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The Only Guide You Need to Sydney — Great Eats, Idyllic Beaches, and Luxury Hotels Included

Visit Sydney for an unforgettable adventure. Discover the best hotels, restaurants, and things to do with this Sydney travel guide.

sydney travel info

Best Time to Go

Things to know, how to get around, best hotels, best restaurants, things to do, best shopping, neighborhoods to know, apps to download.

Famously photogenic Sydney is Australia's largest city and the capital of New South Wales, the country's most visited state.

The traditional home of the Gadigal people of the Eora Aboriginal Nation, Sydney has evolved from a humble British penal colony founded in 1788 to a thriving port city.

Today, nearly half of Sydney's residents, known as "Sydneysiders," were born overseas. The city’s rich cultural makeup is now reflected in its diverse food scene, where just about every major international cuisine is represented in increasingly creative ways.

Among the city's most recognizable attractions are the iconic Sydney Opera House, with its distinctive white "sails," and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, affectionately known as the "coat hanger." But there is plenty more to love about this showstopping waterside metropolis.

Sydney's moderate climate and variety of beaches and parks make it ideal for outdoor activities, and an ever-expanding roster of luxury hotels offer plenty of options to lay your head at the end of each day.

Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) UTC/GMT +10 hours From approximately October through March — Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) UTC/GMT +11

Australia is located in the Southern Hemisphere, with opposite seasons to the Northern Hemisphere. Among the best times to visit Sydney for weather are the months of October and November (late spring) or March and April (early autumn) when temperatures are comfortable and the humidity is lower.

The peak times for tourism and the warmest weather are the summer months of December through February. Crowds peak between Christmas and the end of January during the summer school and university holidays. Naturally, prices are higher during this season, but it's ideal  beach weather, with popular festivals and events including the month-long Sydney Festival in January, and the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in February.

The low season — May through August — is chillier and prices are lower. It's still a pleasant time to be in Sydney, and the excellent Vivid Sydney festival lights up the city with creative energy in May and June. The Sydney Film Festival is held in June, and the Bondi Festival in July

Currency: Australian Dollar AUD

Language: English

Calling Code: +61

Electricity: The plug is Type I, with three flat pins in a triangular pattern. Australia uses 220-240 volts (U.S. is 120 volts), so a converter may be needed for certain devices.

Sydney's long-running obsession with artisan coffee makes it easy to find a perfect brew. Some claim the flat white (espresso with steamed milk and only a thin layer of cream) was first served in Sydney.

In general, visitors will find that prices are high in Australia compared to the U.S. (outside New York City, at least), including in Sydney. However, tipping is not customary or expected in Australia where tax and service are included in the bill by law, and minimum wages are higher than in the U.S. For excellent service in restaurants, taxis, hotels, and tours, you may wish to add 10-20 percent as a "thank you."

Retailers that sell alcoholic beverages in Australia are called "bottle shops," and a standard glass of beer is called a "schooner." Smoking is banned in all indoor public spaces and certain outdoor areas, including beaches, national parks, and public transport stops.

Sydney has some of the world’s best tap water; plastic bottled water is available, but frowned upon.

Currently being redeveloped into Australia’s premier destination for all things seafood, the Sydney Fish Market (due to open in 2024) remains operational, featuring seafood retailers, restaurants, and cooking classes.

The Opal card can be used on all public transport, including trains, ferries, buses, and light rail.

Sydney Buses : Buses connect all areas of the city, including those without rail or ferry transport. NightRide services replace most train routes between midnight and 4 a.m.

Sydney Trains : Six of Sydney’s eight trains run through the city center, including the line to Sydney Airport. The main terminus for local and regional trains is Central Station at Railway Square. Maps and timetables are available at Transport NSW.

Regional Trains : Departing from Central Station, regional trains and coaches service destinations that include the NSW South Coast, Blue Mountains, and Central Coast.

Sydney Light Rail : Sydney’s three light rail lines run through the city center, providing easy access to Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, and beyond.

Sydney Ferries : From Circular Quay ferry terminal in the CBD, ferries offer a scenic and convenient option for traveling to Manly Beach, Taronga Zoo, and attractions beyond.

River Ferry : The river ferry travels up the Parramatta River, from Circular Quay to Parramatta, with stops that include Sydney Olympic Park.

Taxis and Ride-share Services : Silver Service taxis offer premium rides, and Uber and Ola operate ride-sharing services in Sydney.

The Langham, Sydney

Address: 89-113 Kent St., Millers Point NSW 2000, Australia Phone: +61 2 9256 2222

Set in the heart of The Rocks district among historic cobbled streets, this romantic property features an indoor pool, spa, and several dining venues. Some rooms even offer expansive terraces and views of the harbor or city skyline. Pets also receive five-star service, with dog walking and pet sitting available.

Capella Sydney

Address: 35-39 Bridge St. Sydney NSW 2000, Australia Phone: +61 9071 5090

Sydney’s first major hotel opening of 2023, Capella has transformed the CBD’s historic Department of Education building into one of the city’s finest luxury hotels, its golden sandstone facade now complemented by the elegance of 192 guest rooms and suites across eight levels. Anchored by three ground-level food and beverage offerings, including signature restaurant Brasserie 1930, the hotel also gives guests exclusive access to its dreamy Auriga Spa. 

Ovolo Woolloomooloo

Address: 6 Cowper Wharf Roadway, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011, Australia Phone: +61 2 9331 9000

Located on the historic Finger Wharf in Sydney’s inner Eastern Suburbs, this luxury hotel embraces color and convenience in equal measure, with a long list of complimentary perks such as breakfast, the first round of sunset drinks, all-day snacks, and self-service laundry. Even the in-room minibar is included. An attractive range of perks are on offer at the brand’s similarly modern Darling Harbour outpost, The Woolstore 1888.

InterContinental Sydney

Address: 117 Macquarie St., Sydney NSW 2000, Australia Phone: +61 2 9253 9000

Reopened in 2022 following a major refurbishment, this elegant hotel set in the Circular Quay area’s former Treasury Building isn’t only worth staying in for its superb Sydney Harbour and Royal Botanic Garden views. Freshened up with a palette of soothing marine tones, its 509 rooms and 28 suites are chic, complemented by a club lounge and an array of new drinking and dining options.

Ace Hotel Sydney

Address: 47-53 Wentworth Ave., Sydney NSW 2000, Australia Phone: +61 2 8099 8799

The urban-cool hotel brand’s first property south of the equator, the 18-story Ace Hotel Sydney opened in 2022, occupying a historic former brick factory on the eastern fringe of the CBD. A warm color scheme plays into the property's nostalgic vibe and gives a sense of coziness to its 257 rooms, replete with ochre-toned carpets paying homage to the Australian outback. Edgy art pops in public spaces — among them a rooftop bar and restaurant Kiln, which boasts stellar Sydney skyline views.   

Pier One, Sydney Harbour

Address: 11 Hickson Rd., Walsh Bay NSW 2000, Australia Phone: +61 2 8298 9999

Right on Sydney Harbour near the southern pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, this dog-friendly hotel offers a front-row seat to the action on the harbor as ferries and yachts zip past at close range. A major renovation completed in 2019 celebrates the historic building’s heritage with its stylish maritime theme. The hotel’s 189 rooms include the luxe Admiral Suite, complete with a private deck and a freestanding tub with water views.

Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

Address: 199 George St., Sydney NSW 2000, Australia Phone: +61 2 9250 3100

Conveniently located in the CBD at the gateway to The Rocks and Circular Quay, this 517-room hotel has also been freshly renovated; its uncluttered, contemporary-classic upgrade playing a chic supporting role to superb city and Sydney Harbour views. The Four Seasons Hotel Sydney also has a gym, outdoor pool, and an Endota Spa. Dining options include a decadent afternoon tea served at the property's modern Australian signature restaurant, Mode Kitchen & Bar.

Lankan Filling Station

Address: 58 Riley St., Darlinghurst NSW 2010, Australia Phone: +61 2 8542 9936

This casual Sri Lankan restaurant is beloved for its fragrant curries, spicy sambals, and signature hoppers — a type of bowl-shaped pancake, perfect for dipping. Book ahead for the crab curry feast on the last Sunday of every month, served with a lip-smacking selection of sides. Walk-in tables are available.but it’s worth making a reservation to avoid disappointment.

Address: 23-33 Mary St., Surry Hills Sydney NSW 2010 Phone: +61 2 8204 0800

Fine dining fueled by fire is the name of the game at Firedoor, one of just four Sydney restaurants awarded three hats (Australia’s version of the Michelin star) in 2023. A five-course, daily-changing affair, the menu could feature anything from kangaroo to coral trout, with top-shelf Australian produce cooked to perfection using only a wood-fired oven, grill, or wood-burning hearth — there is no gas or electricity in the kitchen. The drinks list is also infused with smoky flavors

Address: 268 Oxford St., Paddington, Sydney NSW 2021, Australia Phone: 0423 015 032

As its name suggests, this lively bistro located above a neighborhood bottle shop celebrates pork in every way, with a menu revolving around an entire Berkshire or Duroc pig broken down into an array of French-inspired dishes. However, a raft of other proteins — from seafood to duck — are also featured on the daily-changing menu, complemented by a French-leaning wine list. It's open Thursday through Sunday (lunch on weekends only), and reservations are recommended.

Address: 1 Temperance Ln., Sydney NSW 2000, Australia Phone: +61 2 9062 8565

A delicious fusion of Latin flavors and Australian produce, this moody, subterranean restaurant carries Mexican food into date-night territory with its menu of share-style dishes, from local salmon ceviche tacos to melt-in-your-mouth NSW lamb shoulder parrilla . Fresh and fruity cocktails are elevated by one of Australia’s largest collections of tequila and mezcal.

Address: 3 Bridge Ln., Sydney NSW 2000, Australia Phone: +61 2 9114 7317

Some of the city’s finest Cantonese food isn’t found in Chinatown, but in the heart of the CBD at Mr. Wong. That the 240 seats at this restaurant are rarely bare is testament to its enduring popularity, particularly at lunchtime, when beautifully crafted dim sum are the go-to for foodies and the power-lunching set alike.

Address: Shop 3 2-12 Angel Pl., Sydney NSW 2000, Australia Phone: +61 2 8964 3062

When only pasta will do, tiny, tucked-away Italian diner Ragazzi hits the spot with its daily-changing menu of delectable handcrafted pasta dishes, which might include a perfectly executed spaghetti cacio e pepe or a fragrant conchiglie with mussels, white beans, fennel, and saffron. Snack on starters such as 'nduja and mozzarella croquettes and stay for dolci and a digestivo .

Sydney's National Parks

Sydney is surrounded by some of the state’s most spectacular national parks — notably the coastal Royal National Park to the south and Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park to the northwest, both laced with walking and biking trails and dotted with Aboriginal rock engravings and remote beaches. To the west is the UNESCO-listed Blue Mountains National Park, where hiking trails weave past gushing waterfalls, while Sydney Harbour National Park protects the islands and foreshore of Sydney Harbour.

Sydney Opera House

Address: 110 Elizabeth St., Sydney NSW 2000, Australia Phone: +61 2 9250 7111

Fresh from a multimillion-dollar renovation to celebrate its 50th birthday in 2023, this unique building hosts music, theater, dance, and opera performances. First opened in 1973, the UNESCO World Heritage Site can also be visited on a range of tours. There are also several dining options here, including the lauded fine-dining restaurant Bennelong.

Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

Irjaliina Paavonpera/Travel + Leisure

Address: Mrs. Macquaries Rd. Sydney NSW 2000, Australia Phone: +61 2 9231 8111

The oldest botanic garden in Australia, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney was founded in 1816 and showcases more than 8,600 species from Australia and beyond within its 74 acres of gardens. Restaurants include the recently renovated Botanic House, with picnic boxes also available to enjoy alfresco.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

The iconic bridge straddling Sydney Harbour is one of the world's largest steel arch bridges. Admire it from a distance, walk across it for free, or climb it to savor a bird's-eye view of Sydney.

Indigenous Experiences

The story of Sydney goes back tens of thousands of years before British colonization, and visitors will find plenty of opportunities to connect with this rich heritage. Ascend the Sydney Harbour Bridge with an Indigenous storyteller guide on the Burrawa Climb, or step back in time on a walking tour of The Rocks with Dreamtime Southern X. Learn about traditional uses for native plants on an Aboriginal-guided tour of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, or gain more insight into the Australian Museum’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collections during a tour with a First Nations guide. All of these activities form part of Discover Aboriginal Experiences, a flagship suite of immersive Indigenous-guided activities.

Museums and Galleries

Sydney is packed with excellent museums and galleries — notably the Art Gallery of NSW, which opened a major extension in late 2022 that has almost doubled its exhibition space. In Circular Quay, the Museum of Contemporary Art is Australia’s leading space dedicated to the genre, while the Museum of Sydney preserves the stories of the city’s colonial heritage.

Sydney's Beaches

Ana Alarcon/Travel + Leisure

Bondi might be the best known of Sydney's beaches, but more than 100 strips of sand line the city’s coastline and harbor. Cross Sydney Harbour to dive into popular Manly Beach, and enjoy some of the city's best coastal views on the 3.7-mile Bondi to Coogee walk . Be mindful that Sydney’s beautiful beaches can be deceptively dangerous; stay safe by swimming between the flags on lifeguard-patrolled beaches.

Westfield Sydney

Address: Corner Pitt St. Mall and Market Street Sydney NSW 2000, Australia Phone: +61 8236 9200

Westfield Bondi Junction may be larger, but most visitors will find Westfield Sydney to be a more convenient place to shop for designer and high-street fashion, beauty, sportswear, and tech, with brands such as Chanel, Miu Miu, Nike, and Zara, as well as Australian labels like Aje, Zimmermann, Scanlan Theodore, and Aesop. The sleek shopping center, also home to a handful of dining options, spills out into the Pitt Street Mall retail area.

David Jones

Address: 86-108 Castlereagh St., Sydney NSW 2000, Australia Phone: +61 133 357

Connected to Westfield Sydney is the flagship store of Australia's leading premium retailer, which first opened its doors in 1927. Browse clothing, shoes, accessories, and jewelry by international and Australian designers, as well as homewares, food, personal care products, and more.

Address: Oxford St., Paddington Sydney NSW 2021, Australia

In Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, the Paddington end of Oxford Street has long been a go-to destination for Australian designer fashion labels. Its main hub is The Intersection (of Oxford Street and Glenmore Road), home to brands such as Bassike, Camilla and Marc, Dion Lee, Rachel Gilbert, Zimmermann, and more. Other notable boutiques on the strip include Parlour X and resin jewelry and homewares specialists Dinosaur Designs.

Address: 1 Dalgal Wy., Forest Lodge NSW 2037, Australia Phone: +61 2 9049 8885

This artisan produce and dining district, set in the former Rozelle Tram Depot dating to 1904, houses restaurants and food and drink vendors. It also hosts a boutique growers market on Sundays.

Queen Victoria Building

Address: 455 George St., Sydney NSW 2000, Australia Phone: +61 2 9264 9209

Set in an elegant 1898 building, thi CBD shopping venue includes high-fashion brands like Coach, Furla, and Bally, as well as toys, books, and homewares. Australian brands include Hunter's Cashmere Collection, Cue, and R. M. Williams for handcrafted footwear and accessories. Check out dining venues such as the Tea Room QVB, where you can channel your inner Victorian-era aristocrat over high tea.

The Rocks and Circular Quay : Sydney’s first neighborhood, The Rocks still features cobblestone streets and plenty of colonial-era buildings, among them several characterful pubs. Adjoining this historic area, the buzzy ferry hub of Circular Quay is home to the Sydney Opera House and Museum of Contemporary Art.

Darling Harbour : This waterside neighborhood — home to the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, Imax, Madame Tussauds, Australian National Maritime Museum, and a variety of dining and entertainment options — is ideal for families. A number of Sydney Harbour sightseeing cruises depart from here, too.

Central Business District (CBD) : Skyscrapers shoot upwards from the heart of the city, also home to the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and the lion’s share of Sydney’s art galleries, museums, theaters, and hotels. Previously not much of a culinary destination, the area’s bars and restaurants are now among the city’s best.

Eastern Suburbs : Stretching from the eastern edge of the CBD to the golden sands of Bondi Beach, Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs are dotted with some of the city's finest restaurants, with key dining and nightlife neighborhoods including Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Potts Point, and Bondi Beach.

Northern Beaches : The scenic 30-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay to Manly, at the southern tip of the city's Northern Beaches, is a quintessential Sydney experience (whale sightings are common during the winter months). Manly is also the dining and nightlife hub of the Northern Beaches, which stretches for more than 18 miles, ending at Palm Beach.

Sydney has a humid subtropical climate, with rain spread fairly evenly through the year for a total annual rainfall of about 47 inches. In general, the weather is mild.

Summer (December-February) temperatures reach the high 70s, with humidity in the 60 to 70 percent range. Autumn (March-May) sees less humidity and comfortable temperatures. In winter (June-August), temperatures fall as low as the mid-40s and rainfall is higher. Spring (September-November) becomes warmer with less humidity than summer.

July is the coolest month, and January is generally the hottest. August and September are the driest months of the year.

The following are average Fahrenheit lows and highs by month:

January 67°F - 80°F February 67°F - 80°F March 65°F - 77°F April 59°F - 73°F May 53°F - 68°F June 49°F - 64°F July 47°F- 63°F August 48°F - 65°F September 53°F - 70°F October 57°F - 74°F November 61°F - 75°F December 65°F - 78°F

Opal : The city's contactless smart card ticketing system for public transportation in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, the Hunter Valley, and the Illawarra. Add value to the card and use it to pay your fares (or make contactless payments with your credit or debit card).

AnyTrip : Lets you track public transport vehicles in real time with a live map. It also shows upcoming departures from a variety of stations.

Citymapper : This multimodal trip planner checks nearby departures in real time and finds the fastest route combining metro, train, bus, ferry, light rail, taxi, car share, walking, or cycling.

Transit : Plan a trip with real-time data and next departures from your current location, locate nearby Uber drivers, get pickup time estimates, and book through the app.

Moovit : Combines real-time data from Transport NSW with live information from the user community, giving fastest routes, stops along the way, and alerts when your stop is approaching.

Maps.Me: Download a map of Sydney to use offline. It's particularly handy for walking trails.

Uber : For airport pickup, local rides, or 30-day advance reservations.

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  • 1.1 Sydney CBD
  • 1.2 Greater Sydney
  • 2.1 History
  • 2.3 Climate
  • 2.4 Architecture
  • 2.5 Itineraries
  • 2.6 Visitor information
  • 3.1 By plane
  • 3.4 By train
  • 3.5 By boat
  • 4.1.1 Tickets
  • 4.1.2 Signage
  • 4.1.3 By suburban train
  • 4.1.4 By metro
  • 4.1.5 By bus
  • 4.1.6 By light rail
  • 4.1.7 By ferry
  • 4.1.8 By private ferry
  • 4.1.9 By chartered boat
  • 4.1.10 Access
  • 4.2.1 Travel times and routes
  • 4.2.2 Tolls
  • 4.2.3 Parking
  • 4.2.4 Sydney driving speeds
  • 4.3 By taxi
  • 4.4 By rideshare
  • 4.5 By bike
  • 4.6 On foot
  • 5.1 Sydney Harbour
  • 6.1 Beaches
  • 6.2 Kayak and canoe
  • 6.5.1 Rugby/Footy in Winter
  • 6.5.2 Cricket in Summer
  • 6.6 Bike and skate
  • 6.7.1 Stage
  • 6.7.2 Classical Music
  • 6.7.3 Opera
  • 6.7.4 Ballet
  • 6.7.6 Gig Guide
  • 6.9 Drag shows
  • 6.10.1 January
  • 6.10.2 February
  • 6.10.3 March
  • 6.10.4 April
  • 6.10.6 June
  • 6.10.7 July
  • 6.10.8 September
  • 6.10.9 October
  • 6.10.10 November
  • 6.10.11 December
  • 7.1 Universities
  • 8.1 Currency exchange
  • 8.2 Opening hours
  • 8.3 Souvenirs
  • 8.4 Fashion
  • 8.5 Food and essentials
  • 8.6 Postcards
  • 9.1 Fine dining
  • 9.2 Takeaway
  • 9.3 Eat streets
  • 9.4 Modern Australian
  • 9.5 Multicultural
  • 9.6 Food festivals
  • 9.7 Vegetarian and special diets
  • 9.8 Customs
  • 9.9 Dress codes
  • 9.10 Publications
  • 11.1 Budget
  • 11.2 Mid-range
  • 11.3 Splurge
  • 11.4 Serviced apartments
  • 13.2 Violent crime
  • 13.3 Public transport after dark
  • 13.4 Beachgoing
  • 14.1 Smoke haze
  • 16.1 Consulates
  • 16.2 Other services

Sydney is the Harbour City, and is the oldest and most cosmopolitan city in Australia with an enviable reputation as one of the world's most beautiful and livable cities. Brimming with history, nature, culture, art, fashion, cuisine and design, it is set next to miles of ocean coastline and sandy surf beaches. The city is also home to the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, two of the most iconic structures on the planet. The gateway to Australia, it lies on the deepest natural harbour in the world and stretches for 140 kilometres.

Sydney is a major global city and an important finance centre in the Asia-Pacific region. The city is surrounded by nature and national parks, which extend through the suburbs and right to the shores of the harbour.

Districts [ edit ]

Sydney has a compact city core surrounded by sprawling suburbs, forming a vast metropolitan area. The city central is shaped roughly like a stubby palm-up left hand: the heel of the thumb as City South, the thumb as the district Darling Harbour, the first finger as The Rocks, the palm with the second and third fingers as City Centre - CBD and the rest as City East.

