The Sydney Opera House is one of Australia’s most famous architectural creations, well-recognised landmarks and indeed an icon for Australia’s creative successes. Since it’s completion in 1973, it has been celebrated globally (including by UNESCO as a heritage site) for its unique design and ground-breaking construction, contrasted alongside a gorgeous harbour setting.

Highlights

  • Guided Tour – The most popular of Sydney Opera House’s tour options, this interactive guided tour is a chance to explore this UNESCO World Heritage site in all its details. Learn about the Danish architect behind the construction, Jørn Utzon, and his engineering success. See the theatres and performance spaces, and have an experienced guide take you to areas off limits to the general public.
  • Backstage Tour – The only tour that will provide visitors with VIP backstage access to the Sydney Opera House, this is a two-hour journey behind the curtain. As well as all the building’s history, your guide will take you through the many backstage areas of the Sydney Opera House. This is followed by breakfast in the Green Room, where staff and performers spend their time, leaving plenty of opportunity for celebrity spotting. Tours run at 7am only, children under 12 are not permitted.

  • The Tour and Tasting Plate – This tour allows you to take a one-hour VIP tour of the Sydney Opera House, and then enjoy a scrumptious tasting plate for two on the edge of Sydney Harbour. There’s a three-tiered sample menu, with everything from fresh sushi to wagyu beef at one of the Sydney Opera Houses’ Best venues. The Tasting Plate section of the tour is only available after 11am.

Prices

All tours are subject to a 10% discount when booked online.

Guided Tour Backstage Tour Tasters Plate Tour
Adult $37 $165 $74.50
Child $20 $65.50
Concession $28 $57.50
Family $95
Additional Child $12
Early Bird Adult $29.60
Early Bird Concession $22.40
Early Bird Child $14.40

Tips

  • Different Perspectives: The Sydney Opera House can be viewed from so many different angles around the Sydney area. Make sure you see it from the Sydney Harbour Bridge and from the ferries. Also consider walking to the iconic structure from the Botanical Gardens side.
  • Tour Alternative: If guided tours aren’t really your thing you could always have a meal in one of the Sydney Opera House’s restaurants Guillaume at Bennelong, which is inside the south-facing shell.
  • Attending Performances: The Sydney Opera House hosts performances at great prices, which is another way to see the building. But to see the best of the interior, look at performances in either the Concert Hall or the Opera Theatre, as there are other venues inside which don’t show off the interior of the building as much.
  • Eating and Drinking: Restaurants in and around the Sydney Opera House are very expensive, so if you just want to experience the atmosphere, try a drink at the Opera Bar, and then head to the Rocks or Circular Quay area for mains.

Transport

  • Walking – You can walk to the Sydney Opera House very easily from most places in the city centre, the most scenic walk is down Macquarie Street.
  • Buses – A number of Sydney buses go to Circular Quay, which is in easy walking distance to the Sydney Opera House. Keep an eye out for the 555, which is a free service to this area.
  • Train – The nearest train station is Circular Quay, a well connected central hub from which the Sydney Opera House is an easy 10 minute walk.
  • Taxis – A good option if you’re seeing a performance and need to get home late, there are many taxis in the Circular Quay area.

History

The Sydney Opera House took 16 years to complete, with construction starting in 1957 and finishing in 1973. During this time there were issues for architect Jørn Utzon, partly with design being made reality, but mostly with the budget.

In 1966, following arguments about budgets with the government, Utzon resigned from the project. In finding new architects, the interior of the building became at odds with the exterior following a redesign, and spending increased to five times Utzon’s estimates.

Now, some of the interiors are being designed to be more in line with Utzon’s original ideas, with help from his old designs and living family members.

Interesting Facts

  • Despite the estimated construction spend being AU$7 million, the Sydney Opera House cost AUD$102 million.
  • When works started in earnest in 1959, 10,000 builders were involved.
  • The roof is covered by one million tiles handmade in Sweden.
  • The glass used in the building is totally unique, and was made to order in France.
  • Over 15,000 lightbulbs are changed in the Sydney Opera House every year.

