No-one is better equipped to recommend the city’s coolest in-the-know venues, destinations and activities than those who live there. We want you to experience not just the well-known, but the under-the-radar, too so we’ve curated a list of both: our favourite iconic experiences along with hidden gems, secret spots and undiscovered local eats for you to enjoy during your time in spectacular Sydney.
Art After Hours | Every Wednesday| Art Gallery of New South Wales
Every Wednesday night, wander through the Art Gallery after hours and discover new art and old favourites in the latest exhibitions and collection displays. Join a guided tour, enjoy a drink or a bite to eat in the cafe. Courtesy bus runs every 20mins from 6pm until closing from the Art Gallery to various locations in the city close to public transport. Cost: Free
Peakhurst Farmers Markets | Last Friday of every month | 825 Forest Rd, Peakhurst NSW
Peakhurst Foodies & Farmers Markets is a night market on the last Friday of the month provides live music and gourmet street food,
dozens of stalls with local artisans, and fresh farm produce in the grounds of Our Lady of Fatima Church. Ample parking available onsite and on neighbouring streets. Cost: Free
Fireworks in Darling Harbour | Every Saturday at 9pm | Cockle Bay Wharf
Experience the enchantment of Darling Harbour's Fireworks from waterfront spots like Cockle Bay Wharf, King Street Wharf, or Barangaroo. Whether you're a local or a tourist, there's no better way to wrap up dinner or entertainment than with a spectacular fireworks display. Sydney's waterfront locations offer a magical backdrop, making it one of the city's most memorable and enjoyable experiences. Cost: Free. *Subject to weather conditions.
Sydney Lunar Festival | 10 to 25 February | Sydney CBD
Celebrate the Year of the Dragon in Sydney with fabulous feasts, spectacular shows, and magnificent artwork at the Sydney Lunar Festival. This inclusive celebration embraces various cultures, inviting everyone to come together through food, art, and festivities. Join the excitement with events like The Great Dragon Race or the lively Haymarket street festival. It's a joyous time to create lasting memories and welcome the auspicious Year of the Dragon in style with friends and family.
Bondi to Coogee
This one might not be a secret, but there’s a reason for that. The six-kilometre Bondi to Coogee walk traces the Eastern Suburbs’ most spectacular coastline, passing famous beaches Bronte and Tamarama and lesser-known snorkelling spot, Gordon’s Bay. You’ll get to walk through the famous Waverley Cemetery, and cafes at Tamarama and Bronte provide abundant cafe options to refuel.
One of Australia’s most iconic experiences, the Bridge Climb up the Sydney Harbour Bridge comes with the ultimate reward of spectacular 360-degree views over the harbour and beyond.
Ferry to Cockatoo Island
Still at the Harbour, take the ferry from Circular Quay to Cockatoo Island – a former convict penal establishment and naval shipyard. With a rich Aboriginal and colonial past and panoramic views, it’s a special spot whether you’re in the mood to learn some history or just picnic in the sun.
If you’re in Sydney during the summer, don’t miss what has long been considered the ‘world’s most beautiful outdoor cinema’, St. George Open Air Cinema. This is as memorable as experiences come.
If you’re in town on the first Saturday of the month, beeline for Shannon Reserve for the Surry Hills Markets, where you can hunt down bohemian treasures and quirky fashion.
Golden Age Cinema
Keen to catch a screening? Head to the much-loved Golden Age Cinema & Bar to enjoy a cult classic or new release with a glass of wine and gourmet olive oil-drizzled popcorn.
Wander Spice Alley in Chippendale for a lively buzz and some of the best Asian food in the city outside of Chinatown.
Experience an ice cream you’re unlikely to ever forget at Gelato Messina. There will almost certainly be a line, but the lip-smacking, creative flavours that come out of this ice creamery each day make the wait worth it.
Brett Whiteley Studio Museum
If you’re an art fan, make sure you visit the Brett Whiteley Studio Museum, the former warehouse home and actual studio of the celebrated late Australian artist Brett Whiteley.
By booking direct on our website and becoming an IHG® Rewards Club member, you'll enjoy what you can’t get elsewhere.