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Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art

Last updated: 24 June, 2023

Launched in 1991 as a young upstart rival to the Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW) across town, the MCA now plays a major role in the cultural life of Sydney.

As its title suggests, the focus of this waterfront gallery is contemporary art from Australia and abroad. Its own collection of 4,000 works spans all art forms, including painting, photography, sculpture and the moving image.

Its permanent collection consists of works by contemporary Australian artists, including leading indigenous painters. But the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) also prides itself on making modern art accessible to those who generally don’t visit galleries by featuring the work of artists such as Christo, Jeff Koons and Roy Lichtenstein.

The MCA also hosts a large number of temporary exhibitions during the year.


Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Occupying a prime slab of real estate on Circular Quay, the MCA is impossible to miss. Since some of Sydney’s best hotels are nearby plenty of visitors will be able to walk here. But the gallery is well served with public transport; buses, trains and ferries all converge on Circular Quay. If you happen to be around Town Hall, jump on the light rail which runs down George Street to The Rocks.

Free guided tours operate daily – see the MCA website for details.

The museum is known for hosting blockbuster touring exhibitions – so check out the website for upcoming events and attractions. Entry to all temporary exhibitions is free, but there is a fee to visit the annual Sydney International Arts Series.


When to do it

This gallery is open all year round, seven days a week.