Twin of the nearby Mint, the venerable Parliament House (1816) has been home to the Parliament of New South Wales since 1829, making it the world’s oldest continually operating parliament building. And like the Mint, its front section (which now blends into a modern addition on the eastern side) was part of the Rum Hospital, built in exchange for a monopoly on the rum trade.
You need to pass through a metal detector to access the inner sanctum, where you can check out art exhibitions in the lobby and the historical display in the wood-panelled Jubilee Room. On non-sitting days both assembly chambers are open, but when Parliament is sitting you’re restricted to the Public Gallery. There are free guided tours on Mondays and Fridays at 1.30pm.