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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 Circular Quay


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 1,101 properties near Circular Quay
Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney £103
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

    Located in Sydney Central Business District, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Museum of Contemporary Art and Circular Quay. Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge are also within 1 mile (2 km).

    Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments Darling Harbour £56
    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 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 £120
      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

        Located in the heart of The Rocks, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Museum of Contemporary Art, The Rocks Markets and Circular Quay. Sydney Observatory and Customs House are also within 10 minutes.

        ibis Sydney Darling Harbour £75
        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 miles (3 km) of Sydney Lyric Theatre, Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. University of Sydney and Circular Quay are also within 3 miles (5 km).

          Holiday Inn Old Sydney the Rocks £87
          Holiday Inn Old Sydney the Rocks

          Holiday Inn Old Sydney the Rocks

          55 George Street, The Rocks
             
            4.3
            of 5, from 2,702 reviews
            3.5 out of 5.0

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

            Hyatt Regency Sydney £95
            Hyatt Regency Sydney

            Hyatt Regency Sydney

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

              Located in Darling Harbour, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Wildlife Sydney and Circular Quay. Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House are also within 2 miles (3 km).

              Travelodge Hotel Sydney Wynyard
              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

                Located in Sydney Central Business District, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Museum of Contemporary Art and Circular Quay. Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House are also within 1 mile (2 km).

                Rydges World Square £77
                Rydges World Square

                Rydges World Square

                389 Pitt Street, Sydney
                   
                  4.2
                  of 5, from 2,270 reviews
                  4.5 out of 5.0

                  Located in Sydney Central Business District, this luxury hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Capitol Theatre, Sydney Opera House, and Sydney Harbour Bridge. University of Sydney and Circular Quay are also within 3 miles (5 km).