Spectacular Sydney is where most visitors arrive. It’s one of the world’s great cities. Covered in history, there’s also a throbbing nightlife and several museums. There are so many things to see and do in Sydney alone; it’s kind of overwhelming. I have compiled this – hopefully helpful – list of top Sydney highlights and major sites in the city that are worth checking out.
The following eight Sydney highlights should not be missed during a visit to Sydney!
Top Sydney Highlights
The Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is one the most iconic buildings in the world. Comparable to the Statue of Liberty in New York City or the Eiffel Tower in Paris, it’s probably the most important landmark in the city. It’s conveniently located in the heart of Sydney, at Sydney Harbour, not far from the ferry terminal and train station at Circular Quay. From the Opera House there’s an amazing view of the equally iconic Harbour Bridge and the entrance to the wonderful Botanic Gardens is right next door.
The Harbour Bridge is 2.4-kilometers long and it’s another landmark that made it to our Sydney highlights list. This massive bridge connects the Central Business District with the northern suburbs. It can be crossed on foot, offering fantastic views of downtown Sydney, the Opera House and the harbour, but it can also be climbed. The Harbour Bridge looks particularly spectacular on New Year’s Eve when fireworks light up the bridge.
The Rocks is the oldest neighbourhood in Sydney. The first colonist settlement was established there and it’s still a great place to explore the city’s history. A great spot to do that is the The Rocks Discovery Museum. Several cobbled streets lead you past old sandstone buildings. Many monuments and information panels remind you of important historic events.
Visible in every picture of the city’s skyline, the tall and spiky Sydney Tower rises above all other buildings. On a clear day the panoramic views from the top of the tower are jaw-dropping.
Among the major Sydney highlights, Darling Harbour is the main entertainment hub. There’s a large shopping centre, a casino, an enormous IMAX movie theatre, the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney Wildlife World an Sydney Aquarium. Numerous restaurants and nightclubs add to the lively atmosphere as well.
Hands down the most famous beach in Australia, Bondi Beach is the place to people-watch and go for a swim. It’s definitely one of the Sydney highlights. You can get to Bondi from the CBD by bus or train.
Royal Botanic Gardens
One of the other Sydney highlights is located right next to the Opera House. The Botanic Gardens are an amazing place to relax. The large park has fine collections of plants and gardens and the soft grass invites you to roll out a blanket, have a picnic and read a book. It’s free to visit and offers spectacular views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
The Blue Mountains National Park is technically not located in Sydney, but is easily accessed from the city. The train ride there takes only two hours. It’s a beautiful area, great for bushwalking and other outdoor activities. The Three Sisters rock formation is an absolute highlight.
In a previous post I highlighted ten reasons to visit the Land Down Under. Obviously Sydney was one of them.