Top Sydney Attractions to See at Least Once

  • All Ages

You've never lived in Sydney too long to play tourist in your own city!

As Sydneysiders, we can sometimes take for granted the wonderful experiences and gorgeous Sydney attractions right in our own backyard. Our city is full of amazing places to go and things to do that you simply MUST tick off your bucket list!

Here are the top Sydney attractions to see at least once in your life. 

Top Sydney Attractions to See at Least Once

1. Lap it up at Bondi Beach

Top Sydney attractions
Visit the iconic Bondi Icebergs ocean pool for stunning views and picture-perfect snaps.

The North end of Bondi boasts the Most Instagrammable Café In The World and the South end is home to one of Australia's most beautiful and photographed ocean pools - Bondi Icebergs. In between lies one of the world's most famous stretches of sand, needless to say, a day at beautiful Bondi Beach is one of the top Sydney attractions.

With boutique shopping in the backstreets, impressive displays at the Skate Park, and the chance to see Bondi Rescue in action, this place is a hive of activity from dawn to dusk and an absolute must-do.

Location: Campbell Pde, Bondi Beach

RELATED:13 Unusual Things to do in Sydney

2. Get up Close to The Harbour Bridge

Top Sydney attractions
You'll  feel on top of the world when you ascend this world-famous landmark.

Whether you scale its curving heights on an iconic BridgeClimb experience or stick to the less adrenaline-infused (and free) pedestrian path, getting up close and personal with the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge is definitely one of the top 10 Sydney attractions.

Get a birds-eye view of our prized 'Coathanger' while you take in an expansive view of Sydney Harbour, with its epic parade of massive cruise liners and the white sails of the Opera House just a stone's throw away, and beyond to the greater west. A sunrise or sunset walk is particularly breathtaking.

3. Spend a Day in Newtown

Top Sydney attractions
This inner-city suburb is bursting with colour and diversity.

The bohemian inner-city suburb of Newtown is a mecca for global cuisine, vintage finds, interesting boutiques and fascinating people. It is also one of the few Sydney suburbs that are buzzing well into the night.

Take a trip down King St and into Enmore to discover famous street art like the heritage-listed I Have a Dream mural, go vegan and pay by donation at Lentil As Anything, indulge in the world's best gelato at Cow and the Moon, catch a show at the iconic Art Deco Enmore Theatre, and try Black Star Pastry's famous watermelon cake.

4. Stay Overnight at Cockatoo Island

Top Sydney attractions
Full of history and wonder, take a trip to Cockatoo Island.

Get a ferry or water taxi to the magnificent Cockatoo Island in the middle of Sydney Harbour for a day - and night - of adventure.

Once a convict prison and a dockyard, Cockatoo Island retains some of its original striking features, including industrial workshops, prison barracks, underground grain silos, tunnels and two docks surrounded by incomparable views of the harbour, making it one of the most popular Sydney attractions.

There are guided tours, picnic spots and cafes, but you can't beat the overnight glamping experience. 

5. Discover the Hermitage Foreshore Walk

Top Sydney attractions
This seaside walking trail will uncover secret beaches and sensational harbour views.

This little piece of heaven is a favourite among locals and the gateway to some of Sydney's best secret harbour beaches.

Between beautiful Neilson Park in Vaucluse and the backstreets of nearby Rose Bay, the Hermitage Foreshore Trail is an easy walk encased in beautiful national park bushland, with the ocean at your feet and a clear outlook to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and beyond. The path is dotted with cute picnic spots and hidden swimming spots including Milk Beach and Queens Beach. 

Location: Vaucluse

6. Take a Hike to Hornby Lighthouse

Top Sydney attractions
Take a scenic walk along eastern Sydney's stunning shoreline to find Hornby Lighthouse.

A little trip to this historic landmark in Sydney's Watsons Bay, Australia’s oldest fishing port, feels like you're on the edge of the world.

Perched on the South Head peninsula along a stunning coastal trail, the Hornby Lighthouse is a highlight of this picturesque village and one of the top Sydney attractions.

Surrounded by endless ocean, this is an ideal vantage point for whale watching during migration season and a perfect backdrop for happy snaps! The local area is steeped in history and boasts some beautiful harbour beaches, walking trails, harbourside parks and the notorious ocean cliff The Gap.

Location: S Head Heritage Trail, Watsons Bay 

7. Ride the Luna Park Ferris Wheel

Top Sydney attractions
Catch a ride at Luna Park before it closes for renovations.

