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

Official Website: Sydney Town Hall

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

Category: Landmarks & Historical Buildings

Address: 483 George St
Sydney New South Wales 2000

Phone: +61 2 9265 9333


Yelp Rating:
4.5 out of 5 4.5 Star Rating
Based on 18 Reviews.

See all reviews on Yelp

4 Star Rating Disappointed it was closed & we couldn't wander inside. The trolley stops in front & there are many benches in front to sit & wait. The Sydney Town Hall... Read More

Andrea U. Nov-17-2022

4 Star Rating This is one of the prettiest town hall buildings I have ever come across. It's on the scale and design of buildings found in DC. Our town hall at current... Read More

Nicole E. Jan-30-2020

4 Star Rating I haven't been inside, but the outside is where the free tour starts at 10:30 and 2:30. Look for the 'I'm free' green t shirt. Town hall is built on an old... Read More

Alexandra M. Nov-12-2016

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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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Photo Gallery


Sydney Town Hall Organ in action

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