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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 2,040 Properties near Circular Quay
Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park ¥14,481
Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park

Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park

161 Elizabeth Street, Sydney, NSW
     
    4.6
    of 5, from 3,687 reviews
    5.0 out of 5.0

    Opposite majestic Hyde Park and with views of St Mary’s Cathedral and Sydney Harbour, this luxury hotel in the heart of Sydney’s retail and business districts is a 15-minute walk to Darling Harbour. On the doorstep is Sydney’s premium retail shopping precinct for luxury and popular brands.

    Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney ¥15,281
    Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney

    Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney

    11 Jamison Street, Sydney, NSW
       
      4.5
      of 5, from 3,783 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.

      Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney ¥15,249
      Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

      Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

      176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, NSW
         
        4.6
        of 5, from 3,654 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.

        The Westin Sydney ¥15,903
        The Westin Sydney

        The Westin Sydney

        1 Martin Place, Sydney, NSW
           
          4.6
          of 5, from 3,420 reviews
          5.0 out of 5.0

          Located on Sydney's Martin Place, this central business district hotel is less than 1 kilometer from Sydney Tower, Sydney Parliament House, and Darling Harbour.

          Hyatt Regency Sydney ¥15,209
          Hyatt Regency Sydney

          Hyatt Regency Sydney

          161 Sussex Street, Sydney, NSW
             
            4.4
            of 5, from 7,193 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.

            Four Seasons Hotel Sydney ¥18,192
            Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

            Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

            199 George St., Sydney, NSW
               
              4.6
              of 5, from 4,200 reviews
              5.0 out of 5.0

              Luxury and panoramic views abound at this Rocks District hotel set within a 5-minute walk of Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Opera House, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

              Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour ¥13,805
              Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour

              Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour

              100 Murray Street, Sydney, NSW
                 
                4.0
                of 5, from 3,206 reviews
                4.5 out of 5.0

                Located in Darling Harbour, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Australian National Maritime Museum, International Convention Centre Sydney, and Sydney Lyric Theatre. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and Sydney Town Hall are also within 15 minutes. Pyrmont Bay Light Rail Station is only a 4-minute walk and Exhibition Light Rail Station is 6 minutes.

                The Grace Hotel ¥12,743
                The Grace Hotel

                The Grace Hotel

                77 York Street, Sydney, NSW
                   
                  4.5
                  of 5, from 6,688 reviews
                  4.5 out of 5.0

                  Located in the business, entertainment, and cultural centre, the hotel is bordered by York, King, and Clarence streets, with Darling Harbour and the Royal Botanic Gardens within four blocks.