Even in a city as naturally handsome as Sydney, there's no doubting which area constitutes its showpiece sight.

The Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge - separated only by the waters of Circular Quay - together form the natural focal point for city celebrations and tourist attention. Both constructions have become attractions in their own right.

The Opera House itself has been formally open since 1973; its instantly recognisable exterior of white tiles and streamlined, sail-like curves was the brainchild of Danish architect Jorn Utzon. The venue hosts regular arts performances and also offers guided tours.

The Harbour Bridge, meanwhile - nicknamed The Coathanger by locals thanks to its shape - has been in place since the early 1930s, when it was designed and built by a British firm. It makes for a striking sight, visible from much of central Sydney, and runs hugely popular escorted bridge climbs for those who want to walk the main arch up to its highest point.

Where is it?
In the heart of Sydney Harbour on the coastline of New South Wales, Australia.

What is it?
A multi-venue performing arts centre and a steel 'through arch' bridge, set close to each other on a natural harbour.

Best time to visit?
Australia's seasons run out of sync with the northern hemisphere (the height of summer is December to February while June to August is cooler). That said, there's not really a bad time to visit Sydney.

Must see?
The views over town from the top of Harbour Bridge are second-to-none - particularly if you're at the summit for sunset.

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