Sydney Accommodation

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera HouseOne of the most popular attractions in Sydney, the Opera House is not only one of the most recognised landmarks in the city, it's also one of Australia's most famous icons. An extraordinary site on Sydney Harbour at Bennelong Point, an ambitious state Premier (Joseph J Cahill), a visiting American architect (Eero Saarinen) and a young Dane's billowy sketches (Jorn Utzon) were the key factors which generated one of the world's most important modern buildings.

An architectural marvel, the Sydney Opera House is one of the state's most historically significant landmarks and is also a hub for some of Sydney's best culture, theatre and live performances. A fascinating building, the Opera House is a huge part of Sydney's cultural scene and offers daily guided tours as well as music and theatrical performances.

The building originally featured an opera theatre, concert hall, drama and recital halls as well as a variety of bars and restaurants. However, in 1998 an additional theatre was added, bringing the total number of performance spaces to five theatres. That year, the Opera House attracted more than 1.4 million visitors.

Designed at the vast scale of the harbour itself, its low edges contain enough visual appeal for human interest. More remarkable is that the scheme makes no reference to history or to classical architectural forms. The roof is more important than the walls, consequently the language of walls - columns, divisions, windows and pediments - has been effectively dispensed with.

The Sydney Opera House also embodies timeless popular metaphors. The building's organic shape and lack of surface decoration have made it both timeless and ageless. Moreover, it demonstrates how buildings can add to environmental experience rather than detract from it - something of spiritual value independent of function.

There are a number of buildings and walking paths around the Sydney Opera House which provide a number of unique vantage points from which to view and photograph the distinctive structure. A number of these walking paths also make their way into the city centre via the picturesque Botanic Gardens, making for a lovely day out by the harbour.

Admission to the Opera House is free. Tours of the building depart every 30 mins between 8.30am and 5pm daily and cost around $14 for adults and $10 for children. The costs for performances vary.

Getting There
The Opera House is located an easy 5 minute walk from Circular Quay. It is Sydney Explorer stop number 2.

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