What to do on your lunch break in Sydney

Sick of eating lunch at your desk? These activities will make you feel like you’ve had a proper break, so you can return to the office refreshed and refocused.

Town Hall’s Grand Organ

Listen to a concert

Soak up the sounds of the world’s greatest composers during a casual lunchtime concert at City Recital Hall. For a small entry fee, you can BYO lunch and enjoy an hour-long performance by some of Australia’s most exciting artists, with insights from those in the know.

Sydney Town Hall holds free organ recitals throughout the year, performed on the magnificent Grand Organ that was installed in 1890. At the time, it was considered the world’s finest concert organ and is now of great historical significance, valued at more than $20 million.

Listen to the rising stars of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, during its regular lunchtime concert series in Verbrugghen Hall. Entry is by donation and bookings aren’t required, but it’s worth clearing some space in the diary to enjoy the full performance.

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

Learn something new

Instead of sitting in the food court, why not use your break to discover a new passion or learn a new skill? The State Library of NSW hosts Bitesize Lunchtime Talks on a range of fascinating topics.

You can also head to one of the City of Sydney’s libraries to catch up on some reading, learn more about something that interests you, or use the free WiFi to work on a creative project.

A meditation class at Simply Meditate will help you unwind through simple meditations that relax the mind and body. Classes are held each Wednesday from 1pm to 1.45pm at Pitt Street Uniting Church. No bookings or previous experience are required.

Cook + Phillip Park pool

Work up a sweat

If you’re not a morning person, your lunch break is a great time to squeeze in a session at one of Sydney’s best workout spots. Take a dip at the Cook+Phillip Park Aquatic and Fitness Centre (the indoor pool is just the right temperature all year round), enjoy a free zumba class in Kings Cross or step up your game at a lunchtime circuit class run by Pyrmont Community Centre.

The King George V (KGV) Recreation Centre has a range of fitness classes on during lunchtime, from futsal competitions and boxing classes to high-intensity interval training sessions. If you’re keen to start your own comp with friends, there are a range of basketball, netball, volleyball and badminton courts for hire.

Nadia Hernandez, To be free is to have no fear

Explore the city

Escape the stress of the office by immersing yourself in nature. Wander through the Royal Botanic Garden and enjoy lunch on the grass, or take a guided tour with one of its passionate volunteers, who’ll help you discover the rich heritage and plant diversity of this tranquil oasis.

If you feel like stretching your legs, download the free Sydney Culture Walks App and set out to explore the city on foot. You’ll see Sydney with fresh eyes and discover hidden laneways, street art, architecture and historic landmarks. To avoid the crowds, challenge yourself to find one of Sydney’s hidden gems.

Art Gallery of NSW

See an exhibition

There are far worse ways to spend your lunch break than wandering through the Art Gallery of NSW, with its magnificent archways and splendid grand courts. Make your way through the gallery at your own pace, or join one of the free public tours led by volunteer guides.

The Museum of Contemporary Art features more than 4000 works by Australian artists, as well as temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Entry is free and you can either join a guided tour or download the app to learn more about the works. Before you head back to the office, grab a bite to eat at the MCA Café, which features a delicious menu and spectacular views of Sydney Harbour.

For something a little more interactive, head to the Powerhouse Museum. It features hands-on activities where you can discover the technology, engineering, science and design behind some of the world’s greatest innovations. Book a ticket and enjoy one of the temporary exhibitions, or take a self-guided tour through the collections.

The Australian National Maritime Museum is only a short stroll from the city centre, but feels a world away from the lunch-hour rush. It features one of the largest floating vessel collections in the world, so you can recreate your childhood fantasies by climbing on board a replica sailing ship or former Navy submarine. In the museum, there are exhibitions on a range of fascinating topics, from pirates to Pompeii.

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