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Things to do on a rainy day in Sydney

Have buckets of fun even when it’s bucketing down in Sydney.

These 9 wet weather activities will entice you out of the house on a grey day.

White Rabbit Gallery's tea room, captured by Instagrammer @juliekie

1. Indulge in some visual treats at Sydney’s art galleries

See contemporary Chinese art (and grab dumplings) at White Rabbit Gallery, then move on to the Art Gallery of NSW for a spot of Monet. Round out your day at the Museum of Contemporary Art – Circular Quay is very pretty in the rain.

Or go beyond the big venues, and soak up some art in one of Sydney's smaller galleries. For inspiration, see the latest arts and culture events.

Instagrammer @thefrenchieescapes catches up on some reading material at Customs House library. Pic: via Instagram

2. Lose yourself in a good book

The  City of Sydney Library  has 9 branches offering reliable respite from bad weather. Membership is free for anyone living in NSW. Bonus: members can access free music and e-books. So after you join you’ll be able to curl up at home with some top-notch literature, anytime.

Vinatge Shopping on Oxford Street

3. Treat yourself to a spot of shopping

Our area is home to sweet boutiques and specialty stores that are perfect for whiling away a rainy afternoon. Shop sustainably by buying vintage and secondhand clothing. For inspiration, check these vintage shops recommended by Sydney locals. Or find the latest markets and shopping events.

Cook and Phillip Park Pool

4. Go for a swim

There are plenty of indoor pools in Sydney. Or since you’ll be getting wet in the rain anyway you could brave a swim outdoors.

Cook and Phillip Park Pool is partially underground and is bathed in lots of natural light. Gunyama is home to indoor and outdoor heated pools and if you have children, they’ll love the indoor water play.

With 3 pools and a gym, Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre has more than enough to keep you occupied on a rainy day.

Golden Age Cinema and Bar

5. Get cosy at the cinema

Indulge the moody weather by grabbing some snacks and getting cosy at the cinema. Sydney has a wealth of cinemas so you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy. Beneath the streets of Surry Hills, you’ll find Golden Age: an independent award-winning cinema and bar showing the latest movies and cult classics. Locals also love Palace Verona – an art-house cinema in the heart of Paddington.

6. See a show

Sydney plays host to the best local and international stage shows, live music performances and everything in between. Discover the latest in theatre.

Dining out at Ho Jiak, Haymarket. Photo credit: Anna Kucera

7. Wine and dine in the city

Forget about the rain by dining indoors at one of the city’s restaurants. For live music, French food and vintage vibes, head to Hubert. Ragazzi in Angel Place is a great spot for pasta and wine. Or for a warming taste of Malaysia, book a table at Ho Jiak in either Haymarket and Town Hall.

Before dinner, why not enjoy a drink at one of the city’s bars – an underground speakeasy is perfect for stormy weather.

City Recital Hall. Photo credit: Alexander Mayes

8. Be entertained at City Recital Hall

Nestled in the heart of the city, the beautiful City Recital Hall will keep you cosy, dry and entertained. It has a rich program of concerts and events for every music lover. Plus, some of the city’s finest restaurants are right next door.

Justice and Police Museum

9. Get your culture fix at Sydney’s museums

From the Australian Museum to the Powerhouse, the Maritime Museum to Sydney Jewish Museum – use the bad weather as a reason to catch up on the latest exhibitions and learn something new.

Want more? Find all the latest events across Sydney on What’s On.

Bonus: check out how beautiful Sydney is in wet weather, as captured by Timelapse Photographer Matthew Vandeputte.

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