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Circular Quay

Flanked by the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Sydney’s transportation hub is one of the prettiest terminals in the world.

Circular Quay is situated in the small inlet of Sydney Cove, the official landing site of the First Fleet. Scottish political reformer Thomas Muir once had a cottage here, and for decades it was the city’s main shipping port. Today, it’s best known as the place to catch one of Sydney's iconic ferries, which travel all over the harbor. It’s also a great spot to take in incredible views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.

Circular Quay is Sydney’s outdoor answer to New York City’s bustling Grand Central Station. As well as the ferry terminal, it has one of Sydney's busiest train stations and a bus interchange. The central location and views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge ensure that this hub is always buzzing with commuters and tourists. It’s also a focal point on New Year’s Eve, when crowds pack the area to watch the annual fireworks display.

The area is home to Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and the Customs House. Art buffs will love the MCA, which underwent a major refurbishment in 2012. It’s open daily and entry is free; some touring exhibitions may attract a fee.

At the Customs House and explore the library and exhibitions, or relax with a coffee. Don’t miss the grand atrium and staircase, and the impressive scale model of Sydney, displayed under the glass floor on the ground level. Keep an eye out for the ghost of convict David O’Connor, who was hanged on the site in 1790. Rumor has it, he walks the halls of the building offering rum to unsuspecting visitors!

Harbor cruises operate regularly out of Circular Quay’s cruise terminal. For something romantic, book a sunset dinner cruise from jetty number 6. One of the most inexpensive ways to see the harbor is to catch the Manly Ferry, an unforgettable 60-minute round trip.

Located just north of downtown on Sydney Cove, Circular Quay is best accessed via public transport or on foot.


Guide to Exploring around Circular Quay


Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5
Map

Lodging Near Circular Quay

See all 1,111 Properties near Circular Quay
Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney $134
Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney

Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney

11 Jamison Street, Sydney
     
    4.6
    of 5, from 14,129 reviews
    5.0 out of 5.0

    This 34-story hotel offers a stylish retreat from busy George Street, with Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, and Hyde Park all within 3 blocks. Wynyard Train Station is a 3-minute walk away.

    Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments Darling Harbour $74
    Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments Darling Harbour

    Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments Darling Harbour

    243 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont
       
      4.0
      of 5, from 5,653 reviews
      4.0 out of 5.0

      Located in Darling Harbour, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Australian National Maritime Museum and Harbourside. International Convention Centre Sydney and Chinese Garden of Friendship are also within 15 minutes.

      Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney $157
      Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

      Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

      176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks
         
        4.6
        of 5, from 3,106 reviews
        5.0 out of 5.0

        Standing in the historic Rocks district of cobbled laneways and designer boutiques, the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney is less than 500 meters from ferries and trains, Sydney's central business district, shopping, and Sydney Harbor foreshores.

        ibis Sydney Darling Harbour $97
        ibis Sydney Darling Harbour

        ibis Sydney Darling Harbour

        70 Murray Street, Sydney
           
          3.9
          of 5, from 2,496 reviews
          3.5 out of 5.0

          Located in Darling Harbour, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Sydney Lyric Theatre, Sydney Opera House, and Sydney Harbour Bridge. University of Sydney and Circular Quay are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Holiday Inn Old Sydney the Rocks $114
          Holiday Inn Old Sydney the Rocks

          Holiday Inn Old Sydney the Rocks

          55 George Street, The Rocks
             
            4.3
            of 5, from 2,703 reviews
            3.5 out of 5.0

            Located in the heart of The Rocks, this hotel is steps from The Rocks Markets and Circular Quay. Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House are also within 15 minutes.

            Hyatt Regency Sydney $127
            Hyatt Regency Sydney

            Hyatt Regency Sydney

            161 Sussex Street, Sydney
               
              4.4
              of 5, from 6,716 reviews
              5.0 out of 5.0

              This darling Harbour hotel is also less than a kilometer from the restaurants, cafes, and bars of Cockle Bay and shopping at the Queen Victoria Building.

              Travelodge Hotel Sydney Wynyard $100
              Travelodge Hotel Sydney Wynyard

              Travelodge Hotel Sydney Wynyard

              7-9 York Street, Sydney
                 
                4.0
                of 5, from 5,330 reviews
                4.0 out of 5.0

                The city-center Travelodge Hotel Sydney Wynyard is within 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) of Circular Quay, the Rocks, and Museum of Contemporary Art. Royal Botanic Gardens and Sydney Opera House are 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) away.

                Rydges World Square $106
                Rydges World Square

                Rydges World Square

                389 Pitt Street, Sydney
                   
                  4.2
                  of 5, from 2,269 reviews
                  4.5 out of 5.0

                  Theatres, cinemas, Chinatown, the Spanish quarter, shopping arcades, and discount stores are all within a 0.5 km radius of Rydges World Square.