18 Reviews

  1. lilyardenlao
    lilyardenlao
    Philippines 75 Comments
     -  27 Apr 2018

    Too iconic to miss!

    There’s really no reason to miss this site especially if it’s your first time in Sydney. The details you’d observe up close adds to its beauty. Did you know that the arched sails are made up of tiny tile-like things? Even if you don’t get to go inside, it’s worth a visit. There are also several cafes where you can just chill and enjoy the ocean breeze and some souvenir areas around. It’s also a good place to watch ferries pass by the Harbor Bridge.

  2. alina
    alina
    Ukraine 25 Comments
     -  08 Dec 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    Sydney Opera House is an amazing place! We carefully examined the building near and far away and came to the conclusion that this is the very perfection of architectural thought! From far – this is a fantastic “sail” of a mysterious ship, but near – the amazing simplicity of decoration. Around the theater everything is filled with life: a lot of cafes and restaurants, walking happy tourists and locals, passing ships and ferries, music sounding from everywhere! And suddenly, you realize that this is Happiness…

  3. Hannah Pigram
    Hannah Pigram 23 Comments
     -  05 Nov 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    One of my favourite places in the world! I have been to a music concert and Shakespeare play here and they were both amazing. One awesome thing about the Opera House is the Opera Bar down on the water. It has amazing views back at the Opera House and also across to the Harbour Bridge and the city.
    Go on a Sunday afternoon, get there at a decent time as it does get very busy here. The drinks are more on the expensive side but definitely worth going for a few.

  4. Tara 2517
    Tara 2517 15 Comments
     -  01 Nov 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    Having relatives in Sydney, for years I received Sydney Opera House souvenirs. Expectations were high and once there, we were in no way disappointed! What a fantastic structure, inside and out. We took a guided tour in the late morning and heard the amazing story about the architect, made a strong impression. Well worth it. Loved the sights from the Harbour Bridge as well.

  5. awinasis
    awinasis
    Indonesia 15 Comments
     -  29 Oct 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    It’s more beautiful than the picture. Great architecture. When you visit Australia, you always want to visit this place. Recommended time to visit the opera is around 5-6PM, admiring the view from the outside. 🙂

  6. ohhheykaye
    ohhheykaye 15 Comments
     -  24 Oct 2017

    Excellent

    No trip to Sydney would be complete without seeing the famous Sydney Opera House. This breathtaking architecture is worth the visit. From the Opera House, you can dine and see the stunning Harbour Bridge. Make sure to visit when the sun goes down for a spectacle of lights and colours.

  7. nieldelrosario
    nieldelrosario
    Philippines 15 Comments
     -  17 Sep 2017

    Excellent

    The architecture is truly remarkable. My partner immediately wanted to go inside as soon as she saw it. But I personally enjoyed looking at it outside rather than joining the tour.

  8. karafox
    karafox
    United Kingdom 87 Comments
     -  17 Sep 2017

    Excellent

    The only reason this isn’t 5 stars is the cost of the tours. An absolutely incredible piece of architecture both structurally and aesthetically. It is just as stunning lit up at night as glimmering under the midday sun. My tip would be look up what’s on there before you go and if its something you fancy, even if its not your usual thing, then book tickets and see the show. The best way to experience this building is to use it as it was intended, as a theatre. I’m not an opera/operetta fan but I saw Die Fledermous here and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Some tickets can be booked with a backstage tour, which would give the compete experience.

  9. Shanty09
    Shanty09
    Indonesia 15 Comments
     -  15 Sep 2017

    Excellent

    The icon of Sydney and I think Australia too. The building was so magnificent, but so many people around when I visited here. It was kinda hard to take photos without included other people in your picture. Went here in the afternoon to take some photos, then returned at night to watch the opera.

  10. Mademoiselle_MM
    Mademoiselle_MM
    Yugoslavia 17 Comments
     -  21 Aug 2017

    Excellent

    Definitely the heart of Sydney and landmark of Australia! Somebody said that the Sydney Opera House could be viewed from many different angles, that’s why I chose to take a guided tour which was terribly expensive. I wish I had just made a walk around with my companions. Have a drink at Opera Bar instead of the tour, it’s pretty cool! To summarize, The Sydney Opera House is a beautiful building, there’s so many things to see there, but generally it’s overrated.

