20 things to do this summer
Slip down a giant slide in the Hunter Valley, roll around in a giant ball pit at Barangaroo Reserve, get lost in a maze of mirrors in Hyde Park. Pack your summer calendar with these all-killer, no-filler events and have the time of your life.
The best waterfalls in Sydney and NSW
Load up the picnic basket and take a road trip to find these cascading falls around Sydney.
Escape the heat
When the temperature peaks and you have sweat dripping down your back after one too many T-shirt changes, it's time to head indoors – or dunk yourself in salt water.
Christmas in Sydney
Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere means beach barbecues, long lunches and checking out the festive lights in the city. Find out where you can sing Christmas carols, shop at the Christmas markets, and get a head start on the Boxing Day sales.
The best of Sydney
20 things to do in Sydney at least once in your life
Sydney’s a beautiful place to live and a glorious city to visit. We’ve picked out 20 things to do that show off our best side, from kayaking on the harbour and cocktails with a view to our favourite weekly markets, the best underground restaurant in the city and where to get your culture fix.
The best yoga studios in Sydney
Ashtanga, yin, vinyassa, hatha, bikram – whatever your style, Sydney's got it. Here are the best yoga studios offering a relaxing place to work on your poses. Reward your efforts with Sydney's healthiest breakfasts, or try something completely different and check out the best kayaking spots.
Escape rooms in Sydney
Puzzle rooms are taking Sydney by storm. Every time we check, another two seem to be popping up out of nowhere – and each one raises the bar with new ideas inspired by the hundreds of escape rooms found across the world. (Apparently Hungary is the place to go for the ultimate mystery room binge – there are more than 100 rooms in Budapest alone). The concept is simple: solve a variety of puzzles placed in and around the room before your allotted time runs out. Each room has a different theme and stimulates all senses, demanding a variety of problem-solving skills. Time Out took the challenge of visiting nine rooms in the city. Whether we got out in time? Well, that's a different matter.
Things to do when it rains in Sydney
Just because the skies are falling, doesn't mean you have to sit around doing nothing... We may be a city that struggles when the heavens part but look hard enough and there's a bunch of fun to be had in a downpour. The key is staying out of it with these great rainy day activities:
The best walks in Sydney
Coastal walks, bush walks, historical walks and inner city ambles: there are many routes to choose from to discover Sydney from a new angle. See our list of ten favourite places to wander and remember to pack a camera – these walks offer some of the best vantage points for snapping our city at its best.
The Sydney tourist hit list
Events coming up in Sydney
Finders Keepers Markets
Shop from hundreds of emerging designers at this huge indie art and design market
Get all your Christmas shopping at the evening markets at Hyde Park Barracks
Fairs and festivals
The annual cultural celebration is the big one on Sydney’s summer must-do list, and the festival’s contemporary programming always manages to surprise.
St Jerome's Laneway Festival has managed to go from just that – a festival in the backstreets of Melbourne for friends – to an internationally renowned tastemaker in a matter of year. 2017 will be no different, when the festival returns to the Sydney College of the Arts for a day of grassy fun.
If you were in Sydney in January, you’d have seen the Flaming Lips play a free concert in the Domain, built a giant cardboard tower in Darling Harbour, watched ferries race under the Harbour Bridge and you’d have ridden a flying fox at Barangaroo – all thanks to Sydney Festival. The annual cultural celebration is the big one in Sydney’s summer must-do list, and the festival’s contemporary programming always manages to surprise. Events take place across Sydney and Parramatta, attracting an audience of over 500,000 each year. In 2017, it’ll be the festival’s 41st year and they’ve already announced shows from multi-award winning artist PJ Harvey, who is playing the new ICC venue in Darling Harbour, plus the homegrown musical Ladies in Black – a toe-tapping trip back in time based on the comic novel by Madeleine St John. Look out for more announcements when the full program is released on October 26.
