Located within picturesque Paddington and lively Oxford Street, the Australian Centre for Photography (ACP) is the country's leading organisation for photography in all its forms.
Great art and splendid views
The Art Gallery of NSW and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia stage major events, including exhibitions by leading national and international artists. Both galleries are popular attractions, and offer beautiful vistas of Sydney from their cafes and restaurants.
See the best art in Sydney
The Art Gallery of NSW is Sydney's most important public gallery with more than 30,000 works in its collection. In The Domain, near the Royal Botanic Garden, the gallery showcases significant works of Australian artists and one of the world's largest permanent exhibitions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. Admission is free and you'll find European, American and Asian artworks too.
Enjoy the rolling exhibitions, from international shows to the annual Archibald Prize for portraiture. Among the many Australian collection highlights are Russell Drysdale's 1945 Walls of China, John Olsen's 1963 Five Bells, Arthur Streeton's 1891 Fire's on and Frederick McCubbin's 1896 On the Wallaby Track.
The gallery's elegant restaurant and cafe have views of Sydney Harbour, Woolloomooloo and Potts Point. From the gallery, enjoy a stroll through the Royal Botanic Garden to the Sydney Opera House and then to the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), which is in The Rocks.
The MCA, which has a rooftop cafe with great views of the Sydney Opera House, has an emphasis on living artists and includes paintings, photography, video, sculpture and installation art. Walk to nearby Observatory Hill for the S.H. Erwin Gallery in the historic National Trust Centre.
A diverse range of splendid independent galleries worth visiting include the Olsen Irwin Gallery in Woollahra, the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation in Paddington and the White Rabbit Gallery, which displays modern Chinese art, in Chippendale. Galleries in Redfern and Waterloo to visit include Janet Clayton Gallery, Ambush Gallery and Utopia Art Sydney.
An enjoyable way to explore the galleries is on tour with the likes of Sydney Art Walks and Tours and Sydney Art Tours, which offers Saturday walking tours that explore contemporary art. Further afield, the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery showcases local and international talent, with regular curator talks, children's workshops and guided tours.