Sydney attractions run the gamut from beautiful beaches and scenic drives to museums and art galleries. No matter your interest or what time of year you plan to visit Australia's biggest city, you'll find a diverse lot of things to do and places to explore.
The most famous Sydney Australia tourist attractions are without a doubt the beaches. The city was settled along the harbor for good reason. Providing shelter from the storms and moderation for the weather, the Sydney Harbour is lined by beautiful stretches of sand where people gather to soak up the sun in every season. While it's a little chilly for swimming in the winter, all four seasons have perfect weather for surfing and snorkeling. During the summer, which starts in December in Sydney, you'll find plenty of warm summer days perfect for a day at the beach. If you're not the type who wants to deal with sand and sunburns, you could include a drive along the coast to admire the scenery and see what Sydney attractions you may find along the way.
Two of Sydney's most vibrant neighborhoods are found along the harbor. Both The Rocks and Darling Harbour are home to a large proportion of the Sydney Australia tourist attractions. The Rocks, which has an irregular coastline, was built in part by the convicts the British sent to Australia. This one-of-a-kind story is waiting to be discovered at the Hyde Parks Barrack Museum. This impressive building, once built to house the incoming prisoners, was expanded over the years, including the 50th anniversary of Queen Victoria's reign. Within in steps of the barracks, you'll find many art galleries and shops that round out a visit to the visitor attractions in Sydney. Bistros and restaurants also are clustered along the harbor offering meals with a view.
Other visitor attractions in Sydney along the harbor include museums exploring the country's maritime history and others talking a look at the wonders of the world around. The Australian National Maritime Museum, one of the best free Sydney attractions, has exhibits designed to capture the imaginations of visitors young and old. After you've seen the indoor exhibits, you can sign up for a guided tour of the Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse or step aboard a replica of the ship Captain Cook guided to the shores of Sydney.
The Harbour Bridge instantly became one of the most iconic visitor attractions in Sydney when it opened in 1932. The visitor center, which debuted at the end of 2009, is chocked full of interesting exhibits and films that explain how the steel bridge became the symbol of a nation. You also can soak in the views from the Pylon Lookout. A local tour company leads several different trips to the top of the bridge. Through a series of catwalks and stairs, you can climb to the top of the inner arch—no special gear needed. Longer and more adventurous climbs are offered, too, and whoever makes it to the top is rewarded by some panoramic views.
Whether you're standing on the bridge or looking out the window of one of the inbound flights, you won't be able to miss the iconic Sydney Opera House. Truly one of the best known buildings in the entire world, this cultural center had been making a splash ever for decades. Designed to echo a ship sail open to the wind, the opera house is actually a network of stages and event spaces. On any given day, you'll have the chance to catch a concert or embark on a tour of this amazing place.
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