Sydney
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Sydney Culture & History

The Sydney Opera House Tour

1. The Sydney Opera House Tour

More than 60 years ago, a young Danish architect, Jorn Utzon, designed what is now considered one of the greatest buildings of all time. It is a work of art that came in existence against impossible odds and went on to become one of the busiest performing arts centers in the world, putting Sydney on the map forever. On the Sydney Opera House tour, you will discover the stories, history, and magic of Sydney Opera House as you follow your friendly guide underneath the sails and into the UNESCO World Heritage masterpiece. The opera house is home to 1,000 rooms, 300 corridors, and hundreds of tales and secrets. Step inside the inspired theatres where more than 1800 performances come to life each year, and learn how Danish architect Jorn Utzon’s groundbreaking design and vision for a world-class performing arts came into existence. You might catch a rehearsal in action, or the crew working on a set.

Sydney: Harbour Dinner Cruise with 3, 4 or 6-Course Menu

2. Sydney: Harbour Dinner Cruise with 3, 4 or 6-Course Menu

Experience a first-class dining experience aboard one of Sydney's premier vessels, the MV Sydney 2000 or John Cadman II, as you sail around a dazzling night sky or a mesmerizing Sydney Harbour during sunset (summer). Enjoy the enchanting backdrop of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge and savor the scrumptious choices of an a la carte meal of a Contemporary Australian menu and 5-star service. Once you have indulged in the fantastic cuisine on offer, enjoy live music on Saturday and Sunday nights. See stunning Sydney Harbour by night aboard your premium dining experience.

Sydney Harbour: Tall Ship Vivid Dinner Cruise

3. Sydney Harbour: Tall Ship Vivid Dinner Cruise

Every year, Sydney is transformed into a spectacular canvas of lights when the Vivid Sydney festival takes over the city after dark. Vivid Sydney is the biggest festival of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. It was even named Best Tourism Event at the Australian Event Awards in 2014. Last year’s Vivid Sydney featured a wild mix of projection mapping and interactive displays wherein the vessels on Sydney Harbour were also decorated with special colored LED lights for the first time. This year, audiences can expect much of the same and more. Join for a sensational cruise and enjoy outstanding views of the Sydney Opera House as the world famous sails are transformed by majestic 3D mapped projections by award-winning international artists. Watch in awe as you are taken on a dramatic journey through time – from the birth of architecture and civilization through to the pinnacle of human and technological achievement. During the cruise, you will be served a delicious and substantial dinner and enjoy live music, creating a delightful atmosphere for you and your guests to savor. Depending on the starting time, you will be on either the Soren larsen Tallshop or the Southern Swan, you can see the schedule below: This 1.5 hour Vivid Sydney cruise is a great way to see the lights in comfort and style.

Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) and Museum Walking Tour

4. Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) and Museum Walking Tour

The SCG Guided Walking Tour is fascinating journey behind the scenes of the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) and the SCG Museum. The precinct is Sydney’s home of sport where international sporting heroes play cricket, rugby union, rugby league, football/soccer, and Australian Football League (AFL). Her entertaining stories of players, spectators and events as you take in the sporting architecture and ambience of the SCG. Venture behind the scenes of the Sydney Cricket Ground and see the field of play, the player’s dressing rooms, the historic members reserve, the media centre, the Walk of Honour, and the SCG Museum. With exclusive entry to the SCG Museum, you can see sporting treasures such as prized bats, balls and other cricket memorabilia: rugby league, football and AFL sporting treasures: and various featured temporary museum exhibits.

'Madama Butterfly' at Sydney Opera House by Opera Australia

5. 'Madama Butterfly' at Sydney Opera House by Opera Australia

Experience the ravishing romance of Madame Butterfly in a bold new production by Australia’s most famous choreographer, Graeme Murphy. Enchanted by the beauty of Japan, the American naval officer Pinkerton takes a young geisha for his wife. The innocent Madame Butterfly falls helplessly, hopelessly in love. But every ship must return to its shore, and Pinkerton returns home, leaving his bride behind. Butterfly waits patiently for her husband to return, and when he comes at last, both lovers have a surprise in store. This long-awaited reimagining uses the same incredible technology that wowed audiences in Aida, where towering flexible LED screens form a dynamic backdrop filled with moving images. Puccini’s sumptuous score includes the hit aria ‘Un bel di’. See it if you like a good tearjerker, Miss Saigon, stunning sets and costumes

Sydney: VIVID Cruise

6. Sydney: VIVID Cruise

Join the fun at the largest festival of light, music, and ideas in the Southern Hemisphere. Vivid attracted over 2.3 million visitors last year, with 2020 set to be bigger and better than ever. Beat the crowds and view the Vivid show from the water of Sydney Harbour. Sit back, relax, and take in the transformed city while enjoying a welcome drink and a buffet dinner. With dining rooms and multiple viewing platforms on the boat, you won’t miss a thing or a great photo opportunity.  Cruise past the spectacular Sydney Opera House Sails, the visual feast of Customs House in The Rocks, and National Maritime Museums' enormous light display on its roof. These are just some of the amazing sights you will experience during Vivid Sydney. Pickup and drop-off will be from King St Wharf in Darling Harbour. Wharf numbers will be advised closer to departure date. Full scheduled wharf departure numbers can also be found on the local partner's website.

