If you are a night owl, Sydney is probably the best place for you. It is the biggest city in Australia and probably the most multi-cultural city so it is absolutely brimming with fun things to do at night.
Many Sydney locals actually believe that Sydney is best after dark as some of the best attractions open then. If you are a newbie, tourist or just looking for something different to do in Sydney, we have created a list of the ultimate things to do in Sydney at night including romantic things to do for Couples in Sydney, family friendly activities and the best dining experiences for you to try.
So with no further adieu, here is the Best Things to do in Sydney at Night.
Things to do in Sydney at Night
Let’s start with things to do at night for people with young kids. If you are in this boat, you might be looking for early evening attractions and things you can do up until around 9pm at night max. Here is a list of things to do for you:
Visit the Sydney Observatory
One of the best things to do in Sydney at night with kids is to take a visit to the Sydney Observatory. The Sydney Observatory is the oldest in Australia and is a family favourite with Sydney-siders with kids.
The Observatory is located at the top of Observatory Hill and holds a range of different exhibits and educational attractions which are fun for kids including learning about the stars and the universe as well as the history of the site. There is a educational 3D film that plays at the space theatre which is fun to watch.
Families are welcome to use one of the state-of-the-art telescopes at the Observatory to get a better look at the stars and planets.
The Sydney Observatory is open Monday – Saturday nights however, it is necessary to reserve a ticket in advance.
Spend the Evening at Luna Park
Perhaps the most iconic activity to do in Sydney at night is taking a visit to the incredible Luna Park.
For those who aren’t aware Luna Park is an amusement Park on Milsons Point which overlooks the waters of the Sydney Harbour. You can also visit during the day but it is really awesome to visit at time as the lights of the park fill the night sky!
At the park the kids will absolutely love the wide range of activities and games. Make sure you take the family for a ride on the Ferris Wheel at Luna Park as it provides enjoyment for kids and adults alike with an amazing view of the whole of Sydney.
Some of the other iconic attractions at Luna Park include Coney Island, a fun house that dates back to the 1930s and the Pirate Ship.
The great thing about an evening at Luna Park is that you can spend as little or as much as you like. Entry is free and you just pay for attractions on a as needed or pre ride basis.
Watch Fairy Penguins in Manly Wharf
If you are in Sydney between July and February, the kids will absolutely love watching the fairy penguins at Manly Wharf.
We would suggest coming early evening with a picnic dinner. It may take some time for the penguins to emerge so you will need to bide your time.
Nowadays there are only around 60 breeding pairs so in order to protect the penguins, a Volunteer Penguin Warden Scheme was created. These people will ensure you remain at a safe viewing distance from the penguins. They can also give you some information about the penguins while you are there.
You can find some more information on the fairy penguin official website.
Roar & Snore at Taronga Zoo
Taronga Zoo is one of the most famous Zoos in the world and definitely worth visiting if you ever find yourself in Sydney.
While you can visit the zoo during the daytime, one of the most popular events at the zoo is known as the “Roar & Snore” where you are able to stay overnight. During this time you can view some of the animals at night and enjoy special talks with the rangers.
Kids love the Roar & Snore so definitely consider this activity if you have kids in Sydney. One of the most fun aspects of this night-time activity is that you get to camp-out in safari tents.
A Haunted Tour of Sydney
If your kids are a bit older and will still be able to sleep at night after, a haunted tour of Sydney is always a fun idea.
While Sydney is not a particularly old city by world standards, it doesn’t means they aren’t some seriously scary ghost stories to be told about the city which will totally freak you out. Remember convicts were the first inhabitants of Australia after all 😉
There are numerous haunted tour of Sydney providers and a simple google search will provide you with plenty of different tour operators including in Manly, Newtown and Parramatta.
If you are unsure which one to pick, here is one that we would recommend.
Bridge Climb Sydney
Again, if you have older kids, you may like to try climbing the Sydney Bridge, it is one of the most popular activities in Sydney and one for total thrill seekers.
You can complete the bridge climb both during the day and at night however, it is far more magical to complete at night due to the shining lights of the city.
It is definitely an activity for kids over 13 as it lasts for over 3 hours so there is no chance to back out. It is also great for parents who want to lose a few extra kgs as there are over 300 steps to complete in the bridge climb.
You can find out more information here.
Wendy’s Secret Garden at Lavender Bay
Wendy’s Secret Garden at Lavender Bay has no opening hours and can be visited after dark in Sydney. It is a nice place to take a stroll with the kids as the sun sets in Sydney.