Sydney CBD [ edit ]

sydney travel info

Greater Sydney [ edit ]

Greater Sydney, the sprawling suburbs in the vast city metropolitan area surrounding Central Sydney spread for up to 150 km westward from the CBD. The traveller visiting the suburbs will find less crowded beaches, parks, cheaper shopping, commercial centres, cultural festivals, hidden gems and the many national parks within the metropolitan area.

sydney travel info

Understand [ edit ]

History [ edit ].

sydney travel info

While originally settled 60,000 years ago, Sydney is the oldest European settlement in Australia , having been established as a British penal colony on 26 January 1788 by Arthur Phillip. This day is now celebrated as Australia Day to mark the establishment of a new nation, although also regarded by many as Invasion Day that marked the beginning of the British appropriation of Aboriginal land. The settlement was named "Sydney" after Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney, who was the British Home Secretary at that time.

People [ edit ]

Sydney is one of the most cosmopolitan cities on the planet, with a bit less than one third of its population born overseas. European settlement rapidly displaced the Aboriginal people of the Sydney area with colonists largely coming from England, Ireland and Scotland. The Australian gold rush attracted more immigrants, including a significant number of Chinese, with about one in six Australians with convict descent also having some Chinese ancestry. In the early 20th century, Sydney continued to attract immigrants - mostly from the UK and Ireland, with the White Australia Policy preventing non-European peoples (and even Southern Europeans) from settling. Australia's immigration patterns, and consequently, that of Sydney, changed significantly after World War II, when migrants began to arrive from countries as diverse as Italy, Greece, Germany, the Netherlands, China, New Zealand, India, the Philippines, Poland, Lebanon, Iraq, Vietnam, Thailand, South Africa and the Pacific Islands. Sydney's culture, food and general outlook well reflect these contributions to the majority Anglo-Celtic institutions and social establishment.

Sydney is recognised worldwide for its vibrant LGBT community. Every year, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is celebrated on the first weekend in March, drawing people from all over Australia and the world for the celebrations.

Sydney was the centre of the world's attention in September 2000 when the city hosted the Summer Olympics - announced by the IOC Chairman at the closing ceremony to be "the best games ever". The Olympics saw a major building and renovation program take hold of Sydney, positioning it as one of the great world cities of the 21st century.

Climate [ edit ]

Sydney enjoys over 300 sunny days each year, and it's a year-round destination. Avoid the hottest days for energetic outside activities.

  • Summer (December to February) is the best time to enjoy Sydney's beachside outdoor lifestyle. Temperatures usually reach around 26°C (about 79°F) but it can be very hot, particularly further inland and to the west, with temperatures climbing to over 40°C (104°F) for a few days each summer. Summer days can be humid, and sometimes have searing dry winds, but hot days frequently end with a "southerly buster", a cold front sweeping up from the south, bringing a clearly noticeable drop in temperature, as well as rain and thunder. Within hours, the storm can pass and the evening continues cooler. Hot, windy days can create a risk of bushfire, and on days of severe risk national parks and walking trails may be closed. Occasionally low pressure systems drift down from the tropics, giving periods of more unstable weather. You won't need to pack much more than T-shirts to visit Sydney in summer, but remember your hat and sunglasses. Daylight lasts from 5:45AM to 7:45PM.
  • Autumn (March to May) is still warm with mild nights. There can be good days for the beach in March, but you can't count on it. It is a good time for visiting attractions, going to the zoo, and catching ferries around the harbour without the summer crowds. You may need a warm top for the evenings, especially for May.
  • Winter (June to August) is cool, not cold, except in July. Average July maximum temperatures are 17°C, and daytime temperatures rarely drop below 14°C, but night-time temperatures can fall to below 10°C. Most rain falls as a result of a few off-shore low pressure systems, which usually result in two or three rainy weeks during winter. The Bondi Icebergs will be in the ocean doing their morning laps, but most of Sydney will be well away from the beach. It does not snow in the lower parts of Sydney (but it does snow in the Blue Mountains), and unless you intend spending long periods outside, you can usually get by with just a warm top. Sydney is a year-round city, and only the outdoor water-parks close for the winter. If the beach isn't your scene, and you don't like the heat, winter may be your time to visit. Daylight lasts from 7AM to just before 5PM. Do note that Sydney buildings are a lot colder in winter compared to the US.
  • Spring (September to November). Spring days are great for exploring Sydney's attractions, bushwalking, cycling, and the outdoors. Beaches are generally patrolled from the end of October, and Sydneysiders start flocking to the beaches in November.

Sydney's Western Suburbs, which lie away from the coast, tend to be hotter during the day, colder during the night and not receive as much rain. They miss the afternoon sea breezes and the night-time warming effect of the ocean.

Most public buildings like shopping centres are climate controlled inside. Sydney has a fascination with year-round alfresco dining, where you can find yourself dining mid-winter outdoors with a heater a few tables away. Around 90% of public transport has heating and cooling. For the other 10% climate control consists of an open window. Carry water on a hot day.

Sydney climate and weather information is available online at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology .

Architecture [ edit ]

sydney travel info

Sydney’s skyline is large and widely recognisable. Sydney also possesses a wide diversity of modern and old architectural styles. They range from the simple Francis Greenway's Georgian buildings to Jorn Utzon’s Expressionist Sydney Opera House. Sydney also has many Victorian buildings, such as the Sydney Town Hall and the Queen Victoria Building. The most architecturally significant structures include the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Skyscrapers in Sydney are also large and modern. The tallest building is the 300-m-tall Sydney Tower, seen rising clearly above the rest of the Sydney skyline and can even be seen from distant Wentworthville.

There are also pockets of architecturally significant housing dotted around Sydney's suburbs. The inner-eastern suburb of Paddington is known for its terrace houses, while several inner-west suburbs contain streets lined with so-called federation houses (built around the time of Australian federation in 1901). A well preserved example of federation houses in Sydney is in the Inner West suburb of Burwood. Appian Way is a circular street built around a lawn tennis courts complete with pavilion house. The large houses are all architecturally unique and built on large expanses of land featuring old trees and lovely gardens. Further away on the lower North Shore , Castlecrag is a unique suburb, being planned by the architect Walter Burley Griffin in the 1930s.

Itineraries [ edit ]

  • Walking tour of Sydney - mainly around Central Sydney. Please see separate listing for detailed information.
  • One week in Sydney - some ideas on how to spend a week in and around Sydney, exploring different areas

Visitor information [ edit ]

  • Sydney Tourism [dead link] website

Get in [ edit ]

sydney travel info

By plane [ edit ]

Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport ( SYD  IATA ) is Australia's busiest airport and the main gateway to eastern Australia. It is 9 km from the City centre in Southern Sydney on the northern shores of Botany Bay. Sydney Airport is the oldest continually operated commercial airport anywhere in the world. There are direct flights to Sydney from all the other inhabited continents, as well as some sight-seeing flights over Antarctica. The main ways to get into the city are by train (about $17 one-way on the Airport & East Hills line), or by taxi ($40-50 to the Rocks ).

There are no practical alternatives: the nearest domestic airport is in Newcastle over 100 km to the north, with limited and generally more expensive flights. A new airport is being built in Western Sydney that will begin operations from 2026.

By car [ edit ]

It is around nine hours to drive from Melbourne or from Brisbane . If you're not used to driving long distances on boring roads, you may like to break up the trip over two or more days. Adelaide is around fifteen hours drive; it is usual to allow three days for the drive from Adelaide. The Hume Motorway/Highway between Sydney and Melbourne is a dual-carriageway high-quality road. The same applies for the Brisbane drive as well (except for two 12-km stretches). While it has high-quality sections, it also has two points that stick out like thumbs; Hexham and Coffs Harbour, and also carries high traffic volumes.

  • Melbourne –Sydney: 862 km via Albury-Wodonga (Hume Motorway/Highway/Freeway) (M31).
  • Adelaide –Sydney: 1422 km via Mildura (A20) or 1659 km via Broken Hill (A32) or 1377 km via Ouyen (A20/B12).
  • Brisbane –Sydney: 873 km via the coast (Pacific Highway/Motorway) (M1/A1) or 961 km via Armidale (New England Highway/Hunter Expressway/Cunningham Highway) (M15/A15). The Pacific Highway passes through more towns, attractions, and has more facilities compared with the New England Highway, but it can get congested moving through the towns around holiday times. Although the Pacific Highway route follows the coast, you won't see the ocean as the entire route is motorway standard. There are rivers all the way up the coast, and the river mouths are wide, causing the road bridges and the towns to be a little inland. If you have time, look for the tourist route diversions to see more of the Mid-North Coast and Northern Rivers on the way down (the beaches will be less crowded than Sydney!)

If you are renting a car, check the daily distance allowances and any one-way charge that may apply when driving from less popular destinations to major cities. Cars may be rented at the airport and elsewhere from major rental companies, or at smaller, less conveniently located, cheaper companies.

Ride-sharing can be arranged with other travellers. You can find a wide range of carpool offers on the Internet or in hostel noticeboards, etc. Usual warnings apply.

There are tolls applicable to most motorways in Sydney, but there are no toll gates where you can pay. See "Tolls" section below.

By bus [ edit ]

Coach companies operate to Sydney from all capital cities, and many New South Wales regional centres. The Sydney coach terminal is adjacent to Sydney Central train station in the City South . Follow the signs.

Coach travel to Sydney is usually quicker, cheaper and more frequent than train travel. Online and advance booking specials are usually available.

  • Greyhound Coaches has the most extensive bus network in Australia, but there are a few others.
  • Priors Scenic Express operates a coach service from Parramatta, Liverpool and Campbelltown stations to the Southern Highlands, Kangaroo Valley and the South Coast

Local buses run from the Blue Mountains and Wollongong to Sydney’s borders. You may have to change buses to continue your journey.

By train [ edit ]

sydney travel info

Taking long distance trains from any other major city in Australia to Sydney is not a popular option, with flying or driving often being preferred for being faster and cheaper. Nevertheless Australia does have a functioning, albeit slow, network that may be worth considering if you are not in a hurry or want to get to some remote locations, and taking the NSW TrainLink sleeper services linking Sydney with Melbourne and Brisbane can be cost and time effective, by avoiding an extra hotel stay, and making the most of your days at either end. Unlike the Indian Pacific, these are not luxury trains, but part of the regular state run network, so fares are generally competitive with flying once taxes/fees and getting to and from the airport are factored in.

The New South Wales long distance train service NSW Trainlink Regional , (13 22 32 within Australia) runs at least daily services to Sydney from Brisbane , Melbourne , Canberra and many regions of New South Wales including the Mid-North Coast , New England , the Central West and the Southern Highlands . It also services Broken Hill weekly. Travelling time from Melbourne and Brisbane is around 12 hours. Fares range between $50 and $120 for standard class seats and tickets should be purchased in advance either online or by phone. Tickets are only available from larger stations, though it's advisable to book online. The tracks in NSW are often slow and twisty, and generally travel by road is faster, though invariably more stressful, particularly on the Pacific Highway during the summer holidays, when Sydneysiders head up the coast in vast herds of SUVs and caravans.

One way to make efficient use of travel time is to use the NSW TrainLink sleeper services between Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. These leave every evening and allow you to save on a hotel stay at the other end, along with losing no days to travel. Sleeper cabins have two berths in a bunk layout (full bedding in included), and each has a hot shower, sink and toilet (shared between two adjacent cabins), as well as a buffet car with hot meals and a continental breakfast (which can be ordered to your cabin). Food is "no nonsense", affordable and perfectly fine, if not a gastronomic adventure. Regular seating cars are also available on overnight services, but are not recommended if you actually want a good nights sleep and arrive ready for a day of activities. Sleeper berths cost $234 (adult full fare - there are numerous concessions available so check when booking) and need to be booked by phone on 13 22 32 within Australia. Single occupancy is available if you purchase the second bunk.

The Indian Pacific (13 21 47 within Australia or +61 8 8213 4592 internationally) is a luxury train service run by private company Journey Beyond (formerly Great Southern) and runs from Perth to Sydney via Adelaide . Adult fares from Perth start from around $2,100 p.p. during the low season. Children get 20% off when travelling with an adult. Note that Journey Beyond has partnered with the Qantas frequent flyer program , and it's possible to redeem Qantas points for reward seats on Journey Beyond trains. The train departs from Perth on Wednesdays and arrives at Sydney on Saturdays. The train is more expensive than flights from Perth or Adelaide, and takes longer than driving yourself, so this journey is really for rail enthusiasts who want to see the interior of Australia at a leisurely pace while travelling in luxury. See Across Australia by train for more information.

All long distance (NSW Trainlink and Great Southern Railway) trains to Sydney terminate at Sydney's Central Station in the south of the CBD area . Travellers can transfer to Sydney Trains, light rail, city buses, and taxis. It is also easy to transfer to other long distance trains and coaches. There is short term metered parking so you can meet the trains on the platform. There are ATMs, a small choice of food outlets, cafes open until late, and a railway heritage society display and bookshop in the terminal.

The NSW Trainlink Intercity run fairly frequent services throughout the day from close regional areas: Newcastle and the Hunter Valley via the Central Coast , Goulburn via the Southern Highlands , Bomaderry via the Illawarra and Bathurst via the Blue Mountains . Intercity trains do not require a reservation, and the opal card is still valid. On the core routes as far as Lithgow (Blue Mountains line), Newcastle (Central Coast line) and Kiama (South Coast / Illawarra line) run hourly or half hourly late into the night, and start early morning. Fares are very competitive, but onward bus connections from smaller stations are often very poor, especially in the Blue Mountains and parts of the Illawarra. Bikes are accepted on trains (but be considerate, especially around peak times and busy weekends), and can be a good solution to the onward travel problem. Core routes are all operated using double decker electric trains. Travel onto some of the outer lines requires a transfer to a (rather cramped) diesel railcar service. This is true for the Southern Highlands line (change at Campelltown), on the Illawarra/South Coast line for all stops south of Kiama, and for the Hunter Line (change at either Hamilton or Newcastle Interchange). The timetables are usually lined up fairly well to allow for easy interchange. Trains through to Bathurst are extremely irregular (2–3 a day), and most journeys require a change at Lithgow to a connecting bus service. Note that there is no catering whatsoever on Intercity services , and that journeys can be up to three hours, even though the distance might seem short on the map, so bring food and drink with you.

By boat [ edit ]

sydney travel info

Cruise ships visiting Sydney generally dock at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay or at the White Bay Cruise Terminal.

Circular Quay is a spectacular place to dock, right by the Harbour Bridge and across Sydney Cove from the Opera House, and you can walk off the ship into the city at The Rocks and then to the City Centre.

White Bay in the Inner West is not easy walking distance to anywhere. On cruise days there is a ferry operating to Darling Harbour, as well as taxis and transfer services organised by the cruise companies (usually to the city and airport). Cruisers embarking from White Bay have a spectacular sail away, first going under the Harbour Bridge and then passing by the Opera House.

At peak times some cruises can be anchored off Taronga Zoo (Athol Buoy, west of Bradleys Head). If this happens to you, you will be tendered to Circular Quay passenger terminal to complete immigration, etc.

  • Sydney cruise ship information

Get around [ edit ]

By public transport [ edit ].

The public transport system consists of suburban trains, metro, buses, ferries and light rail and can get you virtually anywhere in the city as well as much of the outer regions every day of the year. Public transportation in Sydney can be complicated, even when travelling solely in the CBD and inner suburbs. For short distances in the CBD it can be faster to walk than taking public transport.

Smartphone applications such as Google Maps, TripView, Moovit and Arrivo Sydney use live transit information for all modes of transport are very useful for public transport trips within the Sydney region. Tripview is best for a known route that you want the latest times. Moovit or Google Maps are best if don't know the route, and need timing and stop-by-stop information. These apps are available on iOS and Android.

  • Transport Infoline , ☏ +61 13 15 00 . 24 hours . Information on fares and route planning for all public transport in Sydney. Available online and by telephone.  
  • TransitShops , Circular Quay (cnr of Loftus & Alfred Sts), Wynyard under Wynyard Park . Information on fares and route planning for all public transport in Sydney, all ticket sales, accepts credit cards.  

Tickets [ edit ]

sydney travel info

Sydney's public transport ticketing system is called Opal . The system covers all train, metro, bus, public ferry and light rail services in Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and the surrounding regions.

Most visitors will find it easiest to use a contactless credit-card / debit-card (Visa/Mastercard/American Express) anywhere you can use an Opal Card on any public transport. If each adult traveller has a credit-card then this is far more convenient than purchasing a re-loadable card, and you don't have to worry about residual amounts remaining on the card when you leave. All the same benefits apply to using a contactless card as apply to using an Opal card.

However if you would rather use an Opal card (you have children, or don't have a contactless credit/debit card) you can obtain a free reloadable Opal smartcard at most newsagents and convenience stores or wherever you see the logo. You will need to add at least $10 credit (adult) when you buy it (or $35 if you buy at the airport station). Cards come in adult and child forms. You can not obtain reloadable Opal cards at public transport stops (except the airport stations) unless the stop includes a retail outlet as part of the complex. Adding credit to an Opal card is known as 'topping up'. All Opal retailers provide top-up facilities. Top-up machines are available at most railway stations, all ferry wharves, and some light rail stops. All machines accept credit and debit cards (Visa/Mastercard with PIN), some also accept cash. You can also top up with a credit card on the web, or with the Opal app - but you must allow an hour before you travel to allow the top-up to reach the Opal reader.

Daily fares are capped at $17.80 from Monday to Thursdays and $8.90 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. There is no need to worry about zone boundaries or having the right ticket because the system will automatically calculate the fare for each trip. Other benefits include weekly caps, and off-peak discounts for trains (on weekends and after 10AM and before 3PM weekdays). There are no off-peak fares for buses or ferries, and this can make train journeys cheaper than the bus off-peak. After making eight 'journeys' during a week (the Opal week runs from Monday to Sunday), all subsequent travel is half-price for the rest of the week. Any trip made within 1 hour of the previous trip is considered a continuation of a journey. No matter how much you travel, Opal card users will never be charged more than $50 in any Monday to Sunday week (not including the Airport Station access fees, and other OpalPay services). If you change modes of transport during your journey (e.g. from bus to train) the system will provide a $2 discount on the fare of the second and subsequent trips.

'Single Trip' Opal tickets are available at many top-up machines for trains and ferries. Fares are 20% more expensive than a reloadable Opal or contactless card and you get none of the caps and discounts that are on offer. You need to buy a ticket for every trip you make (i.e. you need to buy a second ticket at the start of a return journey), so these are best avoided unless you are making a limited number of trips.

To use an Opal card or contactless card, simply hold the card up to a reader to tap-on at the start of your trip, and tap-off at the end. This applies to all transport except for the Manly ferry, when you only need to tap-on. You must tap on before you board trains, light rail and ferries. For buses, the readers are located by the entry and exit doors of the bus. Not all wharves and stations have barriers, so you'll need to remember to tap off at the Opal poles at the end or you'll be charged the maximum fare for your route. The readers on buses activate as you are approaching the stop, or soon after the bus has halted. You can check how much credit is remaining on your card every time you tap on or off - just look at the screens attached to the reader or ticket barrier. If you're using a contactless card you can check your fares online the following day.

You can register your Opal card on the Opal website. If you lose a registered card then it can be blocked by phone or the website and the balance transferred to a new card. If you lose an unregistered card then you also lose your balance. You need to enter an Australian phone number to register your card, although it isn't used during the registration process. If you don't have an Australian phone number yet, you may want to know that an Australian phone number would look something like 0400 123 456.

Beware when you leave Sydney that Opal cards can only be refunded to an Australian bank account. No refunds can be made by cash or credit card. If you have more than one card, you can transfer the balance between cards (allow 24 hours) if you register them to one account.

It is curious that you can't use American Express at machines at stops to top-up or purchase single trip tickets, but you can use American Express to tap the readers directly, or to purchase Opal Cards at the airport, or at 7-Eleven.

Children aged 15 years and under are entitled to a discount on most public transport. Children 3 years and under travel free.

Signage [ edit ]

At all of Sydney's public transport stations/stops, you will see a lollipop sign with a single capitalised letter and a coloured background that indicates the type of transport service available (i.e. train, bus, light rail or ferry). The sign "T" in orange means train, "M" in teal means metro, "B" in blue means bus", F" in green means ferry and "L" in red means light rail (Tram). You may find that many bus stops still don't have the blue "B" signage as they are still being progressively upgraded. Some bus stops also might say "T-way", referring to a name for bus rapid transit (BRT) lines. A purple "C" means Coach however, these are very rarely used and on the rare occasion on if they are used, it is usually a train replacement coach.

By suburban train [ edit ]

Sydney has a vast suburban rail network operated by Sydney Trains , covering 882 km of track and 176 stations. The train network will take passengers to most of the metropolitan area. Trains service every station in the metropolitan area at least every 30 minutes. Frequency is higher in the city, and major centres (Chatswood, Parramatta, Bondi Junction, the Airport, etc) usually see a train every 10 minutes or so. Peak times (7-9:30AM and 4:30-7PM) have more frequent and also crowded trains, as well as some express services that skip more stations. Expect congestion around Central and Town Hall.

sydney travel info

You may get a clean modern train, comfortable seating and clear station announcements. Alternatively, you could get a train full of people packed in like sardines, with station announcements that are barely audible. Prepare yourself with your smartphone network map, just in case. All Sydney Trains are air-conditioned.

Most train services do not stop at every station and do not travel to the furthest extent of the line. Look at the departure screens at the station concourse which indicate when the next train will arrive, its destination, the platform it will depart from, and the stations it will stop at. Alternatively, you can also listen to announcements that will regularly play before and when a train arrives at the platform. Or simply download an app that gives you platforms and times (with real time updates if you have mobile internet).

Outside of operating hours, between midnight (1AM on Fridays and Saturdays) and 5AM, NightRide buses run at least every hour. NightRide buses stop at most stations and a few additional stops, but they do not travel on the same routes. If you intend catching a NightRide bus home, check the NightRide route map. Buses can be crowded on Friday and Saturday nights.

Exercise caution whilst travelling on trains after 8PM, particularly if the carriage is mostly deserted and if travelling to western and south western Sydney, as it is not uncommon for undesirables to be found on trains during these times. 99% of the time they will not cause you any more trouble other than being loud, vulgar and obnoxious, but it is best to avoid them as unwanted altercations may follow. Moving to other carriages would be a good idea. The more modern trains have Emergency Help Points in every carriage, allowing contact with the train guard. Otherwise, travel in the middle carriages, near the guard's compartment (marked with a blue light). The guard has contact with police and the driver if there is any trouble on the train. Emergency Help Points are also available at every station.

