Arts & Attractions

From world-class theatre to unforgettable views – put Sydney on your bucketlist in 2021

After the year that was, we all deserve a getaway, and with a calendar chock full of worldclass events and views that need to be seen in real life, Sydney is the place to be in 2021.

From unmissable events to delicious food, Instagram-worthy sightseeing, and a stack more – here’s your ultimate guide to the perfect Sydney holiday. It’s time to get planning!

Unmissable events

Disney’s Frozen The Musical

If we’re talking about unmissable, international smash hits, we can’t look past Disney’s Frozen. Its debut Australian season has taken audiences by storm night after night, and as they prepare to wrap up their time at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre, we’re certain you should book a night in.

Adapted from the Oscar-winning film, it features all the songs you know, love, and have had stuck in your head for the last eight years, but with an added bonus in a dozen new songs created exclusively for the stage. Alongside sensational special effects, stunning sets and costumes, and powerhouse performances, Frozen is a truly unforgettable theatrical experience.

The incredible cast – led by Courtney Monsma and Jemma Rix – are phenomenal at bringing these beloved animated characters and their enchanted world to life.

Don’t miss out – final performances until May are on sale now.

Hamilton

Is there a bigger musical theatre production in the world right now than Hamilton? We don’t think so – that’s why we are so excited to be in the room where it happens when the production makes its official Australian debut this month.

For the uninitiated, Hamilton is the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary. Besides fantastic storytelling, the score is absolutely top-notch and like nothing you’ve ever heard before, blending hip hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway.

The Australian debut season – taking over Sydney Lyric Theatre – has already smashed box office records, with the 35-strong cast made up of performers from Australia, including three First Nations actors, and actors whose backgrounds include African, Mauritian, Caribbean, Asian, Pacific Islander and Latino.

This is the sort of production you’ll be talking about for years to come. Tickets are on sale now – for best availability choose shows between June and November.

Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival

Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival 2021
Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival 2021

With three weekends left, the 2021 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival is the place to be. Get your best black and white outfit together to be a part of the most elegant race day: The Star Championships – complete with a post-race performance from Hot Dub Time Machine. On the track, prestige, assured legacy and record prize-money are guaranteed the following weekend at The Championships Day 2, and don’t miss the huge party that wraps up the whole carnival – Schweppes All Aged Stakes Day.

The Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival comes to Royal Randwick from Saturday 3 April until Saturday 17 April and tickets are on sale now.

La Traviata: Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

Drama and decadence is on the menu when you book in a night with the world’s most popular opera, La Traviata. This is only amplified when you add in the breathtaking surrounds of the Sydney Harbour. Fireworks light up the sky at every performance and a giant chandelier shimmers over the harbour stage with 10,000 dazzling Swarovski crystals. On a magnificent floating stage over the Sydney Harbour, Opera Australia will bring this classic tale to life – get ready for tears, heartbreak, and Giuseppi Verdi’s celebrated score.

Arrive early to enjoy drinks or dinner at one of the five pop-up bars and restaurants on site. Drink in the view as the setting sun glimmers over the city skyline, then take your seats in the comfortable grandstand to enjoy.

The story that inspired Moulin Rouge and Pretty Woman is on from Friday 26 March until Sunday 25 April, and tickets are on sale now.

Come From Away

Following sell-out seasons around the world, and two much-celebrated seasons in Melbourne, it is finally Sydney’s chance to enjoy the magic that is Come From Away.

Arriving at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre in June 2021, it’s based on the incredible true story of thousands of passengers diverted to the isolated community of Gander, Newfoundland in Canada following the events of September 11, 2001. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.

Come From Away‘s Australia debut season grew to nine months of critical acclaim and standing ovations, becoming the most successful production in the Comedy Theatre’s 91-year history – so you now you can’t miss its Sydney arrival.

Come From Away will begin its Sydney season at the Capitol Theatre on Thursday 3 June 2021. Tickets are on sale now.

Sydney Royal Easter Show

sydney royal easter show

For two weeks this April, the Sydney Royal Easter Show will return to celebrate Australia’s cultural heritage – from rural tradition to modern-day lifestyles, there is so much to see, do, and explore.

The ultimate day out for Easter time – whether you’re all about cuddling up to some animals (seriously, there are over 14,000), love trying out arts and crafts activities, want to test your bravery in the haunted hotel or get down the rainbow Super Slide, or create a day filled with all the memory making experiences you can squeeze in, then you’ve come to the right place.

