From the world famous harbour to the bustling nightlife and fascinating history, Sydney a great city to explore; whether you’re a local or flying in to make the most of it. Wondering what are the most interesting things to do in Sydney? Here at Groupon we’ve listed the top attractions and deals to make sure you have the best time ever in Sydney.

#1 Sydney Opera House

World famous opera house

The most iconic building in Sydney, and arguably one of the most recognisable in the world, Sydney Opera House is the de facto hub of the city. And while it may have “opera” in its name, the venue hosts everything from theatre and dance, to gigs with some of the hottest names in music.

SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

 

#2 Sydney Harbour Bridge

Iconic harbour bridge

If you’re not a local, you’ll have seen it on the news when we essentially cover the whole thing in fireworks to celebrate the new year. Harbour Bridge is one of the most popular attractions in the city, so much so that you can even go and climb it if you want and get the best uninterrupted views of Sydney.

SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE

 

#3 Featherdale Wildlife Park

Australian zoo in Doonside

Just a few miles west of Sydney city centre, Featherdale Wildlife Park has remained one of the best places to encounter native wildlife since the 1970s. You can see kangaroos, hold a koala, encounter the beautiful collection of native birds and see some endangered species they’re taking care of.

FEATHERDALE WILDLIFE PARK

 

#4 Bondi Beach

Australia’s most iconic beach

Just a few miles east of Sydney city centre, Bondi Beach has been and continues to be the trendier part of town. You don’t just have to be a surfer to have a good time. With a thriving café scene, trendy bars and the Coogee Coastal Walk, it’s a good place to chill out for a day.

BONDI BEACH

 

#5 The Rocks

Oldest neighbourhood in Sydney

Want to see a slice of old Sydney life? Time spent near The Rocks will be just the ticket. This gorgeous neighbourhood of brick buildings and laneways is essentially where Sydney grew from. You can take in the sights, visit the old pubs and take a walking tour to learn how such a big city has humble roots.

THE ROCKS

 

#6 The Star

Luxury hotel and casino

Describing themselves as “Sydney’s Playground”, The Star is a hotel and casino that promises any visitor a glamourous night out. The casino has all the games you’d expect, but the real star is the food, with 5 high-end restaurants that will hit the mark if you’re looking for something special.

THE STAR

 

#7 Darling Harbour

Fun filled city harbour

The lesser of the famous harbours in Sydney, Darling Harbour may not be well known by tourists, but it is a local favourite and usually has something exciting going on. The harbour has a host of attractions including the Harbourside Shopping Centre and Cockle Bay Wharf. Oh, and did we mention they have a fireworks display on Saturday nights?

 

#8 Port Jackson

The port of Sydney

Sydney life revolves around the water and Port Jackson plays a big part in it. The port stretches across the city, so anytime you’re looking out in the water, you’re looking at Port Jackson. Whether you’re hopping from north to south in a water taxi or trying to find the best place to get a photo of the opera house, it’s always busy in the port.

Port Jackson

 

#9 Shelly Beach

Beach with secluded areas

When you need to get out of Sydney for a few hours, head to Shelly Beach. The beaches in the area are pretty much pristine and many people vouch it’s the best beach in the area to swim, with clear waters and gentle surf conditions that are perfect for novices. It also has some fantastic cafes too. You won't be disappointed.

SHELLY BEACH

 

#10 Luna Park Sydney

Old school theme park

Keeping the classic feel of the fun fair alive in Sydney, Luna Park Sydney is an institution in the city. After going through a big renovation a few years back, the amusement park has the kinds of rides you don’t usually see nowadays (like a sack slide and dodgems) and tonnes of games to play. Great place not only for children.

LUNA PARK SYDNEY

 

#11 Powerhouse Museum

Interactive and entertaining museum

It takes a lot of work to keep a city like Sydney going, and if you wondered how it’s happened over the centuries, the Powerhouse Museum has the answer. This hands-on museum has hundreds of thousands of artefacts detailing the evolution of technology, from locomotive steam engines to computers. 

POWERHOUSE MUSEUM

 

#12 Sydney Olympic Park

Sports and entertainment complex

A park so big that Sydney decided it had to be its own neighbourhood, Olympic Park is the sports hub of the city. Obviously Stadium Australia (formally called ANZ Stadium) is the centrepiece for sports, but you’ll also find massive concerts on the calendar too, with the likes of Taylor Swift and Guns N' Roses having taken to the stage in recent years.

