10 Epic Places to View the Sydney Opera House

best view of Sydney Opera House

The Opera House in Sydney’s iconic harbour is one of the cities most famous sights. It’s an incredibly imposing building and you have no idea how unique it is until you see it up close! The Opera House can be seen from many amazing locations within Sydney harbour and it looks spectacular where you check it out! The best view of Sydney Opera House though is not super hard to find, it is, however, handy to have a list of all the best views point. 

In this blog post, I will show you some of the best spots to photograph or simply just enjoy the stunning sight that is the Sydney Opera House. 

This post includes 10 locations and a handy map to help you identify the locations listed. Grab your camera and go and explore all the best places to view the Sydney Opera House!

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BASIC INFORMATION SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

The Opera House can be found on Bennelong Point at Sydney’s harbour. The Sydney Opera House, as the name might suggest, is a multi-venue performing arts centre that draws in over 8.2 million visitors every year. (Maybe not in 2020 though, thank you COVID)

Its unique design arched roof is covered with more than 1 million tiles (1,056,006 to be exact). It took more than 10,000 workers to build the Opera House. The building itself took 14 years and 3 specially designed cranes had to be built in order to construct the giant shells that give the Opera house its distinct shape. It was also one of the very first buildings to use a computerized structural design programme. Originally estimated to cost $7 million, this ambitious project actually cost $102 million, but I am sure the increase in tourism has made this a well-worth investment!

It was opened by Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II on the 20th of October 1973 and they haven’t looked back ever since.

Are you looking for the best places to view the Sydney Opera House?

Here is my ultimate list!

To make things easy for you I have listed all the locations on a handy map. It shows you where the locations are in comparison to the Sydney Opera House. Further below you can find lots of information on those viewpoints and it will include lots of amazing pictures so you know what you will be able to see from these points?

best view of Sydney Opera House

1 | Bennelong Point

Bennelong Point is a former island in Sydney Harbour that since the 1970s is the location of the Sydney Opera House. Adjacent to is, you can find Circular Quay, the main ferry terminal of the city.

The second you walk into Circular Quay you will be able to see this beautiful and unique building. Walk to the right, towards Bennelong Point, to get closer or walk to the left to take a picture from the other side of the harbour. Unfortunately, cruise ships often dock on that side of the harbour, blocking the views regularly. If one has docked, then don’t walk that way, just had to the right, towards the building. Along the way, you will walk past the ferry terminal, lots of restaurants and tourist shops.

So make sure to scale the steps in front of the building to check out this masterpiece. Once you get up close to the building you can actually see all the individual tiles that have been placed on the roof of this building. When you stand further back, you would not notice this.

Sydney Opera House from bennelong point

Below the building, with stunning views, you can have a drink at the Sydney Opera House bar! or grab a bite to eat at Bennelong, the Opera House’s premier restaurant. With world-class chefs and therefore delicious food, there is no better way to make your Opera House experience special. Tables inside this airy space face out on to the Sydney Harbour and city-skyline for a view that will never get boring.

As you can imagine, the price tag on a dinner with a view like that does not come cheap, so make sure you top up your credit card.

Most cities don’t get better after the sun has set, but strangely Sydney does! Especially Circular Quay. With the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House as its main attractions, it truly becomes a spectacle after dark. Especially the Opera House is a sight to behold after dark. I have written an extensive blog post already on where to see Sydney by night, so make sure to check that one out as well!

The Sydney Opera House by night from Bennelong Point

Heading up the stairs towards the buildings, just shows you how unique and interesting this building actually is. With 100’s upon 100’s of tiles can be seen up close, that make up this fabulous masterpiece. The closer you get as well the more you can see a bit of the inside of the opera house. That’s if it’s not cordoned off, unfortunately for us, the night we went it was due to COVID.

How to see this building from the inside?

You might be wondering what it would take to get inside, as you can’t actually just walk in, can you imagine the chaos that would occur. Underneath are some options for you if you, if you wish to see it from the inside.

A Sydney Opera House tour is one way of getting into the building. A guided tour will explain how the construction went and what it entailed to complete it. You will also get a look at the interior of the multiple concert halls within the Opera House is often unseen by the average tourist. It is pretty cool and very informative, so if you have time I suggest you join one of the tours.

Another, pretty obvious way of getting a glimpse from the inside seeing an actual show at the Sydney Opera House is one of the most memorable ways to experience it. And although you might not know it by the name, the Opera House hosts more than just operas.

A wide range of incredible Broadway shows, concerts, symphony orchestras and more ensure that you won’t miss an opportunity to sit in on one of the most incredible live venues in the world.  Or as mentioned prior, grab a bit to eat at Bennelong restaurant.

2 | Royal Botanic Gardens

The Sydney Opera House seen from The Royal Botanic Gardens

Below the building, with stunning views, you can have a drink at the Sydney Opera House bar! or grab a bite to eat at Bennelong, the Opera House’s premier restaurant. With world-class chefs and therefore delicious food, there is no better way to make your Opera House experience special. Tables inside this airy space face out onto the Sydney Harbour and city skyline for a view that will never get boring.

