Arts and culture

Watch a performance at the Sydney Opera House or join a backstage tour. Discover the stories of Sydney’s Aboriginal people on a guided tour. Visit the Art Gallery of NSW for evocative art. Attractions at the Australian Museum include Aboriginal artefacts and dinosaur fossils, with interactive displays for children.

You’ll find lots of things to do in numerous galleries and museums in the NSW regions, from the coast to the outback. Ninety minutes by road from Sydney is the Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame in Bowral, which commemorates the life and career of the legendary batsman.

Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

Vibrant arts and culture in Sydney

The World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House, which draws millions of visitors each year, is the heart of the city’s cultural life. But there are many more cultural opportunities in this vibrant city with its many theatres, art galleries, museums, arts festivals and special events.

More than 1,600 performances are held each year at the Opera House, including ballet and contemporary dance, opera, classical music, stage plays and more.

The leading Sydney Theatre Company is based in nearby Walsh Bay, which is a lively cultural precinct and home also to the Roslyn Packer Theatre and Bangarra Dance Theatre.

Bangarra is an internationally acclaimed Aboriginal dance company, which brings stories of the Dreamtime to vivid life on stage. Take a cultural cruise, join a heritage tour or visit the Art Gallery of NSW’s Yiribana gallery to learn more about Australia’s first people and their stunning contemporary art.

Reserve your tickets for blockbuster stage shows and musicals at the State Theatre, Capitol Theatre and Sydney Lyric.

The Art Gallery of NSW, which is set in the leafy Domain, near the Royal Botanic Garden, is a must-see for visitors with an interest in art. Established in 1871, the gallery has extensive collections of Australian and European art, Aboriginal art and photography, Asian art, as well as a rolling program of exhibitions and events.

The Edge of the Trees sculpture, in the forecourt of the Museum of Sydney, on the corner of Phillip and Bridge streets, represents the first contact between Aboriginal people and Britain’s First Fleet colonists. The Hyde Park Barracks Museum, which is among NSW’s World Heritage-listed convict sites, brings to vivid life the harsh years of convict Sydney.

Handa production on Sydney Harbour

Theatre and Shows

Home to some of Australia’s top stages, with performances to match, Sydney boasts a buzzing live scene. Enjoy theatre, shows, musicals and dance performances throughout the year. The Sydney Opera House frequently hosts some of the world’s leading performers.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

Art Galleries

Discover cutting edge contemporary exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), to the much anticipated exhibitions at the Art gallery of NSW. Or visit groundbreaking, yet accessible and thought­provoking works at a number of independent galleries around Sydney.
E​xhibit at the Australian Museum in Sydney

Museums

A passion for the past? Then head for Sydney’s museums, which are among the city’s most popular attractions, showcasing everything from dinosaur skeletons to cultural artefacts. Step back into the past as you explore Sydney’s fascinating history.