If you are a traveller trying to decide what to do on Christmas day in Sydney this post is for you. It can be hard being away from family and friends during the holidays and challenging finding out what is open on Xmas day in an unfamiliar city, so I have put together a list of ideas for all types of travellers and budgets. Whatever you do I hope you have a fabulous Christmas in our gorgeous city.
5 Things to do on Christmas Day in Sydney besides eat!
- If you are from the Northern Hemisphere, you might enjoy the novelty of a day at the beach. Bondi is usually busy on Christmas day, and everyone is happy to share the Christmas spirit.
- Say Merry Christmas to the animals at Taronga Zoo – They would love your presence, and a bonus is the crowds are usually a little smaller on Christmas Day. SeaLife Aquarium and Wildlife Sydney Zoo are also open and offer joint tickets that reduce the cost a little.
- For something memorable, you could book a Bridgeclimb. These will probably book out to best to get in early. Prices from $258pp
- Attend mass at St Marys Cathedral or St Andrews Cathedral.
- Jump on the 8.54am train up to Katoomba and explore the Blue Mountains in relative peace as many tour operators do not run on Christmas day.
Where to Eat Christmas Lunch in Sydney
- Lunch with a bird’s eye view – Sydney Tower buffet will feature Christmas favourites with its regular offering $140 adults and $49 for kids. Bookings and deposits are required. I have not eaten here for years so check latest reviews yourself.
- Lunch on the harbour – Vagabond Cruises have a 3-hour lunch cruise $130 for adults and $100 for kids (children under five free)
- Lunch for those with a big appetite – Sheraton on the Park is my favourite Sydney buffet; the food is always excellent quality, and it has a lovely outlook on Hyde Park. Last year Christmas lunch buffet including drinks was $299 for lunch or $195 for dinner. No prices available yet but I would undoubtedly pre-book this one.
- Not up for a big lunch but still like to spoil yourself? The Intercontinental hotel is offering High Tea for $95 adults and $55 Kids 5-12. They also have several other Christmas Day meals to choose from.
- Lunch at the beach – Watson’s Bay Hotel is a very Sydney spot to spend Christmas Day combining a small beach and harbour views. This years menu features seafood, ham and beef, with a 4-hour beverage package for $299 per adult and $199 for kids 6-18 (under 6yrs free).
- If you fancy Christmas day in Manly, then you should have several options. Last year many of the restaurants on the wharf were open for Christmas lunch and dinner.
- If you are thinking an Australian Christmas means seafood – and it does for me – then you might like to consider Flying Fish, the 2017 seafood restaurant of the year, on Jones Bay Wharf. Bookings are required; you can check the menu and make a reservation here $220 for adults and $80 for kids.
- From fine dining to the Harvest Buffet there is plenty of choice at The Star Casino. Just be sure to book as these restaurants are bound to be popular
- If you are dining on a budget, you might find an Asian meal in Chinatown is less likely to break the bank. Feast on yum cha or dumplings in Chinatown or if you feel adventurous visit Cabramatta for great Vietnamese food.
- Darling Habour is a good option if you have left things a bit late – several of Nick’s chain are offering affordable Christmas meals and all the hotels will also have special meals.
Five ways to spend Sydney Christmas in Sydney for budget travellers
- Have a picnic in the Royal Botanic Gardens – head to the supermarket on Xmas Eve just before they close and put together a bargain Christmas picnic. Supermarkets will not be open on Christmas day.
- Ride the ferry to Cremorne and take a swim with a view at the beautiful and free Maccallum Pool or if you are in the east try Wylie’s Baths in Coogee.
- Visit Bundeena and view the indigenous rock art. Take the train to Cronulla and then the little Bundeena ferry across the bay to the beach and the rock art walk.
- Try my 389 self-guided bus tour. The buses are operating on the Sunday timetable on Christmas day, and the roads will be less busy than usual.
- Follow my Inner West street art walk, Newtown will be much quieter than usual but the window shopping and street art will be waiting for you to discover, and you are bound to find somewhere to eat along King Street or Enmore Road.
I hope one of these ideas appeals to you. I would love to hear how you plan to spend your Christmas day in Sydney.
Updated 24 November 2017
Need free help planning your trip to Sydney? Join our Sydney Expert Facebook Group where you can ask questions, stay up to date with what’s happening in Sydney and meet a bunch of friendly locals just waiting to share their advice!