Looking up at sky from below sculptural elements, with tall building and sunlight reflecting.

Edge of the Trees, Museum of Sydney. Photo © Brett Boardman for Sydney Living Museums

City

Reconnect with your city and enjoy a selection of curated online experiences exploring the role of architecture and urban design in Sydney’s past, present and future.

City ambassador

Jess Miller, Councillor City of Sydney

We’re delighted to have Jess Miller as our City ambassador. As a champion of the City, advocating for positive change we look forward to sharing her vision and creativity with you this year.

Jess Miller is passionate about creating community resilience and more liveable cities, reducing waste, improving food security, increasing urban greening and driving the night-time economy for Sydney. Throughout her time on Council, Jess has worked on  the Breathable Sydney campaign, Eliminated 12 million single-use plastic straws as part of the #SydneyDoesntSuck campaign; Introduced a Liveable Slow Streets pilot in Redfern, Championed the need for a NSW Food Security Strategy and supported a thriving 24-hour economy in Sydney by supporting the venues, performers and other late night. She is also Program Director of Greener Spaces Better Places. 

Q&A with Jess


 

Self-guided audio tour

Public Sydney

with Philip Thalis and Peter John Cantrill

Self-guided audio tour

Hear from the acclaimed authors of Public Sydney as they take you on a journey through Sydney’s public spaces and architecture in conversation with Colin Bisset, writer, traveller and contributor to ABC Radio National's Blueprint for living.

Explore at your own pace with our self-guided audio tour providing unique perspectives on architecture and design in your city. Participants will require their own headphones and device. 

Use our handy web app or download here:

   Get it on Google Play


 

Access denied

Usually inaccessible to the public – experience these secret spaces all to yourself on these virtual tours.  Adventure down the abandoned tunnels of St James Station, learn about the spooky history of Mortuary Station, get inside the North Head Gun Battery, and find out about the incredible journey of the Tank Stream, still running far below our city streets.   

  • St James Tunnels

    Take a virtual tour of Australia’s first underground railway at St James and Museum, designed and opened by Bradfield in 1926.

    Find out more

     

  • Mortuary Station

    Explore the only remaining example of a purpose-built Victorian funerary railway station in Australia, and possibly the world, in this virtual tour.

    Find out more

  • North Head Gun Emplacement

    Discover the military history of North Fort, with a virtual tour of the No. 2 Gun Emplacement. 

    Find out more

  • Tank Stream

    Take a virtual tour of the Tank Stream, once a vital source of life for the First Fleeters, and before them, the First Australians.

    Find out more

  • Parramatta Archaeology

    Explore some of the artefacts from the City of Parramatta's extensive archaeology collection discovered after over a dozen excavations under the CBD.

    Find out more


 

Unique city stories

From our past to our future, Sydney’s architecture tells a unique story. We take you behind the scenes and give you a glimpse into Sydney’s built environment. From converted substations and significant sandstone heritage, to wharves and railways and onto the latest, contemporary projects find out more about what’s underway in Sydney.


 

Past highlights

Browse our gallery of past Sydney Open buildings and spaces.


 

Our city museums

  • Hyde Park Barracks

    A UNESCO World Heritage-listed site in the heart of historic Sydney, the Hyde Park Barracks is an extraordinary living record of early colonial Australia. Today it is a cutting-edge museum, currently open to the public Thursday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm.

    Visit the Barracks website

  • Museum of Sydney

    A modern museum built over and around the remains of Australia’s first Government House, the Museum of Sydney celebrates the people and events that have shaped the character and soul of this city. Museum of Sydney is currently open to the public from Thursday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm.

    More about the Museum of Sydney

  • Justice & Police Museum

    Step into the dark side of Sydney’s past at the Water Police station and courts that once made up one of the city’s busiest legal hubs. Crooks and cops, thugs and judges, locals and drifters, the guilty and the innocent have all left their stories here. While currently closed to visitors, you can still explore the rich stories and collections online.

    Visit the museum online

  • Susannah Place

    Located in the heart of The Rocks, Susannah Place is a terrace of four houses built by Irish immigrants in 1844. For nearly 150 years these small houses with tiny backyards, basement kitchens and outside wash houses were home to more than 100 families. While currently closed to the public, you can still explore these stories online.

    Visit the museum online


 

Harry Seidler & Associates: Towers in the City
$25
The House
$32.99
Australia: Modern Architectures in History
$59.99
The Apartment House
$70