Arts and culture

Highlights

Sydney’s arts and culture line-up is one not to be missed. With internationally acclaimed performances on the city's many stages, award-winning festivals, and a number of exhibitions across the city’s many galleries and performance spaces, there’s something for everyone.

  • Sydney Opera House, Sydney
  • Exhibition in Sydney

Sydney's Art and Culture

Sydney is Australia's premier destination for world-class performances, exhibitions and festivals as well as galleries and museums.

Begin your discovery at the cultural heart, the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House, on the edge of one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world.

More than 1,600 performances are held each year at the Sydney Opera House, from ballet and opera to classical music, stage plays and more.

Sydney Opera House, Sydney

For blockbuster musicals and stage shows, check out Theatre Royal, State Theatre and Capitol Theatre in the city centre and Sydney Lyric, next to Darling Harbour.  Some big international concerts are also held at Sydney Olympic Park, in Sydney's west.

The leading Sydney Theatre Company is in Walsh Bay, a lively cultural precinct and home to the Roslyn Packer Theatre, Sydney Dance Company and Bangarra Dance Theatre, the internationally acclaimed indigenous dance company. Reserve your tickets for plays at the Belvoir St Theatre, in Surry Hills, where Oscar winners Geoffrey Rush and Cate Blanchett have performed.

Sydney Film Festival

Take a cultural cruise on Sydney Harbour with Tribal Warrior, join a heritage tour in The Rocks, explore the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, and visit the Art Gallery of NSW for its extensive collections as well as a rolling program of exhibitions and events. The splendid gallery is in the leafy Domain, near the Royal Botanic Garden and Woolloomooloo’s historic Finger Wharf.

For a fascinating adventure into the past, the Australian Museum has a wonderful collection of dinosaur skeletons and plenty of interactive displays for children. Nearby is the World Heritage-listed Hyde Park Barracks Museum and on the forecourt of the Museum of Sydney, near Circular Quay, is the evocative Edge of the Trees sculpture.

Exhibition, Sydney

Sydney also shines each year when Vivid Sydney warms up the city with a celebration of light, music and ideas. Explore the amazing light art spectacles as well as inspiring music performances and ideas seminars between May and July.

Experience the Sydney Festival

The Sydney Festival, Sydney

January is Sydney Festival time, and throughout the month the city is transformed by a dynamic and bold celebration of arts, culture and entertainment.

Each year’s program is kaleidoscopic in its diversity, offering entertainment in the form of burlesque circus, contemporary dance, international theatre companies and the ever-popular free concerts in The Domain. The statistics say it all: more than 370 performances, 100 events, 700 artists and 30 venues.

The festival is open to all, with inclusive programming, a broad range of free events and accessible pricing policies for ticketed shows. The Festival's audacious contemporary programming positions it at the forefront of arts practice in Australia and a must-do summer experience for locals and visitors alike.

  • Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House. Image credit: Peter Garrett

    Theatre and shows

    Sydney is home to some of Australia's top stages, with the performances to match. Theatre, shows, musicals and dance performances are all of a high calibre. The World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House is the city's cultural heart. Join a tour of the Opera House.

  • Archibald Prize

    Exhibitions

    See splendid artworks in the harbour city, from contemporary exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia to the Art Gallery of NSW's annual Archibald Prize for portraiture. For artistic interpretations of modern China, visit the White Rabbit Gallery.

  • Aida, Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

    Plays

    Sydney is a great destination for live theatre, from acclaimed international productions to brilliant Australian writers and actors. See plays at intimate neighbourhood theatres, the renowned Belvoir St Theatre, the Roslyn Packer Theatre and the Sydney Opera House.

  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. AACTA Awards

    Wednesday 7 December 2016, Pyrmont

    Join your favourite Australian film and television stars this December, as they honour screen excellence at the sixth AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel, telecast on Channel Seven.Walk the red carpet alongside...

    07 Dec
  5. Nude: art from the Tate collection

    Thursday 8 December 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,...

    08 Dec -05Feb
  6. Collette Dinnigan: Unlaced

    Thursday 8 December 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,...

    08 Dec -29Jan
  7. Tatsuo Miyajima: Connect with Everything

    Thursday 8 December 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...

    08 Dec -05Mar

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