Stumble into any city in the world and you will find a museum, with artefacts, art, and stories of why the city or country is what it is today.
Museums are a great way to see famous artworks, learn about history, and embark on scientific endeavours. Sydney has several museums, some with abstract art, others with vintage trains, and a few quirky ones you want to miss.
Darlinghurst The Australian Museum is where nature, science, and culture intersect. Whether you have kids or want a cute date idea, this museum hosts exhibitions regularly and showcases an impressive collection in natural science, world cultures, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Pacific. Learn about dinosaurs or explore Australia over time, and discover the changing climate and the ways Australia will survive it. Tickets aren’t required for general admission and it’s free to visit.
Ultimo The Powerhouse Museum is a classic most popular among kids and school groups. Here, you will find over 380,000 objects, spanning from science to technology, industry, design, and decorative arts. The museum often hosts workshops, tours, performances, and demonstrations making it a great school holiday activity or weekend outing. Enjoy a massive playground in the courtyard and two cafes throughout the venue.
Darling Harbour Not only is this museum striking from the outside with its sail-like wavy white roof, but inside, it’s a playground for all things maritime, from warships to the first nations’ relationship to water. You can climb aboard a destroyer, venture to deep-sea explorations and discover objects, people, and places of the past. Their exhibitions are always fun and interactive. The ‘Map It!’ exhibition explores navigation through shipwrecks, how sailors used to navigate, and more. Tickets cost $25 for adults and $15 for children under 15.
CBD This museum was originally built to house convicts and now stands as a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site in the heart of Sydney. The Hyde Park Barracks Museum is a living record of early colonial Australia, and once served as an immigration depot, asylum, law courts and government offices. Expect to discover Australia’s colonial past, with artefacts and stories about life in Australia.
CBD The Museum of Sydney is just that, a place that protects the remains of the Government House and the stories of how Sydney came to be. Expect to see artefacts from the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, life at the Government House, fleet ships, and more. Tickets for adults are $15 and children under five are free.
Darlinghurst Explore human rights through the lens of World War II through stories of survivors, virtual workshops, and in-depth exhibitions. You will also find over 12,000 artefacts here, including clothing and diary entries. They have permanent exhibitions, and host feature exhibitions, including paintings of a bygone era, and personal objects, and stories. It’s $15 for adults and $9 for students.
CBD As Sydney’s premier art destination, the Art Gallery NSW is a crowd-pleaser and a must-do whether you’re visiting or have lived here your whole life. Besides holding an impressive collection of art from the Renaissance period to emerging artists today, the gallery often curates exhibitions featuring world-famous artists and paintings, such as Degas and Van Gogh. They also host the Archibald prize which is always a treat. It’s free to visit the permanent collection of this public gallery, but specific shows are ticketed.
The Rocks If you are curious about modern art or want to be surprised, the Museum of Contemporary Art should be on your list. Here, find everything from sculptures to paintings, video to art installations, and more. Wander through the halls to discover the world of contemporary art and explore the stories being told from political statements, to love, and history. The MCA is free to enter.
The Rocks The Susannah Place Museum explores the city’s working-class heritage through a row of worn brick terrace houses, which survived, plagues, demolitions, and redevelopments. Discover the stories of working on Sydney’s waterfront, living in The Rocks during the 1800s, and the evolution of The Rocks, and Sydney.
Millers Point If you’re a stargazer, visit the Sydney Observatory to get up and close to planets, stars, and galaxies. This museum offers interactive experiences, a live stream of the southern sky, astronomy courses, and much more. Kids will love learning about space, while also being engaged by tour guides and school programs. Listen to a talk, take a course, or view the objects in their collections.
Chippendale Dedicated to works made in the 21st century, the White Rabbit Collection is owned by Judith Neilson, who was inspired to establish it after her first trips to Beijing in the late 1990s. Admission is free and you will have to keep an eye on their website for when exhibitions are on.
There’s plenty to celebrate this year, from new menus to restaurants throwing parties, bottomless brunches, and more.
Here, we have the latest on Sydney’s food news, from chefs taking over restaurants to limited-edition menus and feasts for all your friends to enjoy.
To celebrate World Gin Day, and for one week only, gin and food lovers can try nagashi-sōmen—translating to ‘flowing noodles’— which sees noodles sent down a bamboo chute for diners to collect with chopsticks. The one-off experience will be hosted at Kid Kyoto, where guests can enjoy their flowing noodles alongside a menu paired with delicious KI NO BI Gin cocktails. Purchase tickets here.
Tuck into a Fireball Burger
Feeling the cold? Fireball Whisky and Bar Luca have teamed up for the ultimate firey menu. Offered for a limited time only, head down to Bar Luca for $6 Fireball shots all day, a Fireball shot and cocktail on arrival, and an all-you-can-eat bites of the full “Blame Fireball” menu on Saturday, July 1. Book a spot here.
For two nights only, on Tuesday the 20th and Tuesday 27th of June, Graeme Hunt, Head Chef of Sydney’s trending late-night bar and dining venue at Zaffi, will be stepping up to the kitchen at award-winning bar PS40. Pop-up guests can expect a mosaic of colourful Lebanese-inspired bar snacks paired with exclusive midweek sips made by the mastermind behind the experimental bar, Michael Chiem.
Fan of Cinderella? The Great Hall is transforming into The Royal Palace for an enchanting high tea from July 1-2. There will be dancing and fun, and then Cinderella will run out of the venue leaving behind her glass slipper—the search for the missing beauty will begin. Tickets for the Cinderella High Tea costs $80-85 and you can purchase them here.
Grill’d has dropped two new burgers, and they’re beyond anything we could have imagined. Taking inspiration from Mexico, Grilld’s two new burgers are a Zesty Mexi and Luxe Nacho Burger. The Zesty Mexi features a black bean pattie with corn chips, tasty cheese, slaw, jalapenos, and chipotle mayo mixed with green tomatillo lime salsa. For meat lovers, the Luxe Nacho Burger is the same as the Zesty Mexi, but with a premium Wagyu pattie.