What Can I Do in Sydney at Night?

Looking for something to do when the sun goes down on the Harbour City? There’s a million ways to discover Sydney after dark.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Aug 2021 -
min read

There’s little doubt that Sydney is one of the world’s most sublime cities – but however beautiful she is in the day, she comes alive at night. The harbour twinkles, the Opera House shines like a white beacon and the city’s many precincts hum with world-beating eateries and bars.

Quay Restaurant. Image Credit: Nikki To

Quay Restaurant - Credit: Nikki To

Sydney also has enviable theatre, concert and live-music offerings, and of course the best nightlife in Australia. Whether you want to listen to jazz in a cool underground space, or dance the night away at a club, the Harbour City has you covered.

Precincts to discover by night include Kings Cross, Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Paddington and Newtown, as well as Chinatown and Haymarket for fabulous Asian food, much of it very affordable. Chinatown also hosts night markets every Friday, while adjacent Darling Harbour and Barangaroo both overflow with opportunities to dine and drink.

Luna Park at night. Image Credit: Luna Park

Luna Park at night

Try some of the city’s iconic attractions at night: ascend to the top of the Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb Sydney; take a thrill ride at Luna Park Sydney; or indulge in a Wildlife Retreat or Roar and Snore camping experience at Taronga Zoo Sydney. The Art Gallery of New South Wales runs frequent after-hours events, while Sydney Tower Eye is open until 8pm.

The city’s CBD was something of a dead zone a decade ago; now it’s heaving with hidden-away bars such as Barrio Cellar for tequila and Mexican small plates, Grandma’s Bar for rum cocktails, and basement The Baxter Inn for premium whiskeys. At The Ivy, you can dine, dance, drink and even take a dip at the rooftop bar.

The Baxter Inn - Sydney CBD

The Baxter Inn, Sydney CBD 

Don’t miss the harbour after dark, either. You can ride the regular passenger ferries until late evening; stay overnight in a heritage cottage or tent at Cockatoo Island, rich in convict and naval history; and take in the majesty of the Sydney Opera House and surrounding promenades. You might like to catch a performance at ‘the house’, too, or take a seat at the Opera Bar, with its million-dollar views.

If you’ve got kids on board, head to Darling Harbour for family-friendly evening events and festivals, as well as Luminous, the world’s largest interactive display of LED lights that you can control via touchscreens.

In The Rocks, take The Rocks Ghost Tours and enjoy a drink at historic pubs such as the Hero of Waterloo, Lord Nelson Brewery and Fortune of War. Nearby Sydney Observatory offers night tours and a chance to glimpse southern skies.

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