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The idea for the Sydney Harbour Bridge dates back to 1815, but work didn’t start until 1923. Famous for its distinctive arch and enormous pylons, the bridge was completed in 1932. This was the world’s widest long span bridge until 2012, and Sydney’s tallest structure until 1967. It contains over 6 million hand-driven rivets and, for each repainting, requires 7,925 gallons (30,000 liters) of paint.
Today, the car, train and pedestrian bridge is an iconic piece of Sydney’s skyline. It’s the centerpiece of New Year’s Eve celebrations in the city, with its fireworks display snaring headlines across the globe. The view of the Opera House, Sydney Harbour and surrounds from the bridge make it a magnet for photographers.
Take a 30-minute stroll across the pedestrian path on the east side of the bridge, easily accessed from Milsons Point. Cyclists can ride across using the cycleway on the west side. Those wanting to get above the traffic should book the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb.
Offering panoramic views of the city, the BridgeClimb experience is very popular, so bookings are required in advance. Climbs are available in various languages and express climbs are an option for those wanting to maximize their time in the city. The classic BridgeClimb, which runs for 3.5 hours, is the most popular option. You’ll ascend more than 1,000 steps to walk along the bridge’s outer arch on the Sydney Opera House side. Soak up 360-degree views, and pose for photos with your group at the bridge’s peak.
For a less strenuous climb, visit the southeast pylon that’s accessible by the pedestrian path. Learn some of the bridge’s history on your way up the 200 steps to the Pylon Lookout. Three floors of exhibits give details about the design and construction. There’s an admission fee to enter the Pylon Lookout, which is open daily, except Christmas Day.
Access to the bridge from the downtown side is via the Bridge Stairs on Cumberland Street in The Rocks area. It’s a short walk to The Rocks from Circular Quay, the major public transport hub. Metered parking is available in the area, but spaces are limited.
There are heaps of wonderful ways to experience Sydney Harbour Bridge. Here are some of some of our favorites:
For more activities, have a look at our Sydney things to do page.
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 Sydney Observatory are also within 10 minutes. Wynyard Station is 6 minutes by foot and Sydney Circular Quay Station is 7 minutes.
Located in Sydney Central Business District, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Circular Quay, Government House, and Sydney Opera House. Royal Botanic Gardens and The Rocks Markets are also within 15 minutes. Sydney Circular Quay Station is only a 4-minute walk and Martin Place Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Sydney Central Business District, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Circular Quay, Sydney Opera House, and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Hyde Park and Central Park are also within 2 mi (3 km). Wynyard Station is only a 3-minute walk and Martin Place Station is 10 minutes.
Located in Darling Harbour, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of International Convention Centre Sydney and Australian National Maritime Museum. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and Sydney Town Hall are also within 15 minutes. Convention Light Rail Station is only a 2-minute walk and Pyrmont Bay Light Rail Station is 4 minutes.
Located in Darling Harbour, this luxury aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Sydney Town Hall and Queen Victoria Building. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and Sydney Tower are also within 10 minutes. Town Hall Station is only a 4-minute walk and Convention Light Rail Station is 9 minutes.
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 Sydney Opera House are also within 15 minutes. Sydney Circular Quay Station is only a 3-minute walk and Wynyard Station is 7 minutes.
Located in Darling Harbour, this luxury hotel is steps from Wild Life Sydney Zoo and SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. Sydney Tower and Sydney Town Hall are also within 10 minutes. Wynyard Station is 8 minutes by foot and Town Hall Station is 9 minutes.
Located in Sydney Central Business District, this hotel is steps from The Rocks Markets, Circular Quay, and Overseas Passenger Terminal. Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House are also within 15 minutes. Sydney Circular Quay Station is 6 minutes by foot and Wynyard Station is 12 minutes.