Check for track work before leaving for the station; Sydney Trains shut down part of the network most weekends and will transfer passengers to buses if lines are closed. The process may add half an hour or more to a typical journey. Track work is usually on weekends or late at night on weekdays and the track work timetable is available on the Sydney trains website several months in advance (check before you leave home for the days you are visiting).

Note: The Bankstown Line (   T3   ) between Bankstown and Sydenham will be closed until 2025 to be converted into a metro line as part of the Sydney Metro Southwest. Buses will be run to replace the line until then.

By metro [ edit ]

sydney travel info

As of March 2024, Sydney only has one metro line: the Sydney Metro Northwest.

  • Sydney Metro Northwest – operates to the Macquarie Park Northwest Hills District of the city from Chatswood to Tallawong. Services operate on automated driverless trains at a turn up and go frequency with similar operating hours to the rest of the rail network. Services are marked with a teal-coloured 'M' in a roundel at stations and on the rail network map. The line serves areas that are mostly residential or offices. The line is integrated with the suburban train network and you can interchange between the services at Chatswood and Epping stations.
  • Sydney Metro City – this will be an extension from the Sydney Metro Northwest in Chatswood down to Sydenham passing North Sydney and Sydney CBD (including major stations such as Central and Barangaroo) and services are expected to commence in 2024.

sydney travel info

Sydney has an extensive bus network. Some buses run from distant suburbs such as those on the Northern Beaches and North West all the way to the city, but there are also shorter feeders to suburban rail stations from surrounding suburbs.

It is a good idea to plan your bus trips in advance where possible. Transportnsw.info has a helpful trip planner feature to assist you, as well as route maps and schedules to print. Most bus stops have timetables posted, as well as a route map for the routes servicing that bus stop.

You must flag down buses with an outstretched hand if you want them to stop for you and you must press the STOP button on board to disembark. They will not automatically stop unless they are signalled to do so.

On most buses there is nothing on the bus to tell you which stop you are approaching or which stop you are at. There are no poster maps on the bus either. If you're heading into unfamiliar territory, either take a paper timetable to track your route, or make sure you have an app downloaded to track your route and stops (Tripview/Moovit, etc). Also, if you take a bus marked "Limited Stops" or "Express" (the route number will start with an L or an X or an E), make sure that the bus stops where you want it to. Limited stops services stop only at major stops so they may make you walk around 750 metres or so if they skip your stop. However, express services can run very far from the city without stopping at all, before resuming a normal stopping pattern (express buses only operate during peak hours). All normally numbered buses stop at all stops, so missing your stop or getting off one stop early is a less serious mistake. Red Metrobuses (routes numbers starting with M) are longer route, cross city buses, running at 10- to 20-minute frequencies during their operational hours. These buses sometimes have a screen displaying the next stop and onboard announcements as well. Metrobus stops usually have a name on top of the stand which easily indicates a Metrobus services the particular stop.

There are two main bus termination points in the CBD , at Wynyard and Circular Quay. These two points are separated by a one-stop commuter train trip. You will need to make this trip if connecting from buses arriving from north of the Harbour Bridge to buses heading east or west, or vice versa. There are bus information centres at Wynyard and Circular Quay. During peak hours some buses from the south and west terminate at Town Hall to avoid congestion in the CBD.

All buses are GPS-equipped, so you can use an app like TripView, Google Maps or Citymapper to track arrival times in real time.

A few trunk routes run to the Eastern Suburbs and to Newtown 24 hours a day. Additional services operate late Friday and Saturday night to the Northern Beaches and to the North West.

There are few transport apps available that indicate from 0 to 3 how crowded a bus is. If you want to go a long distance and can see the next bus is full, you can consider waiting for the next one.

By light rail [ edit ]

sydney travel info

There are three light rail (tram) lines operating in Sydney as of April 2020. The   L1   Inner West Line runs from Central to Dulwich Hill, which is useful for travelling between Sydney City and western Darling Harbour , the casino, the Fish Markets, Pyrmont, and the Inner West. Be aware that the light rail to Darling Harbour and the Casino can get extremely crowded, even on Sundays, so if you're only going a short distance (Central to Paddy's Market, for example), it'd be faster to walk instead. Beyond the casino is a spacious ride through the inner west.

The   L2   Randwick Line runs down George St, connecting Circular Quay to Central, before continuing on to Surry Hills, Moore Park, and Randwick. This is a great way to move through the length of the inner city without going below ground.

A third line, the   L3   Kingsford Line , branches off from the   L2   at Moore Park and heads to Kingsford and opened in April 2020.

The Westmead–Carlingford line of the Parramatta Light Rail (likely to be numbered L4) will open in 2024; the route will start next to Westmead station, wind its way through the various hospital precincts in Westmead, then through Parramatta CBD before it takes a turn at Camellia. After the turn, the route follows the old Carlingford line passing Rydalmere and various other smaller suburbs before terminating at Carlingford.

Stage 2 of the Parramatta Light Rail will follow the same route as stage 1 between Westmead and Camellia but will then branch off, heading east towards Meadowbank and then towards Sydney Olympic Park with connections to its future metro station (the Sydney Metro West is opening in 2030). However, it's expected that this will only open in 2031, if not longer.

Unlike buses, the Opal card readers are located at the stops and not on the light rails themselves, so don't forget to tap on and off before and after your ride.

By ferry [ edit ]

sydney travel info

The public Sydney Ferries central hub is at Circular Quay at the north edge of the CBD . Ferries run up the Parramatta River via Balmain and Olympic Park, around to Darling Harbour, across to Luna Park, across to the Zoo, out to Manly, and out to Watsons Bay. They also go to Garden island and Cockatoo Island. They run only within Sydney harbour, so you can't get a ferry to Bondi. Ferries run to most destinations at least every hour, with additional peak services, and half hourly services to Manly and Barangaroo/Pyrmont Bay.

At Circular Quay and Barangaroo, each wharf has a large screen showing ferry departures and general information. Find your destination on the screen, which shows when your ferry service is departing and from which wharf. Note that at Circular Quay, it will show the services for all nine lines, however, in Barangaroo, only   F3   , and   F4   are shown.

More than just a utilitarian means of transport, ferries are a great way to see Sydney Harbour. The best ferry excursion for visitors is the   F1   Circular Quay eastward to Manly or, for a shorter and slightly cheaper trip, the   F9   to Watsons Bay. Be prepared to take photographs of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge as you leave Circular Quay. Ferries from Circular Quay westward to Balmain and Barangaroo offer great excuses to experience sailing under the Harbour Bridge. The   F2   Taronga Zoo ferry line is also an experience for some, and offers a direct ferry line from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo, the iconic zoo of Sydney.

The Manly and inner-harbour (   F1   ,   F5   ,   F6   ,   F7   ) ferries can get busy, but it is very rare that they reach capacity. Opal's $2.60 Sunday deal is very popular, especially on sunny 'beach' days, with the viewing decks becoming tightly packed and the queuing chaotic. If you're only in Sydney a short time, then you may wish to spend the extra to travel on weekday and avoid the associated hassles with crowds on a Sunday.

At peak periods, the   F3   and   F8   Parramatta River ferries can and do fill to capacity , and you should ensure that you have an alternative way for completing your trip. Passenger counts are strictly enforced, and there is no effective queue meaning that missing one ferry is no guarantee you will get on the next. The main peak period is on sunny weekend afternoons returning from Parramatta and all pickup points along the river, and during the Vivid festival heading towards the city. School holidays and weekdays 4PM-6PM at Barangaroo heading to Parramatta can be busy too (you are okay if you board at Circular Quay where the ferry originates) as commuters, tourists, and day trippers compete to get home. Cockatoo Island is an awkward place to be stuck, so allow enough time to get the ferry the other way and back if you need to.

By private ferry [ edit ]

Captain Cook Ferries and Manly Fast Ferries also run ferry services complementing and competing with the government contracted Sydney Ferries. Manly Fast Ferries runs a service between Circular Quay and Manly. Captain Cook ferries run a Darling Harbour to Circular Quay, Barangaroo to Manly and services around the Harbour and to Harbour Islands. They also run a Zoo Express to Taronga Zoo wharf, with a combined entry pass the same price as the Sydney Ferries ferry. You'll get a nicer ferry and commentary on the way. They also run a Manly to Watsons Bay ferry that offers a significant time saving over the ferry via Circular Quay. You can tap your Opal Card or credit card to pay for the Manly Fast Ferry services, using a service called OpalPay - however, you will not receive any of the frequent travel benefits.

By chartered boat [ edit ]

Charter a boat on the Harbour to get you across the water. Lots of services are available around the Harbour, with self-drive boat hire , luxury boat hire and more. Around New Years Eve, and Australia day the Harbour is at its busiest so take care to organise ahead of time.

Access [ edit ]

Many Sydney Trains stations are easy access, with lifts to all platforms and ramps operated by station staff to allow wheelchair access to trains. All Sydney Metro stations are fully accessible with lifts and level access between platforms and trains. Some buses have disabled access. All light rail stops are wheelchair accessible. Access to the light rail is via an on-board ramp. Wheelchair friendly buses, stations, and routes are indicated on the timetable, and in the real time apps.

If you are spending time in the CBD, and visiting near-by attractions like Manly, Bondi (and the Eastern suburbs), Pyrmont or the Inner West, then a car may be more hassle than it's worth, with congestion, complex one-way schemes, and expensive and time-restricted parking. However if you are keen to explore the northern beaches, outer suburbs or travel further afield, a car may be the best option for travelling. Check the daily distance allowances and any one-way charge that may apply when driving from less popular destinations to major cities. Cars may be rented at the airport and elsewhere from major rental companies or at smaller, cheaper companies.

Travel times and routes [ edit ]

Sydney traffic is always busy, but outside of peak weekday times travelling by car is usually at least as quick as any method of public transport. Congestion can be expected on roads to the city 6:30AM-9:30AM, and roads away from the city 4:30PM-6:30PM. Allow double the normal travel time during these periods - longer if you are using motorways. Congestion is considerably worse and longer in both directions during the Friday afternoon peak. Some roads experience congestion at other times and roads heading to shopping, sports, parks and beaches can be heavily congested on weekends also - particularly on Saturday mornings and Saturday evenings. Roads around Bondi Beach and the other eastern suburbs beaches experience gridlock on summer weekends, with buses often caught in the same traffic as cars.

Roads are generally well signposted to the next major suburb or suburbs along the route, and all (except freeways) have road names. A handful of cross-city roads are signposted by alphanumeric code. The airport is signposted from many major routes with an aeroplane symbol.

Travel times from the city centre to the Sydney outskirts can take around 45 minutes in good traffic.

Tolls [ edit ]

Some motorways, tunnels and bridges charge tolls between $2 and $8 depending on the road and distance. There is no logic behind which ones charge and which ones don't - the reasons are all historical and political. Toll roads are indicated by the word TOLL or TOLL E-e on the signboard when joining the road. Tolls are charged on the:

  • M1/A4 Harbour Bridge and Tunnel (southbound)
  • M1 Eastern Distributor (northbound only)
  • M2 Hills Motorway
  • M2 Lane Cove Tunnel
  • Cross City Tunnel
  • WestLink M7
  • M5 South-Western Motorway east of Liverpool
  • M5 East (note that the toll is different from the M5 South-Western Motorway), east of Beverly Hills to Brighton-le-Sands
  • M4 Western Motorway (east of Church Street), including the M4–M8 link
  • Westconnex M8, including the M4–M8 link
  • M11 Northconnex
  • A8 Falcon Street entrance to the M1 Warringah Freeway northbound

If you want to plan a toll-free route, you can avoid the Cross City Tunnel, M2, M4, M5, M7, M8 or A8 Falcon Street on-ramp fairly easily. However, it is hard to avoid the harbour crossings if you are going to the CBD from Manly , the Northern Beaches or the zoo by car. If you're using a GPS check the toll-free routes, because outside of peak some toll roads offer little time saving.

All rental cars come with a way to pay tolls. They each charge their own service fees that can be a daily flat fee, or an administration fee and tolls. Some rental car companies register the licence plate, so you have no option other than to use their toll service.

If you are managing the tolls yourself you need to have a pass or a tag .

  • A pass (also called an e-pass ) is the simplest way to pay tolls. You can pay with a pass up to 48 hours after your travel on a tollway. Depending on the provider, you can register your licence plate on the website, or you can download an app and pay as you travel. Pass providers charge additional fees on top of the actual toll. All provider passes work on all toll roads - pick the one that works for you.
  • A tag (also called an E-tag ) is a transponder stuck to the inside of your windscreen. This may involve an upfront payment or deposit and/or monthly fees. You will also need to apply and have the tag posted to you in advance of travel. The advantage is that there is often no surcharge applied to the actual toll itself, so it would likely only make sense for extended stays.

The Sydney Motorways website provides links to all tag and pass providers.

Not paying a toll within three days of driving on a toll road will incur a $15 administration fee in addition to the toll. If you are in a rental car, the rental car company will charge an additional fee for this to your credit card.

Parking [ edit ]

Parking in and around the city requires some consideration. Much of the available parking space in Sydney's centre and suburbs is time limited, and fees can apply.

Parking your car in the City Centre in parking stations is always possible but can be very expensive if you don't plan properly. Expect to pay up to $90 for three hours at some central parking lots if you just drive up. Prices generally reduce significantly on weekends however with some car parks charging $15-20 flat fee for full day parking. Reduced parking charges are also made on weekdays for early-bird parking, where you must enter and leave within prescribed times. For example you can park all day at the Opera House for $16 as long as you enter before 10AM and leave 3PM-7PM. There is no grace period, so you cannot get out even one minute before 3PM, and you will be charged the day parking rate of $42 if you are 10 seconds late. Most city parking lots offer reduced flat fees (around $15-$25) for evening and weekend parking. Booking parking online in advance can offer dramatic savings, with offers as low as $10 for all day parking sometimes available.

Street parking in the CBD is generally only possible before 8AM and after 6:30PM on weekdays and, even then, is almost invariably metered until 10PM at $2.20-3.30 per hour. On weekends, most parking spaces have a 4 hour limit, again metered at $1.10-2.20 per hour. All day street spots are sometimes available in the Domain/Mrs Macquarie's Chair and Hickson Road, but these spots are often taken up by commuters, and, since they are metered, an early bird deal may work out cheaper than the metered rate. Parking meters accept credit card payment. Similar prices are charged in North Sydney .

City hotels invariably charge for parking for the guests.

Parking in many major suburban centres and beaches can be a matter of spending time cruising and searching for parking spots. Usually parking within easy walking distance of these centres has a time limit restriction - often 2-3 hours. Shopping centre car parks usually have a similar restriction, with fees applying after an initial free period.

Some train stations have all day free commuter parking. At major stations, this can be full before 8AM. Smaller stations with less frequent train service tend to have better parking availability. On weekends it is easy to find a spot in the commuter parking lots. The stations with commuter parking are marked on the Sydney Trains maps.

Parking at some beaches, on summer weekends, can often be almost impossible. Some beaches are in suburban neighbourhoods, without large car parking facilities. Check the appropriate destination guides for more information.

Parking fines in Sydney are $108 if you exceed the allowed parking time or don't pay the fee in a legitimate parking space. Reloading the meter or moving your car within the same parking zone will not get you out of a fine. Parking in a no stopping zone will cost you over $200 (indicated by signs or a solid yellow line near the kerb). If you park illegally and wait with your car, you may find you have the licence place photographed and fined before you have the chance to move on - don't expect a warning. If you park illegally in a disabled spot, the fine is $541. If you do get fined for exceeding time, you will not be fined again the same day so you might as well enjoy your parking spot.

Clearways are no-stopping zones on main roads during peak periods, marked with clearway signs and a broken yellow line on the kerb. Fines will be around $400 to reclaim your car after it is towed away. Clearways also offer parking opportunities if you want to park just after 10AM.

Sydney driving speeds [ edit ]

Speed limits can change frequently, even on the same road. Speed limits drop for areas of pedestrian activity, schools (40 km/h or 30 km/h 8AM-9:30AM and 2:30PM-4PM on school days), roadwork, as well as driving conditions. Some roads have variable speed limits that change during busy traffic times. Every road in Sydney has a signposted speed limit and the only way to be sure of the limit is to pay attention to the signs. You cannot tell the speed limit just by looking at the road. The speed limit is usually 50 km/h on residential streets, 60 km/h to 100 km/h on main roads, and sometimes higher on motorway sections with a max at 110km/h.

Speed limits are extensively enforced, and penalties are severe. Enforcement is mainly by fixed speed cameras, but also by mobile speed cameras (from a speed-camera equipped vehicle parked at the roadside), hand-operated speed "guns" operated by police, and by police highway patrol cars. Speed cameras are installed at many traffic-light controlled intersections, and these cameras also enforce the "stop at red lights" by taking two pictures, the first of the car crossing the stop line (painted on the road) while the light is at red, and the second as the car passes through the intersection (thus proving that it was not simply a case of the car stopping a metre or so past the stop line).

Breaking the speed limit by 10 km/h or less attracts a fine (as at Jan 2018) of $116, by 11-20 km/hr a fine of $269, by 21-30 km/h $462, by 31-45 km/h $884, and over 45 km/h $2,384 with immediate on-the-spot confiscation of driver's licence. Penalties are higher for inexperienced drivers, and in school zones during enforcement hours on school days. In addition, scaled "demerit points" are given to Australian licence holders, resulting in an automatic non-appealable 3 month or 6 month licence suspension when a pre-determined number of demerit points are accumulated by a driver within any 3 year period. Demerit point penalties are doubled during school holidays and during public holiday weekends.

By taxi [ edit ]

sydney travel info

Taxis in Sydney are expensive and notorious for various scams and ripoffs, ranging from mysteriously broken meters to fictitious surcharges and scenic detours, but they can also be the only transport option available to some locations late at night when the trains and regular buses stop. It is almost always faster, cheaper and more convenient to use rideshare services instead.

There are numerous operators. 13cabs is the largest and offers an Uber-style app with tracking and fixed fares. You can also hail cabs off the street: if the light is on, it is available for hire; if the light is off, the cab is occupied. By law, taxi drivers have to take you where you want to go, regardless of your destination, but particularly at busy times like Friday evenings many will refuse rides in the "wrong" direction.

There are two meter rates : a day rate (rate 1) with a flag fall of $3.30, a distance rate of $1.99/km, a "waiting" rate of $0.85/min, and a booking fee of $2.50; and a night rate (rate 2 – applicable to journeys commenced between 10PM–6AM), which adds a 20% surcharge to the distance rate. You can check the rate your taxi is using by looking for a 1 or a 2 next to the current charge: if it is set to 2, it is using the night rate. The so called "waiting" rate is charged whenever the speed drops below 25 km/h. For trips in congested traffic, it is possible for large parts of the trip to be charged at the "waiting" rate. All Sydney taxis are metered and taxi drivers hailed at the kerb are supposed to charge the metered rate, with any charges for tolls added automatically during the journey.

Passengers are required to pay all tolls for their trip. Drivers will usually take the toll roads unless you ask them not to, and with some tolls approaching $10 a pop, this can get expensive fast. Tolls are added automatically by the meter as incurred during the journey.

Taxis accept all major credit cards, although credit card terminals are improbably often "broken". They charge an extra 5% on top of the fare for this. Many of the taxi companies have their own apps. Tipping is not required or generally expected. However, rounding up a taxi fare to the next dollar (or five or ten dollars, depending on the base fare) is fairly common. On the other hand, if the driver rounds the fare down to the nearest dollar, accept with grace.

If you need a child seat, a wheelchair taxi or are traveling with a large group, you can call ahead for maxicab , which can fit up to 10 people. The airport has a maxicab rank.

By rideshare [ edit ]

Uber and Didi offer a convenient alternative to taxis (Lyft isn't available in Sydney), and considerable cost savings when there is no surge, with Uber somewhat more expensive than its competitors. Ubers will nearly always take the fastest route (including tolls when necessary) unless you tell them to take another way. They are every bit as common as taxis in the city and most suburbs, and for most travelers, there's little if any reason to ever take a taxi; the main exception is if you have children under 7, who cannot legally ride without a child seat (which rideshare companies rarely if ever offer). Rideshare drivers also cannot legally use bus lanes, while taxis can.

By bike [ edit ]

sydney travel info

If you are a fit and experienced urban cyclist, used to riding on multi-lane roads in heavy traffic, then just get on your bike. Cyclists are permitted just about everywhere on Sydney's roads, except for some freeway tunnels where bicycle signs will usually direct you to the alternative route. Kerbside lanes are often narrow, so ride assertively, be seen, and take the full lane when you know there is insufficient room to be passed. Bikes are permitted in bus lanes (like the city streets), but not bus only lanes (like the Harbour Bridge, and T-ways).

The city centre is not particularly cyclist friendly traffic-wise. It is not flat either - you can expect regular hills but no marathon uphill climbs. The weather is, however, usually good for cycling.

If you are looking for a quieter ride, a number of quiet on-road and shared pedestrian/cycle paths are available, but can be hard to find. A good place to start is at Sydney Olympic Park where you can get your cycle legs on the extensive off-road trails; then, if you want to, you can follow the Parramatta River to Parramatta or following the Cooks River to Botany Bay in Southern Sydney . The Harbour Bridge has a dedicated cycle lane, suitable for all ages, but as soon as you get off the bridge (and down the steps!) you are back onto urban streets in Milsons Point .

The Bourke St cycleway is a north–south route in the City East and a cruisy place to cycle between Woolloomooloo, Darlinghurst and Surry Hills. Lots of shade and cafes to break the trip. Some other separated cycleways have opened in the CBD, but they are yet to form a cohesive network, and your trip may easily end up on a busy and unforgiving city road if you haven't planned well in advance.

Other cycleways are often just converted footpaths, so be on the lookout for bollards, street signs, roots and branches strategically placed across cycle paths - as well as pedestrians. If cycling at night ensure you have lights bright enough to light your path.

