Sydney is a giant, stretching nearly 80 km (50 miles) from top to bottom and about 70 km (43 miles) across. The harbor divides the city into northern and southern halves, with most of the headline attractions on the south shore. Most travelers spend their time on the harbor's south side, within an area bounded by Chinatown in the south, Harbour Bridge in the north, Darling Harbour to the west, and the beaches and coastline to the east. North of Harbour Bridge lie the important commercial center of North Sydney and leafy but somewhat bland suburbs. Ocean beaches, Taronga Zoo, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, and great shopping in the village of Mosman are the most likely reasons to venture north of the harbor.

Within a few hours’ drive of Sydney are the World Heritage–listed Blue Mountains and the renowned Hunter Valley vineyards. Although both these spots are worthy of an overnight stay, they're also close enough to visit on day trips from the city.

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  • 1. Australian National Maritime Museum

    Darling Harbour | Museum/Gallery

    The six galleries of this soaring, futuristic building tell the story of Australia and the sea. In addition to figureheads, model ships, and...Read More

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  • 2. Barangaroo Reserve

    Millers Point | City Park

    This headland park west of Walsh Bay and The Rocks is part of a massive redevelopment of an old wharf area once known as "The Hungry Mile,"...Read More

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  • 3. Blackbird Café

    Darling Harbour | Restaurant

    Blackbird Café is great place to take a break while exploring Darling Harbour. The weekday lunch specials are all under A$20 and a good value...Read More

  • 4. Chinatown

    Haymarket | Neighborhood/Street

    Bounded by George Street, Goulburn Street, and Paddy's Market, Chinatown takes your senses on a galloping tour of the Orient. Within this compact...Read More

  • 5. Chinese Garden of Friendship

    Darling Harbour | Garden

    Chinese prospectors came to the Australian goldfields as far back as the 1850s, and the nation's long and enduring links with China are symbolized...Read More

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  • 6. Cockle Bay Wharf

    Darling Harbour | Marina/Pier

    Fueling Sydney's addiction to fine food, most of this sprawling waterfront complex, on the city side of Darling Harbour, is dedicated to gastronomy...Read More

  • 7. LG IMAX Theatre

    Darling Harbour | Arts/Performance Venue

    Both in size and impact, this eight-story-tall movie screen is overwhelming. One-hour presentations take you on astonishing, wide-angle voyages...Read More

  • 8. Madame Tussauds Sydney

    Darling Harbour | Museum/Gallery

    Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, songstress Kylie Minogue, and Olympic champion Cathy Freeman are among the contingent of Australian wax figures at...Read More

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  • 9. Powerhouse Museum

    Darling Harbour | Museum/Gallery

    Learning the principles of science is a painless process with this museum's stimulating, interactive displays ideal for all ages. Exhibits in...Read More

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  • 10. Pyrmont Bridge

    Darling Harbour | Bridge/Tunnel

    Dating from 1902, this is the world's oldest electrically operated swing-span bridge. The structure once carried motor traffic, but it's now...Read More

  • 11. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

    Darling Harbour | Zoo/Aquarium

    Bay of Rays and Shark Valley are among 14 themed areas at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium at Darling Harbour. Home to some 13,000 creatures, the huge...Read More

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  • 12. Sydney Fish Market

    Pyrmont West | Market/Bazaar

    Second in size only to Tokyo's giant Tsukiji fish market, Sydney's is a showcase for the riches of Australia's seas. An easy 10-minute walk...Read More

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  • 13. WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

    Darling Harbour | Zoo/Aquarium

    This recently renamed Sydney attraction brings thousands of Australian animals right to the heart of Sydney. Kangaroos, koalas, and dozens of...Read More

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