Sydney Opera House

Top choice notable building

in Circular Quay & The Rocks
Image by Spiro Nidelkos

Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, this magnificent building is Australia's most famous landmark. Visually referencing a yacht's sails, it's a soaring, commanding presence that comprises five performance spaces for dance, concerts, opera and theatre. Wander around the outside to your heart's content. The best way to experience the interior 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. Another way to experience the Opera House includes a seven-minute narration of Aboriginal stories, Badu Gili, that is spectacularly projected onto the sails nightly at sunset, at 9pm, 9.30pm and 10pm.