Sydney Town Hall

Sydney Town Hall is a grand historic heritage building serving the same function today as when it first opened

Sydney Town Hall
Sydney Town Hall cc licensed photo by avlxyz

The historic Sydney Town Hall has served as the working centre of civic government in Sydney ever since it's completion in the late 1800s. In addition to council chambers and civic offices it also has venues that are used for a wide range of events and exhibitions throughout the year. In fact it was Sydney's largest indoor entertainment venue until the Sydney Opera House opened in 1973.

After the incorporation of Sydney in 1842 the need for a civic town hall became evident. Sydney's aldermen were determined to make Sydney's Town Hall a grand building and were prepared to invest accordingly. The site that was selected was previously a burial ground that had fallen into disrepair. In 1868 a design competition was awarded to architect J.H. Wilson.

Construction of the Town Hall took place in two stages over a period of 21 years between 1868 and 1889 interspersed with more than its fair share of complications and scandals. The main building material was sandstone quarried from nearby Pyrmont. The design appears to be strongly influenced by French Architecture from the 2nd Empire. The exterior of the Hall is dominated by it's impressive clock tower.

One of the most notable features of Sydney Town Hall is its Grand Organ located at the end of the elegant Centennial Hall. No expense was spared in it's creation. Constructed in England in between 1886 and 1889, it was subsequently dismantled and carefully packed into 94 crates for shipping to Sydney Town Hall where it was carefully unpacked and reassembled. With 9000 pipes, it was the world's largest ,and possibly the best organ ever built when it was completed. Eventually time took its toll and the organ underwent a painstaking restoration that took over 11 years to complete finishing in 1982. Today the Grand Organ receives rigorous maintenance and it is regularly played for concerts and recitals throughout the year.

You can see the exterior of the Town Hall at any time of day or night, however access to the interior is limited to normal business hours unless attending an event. Tours are conducted by Friends of Town Hall for a small donation.

Nearby attractions: Queen Victoria Building, Sydney Tower, Pitt Street Mall, Darling Harbour and Hyde Park

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: No. Guided tours by donation are available after pipe organ concerts. Some events have admission fess.

Regular Hours:
May differ on holidays

  • Monday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Thursday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Friday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed

Address: 483 George St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Phone: (02) 9265 9333

Official Website: Sydney Town Hall

Reviews

Rated 4.6 out of 5 Star Rating

5 Star Rating We've had the privilege of capturing beautiful moments at Sydney Town Hall. It stands as a quintessential symbol of Sydney's architecture, and hosting weddings within its grand halls adds a truly memorable significance. The historic charm and iconic setting create a backdrop that not only enhances the celebration of love but also crafts enduring and cherished memories for wedding couples. I highly recommend Sydney Town Hall for couples seeking a venue that not only reflects the essence of Sydney but also ensures that their special day is filled with remarkable and meaningful moments.
Salt Atelier - in the last week

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5 Star Rating The Bansky exhibition was fantastic. He represents history so well. I loved the mirror room and his oil paintings. Well worth the $ to visit. It took a bit more than an hour.
SamAntha markwick - a week ago

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5 Star Rating A worthwhile event. All the pieces had something to say, even if I was not sure what the message was…y’see I chose not to read the descriptions. The moving visuals were excellent, and there was a good choice of merchandise, and it was not overly expensive. You have a bit over 30 minutes to see it all, but that was fine by me, as I’m an impatient art lover.
Alan Nicolle - 2 weeks ago

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5 Star Rating We paid our first visit to the town hall to browse the current exhibition The Art of Banksy - Without Limits. Honestly such a lovely exhibition. Learnt so much about the artist and was inspired by the intent behind his work. We also got to experience spray painting our own tshirts, really fun. The staff were really thoughtful and professional. So thankful for the team who kindly put together the exhibition and Fever for making it possible to view the master's pieces in Sydney. Now for the town hall itself .. The interior was surprising modern compared to the outsides. Keen to visit the main floor and the rest of the building once renovations are complete ! :)
Lily Huang - a week ago

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5 Star Rating Sydney Town Hall is an absolute gem that deserves every bit of its five-star rating. Steeped in rich history and architectural grandeur, the building is a testament to the city's cultural heritage. The intricate design details and timeless elegance make it a captivating landmark. The interior of Sydney Town Hall is equally impressive, boasting spacious halls and stunning features that enhance the overall experience. Attending events in this iconic venue is always a pleasure, as the acoustics are superb, ensuring a delightful experience for concert-goers and event attendees alike. The staff at Sydney Town Hall consistently provide top-notch service, exuding professionalism and courtesy. Whether you're attending a formal event or a casual visit, the welcoming atmosphere and helpful assistance contribute to a positive and memorable experience. This iconic landmark stands as a symbol of Sydney's cultural richness and is a must-visit for locals and tourists alike. Sydney Town Hall remains a shining example of architectural brilliance and a hub for cultural events, earning its well-deserved five-star reputation.
Ryan Withers - 2 months ago

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Directions

Train Line Nearest Station Walking Time
L2, T1, T2, T3 or T4Town Hall0 minutes

How to get to Sydney Town Hall by Train

By Train or Light Rail L2: Exit at Town Hall Station and you are there.

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