Fifteen reasons to visit Sydney this December

Forget a white Christmas and experience the festive season Sydney-style! Swap the snow for the sunshine with these 15 great things to see, do and taste in the Harbour City this December. And save some serious coin with YHA’s Chrissy gift, up to 30% off private and shared rooms in Sydney with promo code XMAS30, read on!


Sing Christmas carols at Bondi Beach

Chrissy doesn’t get more Aussie than belting out Jingle Bells on the sand of Bondi Beach, which is exactly what you can do on Wednesday 13 December at Carols by the Sea.

Bondi Carols


Watch a moonlight movie under the stars

Grab a picnic and head to the Belvedere Amphitheatre in Sydney’s leafy Centennial Park, with a super summer season of open-air movies kicking off on Friday 1 December.

Moonlight cinema


… and even in bed

The world’s biggest outdoor bed cinema is bringing 150 queen-sized beds, top flicks, themed nights and gourmet takeaway food to December evenings in Moore Park.

Mov'in Bed


Pick up a present at the Finders Keepers market

You won’t find any mulled wine or nutcrackers at these Christmas markets but you will find loads of gift ideas at the 200 trendy arts and design stalls coming to Barangaroo, Friday 8 to Sunday 10 December.


Stroll through the Royal Botanic Garden

Summer in Sydney is the perfect time to explore the Royal Botanic Garden – a green oasis located between Sydney Harbour and the city centre – on a free guided tour at 10.30am every morning.

Royal Botanic Garden


See a 6.5-tonne Christmas tree

You’ve never seen anything sparkle quite so brightly as the QVB Swarovski Christmas Tree, standing 24 metres tall and weighing 6.5 tonnes thanks to 82,000 Swarovski crystals and 65,150 lights.

QVB tree


Create your own lolly jar

Sweet tooths, rejoice! Allen’s Lollysmiths is popping up at Westfield Sydney, offering customised gift packs and bespoke lolly jars just in time for Christmas.



Catch some cricket

Cricket and Christmastime go together like Santa and Rudolph, so grab a ticket to the high-octane Big Bash League to see the Sixers turn the Sydney Cricket Ground into a sea of pink.

A post shared by Sydney Sixers (@sixersbbl) on


Admire the Christmas lights

The city of Sydney twinkles with fairy lights throughout the month of December, including spectacular light projections on Town Hall and St Mary’s Cathedral, and the Boulevard of Light at Pitt St Mall.

Town Hall


… and see the Opera House lit up

The most spectacular light show of all takes place at Sydney’s most iconic landmark, when the sails of the Sydney Opera House are illuminated with Indigenous art at sunset and 9pm every evening.

A post shared by Fiona Pasco (@fayowna) on


Grab an authentic Indigenous souvenir

Do some Christmas shopping at the Blak Markets at Barangaroo on Sunday 3 December and you’ll make a different to the Aboriginal communities who create these unique handmade arts, crafts and produce.

Blak Markets


See Australia’s largest free concert

Warm up your singing voice for Carols in the Domain, Australia’s largest free annual concert that will inject some festive cheer into the city centre on Sunday 17 December.

Carols in the Domain


Marvel at the David Jones Christmas windows

It wouldn’t be December in Sydney without kids squishing their noses against the glass of David Jones’ Elizabeth St store, admiring the extravagant Christmas display inside.


Witness Australia’s biggest boat race

The day after Christmas, head down to the harbour to catch more than 100 yachts embark on the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, a Boxing Day tradition.

Sydney to Hobart


Celebrate a world-famous New Year’s Eve

The world’s attention turns to Sydney every December 31 for a mind-blowing fireworks show, and joining the crowds camped on the waterfront is a bucket list experience you need to tick off once in your life. 



Hostel deals

Book your pre-Christmas stay with YHA – we’re offering up to 30% off* our Sydney hostels. Simply enter promo code XMAS30 when you book Sydney Harbour YHASydney Central YHA and Railway Square YHA between 15 and 26 December to save some extra dosh for some more stocking-stuffers!

*Maximum 5 nghts stay. Valid on all rooms except family rooms. Offers non-refundable and subject to availability. Not available to existing bookings and groups of 10 people or more. Some hostels have additional restrictions.

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