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Arts & Culture in Sydney

Discover the vibrant arts and culture scene in Sydney, Australia, where creativity thrives in every corner of the city. From world-class museums and galleries to street art and live performances, Sydney offers a diverse range of cultural experiences for locals and visitors alike. Looking for the best places to see Aboriginal art in Sydney? Keep reading to explore the rich Indigenous heritage woven throughout the city's cultural landscape.

1. State Theatre, Sydney

State Theatre - Hall

Patrons of Sydney's State Theatre are not just met with live music, theatre and dance performances, and comedy shows. As a heritage-listed theatre, the venue also boasts an amalgam of architectural styles - from Gothic to art-deco.

2. Gallery 9, Sydney

Gallery 9 - Painting 2

This contemporary art gallery exhibits artists both established and new. All represented artists hail from Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. Gallery 9 mostly focus on paintings, but other mediums are often featured.

3. White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney

White Rabbit Gallery Exhibition

White Rabbit Gallery offers an impressive collection of contemporary Chinese art. Browse the institution's current exhibits, then refresh in the resident tea house. Admission is free.

4. Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia - Art

Visitors don't need to be art experts to enjoy their time at this prestigious contemporary art museum. The museum's goal is to make art as accessible as possible. Enjoy a range of exhibits from both Australian and international artists.

5. Bangarra Dance Theatre, Sydney

Bangarra Dance Theatre Hall

Heritage building, and storied home of the Bangarra Dance Company - a group of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders. Through its performances, the company endeavors to promote awareness, and bring understanding, of its cultures.

6. Ambush Gallery, Sydney

Ambush Gallery Making

Ambush gallery has a goal to engage and educate new audiences throughout the world; and with many projects to show, they seem to be on their way to making a dent in this goal. Modern art lovers should stop by to see the latest exhibitions.

7. Brett Whiteley Studio, Sydney

Brett Whiteley Studio Gallery

Former home of Brett Whiteley, and now a museum dedicated to his avant-garde artwork. Visitors can wander the downstairs exhibit hall - which features largely unfinished works - and the upstairs living space.

8. Belvoir Street Theatre, Sydney

Belvoir Street Theatre Stage

When this beloved little theatre was set to be demolished, 600 of their biggest supporters banded together to buy the building. Now, the theatre's legacy continues as a two-stage venue for productions and performances.

9. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

Art Gallery of NSW Paintings

One of Australia's flagship museums. This historical art gallery is home to art of all types: from classic and modern, to aboriginal. A good place to wander after touring the neighbouring botanical gardens. Open seven-days-a-week.

10. Carriageworks, Sydney

Carriageworks Art

This former railyard has been transformed into a multi-purpose art and creativity space - check Carriageworks' website for the performance and exhibition calendar. Also, stop by on Saturday mornings for the resident farmers market.

11. S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney

S. H. Ervin Gallery - Feathers

The S. H. Ervin Gallery focuses on historical and contemporary Australian art, all housed within a 19th-century National Trust building. With a collection of over 450 pieces, there is plenty of domestic artwork to discover.

12. The Japan Foundation, Sydney

The Japan Foundation - Inside

The Japan Foundation is an organization set up by the Japanese government to promote an exchange of cultures. Inside, there is an art gallery, and a library filled with items reflecting Japanese culture and daily life.

13. China Heights Gallery, Sydney

China Heights Gallery Interior

This edgy gallery is where Sydney's art enthusiasts gather to see emerging artists. Alongside its support of up-and-coming creators, China Heights endeavours, above all, to remain an independent art space - free from external influence.

14. Rose Seidler House, Sydney

Rose Seidler House - Exterior

A homage to Modernist architecture, this home appeals to fans of design. Harry Seidler, a prominent architect from the 1950s, designed the space for his parents. Now, the property endures as a domestic museum.

15. Aboriginal Contemporary, Sydney

Aboriginal Contemporary - Furniture and Decor

Owner, Nichola Dare travels to far-out aboriginal communities to source all the handmade items exhibited in this gallery. Dare collects a large assortment of items - from paintings, home-goods, jewelry, baskets, and more.

16. Australian Museum, Sydney

Australian Museum Animals

Founded in 1827, making it the country's oldest public museum - the space holds more than 21 million scientific specimens and cultural objects. The in-house exhibitions are headlined by expansive zoological and anthropological collections.

17. Firstdraft, Sydney

Firstdraft Art

Firstdraft is an artist-run gallery - the longest-running in Australia - specialising in new and experimental work from domestic artists. There are always some exciting and possibly bizarre exhibits on show here.

18. Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney

Hyde Park Barracks - Exterior 1

UNESCO World Heritage listed site that stands as testament to Australia's colonial past. The building, a former prison, was built to house convicts - it has also served time as immigration depot, asylum, and government office.

19. Olsen Gallery, Sydney

Olsen Irwin Gallery - Painting 2

Olsen Gallery exhibits modern art from both emerging and established artists. Art lovers will appreciate both the institution's strong focus on Australian creators, and their commitment to featuring modern art from further afield.

20. Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Roslyn Oxley9 - Painting

Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery is a well-established exhibition space and art dealer in Sydney. Open since 1982, they have helped many now-famous Australian artists launch their careers. Stop by to discover both new and commended creators.

21. Sydney Theatre Company, Sydney

Sydney Theatre Company - Hall

The Sydney Theatre Company now tours all over the world, performing a variety of international and Australian plays. But if they are in town, live theatre fans will thoroughly enjoy heading to one of their spectacular shows.