Despite being called “Wendy’s Garden” it is free to enter for the public. The garden was created by Wendy Whitely after her husband passed away. She treated the garden like a giant painting. It is driven by aesthetics, colour, form, beauty and whimsy. Wendy has stated “I didn’t know anything about horticulture when I started the garden. I just knew what I liked. I’ve since learnt what likes being here. It’s a symbiotic relationship between the plants, myself and my gardeners”.
Sydney Tower Eye
Another fun place to go with kids after dark is Sydney’s Tower Eye. This building is famous as being the highest building in Sydney, standing 268 meters above the city.
Parents and kids alike will absolutely be in awe at the amazing 360 degrees view of Sydney it provides. The best time to visit the Eye is at night as it the best time of day to enjoy the sparkling lights of Sydney from above.
If you visit the Tower Eye make sure you do the skywalk experience while you are there. It is advisable to buy tickets to the skywalk in advance to avoid lining up.
For Couples After Dark
Sydney Aquarium After Dark
You might think this is an activity to do with kids at night in Sydney, but in fact it is for the older crowd.
The Sydney Aquarium is pretty busy with kids during the day so they created a special ‘After Dark’ event (18+) event for adults to also be able to enjoy the aquarium. It is seriously the perfect place to go on a date night in Sydney as it includes food to try, live music and no kids running around!
An iconic place to visit in Sydney and definitely one of the best places to visit in Sydney at night for couples as it is very romantic after dark.
There are tonnes of activities to spend your time around the area including one of the many restaurants and cafes, ice cream shops in summer, the Sydney Aquarium (you could first plan an after dark experience) and Madame Tussauds museum.
Usually, fireworks are displayed in Darling Harbour on Saturday nights however, due to COVID19 they are currently cancelled until further notice. You can see their website for reopening times and updates.
Harbour Dinner Cruise
An alternative to seeing the fireworks at Darling Harbour could be going on a Harbour Dinner Cruise. It is definitely one of the most romantic things to do in Sydney at night.
If you want to go on a cruise you can book online or alternatively it is possible to just head to Sydney harbour and jump on a cruise from there. If you want to do a cruise, be sure to dress smart casual as usually it is more of a fancier event with dinner included. The cruises normally last 3 hours and include incredible views of Sydney!
Moonlight Cinema Sydney
This is a super fun activity to do at night in Sydney as it is Australia’s largest open-air cinema.
Couples as well as families flock to the Moonlight cinema to enjoy a movie in the park. It is a great date in Sydney in the summer when the weather is still nice and warm to sit outside!
If you like this type of activity, this is also a popular night-time activity in Brisbane, especially in South Bank.
See a Performance at Sydney Opera House
It wouldn’t be a list of awesome things to do at night in Sydney without a mention of perhaps the most famous Sydney attraction – the Sydney Opera House. You can visit during the daytime too but it is even more magical at night when the city lights turn on!
This is the perfect night activity for couples in Sydney as it provides for a fancy night and the ability to dress up to see a show!
You can check out what’s on and plan out your date on their website.
Visit an Art Gallery: Museum of Contemporary Art or Art Gallery NSW
There is just something so romantic about a date at an art gallery – don’t you think? If you agree and want this type of romantic activity in Sydney, lucky for you, there are 2 art galleries you can visit after dark in Sydney – Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Gallery NSW.
The Museum of Contemporary Arts hosts many late night events where it stays open late which is perfect if you want to go on a weekday date in Sydney after work. You can check out what’s on as it changes but it includes various workshops, talks, wines, live music and food. Kids are allowed but it is more of an adult event. The late night dates are subject to change and are available on the website.
Art Gallery NSW also sometimes offers evening events. These events are known as their “Art After Hours” nights. See when the next one is on by visiting their website.
Enjoy a Sunset
Sydney is known for having lots of locations to enjoy a great sunset. Here are a few places that you might like to check out if you are interested in enjoying a lovely sunset in Sydney with your SO.
- Robertson Park
- Barangaroo Reserve
- Fairfax Lookout
- Mrs Macquaries Point
- Cremorne Point Wharf
One of the most popular places for a sunset in Sydney for young lovers is at Bondi Beach.
Enjoy Cabaret at The Camelot Lounge
One of the most popular things to do on a date in Sydney is to enjoy live music. Due to the unique and interesting nature of The Camelot Lounge, it is popular activity to do at night in Sydney for both tourists and locals alike.
The Lounge offers a variety of music including blues, folk and jazz concerts sometimes even by famous Australian singer’s. It is worth visiting at least once for its cool and quirky atmosphere. It is also known for serving some great food and drink. Note: If you are visiting with kids it is still possible to go.
