Whether you just moved to Sydney or are here on vacation, here is a list of the 20 best tourist attractions in Sydney. From the best zoos and cruises to museums and beaches, this list has everything you need. So pack your bags, head out and explore.
1. Sydney Opera House
Location: Bennelong Point, Sydney, New South Wales
The Sydney opera house is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also one of the world's greatest icons. Located on a harbour, the salty air and the wonderful view just make it better. The building is shaped like sails or shells and is surrounded by water. You can relax at one of the restaurants there or enjoy a photo shoot by the Harbour cruise or take a detailed tour of the Opera House, where you will find studios, a concert hall, a cinema, theatres and exhibitions. The ticket lets you join any tours on that day between 9 am to 5 pm that takes place every half hour. This is definitely one of the most well know and popular tourist attractions in Sydney.
2. Sydney Harbor Bridge
Address: 5 Cumberland Street, Sydney, New South Wales
This is the world's largest steel arch bridge and was built in 1932, supported by 2 huge piers on each end of it. It is also nicknamed the ‘Coathanger’. There are many activities you can do near the Sydney Harbour Bridge, One of the most popular tourist attractions in Sydney. You can cruise under it on a boat or drive over it or go over it on a train, but the most fun activity you can do is climb the 135-meter-high summit. There are a lot of guided tours running all day that take care of safety, and you can also opt for an indigenous storytelling experience. It takes approximately 3.5 hours to get to the top of the outer arch, and this iconic bridge connects the north and south shores. Be sure not to miss the Sydney Harbour Bridge, one of the most exhilarating tourist attractions in Sydney.
3. Sea Life Sydney Aquarium
Address: Aquarium Wharf Darling Harbour NSW 2000 Australia
This aquarium has the most extraordinary journey of the underwater world. It has 9 themed zones that you visit to encounter over 700 different species, and this is one of the largest collections of Australian aquatic sea life. You can wander through the Jurrasic Seas and Dugong Island and the underwater shark valley. There's an underwater tunnel that is 100 m long where you can come face to face with sharks and penguins and meet the cheeky resident pig, Dugong. You can watch the iconic Great Barrier Reef transform its beauty from day to night, making this one of the best tourist attractions in Sydney.
4. Australian Museum
Location: 1 William Street (opposite Hyde Park) Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
The Australian Museum is the oldest in Australia being founded in 1827, and now has over 21.1 million objects focusing on Australia and the Pacific and is an internationally recognised culture and natural science institution. There is access to all the permanent exhibitions, and the Prehistoric Playground that hosts all kinds of activities for children, like an interactive dinosaur design station and a fossil lab. This should definitely be on your list of tourist attractions in Sydney to visit.
5. Taronga Zoo Sydney
Location: Bradleys Head Road Mosman NSW 2088 Australia
The Taronga Zoo is open 365 days a year and is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Sydney. It overlooks the Sydney Harbour and is only a 12-minute ferry ride from the city. The admission includes the daily shows, Sydney's only cable car and access to the Sky Safari. Featuring some of the world's most spectacular birds are the QBE Free Flight bird show and the Daily seal show, which has Australian and Californian sea lions who will blow your mind with their grace and skill. This zoo has over 4,000 animals that are native Australian as well as endangered and rare exotic animals. This is definitely one of the tourist attractions in Sydney, with a lot of fun things to do, like tackle obstacles, cross suspension bridges and more!
6. Manly Beach
Location: North Steyne Manly NSW 2095 Australia
Manly beach was where the first surfing contest was held in 1964, and it has a 1.5 km Norfolk pine-lined golden beach. A lot of people learn surfing on these prized waves, and snorkelling and diving are also popular here. There are plenty of activities to do here, from tanning on the beach to playing volleyball and visiting the endless cafes and restaurants here, making this one of the best tourist attractions in Sydney. There is also a good selection of vegan restaurants in Sydney that you should definitely check out.
7. Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk
Location: Starts at the southern end of Bondi Beach, Bondi Beach NSW 2026, Australia
This is a 6 km which is medium to easy with a steep section and takes about 2 hours to finish, but it's more fun to explore the cafes and beaches along the way and take a dip in the ocean. This is one of the tourist attractions in Sydney where part of the walk is transformed with the Sculptures by the sea exhibition every spring. Don't forget to get sunscreen, water and a hat!
8. Queen Victoria Building
Location: 455 George Street Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
The Queen Victoria Building occupies a whole block on George street and has some of the finest jewellery stores, homewares, boutiques and cafes and restaurants to fuel you up. This quickly became one of the more popular tourist attractions in Sydney and is now one of the most popular and prestigious shopping centres. The centre dome, where the Christmas tree goes every year, is majestic, and the most beautiful stained glass windows and architecture is what you will find here at one of the most fun sydney sightseeing places.
9. Captain Cook Cruises
Location: Circular Quay Wharf 6, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
This is one of the premier Sydney harbour cruises, and its fleet offers private charters from 2 to 2000 guests. There are many kinds of cruises you can opt for that offer fine dining, lunch, dinner and high tea, along with sightseeing and stops at the top tourist attractions in Sydney, like Taronga zoo, Many and Circular Quay. They offer a variety of private charters for special events like Christmas, Boxing day, New Years' eve and a lot more. Most vessels are wheelchair accessible.
