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Notable Architecture

Top Rated Attractions in Sydney

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Sydney Opera House

The controversial but decidedly beautiful sail-like roofs of Sydney's most recognizable icon glisten against the backdrop of Sydney Harbour. The Sydney Opera House was constructed over a fourteen-year period and caused an opera’s worth of drama that involved differences between the architect Jørn Utzon and the Australian government. The now world-renowned architectural wonder stands as an unmissable icon of Sydney's cultural landscape. It houses among other small venues, the Joan Sutherland Theatre, the Utzon Room and a grand Concert Hall. It also has an impressive yearly program of contemporary and classical performances, and is a striking cultural sanctuary to take in theater, opera and ballet. Riveting guided tours take visitors behind the scenes and into the establishment’s many interesting rooms.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Stretching over the sparkling waters of Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is certainly a wonder to behold. The steel through arch bridge was designed and constructed by Dorman Long and Co Ltd back in 1932 and has since become one of Sydney's most iconic tourist attractions. Thanks to its arched shape, many Sydney residents call the bridge "The Coat Hanger", and while this might sound a bit mean-spirited, the bridge is well loved. Standing at 134 meters (440 feet), the Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the tallest steel arch bridges in the world. Its incredible height inspired many daredevils to climb across the bridge illegally, which in turn inspired BridgeClimb, a tour that takes visitors up and across the bridge. For visitors who prefer the safety of the ground, the bridge can also be viewed from the south-east pylon, and walkers can traverse it on the bridge's footpath.

St Mary's Cathedral

A masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the foundation stones for St Mary's Cathedral were laid by Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1821. After a series of architects and religious figures suggested their own versions of the cathedral, the building finally opened in 1900, although work continued until 1928. Wardell's original design had two spires that were never built. After ten years' debate and political fund-raising, the twin spires were finally completed in 2000. Today, St. Mary's Cathedral is heralded as one of the most beautiful buildings in Sydney. Visitors to the cathedral can wander around the beautiful interior, which is lit by ornate stained glass windows. Treasures located in the cathedral include the moving and beautifully sculpted Grave of the Unknown Soldier, a marble replica of Michelangelo's Pieta and many gorgeous religious paintings from the late 19th-Century.

The Rocks

Located near the Circular Quay, The Rocks is a beautiful neighborhood in Sydney. This area dates back to the 18th Century and houses some historic structures and the Museum of Contemporary Art. You can enjoy historic walking tours or just stroll through the charming market on weekends. The weekend market offers some locally-produced vegetables, accessories, garments and more and is thronged by tourists and locals alike. Besides, this place offers quaint views of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, affording several photo opportunities. All in all, this is a must-visit spot if you want to experience the local lifestyle of Sydney.

Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour is one big showcase of fun and entertainment. Once a thriving dockland, it was redeveloped in 1988 to coincide with the 200th anniversary of European settlement in Australia. The redevelopment began with the construction of a large exhibition and conference center, later complemented with the addition of shops, restaurants and other attractions. The huge waterfront tourist and leisure park emphasizes family entertainment. Highlights include Sydney Aquarium, the Australian National Maritime Museum, the Chinese Garden, Star Casino, the enormous IMAX Cinema and the Powerhouse Museum. Darling Harbour is a year-round beehive of activity with events for the entire family during winter, spring, summer, and fall. Over the Christmas holiday season, the harbour hosts a magical festival featuring live music, entertainment, Christmas tree lighting, and Christmas carols. So, if your travels find you in Sydney during the holiday season, Darling Harbour is the place to be.

Sydney Tower

Far above the maddening crowds, Sydney Tower or AMP Tower provides 360-degree views of Sydney’s gorgeous skyline. It takes just 40 seconds for the double-decker lifts to reach the 309-meter (1,014 feet) summit, where visitors can take advantage of guided tours. At 260 meters (853 feet), the glass Skywalk is a must-see for those who love panoramic views. A revolving vantage point that was opened in 2005 goes all the way around the tower, offering both a luxurious and memorable experience, as well as jaw-dropping bird’s eye views of Sydney. The revolving portion of the tower also houses a restaurant, making it a perfect romantic spot for couples to have a quiet meal with an amazing view.

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