It is illegal to ride bicycles on footpaths unless cycling with children under 12. In reality this is fairly weakly enforced out in the suburbs, but it is common for people to be fined for cycling through pedestrian malls in the city like Pitt St Mall or Martin Place. Out in the suburbs you can often follow quiet streets, and hop onto the footpath for a short stretch if things get too hairy. Bicycle helmets are required by law, as are lights and reflectors at night.

Bicycles can be taken on all trains, ferries and the metro for no cost. But catching a train in the CBD or close to the city in the peak may mean waiting for several services to find one you will fit. Check trackwork schedules on weekends , when buses replace trains and make taking bicycles more challenging.

Sydney centre now has Mobike dockless bike share scheme and Lime e-bikes if you don't feel like you've got your hill-legs. Simply download the app, pay a refundable deposit, and you can grab your closest bike. Park it anywhere you like. Longer term bike hire is available in many locations in Sydney. Unfortunately, bike hire for two bikes for a day usually costs more than hiring a small car and petrol for the day (around $50 per bike). However, for shorter periods some places may be reasonably priced (for example Sydney Olympic Park ) charges $15 per hour. Also, you have to consider the additional cost if the bikes are stolen or damaged. However, they are much easier to park, are greener and can be more fun. See the district articles for bike hire listings.

If you want to join in a longer ride, most bicycle user groups around Sydney organise weekend rides for various levels of fitness. There is usually no charge to join in.

On foot [ edit ]

sydney travel info

Sydney is quite pedestrian friendly, and as always you will see a lot more when moving around on foot than by wheels. On sunny days a long sleeved shirt, sunglasses, sunscreen and maybe even a hat is advisable. It takes some 45 minutes to walk from Central Station up through the CBD to the Opera House. For details on a self guided walking tour in Central Sydney, see Walking tour of Sydney . Even some more distant destinations are walkable if you have the time, fitness and inclination. It's less than 2 hours to walk through the exclusive eastern suburbs to Bondi Beach, or south through part industrial, part hipster Alexandria to the airport.

See [ edit ]

sydney travel info

Most of the Sydney landmarks can be seen in the City Centre with the iconic Sydney Opera House as well as visiting the Art Gallery of New South Wales , Sydney Tower , St Mary's Cathedral , Royal Botanic Gardens and the State Library of New South Wales .

sydney travel info

Right next to the centre is the historic district of The Rocks where you see Sydney's heritage as well as walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge .

Darling Harbour is west of the City Centre and offers plenty of attractions such as the National Maritime Museum , Sydney Fish Market , Sydney Wildlife World , Sydney Aquarium and the Powerhouse Museum .

Cross the Harbour Bridge to reach the Lower North Shore where you can visit Luna Park . Taronga Zoo can be reached by a dedicated ferry from Circular Quay.

Take the ferry further out to Manly where you can visit the famous beach and walk to Middle Head passes many coastal artillery fortifications built into the cliffs of Sydney Harbour during the late nineteenth century.

sydney travel info

Head out in the sun to visit the Eastern Suburbs where you can find the world famous Bondi beach , as well as many other beaches and La Perouse .

Sydney offers many opportunities to discover indigenous heritage , with rock carvings, dancing and art galleries to explore.

Sydney is known for its dozens of vibrant suburbs, which reflect upon the beauty and diversity of the city all because of its character.

Sydney Harbour [ edit ]

sydney travel info

Sydney's world-famous beauty is defined by Sydney Harbour that can be easily viewed from the city and many areas around it. The large natural harbour was the reason that the original penal settlement was established in the area, near what is now known as Circular Quay.

An excellent way to see both the harbour and Sydney attractions is to take any ferry from Circular Quay . These are very reasonably priced and a favourite with tourists who can see most of the harbour from the various routes offered. Heading to Manly on the ferry makes for a great 30 minute trip at a fraction of the price of a commercial harbour cruise.

The world famous Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race begins every year on Boxing Day, on Sydney Harbour. Thousands of spectator craft take to the water to farewell the yachts as they set off on their gruelling journey to Hobart. Seaworthy craft can follow the yachts through the Sydney Heads into the open ocean. You can also see the race from a harbour vantage point like Watsons Bay. where you can see them sail towards you across the harbour, and then cross to the gap to see them sail down the coast.

  • Aerobatic Flights , ☏ +61 2 9791 0643 , [email protected] . Adventures and flight training. A fantastic way to see Sydney Harbour is from the air. Red Baron Adventures do scenic flights over Sydney Harbour and the Northern Beaches most days of the year (weather permitting) in an open cockpit Pitts Special bi-plane. They also have heart stopping Aerobatic Flights available for the more adventurous (these are not done over Sydney Harbour). Flights range from $440 to $660 and go for between 45 min and 80 minutes.  
  • Helicopter Rides , ☏ +61 2 8296 1111 , [email protected] . A helicopter flight over Sydney allows you to experience Sydney's famous landmarks including the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Manly Beach and Bondi Beach. Helicopter rides with Rotor One depart daily from Sydney Airport and start from $219 per person.  
  • Yacht and Boat Charter , [email protected] . "Sydney Boat Hire", 02 8765 1222. Discover the secluded beaches and islands around Sydney Harbour on a chartered yacht or self-drive boat. Learn to drive a boat or have it chartered, available 7 days a week, prices starting from $195 for 2 hours. ( updated Mar 2017 )

Do [ edit ]

Beaches [ edit ].

sydney travel info

Sydney's beaches are the perfect place to spend a warm summer day, where you can swim or lie on the sands to your heart's content. The most popular are Bondi , Manly , Cronulla and Coogee , although many others have their own charms. They might not be miles of golden beaches like Queensland , but there's a great variety, ranging from ocean beaches nestled between towering headlands in the Eastern Suburbs to quiet bays facing the harbour in Mosman . Bondi and Coogee are backpacker haunts while Manly and Cronulla feel like separate seaside towns. Soak in the crowded atmosphere amongst the other sunseekers in the eastern beaches, or be one of the few enjoying the solitude in the Northern Beaches and the Royal National Park . Brave the ocean waves, or splash about in the shallower rock pools. Even in winter, you can join the hardy souls keeping to their exercise regime in the cold waters.

Surf at one of Sydney's many surf beaches, a quintessentially Australian experience. The major beaches ( Bondi , Manly , Cronulla ) have surf schools and places where you can rent surfboards. Locals have their own secret favourites in the Northern Beaches and Maroubra , and can be fiercely territorial.

Kayak and canoe [ edit ]

Sydney's waterways offer great canoeing and kayaking, and you can explore Sydney's bushland, history, and exclusive waterfront properties. There are lots of places to hire them from, or to even go on a guided tour.

  • The Spit or Manly to kayak the harbour.
  • Lane Cove National Park and the Royal National Park have canoes and kayaks by the hour - see turtles and birdlife as you paddle
  • You can paddle on the Georges River from Woronora , or the Port Hacking river from Bundeena.
  • You can hire canoes at Rose Bay, a little bit east of the city.
  • You can also hire a canoe and have a BBQ at Lake Parramatta; 15-30 minutes by car from Parramatta.

Fish [ edit ]

Sydney offers decent fishing although it is not recommended to fish in Sydney Harbour to the west of the Harbour Bridge due to pollution and the fish are tainted with dioxin which is harmful to humans. You will nevertheless see local residents fishing on the harbour. You can sign up with a fishing charter to take you out of the Harbour into open water, Middle Harbour or Pittwater is a rewarding experience. You'll likely catch something of decent size and even if you don't, being out on a boat in Sydney is one of the great Sydney experiences in the warmer months.

Walk [ edit ]

sydney travel info

Sydney has a huge amount of green space, much of it beside the sparkling harbour or ocean, so walking is a great way to experience the city's parks, reserves and remnant bushland. There are also great walks through the more built-up areas, allowing you to check out the city's modern architecture and its colonial heritage. The following are just a few of the better-known routes.

  • Circular Quay and surrounds . Start underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge, then walk with the harbour waters on your left, down through The Rocks , across Circular Quay, up to and around the Sydney Opera House , down through the Royal Botanic Gardens , and up to the magnificent view of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge at Mrs Macquarie's Chair . Some variation of this spectacular walk is, for many, the epitome of the Sydney experience. For detailed information about a walking tour of the city centre, covering these sights (in the opposite direction) and other major sights, see Walking tour of Sydney .
  • Across the Harbour Bridge from The Rocks on the south side to Milsons Point on the north side (or vice versa).
  • Coogee Beach to Bondi . Following the eastern coastline past several of Sydney's beautiful beaches - stop off for a swim if you get too hot.
  • Manly to Spit Bridge Walk . Along the foreshore of Sydney Harbour.  

For quieter trails with a rural feel, the best choices would either be Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park or Garigal National Park , both which are not too far away from Sydney CBD.

Sports fixtures [ edit ]

Rugby/footy in winter [ edit ].

The winter rugby football season generally begins with trial matches in February, before the season proper kicks off in March and runs to late September or early October. Sydney's most popular football code is rugby league (often just called 'football' or 'footy' by locals — although never just 'rugby', which refers to rugby union). Nine teams from the national competition are based in Sydney and the sport is an important part of the city's culture - many teams play at least some of their games at intimate grounds in their suburban heartlands, and this can be a good way to experience the traditional heart of the sport.

Cricket in Summer [ edit ]

Sydney's primary summer sport is cricket , which you'll find being played (in somewhat modified form) on beaches and in backyards across the city. The professional stuff is largely based at the Sydney Cricket Ground close to the CBD: the traditional New Year's Test, between the Australian team and whichever foreign team is touring at the time, commences around the 3rd of January and runs for four to five days. Later in the summer, international one-day and/or Twenty20 matches are held at the SCG. The primary domestic tournaments, contested between Australian state teams, are the Sheffield Shield (first-class), Ford Ranger Cup (one-day) and KFC Big Bash (Twenty20): they are usually sparsely attended and so are much cheaper to attend than internationals. Some one-day and Twenty20 matches are played at ANZ Stadium at Olympic Park rather than at the SCG, but the cavernous stadium is far inferior to the grand old ground if you really want to get a feel for cricket culture.

Bike and skate [ edit ]

sydney travel info

Cycle around Centennial Park in the Eastern Suburbs or Bicentennial Park at Sydney Olympic Park . Or mountain bike on the challenging hills around the parks, forests and waterways surrounding Sydney and through some spectacular countryside.

Sydney has many skate parks and bowls in its suburbs, and one of the most popular is the one next to Bondi Beach . Sydney has ice skating centres, with the Macquarie Ice Rink in the Macquarie Park-Ryde area. Canterbury Olympic Icerink is closed and being renovated (Feb 2024).

Performing arts [ edit ]

Stage [ edit ].

sydney travel info

Sydney has three major commercial theatres which show the big international musical productions, the Capitol Theatre in Haymarket , the Theatre Royal under the MLC Centre in the CBD and the Lyric Theatre in The Star casino complex at Pyrmont Bay .

The Sydney Theatre Company (artistically directed until 2013 by Cate Blanchett and now by her husband Andrew Upton) is the biggest professional theatre company in the city. It produces a large annual program using The Sydney Theatre and the two Wharf Theatres in Walsh Bay in The Rocks and sometimes the Sydney Opera House Drama Theatre as well.

The Belvoir St Theatre in Surry Hills in City East has long been the smaller cousin to the Sydney Theatre Company, a place where young actors and directors cut their teeth in the associated Company B troupe before going on to bigger things. It stages a number of plays every year and you can wander the foyer before the show and see how many Hollywood names you can pick out from the old production posters.

The Ensemble Theatre at Kirribilli in the Lower North Shore (just over the Harbour Bridge) is Sydney's oldest surviving professional company and also produces a full program of plays every year, often featuring Australia's locally famous thespians.

There are also a number of small drama theatres with companies in Sydney including the New Theatre in Newtown in the Inner West , the Griffin Theatre Company at the SBW Stables Theatre in Kings Cross in City East and the Darlinghurst Theatre in Potts Point in City East .

The Seymour Centre (part of Sydney University just off Broadway on City Road) is a complex of several medium sized theatres hired by many independent and touring productions through the year. It is also the home of the University Revues, usually around August to September, a series of comedy sketch and musical shows put on by the students of each faculty in the University. Sometimes a place to spot future talent, famous past writers and performers in the reviews have included Clive James and Germaine Greer.

Amateur theatre, especially musical theatre, proliferates in Sydney, with over 30 amateur musical theatre companies providing a fun night of theatre for around $20 per ticket out in the suburbs. Check the Riverside Theatre in Parramatta , the Zenith Theatre in Chatswood on the Lower North Shore , the Sutherland Entertainment Centre in Sutherland and the Glen Street Theatre in Belrose in the Northern Beaches . Most of these theatres also feature occasional travelling professional productions.

Classical Music [ edit ]

For classical music fans, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra produces a large annual season and plays primarily at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall but sometimes also at the Angel Place Recital Hall .

The Australian Chamber Orchestra also produces a large annual program, mostly at the Angel Place Recital Hall but sometimes also at the Sydney Opera House.

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Macquarie Street often hosts performances on a smaller scale in the Verbruggen Hall within the conservatorium .

If you're in Sydney in the summer month of January look out for the major outdoor concerts held by both the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Opera Australia in The Domain as part of the annual Sydney Festival . These free concerts are often attended by over 60,000 people.

Opera [ edit ]

Opera Australia , the national Opera company based in Sydney, performs an annual season at the Sydney Opera House in the City Centre .

Ballet [ edit ]

The Australian Ballet is the Australian national ballet company. Although based in Melbourne it splits its annual season between that city and the Sydney Opera House.

Jazz [ edit ]

The Basement nightclub near Circular Quay is Sydney's oldest and most pre-eminent jazz venue. It features other styles of music as well but has a reputation as the place all the big jazz acts perform when they're in town.

The Sydney Improvised Music Association (SIMA) features regular jazz in The Sound Lounge venue within the Seymour Centre (part of Sydney University just off Broadway on City Road). Venue 505 in Surry Hills features live jazz 6 nights a week and Foundry616 in Ultimo is another dedicated venue. Many of the small bars across the inner Sydney feature small jazz performances on any given night.

Gig Guide [ edit ]

The major guide for performing arts in Sydney is the Spectrum liftout, which you'll find in the Sydney Morning Herald's voluminous Saturday edition. It contains reviews and features on all things cultural as well as comprehensive listings towards the back.

Sydney Music provides an online gig-guide which is updated weekly and provides comprehensive listings of shows at smaller venues around the city.

Cinema [ edit ]

Sydney has mainstream movies showing on multi-screen cinema complexes all around Sydney, including the City Centre and Moore Park. The two main operators are Event Cinemas and Hoyts . For arthouse, or more obscure movies, try the Chauvel, Verona and Academy Twin cinemas on Oxford Street in the City East , or the Dendy near the Opera House in the City Centre or in Newtown, or Cinema Paris at the Entertainment Quarter at Fox Studios at Moore Park in the City East . Many of the larger cinema complexes offer premium seating and services for a premium price.

For a different experience, look out for open-air cinemas in the Royal Botanical Gardens or Centennial Park . There is one drive-in movie left open in Sydney, at Blacktown in the Outer West .

The IMAX Theatre , which provides a movie experience with the largest cinema screens in the southern hemisphere in Darling Harbour .

Drag shows [ edit ]

As one of the biggest and most famous gay capitals of the world, Sydney is the place to catch a drag show. If you’ve never experienced the glitz and glitter of professional drag acts, then you really shouldn’t leave town without heading to one of the top drag clubs in the city.

In Darlinghurst , drag queens like Polly’s Follies in the Stonewall Hotel or the spectacular Disgraceland in Nevermind are some of the best acts in town and you’ll marvel at the costume changes and the sheer amount of make up. However, make up aside, the transformation from men into women is incredible and these ladies sure know how to entertain. Drag shows are popular with hen nights and birthday parties, but really they’re great fun for anyone who wants a night of pure unadulterated entertainment. Some drag acts are part of cabaret clubs, so there's a wide variety of acts throughout the evening. Other clubs are solely dedicated to drag performances and it’s a whirlwind of costume changes, make-up and incredible dance moves.

Festivals [ edit ]

Sydney is home to a number of major and minor festivals and calendar events each year. Listed chronologically these are:

January [ edit ]

  • Sydney Festival ( Festival Of Sydney ). An arts festival aiming to be international in reach, inviting acclaimed international artists to exhibit their work or perform in Sydney. A number of free outdoor events are held alongside the festival including the hugely popular Jazz in the Domain , Symphony in the Domain , and Festival First Night. Concerts held in the Domain and Hyde Park in the City Centre . The Bacardi Latin Festival in Darling Harbour is held in early January as part of the Sydney Festival, and contains a week of Latin dancing and music.  
  • Field Day Festival : 1 January annually. DAttracts the infamous Sydney NYE party-goers as well as rested Sydneysiders. The festival offers an exemplary cross section of leftfield bands, artists and DJ's for the true music lovers' delectation. Past artists have included The Presets and Kaskade. Big Day Out . An Australia-wide rock/alternative music festival with a side of dance, plays to up to 60,000 Sydneysiders at a time for one or two days in late January (normally on the January 26th public holiday). Past acts have included Nirvana, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against The Machine, Muse, the Chemical Brothers and Marilyn Manson from overseas, and Powderfinger, Regurgitator and Gerling from Australia. It normally sells out the day of ticket release.  
  • St. Jerome's Laneway Festival . An alternative/indie music festival held in January/February each year (see website for upcoming dates), where bands play in laneways around the city, this festival a rather unique vibe and atmosphere. The Festival attracts both international and domestic artists, which has included such artists like Feist, Architecture in Helsinki and Born Ruffians. If you're interested in getting involved in the Sydney 'underground' or alternative/indie scene, this festival is a good start.  

February [ edit ]

  • Chinese New Year . Widely celebrated by Sydney's Chinese community, with the centre of festivities being at Chinatown . Look out for Lion dancing, Dragonboat races at Darling Harbour, and of course plenty of good food.  

March [ edit ]

  • Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras . A festival organised by and for the gay community. It includes sports, cultural and arts events that run throughout February, culminating in the Mardi Gras parade in Darlinghurst on the first Saturday of March each year. The festival began in 1978 as a street protest when homosexuality was illegal, and participants were violently arrested and shamed. Since then, it has grown into a huge celebration with large crowds, corporate and government sponsorship - the Police now march with everyone else - yet still tries to hold on to its origins in protest against inequality and promotes progressive politics. ( updated Mar 2024 )
  • Sydney French Film Festival ( The Alliance Francaise French Film Festival ). Offers an impressive and ambitious panoramic view of contemporary French cinema, screening the films at Palace Academy Twin in Oxford St, Darlinghurst , Verona in Paddington & Norton Street in Leichhardt .  
  • Cockatoo Island Festival . 25-27 March . Where lots of friendly people enjoy a fabulous mixture of music and culture while discovering one of Sydney's best kept secrets.  

April [ edit ]

  • Royal Easter Show . Is the major agricultural show in New South Wales , and is held around Easter each year at Sydney Olympic Park . Farmers from all over the state come to show their prize produce. But it isn't just an agricultural show: a huge number of amusement ride operators set up for the show as well, together with vendors of the worst kind of child baiting junk food: fairy floss and deep fried hot dogs (known as "dagwood dogs" or "pluto pups").  
  • Sydney German Film Festival ( Audi Festival of German Films in Australia ). Shows contemporary German films.  

sydney travel info

May [ edit ]

  • Vivid Sydney . Sydney's historic and landmark building illuminated. The best sights are around Circular Quay with the Opera House making an especially fantastic canvas. Martin Place is full of light shows and food stalls. And Barrangaroo laneways are decorated also. Some suburbs also have smaller light shows, including the centres of Chatswood and Parramatta. Expect large crowds and make sure to do some preparation – lots of road closures, light rail services get cut short to Wynyard, while trains don't stop at Circular Quay (meaning you'll need to walk from Wynyard or St James). Free .  
  • Biennale of Sydney . A contemporary arts and multimedia festival held in winter in even numbered years.  

June [ edit ]

  • Sydney Film Festival . Shows over 200 movies in 16 days, including an enormous number of Australian and international movies, most of which will premiere at the festival.  

July [ edit ]

  • Arabic Film Festival . Shows dozens of movies over a week at Parramatta.  
  • The Rocks Aroma Festival . A homage to Sydney's love affair with coffee during a cold winter's day. Lots of artisan coffee stalls throughout the Rocks area. ( updated Apr 2017 )

September [ edit ]

  • Sydney Fringe Festival . Features fringe art in the form of film, TV, performance and sport.  
  • Lavazza Italian Film Festival . Showcases the finest that Italian cinema has to offer, picking contemporary films from the vibrant Rome International Film Festival to the more established events such as the prestigious Berlinale and the world-famous Cannes Film Festival; and a selection of Italian Classics from the archives of the Cinecittà Studios in Rome.  
  • Sydney Underground Film Festival . The festival programs unique, quality independent films that transgress the status quo and challenge the conservative conventions of film making. The festival is devoted to renewing local interest in independent and experimental film as part of an international underground film culture and aims to change an ingrained culture of cinematic complacency and revitalise an enthusiasm for cinema.  

October [ edit ]

  • Crave Sydney . Showcases the city's best restaurants, established and up-and-coming young chefs, food and wine culture. "Hats off dinners", the night noodle markets at Hyde Park, and hands-on cooking classes. Food festivals and markets all around Sydney  
  • Musica Viva Festival . Sydney's premier chamber music festival. The festival presents a rich feast of masterworks and musical treasures played by some of the world's finest practitioners, interspersed with music of different cultures.  

November [ edit ]

  • Sculpture by the Sea . Join tens of thousands of Sydneysiders as they take a leisurely walk between Bondi Beach and Tamarama Beach to admire the numerous larger than life sculptures set up at both beaches and along the walk. Bring a camera to take snaps of the weird and wonderful exhibits.  

