Sydney Opera House
Mozart sounds as great on your iPod as the New York Philharmonic does on those "Live from Lincoln Center" broadcasts on PBS, but nothing beats seeing those performances in person. Even better is witnessing concerts, ballets, and other shows in the world's grandest arts venues, the very settings where many of history's great works of performing arts were originally staged. Here's a visual tour of some of the world's top places to get cultured.
With its soaring white scallop shell exterior and setting on Sydney Harbor, the iconic Sydney Opera House is Australia's calling card to the world. The House itself contains eight different venues, including the Concert Hall, which houses a 10,000-pipe organ, and the Opera Theatre, where Opera Australia, the Australian Ballet, and the Sydney Dance Company perform. You can browse events and purchase tickets through the Sydney Opera House website. Even if you can't take in a show, it's worthwhile to take a tour of the facilities, which costs $16 AUD (go to XE.com for current conversion rates) when you book it online.
(Photo: Tony Yeates, Tourism New South Wales)