Things to do in
Sydney

Urban comforts mix with sprawling mountains and beaches on one of the world’s most stunning harbors.

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Our most recommended things to do in Sydney

Sydney: Taronga Zoo Tickets

1. Sydney: Taronga Zoo Tickets

Overlooking magnificent Sydney Harbour, Taronga Zoo is just 12 minutes by ferry from Circular Quay and offers amazing wildlife experiences with stunning harbor views. Nestled on the shores of the world's most beautiful harbor, Taronga Zoo is surrounded by lush bushland of Bradley's Head National Park, popular for early morning walks. Ferries depart from Circular Quay every 30 minutes. The Zoo has many popular trails to explore including the Australian Walkabout, Kids' Trail, Reptile World, African Safari, Big Cats' Trail, Rainforest Trail, Seal Walk, Seals for the Wild, and the iconic must-see Free Flight Birds presentations. Zoo entry includes limited keeper talks, presentations, and access to the Sky Safari cable car. The many exhibits in Taronga Zoo can be reached by footpaths, ramps, lifts and escalators. 90% of Taronga Zoo is fully accessible. Strollers can be hired from the Visitor Information Desk in the main entrance at a small fee and manual wheelchairs can be rented for free and should be booked in advance.

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Sydney: Harbour Cruise, Taronga Zoo and Sky Safari

2. Sydney: Harbour Cruise, Taronga Zoo and Sky Safari

Experience the most fun way to travel to Taronga Zoo and save money with a return ticket on the rocket ferry Circular Quay. Once inside the zoo, take in as many of the exhibits as you like at your own pace. Explore 10 themed areas, including Wild Australia, Wild Asia and the Great Southern Oceans. Hear talks by the zookeepers and go to interactive shows, such as the free bird show and free seal show. See native Australian animals, including koala and platypus, along with creatures from around the world such as Asian elephants, lions and giraffe. Grab some lunch at one of the many cafés, or take your own picnic and find a nice spot in the shade. Once you've had your animal fix for the day, head back to the dock and get some amazing views of Sydney on the cruise back to Circular Quay.

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Sydney: Unlimited Skyfeast at Sydney Tower

3. Sydney: Unlimited Skyfeast at Sydney Tower

Sit back, relax, and enjoy a choice of over 30 freshly-prepared dishes from a range of cuisines at Sydney Tower's famous rotating restaurant. Enjoy the spectacular 360-degree views of the city that make Sydney Tower Buffet a unique dining experience for locals and visitors alike. The restaurant slowly rotates, allowing you to see the city from all sides while you eat.  Choose from a huge range of menu items, including the following: • A variety of dips, cheeses and condiments • A selection of hot and cold seafood • A large selection of salads, e.g. Greek salad, seafood salad, Asian salad, watermelon salad, and many more Sample menu: Seafood  Sydney rock oysters, fresh lemon (gf, df) Tiger prawns, cocktail sauce (gf, df) Black mussels, harissa & capsicum (gf, df) Antipasto Shaved plain mortadella (gf, df) Grilled zucchini, lemon olive oil (v, gf, df) Eggplant caponata (v, gf, df) Hommus (v, gf, df) Rosemary focaccia (v, df) Salads Dutch cream potato (v, gf, df) Chickpea & tomato (v, gf, df) Watermelon, feta, mint dressing (v, gf) Mains Baked barramundi, fennel, pink pepper slaw (gf, df) Tempura fish bites, tartare sauce Steak cut chips Lemon & thyme roast potatoes (v, gf) Stir-fried seafood Hokkien noodles (df) Truffled cauliflower, tarragon pangrattato (v) Grilled kangaroo, native thyme & red bean salsa (gf, df) Greek-style grilled chicken thigh, lemon & oregano (gf, df) Casarecce pasta, Italian sausage & rocket (df) Tofu & eggplant basil stir fry (v, df) Marrakesh-style lamb korma osso buco, raisin (gf) Cumin steamed rice (v, gf, df) Desserts Salted caramel & chocolate tart Khanom chan, thai steamed coconut & pandan slice (v, gf, df) Persian love cake, lemon icing, pistachio Black forest gateau Red velvet cake, raspberry glaze Mango panna cotta (v, gf, df) Cheese selection (v, gf) Lavosh (v) Apple & raisin chutney (v, gf, df) Dry fruit (v, gf, df) v = vegetarian, gf = gluten-free, df = dairy-free. Menu subject to change. This is a sample menu only and may be subject to change due to food seasonality and availability.

