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Best seats in Sydney Opera House – where to sit and watch the shows

Edited by: Rekha Rajan
Fact checked by: Jamshed V Rajan


Your seat decides the quality of your viewing experience at theatres, and the same holds for the Sydney Opera House.

That’s why visitors want to know the best seats for viewing the performance before booking their Sydney Opera House shows.

Organizers of the shows also know this, and that’s why the price of Sydney Opera House show tickets depends on the seats selected.

In this article, we share the best place to sit for the best possible experience in Sydney Opera House’s different halls.

Better seats at theatres are NOT a myth

During your visit to any theatre, the last thing you want is a seat that doesn’t allow you to see the stage. 

An inferior view of the stage is usually caused by architectural elements such as the angle between the seats and the stage, a beam, or a wall that is an integral part of the building’s design.

It could be because of a production unit in front of a row of seats.

Such obstructed views were commonplace in the olden theatres, but the modern ones built on better architectural technology avoid these pitfalls. 

The current theatre designs also ensure that patrons sitting in different parts of the theatre enjoy the same acoustics. 

But having said that, some theatre seats are better than the rest. 

At Sydney Opera House, the same rules apply – some seats offer a better experience than others. 

There are many ways to experience the Sydney Opera House. You can take a guided tour of the buildinggo around the attraction in a boat, or experience one of the shows. Find out everything about the different Sydney Opera House tours.

Where are the best seats?

Each part of a theatre offers a different view of the stage and a different experience.

Sitting in the first few rows, you see the singers and actors up close and hear every word and note. 

One of the most significant disadvantages of sitting so close to the stage is seeing the production in bits and parts.

You can’t experience the scene(s) as a whole because you must turn your head to see different parts of the stage. 

Sitting too far out is also not advisable because the singers, actors, stage props, etc., appear too small and leave you squinting.

The best seats in most of the theatres are the ones right in the center of the house. 

The other areas which offer a perfect view of the stage are the first few rows of the center mezzanine, the lower balcony, or the dress circle.

Best place to sit at Sydney Opera House

So how does one define the best seats?

When it comes to the best seats in the Sydney Opera House, there can be two ways of looking at them:

– Best seats in terms of value for money
– Best seats in terms of experience

We share this critical information for all six venues at the Sydney Opera House.

Concert Hall

The Concert Hall is the most prominent performance venue at the Sydney Opera House.

With 2670 seats, it is also the biggest venue.

Sydney Opera House Concert Hall seating encircles the main stage, offering many viewing angles.

The Concert Hall seats are laid out in three sections – Stalls, Circles, and Box.

Concert Hall’s seat layout

Concert Hall seats with the best view

Since this is a big hall, there can be differing opinions on the seats with the best view.

If you are ok with spending, we recommend the middle seats in rows D, E, and F.

Seats in the ‘Circle’ first row are also a good option.

However, these seats offering a direct view of the stage get sold off fast.

Concert Hall seats with the best value

At the Concert Hall, the most value-for-money seats depend on the show you have opted to see.

If you are in for an Opera, we recommend the box seats next to the theatre because having better audio than visual is more important.

If it is a Ballet or any other such performance, you must opt for the middle seats in rows N to S.

These seats aren’t priced high yet offer decent views of the stage.

Shows at SOH Cost
Entrance Ticket and Opera House Guided Tour A$ 43
Opera Performance Tickets A$ 99
Opera House Tour with Meal and Drink A$ 80
Miss Saigon by Opera Australia A$ 124
Verdi’s Aida Opera Performance Tickets A$ 99
Opera House Chorus! Singing Performance A$ 69

Joan Sutherland Theatre

Joan Sutherland Theatre is the second biggest venue at Sydney Opera House.

It has 1507 seats in three sections – stalls, circle, and box.

The performance-friendly layout helps you get a good view wherever you sit, but some seats are better than others.

Joan Sutherland Theatre’s seat layout

Seats with the best view

The opinion here varies because of many options, but we recommend seats 22 to 28 in rows F, G, H, and J.

These seats are just the proper distance from the stage and right before it, offering the best possible view.

Being premium seats, you must shell out a pricey sum for the show tickets.

If you prefer watching your shows from a vantage point, we recommend the front row of the Circle section.

Value for money seats

Thanks to the unique design of Joan Sutherland Theatre, many seats don’t cost a bomb and yet provide your money’s worth.

In the Stalls section, try to get the middle seats in the S, T, and U rows. These are A Reserve and B Reserve seats and hence cost less.

You can also opt for middle seats in rows F and G in the Circle section.

Drama Theatre

Located on the ground floor of the Opera House, the Drama Theatre is much smaller and hosts plays and musicals.

It has 544 seats laid out in an almost rectangular block format.

The first three rows, A, B, and C, can be removed for performances that need additional stage areas.

This removal of seats brings down the capacity to 475.

Drama Theatre’s seat layout

Seats with the best view at Drama Theatre

Since this theatre has straightforward seating, the best seats are easily pinpointed.

You need to leave the first three rows and book the middle seats in the next three rows: D, E, and F.

These are usually the premium seats in such a layout.

Value for money seats at Drama Theatre

Since there are not many different types of seats, the ticket cost doesn’t vary much.

If you want to save money, we recommend the middle seats at the back of the theatre.

Please choose any middle seats in Rows P, Q, R, S, or T.

They offer a good view of the stage and aren’t as pricey as the premium tickets in the front.


The Playhouse is one of the smaller venues in the Sydney Opera House, and hosts show for a younger audience.

It is on the ground floor in the southwestern corner of the Opera House.

The Playhouse’s seating plan is straightforward – everybody sits in the front.

Playhouse’s seat layout

Seats with the best view at Playhouse

The Playhouse is a small theatre with about 400 seats.

There is hardly any difference between the seats – the only difference is the distance from the Stage.

For the best viewing experience, we recommend you skip the first three rows and book middle seats in Rows E, F, or G.

If you will be attending with kids, it is better to book the middle seats in the three rows after that – H, J, and K.

Because of the elevation, your kids won’t have to crane their necks.

Value for money seats at Playhouse

Since this is a small theatre, the price difference between the seats is also small.

However, to get the most bang for your buck, we recommend the last three rows – R, S, and T.

Even though they offer similar viewing lines, these seats are cheaper just because they are farther from the Stage.

The Studio

The Studio is the most flexible venue in the Sydney Opera House, and it can be changed to meet the requirements of the performances.

During the day, The Studio hosts a show for a younger audience, and at night it transforms into a place where the world’s best cabaret and circus acts happen.

It can seat around 300 guests.

Because of its flexible nature, it is impossible to recommend the best seats.

Utzon Room

The Utzon Room is the only room entirely designed by architect Jorn Utzon.

It is the smallest venue at the Sydney Opera House and can seat 200.

It is impossible to give seat recommendations for the Utzon Room because there is no difference in the view quality and the pricing.

The Forecourt

This venue is located below the iconic white sails of the Opera House and offers a great view of Sydney Harbour and the City.

The Forecourt is the only outdoor performance space in the Sydney Opera House.

Once again, it is impossible to recommend the best seats because this venue has flexible outdoor seating.

Now that you know the seats offering the best experience, why don’t you check out the ongoing shows at Sydney Opera House.

You can also better understand the interiors by going on a Sydney Opera House tour.


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