modern museum has a strong Aussie bent. — Travel + Leisure

The museum houses amazing collections of art from top Australian modern artists and features traveling shows. — Afar Magazine

This imposing sandstone museum, set back from the water on The Rocks side of Circular Quay, offers wacky, entertaining, inspiring, and befuddling displays of what's new. — Frommer's

The MCA celebrates Australia's emerging and contemporary talent. Aboriginal art features prominently. — Condé Nast Traveler

Manly Beach

Sydney 80 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Lined by an impressive collection of pine trees, and features three main beaches, lovely bays, and a good collection of snack shacks and bars with a view. — Travel + Leisure

The Bondi Beach of the north shore, Manly caters to everyone except those who want to get away from it all. — Fodor's

Sydney's second most famous beach stretches for nearly two golden kilometres, lined by Norfolk Island pines and scrappy midrise apartment blocks. — Lonely Planet

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Powerhouse Museum

Glebe & Newtown 80 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Learning the principles of science is a painless process with this museum's stimulating, interactive displays ideal for all ages. — Fodor's

A short walk from Darling Harbour, Sydney’s most kid-focused museum whirs away inside the former power station for Sydney’s defunct tram network. — Lonely Planet

Sydney's most interactive museum is also one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. — Frommer's

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Elizabeth Bay House

Kings Cross to Potts Point 79 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Completed in 1839 for Colonial Secretary Alexander Macleay, this elegant neoclassical mansion by architect John Verge was one of the finest houses in the colony (and still is). — Lonely Planet

Much of this densely populated but still-charming harborside suburb was originally part of the extensive Elizabeth Bay House grounds. — Fodor's

A good example of colonial architecture, this house was built in 1835 and was described at the time as the "finest house in the colony". — Frommer's

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Chinese Garden of Friendship

Darling Harbour 79 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The nation's long and enduring links with China are symbolized by the Chinese Garden of Friendship. — Fodor's

Built according to Taoist principles, the Chinese Garden of Friendship is an oasis of tranquillity. — Lonely Planet

The largest Chinese garden of its type outside China. — Frommer's

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Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

Darling Harbour & Pyrmont 78 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This is one of the world's best aquariums and should be near the top of your itinerary. — Frommer's

Highlights include Shark Valley, the Great Barrier Reef exhibit, Japanese Spider crabs and the Bay of Rays. — Time Out

The larger and more modern of Sydney's public aquariums presents a fascinating view of the underwater world, with saltwater crocodiles, giant sea turtles, and delicate, multicolor fish. — Fodor's

This place brings in more paying visitors than any other attraction in Australia – even with its hefty admission charges. — Lonely Planet

Giant stingrays, sharks, huge turtles, and thousands of fish swim right over your head as you walk through this aquarium's feature attraction, an underwater glass tunnel. — Concierge

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Museum of Sydney

Circular Quay & The Rocks 78 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

You'll need to have your brain in full working order to make the most of the contents of this three-story postmodern building near Circular Quay. — Frommer's

This sculpture... was commissioned for the Museum of Sydney and developed by an indigenous and non-indigenous artist working together. — Afar Magazine

Learn all about the rich history of Australia’s biggest city at this well-curated museum, built atop the remains of the first Government House. — Travel + Leisure

This museum built on the site of the original Government House documents Sydney's early period of European colonization. — Fodor's

Built on the site of Sydney’s first (and infamously pungent) Government House, the MoS is a fragmented, story-telling museum using state-of-the-art installations. — Lonely Planet

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Sydney Harbour

Sydney 78 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Sydney is divided in two by vast Sydney Harbour, the heart of the city. Water craft of all kinds shuttle to and fro, while the shore is lined with sheltered beaches. — Michelin Guide

At twilight, hop on a ferry from Circular Quay. Sail around the harbor with no particular destination and watch as the city awakens for the night. — Afar Magazine

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Brett Whiteley Studio Museum

Surry Hills 78 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

For an intimate gallery experience, check out the former home and studio of the late Australian artist Brett Whiteley (1939-1992) in Surry Hills. — Travel + Leisure

Acclaimed local artist Brett Whiteley (1939–1992) lived fast and without restraint. His hard-to-find studio (look for the signs on Devonshire St) has been preserved as a gallery. — Lonely Planet

"This gallery offers glimpses into the private world of one of Australia’s most renowned artists, Brett Whiteley, who lived and worked in Surry Hills until his death in 1992. — Afar Magazine

So yes, seeing his art up close is great – but the real joy is examining the artefacts of creativity strewn about, giving you a chance to get forensic and deconstruct the genesis of the art on display — On the Grid

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    17 parks, gardens and outdoor attractions
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