Image by Spiro Nidelkos Five Hundred Pixels
Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, this Unesco World Heritage-listed building is Australia's most famous landmark. Visually referencing a yacht's sails, it's a soaring, commanding presence. The complex comprises five performance spaces for dance, concerts, opera and theatre. The best way to experience the building is to attend a performance, but you can also take a one-hour guided tour (available in several languages), with optional food. Ongoing renovation work, scheduled to be completed in 2022, may disrupt visits.
There's also a two-hour 'access all areas' backstage tour ($175), which departs at 7am and includes breakfast in the Green Room. Other ways to experience the Opera House include a seven-minute narration of Aboriginal stories, Badu Gili, that is spectacularly projected onto the sails nightly at sunset and at 9pm; or a sunrise yoga class on the steps ($25).