Live Music at the Marble Bar
Another place for live music in Sydney is the Marble Bar. What is cool about this bar is it is not just another ordinary bar in Sydney but one of Sydney’s oldest and most renown bars. It was first opened in 1893 and now is recorded as a world heritage site in Sydney.
Inside of the bar is absolutely stunning as it is decked out with original Victorian style décor and artwork. In true old school style, it is famous for serving delicious cocktails. Wednesday and Saturday nights at the bar are particularly popular due to live music that plays on these nights. It is recommended to book in advance.
Balmain Bath House
If you really want to treat yourself in Sydney after a hard day of work or sightseeing, a trip to Balmain Bath House is the way to go. Inside you will find lots of different mineral pools to enjoy including steam rooms, and saunas.
The bathhouse is unisex so it is a nice place to go as a couple in Sydney. It is necessary to bring a swimsuit as it is not a nude bathhouse as you might find in Europe or Asia.
An evening stroll
There are a lot of places to go for a nice evening stroll in Sydney. If you are looking for some inspo, some of the best places include Kings Cross and The Quay.
Kings Cross, nearby the Sydney Business District is one of the most interesting places to go for an evening walk in Sydney. Please note, by interesting, it could be a bit confronting. This area is Sydney’s red light district and includes strip clubs, night clubs, brothels, bars, and restaurants.
The Quay is perhaps a more romantic location as it is nearby to Sydney best attractions including as Harbour Bridge, Opera House, and The Rocks. It is a great place to admire Sydney’s lights.
With Friends at Night in Sydney
Chinatown Night Market
Chinatown Night Market is one of the best things to do in Sydney at night with friends as there are is so much delicious food to try.
The market includes a wide variety of Asian cuisine to satisfy all palettes including Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese. The market makes you feel like you are in Asia without actually getting on a place as it is beautifully decorated with lanterns which light up beautifully at night.
A great place to go for a wander at night and stuff your face with delicious food at an affordable price.
Westpac/St George Openair Cinema
A good alternative to the Moonlight Cinema is the Wespac Openair Cinema, a fun night-time activity with friends in Sydney.
This cinema is open in summertime in Sydney and is located on the Fleet Steps near Sydney Harbour. Like an indoor cinema, street vendors are nearby to serve you with all your movie needs.
You can get more info here.
Spend the Evening at Hipster Newtown
If you love hipster spots, Newtown is a must-visit spot in Sydney. Arguably one of the most hipster places in the city filled with quirky shops, art galleries op shops and even an avant-garde cinema.
It is fun to visit this area at night with friends as it becomes alive with indie music bars. It is a very popular spot with Sydney students.
Drink at one of Sydney’s best Beer Cafes
Another fun activity to do in Sydney with friends after dark is drinking at one of Sydney’s best beer cafes. Sydney is famous for having absolutely superb beer cafes where you are able to try a wide range of beers from around the world.
If you aren’t sure where to go two of the most popular beer cafes in Sydney include Redoak Boutique Beer Café and Belgian Beer Café Heritage.
You also have the choice of joining a Pub Crawl Tour if you don’t want to go to the effort of finding the locations of the best bars and pubs on your own.
Surry Hills Neighbourhood
Another quirky and fun area to visit in Sydney is undoubtedly the Surry Hills neighbourhood. It is a fun area to go with friends due to its quirky vibe with amazing bars, restaurants and coffee shops.
If you are looking for a late night caffeine fix, coffee shops are open late in this area. You might also like to pop on to see a performance at Belvoir Street Theatre while you are nearby.
Sip a Cocktail at Double Bay
If you prefer a more upmarket experience with friends at night in Sydney, we would recommend going to the Double Bay area instead. As it is located right next to the Harbour, it is known for having many of Sydney’s best high end stores and restaurants.
If you visit during the day you can enjoy Murray Rose Pool while at night people chose to frequent one of the many cocktail bars in the area. If you want a delicious cocktail, this is a good place to go for it. Just be-aware, it is an expensive part of Sydney so expect to pay a pretty penny for the luxury!
Enjoy The Rocks
Here’s another choice for a Sydney area you might like to visit with friends in the evening. One of the most famous neighbourhoods in Sydney, you really can’t go to Sydney without visiting The Rocks.
Here you will find a lot of great restaurants, pubs and cafes. It is also a great place to buy souvenirs in Sydney as there are a lot of markets selling iconic Sydney souvenirs and street food. If you are there during the holidays or on a weekend it is also likely that live street music will be playing.
While in Sydney you might also like to check out:
- Best Shopping Areas in Sydney
- Where to see Wild Kangaroos in Sydney
- Cool Cafes in Sydney
- Will I regret moving to Australia
- Best Sydney Hotels with Harbour Views