destination NSW

Arts and culture


Sydney’s arts and culture winter line-up is one not to be missed. With world-famous directors taking charge of musicals at the Sydney Opera House, festivals celebrating art, writing and films, as well as a number of other exhibitions across the city, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Must Do

Arts, culture and heritage in Sydney

Vivid Sydney 2012

Winter is a great time to head indoors and experience Sydney's flourishing artistic and cultural offerings. From blockbuster exhibitions, museums showcasing exquisite Aboriginal Arts to interactive science displays and contemporary art galleries, Sydney has an incredible variety of artistic and cultural experiences to choose from.

Iconic venues, such as the Sydney Opera House, the State Theatre, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Belvoir St Theatre in Surry Hills, will play host to an array of theatre and shows this winter.

Strictly Ballroom the Musical will take centre stage at Sydney Lyric Theatre from 25 March to 1 June. You can expect to be dazzled as the original creative team behind the classic 1992 film, including director Baz Luhrmann, are also behind this new stage version.

This year sees the return of the three month Biennale of Sydney, Australia’s largest contemporary visual arts festival. Beginning at the end of March, the theme of this year’s 19th Biennale is 'You Imagine What You Desire'. The accompanying program of artist talks, forums, guided tours and family days are all free to the public.

Sydney has a diverse range of art galleries, from major collections to small artists' studios in the city centre and suburbs, including Balmain and Bundeena, Paddington and Palm Beach. Plan your visit to the Art Gallery of New South Wales and other major public galleries including the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and the Museum of Sydney. Cutting-edge private galleries worth a visit include Object Gallery, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, and The Hughes Gallery.

The Sydney Writers' Festival is a highlight of Sydney’s festival and arts calendar, and will bring Walsh Bay to life from 19 to 25 May. Soak in the literary atmosphere and pick from the 300+ events to attend over the week.

The Sydney Film Festival showcases the best in cinema from across Australia and around the world. Take your pick from a packed program of more than 250 screenings over the 12-day event. Now in its 61st year, this is one of the world's longest running film festivals covering a wide range of cinematic genres including features, documentaries, short films, restorations, animation and more.

Sydney Theatre Company, STC, plays, theatre

Theatre and shows

The Sydney Theatre Company is your destination for the best theatre in Sydney. Artistic directors Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton have selected stellar performances for the 2014 season including Perplex, MOJO, The Effect, Macbeth and Pinocchio.

	Museum of Contemporary Art Australia


You'll find many of the major public museums in the Sydney's city centre. Visit the Powerhouse Museum, the Australian Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, the Museum of Sydney and Hyde Park Barracks Museum.

	See the smash hit Broadway musical…again at the Capitol Theatre. Image Disney


Sydney can be described as a musical city; such is the high calibre of musical performances you can catch at any time of the year. Highlights of the 2014 musical calendar include Strictly Ballroom the Musical, The King and I and the Lion King.