Discover this bustling ferry port and main thoroughfare between some of Sydney's most famous landmarks. Circular Quay is a fantastic location to see remarkable city and sea views and enjoy watching the world go by from of the many open-air restaurants along the promenade. It's also a go-to place for locals, for both commuting and weekend leisure activities, making it a lively highlight of your Sydney stay.
In the heart of the best Sydney has to offer
The quay serves as a vital gateway for Sydney, connecting visitors to the major attractions. The most obvious landmark is, of course, the Sydney Opera House, designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon and opened in 1973. The opera house hosts 40 shows per week, from lilting classical opera to thunderous rock concerts, uproarious comedy shows, contemplative theater pieces, and contemporary dance performances. The Circular Quay continues around to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the city's other iconic landmark that carries trains, cars, bikes, and pedestrians across to Sydney's North Shore. Though not for the faint of heart, it is possible to climb the bridge. The quay also stretches to The Rocks, a district of historic open-air laneways with markets offering street food and local fashion designs.
Spending time at Circular Quay
If you visit Sydney, it's more than likely you'll spend a good amount of time at Circular Quay. It's arguably Sydney's most buzzing place. Situated in the very heart of Sydney Cove, the founding place for the settlement of Australia, ferries leave every few minutes from here to different parts of the harbor. Take a boat from here to the legendary surfing beach Manly, Watsons Bay, Mosman and Taronga Zoo. Visit it at the weekend and you'll be confronted with a ferry port throbbing with activity. A popular area for tourists and locals like, buskers perform on the western side and draw crowds. The quay has a plethora of vibrant cafes, restaurants and shops, as well as weekend market stalls, set against a backdrop of historic buildings and mysterious passageways. Crowds flock to a bank of restaurants set up in a row of former wharves. So, stop here for a meal and to enjoy the spectacular views of the Harbour Bridge, which will dazzle you day and night.
Connected to the city
Aside from catering to tourists, the quay is a vital link for Sydneysiders commuting to and from work and as a gateway for the thousands of locals journeying to Manly's surf beach on weekends. It's at the foot of the central business district and the older, historic end of the city. Buses also depart here for Bondi Beach and the eastern suburbs. From here, you can take the City Circle underground railway, which loops around the CBD.