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Aerial view of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new SANAA - designed building,
Photograph: AGNSW/Iwan Baan

Things to do in Sydney today

We've found the day's best events and they're ready for your perusal, all in one place – it's your social emergency saviour

Winnie Stubbs
Edited by
Winnie Stubbs
Written by
Time Out editors
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We might be a little biased, but we don't believe there's a better place on earth to spend a day than in our sparkling waterside city.

From coastal walking tracks to secret swim spots to swanky sky-high bars, Sydney is home to the kinds of settings that play host to magical memories every day of the year – from ordinary Wednesdays to the most important days of your life. 

On any given day, there are a whole host of happenings to discover in the Emerald City – each offering a new experience to add to your Sydney memory bank.  If you're stuck for activities, we're here to help – here is what’s in store today.

Want to get your weekend plans in order, right now? Check out our pick of the best things to do in Sydney this weekend.

Rain putting a dampner on your plans? These are the best things to do indoors.

Stay in the loop: sign up for our free Time Out Sydney newsletter for more news, straight to your inbox.

 

The day's best events

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Sydney

Arthur Miller’s Pulitzer-winning 1949 play has lost none of its potency in the last 75 years. Indeed, in our current terrible moment of economic anxiety, the heaviest weight on Willy Loman’s back – the need to make his mortgage payments even as he’s rendered obsolete – will be familiar to many audience members, although perhaps one step removed. Director Neil Armfield anchors this production in the period of the play’s genesis, but the themes remain timeless – beautifully and excruciatingly so. Anthony LaPaglia is our Willy Loman, making his Sydney stage debut at the Theatre Royal in the role that earned him standing ovations when this production debuted in Melbourne. Weighed down by years, responsibilities, and his own bulk, LaPagia’s Loman prowls the stage muttering, half lost in memories, pinning all his hopes on the illusory successes of his adult sons: wastrel womaniser Happy (Ben O’Toole) and former golden boy Biff (Josh Helman), high school football star turned frustrated drifter. Willy’s wife, the long-suffering Linda (Alison Whyte) dutifully dithers around her husband and boys, until she too fractures under the weight of Willy’s unrealised ambitions.  LaPaglia makes for an incredibly obstinate and frustratingly obtuse Willy, his crippling insecurities masked by a thick armour cast from bluster and bravado. Yes, it’s all about the American Dream and the failures thereof – but it’s worth noting that the American Dream has always been America’s chief export, and we’ve a

  • Things to do
  • Sydney

If you’ve ever heard talk of secret tunnels and winding labyrinths from World War II that lie forgotten beneath Sydney city, you’re not alone. Well, it turns out, the rumours are true. And the best bit? We can see them with our own eyes – illuminated by a wild light show, laser beams and electronic music. Yes. This is real life. After a successful debut last year, ‘Dark Spectrum’ will be taking over this historical subterranean network as part of Vivid Sydney 2024. (Check out our ultimate guide to Vivid over here.) The entrance to this secret tunnel is hidden in plain sight in one of Sydney’s busiest train station thoroughfares. If you’ve ever grabbed something from the Wynyard Coles, you may not have ever paid too much attention to the emergency access door that’s situated right next to it. Unbeknownst to most of us, this nondescript door has long been the entrance to a series of secret tunnels that lie beneath Wynyard Station. For the last century, these tunnels were the abandoned relics of a city engineer’s grand plans to build a train line between Mosman and the Northern Beaches, but (as it is with many things), this plan fell to the wayside, and into decades of obscurity.  Opening on Friday, May 24, and running until June 15, this wild and immersive light show will take visitors through 1km of the tunnel system, where they will be taken through eight underground rooms that will each be decked out in a vibrant variety of lights, robots, animations and laser shows that hav

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  • Art
  • Design
  • Ultimo

We love Sydney, we really do. But that’s not to say that our beloved city isn’t without her flaws. With so many locals and tourists going in and out of the city every day, a lot of resources get used up. Energy, water and other commodities are becoming increasingly precious, so to keep our city functioning the best it can, none other than Sydney institution the Powerhouse Museum is specially re-opening its doors during Vivid Sydney. Yes – you read that correctly! The legendary Ultimo museum closed in February for an extensive three-year renovation period, however the Powerhouse has granted special permission for folks to be allowed back onto the premesis for this fascinating exhibition, dubbed A New Normal, inside the temporary Vivid hub. Led by urban leader, former Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney and Time Out Future Shaper Jess Miller, this intriguing exhibition featuring prototypes, light displays and more concepts will be open to visit every night between 6pm and 10pm, for three weeks from May 24 – and it's totally free to visit.  Architects, designers, developers and tech specialists have banded together to produce an exhibition full of sustainable solutions for the city-slicking lifestyle. More than 20 brilliant concepts will be on display, including a beer made from recycled waste-water in partnership with Heaps Normal called ‘The Last Beer on Earth’; a coat hanger-eating robot; a bio-processor being built on Cockatoo Island to transform the massive amounts of bio waste (a

  • Art
  • Digital and interactive
  • Sydney

Winter in Sydney can be pretty darn sparkly, with major thanks to Vivid – the annual multidisciplinary festival that lights up the city for a few weeks every year. One particularly glittery feature of the Vivid Sydney 2024 program is Lightscape – an immersive light show that will illuminate the Royal Botanic Garden from May 24 until June 15. After making its Botanic Garden debut with a sellout 2023 season, this multi-sensory experience of light, colour and sound is back, this year with a reimagined set-up. (Lightscape is a paid-entry event, and we reckon the ticket price is well worth it, but if you're looking for free things to do at Vivid, head over here.)Originally created by a group of artists more than a decade ago, Lightscape has transformed spaces around the world into sell-out immersive experiences. And though some Sydneysiders were up in arms about having to pay to access the Botanic Garden (generally a free-to-access public space) during last year's season, once you’ve experienced Lightscape in the flesh, you’ll understand the reasoning. As the sun begins to set over Sydney Harbour, you'll wander under larger-than-life flowers, and tree canopies will come alive with light. Follow the 1.8km illuminated trail as your surroundings morph from one luminous delight into another. Food and drinks are available to purchase along the route, or you can hold out and head to one of the many excellent restaurants that Circular Quay has to offer. Tickets start at $30 for adults ($

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  • Things to do
  • Fairs and festivals
  • price 0 of 4
  • Sydney

For a few special days every year, Sydney comes alive with writers, journalists, public intellectuals and book lovers – who gather for the Emerald City’s long-standing celebration of literature, reading and ideas: the Sydney Writers' Festival. This year marks the 27th anniversary of our city’s most beloved celebration of words, and the festival’s 2024 theme is Take Me Away – a theme that reflects our universal affinity for escapism, a role that literature has always played in society. Comprising 223 free and ticketed events, this year’s program is a pretty impressive one.  The urban corner of Sydney that’s home to the spectacular space that is Carriageworks will act as the hub for this year’s festival, but events will be popping up across the city: including at Sydney Town Hall, City Recital Hall and The State Library of NSW, as well as at smaller venues across Greater Sydney and the nation through the Live & Local streaming program. Keen to get involved? Read on.For the 2024 program, almost 300 writers from all over Australia and the world will come together to share stories and interrogate ideas, all around the central theme of Take Me Away. A celebration of Australian thought-leaders, 263 of the speakers on this year’s program are Australian, with 35 international speakers joining them on stages across the city.  Highlights from this year’s program will include a live podcast recording with London-based author and podcaster Katy Hessell, a behind-the-scenes look into the m

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