As you can imagine, the price tag on a dinner with a view like that does not come cheap, so make sure you top up your credit card.

Most cities don’t get better after the sun has set, but strangely Sydney does! Especially Circular Quay. With the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House as its main attractions, it truly becomes a spectacle after dark. Especially the Opera House is a sight to behold after dark. I have written an extensive blog post already on where to see Sydney by night, so make sure to check that one out as well!

The Sydney Opera House by night from Bennelong Point

Heading up the stairs towards the buildings, just shows you how unique and interesting this building actually is. With 100’s upon 100’s of tiles can be seen up close, that make up this fabulous masterpiece. The closer you get as well the more you can see a bit of the inside of the opera house. That’s if it’s not cordoned off, unfortunately for us, the night we went it was due to COVID.

How to see this building from the inside?

You might be wondering what it would take to get inside, as you can’t actually just walk in, can you imagine the chaos that would occur. Underneath are some options for you if you, if you wish to see it from the inside.

A Sydney Opera House tour is one way of getting into the building. A guided tour will explain how the construction went and what it entailed to complete it. You will also get a look at the interior of the multiple concert halls within the Opera House is often unseen by the average tourist. It is pretty cool and very informative, so if you have time I suggest you join one of the tours.

Another, pretty obvious way of getting a glimpse from the inside seeing an actual show at the Sydney Opera House is one of the most memorable ways to experience it. And although you might not know it by the name, the Opera House hosts more than just operas.

A wide range of incredible Broadway shows, concerts, symphony orchestras and more ensure that you won’t miss an opportunity to sit in on one of the most incredible live venues in the world. Or as mentioned prior, grab a bit to eat at Bennelong restaurant.

2 | Royal Botanic Gardens

Views from the Pylon lookout

The admission to the Pylon lookout it as follows (As per August 2020).

General Admission (13 years and over) $ 19.00
Concession (Seniors & Student) $12.50
Children (5 to 12 years, inclusive) $9.50
Children (4 years and under) FREE

The admission to the Pylon lookout is as follows (As per August 2020).

General Admission (13 years and over)$ 19.00Concession (Seniors & Student)$12.50Children (5 to 12 years, inclusive)$9.50Children (4 years and under)FREE

Getting to the Pylon Lookout?

The lookout is located in the South-East Pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Access is via the pedestrian pathway on the Eastern side of the Bridge from the city side (use the ‘Bridge Stairs’ in Cumberland Street, The Rocks). Or if you are coming from the Northside use the steps near Milsons Point Railway Station.

Whilst you are on the bridge, make sure to keep walking and enjoy the stunning views from the bridge. If you walk towards Milsons Point you will head towards a couple of more viewpoints, including Mary Booth Reserve, Luna Park and Beulah Street Wharf.

5 | Mary Booth Reserve

Mary Booth Reserve is a small little park in Kirribilli that lies adjacent to Sydney’s harbour and across from Circular Quay. This reserve is located pretty much slap bang across from the Opera House. There are sections near the water which are perfect spots to snap hundreds of cool pictures for hours on end! There are not a lot of amenities in the park, as you are only minutes away from Luna Park, where there are plenty.

6 | Luna Park at Milsons Point

Right underneath the bridge on the north shore side, you will find Milsons Point. Here you have spectacular views of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Many locals just go for the views and wander along the harbour.

Sydney Opera House seen from Milsons Point

Right next to the bridge is Luna Park. The park is an amusement attraction that was established in 1935, amazingly it still contains traditional midway games and rides while of course still offering your 21st-century amusements as well. The older charm that this park offers, the more the modern generation can catch a glimpse of the past. So whilst you are here, why not hop on some rides!

If you walk alongside the walkway and pass Luna Park, then I advise you to keep walking just a tad further. You will end up at Lavender Bay. Although the Opera House itself can not be seen from Lavender Bay, the rest of the harbour can be seen from here! It offers some lovely harbour and city views and it is definitely worth the 10-minute walk from Luna Park.

7 | Beulah St. Wharf

I had seen an amazing picture on the Sydney official tourism Instagram account. I saved it on my phone, so if I was ever in the area I had to go take a similar picture. This spot can be found on the corner of Kirribilli Ave and Beulah Street. It is a super cool place to take some more artistic and non-standard pictures.

At the bottom of the street, you will find Beulah Street Wharf, located right across from the Opera Hosue, it offers some A-mazing views. The wharf is often occupied by fishermen, so it can be a bit tricky sometimes to get access to the wharf. But the views are worth it.

8 | Bradley’s Head at Sydney National Park

At Bradley’s Head watch the boats glide by from Bradleys Head Amphitheatre or step into the past at Military relics. Bradleys Head Amphitheatre is an exceptionally popular lookout in Sydney Harbour National Park. Travel bloggers, Instagrammers and tourists head to this lookout point to inhale its breathtaking views of the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Fort Denison.