Sydney: Tall Ship Harbour Twilight Dinner Cruise

7. Sydney: Tall Ship Harbour Twilight Dinner Cruise

Step aboard a historic tall ship for a 2-hour twilight sail from Sydney Harbour. You will travel on one of our two tall ships; the Southern Swan, the flagship of the celebrated First Fleet Re-Enactment, or the graceful Søren Larsen, a beautifully maintained Brigantine ship that sailed from Denmark to Greenland, and through the South Pacific to Sydney. You will depart from Campbell’s Cove, and sail past the Opera House, Fort Denison, Garden Island, Luna Park, and the Admiralty House before returning to stunning Sydney Harbour glistening in the twilight. On board, you will enjoy a delicious dinner, splendid views, and an authentic sailing experience. This Tall Ship Cruise gives you the opportunity to get involved. You are welcome to help hoist and set the sails, and even take a turn steering the ship! Or, if you prefer, sit back, relax, let the others do the work and enjoy the scenic views of Australia from the sea. Tall Ship Dinner Cruise Menu Starters • BBQ Chorizo Slices • Spinach and Cheese Triangles Salads • Roast pumpkin, zucchini, mixed bean with sultanas, sunflower seeds & coconut salad • Mixed Leaves Salad • Potato Salad Main Dishes • Mild spiced chicken with mushroom, capsicum, baby spinach & Spanish onion – Gluten Free • Sweet potato, eggplant & tomato with lentils – Vegetarian and Gluten Free Dessert • Chocolate brownies Please note, the menu is subject to change, to ensure fresh produce of premium quality.

Sydney: The Rocks 90-Minute Walking Tour

8. Sydney: The Rocks 90-Minute Walking Tour

Join a specialist local guide and visit The Rocks, a historic area that features some of the oldest buildings in Sydney and some of the best views of the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Hear stories about the early days of British Australian settlement on a 90-minute guided walk. Your tour group is limited to a maximum of 25 participants and you’ll walk at a leisurely pace along a 2-kilometer route. Tour highlights include: • The shoreline of sparkling Sydney Cove • Views of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge • Cadman's Cottage, Sydney’s oldest surviving cottage, built in 1816 • Campbell's Cove, offering fantastic views of the Sydney Opera House • Harbour Bridge and Campbell’s Cove wharves • Foundation Park, one of The Rocks’ best-kept secrets • The awe-inspiring Argyle Cut • George Street, Greenway Lane, Kendall Lane, Suez Canal and Nurses Walk

Sydney Opera House: La Traviata Opera Tickets

9. Sydney Opera House: La Traviata Opera Tickets

Relish an evening at the Sydney Opera House, and watch a fabulous production of La Traviata, a must-see if you love Moulin Rouge, Pretty Woman, and My Fair Lady. This successful production by Elijah Moshinsky features lush party scenes in Paris and beautiful autumn afternoons in the countryside. Gaze at lavish sets and exquisite costumes combined with Verdi’s famous score and enjoy the perfect way to experience opera for the first time, or the chance to revisit a favorite with an exciting new cast. There's plenty of love to go around in this story of amorous encounters and elegant romance.

Sydney Harbour: 3-Hour Lunch Cruise with Live Music

10. Sydney Harbour: 3-Hour Lunch Cruise with Live Music

Spend the afternoon at leisure on a 3-hour lunch cruise of Sydney Harbour. Climb aboard the pleasure boat at King Street Wharf and make use of all the on board facilities, including a licensed bar selling a range of refreshing drinks. Live musicians will perform ultimate relaxing tunes to unwind you, while the aroma of a delicious and fresh seafood and carvery buffet will whet your appetite for the hours ahead. Dig into tasty chicken and roast beef, succulent seafood, and fresh pastas and salads. Follow it off with a choice of teas and coffee, along with sumptuous desserts. Wash it down with a glass of bubbly from the bar, and enjoy the brilliant sights of Sydney Harbour, such as the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge from various spacious indoor and outdoor decks.

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What people are saying about Sydney

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,696 reviews

Attention to detail was splendid. On time. Had free storage for backpacks and coats. Wonderful history lesson. Very considerate for all guests. Highly recommend for all guests b

Well worth it. An interesting tour with lots of facts about the history of the Opera House. Enjoyable meal afterwards. Real value for money.

Fantastic, we booked on a whim but it was much better than we could have expected. Great views of the city and harbor.

Fabulous tour. Such an amazing building. Knowledgeable and passionate tour guide.

Our guide was easy to talk with and very informative. Lots of laughs