Australia's celebrity city is a harbourfront delight

With its celebrated harbour, gorgeous beaches and diverse cultural attractions, Sydney lives up to its hype as one of the world's great cities. It's truly an international destination, with a multicultural, LGBTQI-friendly population and a calendar packed with festivals and events.

If you’re visiting for just a few days, focus on nailing the balance between Sydney’s two main qualities: beach life and city culture. Jump right into the obvious and take a dip at Bondi. Hang around for a coffee and a coastal walk, before visiting the blockbuster sights: the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Then head out west to explore Sydney's cool, inner-city suburbs. Here it’s all about bands, craft beers, indie boutiques, baristas and vegan food.

If you’re staying longer, head further west for multicultural delights, or head back into the city for Chinatown and museums. Hang around for rooftop cocktails and a night out on the Cross, The Rocks or Oxford Street. And if time is on your side, jump on a train and head to the Blue Mountains, or go hiking in the Royal National Park.

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Things to do: Sydney

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Airport information

Sydney Airport opens in new window (SYD)

Distance to city centre 8km

Taxi and rideshare You’ll find taxis and rideshare cars outside both the international and domestic terminals. It will take around 20 minutes to get to the city centre and cost approximately AUD $45-55 (plus an AUD $4.75 airport surcharge). For rideshare, expect to pay around AUD $35-50.

Train Airport Link opens in new window runs every 10 minutes and will get you into central Sydney in about 15 minutes. A one-way adult/child fare costs around AUD $20/15. 

Bus Public bus route 400 opens in new window runs frequent services stopping at both the domestic and international terminals, travelling to Bondi Junction. The trip takes an hour and the fare is around AUD $6.

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When to go

With their sunny days and mild temperatures, autumn (MarchMay) and spring (SeptemberNovember) are ideal times to visit Sydney. Summer (DecemberFebruary) can be very hot with late-afternoon storms. Winters (JuneAugust) can be cold and wet.

It's claimed that Australia holds more festivals per capita than any other country, and Sydney pulls its weight. From the iconic Sydney Harbour New Year's Eve Fireworks opens in new window to the Sydney Festival opens in new window, the summer months are packed with events and activities.

Most famous is the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras opens in new window – a two-week extravangza celebrating LGTBQI pride in February or March. In winter, don't miss Vivid Sydney opens in new window, a well-respected arts festival taking place over several weeks in August.

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Getting around

Buses, trains, light rail and ferries criss-cross Sydney, making it reasonably easy to navigate. The easiest and best-value way to travel on public transport is to get an Opal card opens in new window, available at stores all over the city.

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