December [ edit ]

  • Carols in the Domain . Held annually in the Domain in the city centre on the last Saturday before Christmas. Attracts around 100,000 people (so plan to get in there early for a good spot) with candles sing along as night falls.  
  • New Year's Eve . Features massive displays of pyrotechnics around Sydney Harbour and the Harbour Bridge (including fireworks shot from the bridge itself). There are two shows, a "family show" at 9PM, and the major fireworks display at midnight. Immediately following the 9PM Family Fireworks, the spectacular Harbour of Light Parade begins. Over 50 vessels make a majestic passage on a 15km circuit around the Harbour, featuring illuminated emblems representing the Sydney New Year's Eve theme, glittering either on their hulls or masts. Many of the hotels and bars near the Harbour hold special parties with high cover charges, and boat cruises sell for a premium. Or get in early for the free alternative with some cheese, fruits, wine, picnic blanket and some friends on a warm summer night by the harbour. Save some sympathy for Northern Hemisphere cousins freezing in Times Square waiting for all the excitement of a ball dropping by a couple of metres.  

sydney travel info

Learn [ edit ]

You can take language classes, join a cafe book group, learn to draw, sign up for historical or foodie walks, or take computer or business classes at City of Sydney Library, where you can sign up to borrow books or just read magazines in their café as well.

Universities [ edit ]

Unsurprisingly as Australia's second-largest city, Sydney is home to many universities. Two of these universities, the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales are part of the prestigious "Group of Eight". There are opportunities for international students to enroll in these universities, either in their degree programs or through exchange agreements with foreign universities. These provide foreigners with an excellent opportunity of live in Sydney for an extended period.

Buy [ edit ]

See the Sydney District Pages for things to buy in the CBD , and other Sydney districts.

Most stores will accept VISA/Mastercard credit cards, and only a few take only cash. American Express is generally accepted only at larger stores.

Currency exchange [ edit ]

As with the rest of Australia, currency exchange offices operate in a free market, and the small convenient exchange booth you pass on George Street, by the Opera House or at the airport can charge 15% or more over the best rate you can obtain elsewhere. As always, check rates and commission carefully. Know today's rate and be prepared to walk away if the amount of money they calculate isn't what you would expect. Banks typically offer much better rates, but are only open business hours on weekdays.

You may find it better to pay by credit card and use ATM withdrawals and have the certainty of getting the rate and fees provided by your bank.

  • -33.872576 151.207586 1 KVB Kunlun , 18F, Citigroup Centre, 2 Park St , ☏ +61 2 8263 0188 , [email protected] . This large trading company mainly deals with businesses and big amounts but they also exchange money for individuals with smaller amounts. They charge you $10 if you exchange under $2,000 but their rate is so competitive that it's still worth going there for changing a few hundreds. They have by far the best rate in Sydney. Be prepared to wait as some travellers have been reporting to be there for over an hour. ( updated Oct 2016 )

Opening hours [ edit ]

Main department stores and specialty stores open around 8 or 9AM and close around 6 or 7PM, staying open until 9PM on Thursday. On Sunday expect them to open around 10AM in the suburbs, and around 11AM in the CBD, and to close at 5PM. There are a few locations where you will find shops opening a little later, such as Darling Harbour which is open until 9PM every weeknight.

Large supermarkets will be open from 6AM until midnight.

Many convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and petrol stations within the Sydney metro area are open 24 hours a day.

Banks will usually only open weekdays, with only an occasional branch opening Saturday morning. Travel agents (not including booking agents in tourist areas) close on Sundays.

Souvenirs [ edit ]

Those quintessential Aussie souvenirs - stuffed koalas and kangaroos, various "Australiana" knick-knacks - can be found in any souvenir store around the city, as well as in airport shops. Authentic Aboriginal/indigenous arts and crafts, such as traditional paintings, hand-made didgeridoos, are expensive, and the range in Sydney is much smaller than in Alice Springs . For those who only wish to take home a replica, as a memento of their trip to Australia, head to Paddy's Markets in the Haymarket area of the southern end of the city . The markets also sell a huge range of souvenirs at much better prices than regular souvenir stores. Dollar shops (see "Food and Essentials" below) also sell souvenirs at bargain-basement prices, albeit at a much reduced quality.

Fashion [ edit ]

sydney travel info

Australia's unique style and creativity means Sydney is developing on the international fashion circuit, as designs from Australians such as Wayne Cooper, Collette Dinnigan, Akira Isogawa, Lisa Ho, Oroton and Easton Pearson are seen around the globe. In fact, around 60 Australian labels are export their designs to boutiques and department stores in Asia , Europe and the United States .

The greatest concentration of clothing and accessories stores are to be found in the northern half of the CBD, starting from the Town Hall precinct, neat the Queen Victoria Building.

  • Queen Victoria Building – in the City Centre , a renowned, beautifully maintained, 19th century sandstone building, home to over 400 stores. The stores in the building are laid out in a hierarchical style- literally. The basement level has cheap, casual-fashion stores with a food court, the street level mid-range brand-name chains and level 3 is where various Australian designers, some European labels and Italian shoe stores are located. It is one of Sydney's more photogenic pieces of architecture. It's on George St adjacent to Town Hall and Pitt St Mall.
  • The Strand Arcade – In the City Centre , remains a majestic beauty in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Sydney's CBD. Many retailers including The Nut Shop, Elie's Leather Repair and Strand Hatters have traded for decades, becoming well known Sydney institutions. Today the centre is a unique mix of Australian and International designer fashion (including Alex Perry, Akira, Lisa Ho and Alannah Hill) and specialty stores catering for a discerning, sophisticated clientele.
  • Castlereagh Street in the City Centre is lined by many of Sydney's most expensive European-label boutiques and jewellery stores. It is also home to the flagship store of Australian department store chain David Jones.
  • Department stores . There are only two of these in the City Centre , Myer and David Jones , which are practically next door to each other near the Pitt Street Mall, and joined by an above-ground covered pedestrian walkway. Both offer your standard department-store range of goods.
  • Pitt Street Mall is a pedestrian mall in the City Centre . It is one block long between Market Street and King Street and is one of the world's most expensive shopping streets. The entire east side of the block comprises the Westfield Sydney mall (including Sydney Tower) and the west side is also a series of shopping centres.
  • Oxford Street just east of the city is lined with shops, bars and nightclubs. The section between Taylor Square and Queen St, Woollahra is particularly good for mid-high end Australian fashion designers and boutiques. Some of these boutiques and other fashion retailers sell at Paddington Markets , which are held in the grounds of the Paddington public school every Saturday from 10am.
  • Queen Street in Woollahra also east of the city is an upmarket shopping destination with high-end boutiques, food and homewares stores.
  • King Street, Newtown in the inner west is a long strip of inexpensive boutiques, and the odd chain store, with plenty of places to stop for a coffee or wine along the way!
  • Shopping malls – There are several large shopping malls around Sydney in Bondi Junction , Chatswood , Parramatta , Macquarie Park , Hurstville and Miranda , as well as Warringah Mall . The Bondi Westfield offers the most upmarket experience, with many European fashion labels available.
  • Factory outlets . Birkenhead Point and DFO in the Inner West have brand name fashions at discount prices. Market City in Chinatown also has a few smaller factory outlets.

Food and essentials [ edit ]

Many city corner shops call themselves "supermarkets", but are just overpriced convenience stores. It is worth seeking out actual supermarkets , which can be found even in the CBD: the main two are Woolworths and Coles . Aldi is a cheaper alternative, but confined to the suburbs.

Postcards [ edit ]

Postcards are least expensive at post offices (75c) or discount stores. Convenience and souvenir stores may sell a wider range of (more expensive) postcards, but generally they do not sell stamps. An overseas stamp for a postcard costs $2.60 [1] .

Eat [ edit ]

Prices in Sydney's restaurants vary. Breakfast at a standard cafe (food plus a coffee or juice) can cost anywhere up to $20 for a full English breakfast or other substantial meal. A main meal in a mid-range restaurant is around $25 - $35. Upper mid-range averages around $35 - $45. At the real top-end places a dinner for two with wine can run up to $400-500 and beyond.

For the more budget-conscious, Sydney's multicultural demography means plenty of quality ethnic cuisine for cheap eats, particularly Asian restaurants in Chinatown where rock bottom priced food (but no less tasty) can be found. Plonk down at a laminate table shoulder to shoulder with hungry locals for some bubble tea and a sizzling plate of delicious Asian food. Many restaurants in the city will also offer "lunch specials". For example, a good Korean "set lunch" can be found for less than $15. A bowl of noodles in Chinatown will run you $8 or $9. Some Thai curry with rice at any of the many restaurants all over Sydney will cost about $10.

Newtown in Sydney's inner-west (approx 4km from the CBD) is renowned for its inexpensive cafes and restaurants on King St, in particular Thai food. It is highly popular among students from the nearby University of Sydney.

Fine dining [ edit ]

Sydney is also home to some of the world's best restaurants and their chefs. But if you want to try Sydney's finest rated restaurants during your visit, a booking must usually be made well in advance. There's Tetsuya’s and Est in the City Centre , Marque in the City East and Flying Fish Restaurant & Bar in Pyrmont . Another famous Sydney celebrity chef is Neil Perry, who runs Rockpool at The Rocks , as well as the Rockpool Bar and Grill in the city, not far from Circular Quay, with Spice Temple downstairs.

If you want to splurge on the location, try Quay in The Rocks or Matt Moran's Aria, both of which have harbour and bridge views.

For fine dining away from central Sydney, try Jonah's in the far Northern Beaches - go for lunch, the view is stunning.

Takeaway [ edit ]

Takeaway (takeout) food in Sydney can be as cheap as buying the ingredients and making it yourself, and many stores specialise in take-away food. There will usually be a picnic table, park or beach nearby to eat whatever you can select. Quintessential Aussie takeaways include the meat pie (minced beef with gravy sauce in a crusty pastry shell), sausage roll (sausage mince in a puff pastry casing), usually topped generously with tomato sauce/ketchup, and fish and chips (inherited from the British to be sure but loved by all Australians).

Most restaurants will do take-away food as well, but almost certainly at a premium to the cost of buying food from a take-away. Outside of the city an occasional restaurant may offer a 10% discount for take-away. There are a few online services like Menulog that allow users to order food online from the variety of restaurants and take away in a particular area.

Eat streets [ edit ]

Just about every suburb in Sydney has a restaurant or two, a cafe or coffee shop, and a place that sells takeaway food. However, there are a number of places in Sydney where you can window shop through many restaurants and make your choice.

All of Darling Harbour is like this, there are restaurants of every variety all along the waterfront. East Circular Quay in the City Centre is similar, along with the International Passenger Terminal on the west of Circular Quay - however many of the restaurants in this area are expensive and loved more for the view than the quality of the food. There are (pricey) exceptions, such as Cafe Sydney, Aria and Sailors Thai.

In the east of the city , Victoria Street in Darlinghurst and Crown Street in Surry Hills (between Oxford and Cleveland Streets) has a large range of funky cafes, small bars, pubs, patisseries and restaurants. Darlinghurst and Surry Hills has it all, from cheap Asian take-aways to high end restaurants. Many trendy restaurants in this area don't take bookings; often you wait at the bar for a table. These suburbs are popular with hipsters, yuppies and the gay community.

Just east of the city is Woolloomooloo Wharf which boasts a fantastic view across the harbour and several upscale restaurants, including excellent steak, Chinese, Italian and seafood restaurants. Perfect for lunch on a sunny day.

King Street, Newtown , centred on the railway station, has a constantly changing selection of good value restaurants, pubs, cafes and bars. You can find many various types of cuisine here; mainly cheap Thai, but also Vietnamese, Italian, Turkish, Japanese and modern Australian. This area isn't touristy, but popular with students from the nearby Sydney University. The area has its own alternative style, which makes for great people watching.

On the Lower North Shore , Willoughby Road at Crows Nest has consistently good Indian, Japanese, Thai, steak, and a handful of small bars. Military Road through Cremorne and Neutral Bay have a smattering of decent restaurants, mostly Japanese. Kirribilli has a few nice cafes and restaurants, and a short after dinner stroll will take you by some of the best views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

In Macquarie Park , Rowe Street in Eastwood has built a reputation for some of the best East Asian food in Sydney. With everything from cheap eat Chinese noodle stands, smokey Korean BBQ houses and posh Japanese restaurants, Eastwood has something for every taste and budget. On Saturday nights there is a night market in the plaza with a number of stalls selling street food style snacks and treats.

Parramatta , to the west, has an eating strip, many with alfresco options. Harris Park nearby is Sydney's Little India with a good number of very affordable, authentic Indian restaurants.

In the North West district, Castle Hill has many restaurants on Terminus St as well as at "The Piazza" which is adjacent to Castle Towers shopping centre and features a pleasant, lively atmosphere with a fountain in the centre of the ring of restaurants.

Modern Australian [ edit ]

sydney travel info

Thanks to Sydney's (or rather, Australia's) multicultural mix, "modern Australian" is usually characterised by a fusion of cuisines. Think entrees spiced with a Thai-inspired chilli dressing, mains with a hint of a Chinese-style ginger-based marinade or sunny Tuscan flavours- all in the same menu. Many of Australia's celebrity chefs are of ethnic backgrounds, and many have trained overseas, bringing with them a world of experience back home.

  • Visit the Sydney Fish Markets in Pyrmont (within walking distance of Darling Harbour ) for a lunch of fresh seafood of almost any description. Sadly the cooked seafood on offer is overpriced, greasy and frankly an embarrassment. Avoid. For a proper seafood lunch at the fish markets, bypass these shops and go directly to one of the many fishmongers. Pick out the best freshly shucked oysters, cooked Balmain Bug or lobster tails, glistening prawns and sashimi. Take it out to tables outside and enjoy getting your hands dirty. Otherwise, head upstairs to Fisherman's Wharf Chinese Restaurant for some wonderful Cantonese seafood or yum cha.
  • Hit a steakhouse and try Australia's world-famous prime Angus beef. Easily accessible upmarket Sydney city steakhouses include I'm Angus at Darling Harbour , Prime and Kingsley's in Woolloomoolloo in the City East . For a truly top end experience of some of Sydney's very best steak and seafood in luscious deco setting, try Neil Perry's Rockpool Bar and Grill in the CBD. Dress up and bring your Amex.

Alternatively, many CBD pubs offer $6 to $10 steak "meal deals", provided that you also order a particular alcoholic drink at the same time. You can also go to Phillip's Foote at The Rocks to cook your own steak on a BBQ.

Multicultural [ edit ]

For those who are after authentic multicultural culinary experiences, there are unique "food districts" scattered around the greater city. The range of food available is huge and isn't necessarily expensive. It is usually possible to find a restaurant of any nationality, specialising in almost any cuisine.

  • Assyrian in Fairfield and Fairfield Heights, in Greater Western Sydney, in Ware Street and Smart Street.
  • Chinese (Cantonese) in Chinatown , Chatswood on the North Shore . For more northern Chinese flavours, including Shanghainese and Pekingnese, head to Ashfield and Burwood . Some outer suburbs are particularly known for their Chinese restaurants - recommended examples are Eastwood in Macquarie Park , Parramatta (west) and Hurstville in Sydney's southern suburbs which all have a number of restaurants offering more home-style Chinese food. They are all accessible by public transport. There are also good options to be found in Kingsford near the University of New South Wales.
  • Indian in one of the many restaurants in the Outer West with all types of Indian cuisine (North Indian, South Indian, vegetarian, meat, etc).
  • Indonesian in Anzac Parade, Kensington, Kingsford & Maroubra.
  • Italian in one of the restaurants in Leichhardt's Norton Street, or nearby Ramsay Street, Haberfield in the Inner West . Or in Stanley St in East Sydney - a walk from the CBD.
  • Japanese in Neutral Bay or Crows Nest in the Lower North Shore and Eastwood in the Macquarie Park district.
  • Korean in Liverpool & Pitt St in City, Strathfield, Eastwood and Campsie.
  • Kosher in Bondi . Many great restaurants throughout the area.
  • Lebanese in Cleveland Street. Baba Ghanouj, Lahem Begin and Baclawa here. For the very best Lebanese, head out to the Middle Eastern enclaves of Greenacre or Lakemba .
  • Nepalese in Glebe Point Road, Glebe, in the Inner West.
  • Portuguese in Petersham in the Inner West.
  • Spanish in Liverpool Street in the city.
  • Thai in one of the many low priced Thai outlets in Newtown's King Street in the Inner West although Thai can be found anywhere in Sydney. Although for some reason where ever Indian food dominates, the Thai food does not tend to be very popular.
  • Turkish in Auburn . Closer to the city, there try Enmore Rd Enmore / South King St Newtown in the Inner West. Get your Sucuklu and Pastirmali here.
  • Uyghur on Dixon Street, Haymarket (Chinatown)- fiery, flavour-bursting food originating from the Turkic regions of Central Asia.
  • Vietnamese in Marrickville. The most authentic Vietnamese can be experienced in Cabramatta or Bankstown . If you have the time, Cabramatta particularly is a fascinating and worthwhile day trip. So awash is the suburb with Vietnamese restaurants, groceries, butchers, craft shops, clothing stores and restaurants - not to mention Vietnamese people - you'd swear you were walking around Saigon rather than Sydney.
  • Yum cha in Chinatown is very good, arguably even better than Hong Kong since many of their best chefs moved to Sydney in the 1990s. Yum cha is an entire meal comprising many small dishes called "dim sum" (Mandarin: dian xin). The food moves in roving, heated trolleys around the restaurants, although some places have now abandoned the trolleys and instead give you a menu to tick your items which will be brought to your table. Some only have trolleys for specials or on weekends. Expect queues on weekends and brusque service all days - it's all part of the charm of yum cha.

Many of the areas mentioned above also sell produce related to the original nationality of the locals.

Food festivals [ edit ]

sydney travel info

It always seems like there's a food festival occurring every weekend in one of the suburbs of Sydney. Usually the idea is that restaurants take part, providing smaller portions of their signature dishes around $7-$12 a plate. Some also focus on ethnic cuisine — a great opportunity to sample unfamiliar food. Look out for the Sydney International Food Festival , a major festival which showcases Sydney's food culture. It's held in October, and includes the night noodle markets operating in Hyde Park in the City Centre .

Vegetarian and special diets [ edit ]

Vegetarians are well catered for. Every restaurant will usually have at least one vegetarian dish. Indian restaurants can be relied upon to provide a wider selection. The trendy East Sydney and Inner West suburbs have many choices, Cabramatta in the western suburbs have many Asian Buddhist cuisine restaurants that are vegan and vegetarian.

There is an awareness of gluten-free and dairy-free diets in Sydney, and again the more trendier inner city suburbs are more likely to cater for these diets.

Customs [ edit ]

Cafés serving breakfast start opening at 6AM and breakfast is usually served until 11AM, or occasionally all day. Orders for lunch start at about noon and continue until about 3PM. Many cafes will start closing late afternoon, although a few may remain open for dinner.

Restaurants usually open for dinner around 5PM-6PM and while there are exceptions (usually concentrated in areas with active nightlife), last orders for dinner are typically taken around 10PM. Restaurants in business areas open for lunch as well. It is common for restaurants in suburban locations to sometimes be closed on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday nights.

It is more expensive to get a sit down meal in the evening, than it is for lunch.

Dress codes [ edit ]

Australians are casual. While most people make an effort to dress up for fancier restaurants, there is no requirement and both restaurants and diners alike are relaxed about dress standards. There are no restaurants in Sydney that require jackets for men for instance (not true there are a few exclusive restaurants and clubs that do require jackets), and jeans (nice - no holes) are common in even the most expensive and posh Sydney restaurants. Wear whatever you feel comfortable in.

Publications [ edit ]

  • The Good Food Guide, published by the Sydney Morning Herald, is a well-regarded restaurant guide on the Sydney food circuit. The guide uses a reviewing and scoring system similar to the Michelin publications overseas. While the majority of restaurants included are in Sydney, a number of regional NSW restaurants are also included. The GFG can be picked up at any good book store and is also available for download as an iPhone application, with monthly or yearly subscription options.
  • Timeout Sydney has a regular section on eating out in Sydney, with emphasis on affordable destinations. There is a paper publication as well as a web site.
  • For the well-heeled and truly gourmet, the glossy pages of Gourmet Traveller magazine cover the latest in Sydney food fashion and the upmarket restaurant scene.
  • Eatability.com and Urbanspoon are websites similar to Yelp! in the USA, containing reviews and rankings of restaurants by the masses.

Drink [ edit ]

sydney travel info

Sydney has an enormous number of places to drink and party. There is a burgeoning scene for quirky and unique small bars, and the city's cultural life has enjoyed a refreshing growth in night-time choices. There's a litany of clubs and venues for entertainment, and as with most Australian cities, Sydney has a strong live music scene. The majority of pubs and smaller clubs close before 3AM and some as early as midnight, particularly if there are nearby residents. A limited number of venues have 24-hour licenses.

You cannot enter any venue in the Sydney CBD (that is, East to Woolloomooloo and Kings' Cross, West to Darling Harbour, North to the bridge or South to Central Station) after 1:30AM, and last drinks will be called at 3AM. However, there are lots of bars outside the lockout zone.

Busy venues will have door staff checking photo identification to determine that you are over 18. Admission is also commonly refused to those who seem visibly drunk. More popular venues have discriminatory door practices, the most common of which is refusing entry to groups of men who are not accompanied by women. Some pubs and most clubs will admit children accompanied by adults as long as they don't approach the bar or enter an area where there is gambling, particularly earlier in the evening. Check with staff at the venue. Some pubs don't provide a nice environment for children some nights.

Many places have at least a basic dress code, enforced all hours in the city, and usually after 7PM in the suburbs. For most generic pubs, men should wear closed toe shoes (not running sneakers), full-length pants, and a shirt with sleeves (not a singlet). For clubs, men should don neat business-style shoes. In almost all cases, women can dress more freely, but a small number of places require closed shoes or dressy sandals or high heels.

Many pubs are called hotels, but only very few can ever offer you a place to sleep. Hotel pubs are usually found on a street corner with at least one ground-floor bar, and are usually a few floors high (though not all floors may be open to the public).

