- The commercial heart of Sydney
- Short walk from Circular Quay
- Historic sites, museums, parks, cosmopolitan style
Why go there
Sydney’s city centre offers visitors a huge variety of attractions, including designer boutiques, fine restaurants, hip bars and lavish department stores. Clusters of modern office towers look down on the action and over Sydney’s historic precincts, such as The Rocks.
The city centre has some of Australia’s best shopping arcades and malls. To find your way there, just look for Sydney Tower, with its 360-degree views stretching as far as the Blue Mountains on a clear day. Pitt Street Mall is a good spot to pause for some impromptu lunchtime entertainment.
Many of Sydney's main streets, such as Phillip, Macquarie, Hunter, Bligh, Liverpool, Sussex and George, are named after early English governors to acknowledge the city's colonial heritage.
The city fans out from the focal point of Circular Quay. This transport hub is within walking distance of the city’s star attractions – the Harbour Bridge, opened in 1932, and the Sydney Opera House, hailed as a 20th-century architectural masterpiece and classified as World Heritage site.
Along Macquarie Street are fine examples of early colonial architecture, while across town the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) and The Strand Arcade recall the architectural ornamentation of the 1890s. Hyde Park Barracks is one of 11 Australian Convict Sites on UNESCO's World Heritage list.
Things to do
- Shop for international designer labels at brand boutiques along Elizabeth and Castlereagh streets. Pop into the stylish David Jones or Myer Sydney department stores for the latest in Australian and international fashion.
- Select from the range of international cuisine on offer at food halls beneath the MLC Centre or Pitt Street Mall, or opposite Sydney Town Hall.
- Hang out in a hip bar such as the Establishment, Ivy and Arthouse.
- Take a self-guided walking tour operated by the City of Sydney or a Sydney Architecture Walk, departing regularly from the Museum of Sydney.
- Swim at Cook + Phillip pool under the lofty spires of St Mary’s Cathedral.
- Challenge a local to a chess match on the giant chess board in Hyde Park.