A holiday to Sydney wouldn’t be complete without seeing, let alone visiting the Sydney Opera House. Walking up the maze of paved reddy brown steps, gazing at the 89m high white tiled scallop shells that contain the various theatres inside – is awe-inspiring.
And whilst you stroll around marvelling the outside of this iconic building completed in 1973, you cannot get a full appreciation of the turmoils that the engineers battled to create Jorn Utzon’s 1956 competition-winning design, without taking a tour.
In this Article on Visiting Sydney Opera House You Will Learn:
- Getting to the Sydney Opera House
- Sydney Opera House tours and costs
- What you need to know about the tour – access, photos, bags and services
- Useful websites
This post by Tips 4 Trips contains affiliate links*. This means I may receive a small commission if you click on these links. Learn more at the bottom of this post.
What You Need to Know About Visiting the Sydney Opera House
Getting to the Sydney Opera House
Getting to the Sydney Opera House is a good walk from the city centre. Alternatively, you can catch a train, bus or ferry to Circular Quay. Then it is a further 5-10 minutes walk around the quay to reach the Opera House. If you’re unable to walk a courtesy shuttle designed for the elderly and those less mobile runs from stand B at Circular Quay to the Opera House. For those driving there is a public car park with pay machines located at 2 Macquarie Street. Or if you are cycling, there are some bike parking spots located under Monumental Steps.
You’ll find maps for all these locations on the Sydney Opera House website.
Sydney Opera House Tours and Costs
To learn the history and see inside the Sydney Opera House you will need to book a tour. All Opera House tours can be booked online or at the ticket counters inside the Sydney Opera House. There is a selection of tours available to suit a range of ages, interests and languages.
PLEASE NOTE: Prices are going up in April 2024
Main Opera House Tour
Discover the history and stories of the iconic Opera House structure. Tours run daily from 9am to 5pm for one hour each.
- Adults $43
- Child (5-15yrs) $23
- Family (2 adults and 2 children) $109
- Concession (Australian senior card holder, Australian pensioner, full-time student 16+) $33
Learn how the backstage world of theatre works. The tour for a maximum of 12 people runs daily at 7am for up to two and a half hours followed by an inclusive cooked breakfast.
The tour costs $175 and must be booked at least one day prior.
Learn about the history of the architect, his design and the cutting edge engineering that was used to create this unique building.
- Adults $43
Other Language Tours
Tours of the Sydney Opera House are also available in other languages:
These tours cost the same as the main tour. Times for these tours vary so check the website.
The Junior Adventure
This high-energy tour runs daily during the New South Wales school holidays. Whilst parents or guardians do accompany their children, the tour is aimed at the kids. It is fun, interactive and energetic with lots of stair climbing.
- Adults $29
- Child (5-15yrs) $21
Taste of the Opera House
If you’ve ever wondered how an establishment this big caters such exquisite food, this tour will give you a glimpse into the chef’s world. Begin by making a cocktail, enjoy local delicacies before joining a Japanese masterclass, then finish with a mouth-watering dessert. Group tour sizes are limited to 10 people and you must be over 18yers to enjoy this $349 tour. The tour is run monthly on a Sunday at 10:45am.
Top Trip Tip: There are lots of different tours on offer consider your interests and what times YOU are available
Things to Know About Taking a Tour
As this is a working theatre at times not all theatres, spaces or even the entire Opera House will be always open for public tours. You need to be prepared that what you really wanted to see may not be available. For example, I have visited when the world’s largest mechanical tracker pipe organ has been covered up by theatre props or a performance is in progress.
You can take photos of the building throughout your tour.
No large bags are allowed in the tours, that includes your day trip bag. Bags larger than a handbag can be coat-checked but NOT suitcases.
Top Trip Tip: If you have a wheelchair you will need to book an accessibility tour as there are stairs to climb
One final point, allow plenty of time to explore this interesting award-winning and UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is much to discover as you travel inside and outside the Sydney Opera House.
- We paid our own entry costs
- Affiliate links* with Viator* and GetYourGuide*