The iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge is synonymous with Sydney and Australia. Opened in 1932 to connect the CBD to Sydney's North Shore, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the city's main tourist attractions. Best of all, once you’re at the Sydney Harbour Bridge then you’re just a stone’s throw away from a multitude of other Sydney sites and attractions - where you can take in the bridge from a different perspective.
Sydney Harbour Bridge Must-Dos
- Walk (or ride!) across the bridge - You can’t visit the Sydney Harbour Bridge and not cross it to the other side! Clocking in at 1.14km, it’s an easy stroll with incredible views. Walking across one side offers views of the Opera House, Botanic Gardens, and open ocean, while the other shows what the dazzling Sydney Harbour is all about. Take a bike with you and enjoy a little ride around North Sydney while you’re at it!
- See the bridge from below - Many harbour ferries travel underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge, where you can gape at the enormity of the structure from below. With the Opera House in sight, as well as the wide open ocean, it’s a great way to explore Sydney Harbour on water. Ride a ferry to historic Cockatoo Island, Balmain, or even Parramatta in Sydney’s West for an opportunity to catch the bridge from below.
- Climb up to the Pylon Lookout - On the Eastern (city) side of the bridge, 87 metres above sea level and 200 steps high, is the Pylon Lookout. Climb the steps to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and enjoy panoramic views of the city, bridge, and harbour from above. This is a good one for those who aren't quite ready for the BridgeClimb!
- Do the BridgeClimb - Possibly Sydney's greatest offering for adrenaline junkies, the BridgeClimb offers 4 different options to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. From a 3+ hour climb that takes you along the upper arch of the bridge to easier climbs of 1.5 hours along the inner arch, all offer stunning vantage points to view the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House, city, and beyond. A Mandarin climb is also available for Mandarin speakers.
Tip: If you're in Sydney during the Vivid Festival of Lights, Music & Ideas then choose a 'Twilight' or 'Night' walk for great views of the city illuminated in lights!
Best Spots To View The Sydney Harbour Bridge
If you’re more one to sit back and enjoy the scenery, there are various places from which you can settle and enjoy views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge - without having to climb steps!
- The Rocks and Circular Quay - There are many restaurants, cafes, and pubs in Circular Quay and The Rocks which offer great views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Sit back with a coffee or a beer and enjoy the scenery.
- Royal Botanic Garden - Pack a picnic and sit on the grass by the water’s edge at the Royal Botanic Garden, where the real postcard-worthy views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House are. This is probably where you’ll get the best snaps, so if that’s what you’re after, this is the spot.
- Milsons Point - You can either walk over the bridge, or take a train or ferry to Milsons Point, where you can see the city, bridge, and Opera House from the other side. Ride the ferris wheel at Luna Park for a different angle or visit North Sydney Olympic Pool for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with the massive Sydney Harbour Bridge towering in front of you.
Sydney Harbour Accommodation
There are many options when it comes to Sydney harbour hotels. From boutique accommodation to world-class hotels, if you’re looking to stay near Sydney harbour then you have several locations to choose from, all within easy access to Sydney Harbour Bridge.
- The Rocks - With nearby access to the Pylon Lookout, The Rocks is right at the foot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. You’ll be within walking distance to the Sydney CBD, Circular Quay, and a whole host of boutique cafes, stores, and restaurants.
- Sydney CBD - If you want to be in the midst of it all, Sydney CBD is crawling with hotels, hostels, and boutique accommodation. A good option for those who want to be within the hustle and bustle, but still within walking distance to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
- Potts Point/Kings Cross - For somewhere that’s vibrant and trendy but a little less urban, Potts Point/Kings Cross is the place to be. With an eclectic history, this area is crawling with cool eateries for serious foodies and old art deco buildings that make a great Instagram photo. It’s more affordable than staying in the city, and best of all, the Sydney Harbour Bridge can be reached via a walk through the Domain and the Royal Botanic Garden.