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Circular Quay
Vacation Travel Guide

Circular Quay featuring general coastal views, modern architecture and a city

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.

Top things to do in Circular Quay

Top Hotels Close to Circular Quay

Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
5 out of 5
199 George St., Sydney, NSW
The price is ¥20,455 per night from May 20 to May 21
This family-friendly Sydney hotel is located in the historical district, just steps from Circular Quay and Museum of Contemporary Art. The Rocks Markets and ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (2,002 reviews)
"The hotel is beautiful we had a full harbour view room of the opera house and harbour bridge, The rooms have been renovated, although some areas of the hotel were not as clean as we expected for a 5 star hotel. A couple of days housekeeping came between 3 to 4 pm to clean when we had been out all ..."

Reviewed on Apr 16, 2021

Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney
Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney
5 out of 5
176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, NSW
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is ¥21,371 per night from Apr 27 to Apr 28
Located in Sydney Central Business District, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Museum of Contemporary Art and Circular Quay. The Rocks Markets and ...
4.4/5Excellent! (2,359 reviews)
"Recipients staff SAAD was very nice and helpful"

Reviewed on Apr 4, 2021

Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney
Rydges Sydney Harbour
Rydges Sydney Harbour
4 out of 5
55 George Street, The Rocks, NSW
The price is ¥15,245 per night from May 2 to May 3
Located in Sydney Central Business District, this hotel is steps from The Rocks Markets, Circular Quay, and Overseas Passenger Terminal. Sydney Harbour Bridge ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (1,127 reviews)
"The Rydges is centrally located in The Rocks. It is within easy walking distance of the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and restaurants and bars. While clean and well appointed I thought the room was a little dated. i was able to use my Dine and Discover voucher to pay for a buffet breakfast. Staff were ..."

Reviewed on Apr 14, 2021

Rydges Sydney Harbour
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 Circular Quay

Circular Quay

Best Lodging Options Near Circular Quay

Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
5 out of 5
199 George St., Sydney, NSW
The price is ¥20,455 per night from May 20 to May 21
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney
Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney
5 out of 5
176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, NSW
The price is ¥21,371 per night from Apr 27 to Apr 28
Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney
Rydges Sydney Harbour
Rydges Sydney Harbour
4 out of 5
55 George Street, The Rocks, NSW
The price is ¥15,245 per night from May 2 to May 3
Rydges Sydney Harbour
The Fullerton Hotel Sydney
The Fullerton Hotel Sydney
5 out of 5
1 Martin Place, Sydney, NSW
The price is ¥22,134 per night from May 9 to May 10
The Fullerton Hotel Sydney
Hyatt Regency Sydney
Hyatt Regency Sydney
5 out of 5
161 Sussex Street, Sydney, NSW
The price is ¥17,478 per night from May 2 to May 3
Hyatt Regency Sydney
The Grace Hotel
The Grace Hotel
4.5 out of 5
77 York Street, Sydney, NSW
The price is ¥12,899 per night from May 9 to May 10
The Grace Hotel
Sir Stamford At Circular Quay
Sir Stamford At Circular Quay
5 out of 5
93 Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW
The price is ¥17,035 per night from May 20 to May 21
Sir Stamford At Circular Quay
The Sebel Quay West Suites Sydney
The Sebel Quay West Suites Sydney
5 out of 5
98 Gloucester Street, The Rocks, NSW
The price is ¥20,531 per night from Apr 27 to Apr 28
The Sebel Quay West Suites Sydney
InterContinental Sydney, an IHG Hotel
InterContinental Sydney, an IHG Hotel
5 out of 5
117 Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW
The price is ¥19,767 per night from May 6 to May 7
InterContinental Sydney, an IHG Hotel
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.