Sydney Opera House: A Guide To Know Everything Before Go

by Admin

Located on the foreshore of Sydney Harbour lies a World Heritage-listed wonder that is also renowned as a symbol of modern Australia, i.e., none other than the Sydney Opera House. It’s truly an engineering masterpiece and one of the 20th century’s most distinctive buildings. The range of white sail-shaped shells it has really leaves every visitor in astonishment, making them aware of the structural brilliance that some brave people worked for.

Right from its planning in the late 1940s to its formal opening in the year 1973 by Queen Elizabeth II, the journey was full of ups and downs, featuring a lot of tragedies. A need was felt by the Director of the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music to lookout for a suitable venue for hosting some big theatrical productions. To choose a desirable architect, a competition was held from 1955 to 1957, which featured architects from 32 nations, and the winner was Danish architect Jørn Utzon as chosen by the jury.

Its official construction commenced in March 1959 in place of the Fort Macquarie Tram Depot, and the whole structure was completed in three stages. These were building the upper podium, the construction of the outer shells, interior design, and construction. During its construction, it faced a lot of major issues, such as the podium not being strong enough, the roof structure being odd in structure, and much more.

On an annual basis, more than 1.2 million people mark their visit to this remarkable building, attending more than 1,500 different kinds of performances. This, being one of the most photographed buildings in the world, has truly achieved some exceptional achievements and innovation as well, due to its marvellous design and formation.

Hosting so many performances and events of various kinds makes it a bit hard for people to explore the Sydney Opera House in a complete manner. For those, this guide will prove to be a helpful hand.

Name Sydney Opera House
Address Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Phone +61 2 9250 7111
Distance From Sydney CBD Around 11 Km
How To Reach
  • By Train: This way it will take you around 14 mins and the cost will be between $3 - $5.
  • By Taxi: This way it will take you around 6 mins and the cost will be between $28 - $35.
  • By Foot: This way it will take you around 26 mins.
Opening Hours 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Google Review – “Magnificent building. Lots of stairs but walkable. 1 hour tour and learn alot. Scenic photos of the Criuse Ship and The Bridge. Great shop when you depart to buy souvenirs where you can catch taxis.” – Abdallah Muhammad

Best Time to Visit the Sydney Opera House

Visit the Sydney Opera House

The best months to visit the Sydney Opera House are September, October, November, late February, and March, as you’ll experience sunny, mild weather and the least amount of humidity as well.

But those looking to make the most of their experience on a particular day prefer visiting around sunset, as this way you’ll be able to admire its marvellous interiors and capture the real beauty of its shells that get lit up by the sunlight.

Opera House Opening Hours And Tour Entry Fee

The officials at the Sydney Opera House suggest visitors should purchase their tours in advance to avoid any possible inconvenience at later stages. Plus, the timing and availability of the tours keep changing, so it’s advisable to refer to this link to see when the booking slots are open.

The Sydney Opera House Tour isn’t valid on the following days.

  • Christmas Day
  • New Year’s Eve, 
  • New Year’s Day, 
  • 14 February 2024
  • 29 March 2024

To learn about the pricing of the tickets, visit this link for details.

Things to Do/Activities at the Sydney Opera House

Since its very commencement in the year 1973, this extraordinary architectural masterpiece has been the centre of attraction for millions of visitors. Along with its admirable frontage, there’s so much more that it has entailed for all, including the number of things one can do here or the activities that they can indulge in.

1. Go Watch a Show

Go watch a show

There are plenty of worthy shows one can see with their friends and family to get the most out of their time at Sydney Opera House. One of the best shows to see on a family night out is Storytime Ballet: Coppelia. Running for a time of 50 minutes, this show offers a great experience to all the junior attendees accompanying you by offering a very authentic ballet experience to them.

The Great Opera Hits could be another possibility for you, as it runs around the year and the whole duration is about an hour and a half. The Illusionists is one such show that offers the best of the Sydney Opera House shows, irrespective of your age, gender, or nationality. If you’re looking to romanticise your time a bit, go for La Boheme, which is a love story-based show.

2. Take a Backstage Tour

backstage tour

An opportunity to go backstage and see exactly how the dressing rooms, stages, orchestra pits, and rehearsal rooms look before the final performances is there. This is usually done right before the performers start to do their rehearsals at 7 a.m. This whole backstage tour is around 2.5 hours, making it easier for the visitors to see exactly how the six indoor performance venues look.

On this group guided tour, you would get a chance to see the mechanical backstage as well, not just witness the general audience’s perspective. Children under the age of 10 aren’t allowed to enter the premises for safety reasons, and those between the ages of 10 and 15 must be partnered by adults. At the end of this tour, visitors are allowed to enter the Green Room, where they can enjoy breakfast.

3. Catch Sydney’s Seal, Benny

Sydney's seal

Not just some celebrities and VIPs like Prince and Queen Elizabeth II, but the Sydney Opera House also features the arrival of a furry guest, namely Benny, i.e., a seal. Named after Bennelong Point, this wild long-nosed fur seal occupies its chosen sunbathing spot (northern VIP steps of the Opera House) that otherwise remains vacant round the year. 

