Sydney Opera House

Go underneath its world-famous sails and discover the stories, history, and magic of this iconic landmark.

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Sydney Opera House: Our most recommended tours and activities

The Sydney Opera House Tour

1. The Sydney Opera House Tour

More than 60 years ago, a young Danish architect, Jorn Utzon, designed what is now considered one of the greatest buildings of all time. It is a work of art that came in existence against impossible odds and went on to become one of the busiest performing arts centers in the world, putting Sydney on the map forever. On the Sydney Opera House tour, you will discover the stories, history, and magic of Sydney Opera House as you follow your friendly guide underneath the sails and into the UNESCO World Heritage masterpiece. The opera house is home to 1,000 rooms, 300 corridors, and hundreds of tales and secrets. Step inside the inspired theatres where more than 1800 performances come to life each year, and learn how Danish architect Jorn Utzon’s groundbreaking design and vision for a world-class performing arts came into existence. You might catch a rehearsal in action, or the crew working on a set.

Sydney Harbour: Tall Ship Vivid Dinner Cruise

2. Sydney Harbour: Tall Ship Vivid Dinner Cruise

Every year, Sydney is transformed into a spectacular canvas of lights when the Vivid Sydney festival takes over the city after dark. Vivid Sydney is the biggest festival of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. It was even named Best Tourism Event at the Australian Event Awards in 2014. Last year’s Vivid Sydney featured a wild mix of projection mapping and interactive displays wherein the vessels on Sydney Harbour were also decorated with special colored LED lights for the first time. This year, audiences can expect much of the same and more. Join for a sensational cruise and enjoy outstanding views of the Sydney Opera House as the world famous sails are transformed by majestic 3D mapped projections by award-winning international artists. Watch in awe as you are taken on a dramatic journey through time – from the birth of architecture and civilization through to the pinnacle of human and technological achievement. During the cruise, you will be served a delicious and substantial dinner and enjoy live music, creating a delightful atmosphere for you and your guests to savor. Depending on the starting time, you will be on either the Soren larsen Tallshop or the Southern Swan, you can see the schedule below: This 1.5 hour Vivid Sydney cruise is a great way to see the lights in comfort and style.

Sydney: Harbour Cruise, Taronga Zoo and Sky Safari

3. Sydney: Harbour Cruise, Taronga Zoo and Sky Safari

Experience the most fun way to travel to Taronga Zoo and save money with a return ticket on the rocket ferry Circular Quay. Once inside the zoo, take in as many of the exhibits as you like at your own pace. Explore 10 themed areas, including Wild Australia, Wild Asia and the Great Southern Oceans. Hear talks by the zookeepers and go to interactive shows, such as the free bird show and free seal show. See native Australian animals, including koala and platypus, along with creatures from around the world such as Asian elephants, lions and giraffe. Grab some lunch at one of the many cafés, or take your own picnic and find a nice spot in the shade. Once you've had your animal fix for the day, head back to the dock and get some amazing views of Sydney on the cruise back to Circular Quay.

'Madama Butterfly' at Sydney Opera House by Opera Australia

4. 'Madama Butterfly' at Sydney Opera House by Opera Australia

Experience the ravishing romance of Madame Butterfly in a bold new production by Australia’s most famous choreographer, Graeme Murphy. Enchanted by the beauty of Japan, the American naval officer Pinkerton takes a young geisha for his wife. The innocent Madame Butterfly falls helplessly, hopelessly in love. But every ship must return to its shore, and Pinkerton returns home, leaving his bride behind. Butterfly waits patiently for her husband to return, and when he comes at last, both lovers have a surprise in store. This long-awaited reimagining uses the same incredible technology that wowed audiences in Aida, where towering flexible LED screens form a dynamic backdrop filled with moving images. Puccini’s sumptuous score includes the hit aria ‘Un bel di’. See it if you like a good tearjerker, Miss Saigon, stunning sets and costumes

Sydney: VIVID Cruise

5. Sydney: VIVID Cruise

Join the fun at the largest festival of light, music, and ideas in the Southern Hemisphere. Vivid attracted over 2.3 million visitors last year, with 2020 set to be bigger and better than ever. Beat the crowds and view the Vivid show from the water of Sydney Harbour. Sit back, relax, and take in the transformed city while enjoying a welcome drink and a buffet dinner. With dining rooms and multiple viewing platforms on the boat, you won’t miss a thing or a great photo opportunity.  Cruise past the spectacular Sydney Opera House Sails, the visual feast of Customs House in The Rocks, and National Maritime Museums' enormous light display on its roof. These are just some of the amazing sights you will experience during Vivid Sydney. Pickup and drop-off will be from King St Wharf in Darling Harbour. Wharf numbers will be advised closer to departure date. Full scheduled wharf departure numbers can also be found on the local partner's website.