There are a couple of cool military relics at Bradleys Head, it was built after four American warships arrived in Sydney Harbour undetected in 1839. Sydneysiders were feeling uneasy so a circular parapet was later installed to enhance Sydney’s protection. Today, the mast of HMAS Sydney towers on the lookout, as a striking monument to the WWI warship.

To get to Bradley’s Head I advise you to hop on the Taronga Zoo ferry and then walk to the viewpoint. It is about a 20-minute walk, but you will have mind-bogglingly beautiful views to distract you along the way. And you should also consider checking out Taronga Zoo whilst you are there! It is an amazing zoo and well worth checking out! Additionally, the wharf at the zoo is one of my favourite sunset photography spots!

9 | Taronga Zoo Wharf

The wharf at Taronga Zoo offers an amazing spot to see the sunset behind Sydney’s skyline! From this wharf, you will be able to see the Opera House and the arch of the bridge. The Opera House is quite far, but the views are nonetheless beautiful!

10 | From the water!

Another incredible way of checking out the Opera house is by going on a cruise! This way you get to see the harbour (with the Opera House perched at Bengallo Point, in a relaxed way, whilst having a nice dinner. Underneath are just a couple of cool cruises you could check out.

If a cruise is a bit too expensive, then you can always hop on one of the ferries. This is a cheap alternative to a cruise, providing you with the same views. Get on the ferry at Circular Quay and go to one of many destinations. Milson’s point is only a couple of minutes away and is an easy option.

THE BEST HARBOUR VIEW HOTELS IN SYDNEY

Which hotel has the best view of the Sydney Opera House? I think it’s hard to beat the Park Hyatt and its face-on view of the Opera House. Their rooftop pool also has a spectacular view. This is the prime location in Sydney.

Shangri-La Sydney

The Shangri-La Sydney is a 5-star retreat with all of the amenities one might desire. The train station is only a few minutes walk away, and all of the major tourist sites are within walking distance. The spacious rooms are very well-appointed, the large windows offer lots of natural light, and incredible Sydney Harbour views.

If you can’t get a room with an Opera House or Harbour Bridge view, I think it’s pricey for a regular room, although according to reviews, the view over Darling Harbour is also nice.

The Intercontinental Hotel Sydney

On her visit to Sydney in 2010, Oprah housed her entourage at the Intercontinental Sydney. The hotel is only a 2-minute walk from the Royal Botanic Gardens, giving it as an excellent choice for people who enjoy walking or jogging along the Harbor.

The hotel has an indoor pool with a beautiful view of the harbor, and it’s only minutes from the Pitt Street Mall shopping area. With Sydney Buses stopping right outside, this is a great location that is only 5 minutes from the CBD.

The King Opera House rooms are the best choice, since they provide breathtaking views. If you win the lottery, reserve the Australia Room!

Pullman Quay Grand Suites Sydney Harbour

The Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour is another fantastic choice; the hotel has a stunning harbour bridge view. It’s an apartment hotel, which I’ll admit is my personal prefered type of accommodation, and it has one- and two-bedroom apartments.

The rooms are very pricey – even on sale, the one-bedroom apartments cost $499, but they do offer a lot of space, and a view, and are located in the middle of things. They also frequently host celebrities, so who knows who you may meet in the lobby!

The rooms are also double glazed, so you won’t have to worry about the noise. The pool on level 7 has magnificent views of the harbour. Consider a garden view if you want to save money; they’re just as lovely and there are plenty of public areas where you can take in the waterfront vista.

If these rooms are a out of your budget, then have a look at some great alternatives below.

If you are travelling to Sydney for the first time, then I would suggest booking your accommodation in either Sydney CBD or Darling Harbour. These are the two prime locations within walking distance of the most popular tourist attractions like the Opera House, Tower Eye, The Rocks and the Royal Botanic Gardens. From here you can also easily travel to places like Bondi Beach and the Blue Mountains.

If you wish to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, then Surry Hills is also a great central location. If you are not bothered to travel a bit and want to be close to the beach, then Bondi Beach is the place to be.

  • Amora Hotel Jamison (Sydney CBD) Amazing luxury hotel located in the heart of Sydney. It offers stylish accommodation, along with an indoor heated swimming pool, sauna, Jacuzzi and much more!
  • The View (North-Sydney) Overlooking beautiful Sydney Harbour and the city’s iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, View Sydney features a restaurant and bar.
  • Holiday Inn Darling Harbour (Darling Harbour) Situated in the heart of the popular Darling Harbour entertainment district, Holiday Inn is ideally located for sightseeing, nightlife and shopping.

Best Hotels in Sydney

Pier One Sydney Harbour, Autograph Collection
Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park
Park Hyatt Sydney
Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour
Hilton Sydney
Shangri-La Sydney
Pier One Sydney Harbour, Autograph Collection
Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park
Park Hyatt Sydney
Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour
Hilton Sydney
Shangri-La Sydney
Pier One Sydney Harbour, Autograph Collection
Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park
Park Hyatt Sydney
Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour
Hilton Sydney
Shangri-La Sydney

These are just some of the best view of the Sydney Opera House’s throughout Sydney. I hope you have enjoyed this post. If you have any questions feel free to leave a message below.

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