Entry charges for live music or DJs are usual and range from $5 to $30 depending on clientèle. Entry charges are rare if you're going into a pub for a drink.

There is a taxi shift change at 3AM, and it is notoriously difficult to catch a taxi anywhere between 2:30AM and 3:30AM, but Ubers are out in force at this time of night.

Some types of nightlife are concentrated in particular areas:

  • Backpackers drink near the hostels, and will find a lot of fellow budget travellers in pubs in the Eastern Suburbs Beaches like Bondi Beach and Kings Cross in the City East
  • In some ways Irish pubs are a global phenomenon, but they've certainly taken Sydney by storm. Irish pubs are concentrated in both The Rocks area and the southern area of the city . They are outrageously popular on the 17th March for St Patrick's Day.
  • Sydney's large gay scene is concentrated on Oxford Street in City East although it still has a large range of pubs and clubs for all ranges of sexuality and is a prominent nightspot for many party-goers. Sydney's queer community also can often be found on King Street in Newtown which offers a more relaxed place to gather and far fewer yobs.
  • Sydney's bohemians , artists , and students mostly hang about in the Inner West . King Street in Newtown is littered with great joints. Try the Midnight Shift or Corridor for awesome music and a low key vibe. Bloodwood is a must for killer Bloody Marys. The Courthouse is everyones local, either that or the Town Hall Hotel, which is open the latest on the strip. Hook round to Erskineville Rd. for even more choice of unique places. A meal at The Rose on a sunny afternoon is a must. Opposite the Hive Bar will have eccentric DJs spinning rare dub 45's. Surry Hills is also a hot spot, with many of the larger venues that host bigger events. The Oxford Arts Factory and The Standard, both on Oxford St., are two great venues where you'll catch larger touring bands and other acts. Yulli's on Crown St have excellent drinks. The Flinders host local bands and has an American dive bar flavour. Try student bars Manning at Sydney Uni, the Roundhouse at UNSW and the Loft at UTS which all offer pleasant, hassle free environments, and no one checks if you're a student. Manning Bar is also great for a meal as they have their Manning BBQ. The Clare opposite UTS on Broadway, though very ratty looking, is a similarly popular place for students. There are many great bars and pubs on Broadway, such as the Lansdowne Hotel which also offers cheap lunch meals for $5-6 on some days of the week.
  • Nightclubs are mostly found in the Kings Cross area. This is the central party district for late club nights. There are also clubs in the CBD, Surry Hills (along Oxford St.), and Darling Harbour. Try The Kings Cross Hotel for many levels of local bands and DJs. Nearby the World Bar is a must for more great entertainment. Frankie's Pizza in the CBD absolutely has the best vibe and music in town.
  • Sydney has a big scene for microbreweries, including The Lord Nelson (The Rocks), The Schwartz Brewery (City), Young Henry's (Newtown) and the Local Taphouse (Surry Hills).
  • Business pubs also cater to the city crowd: lawyers, financiers and brokers and are very busy Friday nights when the city workers are let loose for the week.

There are many great nightclubs in Sydney, but they are very spread out so it would be a good idea to get an idea of where you want to go. Check guides in Friday's newspapers, or the free guides available in music stores and youth clothing stores.

Sleep [ edit ]

sydney travel info

Sydney has hundreds of accommodation options in the central Sydney area to consider, from backpackers hotels to five star hotels with harbour and Opera House views. However, there are options out of the CBD too.

If you are travelling on business, there may be business style accommodation near to where you are working, and there is usually no need to stay in the city. There are options around the commercial areas at the airport in Southern Sydney, around Macquarie Park in the North West, and at Parramatta.

If you are travelling with a car, then finding a place to park, and getting into and out of the city can be a hassle. The Hume Highway in Sydney's South West has the standard roadside motels where you can park by your room, with the service station or fast food outlet next door.

If you are into camping, the closest camping to the CBD is on the Cockatoo Island in the harbour. You can pitch a tent in Lane Cove National Park , less than 10 km from the CBD, around 750m from the train station at North Ryde.

If you are into the beach, Manly and Bondi are the two obvious places to consider. From Manly 25 minutes on the ferry has you right in the centre of Sydney. Some of the lesser known suburbs have accommodation options. Cronulla has beachfront accommodation, facilities and is the only beachside suburb of Sydney with a train station (45 minutes from downtown).

Budget [ edit ]

Sydney has a wide range of backpackers' hostels - popular districts for these include the southern half of the CBD and Haymarket , Glebe and Kings Cross , the Eastern Suburbs ( Bondi , Coogee ) and the Northern Beaches ( Manly ).

Mid-range [ edit ]

You find many mid-range accommodation providers within the CBD (mostly in the southern Haymarket end), and within a short distance of the city by public transport, including in North Sydney , the Inner West and the North Shore . Sometimes cheaper motel style accommodation can be obtained on the roads leading into Sydney, particularly in South Western Sydney

Splurge [ edit ]

Luxurious hotels can be found all over Sydney. The most expensive hotels are generally located in the CBD and the Rocks district , near the business hub of Sydney, close to many restaurants, often featuring spectacular harbour views. Some other high quality hotels are in Darling Harbour . You may check the list below for specific locations.

Please visit one of the various Sydney districts described in the Districts section above to see the accommodation listings.

Serviced apartments [ edit ]

Serviced, short-term apartments are widely available throughout Sydney and are available for stays as short as one night. Amenities typically include kitchen, washer and dryer, and separate bedrooms. A range of properties exist from budget to five-star.

Read [ edit ]

  • Robert Hughes , The Fatal Shore - The early chapters in this fantastically evocative treatment by a born and bred Sydneysider is a real eye-opener to Sydney's convict beginnings. Highly recommended.
  • John Birmingham , Leviathan - The Unauthorised Biography of Sydney - A history of Sydney from its beginnings as a penal colony to contemporary times. Non-fiction, it discusses incidents and themes in an anecdotal fashion. Definitely not your usual historical work.
  • Peter Carey , 30 Days in Sydney - A short "travel" novel from one of Australia's most esteemed authors. Utilising the fitting theme of "the elements" (earth, fire, wind & water), Carey retells stories of the "Rum Corps", near-death experiences (both on the water and in the inhospitable Blue Mountains) and even blatant police corruption. A compelling read for anyone wishing to appreciate the city, its peoples and their remarkable way of life.

Stay safe [ edit ]

The Australia-wide emergency number is 000 , with the ambulance service, fire department and police being available through this number.

Theft [ edit ]

Be on the lookout for the usual big city petty crime problems. Lock your car, and keep valuables safe or hidden. People begging may ask for money or cigarettes, but they are generally harmless. They will often make up the usual stories about needing a train fare etc. Simply say "Sorry mate" and they will usually leave you alone.

Violent crime [ edit ]

Sydney has some of the violent crime issues that plague major cities. However, in general, no special precautions are required visiting the typical tourist areas during the day.

Most assaults in Sydney take place in or near pubs and nightclubs at night, and involve alcohol. Most involve young males as perpetrators and victims. Most robberies occur in nearby quiet laneways, or parks close to pubs and nightclubs at night. The most common perpetrators or robberies are drug addicts. For this reason, take care around Kings Cross, The Rocks, Oxford St, and in George St between Town Hall and Central Station, especially late at night on Fridays and Saturday nights. Avoid Redfern station late at night. Even changing trains late at night is best done at Central rather than Redfern. Women should take extra care at bars and keep an alert companion at hand, especially in the central hostel area, and take precautions against spiked drinks .

Some areas of south-western and western Sydney have a reputation, generally gained by news reports of motorcycle and other gang related violence. However, if you want to venture out into these areas during the day, there is no exceptional risk. If you're planning to head way off the tourist trail to some suburban pub or nightclub for a night out, seek some local advice. It may be a nice pub, but it pays to be informed. Areas around railway stations tend to be hang-outs for youth gangs in Western Sydney, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights. Stay in company, and don't engage.

Public transport after dark [ edit ]

After 9PM, smaller outer suburban stations can be very quiet, and many are totally unstaffed after this time. The trains can also be empty when they get towards the end of the line at this time. Don't expect a taxi to be waiting at every station - only the major ones will have a well patronised taxi rank. Drunk people are common on trains late at night, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights. In the CBD, trains tend to be busy into the evening, and obnoxious behaviour is more common than any actual danger.

For your safety, travel in the carriage closest to the guard's compartment, which is marked with a blue light on the outside of the train. If you ever feel concerned for your safety on any train, or even if you encounter anti-social activity, you can call 1800 657 926 to speak with security, who can sometimes arrange for a transit patrol to board the train and provide assistance. You can also seek assistance from the guard. In more modern trains, you can press the button in the entry area to contact the guard. Every train station has an orange emergency help point monitored by CCTV that connects to security, usually towards the centre of the platform.

Nightride buses, which replace trains after midnight, can arrange for a taxi to meet you when you get off. Ask the driver.

Beachgoing [ edit ]

sydney travel info

If you are going to the beach, take the same precautions as you do anywhere in Australia. See Australia beach safety .

The main thing to remember when swimming at any beach is to swim between the yellow and red flags. These flags are placed by the lifeguards and indicate the safest place to swim at the beach away from dangerous currents.

Sydney has no really dangerous jellyfish. Bluebottles (Portuguese Man-Of-War) are blueish-purple stingers that hit the Sydney beaches a couple of days every summer, when the wind direction is right. They have an air-bladder that floats on the water, and stinging tentacles. Often the air-bladder can be no bigger than a coin. You will see the evidence of them with their air-bags washed up on the beach if they are present. They can give a painful sting - even when on the beach - but it won't keep everyone out of the water. Apply a heat pack if you can, or ice, or salt water. The best way to remove the pain is to run the affected area under the hottest water you can stand. Vinegar is useless. Sometimes small transparent jellyfish appear in the harbour and estuaries. You can usually avoid any groups of them, but they are mostly harmless. More rarely larger purple jellyfish are in the harbour and other estuaries. If you see these in the estuaries, best to stay out of their way. Probably more of an issue to water skiers than to swimmers.

Sydney ocean beaches all have shark mesh nets around 100 metres out to sea, and are regularly patrolled by air for sharks. A shark alarm will sound if any are sighted, and you should get out of the water. The risk of shark attack swimming on a patrolled beach between the flags is low. Shark attacks are rare on Sydney beaches, but they have occurred. Advice is to avoid swimming in murky water after storms, or at dusk or at dawn, and to swim in the netted enclosures within the harbour and other estuaries.

Scams [ edit ]

Tourist scams are relatively uncommon in Sydney as they are throughout Australia, but a common scam is for people posing as Buddhist monks to give you a piece of paper with religious symbols on it, and as soon as you have touched it, they will ask you for money which they claim is to help build their temple – this is particularly prevalent in the CBD. However, many of them will back away if you verbally confront them, though

Stay healthy [ edit ]

If you need an ambulance, call 000 .

Medical centres with general practitioners are available for minor ailments without an appointment around the city and suburbs. Expect to wait around an hour or so to see a doctor. Upfront charges are usually around $75 for a standard 15-minute consultation, and most centres accept credit cards. Many medical centres remain open until 10PM or so, and a few remain open 24 hours. Those with an Australian Medicare card will find many medical centres in Sydney that "bulk-bill".

Most hospitals in Sydney have emergency departments, but check before attending as some do not. Those emergency departments are open 24 hours. See the Australia article for more details on health charges.

Many pharmacies stay open after normal business hours, often in proximity to medical centres, and there are a few that stay open 24 hours. You can call ☏ +61 2 9467 7100 to find the location of your closest after hours pharmacy.

Smoke haze [ edit ]

Relatively speaking, Sydney has low levels of pollution compared to other major world cities. There are however regular burn-offs of vegetation around Sydney and its surrounds during cooler and dry periods in order to reduce the risk of bush fires through summer, and these can lead to heavy smog over the greater Sydney area. Asthmatics and others with respiratory problems should take care not to spend too much time outside during these days. Wearing a P2 or N95 mask is a must during days of high pollution levels.

Sydney sometimes experiences high levels of smoke due bushfires, the most recent being December 2019. It was enough to warrant (temporary) inclusion in the world's top 10 polluted cities and the smoke was severe enough to prevent most outdoor activities. Although widespread bushfires are not a regular occurrence, scientists point to more happening in future due to global heating.

Connect [ edit ]

See the Sydney district guides for local information, or the Australia guide for broader options.

Cope [ edit ]

Consulates [ edit ].

All embassies are in the nation's capital of Canberra , however consulates in Sydney generally have most of the facilities that a traveller could need:

Other services [ edit ]

  • Custom Luggage Repair Centre , 317 Sussex St , ☏ +61 2 9261-1099 . Luggage repair services.  
  • Newspapers. Sydney has two major dailies: The Sydney Morning Herald , which is considered the city's newspaper of record, and a populist, generally right-leaning tabloid, The Daily Telegraph . Leafing through the Herald can be a good way to get an idea of what's happening in the city, and of attempting to understand the complicated morass that is Sydney politics. Newsagents also stock The Australian , a right-leaning national broadsheet, and The Australian Financial Review , as well as one or more local suburban papers (usually weekly, although larger ones publish more often).

Go next [ edit ]

There are a number of good one or two day trips from Sydney:

  • Drive across the B59 Bells Line of Road over the Blue Mountains to the Western Plains . Buy produce (apples, pears, chestnuts and berries) from the orchard vendors at the side of the road if driving over in autumn. A few of these orchards also offer pick-your-own. Towns to stop by include Lithgow, which is at the foot of the mountains; Bathurst, home to the Mount Panorama motor racetrack, and Orange (3 hours from Sydney), a beautiful rustic town with a great (cold climate) wine district and several fantastic restaurants by eminent chefs, and which is fast becoming a wine-and-foodie region of New South Wales to upstage the Hunter Valley.
  • Travel up into the wilderness area of the Blue Mountains . There are a number of good day walks in the Katoomba area, or you could tour Jenolan Caves .
  • Royal National Park , in the south of Sydney and accessible by train has nice 1 to 2 day walks.
  • Newnes Glen in Wollemi National Park .
  • Kanangra Boyd National Park .
  • Take a tour of the Hunter Valley wineries .
  • Wollongong is a lovely small city south of Sydney, accessible by driving south down the A1/M1 (Princes Mwy) or taking an hourly train.
  • Head up to Gosford or Woy Woy for some quieter, but picturesque beaches. Both of these towns are accessible by the Central Coast and Newcastle train.
  • Head up to the regional city of Newcastle by train and take in some of the Victorian architecture and fantastic city beaches.

Or if you are moving on:

  • Melbourne - Australia's cultural and sporting capital. See also: Sydney to Melbourne by car for itinerary information.
  • Auckland - It's 1,000 km closer and often cheaper to get to Auckland than it is to get to Perth .
  • Alice Springs - 3,000-km drive. At least a 3 night trip, stopping at Hay , Adelaide & Coober Pedy .

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4 days in Sydney

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Beginning in the heart of the city, this four-day itinerary will guide you around Sydney to uncover secret beaches, culinary delights and spectacular vistas.

By Amy Fraser

The must-do experiences

  • Catch the sunrise from the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Wander past pristine beaches on the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk  
  • Meet adorable koalas at Taronga Zoo

Day 1: Sydney Harbour

Begin your getaway with the very best Sydney views at the iconic Sydney Harbour . Take your pick from a range of cultural and culinary activities.

Hyatt Regency Sydney, Sydney, NSW © Hyatt Regency

The best hotels in Sydney

Whether you want to stay in a converted brewery, a luxury hotel on the harbour or an edgy loft-style room above one of the city's most popular nightspots, Sydney has a huge range of top-quality hotels.

Read time • 8min

Day 2: Bondi to Coogee Beach

Pack your swimmers for a day at the beautiful Bondi Beach . This coastal suburb is bursting with incredible experiences.

Bondi Beach, Sydney, NSW ©  Daniel Tran

Guide to Bondi

This iconic beachside neighbourhood in Sydney’s east is a dynamic pocket of sun and sand, with a bustling social scene and top-notch restaurants and cafés.

Read time • 4min

Day 3: Mosman and Manly

Venture over the Harbour Bridge today to explore Manly’s laid-back beaches and Mosman’s wildlife wonders. Here’s what you can do north of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Day 4 : Sydney’s Inner West

On your last day, explore Sydney’s vibrant Inner West, best known for its trendy food and drink scene.

Explore more nearby

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Surrounded by spectacular harbor and beachfront, Sydney is one of the world’s most stunning cities, and one that entices travelers with rare plants and animals and pristine beaches and forests. But this beauty has brains, too, which visitors experience in the form of cracking cultural attractions, events that focus on the locals, and innovative dining and drinking. The city’s temperate climate means that Sydneysiders love spending time outdoors, whether they’re playing in the waves or drinking coldies (cold beer) on a bar patio. In short, Sydney will welcome you in; she might just never let you go.

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Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

Photo by Michelle Heimerman

When’s the best time to go to Sydney?

Featuring a temperate climate, Sydney offers mild weather year-round with warmer, sunnier days in the summer (December through February) and more clouds and wind in winter (June through August). Spring and fall see pleasant weather, thinner crowds, and cheaper hotel rooms. Pack layers and always be prepared for rain, which generally passes quickly and dramatically. Summer is festival season in Sydney, but unique events are held year-round.

How to get around Sydney

Kingsford Smith is Sydney’s only airport, located just four miles from the city center. Direct flights run from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Dallas—currently the world’s longest flight. The Sydney airport is well-connected to the city’s various neighborhoods by train and bus. And there’s an efficient taxi stand out front for those with a little too much luggage.

Sydney has a good train, bus, and ferry system, but you pay for it. Expect to drop about $2.20 per bus ride (there are currently no transfers) and at least $3.80 for a single train trip. (It’s cheaper if you buy round-trip—“return”—tickets). If you plan to ride public transit often, consider buying a 10-ride bus pass or a weekly Opal pass, which covers unlimited bus, train, and ferry travel within a defined zone.

Can’t miss things to do in Sydney

Australians must be born with more salt water in their bodies. Nearly ninety percent of the nation’s population lives along the coast, and it shows in the way they swim, surf, paddle, row, and barely flinch at oncoming waves. For many Sydneysiders, swimming in the ocean is a daily cleanse. That must be why there’s a seawater pool at just about every beach. From Bondi’s iconic Icebergs club to Australia’s last remaining women-only bathhouse located in Coogee, pick your pool and take the plunge. You’ll never want to go back to chlorine.

If you’re coming all the way Down Under, it only makes sense to explore a little beyond the city limits. AFAR’s partner, Context Tours, offers a private day trip to the Blue Mountains , a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Food and drink to try in Sydney

This is a city that cares about fresh, seasonal, and local food, which is found at hole-in-the-wall cafés as well as white-tablecloth, waterfront establishments. Being so close to Asia, Sydney offers every variety of noodle, roll, bowl, bun, and dumpling, and these are some of the most affordable eats in town. Craft beer, cocktails, and coffee are all in the midst of revolution, so you’re sure to encounter something new to drink here. And indigenous ingredients are becoming more common on menus, linking modern diners with age-old Australian traditions. Tipping is not customary at bars or cafés, but if you receive standout service, leave at least 10 percent.

Culture in Sydney

Home to the world’s most famous opera house as well as volumes of convict lore, it’s no surprise that Sydney is well-loved for its cultural attractions. On top of opera and classical music, Sydney is renowned for dance and theater. And art—you can find touring international exhibitions as well as local stars at the Museum of Contemporary Art . For Aboriginal Australian art, head to the Art Gallery of New South Wales or the Cooee Aboriginal Art Gallery . If you’re more interested in the avant-garde, try Carriageworks and White Rabbit . And don’t miss the Hyde Park Barracks Museum or Cockatoo Island for prison history.

Parties might be what Australians do best, and Sydney features a full lineup of festivals, from the huge to the obscure. Start with the famous New Year’s Eve fireworks, and continue summer with the Sydney Festival, Australia Day, and the Big Day Out and St. Jerome’s Laneway music festivals. Early fall sees Gay Pride Mardi Gras, winter comes alive with Vivid Ideas lectures and light shows, and spring features favorites like Sculpture by the Sea, the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, and the Night Noodle Market. Every season has a film festival, or four. Check out Tropfest, Flickerfest, and all the outdoor cinemas that pop up in summer.

Local travel tips for Sydney

Like the weather, buses are unpredictable and often run late, so plan ahead. Or better yet, take the ferry , which offers amazing harbor views, refreshments, and free Wi-Fi. If you have time to kill, ride the long (and cheap) way by bus, or walk. Don’t forget to look up in this city. You might see lorikeets, cockatoos, the occasional owl or kookaburra, and at dusk in certain neighborhoods, giant bats called “flying foxes.” And remember: Sydney faces east, so get up early to catch at least one sunrise on the beach.

Local Resources

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Guide Editor

Serena Renner is a journalist and editor whose work focuses on travel, people, culture, and the environment. Her writing has been featured in magazines including VIA, the Intelligent Optimist, San Francisco, Australian Traveller, International Traveller, and AFAR—where Serena worked as an editor for two years. In October of 2013, Serena moved to Sydney’s Bondi Beach neighborhood.

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Sydney is a vibrant and diverse travel destination, known for its iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, as well as its stunning beaches and world-class cuisine. Whether you're looking for outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply a relaxing getaway, Sydney offers something for everyone. Plan your next trip to this dynamic city and discover all it has to offer.

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21 experiences you can't miss in Sydney

Tasmin Waby

Nov 3, 2023 • 13 min read

Two slightly dorky hipsters enjoying a day walk in the sunny Surry Hills, Sydney, Australia. The girls are happy to spend some time together eating ice cream and drinking cold drinks.

Take time to walk the streets of Surry Hills in Sydney's inner north © visualspace / Getty Images

Sydney is one of those cities that grabs your attention long before you get to experience it.

Bodyboarding at Bondi Beach, zipping under the Sydney Harbour Bridge on a ferry or catching a show at the incredible Sydney Opera House are just a few of the incredible  Sydney experiences you’ll want to tick off on your big trip Down Under.

