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“Marred by the road overhead and poor food”
Review of Circular Quay

Circular Quay
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US$76.61*
and up
Private Sydney City Sightseeing Day Tour...
Ranked #44 of 551 things to do in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Circular Quay is a colorful port where ferries and cruise ships board and depart, and boat watching can be as good a pastime as people watching. While street performers entertain outside, those wanting a more cultural experience can head into the Museum of Contemporary Art where a sculpture garden on the roof is as much a view as the waterways below.
Reviewed 25 April 2009

The 'non' Circular Quay is one of the most famous places in Australia.

How could it not be, with the Sydney Opera House a short stroll on one side and the Overseas Passenger Terminal that plays host to large cruise ships on the other?

It is great in one sense because the railway station is very close to Sydney Harbour ferries.

However, it is marred by the freeway above the railway, and poor food at the ferry wharves. Of course if you have the funds to dine at Doyles or other nearby restaurants your opinion may differ!

Nonetheless, it is a great place to set sail on a Sydney Ferries vessel for (say) Cremorne and then a harbour foreshore walk, armed with your trusty rail-ferry-bus DayRover ticket for A$17 if you are an adult fare-payer.

5  Thank Victorianlad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"transport hub"
in 84 reviews
"opera house"
in 871 reviews
"street performers"
in 96 reviews
"cruise ship"
in 107 reviews
"ferry terminal"
in 64 reviews
"museum of contemporary art"
in 48 reviews
"starting point"
in 38 reviews
"souvenir shops"
in 32 reviews
"watch the world"
in 47 reviews
"rocks area"
in 72 reviews
"botanical gardens"
in 97 reviews
"lots of restaurants"
in 45 reviews
"taronga zoo"
in 59 reviews
"luna park"
in 45 reviews
"walk around"
in 35 reviews
"sydney ferries"
in 37 reviews
"opal card"
in 44 reviews
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2,853 - 2,857 of 3,473 reviews

Reviewed 21 May 2008

Circular Quay is pretty much the first place you need to go in Sydney. It is near everything - the harbour bridge, opera house, botanical gardens, train stations, explorer bus stop, the rocks, sydney museum, most departure points for boats and cruises. Even the QE2 and other cruise ships stop at the passenger terminal next to it.

There are plenty of shops and cafes but they can be pretty expensive. There are also regular street performers in the area that really add to the atmosphere. When I was there there was this aboriginal didgeridoo player there and he was pretty good.

As well as being central to everything you can get some pretty good views from the area. Head over to near the opera house for some good views of the harbour and harbour bridge, or head over to the passenger terminal to take some photos of the Quay as a whole. The best views, however, are from the walkway along the elevated highwayway that runs behind the quay. To get here head to the bottom corner of the Quay on the side that the Opera House is on and you will see some glass elevators.

So yeah - Circular Quay will be pretty much the focal point of your time in Sydney as a tourist and I'd recommend it as a good starting point when you arrive.

PS: For those of you that are wondering why it doesn't look circular in any of the photos - it used to be circular when the first convict ships arrived but this wasn't an efficient layout for a marina so they made it into a rectangular shape. There are lines along the dockside showing you where the coastline was at various points in history which give a good insight into how things have changed.

8  Thank scottcabal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2007

If you aim for Circular Quay you will be pretty close to most things! If you are staying near to or in the Rocks area of Sydney, aim for Circular Quay on the train from the Airport. If you want to get on one of the many ferries, aim for Circular Quay. If you want great views of the Harbour Bridge, aim for Circular Quay. If you want the Opera House, aim for Circular Quay. Get my drift!!! There are a number of restaurants around circular quay which offer a huge range of food types, including a branch of the famous 'Doyles' fish restaurant. There are also a number of 'touristy' gift shops - but if you're looking for the best prices, you won't get them in these shops - aim a couple of roads back from the waterfront to get the better deals - especially if you're looking for all things typically 'Australian'. If you want public toilets, these can be found underneath the railway arches. Circular Quay seems to be the central point for the many ferries which busily criss-cross the harbour and they seem to go long into the night - great way to get across to Manly. If you fancy more of a Cruise, then Captain Cook Cruises depart from Circular Quay. There are also a number of boat operators dotted around - offering thrill rides on jet boats, whale spotting tours etc. The Botanical Gardens are just a short stroll away (look out for the bats at dusk - great sight) Wouldn't exactly call it a tourist attraction in its own right.. but will certainly lead you to a few!

12  Thank HarperG50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile
Google Translation

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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