Sydney’s Most Popular Attractions Explained

Sydney is known as one of Australia’s biggest cities and is the capital of New South Wales.

Cathay Pacific offers flights to Sydney from a wide variety of destinations around the world including long haul journeys from places such as Toronto, Canada. While the flight is on the longer side at 25 hours and 30 minutes, Cathay Pacific’s content library is filled with TV box sets and Asian cinema classics for your entertainment throughout the trip.

If you would like to visit one of the places in between Toronto and Sydney along the way, Cathay Pacific has unlimited ticket change options where you can choose a completely new destination or flight day.

1. Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House is the go-to venue for performing arts in the area. Located nearby Sydney Harbour, its iconic architecture looks like waves coming out of the water. Between their performances and iconic architecture, no wonder the Sydney Opera House is known as one of the great architectural masterpieces from the 1900s.

It is the first popular arts institution in Australia to commit to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to address inequality as well as climate change and education in their everyday endeavors.

Visit Sydney Opera House to see music concerts, plays, and more. The on-site Opera Bar and Opera Kitchen will be a great way to end your night with a delicious meal after the performing arts event you attend.

2. Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour is across from the city centre of Sydney which is free to enter with some attractions charging a fee to enjoy them. Even if you do not purchase anything or interact with the attractions, walking down the harbour is a great view and experience in itself.

The area is full of cafes, bars, and pubs for you to sit and eat as you explore the area. If you prefer to go to the comfort of your hotel room to eat, there are also takeaway options.

Grab dinner at Sokyo for a delicious Japanese cuisine experience and end the night at Gelatissimo. You can go to L’Aqua which is one of the fanciest restaurants in Sydney with exquisite views of Darling Harbour.

During the spring months, enjoy the Rollerama where you can skate around the harbour for free in an awesome social event. This is also a great venue to go to in the summer to view fireworks at Cockle Bay which is nearby Darling Harbour. 

3. Visit Sydney’s Beaches

With over 100 beaches throughout Sydney that feature nearby cafes and shopping villages, you can explore a beach then go shopping afterward or vice versa.

A couple of the most popular of Sydney’s beaches are Bondi Beach and Marley Beach.

Bondi Beachgoers love the Icebergs ocean pool that can be accessed to swim all year as others like to visit the nearby cafes.

Marley Beach is located in Royal National Park and is one of 11 beaches throughout this park. While it is not recommended to swim or surf the water at this beach, you can still admire the ocean views and relax on the sand.

4. Shop at the Queen Victoria Building

Built during1893, the Queen Victoria Building is an iconic local and tourist attraction with many shops and restaurants to enjoy. George McRae was the architect behind the building’s design.

For dining, choose from food boutiques, cafes, restaurants, and quick bites. Go to Home Cafe for lunch and grab dessert back in your hotel room at Haigh’s Chocolates. If you want to eat a little more upscale, visit Esquire Bar and Bistro.

Shop from electronic stores, book shops, venues with Australian-made merchandise, and so much more. If you are in an artsy mood, take a walk into the Aboriginal Art Galleries. Grab an upscale travel bag from Coach, add a new necklace to your jewellery collection from MoiMoi Fine Jewellery, or pick up some shoes from Novo.

Whatever you like to shop for and whatever food you like to eat, there is something for everyone at the Queen Victoria Building.

5. Taronga Zoo

If you are near Sydney Harbour with your children, consider taking the whole family to Taronga Zoo for a family-fun adventure learning about the animals and seeing them in their natural zoo habitats.

During March, there is an event called March Into Action for the Wild for you and your family to learn awareness about wildlife. Learn about what you can do to slow down climate change and how to keep our environment and oceans clean to protect all the animals on land and in the sea.

Animals that you can see and enjoy at Taronga Zoo include lions, red pandas, giraffes, zebras, echidna, various species of birds, and others. If you plan to visit the zoo multiple times throughout the year, consider an annual membership where adults pay a set fee to visit the zoo as many times as desired throughout the year, and children under 16 can enter free.

If you can’t make it to the zoo while you are in Sydney, there are 24/7 live stream cameras where you can watch some of the animals with what they are doing in real-time such as the lion cubs and red panda cubs.

6. Hyde Park

As the oldest public park in Australia, there is so much to see and do at Hyde Park in the 16.2-hectare area.

Visit monuments and statues such as the Archibald Fountain or the Anzac Memorial.

Since there are many shaded areas throughout the park, you can bring a blanket and a picnic basket full of delicious vittles to chow down and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the park during a spring afternoon.

Since you are close by, stop at Phillip Park for a swim after you visit Hyde Park if you are in the area during the summer.


Whether you prefer to shop to your heart’s content at the Queen Victoria Building, learn about the animals at Taronga Zoo, or bask in the sun at Sydney’s beaches, there are many popular attractions throughout Sydney, Australia for you to enjoy.