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Top 10 Sydney Attractions

Go Sightseeing in the Harbour City


When visiting Sydney for the first time, you may be confronted with either a dearth or plethora of Sydney attractions. Here are your major city sights, most within walking distance from the city centre or a short ride away by bus or train.

1. Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House, copyright Tourism New South Wales
© Tourism New South Wales
There is no going beyond Sydney Opera House as Sydney's premier attraction. Not only is it a World Heritage site but its clean, maginificent architectural lines are a wonder to behold against sea and sky. It is also Sydney's leading performing arts complex which should be an undisputed attraction for many visitors.

2. The Rocks

The Rocks, copyright Larry Rivera
© Larry Rivera
Within walking distance of Sydney Opera House, is Sydney's historic Rocks district, site of Australia's first European settlement. It's a place evocative of colonial times with buildings dating back to the years of early colonisation. It is, too, a place of pubs, restaurants, shops and entertainment.

3. Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

Royal; Botanic Gardens Sydney, copyright Australian Tourist Commission
© Australian Tourist Commission
If only because it's adjacent to Sydney Opera House, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney is a leafy area where one can at least get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. For those interested in botany and horticulture, there is a vast variety of plants and trees to satisfy inquiring minds. Take a break in the gardens.

4. Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour, copyright Tourism New South Wales
© Tourism New South Wales
If you walk west from Sydney city centre, you'll come to that visitors' mecca that is Darling Harbour. You can simply take a stroll here, see the sites, visit the nearby museums, attend concerts and dance performances, dine at a numbr of restaurants, or go shopping for souvenirs and other merchandise.

5. Sydney Museums and Galleries

Art Gallery of New South Wales, copyright Tourism New South Wales
© Tourism New South Wales
Speaking of museums, there are a number of them mostly within walking distance of the Sydney city centre. They range from museums of history, art, geology, population, anthropology, technology and many of their various specialisation streams.

6. Sydney Tower Eye

Sydney Tower, courtesy Sydney Tower
Courtesy Sydney Tower
For a bird's-eye view of Sydney and its surrounds, you could go right up to the viewing platforms of Sydney Tower Eye right in the heart of the Sydney central business district. There are restaurants, shops, audiovisual presentations, dizzying walks, and 360-degree views.

7. Wild Life Sydney

Frilled-Neck Lizard, courtesy Sydney Wildlife World
Courtesy Sydney Wildlife World
Kangaroos running around on Sydney streets? Well, no. But the closest place to the Sydney city centre to find Australian wildllife is at Sydney Wildlife World at Darling Harbour. Or cross the harbour by ferry and visit Taronga Zoo.

8. Sydney Theatres

Capitol Theatre, copyright Tourism New South Wales
© Tourism New South Wales
From Sydney Opera House to newer performance spaces in the western suburbs, Sydney is very much theatre town. For a taste of Australian performing arts, from opera to drama to cabaret, there's always a place for the visitor to visit and experience.

9. Sydney Beaches

Bondi Beach, copyright Tourism New South Wales
© Tourism New South Wales
All along Sydney's eastern shore and around Sydney Harbour, Sydney's beaches provide day-out pleasures in swimming, surfing, or simply lazing away the day on brilliant white sand or in adjacent parkland.

10. Chinatown

Sydney's Chinatown, copyright Tourism New South Wales
© Tourism New South Wales
Care for some yum cha? The most visible features of Sydney's Chinatown are its restaurants in the Haymarket area, particularly along Dixon St, which is generally recognised as the Sydney hub of Chinese commerce and cuisine.

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