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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 several major resident companies including: Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Over 1 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 Junior Discovery Tour, created especially for them. The Backstage Tour takes you behind the curtains and runs for over 2 hours.
The Sydney Opera House is home to cafés, restaurants and bars, from the upscale 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 parking is available for a fee. The Sydney Opera House box office and tour information desk are open Monday through Sunday.
It's not hard to spend an entire morning at Sydney Opera House. Below are a nice selection of the things you can do here:
If you're chasing more activities, check out our Sydney things to do page.
Standing in the historic Rocks district of cobbled laneways and designer boutiques, the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney is less than 500 meters from ferries and trains, Sydney's central business district, shopping, and Sydney Harbor foreshores.
Luxury and panoramic views abound at this Rocks District hotel set within a 5-minute walk of Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Opera House, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Located in Darling Harbour, this luxury hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Sydney Town Hall, Sydney Opera House, and Sydney Harbour Bridge. University of Sydney and Circular Quay are also within 3 mi (5 km). Town Hall Station is 7 minutes by foot and Paddy's Markets Light Rail Station is 10 minutes.
Opposite majestic Hyde Park and with views of St Mary’s Cathedral and Sydney Harbour, this luxury hotel in the heart of Sydney’s retail and business districts is a 15-minute walk to Darling Harbour. On the doorstep is Sydney’s premium retail shopping precinct for luxury and popular brands.
Located on Sydney's Martin Place, this central business district hotel is less than 1 kilometer from Sydney Tower, Sydney Parliament House, and Darling Harbour.
This darling Harbour hotel is also less than a kilometer from the restaurants, cafes, and bars of Cockle Bay and shopping at the Queen Victoria Building.
This 34-story hotel offers a stylish retreat from busy George Street, with Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, and Hyde Park all within 3 blocks. Wynyard Train Station is a 3-minute walk away.
This 25-story hotel has pedestrian links to 2 of the city's most popular shopping precincts, the Pitt Street Mall and the Queen Victoria Building.