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Sydney Harbour: Thunder Thrill Ride

4. Sydney Harbour: Thunder Thrill Ride

Tackle one of the best experiences on Sydney Harbour. Experience an exhilarating jet boat ride, reaching speeds of up to 75 kilometers per hour. Take in the iconic sights of Sydney Harbour during the Thunder Trill Ride. Choose a 30 or a 45-minute ride, then buckle up and get ready to get wet. Your skipper will ease you into this thrilling experience by gradually reaching high speeds and performing gentle maneuvers around the harbor. Watch out for the skipper’s signals as the ride is cranked up a gear with high-speed spins and breaks. Select a bundle to enjoy entrance to some of Sydney's top attractions along with your adrenalin-pumping ride.

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Sydney Attraction Pass: Sydney Tower Eye, Aquarium & More

5. Sydney Attraction Pass: Sydney Tower Eye, Aquarium & More

Choose from a combination of Sydney's best attractions and see only what you want to see! Pick between the Sydney Aquarium, Wild Life Sydney, the Sydney Tower Eye, and Madame Tussauds. 2, 3, and 4-combination tickets are available depending on your wants and wishes. There's no waiting in line for tickets, and you'll save up to 45% compared to purchasing tickets individually.  Start at the Sydney Aquarium and take in the world’s largest collection of all-Australian aquatic life featuring a number of habitats, set in the heart of Sydney on Darling Harbor. Head to Wild Life Sydney and get up close to Aussie animals in the heart of the city. Koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and one of the world's largest crocs, are all present for your enjoyment! Climb the Sydney Tower Eye and take in the breathtaking views for an unforgettable experience! Included in the admission is a new 4D-Experience featuring a groundbreaking 3D-film with spectacular in-theater effects and an incredible fourth dimension that offers an amazing view of the city. Lastly, stop by Madame Tussauds and experience the glittering world of fame for a day at Madame Tussauds. Start your journey on the red carpet and strike a pose for the paparazzi. Move on to challenge your favorite sports heroes and sing along with your favorite music stars.

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Hunter Valley: Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate Tasting Tour

6. Hunter Valley: Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate Tasting Tour

Taste some of the finest wines produced in Australia on an amazing tasting tour of the Hunter Valley. Sample the best of the region's produce including cheeses, chocolates and other culinary treats. Quench your thirst with a local beer and sample distilled spirits and liqueurs. Travel in a small group with a great music playlist for a relaxed style and pace. Get inside knowledge about the boutique wineries and other producers of this extraordinary region. Take part in 3 fun and educational wine tastings to sample both red and white varietals with local gurus. Enjoy some free time to unwind over lunch with a glass of wine or more. Try organic vodka, schnapps, gin and liqueurs served in test tubes along the way. Choose from different flavors, such as mango, chocolate mint, or chili if you are feeling brave.

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SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

7. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Enjoy a visit to the Sydney Aquarium to see huge sharks, stingrays, turtles, jellyfish, platypuses, penguins, sea dragons, and much, much more! Marvel at the sawfish swimming amongst tropical fish and sleek sharks in the enormous Great Barrier Reef display. Be delighted by little penguins in the Southern Oceans, or look out for the secretive platypus in the Southern Rivers. See the enormous Japanese Spider Crabs in the CLAWS creature feature, watch as the dugongs feed, then find Nemo in his coral home!

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The Sydney Opera House Tour

8. The Sydney Opera House Tour

More than 60 years ago, a young Danish architect, Jorn Utzon, designed what is now considered one of the greatest buildings of all time. It is a work of art that came in existence against impossible odds and went on to become one of the busiest performing arts centers in the world, putting Sydney on the map forever. On the Sydney Opera House tour, you will discover the stories, history, and magic of Sydney Opera House as you follow your friendly guide underneath the sails and into the UNESCO World Heritage masterpiece. The opera house is home to 1,000 rooms, 300 corridors, and hundreds of tales and secrets. Step inside the inspired theatres where more than 1800 performances come to life each year, and learn how Danish architect Jorn Utzon’s groundbreaking design and vision for a world-class performing arts came into existence. You might catch a rehearsal in action, or the crew working on a set.

