In the Know Guide to Christmas

InterContinental Sydney places you in The Harbour City’s dress-circle, footsteps away from the festivity of Circular Quay and moments away from the city’s tinselled icons, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. Our concierge team have designed ‘In The Know’ tips to help you capture the magic of Sydney’s festive celebration seamlessly, unwrap your guide to the season below. 

Santa Claus will be visiting InterContinental Sydney

On Christmas day Santa Claus will be making his rounds visiting:

  • Cafe Opera
  • The Cortile
  • Lobby
  • Treasury Room
  • Club InterContinental

Between the hours of:

  • 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm
  • 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Children's activities will also be available in Conference suite 1:

Between 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm for cupcake & gingerbread decorating.  


Christmas Shopping

Sydney offers a large variety of experiences for Christmas shopping, many of these centred around the Westfield Sydney shopping precinct. For the festive season, and the following Boxing Day sales mean that there are extended shopping hours throughout this time. Please see the below listing for Westfield Sydney, which many stores throughout the city will also operate to a similar schedule.

Monday 18 December to Wednesday 20 December
9.30am to 9pm
Thursday 21 December
9.30am to Midnight
Friday 22 December
9.30am to 9pm
Saturday 23 December
9.30am to 7pm
Sunday 24 December
10am to 6pm
Monday 25 December
Tuesday 26 December (Boxing Day Sales)
7am to 9pm



For those who are seeking to partake in a religious celebration of the season, there are two grandiose cathedrals in Sydney, both Roman Catholic and Anglican (Church of England). Please see the below service and mass times for these chapels accordingly.

St. Mary’s Catholic Cathedral

Located adjacent to Hyde Park, this cathedral is also the location for ‘The Lights of Christmas’ as mentioned above. Mass times over Christmas are as follows:

Where – St. Mary’s Road, Sydney

Christmas Eve - 5.00pm  First Vespers of Christmas | 6.00pm Vigil Mass | 8.00pm Choral Vigil Mass (Carols from 7.30pm)

Christmas Day - 12am Midnight Solemn Mass (Readings and Carols from 11.15pm) | 7am Said Mass | 9am Mass with Congregational Carols | 10.30am Solemn Mass with Cathedral Choir | 6pm Mass with Congregational Carols

St. Andrew’s Anglican Cathedral

This cathedral is located in the central city area and is directly adjacent to Town Hall, and is the home of the Anglican archdiocese of Sydney.

Where – Corner of George and Bathurst Street, Sydney

Christmas Eve - 4pm Contemporary Service with Children’s Nativity | 6.30pm | 8pm | 11pm Holy Communion

Christmas Day - 8am Holy Communion | 10am Christmas Celebration


Choirs in the City

Each evening throughout December the streets around Martin Place and it’s famous interactive Christmas Tree are filled with live Christmas Carols, as a variety of local choirs gather to spread some festive cheer.

Where – Martin Place, Sydney CBD

When – Every night leading up to Christmas Eve, 6pm to 8pm

Cost – Free

Santa by the Surf

Ditch the standard Santa photo and have your portrait with your favourite festive fellow and a backdrop of Sydney’s most famous beach. Bookings in advance are recommended and can be made online at or with our concierge team.

Where – Bondi Beach

When – Every weekend before Christmas

Cost – Packages start at $35

The Lights of Christmas

St. Mary’s Cathedral will light up each evening with a projected light and sound show, especially created and mapped to the features of the cathedral. This year there will also be festive themed food including gelato and churros. Make sure that you arrive early to enjoy the free choir performance at 7.30pm each evening.

Where – St. Mary’s Cathedral, St. Mary’s Road, Sydney

When – Every night 7.30pm – midnight

Cost – Free