Hotel Accommodation near Sydney Opera House

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Sydney Opera House Travel Course

Exploring the Sydney Opera House district

Stunningly set on Bennelong Point and overlooked by the Sydney Harbour Bridge, iconic Sydney Opera House is one of the world’s most famous performing arts theatres. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the spectacular building was designed by Jorn Utzon and premiered as a multi-arts centre in 1973, soon becoming Sydney’s landmark and a major tourist attraction. Its unique roof design draws on Sydney’s long maritime heritage with its resemblance to the billowing sails of the ships which brought Australia’s first settlers.

The venue is home to four resident companies, Opera Australia, the Australian Ballet, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Sydney Theatre Company. Over 1,500 diverse performances take place every year, attracting an audience of over a million in total. A similarly huge number of tourists visit the site, and the nearby Sydney Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour, with its museums and tourism facilities, the Luna Park theme park and the Royal Botanic Gardens all make for a great day’s sightseeing.

Sights nearby

Within easy access from Sydney Opera House are a number of Sydney’s favourite landmarks and attractions as well as a good selection of hotels at levels from budget to luxury.

- Sydney Harbour Bridge

Known by the locals as the ‘Coat Hanger’, the elegant curves of Sydney Harbour Bridge span the waters from The Rocks district to North Sydney, with a charming harbour-front walkway passing under its spans from Circular Quay. Options for the great views from the bridge include walking, cycling and for the best views over the city, climbing the Bridge Pylon or even taking an organised climb to its highest point. Less challenging than it sounds, this option takes around three hours and includes safety tethers and special climbing suits. Taking the climb at night opens up a panorama of glittering lights across the city and the illuminated Opera House in all its glory.

- The Rocks

A district of winding lanes and heritage buildings, The Rocks is Sydney’s historical old town with its cultural attractions and early colonial homes such as Cadman’s Cottage and the terraces of Susannah Place. At night, the district becomes a lively hub for Australia’s legendary pub culture, and the area’s Wharf Theatre and Sydney Theatre run regular seasons of shows. The Colonial House Museum has original artifacts and photos from Australia’s earliest days as a British outpost, and there’s a good selection of nearby hotels such as the InterContinental Sydney.

- Sydney Observatory

Set on Observatory Hill, Sydney Observatory is the city’s oldest, offering exhibitions, tours and exceptional views over one of the loveliest harbors on earth. A night visit gets you use of the giant telescopes assisted by an astronomer who’ll guide you around the night sky and its glories. It’s an informative, fun experience enjoyed by children and adults alike.

Eating and drinking and shopping nearby

Sydney Opera House itself has a good selection of bars, cafés and restaurants serving pre- and post-performance meals, and its location fronting the city’s central district gives easy access to fine dining both in independent eateries and hotels such as the Park Hyatt Sydney and the Marriott. Each city district has its ‘Eat Street’, with nearby Darling Harbour one of the largest, packed with eateries serving a wide variety of international cuisine. Shopping is never far, with George Street, Darling Harbour and Martin Place offering a mix of designer outlets and department stores.

Public transport

Getting to the Opera House by public transport is straightforward, with Circular Quay rail station just a 10-minute walk away. Buses run from the city centre, and ferries link various spots in the harbour with the iconic building. A free shuttle bus aimed at elderly and disabled visitors regularly covers the short distance from Circular Quay to the Opera House, with times to coincide with performances.

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