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.
Facts For Your Visit
Official Website: Sydney Town HallFee: No. Guided tours by donation are available after pipe organ concerts. Some events have admission fess.
Category: Landmarks & Historical Buildings
483 George St
Sydney New South Wales 2000
Phone: +61 2 9265 9333
Rain B. Jul-22-2017
Citizenship Ceremony Came here for a Citizenship Ceremony. Beautiful old building. Staff were all friendly and helpful and everything was so easy. Jazz... Read More
Alexandra M. Nov-12-2016
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
Michaela C. Aug-26-2015
Hey Doc! Rev up the DeLorean in front of Woolies, yell "Great Scott!" and find yourself transported in time (but not in space) to 1832. Gone are the... Read More
Accommodations near Sydney Town Hall:
|Train Line||Nearest Station||Walking Time|
|Light Rail||Capitol Square||11 minutes|
|T1, T2, T3 or T4||Town Hall||0 minutes|
How to get to Sydney Town Hall by Train
By Light Rail: Exit at Capitol Square and go right (north) on George Street.
By Train: Exit at Town Hall Station and you are there.
Map & Instant Route Finder
Click&Go Map and Route Finder with public transit, walking, driving or cycling directions. Get up-to-the-minute transit times for your route.