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).
Facts For Your Visit
Official Website: Sydney Customs HouseFee: No
Hours may be subject to change. Please verify on the official website, especially where Covid restrictions are in effect.
- 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
31 Alfred St
Sydney New South Wales 2000
Phone: +61 2 9242 8551
Conor D. Jul-11-2015
The customs house is indeed a building of significant beauty. The building kind of reminds me of the Town hall from Back to the Future which represents a... Read More
Darya S. Mar-27-2017
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
Dale S. Jun-26-2015
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
Accommodations near Sydney Customs House:
|Line||Nearest Station||Walking Time|
|L2, T2, T3, T8 or Ferry||Circular Quay||1 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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