And once you’ve tackled those, it’s time to explore what else the city has to offer. Here are the best things to do in Sydney, whether you’re visiting for the first time or the tenth. 

1. Dine on delicious meals delivered with exemplary Sydney hospitality

Sydney's dining scene has never been more inventive and exciting. Restaurants serving food from across the globe, often with a uniquely Australian twist, can be found in every pocket of the city.

Okay, it may be a little faddish and perhaps a bit too obsessed with big-name chefs, but it wouldn't be Sydney if names weren't being dropped. Thankfully the food scene manages to balance style with substance.

Fine dining restaurants such as  Quay and Oncore by Clare Smyth stand out as world-class on every front – from the views and the service to the exquisite menus on offer.

Other Sydney hotspots – no less incredible in terms of quality dishes and top-notch hospitality – include NOMAD , Mr Wong , Cafe Paci , Long Chim  and seafood pioneers Saint Peter . However, a takeaway Sri Lankan or a cheap noodles night with BYO wine could just as easily be your Sydney dining highlight.

Happy smiling woman exploring Sydney, with Harbour Bridge in the background

2. Walk, cycle, or climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydneysiders love their giant coathanger, which opened in 1932. The best way to experience this majestic structure is on foot; stairs and elevators climb up the bridge from both shores, leading to a sidewalk on the eastern side (the western side is a bike path). Get the train to Milson's Point Station and walk back towards the city to enjoy the most spectacular viewpoint. Climb the southeastern pylon to the Pylon Lookout or ascend the arc on the popular BridgeClimb experience .

Planning tip:  You can now book a trip with a First Nations storyteller who'll share their perspective on the city and country while you look over Sydney’s magnificent harbor from on high.

3. Tour backstage at Sydney Opera House

Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, this  eye-catching building is one of Australia's most iconic landmarks. Visually referencing a yacht's sails, it's a soaring, commanding presence that comprises five performance spaces for dance, concerts, opera and theater.

You can wander around the outside to your heart's content but the best way to experience the interior is to attend a performance. Taking a guided tour is also highly recommended (and available in several languages). There are a variety of tours on offer including backstage tours, a food-focused tour and one that zones in on the architectural talent that created the building.

4. Body-board, learn to surf or watch the Icebergs at Bondi

Bondi is one of the world’s most famous beaches, with consistently good waves and warm sea temperatures. It’s also a great place to learn to surf – Let's Go Surfing is a well-established surf school based in North Bondi, offering lessons catering to practically everyone. There are classes for young surfers (nicknamed locally as grommets) aged 7 to 15, adults, and women-only classes are also available.

Alternatively, you can book a private tutor between a couple of people – prices are lower outside the summer peak. Whatever you do, be respectful of other surfers and swimmers – Australians are pretty forgiving but not on the water, so pay attention to the etiquette of local surfers.

Planning tip:  In the cooler months, you can forgo the water and dine with epic views while watching winter swimmers take the plunge.

5. Explore secluded beaches and dramatic views from Watsons Bay

Located east of the city center and north of Bondi, Watsons Bay was once a small fishing village. Heritage cottages are still scattered amongst the suburb’s narrow streets but they now command a much steeper price. It's a lovely day trip by ferry from Circular Quay, and you can explore South Head and have a leisurely lunch at Doyles on the Beach  or sunset beers in Watson’s Bay Beach Club beer garden.

On the ocean side, The Gap is a dramatic clifftop lookout. On the harbor side, closer to Watsons Bay ferry, you'll find the sheltered  Camp Cove beach to take a dip.

Detour:  If you’ve forgotten to pack your swimsuit, Lady Bay Beach is a clothing-optional nudist beach on the west side of the bluff just before you arrive at Hornby lighthouse.

6. Ride the ferry to historic Cockatoo Island

Studded with photogenic industrial relics, convict architecture and art installations, fascinating UNESCO-listed Cockatoo Island (Wareamah) opened to the public in 2007 and has regular ferry services, a campground, rental accommodation and two cafes. Information boards and audioguides explain the island's time as a brutal convict prison, a shipyard and a naval base.

A spooky tunnel passes clear through the middle of the island, and you can explore the remains of the old prison. During WWII, most of the original sandstone buildings were stripped of their roofs and converted into bomb shelters. Solitary confinement cells were unearthed here after being filled in and forgotten in the 1890s.

Planning tip:  A range of tours can be booked at the visitor center, from straight-up heritage tours to ghost tours and convict prison tours.

7. Join a female-focused street art tour

There are a number of tours exploring Newtown’s street art and murals, or you can do it yourself with Google Maps and an app. However, Local Sauce has developed a self-guided tour that goes the extra mile and puts the spotlight on female artists who are often overlooked, starting from Redfern station.

As well as covering the artists behind the works, they provide recommendations for cafes where you can re-caffeinate along the way. Their street art and food tours also take you to some top Newtown eateries.

Dressing in drag is all part of the spectacle at Sydney's Mardi Gras Parade

8. Get thee to a drag show

Sydney is Australia’s self-professed LGBTIQ+ capital, so don't miss the chance to take in a drag show. Since RuPaul popularized the art of drag on the hit show Drag Race , a more mainstream audience has discovered the subverting performances of drag queens and kings. Now, popular queens can command queues around the block.

In Sydney, you can dine out while enjoying a show or head to a bingo, trivia or competition night with a drag theme. The city's Inner West and Eastern suburbs are where you’ll find most of Sydney’s LGBTIQ+ venues, from the Universal nightclub on Oxford Street to the more alternative Bearded Tit in Redfern.  

9. Stumble across Aboriginal rock art 

It may come as a surprise to stumble across an ancient art form in such a modern city, but Sydney is built on top of a giant gallery of Aboriginal art. Until recently, not much attention was paid to it and many works were covered over or destroyed.

Today, with dot paintings from distant deserts being celebrated, Sydneysiders have started to wake up to the treasure trove in their own backyard. Look for rock art by the original custodians of this place on the headlands around the harbor, on the coast and in nearby national parks such as Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park .

Visitors by the entrance to the Art Gallery of New South Wales

10. Admire the Art Gallery of New South Wales

With its neoclassical Greek frontage and modern rear, this much-loved institution plays a prominent and sociable role in Sydney society. Blockbuster international touring exhibitions arrive regularly, along with special events.

While the permanent collection has a substantial amount of 19th-century European and Australian art, the highlights are the contemporary Indigenous gallery in the basement and the collection of 20th-century Australian art, with some standout canvases by the big names of the local painting scene.

11. Deep dive into the White Rabbit art gallery

Considered by many to be Sydney's best contemporary art gallery, White Rabbit  is tucked away behind the Central Park development in Chippendale. It's the project of billionaire philanthropist Judith Neilson, who has amassed one of the world's largest collections of cutting-edge, contemporary Chinese art (works produced since 2000).

The gallery has so many pieces that only a fraction can be displayed at one time. You'll find art here that is edgy, funny, sexy and idiosyncratic. An on-site cafe does specialty teas and dumplings.

People shopping at the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) in Sydney

12. Shop Sydney’s Victorian-era arcades

Sydney’s city shopping is concentrated around George Street and Pitt Street, spilling into arcades and side streets from there. Among the many glimmering places to indulge in some intense retail therapy, there are several ornate Victorian-era arcades to admire while you browse. 

The magnificent Queen Victoria Building (QVB for short) takes up a whole city block and boasts nearly 200 shops, including well-known international brands across its five levels. The building itself is a High Victorian neo-Gothic masterpiece – undoubtedly Sydney’s most beautiful shopping center.

Check out the wrought-iron balconies, the Byzantine copper domes, the stained-glass shopfronts, the mosaic floors, the replica crown jewels, the ballroom, the tinkling baby grand piano (available to play) and the hyper-kitsch animated Royal Clock, featuring the Battle of Hastings and an hourly beheading of Charles I. Nearby, the Strand Arcade is home to a host of Aussie designers as well as an old-school branch of JB Hi-Fi in the basement selling electronics, DVDs and vinyl.

13. Catch one of Sydney's spectacular festivals

Sydney's nocturnal calendar kicks off with a spectacular New Year's Eve fireworks display over the harbor and doesn't calm down for months. As soon as the Sydney Festival' s myriad openings and events finish, the lights come up on the biggest party of them all – the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras  from late February to early March.

Winter brings fashion, literature,and film festivals to Sydney, with opening nights, cocktail parties and literary soirées, plus the spectacular Vivid Sydney  from late May to mid-June lighting up the town with projections and lights. Spring is football finals time – whether it's rugby or Aussie Rules, try to get to a night game for the friendly atmosphere and epic crowds.

14. Kayak to a secret beach

A hidden jewel not far from Manly , magical Store Beach can only be reached by water. Hire a boat or kayak from Manly Kayak Centre , then cruise around (it’ll take approximately half an hour to 45 minutes) to the sheltered 200m (656ft) cove beach fringed by trees. The views of the bushy North Harbour give the impression you’ve left the city entirely.

As this is a breeding ground for little blue penguins, access is prohibited from dusk, when the birds waddle in to settle down for the night. Visitors are also implored to leave the beach in the same condition they found it (or better). Take snacks, sunscreen and plenty of water.

Shelly Beach viewed from Manly

15. Hike the coastline around Manly and North Head

This marvelous coastal walk has two major components: a 10km (6.2 miles) western stretch between  Manly and Spit Bridge, and a 9.5km (5.9 miles) eastern loop around North Head. The western section traces the complex harbor coastline through upmarket suburbs and then a spectacular section of unspoiled Sydney Harbour National Park . It emerges in Clontarf and winds its way to the Spit Bridge. 

The eastern loop is known as the North Head Circuit Track, and the walk takes 2½ to 3½ hours. Make your way through the bush to the spectacular Fairfax Lookout on North Head. From the lookout, walk the Fairfax Loop and then head back via Australia's Memorial Walk and WWII gun emplacements to the Bluefish Track, which descends spectacularly to Shelly Beach . From here, you can return to Manly Beach via picturesque Fairy Bower Beach. Either download a map or pick one up from the information center near the wharf.

16. Learn more Aboriginal history and knowledge at the Royal Botanic Garden

Southeast of the Opera House, this garden was established in 1816 and features plant life from around the world. Within the gardens are hothouses with palms and ferns, as well as The Calyx , a striking exhibition space featuring a curving glasshouse gallery with a wall of greenery and temporary plant-themed exhibitions. Grab a park map at any of the main entrances to the gardens.

The garden includes the site of the colony's first paltry European vegetable patch, but its history goes back much further than that. Long before the convicts arrived, this was an initiation ground for the Gadigal people; book ahead for a tour with a First Nations guide sharing their knowledge of Indigenous bush foods.

Barrenjoey lighthouse at night under the stars

17. Make a day trip to Palm Beach and Pittwater

Long, lovely Palm Beach is a crescent of bliss that's famous as the setting for the cheesy TV soap  Home and Away . The 1881 Barrenjoey Lighthouse punctuates the northern tip of the headland in an annex of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. The suburb of Palm Beach has two sides – the magnificent ocean beach and a pleasant strip on Pittwater, where the calmer strands are suitable for young kids.

From here, you can get ferries to other picturesque Pittwater destinations, including other park sections. To get to the lighthouse, you've got two options on foot – shorter stairs or a winding track – for the steep hike to the top, but majestic views across Pittwater and down the peninsula are worth the effort. It’s also a perfect spot for whale watching in winter.

18. Go for a run or a horse ride around Centennial Park

Scratched out of the sand in 1888 in grand Victorian style, Sydney’s biggest park  is a rambling 189-hectare (467-acre) expanse with wide formal avenues, ponds, statues and a labyrinth. The park is busy in the warmer months with joggers, cyclists, rollerbladers and horse riders.

You’ll also find an equestrian center offering trail rides for kids and adults. Prior riding experience is not required, but bookings are essential. If a pony ride isn't their thing, children will also love the adventures to be had at the Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden . 

The Rocks as dusk settles over Sydney

19. Discover the colonial history of The Rocks

Australia's convict history began in the district known as The Rocks, with a squalid canvas shanty town on a rocky shore. Its raucous reputation lives on in atmospheric lanes lined with historic buildings, with more than a few still operating as pubs.

Sure, the place is overrun with tacky, overpriced koala-soft-toy stores and tourists, but there's a great museum and art gallery here as well. A popular old Rocks pub with rooftop views of central Sydney, The Glenmore is a top stop for a meal or drink. When it all gets too much, head through the Argyle Cut to the revitalized port area of Walsh Bay .

20. Skip along the Bondi to Coogee Clifftop walk

The simply sensational 6km (3.7 miles)  Bondi to Coogee walk leads south from Bondi Beach along the clifftops past the inlets at Tamarama, Bronte and Clovelly, interweaving panoramic views, patrolled beaches, sea-fed baths, waterside parks and plaques recounting Aboriginal history and stories.

The trail begins at the end of Notts Ave and spits you out at the north end of Coogee Beach, where you have a choice of three ocean pools to swim in if the waves at the beach are ferocious. Pack a picnic, plenty of water and your swimsuit.​

21. Get a taste of the high life at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia 

A 2.5km (1.6-mile) walk from Sydney’s central business district, in the well-heeled enclave of Rushcutters Bay, Sydney’s historic Cruising Yacht Club of Australia is the home of the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race . If you want to experience some local Sydney life, the members-only sundeck cafe here serves enormous portions of fish and chips with a glass of Riesling – all while gazing upon multi-million dollar yachts. Visitors can sign in for the day.

This article was first published Aug 9, 2021 and updated Nov 3, 2023.

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Jones Around The World

The Best Sydney Itinerary | How To Spend 4-7 Days Exploring Sydney

Looking for the best Sydney itinerary? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I lived in Sydney for a full year while on the incredible working holiday Visa program, and it instantly became one of my favorite cities worldwide.

While I, unfortunately, don’t live there anymore, Sydney will always be a second home to me. Sydney really does have it all. Amazing beaches, delicious food, fantastic atmosphere, iconic landmarks, and super friendly locals.

I really believe there is no better place to start your Australian vacation than in this remarkable city. And I hope this Sydney itinerary will help you figure out how to spend your time in the city.

Sydney Itinerary

The Ultimate Sydney Itinerary for Trip Planning!

Whether you’ve only got two, three, four, five, or a full 7 days in Sydney – this itinerary and travel guide will go over the best things to do in Sydney, places to visit, and helpful travel tips .

So without further adieu, let’s dive into my thoroughly detailed itinerary for your Sydney trip planning needs!

Sydney Itinerary

Sydney Itinerary Day 1: Explore Bondi Beach & Coastal Walk

There’s simply no better place to start your vacation in Sydney than the world-famous and iconic suburb of Bondi Beach. Filled with trendy cafes, shopping malls, and gorgeous people – you will surely fall in love with Bondi.

In fact, you could easily spend a full week here alone, trying all the amazing breakfast hotspots, relaxing on the beach, and catching some waves.

Tip: Bondi Beach is a top-notch location for people trying to learn how to surf.


  • Watch the sunrise
  • Go swimming
  • Relax on the beach
  • Learn how to surf
  • Visit Bondi Icebergs Club
  • Explore Bondi Pavilion
  • Stroll through Bondi Markets
  • Eat breakfast at Chapter One | Café & Wine Room
  • Stop for lunch at Bondi Tony’s Burger Joint
  • Head to Bondi Junction for some shopping

Bondi Beach Sunrise Sydney

If you’re looking for surf lessons, I recommend checking out “ Let’s Go Surfing ”. While I haven’t personally used them before, they really are the best in the business.

“The golden sands and crystal waters of Bondi Beach continue to capture hearts all around the world. As Bondi’s only officially licensed surf school on Australia’s most famous beach , our team of passionate and experienced Surf Instructors has been changing lives one wave at a time since 1995. Home to Australia’s oldest surf lifesaving club, funky beach bars, restaurants, urban-style shops, and hip markets Let’s Go Surfing and Bondi is an experience not to be missed. Australia’s greatest surf experience on Australia’s Greatest Beaches.”

Sydney Itinerary


No visit to Sydney would be complete without strolling along the unbelievably scenic path between Bondi and Coogee Beach. It’s one of the best tourist attractions in the city, and I’ll honestly never forget my first time doing this trek.

I don’t care if you have only 2 days in Sydney or a full week – this is a must-do when visiting Sydney. The path is super easy to follow and will lead you around to all of the best beaches in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, from Bondi, Tamarama, Bronte, Waverly, Clovelly, Gordons Bay, and ending in Coogee Beach.

Bondi to Coogee itinerary

Bondi → Bronte Beach  = 2.5 km (1.55 miles)

Bronte → Coogee Beach  = 3.5 km (2.18 miles)

In total, the distance is about 6 km (3.7 miles), and you really should spend around 4 – 5 hours completing the Bondi to Coogee walk. There are many photo opportunities along the way, things to do, and spots to relax.

I love the great atmosphere along the path, and you’ll learn how much of an outdoors-focused and active city Sydney is. Locals use this path as their daily exercise route, and I can’t imagine a better place to burn some calories each day.

Sydney Itinerary

Coogee Beach Pavilion

At this point of the day, you’re probably going to be ready for a big meal and cocktail, and there’s no better place to do that than the rooftop bar at Coogee Pavillion . When I lived in Sydney, I would come to this spot every Sunday, and it’s one of my favorite restaurants/bars in the city.

“A beautifully styled oasis overlooking Coogee Beach, featuring four bars and a sweeping balcony. Our rooftop is all about breezy good vibes. Depending on the size of your event, you can commandeer the whole floor or one of four eclectic indoor bars. Sample Mediterranean-inspired food, amongst eccentrically styled surrounds. The beachside location and outlook over Wedding Cake Island are spectacular. And who doesn’t love a rooftop party?”

Sydney Itinerary Day 2: Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Rocks, and Opera House

What would you say are the most iconic buildings in the world? The Colosseum, the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, and of course, the Sydney Opera House. Visiting one of the most famous Sydney sights and getting up close and personal is a must-do. And there’s so much to do around this part of the city.

Here are a few ideas of how to best spend your time exploring the Sydney Harbour:

Sydney Itinerary

On my first day in Sydney, my mate Troy brought me to this bar. We chatted about how excited I was to move to Sydney as we drank beers and started out at the massive Sydney Harbour Bridge. It was one of the most surreal settings and a fantastic way to spend a couple of hours.

“Situated right by the water’s edge, Opera Bar is often described as the best beer garden in the world. Be swept away by the panoramic views of the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, CBD, and the beautiful harbor. Whether it’s breakfast, a lazy lunch, a pre-show dinner date, or simply a cocktail; Opera Bar is truly perfect for any occasion .”

What I love about the Opera Bar is that it’s an awesome experience at any time of the day.  Whether you want to stop here for a midday drink or meal, watch the sunset, or keep the party going until night – there aren’t many bars in Sydney with this stunning view.

Opera Bar Sydney

Self-Guided Walking Tour through “The Rocks”

“This walk explores The Rocks , the oldest part of Sydney situated on the western shores of Sydney Cove, an area steeped in history. The Rocks were the first European settlement in Australia, established by Captain Arthur Phillip of England in 1788 as a penal colony. The original buildings were built using blocks of local sandstone – hence the name The Rocks.”

To make the most of your walk, you should have at least half a day. Although the walk can be done in a much quicker time.

But if you want to continue on to the steps that lead up to the pedestrian walkway on the Harbour Bridge to leisurely walk across the bridge and return by ferry, allow a full day.

The Harbour Bridge part of the walk involves steep areas and steps, so if you have a mobility problem, you might prefer to end your walk in The Rocks.

Sydney Itinerary 3 Days

Walk Across the Sydney Harbour Bridge | Pylon Lookout

Walking across this magnificent beast is easily one of the best free things to do in Sydney, and I’d say is a must for everyone coming to Australia. The views you get on both sides of the bridge are completely stunning, and you’ll also get some really epic photos of the Sydney Harbour. It doesn’t take long at all and is just overall a really simple yet fantastic experience. 

Trust me – just do it!

This is also where you’ll find one of the best views and popular Instagram spots in the city – the Pylon Lookout . While you do have to pay to enter (see entrance rates below), it really is worth it.

It’s also an amazing exhibition where you’ll learn all about the history of the bridge, which I personally think is fascinating.

“Come and see the fantastic views of the city, the harbor, and the world-famous icon – the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There are 200 stairs to the Pylon Lookout, 87 meters above mean sea level, but on the way up there are 3 levels of exhibits where you will discover the history and construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the men who built it, and the vision of JJC Bradfield, chief engineer.”

Sydney Itinerary

Milson’s Point & Luna Park

If you do walk across the Harbour Bridge (from The Rocks), you’ll end up in the charming suburb of Milson’s Point. This is one of my favorite areas in Sydney (mainly for photography purposes), and I’ve spent countless hours here wandering around, looking for different vantage points.

Take a photographic stroll through Bradfield Park, ride one of the rides at the famous Luna Park, and enjoy some scenic views of Sydney Harbour from the parks above Lavender Bay.  It’s simply a fantastic area to visit during the day and at night, and I know it’ll make you fall in love with Sydney as much as I have.

You can also take the ferry from Milsons Point back to Circular Quay after you finish.

Sydney Itinerary

The Sydney Opera House Tour


Why come all the way to Sydney without learning a thing or two about its most iconic landmark? This quick tour is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city and is really a great way to learn all about the Opera House.

Duration : 1 Hour

Price : $20.78+ U.S.D ( Read Reviews )

Sydney Itinerary

“Delight in an in-depth tour to the Sydney Opera House , and learn the history and stories behind this UNESCO World Heritage-listed landmark.

Join your informative tour guide as you wander through elegant foyers and performance halls. Take an audience seat on custom-made birch chairs, and imagine the thousands of concerts, operas, and ballet performances held on the grand stage.

Listen to the inspiring yet challenging 15-year journey of architect Jorn Utzon as you visit areas normally closed off to the general public. Admire the Opera House’s ceramic exterior, evoking yacht sails along the Sydney Harbour.

Upgrade your tour and enjoy a delicious meal set from the Portside Sydney Opera House. Feast on roasted salmon and chicken sliders, and mini cream puffs as you gaze at the skyline along Sydney Harbour.”

