Sydney’s 10 must-see iconic landmarks

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Sydney, the capital City of New South Wales, Australia is one of the most bustling cosmopolitan cities in the world.

Sydney, the capital City of New South Wales, Australia is one of the most bustling cosmopolitan cities in the world. It exudes both modern and old world charm, making it an ideal destination for many travelers. 

Map of Australia

Sydney’s 10 must-see iconic landmarks

    Despite Sydney’s advancements, it remains laid-back and easygoing that is why many people love to call it their home. In fact, Sydney is considered one of the most livable cities in the world in 2019. Because of these, foreign migration to Australia has been on a steady increase over the years.

    Also read: 5 leisurely things to do in Liechtenstein

    Sydney boasts of beautiful beaches and charming parks. Combined with its humid subtropical climate, Sydney is perfect for outdoor activities. The list of things to do are endless so it can be quite overwhelming for some people.

    Sydney may seem pretty small for those who are uninitiated but it's really packed with places to see and explore. In fact, what I do recommend is to allot a 3-day itinerary to fully explore Sydney.

    However, if you do not know where to begin or simply want to take things slow and easy, you might want to check out Sydney’s 10 must-see iconic landmarks below:

    1. Sydney Opera House

    Perhaps the most recognizable architectural wonder in the city is the Sydney Opera House. Its charming location beside the harbor plus excellent line up of events and performances make it a must-visit destination.

    View of Sydney Opera House with reflection on Sydney Harbour, Australia
    Sydney Opera House

    The Sydney Opera House features a roof shaped like ten sails. This roof is made out of over one million tiles that reflect the sunlight during sunset and at dawn.

    Other features of the Sydney Opera House include the Concert Hall, Opera Theater, Drama Theater, Playhouse, The Studio, Forecourt and Monumental Steps, Northern Foyers, and Bars and Restaurants. Also not to be missed is the High Tea, an opera recital by famous opera singers in which world-class cuisine is served to guests. 

    The Sydney Opera House’s construction began in the 1950s headed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon. The Sydney Opera House was eventually opened in 1973 after some delays and much controversy, including the resignation of Jorn Utzon as project architect. 

    2. Sydney Harbour Bridge

    The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the longest spanning arch bridge and the tallest steel arch bridge in the world. Listed as a heritage site and considered an engineering triumph, Sydney Harbour Bridge was constructed in July 28, 1923 and was opened on March 19, 1932.

    Sydney Harbour Bridge photo at night
    Sydney Harbour Bridge

    Sydney Harbour Bridge features a BridgeClimb, Pylon Lookout and Museum, pedestrian and cycle paths, Bradfield Park, Dawes Point (Australia’s first observatory), and memorial.

    3. Sydney Harbour

    Considered one of the most beautiful harbours in the world, Sydney Harbour is an expanse of magnificent blue waters fringed by immaculate beaches, docks, and urban development.

    Stunning aerial night shot of Sydney Harbour
    Sydney Harbour

    Some of the top spots to see around Sydney Harbour are the Sydney Harbour National Park, Harbour Beaches such as Shark Beach, Manly Cove, Parsley Bay, Camp Cove, and Lady Bay; the Heads (marking the entrance to the harbor) , and the Islands.

    For those who are looking for leisurely activities, you may try the Harbourside Walks, Harbourside Parks, Harbour Wildlife, the Australian National Maritime Museum, take a stroll around the Harbourside Mansions and Penthouses, or take a ferry ride and explore Sydney Harbour.

    4. Powerhouse Museum

    Perhaps Sydney’s most popular culture and heritage institution in the Powerhouse Museum with its collection of peculiar items.

    It features interesting exhibits such as the following:

    • Experimentations, featuring scientific and technological breakthroughs
    • Inspired! Design Across Time which is a collection of both local and international arts and design
    • Ecologic that explores the use of sustainable materials for building houses
    • Cyberworlds which takes visitors a look into robotics and computers
    • Hargrave’s Box Kites
    • The small art-deco Kings Cinema that still shows classics
    • Space exhibition
    • The Steam Revolution featuring steam engines used in the past
    • Success & Innovation exhibit that features innovations and inventions from Australia
    • Transport that features railway exhibits 

    5. The Rocks & Circular Quay

    The Rocks & Circular Quay was used as a precinct in the olden days. Nowadays, it’s a famous historic destination and lively transport hub in Sydney. Take a stroll around the area and marvel at the quaint beauty of the buildings and other structures in the district.

    The Rocks as seen at night
    The Rocks

    Among the sights that you should not miss when you are here are the Circular Quay, Customs House, Tank Stream, George Street (Australia’s oldest street), Cadmans Cottage (Sydney’s oldest surviving dwelling), Museum of Contemporary Art, Overseas Passenger Terminal, Garrison Church (Australia’s first military church), and Sydney Observatory.

    6. Royal Botanic Garden & The Domain

    If you want a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of Sydney, then head over to the Royal Botanic Garden & The Domain where you can have a quick run or simply enjoy one of the best walks in Sydney amidst lush greeneries. After which, you can also grab a snack and drink as you unwind.

    A purple flower at The Royal Botanic Garden
    A flower at the Royal Botanic Garden

    Furthermore, there are a host of attractions that you must see when at the Royal Botanic Garden & The Domain. These are Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, a sandstone bench carved for the governor’s wife; the Andrew “Boy” Charlton Pool, named after a 16-year-old Olympic winner; Wollemi Pine, Cadi Jam Ora: First Encounters, a presentation about the original people of the land; Palm House, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney Tropical Center, Conservatorium of Music, Government House, and guided walks and tours.

    7. Art Gallery of New South Wales

    The Art Gallery of New South Wales, which was established in 1871, boasts of an extensive collection of international and local art.  Its collection is displayed in wide and well-illuminated spaces to provide highlight to each and every artwork.

    Furthermore, visitors may look forward to a number of exhibitions at the Art Gallery of New South Wales throughout the year. What’s the best thing about the Art Gallery of New South Wales? Admission is totally free, including in the exhibits.

    The Art Gallery of New South Wales is divided into several sections such as the Southern Galleries, Yiribana Gallery, New Asian Galleries, Australian Art Collection, and Photography Collection. There is also a café and restaurant in case you want to grab a few bites.

    8. Darling Harbour

    Adjacent to the Sydney city center, Darling Harbour features a large recreational space occupied by cafes, museums, bars, and tourist attractions.

    Boats and yachts at Darling Harbour on a bright and sunny day in Sydney, Australia
    Darling Harbour

    Some of the most recommended attractions to see at Darling Harbour are the Australian National Maritime Museum, Pyrmont Bridge, Cockle Bay and King St. Wharves, Sydney Aquarium, Chinese Garden, Chinatown, Capitol Theater, Paddy’s Market, Powerhouse Museum, and Sydney Wildlife World.

    9. Taronga Zoo

    Giraffe at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia
    Taronga Zoo

    Taronga Zoo is Australia’s largest zoo, spanning an area of 28 hectares. It is home to around 4,000 animals of 350 species. Taronga Zoo is home to various wild animals from Asia, Africa, and South America, just to name a few.

    10. Bondi Beach

    Bondi beach filled with beachgoers getting a tan, swimming, and surfing
    Bondi Beach

    Bondi Beach, Sydney’s well-loved beach, is perhaps also one of the most popular seashores in the world. Some of the best activities to do at Bondi Beach are swimming, surfing, or simply relaxing on the sand.


    *Photos courtesy of and


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