Museums, galleries and theatres

Museums, galleries and theatres


Australian Museum

Australia's oldest public museum was established in 1827 and has been at the forefront of education and research ever since. It features both Australian and international exhibitions. The Australian Museum is open every day except Christmas Day.

6 College Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Australian National Maritime Museum

Australia’s past and present are closely linked to the ocean and it plays a vital part in our commerce, defence, and recreation. The museum presents artefacts, exhibitions, activities and even the chance to board a ship to shed some light on our country’s historic connection to the sea. Closed Christmas Day.

2 Murray Street
Darling Harbour NSW 2000

Anzac Memorial

Building of the memorial began in 1930 and was completed 1934. The Anzac Memorial is dedicated to those Australians who served in war. Located in Hyde Park South, the memorial is open every day except for Christmas Day and Good Friday.

Hyde Park South
Sydney NSW 2000

Government House

The Governor of NSW currently resides in Government House, but the grounds are open to the public. Access is by guided tour only. Occasionally closed for special functions; visitors are advised to visit the website before planning their trip.

Royal Botanic Gardens
Macquarie Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Hyde Park Barracks Museum

Built in 1819 as a home for convict men and boys, and with several different purposes since, the museum’s impressive and grand design is an insight into what the built environment may have looked like during Sydney’s colonial past. Exhibitions shed some light into convict life. Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day.

Queens Square
Macquarie Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Justice and Police Museum

A hangman’s noose, leather lash and isolation mask rarely make public attraction lists –except when the Justice and Police Museum is mentioned. The historic police and court building was in use in the mid-to-late 19th century. It presents weapons of crime and punishment from a former era and the chance to step foot inside old cells used to hold some of Sydney’s most intriguing criminals.

Corner Albert Street and Phillip Street
Circular Quay NSW 2000

The Mint Museum

Judges of the Francis Greenway Award for conservation described the Mint Museum as ‘a gift to Sydney’ when the building won in 2005. More than just a history of money, the building is a prime example of how the past and present can live side by side and is now the home of the Historic Houses Trust head office and the Caroline Simpson Library and Research Collection.

10 Macquarie Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Museum of Sydney

Not many sites preserve a building constructed the same year as the First Fleet’s arrival, but the Museum of Sydney is one of them. The grounds of the museum provide a peek inside the First Government House, built in 1788 as a home and office for the colony’s first Governor, Arthur Phillip. The museum pays tribute to the original owners of the land, the Gadigal people, and what life was like during the First Government House’s 58 years as an official residence.

Corner Phillip Street and Bridge Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Pylon Lookout and Exhibition

There are 200 stairs to the top of the Pylon Lookout, but they don’t all have to be conquered in one go. On the way to the top, there are 3 different levels of exhibits, celebrating the Sydney Harbour Bridge, its history and the men behind its construction.

South East Pylon
Sydney Harbour Bridge NSW 2000

The Rocks Discovery Museum

A restored sandstone warehouse from the 1850s is where you’ll find The Rocks Discovery Museum. Find out about the history of the Rocks, from pre-European arrival to the present day.

Kendall Lane (entry via Argyle Street)
The Rocks NSW 2000

Susannah Place Museum

A rare example of a working class terrace from the 19th century, Susannah Place was still occupied as recently as 1990. The typically English design saw hundreds of different families live within its walls and the museum provides some insight into the often overlooked working class people of our local area.

58–64 Gloucester Street
The Rocks NSW 2000

Sydney Observatory

Australia’s oldest observatory was an important scientific building until well into the 20th century. The observatory is now a museum as well as a public observatory. Its main aims are to educate the public about astronomy and provide powerful telescopes for everyone's use.

Watson Road
Observatory Hill
The Rocks NSW 2000


Art Gallery of NSW

More than one million visitors pass through this gallery’s doors each year. Its exhibitions are dedicated to the finest Australian, Aboriginal, European, Asian and modern art. Houses the winners of several prestigious art prizes, including the Archibald. Situated amongst picturesque parklands, general admission to the permanent collection is free. Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.

Art Gallery Road
The Domain NSW 2000


Artspace Visual Arts Centre has been specialising in contemporary Australian art since 1983. The residency-based gallery is housed in the historic Gunnery building in Woolloomooloo. Each year, Artspace presents 12 to 15 exhibitions and also takes part in touring and off-site presentations. It regularly hosts leading artist conferences as well as open canvas programs. The centre has been a major part of the Biennale of Sydney since 1993.

43–51 Cowper Wharf Road
Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
Sydney Australia

Asia-Australia Arts Centre (Gallery 4A)

Established in 1996, the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art supports an Asian and Australian cultural exchange. Works from local and international artists are showcased. The research centre and gallery mainly focuses on art in its visual form. Closed Mondays and public holidays.

181–187 Hay Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Australian Centre for Photography (ACP)

The Australian Centre for Photography is the nation’s longest running contemporary art space. Established in 1973, the centre is committed to the exhibition, education and publication of photography. It launched Photofile magazine in 1983 and the publication will be relaunched in 2013. Local and international photographers are celebrated and it has previously displayed work from Bill Henson, Tracy Moffatt and William Yang. Closed public holidays.

