Perched on Cape Breton Island, Sydney is a vibrant waterfront city known for its flourishing Celtic music scene. The island's historical capital is dotted with colourful wooden houses and postcard-perfect churches. Sydney is also a great base for exploring the coastal mountains, soaring sea cliffs and stunning beaches of Cape Breton Island.
Things to do in Sydney
Located in the town of Glace Bay, the Cape Breton Miners' Museum celebrates all things sooty. The fantastic museum includes a “Men of the Deeps” exhibition that sees visitors descend under the seafloor and into decommissioned mine tunnels. After touring the museum, enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant.
Guided walking tours from Old Sydney Society are the best way to admire the city's historic architecture. St Patrick's Church was built in the early-1800s and houses an excellent museum recalling the city's Catholic roots. Nearby, Jost Heritage House is brimming with model ships, apothecary medicines and 20th-century memorabilia.
Don't leave without snapping a selfie in front of the Big Fiddle of the Ceilidh, an 18-metre-tall monument set alongside the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion. It's the world's largest fiddle and pays tribute to Cape Breton Island's Celtic roots.
Discover local talent at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design, a colourful space hosting exhibitions, events and markets. It's a great place to pick up unique souvenirs, including jewellery and homewares. The centre also houses five state-of-the-art studios offering metal, glass, clay, weaving and printmaking workshops.
Getting around Sydney
Downtown Sydney is best-explored on foot, especially around the historic district. Cape Breton Island is linked to mainland Nova Scotia by a steel swing bridge, with the drive from Sydney to Halifax taking roughly 4.5 hours. Domestic flights arrive at JA Douglas McCurdy Airport, 13 kilometres from downtown Sydney.