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Unmissable arts and culture

White Rabbit Gallery, ChippendaleCREDIT: Destination NSW

White Rabbit Gallery in inner-city Chippendale presents four levels of original, thought-provoking works.

#ilovesydney

Unmissable arts
and culture

White Rabbit Gallery, Chippendale CREDIT: Destination NSW

White Rabbit Gallery in inner-city Chippendale presents four levels of original, thought-provoking works.

#ilovesydney

Hashtags #ilovesydney

From the classic to the contemporary, Sydney has a dynamic and exciting arts scene with a broad selection of heritage galleries, cutting-edge performance and exhibition spaces and notable theatres. Art lovers should add these 10 unmissable experiences to their itinerary. 

Must-see cultural landmarks  

Whether you have an hour or several, there’s plenty to experience at the Sydney Opera House. Join an Architectural Tour to delve into its unique history and construction or go behind-the-scenes on a Beyond the Stage Tour. See a show in one of its many impressive performance spaces — you’ll find a program of theatre, dance and music here. Afterward, head to Opera Bar, which serves up seasonal fare with front-of-house Harbour views. 

The striking Art Deco façade and waterfront location of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) make it a go-to gallery for locals and visitors alike. The gallery celebrates Australian modern art, and contains more than 4,000 works, including a significant collection of works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. Head upstairs to the rooftop café for panoramic views across Sydney Harbour. 

A mandatory stop on Sydney’s art trail, the Art Gallery of New South Wales is the leading museum of art in NSW. Standing grandly in The Domain on the fringe of the city centre, it houses a significant collection of colonial and 19th-century Australian works and European masters, as well as a dedicated gallery of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. It showcases more than 30 temporary exhibitions each year, including the distinguished Archibald Prize for portraiture. 

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney CREDIT: Destination NSW

Friends enjoying a visit the the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney.

#ilovesydney

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney CREDIT: Destination NSW

Friends enjoying a visit the the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney.

#ilovesydney

Notable galleries and arts centres 

Enter the fascinating world of significant Australian artist Brett Whiteley at the late artist’s former home and workplace in inner-city Surry Hills. The Brett Whiteley Studio features changing exhibitions of the artist’s works and gives visitors the unique opportunity to see the artist’s workspace with its unfinished paintings, art equipment, books and graffiti wall of quotes and images.  

Follow the figurative White Rabbit to inner-city Chippendale and discover one of the world’s most significant collections of contemporary Chinese Art. Owned by philanthropist Judith Neilson, it’s dedicated to art of the 21st century and includes some 2,000 works by almost 700 artists. The gallery’s Teahouse is a destination in itself with a tranquil vibe and menu of handmade dumplings and fine Chinese and Taiwanese tea.  

Hazelhurst Arts Centre is a regional community gallery, arts centre and café located in Gymea, a 40-minute drive south of Sydney. Set among beautifully landscaped gardens, it showcases a comprehensive line-up of exhibitions and events throughout the year spanning national and international travelling exhibitions along with a changing program of local, emerging artists — you can check out what’s on here. Guided tours are available upon request.  

When the Manly Art Gallery and Museum opened in 1930 it was the first metropolitan regional gallery in NSW. Today this Manly institution presents an exciting program of exhibitions, talks and events. Its permanent collection spans more than 6,800 works, including ceramics, watercolours, prints, etchings, drawings and paintings and over 1,300 items of swimwear and beach ephemera. 

Theatres and live music institutions  

Built on the banks of the Parramatta River in 1988, Parramatta’s Riverside Theatre brings the very best of the performing arts to Western Sydney. The centre has three main performance venues, hosting roughly 750 performances and events annually across theatre, music, dance, comedy and cinema. 

In Marrickville, in Sydney’s Inner West, Factory Theatre is a performance art space frequented by locals. See upcoming artists, international acts and thought-provoking theatre, film and dance in its intimate performance space and enjoy a drink before the show surrounded by the cool Sydney set.  

The renowned Sydney Theatre Company (STC) has launched the careers of many of Australia’s most famous artists, including Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Mel Gibson and Rose Byrne. Housed within the historic finger wharves at Walsh Bay at the foot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, STC presents a diverse program of Australian plays, interpretations of the classics and the best new international writing. This lively art precinct is also home to Sydney Dance Company and Bangarra Dance Theatre, the internationally acclaimed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performing arts company. 

Brett Whiteley Studio, Surry Hills CREDIT: James Horan; Destination NSW

Brett Whiteley Studio in Surry Hills, Sydney

#ilovesydney

Brett Whiteley Studio, Surry Hills CREDIT: James Horan; Destination NSW

Brett Whiteley Studio in Surry Hills, Sydney

#ilovesydney

Sydney Theatre Company, Walsh Bay CREDIT: James Horan; Destination NSW

Sydney Theatre Company in Walsh Bay

#ilovesydney

Sydney Theatre Company, Walsh Bay CREDIT: James Horan; Destination NSW

Sydney Theatre Company in Walsh Bay

#ilovesydney

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