SYDNEY OLYMPIC PARK

 

Get the most out of Sydney with Groupon

With so much to see and do you might be feeling a bit lost on how to start spending your time in Sydney, but no need to fear.

Groupon is here to point you in the right direction with our mini guide on making the most of this incredible place, how to get around, and a few tips thrown in for good measure.

Free things to do in Sydney

Sticking to a tight budget and need something to do with a few hours free? Some of our preferred picks of free things to do in Sydney include:

  • Soaking up the culture with free admission to the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
  • You don’t have to be afraid to heights to climb the Harbour bridge (and pay for it). It’s free to just walk across and get a good view of the city too
  • The 555 bus is FREE all day and goes in a loop from Circular Quay to Central station. Consider it your own free bus tour
  • Take a walk up Observatory Hill. It’s never that busy and a better place to take photos of the city

And if you’re looking for cheap ideas, look at the deals we have here.

What can I do in Sydney this weekend?

You’re pretty much guaranteed a good weekend no matter what you get up to. If you’re light on plans for a Friday evening, your first thought should be to go to Chinatown where their market runs from 4pm, which is perfect if you’ve just finished work for the weekend.

On Saturdays, farmers markets pop up all around the city, but Paddy’s Market (especially the one at Haymarket) is where to head if you love pop-up shops and cheap food.

And if you want to take it easy all weekend long, it might sound touristy, but definitely make your way down to Bondi. Watch the surfers make the most of the waves and maybe even have a go yourself (check this page to see if we have any deals on surf lessons).

What can I do in Sydney with kids?

You don’t need to go to an indoor play area or the cinema to keep kids entertained. Sydney is a fantastic city for family days out.

If you love going on adventures, the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk has great views of the beach and is only about 1km, the kind of distance you know won’t tire kids out too much.

Taronga Zoo is easy to get to (it has a dedicated ferry route) and if you get high enough, it’s a great spot for a family selfie with the city behind you.

And of course, you’d be missing out if you didn’t take the whole family to Luna Park, where everyone feels like a big kid amongst all the amusements.

Date night ideas in Sydney

With it being such a hip place, planning date night can become a little stressful if you think you’re not going to plan it right. For anyone in doubt, don’t worry.

Our top tip for date night in Sydney is to stick around Barangaroo. It’s easy to get to, has over 30 different eateries to suit all tastes, is a nice place to go for a romantic walk and has bars with nice views to help make any ice-breaker go easy. And if it goes well enough, you can always share some gelato at RivaReno Gelato.

Essential travel hacks in Sydney

Everyone loves a good tip to make life easier. Some of our top travel hacks for Sydney include:

  • Cheaper travel. The Opal card (more on that below) usually has a daily cap of $15.80 but is only $2.70 on Sundays
  • The Opera House isn’t just one big venue. There’s a few theatres inside and they usually have cheaper shows throughout the week
  • There are some free walking tours around town, helping you save a little while learning the local history

What’s the weather like in Sydney?

With average temperatures staying in the high teens almost every day, Sydney has good weather most of the year.

Unlike many other cities where rainfall peaks around April or May, rainfall averages go up and down a bit, with an average of 14 days of rain every month.

Time of Year

Min. temperature

Max. temperature

Jan

+19°C

+26°C

April

+15°C

+23°C

July

+8°C

+17°C

October

+14°C

+22°C

How do I get around Sydney?

Getting around Sydney is easy with an integrated bus, train and ferry system.

Planning on using public transport a lot? Then you need to get an Opal card. They’re completely free to get but you will need to keep it topped it as you commute around. You have to tap the card when you get on and off any form of transport or else the correct fare can’t be calculated (and you might get a fine).

If you find yourself out late at night, it’s good to know that Sydney Buses run 24 hours. Just remember that you need to buy a ticket before you get on as it’s a prepaid system.

And if you ever need a taxi, you can hail one from a designated rank or from the kerb.

Get the most out of Sydney with Groupon

We hope you enjoyed your short guide. If you want to make the most of Sydney, check out all the deals on this page and see what you can get up to.