Sydney

Travel Guide
Sydney showing a house and a small town or village

Tour a reconstruction of an 18th-century fortress town, drive along a scenic highway and hike through forests at this seaside town.  

Sydney is a port town on the east coast of Cape Breton Island and a gateway to the rugged beauty of its highlands. Gorgeous scenery is only one of the draws. There is also a rich musical heritage and hundreds of years of history to uncover.

The Port of Sydney is the entry point for many visitors, but it’s more than a transport hub. Meander along the waterfront up to the huge fiddle and bow. The sculpture lays claim to being the largest fiddle in the world and is a tribute to the island's Celtic music tradition. Behind it is the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion where you can watch concerts. Other performance venues in Sydney include the Highland Arts Theatre, located in the former St. Andrews Church.

Sydney was founded shortly after the American Revolution and for history lovers there’s much to get excited about. Tour the 18th-century Cossit House, believed to be the oldest residence in Sydney. In Josh Heritage House, find a collection of Victorian artifacts. A 40-minute drive away is the Fortress of Louisbourg, a reconstruction of an 18th-century French fortress town.

Devote some time to discovering Sydney’s natural charms. Meet the animals at Two Rivers Wildlife Park and at Twin Lighthouse Farm. See puffins, seabirds, seals and eagles at Bird Island, then unwind on the sandy shores of Dominion Beach Provincial Park or Mira Gut Beach.

Nearby is Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Take your pick of 26 trails that encompass cliffs, forests, rivers and lakes. Kayak on the ocean and spot humpback and minke whales. Running through the park is part of the Cabot Trail, a 185-mile (297-kilometer) scenic highway.

When you are back in Sydney, relax with a round of golf at Alderdale Greens or Juniper Hollow Golf. On Saturdays, stock up on local produce at Cape Breton Farmers’ Market and picnic at Open Hearth Park.

To get to Sydney and its scenic, historic and cultural attractions, take the ferry from Newfoundland or fly into JA Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport. You can also arrive by car and bus from Halifax on mainland Nova Scotia.

Travelodge by Wyndham Sydney
Travelodge by Wyndham Sydney
2 out of 5
480 Kings Road, Sydney, NS
The price is $88 per night from Nov 19 to Nov 19
Situated on the waterfront, this eco-friendly hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Membertou Heritage Park, Bethel Presbyterian Church, and Cape Breton Centre for ...
3.8/5 Good! (697 reviews)
"Property was clean and quiet."

Reviewed on Oct 23, 2021

Travelodge by Wyndham Sydney
Holiday Inn Sydney - Waterfront, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Sydney - Waterfront, an IHG Hotel
3.5 out of 5
300 Esplanade, Sydney, NS
Fully refundable
The price is $122 per night from Nov 12 to Nov 12
Located in the heart of Sydney, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, World's Largest Fiddle, and Centre ...
4/5 Very Good! (950 reviews)
"The location of the hotel was great. We had a nice view over the water and could see a bit of the sunset. It was within walking distance to a lot of things. The man at the reception was very unfriendly and terse. The bathtub was gross, it had those non slip things at the bottom but they were all ..."

Reviewed on Oct 25, 2021

Holiday Inn Sydney - Waterfront, an IHG Hotel
Cambridge Suites Hotel Sydney
Cambridge Suites Hotel Sydney
3.5 out of 5
380 Esplanade, Sydney, NS
The price is $117 per night from Nov 2 to Nov 2
Located in the heart of Sydney, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, Centre 200, and Bethel Presbyterian ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (969 reviews)
"Trio restaurant had the best steak ever❣️"

Reviewed on Oct 26, 2021

Cambridge Suites Hotel Sydney
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Central Sydney location
Central Sydney location
Sydney, NS
Situated in a rural location, this historic vacation home is 2.6 mi (4.1 km) from Membertou Heritage Park and within 6 mi (10 km) of Cape Breton Centre for Craft ...
3.5/5 Good! (4 reviews)
No water
"Water would shut off and was black at times, lucky to have water for a 2 minute shower, pull out bed uncomfortable"

Reviewed on Oct 16, 2019

Central Sydney location
Heart's Desire Tiny House with a View
Heart's Desire Tiny House with a View
Salmon River Road, NS
Situated in Salmon River Road, this vacation home is 2 mi (3.3 km) from Two Rivers Wildlife Park and within 20 mi (32 km) of Bras d'Or Lake and Coxheath Hills ...
5/5 Exceptional! (1 review)
Excellent accommodations
"Very clean and comfortable, superb location and everything at our fingertips including BBQ and fire pit...definitely a do-over."

Reviewed on Oct 12, 2021

Heart's Desire Tiny House with a View
Driftwood Cottage, The Gateway to the Cabot Trail.
Driftwood Cottage, The Gateway to the Cabot Trail.
Englishtown, NS
Situated on the waterfront, this cottage is 0.6 mi (0.9 km) from Saint Anns Bay and within 9 mi (15 km) of Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts and Bras ...
4/5 Very Good! (2 reviews)
Great Place To Stay
"Awesome location quite place with everything you need highly recommend it to anyone who wants peace and quite!"

Reviewed on Sep 7, 2021

Driftwood Cottage, The Gateway to the Cabot Trail.
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Sydney