Sydney On a Rainy Day: 15 Things To Do
Sydney is the capital city of New South Wales and a multicultural hub, with nearly 32% of its citizens being born outside of the country. It is a fantastic place to go on vacation with more than 100 beaches along its shores, as well as famous landmarks like the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.
The city is welcoming and lively with great nightlife, annual events and fun attractions for the whole family. It is Australia's biggest city both in size and population and attracts about 4 million international tourists every year. Did you know that Sydney Harbour is actually the deepest natural harbour in the world?
The climate in Sydney is warm and comfortable all year round, meaning that you can spend time outside no matter what season. But watch out for the wet season between February and June when you might get some bad weather. It can be a bummer to have your plans ruined by a rainy day, but we have you covered with some super fun things to do indoors.
To keep your belongings dry, stow backpacks, shopping bags and other personal items in a Sydney luggage locker. Then grab your umbrella and see the sight
Try Ice Skating Indoors
One of the best indoor activities no matter where you go is ice skating. Sydney has several rinks throughout the city, both indoor and outdoor, so you can escape the rain and have a blast skating around on the ice. It is also a great way to beat the heat and humidity if you have a rainy day in the summer.
This is the perfect activity for families or even as a romantic date with your partner. Borrow some skates and show off your skills! Soon enough you will have forgotten all about the gloomy weather.
Visit Art Galleries and Museums
You will be pleased to see how talented Australian artists are and we recommend that everyone who visits the city stops by an art gallery, whether rain or shine. If you are into contemporary masterpieces make a stop by the Museum of Contemporary Art. They put on regular workshops and exhibitions, and entry is free!
Another great option is the Art Gallery of NSW. It is actually Australia's largest public art gallery with some amazing displays of Australian talent. They also house the biggest permanent collection of art made by Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders.
Drink Like You're in Hunter Valley
Hunter Valley is one of the major wine regions in New South Wales and if the weather was nice we would recommend going to visit it in person. If you still want to try some of their great wine you can do so right here in the city and out of the rain. For one of the best wine tasting in the city, you should go to Urban Winery.
They are situated close to Centennial Park and offer a great wine tasting experience. Come for a tour of their winery, a tasting of their best drinks complimented by a yummy cheese platter. It is a fun way to spend a drizzly evening with friends or as a date night.
Participate in One of the Pottery Classes
If your visit to the art galleries has inspired you then you might want to try making some art yourself. Head to an authentic pottery shop in Sydney to learn how to make your own ceramic masterpieces! When you are done you can bring your creation home and it is a nice way to remember your vacation in Sydney, Australia.
Your class will include guidance from a talented teacher, so don't fret if you have no previous experience. There are several studios offering pottery classes around the city so all you have to do is find the one nearest to you. We recommend calling the shop before heading out or booking a spot in advance since it is a pretty popular activity.
Tour the Inside of the Sydney Opera House
Just because your day is ruined by the rain doesn't mean that you can't still see all of the main attractions in Sydney. All travelers should go to the Sydney Opera House during their vacation, and although you won't be able to sit outside enjoying the sunshine by the harbour, you can still see this impressive building from inside. The iconic Sydney Opera House was first opened in 1973 and since then it has become one of the most widely recognized buildings in the world.
The building is used as a performing arts venue for all sorts of events and is decked out with two main halls, a couple of theaters, bars, restaurants, rehearsal studios and shops for buying souvenirs. You can choose to do a guided tour through the different areas and corridors of the building or even take a backstage tour which will bring you into a dressing room and the orchestra pit.
Go Out for a Yum Cha Breakfast
What better way to clear the rainy day blues than by treating yourself to a delicious meal? The city of Sydney has embraced the tradition of yum cha from Cantonese cuisine, and you should too. If you go for a yum cha brunch you will be treated to Chinese tea and lots of tasty dumplings.
There are now lots of restaurants around the city that partake in this tradition, so finding somewhere to taste yum cha will be easy. One of the city's most popular is East Phoenix situated in the Zetland East Village Shopping Centre. We also recommend you try the food from Zilver which you can find in Haymarket.
Admire the View from the Sydney Tower Eye
Sure, a rainy day in Sydney might not be the best time to go sightseeing but you may be surprised by how nice the views actually are, even with a slight drizzle. The best place to see the Sydney CBD from above is the Tower Eye so head there straight away!
The Sydney Tower Eye has a great indoor observation deck, so you can stay warm and dry while enjoying the view. The Tower Eye is actually the highest point in the city standing at 250 meters (or 820 feet) tall. If you visit on one of the city's rainy days you are invited to come back for free up to a week later to catch the view in the sunshine.