  11. Jovelyn Delos Santos
    Jovelyn Delos Santos 31 Comments
     -  30 Jun 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    Pretty much considered to be the heart of Sydney. There is so much to do and see inside and outside the Sydney Opera House (shops, restaurants, harbour bridge). Instead of taking a guided tour, my friends and I walked around the area as the iconic opera house gives a different view each time. The place is at the city centre so it is easy to go around. We were lucky to have watched aboriginals performing on the street going to the Opera. Also, there are many coffee shops and restaurants in the area to choose from, good for a sit while people watching. I have seen the Opera House quite plenty but I still think it gives out a much better view at night.

  12. tabibu 16 Comments
     -  29 Jun 2017

    Excellent

    It honestly didn’t look like what I expected despite seeing so many photos of it! Still, entering Sydney on the Manly Ferry and seeing the Opera House in front of me was a great and memorable sight. It’s also a great spot to see the sunset behind the Harbour Bridge! I loved that there are so many food places around.

  13. shae23
    shae23
    Australia 115 Comments
     -  28 Jun 2017

    It was good

    I agree that no trip to Australia is complete without a happy snap in front of the imfamous Opera House but I did think that it was a little overrated and quite over priced. Sydney is beautiful and the habour is beautiful, I would recommend a cruise that takes in a few more sights.

  14. Luh2sell
    Luh2sell
    United States 11 Comments
     -  14 Jun 2017

    It was good

    How could you go to Sydney without visiting this iconic landmark? It’s a truly grand experience to view the concert halls and admire the architecture. Definitely take the tour to get an in-depth and informative inside look into how this place works. Try scheduling your tour ahead of time!

  15. amandatanjy 19 Comments
     -  02 Jun 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    I visited the Sydney Opera house around the evening hours and safe to say it was a wise choice, great scenic setting of the sun and an excellent location to take photos. If you are into Pokemon Go too, this is the place to visit. Don’t forget to get a shot of the bridge and the Sydney Opera House all at once, its a great view. Located are also a few cafes or gelato places.

  16. Andritra 9 Comments
     -  22 Apr 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    Sydney Opera House – just WOW! It is a breathtaking landmark of not just Sydney but Australia as well. Sit down for a coffee at one of the cafes on the walkway in front of the Opera House and enjoy the view to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and passing cruise ships. Needless to say you must take a photo of yourself with the House at the background!

  17. ladysovrin 2 Comments
     -  23 Jan 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    The Sydney Opera House is absolutely beautiful and definitely a must-stop if you happen to be in Australia. It was a little chilly when we were there but not too bad. A great tourist destination without being too crowded, and the architecture is AMAZING. Would love to go back!

  18. bpastore 11 Comments
     -  20 Jan 2017

    Excellent

    Few buildings are as recognizable as the Sydney Opera House. Even if you don’t go inside for a performance, no trip to the city (or continent) would be complete without a picture taken in front of its billowing ‘sails’.

Post a Review

You must be to post a comment.

or connect with

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recommended Tours

Special Performances Ticket at the Sydney Opera House

Special Performances Ticket at the Sydney Opera House

0 review
Some of Australia's biggest names in the performance arts can be seen at the Sydney Opera House, but the iconic venue hosts its fair share of experimental ...  More info
Duration: Varies
Opera Performance at the Sydney Opera House

Opera Performance at the Sydney Opera House

186 reviews
Spend an afternoon or evening at the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Sydney Opera House for an amazing performance by Opera Australia. This 2018 season includes ...  More info
Duration: Varies
Sydney Opera House and Opera Australia Dinner Package

Sydney Opera House and Opera Australia Dinner Package

41 reviews
Dinner, guided tour and an Opera Australia performance - experience the very best of Sydney on this all encompassing Sydney Opera House experience. Enjoy a ...  More info
Duration: 6 hours
More Tours