With over 10 million tourists visiting Australia’s metropolitan city of Sydney, it’s no wonder that the busiest time is during December to February when the weather is warm, the sun is out and everyone is in their summer clothes (whereas the majority of the world is stuck in the cold and snow). As a result, spending time in Sydney during the holiday season can be quite the experience, plus you can enjoy the outdoors without having to bundle up in multiple layers. From Christmas Markets and New Year’s Eve celebrations to open-air cinemas and outdoor festivals, here’s what you can do in Sydney during the holidays.

Christmas Markets

Just like Europe, Australia also has its share of Christmas Markets. Some of the top ones in Sydney are the Woodstock Artisans Christmas Market where more than 70 merchants sell high-quality items such as clothing, jewelry, art and home goods, the Chippendale Christmas Market where you can discover delicious sweets to try, listen to live music and buy elegant gifts, or the Carriageworks Christmas Market, which is the Christmas Market for foodies who love anything sweet, savory or both.

Open-air Cinemas

With the holiday spirit in high-bloom and the warm weather outdoors, open-air cinemas begin to pop up all around the city. There’s a new one located on the rooftop of Queen Victoria Building (QVB), which will show holiday favorites like Home Alone, The Polar Express and Elf and will run from the 5th to the 7th of December. There’s another one called The Floating Cinema, where you can watch holiday favorites while cruising around the Harbour for three hours, and the Moonlight cinema at the Centennial Park that shows various films throughout Sydney’s summer months with holiday-specific films in December.

Outdoor Festivals

Sydney is full of life in the summer months and one way for everyone to enjoy it is by checking out all the outdoor festivals. There’s the Narrabeen Lakes Festival that takes place on the 7th and 8th of December at Berry Reserve Narrabeen featuring live music and more than 140 vendors selling everything from food to crafts. On the 7th of December, you can check out Rosé Bay offering visitors various tastings of rosés, red wine, white wine and even beer. Another outdoor festival that comes alive during the holidays in Sydney is Cirque du Soleil and this year it’s KURIOS, which will be showing under The Big Top at The Entertainment Quarter.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations

If you’re planning on staying in Sydney through the New Year, you’re in for a treat. New Year’s Eve celebrations in Sydney are out of this world, and although there are so many to choose from, our top choices are Mary’s Underground with a pre-fireworks feast, live music and a view of the fireworks at Circular Quay, NYE 5-Course Dinner at Silvester’s, perfect for those who want a mellow, romantic celebration, NYE Pier One party featuring a live DJ and cocktails with views of the fireworks over Sydney Harbour, or the Tall Ship Experience where you can sail aboard a ship that’s been built to resemble one from the 1850s while you eat, drink and watch the phenomenal fireworks without having to worry about any crowds. For more events, check out the official website here.

Spending time in Sydney during the holidays can be an extremely memorable experience, and since it’s summer, you’ll love being outdoors even more.

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