This fur seal, affectionately called ‘Benny’, has grabbed the attention of not just international visitors but of locals as well. Being a people-pleaser, this unofficial mascot regularly comes and goes, as once in a while it can be seen either basking in the sun or doing various movements in the water.

4. Catch a Glimpse of Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney

A celebration lasting for 23 days and nights is Vivid Sydney. It’s a festival that fuses creativity, innovation, and technology with the tastes of art as well. Marking their presence and uplifting the whole mood of the scenarios are a range of globally renowned artists, thinkers, culinary experts, and musicians. It’s not just the programme based on the likes of music, light, ideas, and food; rather, it’s fully loaded with so many activities to get engaged in.

As it’s owned, managed, and produced by Destination NSW, which is the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, only the best facilities and services are offered to all the linked parties. A wide range of awe-inspiring art installations and 3D light projections are there to witness that really light up the whole city and make it come to life.

5. Enjoy Some Food and Drinks At Opera Bar, Bennelong

Opera Bar

After spending a completely hectic day doing all the necessary activities at the Sydney Opera House, now it’s time to look for possible eatery options. Available within walking distance is Bennelong and Opera Bar that truly celebrates and reflects the remarkable architecture of this place. Their awe-inspiring Aussie menu is truly magnificent, as it cools down your food cravings very well.

Upon visiting, you will be able to relish some of the best local favourites that are really mouth-watering for all visitors alike. Ranging from some long-lasting cocktails to some light and seasonal menu delights, they serve it all. Bennelong is open for à la carte dining. In the restaurant area, you can even enjoy some fine wines as well as cocktails on the water edge.

“Bennelong may be the Holy Grail of Australian restaurants.” – New York Times

6. Draw The House With Experts

Draw the House

The visitors get an excellent opportunity to showcase their inner artist by carving out some drawings based on one of the world’s most iconic buildings, i.e., the Sydney Opera House. See the perspective of an artist and learn about how they created this engineering masterpiece. This opportunity is available from January 28 to May 26, 2024, where you can join forces with some like-minded souls.

Learn all the various drawing techniques of this world-class heritage with the help of different artists each month. For the time being, Todd Fuller and Mark Gerada are in charge of teaching individuals to grab some artistic knowledge for themselves.

7. Go On a Architectural Tour

Architectural Tour

Head over to this ancient creation, headed by guides, to see and learn about its real story. On your journey, you will get to know all the efforts the builders, architects, engineers, and artists made to come up with this UNESCO masterpiece. During the 1 hour, you will make your way through the inside as well as outside of this venue, getting to know every required detail of it.

This architectural tour only runs on Saturdays and is subject to availability. Despite currently being available only in English, authorities are planning to make it available in multiple languages to allow all patrons to know about it in detail.

Tips To Keep In Mind While Visiting The Sydney Opera House

Being such a prestigious and historical multi-venue performing arts centre, there are some prerequisites that one needs to follow prior to entering it. Following are these:

  • Make sure to carry your own face mask; entry without it isn’t allowed.
  • Try coming in flat shoes so that you can be comfortable while going on your guided tour.
  • Prams and buggies aren’t allowed at all inside the venues.
  • Videoing is prohibited for all.
  • They don’t have any facilities for storing suitcases or large bags.
  • For those with some sort of mobility concern, I prefer taking a Mobility Access Tour.
  • A max of 35 people are allowed in a tour, and a max of 11 in a booking.

Final Considerations

Being one of the easiest to locate places in Australia, the Sydney Opera House is a one-of-a-kind performance centre. Carrying so much historic importance makes it even a more alluring piece of architecture that one needs to see at least once in their life. Based on all different kinds of styles, this place hosts a wide range of events and performances that cater to the tastes of several individuals.

Having six venues inside it, makes it capable of hosting a great range and number of performances. For those who aren’t Globetrotters, just pay a visit here, keeping in mind its historical importance only.

Frequently Asked Questions

To be precise, the Sydney Opera House is a 20th-century architectural masterpiece. Its cruciality is mostly based on its marvellous design and exceptional engineering.
The number of gleaming white sail-shaped shells that form its roof structure is one of the most striking features of the Sydney Opera House, making it one of the most picturesque buildings in the world as well.
Generally, people go on watching all the different kinds of shows and performances, like choir performances, symphony concerts, and some popular music shows as well. You can also go on a guided tour led by the different language-speaking guides.
Each year, more than 10.9 million people visit the Opera House. It was also added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2007.
On average, it takes around 1 hour to complete the whole Sydney Opera House tour.
No, the only single way to get inside the Sydney Opera House is to schedule a tour or purchase a ticket to some kind of performance or event in one of the many spaces available.
It hosts a number of great performances and events, giving visitors a fully unique and alive experience that makes it mandatory for all visitors to come inside the Sydney Opera House.

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