Is there a Sydney Opera House Entry Fee?

Sydney Opera House view

Seeing the Opera House never gets old

Many visitors to Sydney wonder if there is a Sydney Opera House Entry Fee? The good news is that there is no entry fee (as such) to enter the Sydney Opera House. The bad news is that without buying a tour ticket your  ‘free’ access to the inside of the Opera House is pretty limited. There are of course plenty of Sydney Opera House tours that run for a fee, but these unfortunately don’t come cheap.

But don’t despair, there are still some great things you can do at the Opera House without spending a dime.

So read on to find out the top things to do at the Sydney Opera House for free!

1. Walk it!

Sydney Opera House windows

Be sure to look up to admire the architecture

The best way to get a feel of the Opera House is to walk around the perimeter of it. The walk offers fantastic views of both the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour.  You will be able to see straight across to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Luna Park, Fort Denison, Garden Island and Kirribilli.

And just as good you will get some other great views of the Opera House – look up and admire the architecture. You won’t be disappointed.

To do the walk just start walking from either side of the house. The walk is level and easy to navigate with a pram or wheelchair. The perimeter is fenced but keep an eye on little ones nonetheless.

2. Climb the famous Sydney Opera House Stairs

Sydney Opera House stairs

The Monumental Steps are a must climb

An absolute must-do is climbing to the top of the Opera House Stairs – called the Monumental Steps. With more great views to admire in every direction it makes for a perfect selfie spot.

The stairs look steeper than they are and from up top you will get a great view across the harbour and the Sydney skyline.

Sydney Opera House tiles

Amazing to see the tiles up close

It’s also a great place to get up close to the famous Opera House tiles. And you will also notice that the house is not as white as it seems from afar!

Amazingly there are more than 1 million roof tiles (1,056,006 to be exact) covering the Opera House. The tiles were made in Sweden specifically for the Sydney Opera House. The tiles are 120mm square and are made from clay with a small percentage of crushed stone. They are now known as the ‘Sydney Tile’.

3. Explore the foyer

Sydney Opera House Foyer

It’s surprising how much concrete there is in the interior

So the only part of the Sydney Opera that you can access for free is the foyer area. And whilst not mind blowing it is worth a look around.

Inside you will a small cafe, gift shop, lounge area and a small exhibition. Make sure to look up and around – I found it surprising how much concrete there was. The building actually has quite an ‘industrial’ feel, more so than luxurious.

This is also a good spot to use the bathrooms if you need to (they are a bit swish!)

4. Daily sails lighting at sunset and 7.00pm

Every day at 5.00pm and sunset the sails of the Opera House are lit with a light show that explores ancient First Nations.

This seven-minute projection is called Badu Gili which means ‘water light’ in the language of the the Gadigal people (the traditional owners of Bennelong Point).

To enjoy the best of this free light nab a spot at the top of the Monumental Steps.

5. Enjoy a different view

Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk Opera House

The view from the Sydney Harbour Bridge walk is a bit fab

So the Opera House is great close up but I think it is also pretty amazing from a distance.

To get a different view of the Opera House you could head over to the Museum of Contemporary Art, walk across the Harbour Bridge or jump on a harbour ferry. There are also some great views from The Royal Botanic Gardens which are just next door (and also worth a visit!).

The Pylon Lookout (found on the Sydney Harbour Bridge) also has fantastic views but has an entry fee of $15.00.

If you have a bit of spare change…….

Sydney Opera House Bar

You won’t regret stopping for a drink at Opera Bar

If you can spare some money for a coffee then Opera Bar is a great place to stop.

With views across the harbour and a happening vibe (even though it doesn’t look it from this pic!) and it also offers a bonus of free live music pretty much every day of the week. Enjoy.

Freedays Summary

  • Entry: Free
  • Toilets: Yes
  • Wheelchair friendly: Yes
  • Free carparking: No
  • Free BBQ facilities: No
  • Time to spend here: 1 hour (unless you are having lunch)
  • Food available: Yes
  • Address:Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay
  • Further details: Visit Sydney Opera House directory listing


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