- Destination NSW
Aerial view of Royal Botanic Gardens and Sydney Harbour.
Views of Bronte beach, Sydney
Sydney city skyline lit up during Vivid Sydney 2013. View from Circular Quay.

Pubs in Sydney

  • Newport Arms, Sydney Pubs
  • Manly Hotel Wharf, Sydney Pubs


Historic pubs in the Rocks

The Rocks is the place to go for a pint in a historic Sydney pub, with the Fortune of War, Hero of Waterloo, Lord Nelson, Hotel Palisade and the Orient Hotel all dating back to Sydney's colonial days. However, the title of ‘oldest pub in Sydney’ is still under debate; both the Fortune of War and the Lord Nelson claim it.

Must Do

Best Sydney pubs

Durty Nelly's Pub in Paddington. Sydney Pubs Image James Morgan

Sydney's thriving pub scene includes many beautifully restored heritage pubs. The city's mild climate is just right for making the most of their balconies, rooftop terraces, courtyards and beer gardens, complete with cold beer on tap or a glass of local wine and a delicious meal.

Some of Sydney's most popular pubs are by the harbour or by the beach; check out The Tilbury Hotel at Woolloomooloo, the multi-levelled beachside Coogee Pavilion in Coogee, the Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel in Watsons Bay, perched on the south-eastern edge of Sydney Harbour, and the The Harbour View Hotel in The Rocks, right by the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The Rocks is the perfect starting point for a heritage pub tour. Begin at The Hotel Palisade, recently renovated to include a copper and glass rooftop cocktail lounge with 360-degree views of the water. Continue across the street to The Lord Nelson, a sandstone pub that brews its own natural ales and is the oldest brewery in Sydney. The Hero of Waterloo is next, a favourite colonial watering hole. Also in The Rocks, check out The Australian, which has great pub grub, and The Glenmore, with its rooftop garden and spectacular harbour views.

Catch the ferry across the harbour to Balmain, once a working-class suburb with many pubs whose names reflected Australia's colonial heritage: Cricketer's Arms Hotel (now The Monkey Bar), Dry Dock Hotel, Forth & Clyde Hotel, Kent Hotel and Shipwright's Arms Hotel, to name a few. Today, many of these pubs mix historical charm with up-market modern Australian menus. Don't miss the Royal Oak and the London, or relax on the upstairs balcony at the Town Hall and watch the buzz of Darling Street below.

In Paddington, head to the Lord Dudley to enjoy a traditional English country pub atmosphere or to the popular Four in Hand. One of Sydney's well known pubs with a view is the Woolwich Pier Hotel, where you can take in scenic Sydney Harbour from the upstairs balcony. The stylish Beresford Hotel in Darlinghurst offers great food at reasonable prices. Nearby Surry Hills also has some great pubs on offer.

Manly Wharf

Manly wharf at Manly Cove, Sydney Pubs. Image Andrew Gregory

You don't have to go far to enjoy some of Australia's best pub-with-a-view dining experiences just head to the wharf at Manly. If you're looking for laid-back outdoor dining, check out Hugos Manly for a modern take on classic pizzas. Combine beer by the stein with pretzels at the Bavarian Bier Caf, or chill on the waterfront deck at the Manly Wharf Hotel. And don't miss the 4 Pines microbrewery just across the road.

  • Harbour View Hotel in The Rocks, Sydney Pubs

    The Harbour View Hotel

    There's much more to this heritage-listed Art Deco hotel than the stunning harbour views. Take in all the bustle of the harbour and watch those who undertake BridgeClimb Sydney while you enjoy a glass of wine and a hearty modern Australian lunch or dinner in the bar.

  • Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel, Sydney Pubs

    Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel

    Live music, delicious seasonal menus and amazing harbour views this heritage hotel in Woolloomooloo has it all. Treat yourself with a sundowner on the balcony after a walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens nearby.

  • Watsons Bay Hotel, Sydney Pubs

    Watsons Bay Hotel

    A Sunday barbecue lunch at Watsons Beach Club is a Sydney must on a glorious sunny day. Catch the ferry from Circular Quay, and take in the city and beach views from one of the best beer gardens in the world.

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