There are dozens of things to do in Sydney every day. But, sometimes your life requires a little more planning, which is why we've pulled together an annual calendar of Sydney events, so you can find something to do tomorrow, this weekend or six months from now. Here's the best of what's on in Sydney, 365 days a year. Need more permanent inspiration? You can also discover the best 20 things to do in Sydney, at least once in your life.
Things to do right now
Things to do in Sydney this week
Sydney knows how to make the most of the good weather and this week’s outdoor events maximise the extra daylight and the warmer nights. Swap TV dinners for bao buns under the stars at the Night Noodle Markets and take an arty coastal walk at Sculpture by the Sea. If you're planning ahead, check out these upcoming Christmas markets and the biggest events in November.
Things to do in Sydney this weekend
Check out the new food festivals taking place in Redfern and Rooty Hill, celebrate killer Aussie talent at the Plot in Parramatta, and go to Sydney's oldest street fair in Glebe. Make the most of the weather and visit these five secret beaches. Click on the tabs to find more events on this weekend.
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 in Sydney at least once, 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. Take a read and get cracking on that ultimate to do list. Want more? See the best rooftop bars and waterfront dining spots.
Sydney events calendar
March events in Sydney
You'll find there's still lots of summery things to do in Sydney during the first month of autumn, including music events and theatre by the harbour. It's International Women's Day on March 8 and a good place to celebrate that and talk about gender equality is the All About Women festival on Sunday March 5. It's a good month for food festivals as Taste of Sydney and March into Merivale take place. Plus, there's Earth Hour, Parramasala and A Moveable Feast.
What's on in Sydney by season
Summer events in Sydney
Sydney really comes into her own in summer. After all, we’re surrounded by beautiful beaches, bush walks and ocean pools – and there are major cultural events like Sydney Festival, Twilight at Taronga and Tropfest. It’s the best time of the year to check out Sydney’s best rooftop bars and outdoor dining options. There are outdoor cinema sessions in every corner of the city, plus, when better than a sweltering hot day to try out the best Frosé cocktails around.
Winter events in Sydney
The temperature has dropped and the days are shorter, but there’s no need to panic. Winter in Sydney needn’t mean jetting off to warmer climes; June, July and August bring with it some of the best festivals of the year, including Sydney Film Festival, Vivid Festival of Light, Music and Ideas, the Rocks Aroma Festival, and lots of pop-up ice-skating rinks around the city. Make the most of winter with our comprehensive guide to what’s on this season.
Spring events in Sydney
Spring in Sydney brings with it some of our favourite festivals, from kite flying at Bondi Beach to Sculpture by the Sea, Sydney Craft Beer Week and Art & About. Grab your diary: we’ve got the next three months sorted, from music festivals to big-ticket theatre shows. If spontaneity is more your vibe, check out Sydney’s best rooftop bars and picnic spots – so you’re ready to go when the sun is shining.
Major Sydney festivals
Vivid is the largest winter festival in the Southern Hemisphere, running over 23 days and nights with an extensive program of Light, Music and Ideas events. This year’s highlights include an exhibition and DJ set from Björk, a sleepover at Sydney Opera House with music by Max Richter, a cathedral of light in the Botanic Gardens and an excuse to visit the zoo in the dark, plus New Order, Esperanza Spalding, Tiny Ruins and Goodgod at the House. Take a look at our top picks below.
The Sydney Festival
Sydney's annual festival of music, art, theatre and culture takes place in January. The whole city, from Parramatta to the Blue Mountains right into the centre of town comes to life during this summer festival. With so many options, it can be hard to pick the winners. That's where we come in.
Culture in Sydney
Sydney Summer Festival Guide
Sure, NSW isn't quite as lackadaisical or arty-farty as our Southern sisters when it comes to throwing festivals (okay, we're downright draconian), but there are plenty of hardworking promoters and party planners who are willing to wrestle with this state's byzantine bureaucracy and puritanical licensing laws in order to make fun times happen for small (and really, really large) groups of people. From lineups that champion the new and local, like one stage Parra festival FOMO to New Year's Eve blowouts in exotic locations (we see you Lost Paradise, Falls Festival) there's plenty to love. And, if you insist on a BYO, no-dickheads experience, you can always fly to Victoria or Tasmania.
The best film events in Sydney
Sydney loves its movies. We have some of the best pop-up and outdoor cinemas in the country, plenty of great movie theatres and loads of film festivals throughout the year. From one-off screenings of classic movies to reoccurring midnight movie sessions, here are the best film events in Sydney.
Sydney public holidays
Christmas in Sydney
Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere means beach barbecues, long lunches and checking out the festive lights in the city. There’s no snow, sure, but we know how to party. Find out where you can sing Christmas carols, shop at the Christmas markets, and get a head start on the Boxing Day sales.
