Sydney Opera House. Stop off at the building that symbolises Australia

You can’t come to Sydney and not see the Sydney Opera House. It sums up the city's vibrance, and it’s become a beautiful symbol of Australia. So hop off your Sydney Bus Tour here and gaze in wonder at the unique 'sails' that form the roof. This isn’t merely a landmark though, it’s a world-class performing arts centre. You might even be lucky enough to get tickets to a performance while you’re here.

Despite its name, it’s not just one opera house, but several venues. If you’re not going inside to enjoy the cultural offerings, you can still spend hours here appreciating the iconic architecture and making the most of the surrounding harbour view.

Ahead of its time

In 1957 Danish architect Jørn Utzon won the international competition to design the Sydney Opera House. His ideas were so ahead of the time that they actually couldn’t be engineered, and he had to modify his designs. There was controversy too, as the Government held back fees for the building. Utzon ended up resigning from the project, although he came back as a consultant.

Not bad for a tram shed

Sydney Opera House sits on Bennelong Point. This reclaimed piece of land was originally a fort and then became a tram shed. The Opera House is supported on 588 concrete piers that are sunk deep into the sea bed - perfect for a structure that looks like a grand set of sails.

Other interesting facts about Sydney Opera House

  • The building welcomes around 2 million visitors annually
  • 3,000 events are held here every year
  • The 'sails'of the building are made from over a million tiles in glossy white and matte cream
  • The Concert Hall contains the Sydney Opera House Grand Organ, which features over 10,000 pipes.