Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Sydney


rain sydney opera houseSydney, or Australia for that matter, is not the type of place where you expect rain… loads of rain. Unfortunately, this past year has been one of the wettest in decades, and that means any would-be traveler to Sydney may have to deal a little bit here and there with a drizzle or downpour.

Just this last week, many Sydney residents were getting soaked as torrential downpours bombarded the land for days. It caused many a wet pair of pants and the concept of “umbrella rage” to hit the news on News.com.au. Rain is really no fun for locals, and for travelers it can just put a damper (pun intended!) on travel plans.

So, no, you won’t be lounging on Bondi Beach or climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridget when the sky is dropping buckets, but you can still do quite a bit in this city if you desire.

Find a Cozy Pub

There was a great little post over on TimeOut Sydney about Sydney’s best rainy day pubs, and I couldn’t have thought of a better list myself. When the rain is pouring down, being inside a cozy pub with friends and warming beverages tops of the list of ways to better enjoy the bleak weather.

You also might be interested in some of Sydney’s small bars.

Get Educated at a Museum

australian museumSydney is home to a number of great museums, some of which you might otherwise bypass in order to be outdoors. Rainy weather gives you the perfect opportunity to experience a bit of art, history or science when you visit the Powerhouse Museum, the Australian Museum, the Art Gallery of New South Wales or even the Australian National Maritime Museum. Read more about Sydney Museums.

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Eat at a Nice Restaurant

Eating a nice or unique restaurant makes for an event that shouldn’t be combined with other activities. When it is raining, why not book a table in your restaurant of choice and enjoy the evening… slowly… with a bottle of wine, an appetizer and dessert. Of course, some of the top restaurants, like Aria, will require a reservation days in advance, but other nice restaurants in this city are plentiful.

Upgrade Your Hotel Room

luxury roomA lot of budget travelers turn to budget travel accommodation, like hostels, because they figure they won’t be spending a lot of time in the room anyways. If you’re caught in the rain in Sydney and find yourself spending more time than normal in your digs, why not upgrade and make the most out of it. Hostel stayers can find a nice hotel room to kick back, watch movies and order room service. If wanting luxury, here are 7 luxury hotels with a view of the Opera House to choose from!

Play Some 10-Pin Bowling

Bowling is one of the best rainy day activities in my opinion. You get to hang out with friends, have snacks and drinks, get a little bit of exercise and compete in a sport all at the same time. There are a couple of places to choose from near the city center: 1) Strike Bowling Bar near Darling Harbour (a bit more expensive) and 2) the AMF over in Randwick.

Hit up the IMAX

Don’t just go to a movie when it’s raining. Head down to Darling Harbour and catch the latest flick on the world’s largest screened IMAX! When you’re watching a great film, in 3D, with a giant bucket of popcorn in hand, you easily forget that the outside world is so yucky.

Cuddle Up at Cafes

Hundreds of cafes are scattered across Sydney, and they make for the perfect place to hang out on a rainy day. Order up a nice cappuccino and tuck into a good book. If you’re in the Marrickville area, be sure to have a read of Caroline’s top 5 cafes.

Ride the Karaoke Bus

karaoke world sydneyOk, so the Karaoke Bus is more for big, special occasions, but I’d thought I’d give them a shout anyways. For those with a more standard karaoke experience in mind, head to the pubs as many have karaoke nights on certain days of the weeks as a regular feature. The Edinburgh Castle Hotel does Karaoke on Saturday nights, Strike Bowling Bar offers a karaoke room and Ding Dong Dang is a karaoke bar over in Surry Hills with several rooms and booze.

Test Your Luck at Star City Casino

Star City Casino is Sydney’s downtown casino where you can go to try your hand at poker, blackjack or maybe just some slots. It’s located on Pyrmont Street in a 5-star accommodation, but you won’t miss the giant sign glowing from outside.

What else can we add to this list of things to do when it (unfortunately) rains in Sydney?

Photo credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.