Sydney heritage attractions

Highlights

Heritage tours in Sydney

Discover Sydney's fine heritage buildings and architecture on a self-guided walk or guided tours, from the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House and the grand Queen Victoria Building to beautiful sandstone churches and the living history of Woollomoolo. Bring history alive with the fascinating stories behind Sydney's heritage attractions.

  • Australian Ballet, Sydney
  • The Finger Wharf, Woolloomooloo

Explore Sydney's beautiful heritage attractions

A wonderful way to explore Sydney is on historical and heritage tours. Begin your discovery at the Sydney Opera House, a masterpiece of architecture. On the edge of the one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world, the Sydney Opera House offers daily tours, including a backstage tour. Even better combine a tour with a performance and delicious food at Bennelong or Opera Kitchen.

Nearby is The Rocks, where you can take walking tours of cobblestoned laneways and visit Australia's oldest pubs, such as the Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a mighty structure to explore. Six million steel rivets were hammered into the bridge, which opened in 1932. You can walk across the bridge or climb it with BridgeClimb Sydney.

BridgeClimb, Sydney

Enjoy a meal at one of the many exquisite restaurants on the historical and beautifully refurbished Finger Wharf of Woolloomooloo. On Macquarie Street, near Martin Place train station, you’ll find the Mitchell Library, which is part of the State Library of NSW, Parliament House, the Mint and the Hyde Park Barracks Museum, one of 11 World Heritage Australian convict sites. Nearby are St James’ Church, in King Street, and St Mary’s Cathedral, a grand example of gothic revival architecture next to gorgeous Hyde Park.

The Queen Victoria Building is a palatial shopping arcade with glorious stained glass windows and grand staircases. Built in the 1890s and restored in the 1980s, the building covers an entire block in the city centre. Regular guided tours are available of this famous landmark, known affectionately as the QVB. Nearby is the Strand Arcade, another 19th century shopping delight.

A Sydney Architecture Walks tour will provide insights into the buildings that have shaped Sydney's skyline. For intriguing heritage stories, visit museums and historic houses such as the World Heritage-listed Old Government House in Parramatta. Guided tours of Government House Sydney, next to the Royal Botanic Garden, are conducted most Friday, Saturdays and Sundays.

  1. Elizabeth Bay House

    Built between 1835 and 1839, Elizabeth Bay House was known as 'the finest house in the colony'. Designed by the most fashionable and accomplished architect of the day, John Verge, for the Colonial Secretary,...

  2. Customs House

    Customs House is built on the land of the traditional Indigenous owners, the Eora people, and is the site of the First Fleet landing. It is one of the most significant buildings in the history of European settlement...

  3. Susannah Place Museum

    Built in 1844, Susannah Place Museum is a terrace of four houses that incorporates a recreated 1915 corner store. Rare in the city of Sydney, it has a continuous history of domestic occupancy by working class families...

  4. The Rocks Discovery Museum

    The Rocks Discovery Museum, housed in a restored 1850s sandstone warehouse, tells the story of The Rocks from pre-European days to the present. Home to a unique collection of images and...

  5. The Dymocks Building

    Escape from the city crowds and visit The Dymocks Building on George Street Sydney, and enjoy shopping for that unique item, service or gift.Experience personalised service from over 100...

  6. Sydney Heritage Fleet

    Sydney Heritage Fleet's (SHF) treasure trove of unique historical vessels is a hidden jewel in the heart of Sydney Harbour.Take a square-rig sailing adventure and head out to sea on an 1874 square...

  7. The Sydney Museum of Words

    The Sydney Museum of Words is located smack bang in the middle of Sydney, located in the former Ken Duncan Gallery in The Rocks. Curator, Charles Firth ("The Chaser"), says the new museum is a "world first". Some of...

  8. St Stephens Uniting Church

    St Stephen's Uniting Church's is located within Sydney's political, financial, business and medical district on Macquarie Street. The church is open during the week.St Stephen's offers a monthly lunch time...

  9. Pyrmont Bridge

    With all its glitz and glamour it is easy to forget that Sydney is a working port. The City of Sydney Port Walking Tour uncovers the layers of Sydney’s working past. This fascinating walk begins at the State Heritage...

  10. Hyde Park Barracks Museum

    Designed by convict architect Francis Greenway, the Hyde Park Barracks housed 15,000 male convicts in government employment between 1819 and 1848. Later it became a female immigration depot and a government asylum for...

  11. Cadmans Cottage

    Built in 1816, Cadmans Cottage is one of only a handful of Sydney buildings that remain from the first 30 years of the colony. Over the years this sandstone cottage has been a water transport headquarters, a sailors'...

  12. Sydney Observatory

    Sydney Observatory occupies a beautiful heritage-listed sandstone building in the heart of The Rocks. Beginning with Aboriginal astronomy, take a close look at the amazing exhibitions before...

  13. State Theatre

    The State Theatre is without doubt a truly magnificent and unique building. The palatial interiors feature artworks and fixtures of rare significance. The Dress Circle gallery houses artworks by significant Australian...

  14. Parliament House

    Parliament House is open weekdays to allow people to see the workings of government in the beautiful heritage chambers. When the Parliament sits, public access to the Chambers is restricted to the...

  15. Sydney Harbour National Park

    Sydney Harbour National Park protects a series of foreshore lands and islands in and around one of the worlds most beautiful harbours including: North Head, Manly to the Spit, Middle Head, Bradleys Head, the Harbour...

  16. Museum of Sydney

    A modern museum built on the historic site of the first Government House, built for Governor Phillip in 1788. The Museum of Sydney takes you on a journey exploring Sydney's people, places and cultures from dreamtime...

  17. Sydney Sculpture Walk

    The Sydney Sculpture Walk provides a uniquely artistic experience of the city to Sydneysiders and visitors alike.Ten artworks by leading Australian and international artists form a circuit through...

  18. The Strand Arcade

    The Strand Arcade is Sydney's epicentre of style and design. Named after London's smartest shopping street in the mid nineteenth century, the Strand Arcade houses many of Australia's best designer labels, jewellers,...

  19. Cockatoo Island

    Only a short ferry ride from Sydney's city centre is Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbour's largest island and one of Australia's most fascinating historical sites.Take an audio tour or self-guided journey and...

  20. Hyde Park

    Hyde Park is Australia's oldest park. Divided by Park Street, the southern section of Hyde Park contains the ANZAC Memorial building and visitor centre, the pool of reflection and numerous monuments and statues. The...

  21. Pier 2/3

    Historic Pier 2/3 is the last remaining undeveloped wharf within the Walsh Bay precinct. Arts NSW secured a long-term lease for Pier 2/3 from NSW Maritime. This will allow the Pier to be used for...

  22. Capitol Theatre

    Sydney's beautiful historic Capitol Theatre is host to world class musicals, theatre, ballet, concerts and performers.Don't just go for the show, visit the Capitol Theatre for a great and total night out!...

  23. Judges House Sydney

    The City of Sydney Community walking tour gives you a taste of Sydney’s diverse culture, from China Town to the Spanish Quarter. A heritage highlight on the walk is the house built for the NSW Chief Justice, Judge...

  24. Sydney Harbour Circle Walk

    Sydney Harbour is one of the great harbours of the world. This 26 kilometre circle walk and over 45 kilometres of optional loops explores west of the Harbour Bridge to Hunters Hill. It is a truly magnificent walk...

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