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Sydney: Harbor Cruise with 3-Course Premium Dinner

9. Sydney: Harbor Cruise with 3-Course Premium Dinner

Sydney Harbour is photogenic at any time of day, but as the sun sets and you get that pink glow, it's really spectacular. And once the sun goes down, the city lights shine bright and you can admire the gleaming metropolis reflected in the harbor. Your cruise departs from Darling Harbor just as the sun begins to set, you’ll be treated to some epic views of the skyline and surrounding bays. There’s plenty of room on the expansive top, fore, and aft decks to ensure you get uninterrupted 360-degree views of the iconic attractions as you sail past. As night falls and the city lights begin to sparkle, dinner is served. Enjoy a regionally focused menu, served over three courses. The chefs have created a menu that highlights the multicultural influences that make Sydney cuisine so special, using an array of fresh and flavorful New South Wales ingredients. Dinner is paired with a selection of beers, wines, soft drinks, and tea or coffee. The wine has been hand selected from some of the finest wine regions in New South Wales, so wine lovers are in for a real treat. After dinner you’ll sail past Taronga Zoo and Luna Park before arriving back into Darling Harbor.

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Sydney Harbour: Tall Ship Afternoon Cruise

10. Sydney Harbour: Tall Ship Afternoon Cruise

Hop on a tall ship and discover the sights and sounds of Sydney on a unique historic-meets- modern harbor cruise. Sail past the Opera House and Fort Denison, as well as under Harbour Bridge, as you enjoy a 90-minute sailing experience on board the 1850s style wooden tall ship. Get involved and make the most of this interactive, unique cruise. Try your hand at steering, or help with the sails. If you'd like to heave on a rope, you can. Otherwise, simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the entertainment provided by your friendly crew. You will get to hear some of Sydney’s rich history and tales of Sydney’s only authentic timber tall ships. You will feel like you are being transported back to days gone by, and will be able to say you know what it was like for the sailors of yesteryear. Make sure to bring your camera to capture the best of Sydney Harbour. And expect to be the subject of many a happy snapping tourist, delighted at the sight of your tall ship in Sydney Harbour.

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Frequently asked questions about Sydney

What top attractions are a must-see in Sydney?

Planning Your Visit

  • When to go?

    Though some escaping the Northern Hemisphere's coldest months may enjoy the high temperatures of January and February, most will find the heat more bearable come March when fall rolls along. It's nonetheless perfect for checking out Sydney's best beaches! For those seeking lower-budget tourism, the cooler weather and low hotel prices make May the best time to visit.

  • How many days?

    Of course it depends on what you want to do, but the must-see sights can be covered in a couple of days. Consider adding a day-trip to the Blue Mountains to your itinerary though, and if you've already booked a longer trip, don't worry! Sydney has enough going on to keep even the pickiest tourist satisfied for weeks.

  • How to get around?

    Most of Sydney's attractions lie within the central business district or along the harbor. If you really don't want to walk between them, the City Circle train and the Monorail will take you to and from most points of interest. There is also an inexpensive ferry service that offers fantastic views of Sydney from the water. If you have reason to venture further out, you can check train times and routes at www.transportnsw.info.

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    Australian Dollar ($)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+10:00)
  • Country Code
    61
  • Best time to visit
    For milder temperatures, visit in March, but for budget-friendly deals and cooler weather, make sure you go in May!

Other Sightseeing Options in Sydney

Want to discover all there is to do in Sydney? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Sydney

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 10,252 reviews

Absolutely fantastic, wonderful crew, food was great , really interesting info on the site seeing and the harbour was magnificent!!! When the sails were lowered it was just an incredible experience sailing back under the harbour bridge and Luna Park ... highly recommend it .. way better than expected and nothing like just doing a ferry ride ... no comparison.

Really recommend this tour, animal was great, transportation from city to Taronga zoo with ferry was excellent. Sadly it’s raining during morning, just a little bit sun come out.. overall is really good experience

Very experienced guide. Lots of great information and knowledge of the area. Easy walk. Loved it!

Meal was good. Service was good. Champagne was lovely. View was spectacular!

Friendly staff, a beautiful, relaxing cruise on our lovely harbour.