Sydney Chinese New Year Festival
Roosters, rats, pigs and snakes will light up the skies in late January for the 21st Chinese New Year Festival in Sydney. It’ll be the Year of the Rooster, and the City of Sydney is putting on more than 80 events around town from a spectacular lantern exhibition to Dragon Boat races and hawker-style food markets. From the festival’s modest beginnings in 1995 as a community street market, Sydney Chinese New Year Festival has grown to become one of the largest celebrations of the Lunar New Year outside of Asia, led by festival curator Claudia Chan Shaw.
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Serial’s Julie Snyder
She was the co-creator and producer of the most addictive podcasts of the past decade and her investigative journalism skills unearthed a case that had the world round wondering just 'whodunnit'. And now Serial's creator is coming to Sydney for Bingefest. Julie Snyder – the woman behind the smash hit Serial – will be giving you an inside look into the creation of her true crime podcast. This exclusive Australian conversation will see Snyder sharing recordings peppered with personal anecdotes and memories from creating the series. Aired in 2014, Serial blew up to be one of the biggest podcasts ever, breaking Apple's download records as the fastest podcast to reach 5 million downloads. The the murder of Hae Min Lee and conviction of Adnan Syed was pulled apart across 12 detailed episodes and Snyder and co-creator Sarah Koenig scored critical acclaim for reinvigorating long-form nonfiction storytelling. It went onto be so influential that podcasts were created about the show, everyone had an opinion to who the murderer really was, and Adnan Syed's case even went to retrial. Don't miss your chance to hear from the storytelling maestro at this year's inaugural Bingefest.
NYE at Portside Sydney
Another year has sped by and now it's time to farewell it. Do so in style at one of the best vantage points in Sydney for seeing the Harbour Bridge fireworks: down at Portside Sydney Opera House. All night long there will be free flowing Moët & Chandon Impérial, and local Falcona signed DJ Dena Amy will be spinning electronic, pop and classic hits to soundtrack your 2016 send-off. A menu specially curated by Lauren Murdoch will be served throughout the evening, alongside a signature Belvedere Vodka cocktail list. There will also be wines from Cape Mentelle, beers from James Squire and 5 Seeds Cider. The celebrations at Portside Sydney kick off from 7.30pm, meaning you will have one of the best vantage points in all of Sydney for both the 9pm and midnight fireworks.
Experience the magic of Christmas in Martin Place
Bulgari is helping set Christmas aglow with a mesmerising jewelled light installation in the Martin Place precinct. Crafted using thousands of individual LED lights, the festive decorations interpret the Roman jeweller’s most famous shapes. The coiling Serpenti centerpieces evoke precious garlands, while the Divas’ Dream collection becomes stylised Christmas trees. The shimmering display is on every evening from 6pm to midnight up until Wednesday December 28. As well as admiring the light display shoppers and commuters will be able to visit the GPO Dessert Bar, installed in Martin Place next to the Christmas Tree. Visit the dessert bar for gelato, housemade sweets, cakes, coffee, cold beverages and savoury options, with casual seating available as well as views of the interactive Christmas tree. The GPO Dessert Bar is open Monday to Thursday 8am-10pm; Friday 8am-11pm; Saturday 9am-11pm; and Sunday 10am-10pm, up until Friday December 30. Bulgari Christmas Lights and the GPO Dessert Bar are part of sydneychristmas.com.au.
Lights of Christmas
It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas and you’ll certainly feel it if you visit St Mary’s Cathedral forecourt. Every night until Christmas (7.30pm-midnight) the grand cathedral will be transformed with a beautiful free light and sound show.The Lights of Christmas, presented by PAYCE, will see a Fantasia-style animation projected onto the façade of St Mary’s Cathedral. The colourful, interactive story will be set to a soundtrack of the festive favourite, Tchaikovsky's 'The Nutcracker Suite'. The show kicks off at 7.30pm every evening, with choirs from around Sydney performing carols on the steps.Following The Nutcracker Suite animation, there will be beautiful super-sized projections of great artists' interpretations of the Madonna and Child. There are also projections at Sydney Town Hall and Martin Place, so make an evening of it and head to the heart of the city to celebrate the festive season.