10. Tribal Warrior
Location: Cope St, Redfern NSW 2016, Australia
This is a 2 hr long journey where you get to hear the stories from Guringai, Cardigan and many more. Here you will learn about the meanings of the Aboriginal names and also the stories and significance behind some of the Sydney landmarks. Here you can enjoy and relax with the Aboriginal crew and hosts. There is also an authentic Aboriginal Cultural performance you can watch. This is the only Aboriginal-owned and operated Aboriginal cultural cruise and was started in 1998. You can also refuel yourself at some of the best restaurants in Sydney.
11. Sydney Harbour National Park
Location: Manly NSW 2095 Australia
This park is definitely one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in Sydney. It protects a variety of islands, foreshore areas and harbours. There are so many trails, picnic spots and a huge range of other activities you can enjoy. You can take a walk, take in the park's cultural history and enjoy the beautiful coastline and can find convict-built buildings and military fortifications and a heritage lighthouse. During winter, keep an eye out for whales on their annual migration north.
12. Cockatoo Island
Location: Cockatoo Island Sydney Harbour NSW 2000 Australia
The Wallumedegal, Wangal, Cammeraygal and Gadigal People call this island Wareamah, and it was a former convict penal establishment and naval shipyard, and it is located in the heart of Sydney Harbour. The terrain, panoramic views and buildings are what pull people in. There are waterfront cafes, paranormal tours and guided tours to enjoy, and this is just a ferry ride away. Be sure to visit this as it is one of the more unique Sydney tourist places.
13. Royal Botanic Garden and the Domain
Location: Mrs Macquaries Road Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
Located in the heart of Sydney, this is a 30-hectare paradise, and there is plenty of natural beauty to enjoy. It is one of the oldest scientific institutions in the country and also one of the prettiest tourist attractions in Sydney. It has a number of different plants from Australia and abroad and is also home to rare and endangered plants and a romantic rose garden to visit with your partner. There is also free wifi! You can also get some nice refreshments at some of the best cafes in Sydney.
14. Art Gallery of New South Wales
Location: Art Gallery Road Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
This Art gallery is visited by over 1 million people every year, and admission is free, like most of the permanent galleries and most events. It is located very close to the city centre and overlooks the Sydney harbour. The cafes and restaurants offer the best refreshments, and the gift shop has the cutest little gifts for your friends and family. The guided tours are offered in many languages so don't miss this, one of the most interesting tourist attractions in Sydney.
15. Capitol Theatre
Location: 13 Campbell Street Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
This is one of the tourist attractions in Sydney that you don't visit just for a show; you visit for a whole experience and a total night out. The elegant bars and beautifully curated drinks are a great way to start the night early before you enjoy one of their theatre, ballet, concerts, musicals or performances. Don't miss this at all.
16. Museum of Contemporary Art Australia - MCA
Location: 140 George Street The Rocks NSW 2000 Australia
This museum has contemporary art from all over the world, and Australia exhibited here. It is located in the former Maritime building at Circular Quay and is an excellent example of late Art Deco Architecture. There are free guided tours there every day by volunteers, and they display over 4000 different artists placing a strong emphasis on Aboriginal And Torres Strait artists. The cafe also has stunning views of the Harbour and serves amazing refreshments.
17. The Star Sydney
Address: 80 Pyrmont Street Pyrmont NSW 2009 Australia
This Premier tourist attraction in Sydney is just a short away from Darling Habour and features the most award-winning fine dining experience bars, restaurants, cafes, five-star accommodations and spas and a nightclub, World class casino and designer retail arcade. This is a favourite of the tourists and has really created an experience not to be missed. The star is home to The star event centre and the Sydney Lyric theatre.
18. Bondi Beach
Location: Bondi Beach NSW 2026, Australia
A nice breakfast at the beach after a morning dip in the sea sounds like heaven, and that's what you get here at Bondi beach, one of the most well-known tourist attractions in Sydney. There are plenty of showers by the beach to wash off the sand, and you can also walk along the Sculpture by the Sea sculpture exhibit in October and November. You can also check out some of the best museums in Sydney.
19. Sydney Zoo
Address: 700 Great Western Highway Bungarribee NSW 2767 Australia
This new Sydney zoo has more than 4000 native and exotic animals from all over the world. There is also an aquarium and Australia's biggest reptile and nocturnal house, along with 5 iconic precincts. You can get a cute photo with a koala at the koala trail and many more such activities. You can watch kangaroos play and stand tall next to a giraffe and also ride in the huge giant wheel. This zoo is also extremely accessible, with no steps or hills.
20. WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo
Address: Aquarium Wharf (right next to Sea Life Sydney Aquarium) Darling Harbour NSW 2000 Australia
This zoo is home to the Aussie big 5. You can hang out with Ringo the wombat at the Wallaby Cliffs or take an iconic picture with cute koalas at Koala encounters. There is also a Kangaroo walk to walk amongst them, and you can find Jackie, the platypus, at the Platypus Pool. If you dare, you can also visit Rocky the Saltwater Croc at Kakadu Gorge! This is one of the top tourist attractions in Sydney for sure.
There were the top 20 tourist attractions in Sydney that you should definitely not miss. From the sunniest beaches to the best art, museums and zoos, Sydney has a little bit of everything. This is one trip you won't forget.