Sydney Customs House

Sydney Customs House is an architectural landmark with a rich heritage

Square and facade of Customs House
Square and facade of Customs House cc licensed photo by zayzayem

Whether you just want to admire the beautiful architecture, enjoy some fine dining with a stunning view, or check out one of the temporary exhibits, Customs House is a great place to visit. Admission is free and access is easy due to its location at one of Sydney's major transportation hubs.

Featuring beautiful Georgian architecture and sandstone block construction that is very common in this region, the Customs House was first completed in 1845 and consisted of two stories. Its many expensive windows providing an expansive view of shipping activities in the harbour made Customs House an ideal location for headquarters of Australian Customs in Sydney. Customs was responsible for controlling the importing of goods and immigration of people into Australia and for the taxation of trade. Customs house was used for this purpose right up until 1990.

In 1887 the Customs House was expanded to three stories followed by several more additions over the years. After ownership was transferred from the Australian Government to the City of Sydney in 1994 it underwent one more major restoration in 2003.

Today this major historic landmark welcomes visitors. It is now home to a branch of the Sydney public library. Inside you will find a spectacular circular staircase and also a magnificent 1:500 scale model of Sydney's Central Business District, which is viewed from above through a glass floor. There are also rotating exhibitions on various subjects throughout the year.

Customs House is a great place to come for a meal or refreshments. On the main level and Customs Square you can enjoy a relaxing meal, drink or coffee in the Parisian style bistro called Quay Bar, or in Young Alfred Restaurant. On the rooftop the Sydney Cafe, one of Sydney's finest restaurants offers fabulous views from its sunny outside terrace to go along with their fine cuisine.

If you are visiting Sydney during the last week in May or the first weeks of June, you simply must check out the VIVID SYDNEY display on the facade of the Customs House (Click on the 'Photos and Video' Tab to see a video of this event).

Nearby attractions:Justice and Police Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Sydney, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney Opera House, Government House and The Rocks.

Facts For Your Visit

Official Website: Sydney Customs House

Fee: No

Open Now

Regular Hours:

  • Monday: 8:00 am - 12:00 am
  • Tuesday: 8:00 am - 12:00 am
  • Wednesday: 8:00 am - 12:00 am
  • Thursday: 8:00 am - 12:00 am
  • Friday: 8:00 am - 12:00 am
  • Saturday: 10:00 am - 12:00 am
  • Sunday: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Category: Landmarks & Historical Buildings Libraries

Address: 31 Alfred St
Sydney New South Wales 2000
Australia

Phone: +61 2 9242 8551

Reviews

Yelp Rating:
4.5 out of 5 4.5 Star Rating
Based on 10 Reviews.

See all reviews on Yelp

4 Star Rating Too cool! You get to walk on Sydney! The Customs House is another gem I recommend. I walked in with a friend only to use the free WiFi, but he knew where he... Read More

Darya S. Mar-27-2017

4 Star Rating Customs House is made of sandstones and very historical building. As of its name, it used to be customs house and now this building is used as Sydney... Read More

Masumi Y. Dec-24-2016

5 Star Rating Customs House is a lovely building just across from the wharf. It is a fantastic place for tourists, as it has lots of history about the city, but it had... Read More

Dale S. Jun-26-2015

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Directions

Line Nearest Station Walking Time
T2, T3 or FerryCircular Quay1 minute

How to get to Sydney Customs House by

Exit at Circular Quay Station and cross the street.

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Video


2012 VIVID SYDNEY display transforms the facade of Customs House

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