5 Best Sydney City Walks (Discover the CBD)

A list with five of the best city walks that take in all the landmarks in the Sydney CBD while enjoying some of the most scenic views.

We can all agree that Sydney is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. What’s even better is that Sydney is also a very walkable city. Most of the city’s iconic landmarks are all within easy walking distance.

Walking the city is the best way to see the highlights and get a good feel of what Sydney is about. It allows you to absorb the atmosphere and the culture of our amazing city.

To help you explore Sydney on foot, we have listed five of the best city walks suitable for young and old.

Top 5 Sydney CBD Walks

In no particular order, check out the following walks in the city for a great day exploring the unique Sydney CBD. Some of these walks can also easily be combined.

If you’re into history, then read our guide to Sydney’s oldest buildings located in the city area.

1. Sydney CBD Discovery Walk

The Sydney CBD is relatively small, with most iconic landmarks and tourist attractions all within walking distance. The best way to explore Sydney’s highlights is by simply wandering around.

Starting at Central Station, this CBD walking tour takes in the best that Sydney has to offer, including Darling Harbour, Barangaroo, The Rocks, Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay, Opera House, Royal Botanic Garden, and Hyde Park.

Sydney CBD walking tour map

Depending on the pace you maintain and the number of breaks you have, this discovery walk can take anywhere between 2 and 6 hours to complete, depending on stops.

And should your feet get a bit achy after a few hours of walking, the city circle train line can always provide a bit of relief.


Sydney CBD Discovery Walk:

  1. Chinatown + Darling Square
  2. Darling Harbour
  3. King St Wharf + Barangaroo
  4. Barangaroo Reserve
  5. Sydney Harbour Bridge
  6. The Rocks
  7. Sydney Opera House
  8. Royal Botanic Garden + Domain
  9. Hyde Park

2. Cahill Walkway

Located right above Circular Quay train station, the Cahill Walkway is a little-known pedestrian path along the Cahill Expressway, with incredible views of Circular Quay, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

If you’re looking for a great spot to get the best views of Sydney’s two most iconic landmarks, the Cahill Expressway Lookout is where you need to go. It’s high up on the list of most impressive lookout points in Sydney.

Views from the Cahill Walk Lookout
Views from the Cahill Walk Lookout

The Cahill Walkway can be accessed via the northern section of the Royal Botanic Garden at Macquarie Street, a lift in the eastern area of Circular Quay, or the Bridge Stairs in The Rocks.

The purpose-built Cahill Expressway Lookout is a viewing platform located halfway through the walkway with several information boards and a few benches to relax and take in the views.

3. Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk

A visit to Sydney is not complete without walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge at least once. Opened in 1932, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is an incredible piece of superb engineering with a unique design.

The Harbour Bridge walk is a purpose-built pedestrian walkway on the eastern side of the bridge, starting at the Bridge Stairs in The Rocks and finishing at the Bridge Stairs in Milsons Point.

Views from the Sydney Harbour Bridge walkway
Views from the Sydney Harbour Bridge walkway

The Cahill Walkway, see above, actually extends to the Harbour Bridge Walk. This means you can walk from the Royal Botanic Garden all the way to Milsons Point, taking in all the major highlights of the city of Sydney.

The official starting point of the walk across the Harbour Bridge is at the Bridge Stairs in The Rocks, housed in a somewhat mysterious-looking, art-deco building.

4. The Goods Line

The Goods Line is a partly elevated urban walkway in the Sydney CBD that connects Central Station with Darling Harbour. The walkway follows the route of a once bustling but long-neglected railway line.

Starting at the end of the Devonshire Street Tunnel at Central Station, the Goods Line runs through a vibrant urban hub, home to various educational, cultural and media institutions.

The Goods Line in Sydney
The Goods Line in Sydney

The pedestrian walkway includes bike paths, table tennis tables, study pods, outdoor workspaces, playgrounds, and a large, bright yellow communal table.

Parts of the old train track have been preserved, which you can still clearly see as you walk along the Goods Line.

5. Barangaroo Foreshore Walk

Located on the western side of the Sydney CBD, Barangaroo Reserve is a modern Sydney Harbour foreshore park, one of the prettiest parks you can find in Sydney.

This beautiful urban park was constructed as part of a transformation project that has changed an old industrial site into a thriving business, entertainment and leisure precinct, named Barangaroo.

Harbour views from Barangaroo Reserve
Harbour views from Barangaroo Reserve

The Barangaroo Foreshore Walk is a 1.5 km shared walking and cycling path that runs between King Street Wharf and the north-eastern tip of Barangaroo Reserve. The path is also referred to as the Wulugul Walk.

Barangaroo Reserve itself consists of several paths spread over multiple levels. There is no starting or end point, so you can simply wander around and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.


5 Best walks in the Sydney CBD


Published: August 19, 2021
Updated: June 12, 2023

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AJ Mens

AJ Mens is a digital publisher based in Sydney, Australia, and the editor-in-chief of Sydney Uncovered and Blue Mountains Uncovered.

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