Recline on a patch of lawn in front of the Art Gallery of NSW and listen to religious zealots, oddballs, political extremists, homophobes, hippies and academics express their earnest opinions. Some of them have something interesting to say; most are just plain mad. Either way, it makes for an interesting afternoon. BYO soapbox.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby City Centre & Haymarket attractions

1. Art Gallery of NSW

0.05 MILES

With its neoclassical Greek frontage and modern rear, this much-loved institution plays a prominent and gregarious role in Sydney society. Blockbuster…

2. The Domain

0.09 MILES

Administered by the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Domain is a large grassy tract east of Macquarie St, set aside by Governor Phillip in 1788 for public…

3. Calyx

0.18 MILES

This striking exhibition pavilion in the Botanic Garden incorporates a cool, curving glasshouse space with a living wall of greenery that requires some 18…

4. Woolloomooloo Wharf

0.23 MILES

A former wool and cargo dock, this beautiful Edwardian wharf faced oblivion for decades before a 2½-year demolition-workers’ green ban on the site in the…

5. State Library of NSW

0.24 MILES

Among the State Library's over five million tomes are James Cook’s and Joseph Banks’ journals and William Bligh’s log from the mutinous Bounty. It's worth…

6. Artspace

0.24 MILES

Artspace is spacey: its eternal quest is to fill the void with vigorous, engaging Australian and international contemporary art. Things here are decidedly…

7. Parliament House

0.24 MILES

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…

8. Sydney Hospital

0.25 MILES

Originally the Rum Hospital, built by two Sydney merchants in return for a monopoly on the rum trade, Australia’s oldest hospital has a grand Victorian…