01 Jun 2021

Updated guide to what’s on in Sydney 2021

Sydney is alive with exciting events, activities and things to do all year round. In fact, there’s so much to do here that you might just need a little help to pick the best stuff!
Updated guide to what’s on in Sydney 2021

From free live music and outdoor cinema to drinks at rooftop bars with harbour views and city-wide festivals - this is your complete, updated guide to what’s on in Sydney today, tomorrow and in the near future.

Winter Festival

Slide off your slippers and swap your robe for pants because Darling Harbour's Winter Festival is giving you a better reason than ever to go outside this June. 

The entire Darling Harbour landscape will come alive with a winter festival atmosphere featuring free activities, fireworks, live performances, decorations and the precinct’s best eating and drinking. This is definitely one of the best things to do in Sydney for all ages this solstice!

Vivid Sydney

Wondering what’s on in Sydney this winter? There’s a full roster of events to help you beat the cold, and the most exciting of all is Vivid Sydney. This exciting festival of light, music and ideas will illuminate Darling Harbour and Sydney from August 6 to August 28 and feature big names like James Cameron the director of Avatar and Titanic.

SEALIFE Sydney Aquarium

There’s always something on at SEALIFE Sydney Aquarium. Located right in the middle of Darling Harbour, this top attraction is a first choice for school holiday fun and fascinating animal encounters.


Sydney’s best restaurants

Sorry Melbourne - Sydney is hands down the best city for eating and drinking in Australia. We’ve got elegant, creative fine dining at renowned spots like Quay, Kuon Omakase in Haymarket & Momofuku Seiobo in The Star

And we’ve got legendary cheap eats like Betty's Burgers & Concrete Co & Belles Hot Chicken (featuring insanely hot Sex Panther chicken). So stop wondering what’s on in Sydney this weekend and start planning visits to the best local restaurants. 

Australia Day

Every January Darling Harbour hosts the Aussiest Australia Day celebrations in Sydney! In 2021, the celebration featured a floating cinema showing Red Dog, giant inflatables, an epic BBQ and an adults only bar area.

Darling Harbour children’s playground

No guide to what’s on in Sydney would be complete without mentioning the gigantic Darling Harbour children’s playground. If you’ve got kids in tow, this is a must-see!

Look out for events hosted in nearby Darling Quarter including plenty of family fun.

Mardis Gras

Sydney is home to a proud LGBTQI+ community who invite everyone to celebrate with them in the city’s annual Mardis Gras festival. This epic two week long celebration usually runs from February 19 to March 7 and includes performing arts, free events and of course a colourful pride parade!

Art galleries and street art

Sydney’s creative scene is bursting with talented artists and incredible work and you can see it first hand by visiting one of the city’s many art galleries. Viewing the country’s leading collection of modern art at the Museum of Contemporary Art is a good way to start!

Or for something a little less conventional, walk the great Sydney street art trail in Darling Harbour.

The Chinese Garden of Friendship

Looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city? Find serenity in the heart of Sydney with a visit to the Chinese Garden of Friendship in Darling Harbour.

This bastion of serenity was designed in collaboration with architects from Sydney’s sister city - Guangzhou - and features trickling rivers, glassy koi ponds and exotic plants.

Bottomless Brunch in Darling Harbour

Wondering what’s on this weekend? Chances are, there’s at least one bottomless brunch happening in Darling Harbour! Our favourite is The Port’s brunch which features unlimited bubbles and views of Sydney Harbour.

Luminous Darling Quarter

Luminous Darling Quarter is the world’s largest interactive light display, featuring 557 solar powered LED lights across the building overlooking the area. Incredible light shows can be seen from 6pm each night.

Note: the interactive consoles at Luminous are closed until further notice for the safety of our community.


Live music at the ICC

The Sydney International Convention Centre is more than just a venue - it’s a fully fledged entertainment precinct, complete with concert halls, restaurants and bars. The centre’s event line up features the best of local and international talent including theatre, musicians and festivals.

Check the event schedule to find out what’s on at Sydney’s ICC.

Drinks in beautiful Sydney harbour views

Sydney is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. To take it all in, we recommend finding a bar with panoramic Sydney Harbour views, grabbing a cold drink and soaking in the sun.

Family fun during the school holidays

Over the school holidays, Sydney comes to life. Darling Harbour is the epicentre of all the fun, with countless special events, workshops and concerts hosted to help you entertain your little ones.

Holiday workshops at the Australian National Maritime Museum

Australia is the world’s largest island continent so understandably our nation has a long and fascinating history at sea. The Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) chronicles that intriguing history with a series of images, interactive exhibits and even real vessels that you can board and explore!

Be sure to check out their school holiday event programme and see what's on at the Museum today.