If you can handle heights, you'll love the unsurpassed views over the harbour from the Luna Park Ferris Wheel vantage point.

The ride was first erected in 1935, and this amusement park has luckily still hung onto some of its old-worldly charms. Luna Park recently underwent an epic $30 million renovation that includes nine brand new rides!

Location: 1 Olympic Dr, Milsons Point 

8. Dine at Sydney Tower

Top Sydney attractions
Go to Infinity and beyond for incredible revolving views of the city skyline.

This revolving restaurant in the city's tallest tower will give you 360-degree views of Sydney!

Infinity at Sydney Tower offers the total date night experience with a fine dining menu, award-winning wines, and ever-changing views. Treat yourself!

Location: 108 Market St, Sydney

9. Picnic at the Royal Botanic Garden

Top Sydney attractions
Soak up an abundance of colour, nature and serenity at the heritage-listed Royal Botanic Garden.

Not only are we lucky enough to enjoy bountiful blue seas in Sydney, but we're at no lack of luscious green spaces either!

Enjoy harbour views at a picnic at the Royal Botanic Gardens, take a free guided walk, purchase cheap plants at the nursery, see an exhibition at The Calyx, ride the Choo Choo Express or just take a relaxing stroll.

Location: Mrs Macquaries Rd, Sydney 

10. See a Show at the Sydney Opera House

Top Sydney attractions
The breathtaking Sydney Opera House will reintroduce a schedule of creative family shows.

Under the iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House, you'll love the huge program of shows and events on offer.

Whether it's Swan Lake from The Australian Ballet, a masterpiece performed by Bell Shakespeare or even a cool kid's concert, you'll love getting all dressed up and being entertained by some of the best live performances Sydney has to offer.

Location: Bennelong Point, Sydney

11. Catch a Ferry to Manly

Manly Ferry
There is no better way to travel across Sydney than by ferry.

The pleasant 30-minute cross-water ferry journey from Circular Quay to Manly has been transporting Sydneysiders to the Northern Beaches since 1855.

Operating day and night, seven days a week, kids, in particular, will enjoy the thrilling experience of getting a seat at the boat's rear and waving goodbye to Circular Quay. Once you're in Manly, head to one of the wharf's many restaurants for lunch in the sunshine with harbour views. 

12. Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

Top Sydney attractions
The eastern beaches walking track is a popular vantage point for whale watching.

One of Sydney's most incredible features is her sparkling seas, and the well-worn Bondi to Coogee coastal walk path offers up the iconic, aforementioned Bondi Beach, a walk through the breathtakingly beautiful Waverley Cemetary, the discovery of the lesser-known but totally magical Gordon's Bay, and a finale at the stunning cliffs of Coogee at Dolphin Point.

If you can, time your walk with the annual Sculptures By The Sea exhibition happening around the Bondi/Bronte cliffs, you'll get serious views, exercise AND a cultural hit. 

13. Ride a Horse in Centennial Parklands

Centennial Parklands
Discover Centennial Park, the southern hemisphere's largest urban park, on horseback.

We just adore the gorgeous Centennial Parklands!

What eastern suburbs-based family doesn't have memories of picnics, bike riding and duck feeding here? Sydney-siders are missing out if they haven't experienced riding a horse around the circuit. There are four riding schools at the Centennial Park Equestrian Centre so you're bound to find the perfect horse for you. Whether it's a lesson, a pony ride for children or a romantic park ride escorted by a professional, this is the perfect way to explore like never before.

14. Grab Fish and Chips at Sydney Fish Market

Top Sydney attractions
The vibrant Sydney Fish Market is a sensory feast right on the harbour.

It's a bustling, hectic, feast for the senses experience that always delights kids and adults, so add the Sydney Fish Markets to your list of top Sydney attractions asap!

Spend some time at Sydney Fish Markets, a working fishing port, and make sure you arrive with an appetite. Down at Pyrmont, you will find wholesale and retail fish markets, plus a variety of indoor and outdoor seafood and Asian eateries, plus plenty of picnic tables right on the water to enjoy your 'catch of the day.' The fish and chips here are super fresh, fast and cheap. And if the kids are good, treat them to ice cream or some delicious chocolate-dipped fruit.

If you are an early riser, why not join one of the behind-the-scenes tours, daily at 6.40 am?

Location: Corner Pyrmont Bridge Rd & Bank St, Pyrmont  

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