Sydney Opera House
Regularly listed as one of the greatest architectural works of the 20th century, the Sydney Opera House sits right on Sydney Harbour, and is listed as a world heritage site. The Opera House has four major resident companies: Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Over one million people come here to enjoy performances each year, while millions more come just to admire the building, a symphony in itself.
The Opera House is surrounded by the Sydney Harbour on three sides, and the view from the Monument Steps is truly dramatic. Pause on the steps to photograph the harbor and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Make sure to get a snap or two with the Opera House’s famous interlocking white shells behind you.
Much of the Sydney Opera House interior is freely accessible so feel free to look around. In the reception hall, check out the fabulous floor-to-ceiling tapestry inspired by Bach’s Hamburg Symphonies.
This building is actually a complex of several venues. The Concert Hall, the Joan Sutherland Theatre and the Drama Theatre are the largest venues. The best way to see the building and all of the theaters is to book a guided tour. The Sydney Opera House Access Tour is the most popular. Wander through the house’s corridors and passageways as the knowledgeable guides share stories and secrets about the building. If you’re traveling with children, book them in for the Kids Discovery Tour, created especially for them. The Backstage Tour takes you behind the curtains and runs for two hours.
The Sydney Opera House is home to cafés, restaurants and bars, from the upscale Guillaume at Bennelong restaurant to the relaxed Opera Bar, which offers some of the best harbor views in Sydney.
Check the Opera House website for details of upcoming performances, festivals and events. Public transport makes visiting the Opera House simple, and paid parking is available. The Sydney Opera House box office and tour information desk are open Monday through Saturday.