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Updated by Joanna James on Nov 20, 2021
Headline for A List of Best Things to Do and See in Circular Quay in Sydney - 6 places to add to your itinerary!
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A List of Best Things to Do and See in Circular Quay in Sydney - 6 places to add to your itinerary!

The First Fleet that arrived from Britain in order to colonise what is now known as Australia, landed at Sydney Cove, also known as Circular Quay. Most tourists still arrive in Sydney through this bustling harbour-front. Here's a guide highlighting all the top things you can do and see.


Sydney Opera House

This World Heritage-listed architectural wonder is a must-see in Sydney, not just in Clarke Quay. The Sydney Opera House, designed by Danish architect Jørn Oberg Utzon, proved worth the long wait and cost when it debuted in 1973. Its architecture is equally admired as it's for its world-class events. The venue, located just a 15-minute drive away from Oaks Sydney North Ryde Suites, hosts regular opera, music and theatre performances. Those who are based at hotels in Circular Quay visit the Opera House not only to enjoy its many events but also to take advantage of the wonderful photo opportunities it offers.


Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Opera House would've been incomplete without its iconic neighbour across the Circular Quay. The world's tallest steel arch bridge stretches across a kilometre of water, with one channel for walkers, one just for bicycles, and BridgeClimb Sydney taking you to the top. This climb may not be the least expensive option, but it offers unmatched vistas of the city. Climb the bridge early in the mornings before it becomes hot.


Customs House

The 5-storey Customs House constructed on the First Fleet landing site served as a state office till the 1990s when it became an event venue, a library, and a museum. History has been etched in every corner of this place. Customs House was one of Australia's earliest structures opened in 1845. It also contains a large-scale model of Sydney.


Museum of Contemporary Art

The Museum of Contemporary Art has Australia's finest contemporary art collection, including several works by Aboriginal artists. Make sure to walk along the wharf to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and soak in the views and sounds too. You'll pass the ferry port and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Explore the newest exhibition before going up to the rooftop café for the most famed Australian coffee and views.


The Squire's Landing

Drinks from James Squire go nicely with both upscale Australian cuisine and pub food. The views from the floor-to-ceiling windows over two floors on the water edge are maybe the most wonderful. It recounts the story of James Squire, a prisoner aboard the First Fleet and, more significantly, the country's first brewer. This is one of the best places in town to eat, drink, and enjoy Sydney's famous sights.


The Sydney Seal

A set of stairs leading down to the water's edge can be found just behind the Opera House. A seal called Benny can often be seen lounging about these steps. If you would like to add saying hello to Benny to the list of things to do in Circular Quay, then you got to start walking down the left side of the Opera, which is where you will find his platform. When you notice the 'Do Not Feed the Seal' signage, you know you've arrived at the correct spot. Google Maps has also marked the Opera House Seal Steps.