Sydney: 1.5 Hour Vivid Harbor Small Group Cruise

6. Sydney: 1.5 Hour Vivid Harbor Small Group Cruise

Avoid the crowds and admire Sydney’s Vivid Festival from the comfort of a catamaran. Arrive at the wharf departure point and be met by a friendly crew member who’ll welcome you aboard and tell you everything you need to know about your cruise. Depart the wharf and begin your cruise around Sydney's world-famous harbor. The catamaran offers indoor and outdoor viewing spots, allowing you to take in the beauty of Sydney from all angles. To enhance the experience, enjoy a complimentary beverage and a delicious antipasto spread complete with bread rolls. From the water, soak up uninterrupted 360 degree views of the stunning cityscape that surrounds you and admire the mystical lights that dance across the buildings. The cruise also passes by some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, so you can snap incredible photos for your vacation album.

Sydney: Harbor Cruise with 2-Course Premium Lunch

7. Sydney: Harbor Cruise with 2-Course Premium Lunch

Discover the wonders of Sydney Harbor on a luxury cruise aboard a 78ft vessel. Board the boat in Darling Harbor then marvel at the impressive city skyline as you sail towards one of the most iconic destinations in the world. There’s plenty of room onboard to explore, admire the surroundings, or simply relax, including an expansive top deck boasting 360 degree views. Upon arrival in the harbor, enjoy a lavish lunch with an array of generous a la carte meals inspired by locally sourced, regional delights, paired with a selection of beers, wines, soft drinks and tea or coffee. The wine has been hand-selected from some of the finest wine regions in New South Wales, so wine lovers are in for a real treat. After lunch, set sail past the famous Taronga Zoo and the colorful Luna Park, before arriving back to Darling Harbor at around 2:40 PM.

Sydney: Big Bus Open-Top Hop-on Hop-off Tour

8. Sydney: Big Bus Open-Top Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Benefit from access to the 2 different routes of the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus and see all the sights of Sydney and Bondi Beach at your own pace. Your ticket permits unlimited rides throughout its validity and provides premium views of iconic sights such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. There are over 30 stops in the two tours to hop off and experience the diversity of Sydney’s lifestyle. Both tours feature an entertaining and informative audio commentary available in 8 languages: English Spanish, German, French, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, and Italian. Savor the culinary delights of cosmopolitan cafés and restaurants, explore the city's maritime history at the Maritime Museum, take a stroll in the Chinese Gardens or shop for unique gifts in some of Sydney's finest shopping districts. Create your own itinerary around the city. The Classic Ticket allows you to experience Sydney aboard the double-decker buses for 1 day. Or you can choose the Premium Ticket which will extend your experience to 2 days. Buses run approximately every 45 minutes on the Sydney route and approx. Every 2hrs on the Bondi route, subject to local traffic conditions. Stop at locations like Circular Quay, Hyde Park, and Sea Life Sydney Aquarium on the Red Route. To complement the Sydney tour, the Bondi Beach tour is a great introduction to Australia’s beach culture. On the way to this famous beach, the tour passes by cosmopolitan shopping and dining precincts plus Centennial Parklands, one of Australia’s most picturesque parks. You can explore stops like Central Station, Sydney Tower Eye, and Bondi Beach.

Sydney: Bring Your Own Drinks 1.5 Hour Vivid Harbor Cruise

9. Sydney: Bring Your Own Drinks 1.5 Hour Vivid Harbor Cruise

Avoid the crowds and admire Sydney’s Vivid Festival from the comfort of a catamaran with the freedom to bring your own alcoholic drinks to enjoy as you sail. Arrive at the wharf departure point and be met by a friendly crew member who’ll welcome you aboard and tell you everything you need to know about your cruise. Depart the wharf and begin your cruise around Sydney's world-famous harbor. The catamaran offers indoor and outdoor viewing spots, allowing you to take in the beauty of Sydney from all angles. To enhance the experience, enjoy a complimentary soft drink and a delicious antipasto spread complete with bread rolls. From the water, soak up uninterrupted 360 degree views of the stunning cityscape that surrounds you and admire the mystical lights that dance across the buildings. The cruise also passes by some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, so you can snap incredible photos for your vacation album.

Sydney Opera House: La Traviata Opera Tickets

10. Sydney Opera House: La Traviata Opera Tickets

Relish an evening at the Sydney Opera House, and watch a fabulous production of La Traviata, a must-see if you love Moulin Rouge, Pretty Woman, and My Fair Lady. This successful production by Elijah Moshinsky features lush party scenes in Paris and beautiful autumn afternoons in the countryside. Gaze at lavish sets and exquisite costumes combined with Verdi’s famous score and enjoy the perfect way to experience opera for the first time, or the chance to revisit a favorite with an exciting new cast. There's plenty of love to go around in this story of amorous encounters and elegant romance.

Other Sightseeing Options in Sydney Opera House

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What people are saying about Sydney Opera House

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 3,885 reviews

Our dinner cruise was a great night on all counts the boat was spotless the meal and drinks where excellent as where the staff and the views around the harbour just stunning l was even given a run through on the sonar and gps steering etc with the captan just a great experience all round .

Attention to detail was splendid. On time. Had free storage for backpacks and coats. Wonderful history lesson. Very considerate for all guests. Highly recommend for all guests b

Well worth it. An interesting tour with lots of facts about the history of the Opera House. Enjoyable meal afterwards. Real value for money.

Fabulous tour. Such an amazing building. Knowledgeable and passionate tour guide.

The best customer service, great food! We enjoyed everything