Public holidays in Sydney 2016
Start the new year as you mean to go on: by planning your annual leave and good times. We’ve listed all of the public holidays in New South Wales this year, as well as a handy guide to the biggest festivals to look out for in each season. Australia Day – Tue Jan 26 Good Friday – Fri Mar 25 Easter – Sun Mar 27 Easter Monday – Mon Mar 28 ANZAC Day – Mon Apr 25 Queen’s Birthday – Mon Jun 13 Labour Day – Mon Oct 3 Christmas – Sun Dec 25 Boxing Day – Mon Dec 26 New Year's Day – Sun Jan 1, 2017 Summer From glittering fireworks at New Year’s Eve to the sparkly floats of Mardi Gras parade, summer is packed with festivals and large-scale events such as Sydney Festival and Lunar New Year, as well as annual music events like Laneway, FBi Smacs and Twilight at Taronga. Plus, movies under the stars. AutumnAs the summer nights begin to fade, make the most of the sunshine at the Royal Easter Show and the four-day food and wine feast, Taste of Sydney. Art galleries open their doors in March for Art Month, comedians come to town for Sydney Comedy Festival and wordsmiths flock to the harbour for Sydney Writers’ Festival. And there’s the ever-popular World Press Photo exhibition each May. WinterShort days and long nights mean it’s time for Vivid Sydney, a three-pronged festival of Light, Music and Ideas. Make sure you leave time for back-to-back movies at Sydney Film Festival too, and lace up those runners for the annual City2Surf fun run. Rockabilly fans gather at Rose Seidler Ho
Easter in Sydney
Discover the best ways to spend your long weekend, from large-scale events like Sydney Royal Easter Show to children's egg hunts in the park. If you want to get away for the long weekend, we've got ideas for that too. Plus, where to buy booze on Good Friday and where to get the tastiest hot cross buns.
ANZAC Day in Sydney
It's been 101 years since the first day the Australian and New Zealand troops saw military action in Gallipoli. Mark the anniversary with contemplation at a dawn or sunset service followed by a round of two-up at the boozer. Here’s our rundown of how to spend ANZAC Day in Sydney.
Queen's Birthday weekend
The Queen’s Birthday weekend public holiday is on Monday June 13, and it falls around the same time as Sydney Film Festival and Vivid Sydney – so there's always plenty to do around town on the long weekend. If you're looking for a caffeine fix on Monday morning, we've got your back. If you want to make the most of your three days off, we've got a list of the best parties this weekend too. Want to GTFO of town? See our short weekend getaways round-up.
Any time of year
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.
What's on in Sydney by month
February events in Sydney
It may be the final month of summer but that doesn't Sydney runs out of steam. In fact, the second month of the year is as steamy as ever with saucy Valentine's Day events, spicy markets and feasts for Chinese New Year and movies under the stars at Tropfest and popular outdoor cinemas like Moonlight Cinema and St George OpenAir Cinema.
August events in Sydney
It’s the last month of winter and Sydney can still feel cold in August. The biggest events include the city’s most popular fun run, City2Surf, which takes joggers from College Street to Bondi, there’s SMASH – the anime and manga festival, Sydney Science Festival and the retro Fifties Fair. Plus, it’s a great time to hibernate in Sydney’s hybrid bookshop-cafés.
September events in Sydney
It's the first month of spring and the fair weather brings with it a series of local festivals and events like Bondi’s Festival of the Winds, the popular Surry Hills Festival and Cabramatta Moon Festival. Cosplayers save the date for the annual Oz Comic-con and shoppers love Vogue Fashion’s Night Out. Major arts and culture festivals include BEAMS in Chippendale, Sydney Fringe Festival and the Sydney Underground Film Festival. Plus, it’s Father’s Day on Sunday September 4 and school holidays from September 24.
October events in Sydney
Sculpture by the Sea is one of the many events we look forward to in October, along with filling our faces with dumplings at the Night Noodle Markets and sampling new brews during Craft Beer Week. The month kicks off with a long weekend for Labour Day. Don't miss the free music and arts festival, Homeground, a chance to drink all the wine at Pinot Palooza and a marketplace of ethical goods at the Cruelty Free Festival.
November events in Sydney
November in Sydney is typically warm enough to lose the jacket but it's not guaranteed bikini temperatures every weekend. Big events on the calendar include Newtown Festival, Glebe Street Fair, Graphic Festival and Wine Island. Marvel at the city’s great structures in Sydney Open and catch new festivals like Penrith REAL, Royal Croquet Club and the Big Design Market. Plus, catch Sculpture by the Sea before it’s over.
December events in Sydney
It’s the month of Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties, and kids are on school holidays, but it’s also the first month of summer and that means outdoor cinemas are back, music festivals fill up every weekend, and yachts race in Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day. It’s also perfect weather to check out Sydney’s best rooftop bars, where to dine al fresco and Sydney’s best beaches.