Make sure you keep your Sydney Royal Easter Show visit going into the evening, because world-leading home-grown pyrotechnic heroes Howard & Sons are putting on another fireworks spectacular and it is not to be missed.

The Sydney Royal Easter Show will transform Sydney Showground from Thursday 1 April until Friday 12 April 2021. Tickets are on sale now

Planning your Sydney getaway

Where to stay?

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Throughout Sydney, there are accommodation options to suit every budget. From five-star hotels on Sydney Harbour to hostels and beachside hotels, spa retreats and resorts, apartments and cottages, houseboats, or even a campsite on a harbour island – in Sydney, you can shape your holiday whichever way you want.

From north to south, and east to west, you’ll find places to stay in Sydney near iconic attractions, including gorgeous beaches, wonderful zoos and fun outdoor adventures. Whether you want the hustle and bustle of the city on your doorstep, or you want to wake up with your toes in the sand or the sounds of nature in your ears – there is something for everyone.

Find out more about all the best options here.

Delight your tastebuds

If exquisite and exciting food and drink is your thing, then you’ve definitely come to the right place, because the sky’s the limit when it comes to scenic watering holes in Sydney.

Pull up a seat and soak up the views from some of Sydney’s best rooftops. If you’re looking for classic pub vibes with an iconic view, choose The Glenmore Hotel, or go back in time and celebrate the lively party culture during Prohibition of Nick & Nora’s. Icebergs Terrace will have you sipping cocktails overlooking the ocean while the pub and the beach join forces at The New Brighton Hotel.

Outdoor dining allows you to enjoy the best Sydney has to offer all at once – with delicious menus to suit every taste and budget, paired with 360-degree scenery. For a long, lazy lunch head to Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel, while environmentally conscious foodies and yum cha fanatics will love Bodhi. Acre is perfect for getting the family together, and if bottomless brunch is more your vibe, then you can’t look past The Winery.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, and we’re getting hungry just thinking about eating our way around the city. Check out all the top picks here.

Take in these breathtaking views

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Bondi coastal walk Image; James Horan, Destination NSW
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There is a reason that the Harbour is one of the most iconic and recognisable landscapes in the world. While it looks beautiful on land, it looks even better from the water– especially when you cast off under a billowing mainsail. You won’t regret setting sail on the harbour.

A trip to Sydney isn’t complete without some time spent at one of their ocean beaches. From Bondi to Manly or even Balmoral, spend your day in the sun – whether you’re laying out on the sand or sailing on the ocean, you won’t find views like this anywhere else in the world.

On foot is an amazing and affordable way to make the most of Sydney’s fascinating wildlife, world-famous views, and historic sites. Take the Barangaroo Foreshore & Reserve trail to take in the Reserve’s lush gardens and 75,000 native plants, alongside views of Darling Harbour, Luna Park, and more. If you’re after a well-shaded coastal walk packed with family-friendly beaches and historical sites, try the Hermitage Foreshore Walk, or if you want to witness the spectacular views of the Coast Track, but aren’t quite ready for the entire 26km hike, try the Bundeena to Wedding Cake Rock trail.

From ocean to city, bridge to national park – if you like to spend your holiday time soaking in the views, you’ll want to make the most of Sydney’s best walking guides.

Plan the perfect trip for your lifestyle

Maybe planning isn’t your thing. We get it, there’s so many decisions to make and not enough time to make them. That’s why these bespoke Sydney Playcay itineraries are perfect – all the big decisions have been made for you, so now all you have to do is follow along and enjoy.

Heading on a family weekend to Sydney? Check! What about a romantic escape? You’re covered there too. They’ve even got custom itineraries for the gourmet foodie, the wellness warrior, those keen on arts and culture, or the perfect weekend-long special celebration.

If you’re keen to explore the best of Sydney’s favourite neighbourhoods, there are even itineraries for making the most of Penrith, Parramatta, Bondi, Manly, and more.

Book in your Sydney holiday and win!

If you thought the theatre, food, and views wasn’t enough, the goodies keep on coming. In partnership with our pals at Destination NSW, all you have to do is purchase a ticket to any of the events listed above and, if you have a billing address outside of NSW, you could go in the draw to win $1000 cash* Terms and conditions apply

So what are you waiting for? A Sydney holiday is calling, and right now there has never been a better time to head to the Harbour City. Keep up to date on what’s on in Sydney here.