This is a complete tour of Sydney City’s highlights including all the major icons and attractions.
–Circular Quay is the heart of the city with its hustle and bustle of ferry terminals. First stop is the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) which is on the western side of the Quay (opposite side from the Opera House). Entry is free but the MCA does occasionally charge a fee for special exhibitions. Expect to see contemporary art from across Australia and around the world.
–The Rocks after exploring MCA, take the opportunity to enjoy The Rocks area which is Sydney’s original port. Sit down in one of the neat cafes or old pubs in the historical alleys. We highly recommend you take the official Rocks Walking Tour (rockswalkingtours.com.au) to appreciate and understand the area. There is also the Rocks Museum which is free. The Rocks Markets are held every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm and sell various souvenirs.
–The Harbour Bridge can be enjoyed and experienced in many ways.
Bridge Climb offers a unique 3 hour climbing experience (approx $208).
The Pylon Lookout is a more affordable option yet still offers a fantastic view (approximately $11). Before you climb the 200 steps in the pylon you must purchase a ticket from the pedestrian path on the harbour bridge at the base of the pylon closest to Circular Quay. The pylon is open every day from 10am to 5pm. Once inside, the pylon is divided into three levels. On each level is an exhibition about the Harbour Bridge’s History.
You may also like to walk across the Bridge on the pedestrian path (at no charge) which leads to the area of Kirribilli.
–Sydney Opera House is the next destination. On the walk from the Bridge to the Opera House there are a number of upmarket restaurants and shops to check out. The Opera House is a stunning icon built by Jørn Utzonand from Denmark. It was opened by Queen Elizabeth on October 20th, 1973. It is commonly used for plays, shows, events and of course opera. The Opera Bar which is located at the steps of the Opera House is one of Sydney’s premier bars. It has arguably the best view in Sydney and offers live music during the evenings.
–Royal Botanic Garden’s entrance is next to the Sydney Opera House. The gardens are unique and colourful with exotic plants and palms. It also contains the governor’s house which offers a great view and best of all entry is free. Take a walk through the gardens and keep an eye out for bats sleeping in the trees. Continue along the path which hugs the harbour and you will first pass Mrs Macquarie’s Chair (another great view). Carry on along the path to Boy Charlton Pool.
–Art Gallery of NSW is a little further along Mrs Macquaries Rd. The Art Gallery is part of the surrounding parkland of the Royal Botanic Garden, while The Domain which is opposite the gallery is commonly used for sport, entertainment and recreation. The Domain hosts events like the free live music concerts during the Summer months. Follow Mrs Macquaries Rd which becomes Art Gallery Rd. Turn left onto College St at the grand St Marys Cathedral. On the right side of the street is Hyde Park and on the left is the underground Cook & Philip Aquatic Centre. At the corner of College St and William St is the Australian Museum. The Australian Museum is open from 9.30am to 5pm (approx. $15). Australian Museum hosts exhibitions on natural history, community programs and Aboriginal heritage. They also have regular special exhibitions.
Walk down Park St to Town Hall Station and finish with some shopping at the sandstone Queen Victoria Building.