257 Oxford Street
Paddington NSW 2021

Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)

Exhibits work from some of today’s finest artists from Australia and across the globe. Free tours daily. Entry is free, but a charge may apply for special exhibitions. Located next to Circular Quay and easily accessible by public transport.

140 George St
The Rocks NSW 2000

S.H. Ervin Gallery

One of Sydney’s leading art galleries is found in the National Trust Centre on Observatory Hill in The Rocks. It showcases the broad scope of Australian artistic talent, both historical and modern, and presents them to new audiences. Closed Mondays and public holidays.

Observatory Hill
The Rocks NSW 2000

Theatres and performance spaces

Belvoir Street Theatre

Innovative and acclaimed, the Belvoir Street Theatre is treasured by locals. It offers a unique blend of up and coming talent along with many well-known names and productions.

25 Belvoir Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010

Capitol Theatre

The historic Capitol Theatre is renowned for hosting some of the world’s most loved musicals, plays, ballets, concerts and entertainers. Located in Central Sydney and easy to get to via public transport.

13 Campbell Street
Haymarket NSW 2000

City Recital Hall

As a world class performance venue, the City Recital Hall has earned its spot in Sydney’s history. It was the first purpose built concert space to be constructed in Sydney since the Opera House. Expect to hear fine local and international orchestras as well some inspiring talks and debates.

Angel Place
Sydney NSW 2000

Eternity Playhouse

Formerly the 132-year-old Burton Street Tabernacle, Eternity Playhouse is a modern 200-seat theatre and creative arts centre, which includes a bar and café. 

39 Burton Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010 

Genesian Theatre

Named after St Genesius, the patron saint of actors, the Genesian Theatre has some very well-known names on its alumni list, including Baz Lurhmann, Bryan Brown and John Bell. It makes for a fertile training ground for some of Sydney’s best actors, directors and productions.

420 Kent Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Hayes Theatre Co

From re-imagined classic musicals, new work from Australia and overseas, cabaret and children's productions, Hayes Theatre Co presents a range of performances and connects with an already established music theatre-loving audience in Sydney. This intimate venue gives audiences the opportunity to enjoy an up-close-and-personal music theatre experience.

19 Greenknowe Avenue
Potts Point NSW 2011 

Lyric Theatre

You know some of its performers: think Bon Jovi, Michael Bennett and Michael Crawford. You know some of its performances: Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Its home, The Star casino, has undergone a multi-million dollar makeover and the Lyric Theatre is ready as ever to welcome Australian and international music and theatre lovers.

Level G The Star
Pyrmont NSW 2009

Qantas Credit Union Arena

Formerly known as the Sydney Entertainment Centre, nearly every big name you can think of in the music world has performed at the venue: Kanye West, Elton John, Lenny Kravitz and Duran Duran. It can hold more than 13,000 visitors and it also hosts a range of sporting, comedy and motivational speaking events.

35 Harbour Street
Darling Harbour NSW 2000

State Theatre

The “Palace of Dreams” is one of Sydney’s most stunning venues, combining the best of Gothic, Italian, and Art Deco design. The curtain rose on the venue in 1929 and it has been in operation ever since. The National Trust of Australia declares the 2000 seat performance space “a building of great historical significance and high architectural quality”.

49 Market Street
Sydney NSW 2000 

Sydney Conservatorium of Music

As one of the University of Sydney’s prime performance venues, the conservatorium welcomes the public to attend its student orchestra performances, as well as intriguing discussions about musicology featuring some of Sydney’s most inquiring minds.

Corner Bridge Street and Macquarie Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Sydney Town Hall

Town Hall has been standing for more than a century. It is a prime destination for world class events which see the grand chameleon change colour and character. Town Hall transformed into an arthouse cinema during the Sydney Film Festival, showed off its best side for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival, threw open its doors for the stirring and inspiring City Talks, and morphed into a pulsating music arena for the likes of Lady Gaga, who tinkled the ivories of the 8000-pipe grand organ.

Guided tours of Sydney Town Hall are available. Group tours of up to 30 people are generally accommodated. Tours begin at 10.30am and can take up to 2 hours. Tours are accessible for people who are deaf or who have a hearing impairment via the OpenMi Tours app. Please visit the Town Hall site for more information.

483 George St
Sydney NSW 2000

Theatre Royal

Les Miserables, Cats and the Phantom of the Opera have all had their turn on stage at this popular performance space. You’ll find the theatre in the MLC Centre, in heart of Sydney.

108 King Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Wharf Theatre and Sydney Theatre

The Sydney Theatre Company has its base here and the Sydney Dance Company also makes use of the space, as does a range of other theatre and musical groups. Some of the Australian names that have treaded the boards at Wharf 1 and Wharf 2 include Cate Blanchett, Mel Gibson, Hugo Weaving, Toni Collette and Geoffrey Rush. Look for Pier 4/5.

Sydney Theatre can seat 896 people and is a short stroll away from the Wharf, opposite Pier 6/7.

Wharf Theatre
Pier 4/5 Hickson Road
Walsh Bay NSW 2000

Sydney Theatre
Pier 6/7 Hickson Road
Walsh Bay NSW 2000

Last updated: Thursday, 9 October 2014