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

Fee: No

Sydney Customs House Hours:
Opening hours may differ on holidays

  • 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: 8:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Address: 31 Alfred St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Phone: (02) 9265 9779

Official Website: Sydney Customs House

Sydney Customs House Reviews

Rated 4.5 out of 5 Star Rating

4 Star Rating Nearly perfect place for quite zone İt has some facilities... One level for calming, reading, sitting and art... Two levels has library... Not a professional and old style library, but fair enough. And one level is a restaurant.
safyurek - 9 months ago

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5 Star Rating Such an iconic building in the heart of Circular Quay. Definitely go inside and see the glass floor with a replica of Sydney underneath. So amazing! Love playing eye spy with the kids here. Also, this is a flagship building of Vivid with it fully lit up in story, sound and colour.
Helen Di Domenico - 8 months ago

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5 Star Rating Fabulous exhibition of photography in Sydney around 1901. The City of Sydney Library has a great collection with of scores of classical music, opera and musicals.
Luke Murphy - 6 months ago

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4 Star Rating Old customs tax building repurposed as a library. Wonderful architecture, but modified to some extent indoors. Ground floor has model of Sydney, viewed from above. Go to first storey to see the war (WW1 & WW2) memorials on the north wall to those who served and those who died. The WW1 plaque is an especially worthy acknowledgement of sacrifice.
Alan Walmsley - a year ago

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Directions

Line Nearest Station Walking Time
L2, T2, T3, T8 or FerryCircular Quay1 minute

How to get to Sydney Customs House by

Exit and train or ferry at Circular Quay and cross the street.

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