Catch a Movie at One of the Best Cinemas in the City
When you have cold and wet weather one of the best things to do is always to cuddle up with a nice bowl of popcorn to watch a film. Sydney offers some fantastic movie theaters and cinemas showing the latest blockbuster movies, and some of the cinemas have a pretty interesting story behind them.
Check out the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace on Military Road. This theater is heritage listed and you can watch a movie in the auditorium decorated with red velvet curtains and comfortable cushioned chairs. Head to Randwick for the Ritz Cinemas which was built in 1937 and is also listed as a heritage building. You can watch a modern film while experiencing a bit of history at the same time!
Try Indoor Rock Climbing
Sydney has a surprisingly high amount of rock climbing gyms and bouldering walls, so why not take advantage of them when the weather isn't great and you want to stay inside? You can have your own little adventure and get a bit of a workout in, too!
It requires a certain skill to be good at rock climbing, but don't worry if you have never done it before. Head to 9 Degrees, which has several locations around the city, to try scaling their walls. At their gyms, you don't need a harness or specific equipment since the walls are shorter but they are still challenging enough for all difficulty levels.
Explore the Powerhouse Museum
Head to Ultimo near the Darling Harbour to find the Sydney Powerhouse Museum. Getting here is simple if you follow the Goods Line departing from Central Station. This urban walkway might be better suited to sunny weather but you can still have a nice walk with an umbrella if it is just drizzling.
This place used to be an electric tram power station but has since been transformed into one of the top Sydney museums. There are some pretty interesting things to see here, with several exhibits and scientific artifacts on display.
Test Your Skills at Ten Pin Bowling
When it is cold and rainy out you won't want to be outside, but luckily Sydney has all sorts of fun and entertaining indoor activities. Grab a couple of friends or take the kids to Striking Bowling or Kingpin Bowling for some classic rainy day fun!
These games can be as competitive or relaxed as you want, but either way, you are going to have a great time. Most of these places also have laser tag arenas, too, so you can let out your inner child for a whole day filled with games.
Attend a Cooking Class
Maybe you are someone who likes to cook, or maybe you don't have much experience and want to get better. No matter how often you usually make your own meals it is always fun to try new things, and there are some fantastic cooking classes that you can try in Sydney on a rainy day. It can also be a fantastic date night for couples.
Learn to make anything like vegetarian meals or food from Japanese, Italian or American cuisine. You can even learn to master the art of Chinese dumplings! Choose what you are hungry for and make your way to one of the cooking classes in Sydney. Of course, the best part is when you eat the tasty food after you are done.
Go Indoor Skydiving
Here is one of the coolest rainy day activities in the city; indoor skydiving! This is an activity that is sure to get your adrenaline pumping. All you have to do is make your way to the nearest skydiving facility in Sydney.
One of the best is iFLY Downunder which gives its customers an exciting and realistic skydiving experience. You might as well take advantage of the rainy weather to try something new, and now you can tell all your friends that you tried skydiving!
Try to Beat An Escape Room
Are you good at puzzles, and do you like solving mysteries? If you do then you should absolutely try one of the escape rooms in Sydney. This is a super fun experience for the entire family where you will all need to work together to get out of a room by finding clues and unlocking puzzles.
You will be racing the clock so you need to work fast and as a team. The concept is fairly basic but some of the puzzles can get pretty elaborate, and some places have several rooms that you can choose from. Take your pick from different themes and difficulty levels to see how fast you can solve the puzzles and make your great escape!
Tone Your Axe Throwing Skills
This is a fun activity that you might have never tried before. Axe throwing requires more skill and precision than you might think and since it takes place indoors you can try it anytime, even if it is raining.
It is even better with friends so put together a group and see who is the best. There are also sessions targeted toward single visitors or duos, so you can come with as many people as you want. You will have the time of your life axe throwing in Sydney!
Vacationing in Sydney, Rain or Shine
It can be a real bummer when the sun goes away and rainy days take over your vacation, but Sydney has a great selection of modern attractions, and lots of them take place indoors. From learning about natural history, science or other topics in some of Sydney's museums, eating great food, or even going indoor skydiving, rainy days in this fantastic city aren't that bad. You can still have an unforgettable vacation in Sydney, Australia rain or shine!
Looking for even more things to do in Sydney? Check out these other guides:
Best Brunch In Sydney: The Definitive Guide
Everything You Need To Know About Shopping In Sydney
The Best Museums In Sydney