It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Celebrate the festive season and Christmas Day in Sydney. Enjoy Christmas carols, meet Santa, shop at pop up markets and enjoy a delicious lunch at one of the city’s best restaurants. Or if you’d prefer something a little more low key, grab some fresh prawns and head for the beach.
You’ll feel the Christmas spirit around Sydney for the whole month of December. The streets around Pitt Street Mall are transformed into a festive playground for Christmas in the City, with decorations, roving entertainers, choirs and a visit from Santa every night. Don’t miss the tallest Christmas tree in NSW lighting up Martin Place.
Sing along at Australia’s largest free Christmas concert, Woolworths Carols in the Domain, held on 21 December. Entry is free and you can bring a picnic, or buy food from pop up trucks and market stalls. Pick up some last minute gifts or tasty treats at The Rocks Christmas Markets, held every Thursday to Sunday in December.
Eat and drink
The best part of Christmas Day is the food, so make sure you plan for a delicious feast. Stock up beforehand as most supermarkets and shops will be closed on the day. From 23 December, the Sydney Fish Market stays open for 36 hours straight and is the place to buy fresh prawns, oysters, fish and more for the big day.
Prefer to eat out for Christmas lunch? Dine high above the city at 360 Bar and Dining; enjoy the lush surrounds of the Royal Botanic Garden at The Calyx, Botanic House or Terrace; or try the gourmet buffet at Mode Kitchen and Bar. In Western Sydney, Belgenny Farm and Campbelltown RSL will be serving a festive meal.
For something a little different, head to Chinatown for a non-traditional Christmas feast of yum cha. Many restaurants will be open, but Marigold is a local favourite. You can also celebrate the day right on the water with a lunch or dinner harbour cruise from Captain Cook Cruises, Vagabond Cruises or Magistic Cruises.
Things to do
Many of Sydney’s best attractions open their doors on Christmas Day. Visit the animals at Taronga Zoo, Wild Life Sydney Zoo or Sea Life Sydney Aquarium. Cinemas open in the afternoon if you want to be the first to see that new Summer release. You can even mark the occasion with a climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Christmas Day is usually warm and sunny, so it’s the perfect day for a swim at the beach. Bondi is popular with tourists and locals alike, and will be patrolled by lifeguards. Catch the ferry over to surf the waves at Manly or walk around to the calm waters of Shelly Beach for snorkelling. Just remember to pack the sunscreen.