The heritage-listed Great Synagogue (1878) is the spiritual home of Sydney’s oldest Jewish congregation, established in 1831. It’s considered the Mother Synagogue of Australia and is architecturally the most important in the southern hemisphere, combining Romanesque, Gothic, Moorish and Byzantine elements. Tours include the AM Rosenblum Museum artefacts and a video presentation on Jewish beliefs, traditions and history in Australia.

Look out for the starry gold-leaf ceiling (supported by 12 arches representing the tribes of Israel) and the French Gothic wrought-iron gates.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. Sydney Tower Eye

0.14 MILES

The 309m-tall Sydney Tower (still known as Centrepoint by many Sydneysiders) offers unbeatable 360-degree views from the observation level 250m up. The…

2. Hyde Park

0.15 MILES

Formal but much-loved Hyde Park has manicured gardens and a tree-formed tunnel running down its spine, which looks particularly pretty at night,…

3. State Theatre

0.16 MILES

The ostentatiously ornate State (1929) is Sydney’s most beautiful theatre. Originally built as a movie palace during Hollywood’s heyday, it’s now a…

4. Archibald Memorial Fountain

0.17 MILES

Hyde Park’s northern end is crowned by this richly symbolic art-deco fountain, featuring Greek mythological figures.

5. Queen Victoria Building

0.18 MILES

Unbelievably, this High Victorian Gothic masterpiece (1898) was repeatedly slated for demolition before it was restored in the mid-1980s. Occupying an…

6. Sydney Town Hall


Mansard roofs, sandstone turrets, wrought-iron trimmings and over-the-top balustrades: the French Second Empire wedding-cake exterior of the Town Hall …

7. St Andrew’s Cathedral

0.22 MILES

Sporting beautiful stained glass and twin spires inspired by England’s York Minster, squat St Andrew’s Anglican is the oldest cathedral in Australia (1868…

8. St James’ Church

0.22 MILES

Built from convict-made bricks, Sydney’s oldest church (1819) is widely considered to be architect Francis Greenway's masterpiece. It was originally…