Even though a Christmas in Australia feels very different to Christmas abroad, there’s no shortage of beautiful Christmas decorations in Sydney.
From the traditional to the modern, this harbour city goes all out in December to celebrate the holiday season in style.
Locals start flocking to Christmas stores to buy their fresh, new pine trees that will soon be decorated in baubles and tinsel. Suburban houses will start lighting up with home-built displays that are sure to send the electricity bill through the roof.
And of course, Santa and his elves are sighted more and more often in shopping centres where eager children whisper their present requests as they have their photo taken.
We might celebrate with cold seafood and pavlova, but don’t be fooled. We still take Christmas seriously and there’s plenty of stunning Christmas decorations in Sydney to enjoy.
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Where To Find The Best Christmas Decorations In Sydney
The Rocks Historic District is the number one destination in Sydney’s CBD for beautiful Christmas decorations.
With the backdrop of gorgeous sandstone buildings and cobbled streets, every year this area welcomes flocks of tourists and locals alike hoping to enjoy the displays celebrating the holiday season.
The Rocks also run Christmas markets throughout December, where you’ll be able to find the ultimate present for your loved ones. Once you’ve finished shopping, make your way through the winding laneways and spot the decorations. Make sure to stop in during the day for the markets, and then at night to catch the laneways all lit up.
Sydney is host to several Christmas markets. The most well-known is in the historic Rocks district, however there are a few others starting to pop up around the city.
In a locked down 2021, because the normal July-timed French festival for Bastille Day was unable to go ahead, the crew at Bastille Markets have lined up a French Christmas market out the front of Customs House at Circular Quay.
And finally, always a favourite is the twighlight Carriageworks market that usually occurs in the week leading up to Christmas.
Martin Place is famous for hosting Sydney’s largest Christmas tree, which appears at the end of November each year to light up the night until New Year’s Day.
The tree is covered in fairy lights, baubles and in a nod to Australia’s native flora the tree also features some recognisable Australian flowers on its branches such as wattle, waratah, bottlebrush and more.
Pitt Street Mall
In December, Sydney’s premiere shopping strip, the Pitt Street Mall, is covered by a canopy of fairy lights.
Often the street also plays host to Christmas carolers who serenade shoppers as they weave and dart in and out of stores.
Walking this strip at night truly feels magical and is the perfect way to get into the festive spirit and get your shopping done at the same time.
It’s also in very close proximity to the Martin Place Christmas Tree and The Strand Arcade, so you’ll be able to overload on the best Christmas decorations in Sydney.
Queen Victoria Building
Beautiful at any time of year, this heritage listed architectural stunner is extra special at Christmas time.
Home to it’s own large Christmas tree, this shopping centre errs on the side of the traditional and the elegant for its Christmas decorations.
The exterior of the building usually has a light display as well, so it is well and truly Christmas inside and out.
Darling Harbour is a fun place to be at any time of year, but this area really turns it out for Christmas. The year 2021 brought giant inflatable Christmas baubles that dot the waters of the harbour whilst visitors can hire a paddleboat and get an upclose look.
For those wanting to keep their feet on land, keep an eye out for the large bauble on the forecourt which is perfect to get that selfie day or night.
The Strand Arcade
There’s few places more magical for Christmas decorations in Sydney than the heritage-listed Strand Arcade. This Victorian Era shopping passage is sumptuously decorated year round, but it is extra special when the fairy lights and hanging ornaments come out to play.
For the best view, head up the stairs to the third level where you can experience The Strand in all its beauty from a birds eye vantage point.
The Langham Hotel in Millers Point is a famous high tea destination and a beautiful place to stay in Sydney. But you may not know that they also do a really beautiful Christmas display.
Their pink-decorated tree with matching presents lying underneath it is a great photo destination for those tired of the same of green, red and gold of traditional yuletide celebrations.
Wear a dress to match and take a photo with the tree!
Barangaroo is starting to really thrive with a heavingly busy restaurant scene that comes to life each evening.
Their installation of large archway-style Christmas bells can be enjoyed day or night, though at night they are extra special as they light up.
Barangaroo is easily accessed from Wynyard Station or from Darling Harbour via the ferry.
St Mary’s Cathedral
Church-goers and non church-goers alike will revel in the vibrant light displays that feature on the exterior walls of St Mary’s Cathedral at Christmas.
The moving animations and flashing colour against the backdrop of the heritage listed cathedral are intoxicating and onlookers stare captivated for ages enjoying the show.
This is definitely one of the best and most unique set of Christmas decorations in Sydney.
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