City Centre Arts and Culture


Dazzling calendar of events

Vibrant, vivid and audacious. Sydney's lively appetite for culture and arts ensures a dazzling annual calendar of the best of music, dance, opera, theatre, exhibitions and visual arts in the city centre. From museums and galleries to festivals and shows, Sydney is the best place in Australia for wonderful and inspiring arts and cultural events.

  • Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney
  • Vivid Sydney

Galleries, museums, festivals and more

Begin your discovery at the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House, the heart of the city's cultural life. More than 1,600 performances are held each year in this masterpiece of architecture, including ballet and contemporary dance, opera, classical music, stage plays and more. 

You'll find many more cultural opportunities in the city centre.The Art Gallery of NSW has an extensive collection and a rolling program of exhibitions including the Archibald Prize for portraiture. The gallery is near the Royal Botanic Garden, a beautiful spot for a picnic.

Jenny Kee Archibald Prize, Sydney

The Australian Museum has dinosaur skeletons, natural exhibits and interactive displays to delight youngsters.

Nearby is the Hyde Park Barracks Museum, one of Australia's 11 World Heritage-listed convict sites, The Mint and the State Library of NSW, which has fascinating exhibitions too.

In the historic Rocks is the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, which has popular rooftop cafe with great views of The Sydney Opera House.

The leading Sydney Theatre Company is based in nearby Walsh Bay, home to the Roslyn Packer Theatre and Bangarra Dance Theatre.

The Museum of Sydney, near Circular Quay, is built on the site of the first Government House. Climb aboard a tall ship at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour.

For blockbuster shows, check out the Capitol Theatre, near Chinatown, the Sydney Lyric in Pyrmont, the State Theatre, near the Queen Victoria Building, and the Theatre Royal in the MLC Centre.

Sydney Film Festival, Sydney

Festivals in Sydney are enthralling. The Sydney Festival in January is the city's premier cultural event, with performance from more than 1,000 artists. In May, the Sydney Writers' Festival attracts some of the biggest names in literature.

The Sydney Writers' Festival celebrates literature in venues all over the city, hosting author Q&As as part of the festival's 300 events, many of them free.

And Sydney shines each winter when Vivid Sydney, held over several weeks in May and June, warms up the city with a unrivalled celebration of light, music and ideas.

  1. Argyle Gallery

    Argyle Gallery

    Argyle Gallery at The Rocks in Sydney presents a collection of all Australian and Aboriginal art and fine crafts. All works are sourced directly from artists and Aboriginal communities. Argyle Gallery also carries a...

  2. Art House Gallery

    Art House Gallery

    The Art House Gallery represents and exhibits the work of both emerging and established Australian artists. The contemporary art exhibits displayed at the Rushcutters Bay art spacey feature award-winning works...

  3. Artspace Sydney

    Artspace Sydney

    Artspace is where audiences meet the artists and the ideas of these times.Artspace was established in 1983 as an artist-run contemporary art space dedicated to the presentation of contemporary and...

  4. Collette Dinnigan: Unlaced

    Sunday 22 January to Sunday 29 January 2017, Pyrmont

    Exclusive to the Powerhouse Museum, Collette Dinnigan - Unlaced is the first exhibition to explore the work of this internationally acclaimed Australian fashion designer.Featuring ensembles,...

    22 Jan -29Jan
  5. Nude: art from the Tate collection

    Sunday 22 January to Sunday 5 February 2017, City Centre

    The nude is one of art’s oldest subjects – presenting a rich history of beauty and desire, eroticism and tenderness, secrets and scandal. In a partnership between Tate, London and the Art Gallery of New South Wales,...

    22 Jan -05Feb
  6. Tatsuo Miyajima: Connect with Everything

    Sunday 22 January to Sunday 5 March 2017, The Rocks

    Tatsuo Miyajima is one of Japan’s leading contemporary artists, known for his immersive and technologically-driven sculptures and installations. This Sydney-exclusive exhibition will be his first major survey...

    22 Jan -05Mar
  7. Sydney Festival

    Sunday 22 January to Sunday 29 January 2017, City Centre

    Exuberant, exciting and forever effervescent - the best time to experience Sydney is in January, when the city is in full celebratory mode. Sydney Festival presents the biggest and best of the world's performing and...

    22 Jan -29Jan

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