Your First Visit to the Sydney Opera House | Hyperlapse

Royal Botanic Gardens | Sunset at Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair

“The Royal Botanic Garden is a verdant oasis in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.”

To wrap up your time exploring Sydney Harbour, you’ll want to spend at least an hour or so walking through the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens. It’s a relaxing place to take a stroll, have a picnic, and enjoy stunning views of the entire harbor.

It’s also home to some of the best music festivals in Australia , and there’s pretty much always something fun going on in this massive park.

One of the best spots in the park is the iconic Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, which is easily one of my favorite places in the entire city. Every night during sunset, you’ll see tons of locals and tourists admiring the view of the sun slowly dipping beneath the city in the distance.

The way the sky lights up in different shades of pink and orange really makes the Opera House and Sydney Harbour really pop. This is one of the best photography places in the city, and you’ll definitely spot at least one or two different photographers with tripods taking photos every night.

Sydney Itinerary

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb

“Absorb a 360-degree panorama of Sydney as you journey to the summit on our original Climb experience. Like an exposed spine, the outer rim delivers you to the peak, as the sky remains just beyond your outstretched fingertips.”

If you’re afraid of heights, then this activity probably isn’t for you, but for all the adrenaline junkies planning a trip to Sydney – this should definitely be at the top of your list. In fact, this was actually voted as the #1 Traveller’s Choice in Australia and #4 Globally, so you know it’s pretty much loved by everyone who’s conquered it.

I haven’t done this yet, but I’ve already promised myself that I wouldn’t go back to Sydney without doing it.

Price:  $268 ( Read Reviews )

  • 3 ½ hours long, max. 14 people per group.
  • 1,332 steps (that’s around 500 calories or 2,100 kilojoules for those tracking)
  • Ideal if you want to soak up the moment and take the upper arch.
  • Perfect if you’re a bit nervous and would like more support from our Climb Leaders.
  • You can do this climb at dawn (limited departures), twilight, or night.

Sydney Itinerary

Sydney Itinerary Day 3: Watson’s Bay, Beaches & South Head Heritage Trail

Sydney has a wide variety of different neighborhoods and suburbs to explore, but I think Watson’s Bay is one of the best. I’ve been here two different times now, and on each visit, I’ve found something new to appreciate about it.

Getting to Watsons Bay is super easy. It requires you to take a ferry from Circular Quay to Watson’s Bay – this is super scenic and only takes 27 minutes. Hopping on this ferry is reason enough to make your way out there, but you’ve got lots to explore once you arrive.

Sydney Itinerary

The Gap Park Lookout

This place is absolutely stunning, and there’s a cool walking trail that will lead you up to different vantage points of the sandstone cliffs. While this is actually a stop along the South Head Heritage Trail, I actually always just went straight here after getting off the ferry.

The view out to sea from the various lookouts is magnificent, but I can’t help thinking briefly about the negative aspects of The Gap – which is a known suicide spot.

Luckily, an emergency phone to Lifeline (13 11 14) is prominently placed near the steps to prevent this from happening.

Soon, the beauty of my surroundings, the sun sparkling on the water, and the hope of spotting a whale distract me.

“When international director and closet ghoul Alfred Hitchcock visited Sydney in the sixties, this was his infamous point of reference. Locals know, and tourists do not, that this is the last stop for the desperate few, it’s also a beautiful location for a spectacular scenic cliff top walk that begins at The Gap Park .”

Sydney Itinerary 7 Days

South Head Heritage Trail

You could actually spend all day just enjoying all the different stops along this walk. While it isn’t very time-consuming, it is loaded with historical importance, pristine beaches, nude beaches (Lady Bay), epic views, lighthouses, and so much more.

“The short South Head Heritage Trail offers something for everyone: incredible beach and harbor views, a glimpse into the history and excellent whale-watching opportunities.

Best Sydney Itinerary One Week

Starting at Camp Cove Beach in Watsons Bay, this short walk takes you on a stroll along a 1870s cobblestone road past Lady Bay Beach. Before reaching the historic Hornby Lighthouse with its distinctive red and white stripes.

Take some time to explore the gun emplacements and keep your eyes open if you’re there during whale watching season.

The spectacular views of Sydney are sure to astound you. With the Sydney Harbour to the west, Middle and North Head to the north, and the expansive Pacific Ocean to the east, the scenery will leave you wanting to explore more of Sydney Harbour National Park.

I feel like most tourists skip this place when visiting Sydney, and I think that’s a complete shame.

Sydney Itinerary

Watson’s Bay Boutique Hotel

You simply can’t come to Watsons Bay without getting at least a drink or a meal at this hotel.

Side Note : Did you know that Australians use the word “hotel” for a bar? I had no idea until I got to Australia, and I thought it was so weird. Why, you may be wondering?

Well, “a pub, short for Public House, is an establishment whose main function is to serve alcohol, mostly beer. It’s also known as an Alehouse or Tavern. The reason for this is that until recently, in Australia (the late 1980s), pubs were forced, by the liquor laws, to provide accommodation and so were accurately called hotels.” 

Thanks to Midland Hotel for that quick little history lesson!

“Grounded on the sandy shoreline of one of Sydney’s most iconic harbor beaches, Watson’s Bay Boutique Hotel is the perfect destination for those pursuing sun, fresh seafood platters, seasonal fare, and icy cold refreshments while overlooking Sydney’s spectacular harbor.”

Sounds pretty great, hey?

After a long day of exploring and photographing the gorgeous coastlines and walking trails in Watsons Bay, make sure you pop in here for a beer or a sunset and even book a night’s accommodation at the hotel if you want.

It’s one of Sydney sider’s favorite hotels and has won awards like “Hotel of the Year”, “Best Social Media”, and “2020 Traveller’s Choice Award” from TripAdvisor in the past. 

Trust me – you want to visit this place. You also can’t really miss it, because it’s the first place you’ll see when you get off the ferry.

Sydney Itinerary

Photo via Watsons Bay

Sydney Itinerary Day 4: Sydney CBD & Suburbs

After spending 4 days in Sydney, you’ll realize that it is a pretty massive city, and I feel like people always forget that. While the main downtown area or Central Business District (CBD for short) is small compared to cities like New York or London – Sydney is just a massive county with many different areas to explore.

A few of my favorites include: 

Newtown : If you’re looking for the cultural hub or artistic district in Sydney, then this is where you need to go. It can be difficult to explain, but it’s easily the most unique suburb in the city.  It’s filled with live-music venues, gay bars, graffiti walls, street singers, a huge dog-friendly park, and an amazing variety of food options.

If you only come to Newtown for one meal, then you’ve got to visit the ever-so-popular Mary’s Bar . 

I think this video below perfectly encapsulates Mary’s and the vibe you’ll find in Newtown

YouTube Music: Sounds of Newtown

Surry Hills : This is another extremely trendy and hip suburb in Sydney, and you could easily forget you’re actually in Sydney while walking up and down its hilly roads. It’s got amazing food, top-notch art, an excellent nightlife, and is centrally located, making it easy to get to.

“On the southern fringe of Sydney’s CBD, you’ll stumble across the suburb of Surry Hills – a gritty, creative, and foodie-filled enclave. It’s arguably the creative heart of Sydney and a mandatory pop-in for anyone visiting the harbor city.

The Polly Pocket-sized suburb is home to fashion designers, creative agencies, and tech start-ups, along with professionals, young hipsters, the drug-addicted and homeless.”

Check out this amazing article about “ 10 of the best things to do in Surry Hills ”, which will definitely keep you busy if you decide to take a visit. All the food recommendations are 100% worth it, especially trying out Sydney’s favorite Gelato Messina.

Surry Hills

Photo via Eat Play Love Travel

Crows Nest – “Crowie” for short (because Australians shorten every word they can) is a small suburb in the North Shore and one of my favorite areas to go pub/hotel hopping. There always seem to be great deals, amazing meals, and delicious craft beers. It’s also been named “the most livable Suburb in Sydney” and goes by the motto – The Nest is the Best.   

“Getting its name thanks to its elevated position – it’s one of the highest points of all of the northern suburbs. Crows Nest is home to a strip of family-owned, mid-range restaurants, with a bunch of Vietnamese, Thai, and Japanese joints dotted along the Pacific Highway and tucked up behind the major arterial road.”  – Time Out Crows Nest Guide

If you’re free at night, then I’d definitely recommend making your way to Crows Nest for a night out. Not sure where to start? Just make your way to The Hayberry Bar & Diner for burgers, booze, Blues, and Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Sydney Itinerary Day 5: Sydney Day Trip

If you’ve got one week in Sydney, then I think you should spend at least one day outside the city exploring one of the best day trips. There are some really amazing options to choose from, but here are my top 3 recommendations:

Blue Mountains Full-Day Trip with Cruise

Price : $124.10

Duration : Full-Day


The scenic Blue Mountains National Park is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for a good reason. This explosion of biodiversity boasts incredible views of the Jamison Valley and the Three Sisters – a colossal sandstone formation and sacred Aboriginal site.

“Discover the natural beauty of the Blue Mountains on a full-day tour that takes you to Featherdale Wildlife Park. See various native Australian animals, stop at Echo Point for panoramic views, and enjoy 3 different rides at Scenic World.”

Read Reviews & Check Availability

Sydney Itinerary

Photo via GetYourGuide

Jervis Bay Sydney Day Trip

Want to visit some of the whitest sand beaches in the world? Then you need to make your way down to Jervis Bay, which is one of Australia’s most popular seaside destinations. While this seaside oasis has a low swell and is not the best for surfing, it is known as a great beach for families.

And although ideally, I think you should spend more than one day down there (as it is quite far from the city), it is a truly stunning place that I think is worth visiting.

Read my article titled “ The Perfect Weekend Getaway Exploring the New South Wales Coast ” to get a better understanding of what to expect.

In fact, if you have the time, I’d definitely recommend renting a car and driving down the coast for a two or three-day road trip like I did.

Sydney Itinerary

Hunter Valley Wine Tasting

Who else loves wine? Well, you may not know this, but Australia is home to some of the best vineyards and wineries in the entire world. I actually did my first-ever wine tasting in the Yarra Valley, and it was one of my favorite experiences I’ve had in Australia.

Located just a couple hours’ drive from downtown Sydney, the Hunter Valley would be an amazing destination for a full day of wine tasting.

Price : $137.20

Duration : 11 Hours

From Sydney: Hunter Valley Wine/Spirit Tasting Tour & Lunch – “Get ready for a diverse tour exploring the Hunter Valley wine region, tasting some of Australia’s best wine, food, cheese, chocolate, beer, and distilled spirits.”

Sydney Itinerary

Sydney Itinerary Day 6: Manly Beach

With its gorgeous beaches, scenic coastal walks, and stunning snorkeling spots — Manly should be on everyone’s Sydney itinerary.

I spent two full days around Manly Beach, and now I’m a strong advocate that it’s easily one of the best suburbs in Sydney. If you get the chance, definitely make it out this way for more than just a day trip.   

With that being said, if you get to Manly Beach earlier on in the day, you can squeeze in quite a lot.

I’ve actually written a destination itinerary before, so take a read through this article: How to Spend Two Days Exploring Manly Beach, Sydney . 

This will go over some really amazing food options, activities, and much more to keep you busy during your day while exploring Manly.

Manly BEach Sydney Itinerary

Manly Beach to Spit Bridge Coastal Walk

If you’re not too tired out already from a busy 5 days in Sydney, then I think the Manly Beach to Spit Bridge Coastal Walk is a fantastic way to spend your day. But only if it’s sunny and warm outside. Just a fair warning though – this trek is around 10 km (6.2 miles) and really does require a chunk of the day.

The views you get of Sydney Harbour are truly magnificent, though. And I think it leads you around to some of the most famous beaches in the entire city. I haven’t done this hike in many years, but it definitely left a solid impression.

Whenever I return to Sydney, I know I will make it a priority to complete this Manly to Spit Bridge coastal trek again.

Sydney Itinerary One Week

Sydney Itinerary Day 7: Endless Options

The truth is completing everything I’ve mentioned in this 7-day Sydney itinerary will be quite challenging in such a short amount of time. That’s why I’m going to leave this final day a little bit more open and flexible.

There really is no shortage of amazing things to do in Sydney, and I’m sure you’ll want some free time to just go with the flow and see what happens.

With that being said, here are a few more things that I think could be an awesome addition to your time in Sydney and that you could easily fit into your last day.

Sydney Itinerary

Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo : Want to see gorgeous giraffes with the Sydney Opera House in the background? Well, you can totally do that. While I haven’t been here personally, I think this is a Sydney must-do for anyone traveling with kids.

“Enjoy a fun-filled day at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. Start your day off with a cruise along the Sydney Harbour. See impressive landmarks such as the iconic Sydney Opera House. Arrive at Taronga Zoo, home to over 350 different animal species with eight unique environments to explore. The zoo offers abundant activities, from animal encounters to daily educational talks.”  

Adults = $35.18 USD

Children = $19.98 USD

The Taronga Zoo is easily reachable by ferry, and tickets are cheaper when you purchase them online.

Come play Wild and Seek at Taronga

Darling Harbour : I can’t believe I made it to the last day of this Sydney 7-day itinerary without mentioning Darling Harbour. This place is 100% a must-visit in the city, and I think you must come here at night. This place really comes alive every evening. The promenade is loaded with amazing restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.

It’s also the location of some of Sydney’s best tourist attractions, like the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, Madame Tussauds, the Wildlife Zoo, the Chinese Garden, and much more.

“There’s really nowhere in the world quite like Darling Harbour . From first light to starry nights, there’s always something going on here. Coffee machines froth, water laps, children play, friends chat, steaks sear, glasses clink, and bass thumps. Infectious sounds travel on harbor breezes as text messages and online updates share snapshots of good times. If you’re a local, chances are you really do come here often. If you’re new in town, there’s no question you’ll have this sparkling harbor on your Sydney bucket list.”

Sydney Tower Eye Rotating Buffet / Bar

If you’re looking for the highest view in the city, then there’s no question you must go to the 305-meter-tall Sydney Tower Eye . I’ve been up here once for sunset, and the views truly are magnificent. When I went up there (on a date, actually), I only went for drinks, but I’ve heard the food is absolutely amazing as well.

Sydney Itinerary

Want to visit the observation deck instead ?

Price : $89.00 Adult – $64.00 Child ( Read Reviews )

“Skip the big queue and enjoy faster entry by going straight to the prepaid voucher queue. Then stand on the Sydney Tower Eye Observation Deck, 820 feet (250 meters) above the street, and be rewarded with 360-degree panoramic views as far as 48 miles (80 kilometers) into the distance. The 60-minute experience includes a fully guided SKYWALK tour around the outside of the top of Sydney Tower. Access to the indoor Observation Deck before and after your SKYWALK tour.”

Nestled at the highest point of the city, the Observation Deck offers the ultimate view of Sydney’s beaches and neighborhoods, with vistas as far as the Blue Mountains.

Offering both day and night viewing slots, the state-of-the-art multilingual touchscreens provide an interactive introduction to some of the city’s famous landmarks. And the high-powered binoculars give you an even closer look.

Sydney Itinerary

Where To Stay in Sydney — Best Places

First things first, you’re going to need somewhere to sleep while taking on your Sydney, Australia itinerary. Now obviously, this depends on your budget and travel style, but I think below would be my top recommendations:

Sydney Harbour YHA –  My Favorite Hostel in Sydney

Looking for the best hostel in Sydney? Then I’d definitely recommend staying here at YHA The Rocks . I stayed here for nearly a full week at the end of my last trip to the city, and it ended up being one of my favorite hostels. The rooms are comfortable, the social backpacker vibe is great, and there is an absolutely stunning rooftop terrace overlooking Sydney Harbour.

Check Rates & Availability here

The Fullerton Hotel Sydney (Luxury Hotel)

In the past couple of years, I’ve had the pleasure of staying at a few different Westin properties, and I’m officially obsessed with the brand.   is truly a luxurious gem and will definitely provide a super comfortable stay in the city.

It’s perfectly located in the downtown city center, has incredible amenities, and you’re guaranteed to get a good night’s sleep thanks to their signature “heavenly beds”.

Also, give a quick read through my experience at The Westin Maldives: Heavenly Luxurious in Every Way , which is now the best resort I’ve ever stayed at.

Sydney Itinerary


While some may disagree, I personally think that the Sydney public transportation system works really well, and you’ll definitely want to get used to using it. The system will be able to take you all over the city, especially to the destinations mentioned in this Sydney 1-week itinerary.

Just make sure you get yourself an “ OPAL card ”. You can register online for free.

This is the public transportation payment system, and it will save you a lot of time and money utilizing it.

Fun Fact – I actually used to work at the OPAL card call center while I was living in Sydney, and think it’s a really fantastic product.

If you lose your OPAL card, you can call them and get it blocked so no one else can use it. Then you just need to get a new card and transfer the old balance to the new card.

Hopefully, you won’t lose your card, but it’s better to know you won’t lose the money that you’ve loaded onto it. 

5 Days in Sydney Itinerary


Wondering what is the best tourist SIM card for Sydney? If you’re landing at Sydney International Airport, once you get through customs and immigration, you will see five to six different phone stores, all offering a variety of phone plans for tourists.

My personal recommendation would be to go for Optus. They’ve got amazing tourist SIM card packages, and the coverage is top-notch. When I lived in Sydney, I actually used Vodafone, which I really loved, up until I left Sydney and had basically zero reception. 

Note: Vodafone is only good if you stay in the city.

2 Days in Sydney Itinerary


I’ve spent a lot of time traveling around the country, so make sure you check out a few of my other articles about my time in Australia to help plan your time there.

  • Greyhound Bus Pass Hop-On / Hop-Off: Cairns to Sydney Route Bus Itinerary
  • The Perfect Weekend Getaway Exploring the New South Wales Coast
  • Two Days on Magnetic Island: The Bungalow Bay Experience
  • The Ultimate Guide for Moving to Sydney on a Working Holiday Visa
  • The 20 Best Music Festivals in Brisbane
  • 14 Words You’ll Start Saying When You Move to Australia
  • The 15 Best Music Festivals in Sydney, Australia

Best Sydney Itinerary


Whether you are heading to Sydney for just a few days or embarking on a lengthy trip around Australia, travel insurance is absolutely essential.

Have you seen some of the crazy animals they have Downunder, or indeed, how expensive some things (including medical care) can be in Australia? Getting sick or having items stolen while traveling is rare, but when it does happen, it can be an absolute nightmare.

Having insurance (which is essential for Visas in some countries) will give you the peace of mind that if anything terrible does happen, you are covered.

I highly recommend HeyMondo due to its extensive range of cover for all situations and trip lengths, its fair pricing and its handy app. The app allows you to manage any claims within the app.

But it also has access to free assistance online, so you don’t need to rack up an expensive phone bill while abroad. So, whether you need a single trip cover or an affordable annual cover for multiple trips worldwide, be sure to buy your travel insurance before you travel. And then you’ll relax during your trip, knowing that HeyMondo has your back.

Nowadays, I would never travel without insurance again, especially after hearing so many (expensive and dangerous) horror stories from other travelers I’ve met.

Are you still planning your trip? You can always just get a no-commitment travel insurance quote now, so you have an idea of how much extra to budget for your vacation.

7 Days in Sydney Itinerary


Every time I visit Sydney, I find a new favorite thing to do or see. That’s just how loaded with natural and cultural attractions Sydney is. From the world-renowned Sydney Opera House to the Bondi to Coogee Walk, the northern beaches, and the Botanic Gardens, you’re sure to have an amazing experience in Sydney.

And to top it all off, you can also enjoy top Sydney attractions like the scenic views at Blue Mountains National Park. Enjoy sun lounging along the white sands of Camp Cove Beach, stroll through the Australian National Maritime Museum, or walk along Darling Harbour – you can do it all when you visit Sydney.

So, which of these incredible sights in Sydney, Australia, are you most excited about exploring?

Thanks for reading my Sydney Itinerary!!

If you’re not already, be sure to follow along on my Facebook & Instagram for more of my international adventures!  As always, feel free to shoot me an email or reach out to me on social-media with any questions you have about Sydney!  I’m a huge fan of Australia, and am always happy to help readers plan their trips down under!  Who knows, maybe I’ll be in town and we can grab a beer!  Until then, SAFE TRAVELS MATES!

Share this Sydney Itinerary with your Australia travel crew!

Thanks for the great info. When was this article written? How up to date is the info? I don’t believe it is possible to pet Koalas in Sydney in 2019??

Such a great and useful article! I will be visiting from New York and your pictures of Sydney and the things to do are gorgeous. Really appreciate your page.

Great post! Really helpful thank you so much!

Wow. Your photo skills are fantastic! I really love the long exposure photos of Sydney Harbour Bridge, especially the one showing Luna Park lit up at night with the Opera House compressed in the background! And your Bondi photos are incredible too! So inspiring thanks for sharing! :)

Great shots. I’ve bookmarked this post to have in mind before visiting Sydney next time (hopefully). My last visit was 2 years ago. A business trip and meeting in Four Seasons Hotels in Sydney, The Rocks area. Its near the center but was too expensive for me and I’ve stayed in Harbour Rocks Hotel instead. It is not on the main streets but close enough to walk to.

Really an awesome Sydney Itinerary, love reading this as it was very attractive and helpful. Please keep posting such articles.

That is such a comprehensive itinerary. I am bookmarking it for later.

thankyou for providing this useful information

This itinerary for Sydney is great. Looks like so much fun stuff to do. I’ll be cherry picking some of the options here for myself.

For Taronga Park, I strongly recommend that you ad that it’s the best zoo for OZ marsupials on the planet. They have wombats! (Yes, I know San Diego has them too, but not housed so well.)

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From April 2023, Waverley Council is upgrading sections of the boardwalk along the Clifftop Walkway at Dover Heights and Vaucluse to make it safer and more enjoyable for all users. This area forms part of the Federation Cliff Walk. The Diamond Bay Boardwalk will be upgraded first, followed by Eastern Reserve. These areas will be completely closed to the public during construction.


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