Located in Sydney, New South Wales, the Sydney Opera House is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world and one of the largest tourist attractions in Australia. Contrary to popular belief, this extraordinary building is not only used for opera, but is used for a variety of events including music, theater, dance and rock concerts. In addition to events and tourist activities around the building in Sydney Harbor, Sydney Opera House is also one of Australia’s most popular photography spots. Pictures of tourists with the Opera House in the background is a bucket list photograph to many travelers to this beautiful city Down Under.
Architecture and History
The architect for the Sydney Opera House actually won a contest that was held to determine who would construct the new Sydney Opera House back in the mid-50s.
In 1957, a Danish architect named Jorn Utzon won the privilege, beating out over 200 entries, and construction began. However, because of the technical difficulty of building a building so large and uniquely shaped for its time, it took about 8 years to complete just the shell of the building. Finally, in 1973, the building opened to much fanfare by Queen Elizabeth II. Today, the Sydney Opera House is now an UNESCO World Heritage Site even as it undergoes modern internal changes to keep up with changing technology and performance trends.
If arriving by public transport, inquire about a bus, train or ferry to Circular Quay. This transport hub is approximately a 5 minute walk to the opera house. There is a complimentary shuttle bus before performances and for travelers in physical need. Check the individual sites for Sydney buses, City Rail and Sydney Ferries for times and pickup locations as well as with the reception at your hotel as some Sydney accommodation properties offer tours direct from their door. If driving a personal vehicle, Sydney Opera House Car Park is available, but may be full during events. Additional parking is available on at a secure park on MacQuarie Street, and at various hotels on Philip Street and Alfred Street.
Tours and Other Itinerary Musts
Travelers don’t have to hold event tickets to take a look around the opera house. The Essential Tour lasts one hour and costs approximately $35 for adults. Interested in how productions run at the Sydney Opera House? Backstage tours are available during certain times if events or performances are not in session. Asian tours for Japanese, Korean and Chinese speaking travelers as well as child specific tours are also available for variable costs. Tickets can be ordered in advance by calling the opera house or by visiting the box office at the complex. The Opera House also boasts restaurants in and around the area as well as beer gardens.
Many event ticket holders are welcome to dine before or after shows, but many venues are available to the curious traveler seeking a cold beverage and a quick lunch. Lastly, if none of this strikes your adventure bone, buy a ticket to Sydney Highlights Experience and enjoy a seaplane tour circling the Opera House over Sydney Harbor.