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Essential information

At a glance

Best time to go
Year round
18.6°C / 65.5°F
Current Weather
Mostly Cloudy
More on weather
Current Time
GMT +11
area code

Money and costs

Daily Costs
Budget (up to)
  • Dorm beds: $30–50
  • Return train trip: $8
  • Hanging out at the beach: free
  • Pizza, pasta, noodles or burgers: $10–20
  • Private room with own bathroom $150–250
  • Cafe breakfast: $20–25
  • All-day public transport: maximum $15.40 using Opal card
  • Two-course dinner with glass of wine: $50–70
Top end (more than)
  • Four-star hotel: from $250
  • Three-course dinner in top restaurant with wine: $140–250
  • Opera ticket: $160–350
  • Taxis: $50


All visitors to Australia need a visa – only New Zealand nationals are exempt, and even they receive a 'special category' visa on arrival.

When to go and weather

Getting to Sydney

The vast majority of visitors to Sydney arrive at Sydney Airport, 10km south of the city centre. Numerous airlines fly here from destinations throughout Australia, Asia, Oceania, Europe (with a stopover), North America and elsewhere. A second Sydney airport is due to open in the west of the city in 2026.

Trains chug into Sydney's Central station from as far north as Brisbane (13½ hours), as far south as Melbourne (11½ hours) and as far west as Perth (four days!); see NSW TrainLink and the Indian Pacific for details.

Long-distance buses pull up to the Sydney Coach Terminal at Central station. Operators include Australia Wide Coaches, Firefly, Greyhound, Murrays, Port Stephens Coaches and Premier Motor Service. Direct buses head here from as far afield as Adelaide and Cairns, although you can connect via Greyhound to services reaching all major cities.

Flights, cars and tours can be booked online at www.lonelyplanet.com/bookings.

Getting around Sydney

Transport NSW coordinates all of the state-run bus, ferry, train and light-rail services. You’ll find a useful journey planner on its website. The system-wide Opal transport card is necessary for travel. The TripView app is very useful for real-time public transport info and journey planning.

  • Train The linchpin of the network, with lines radiating out from Central station.
  • Buses Particularly useful for getting to the beaches and parts of the Inner West
  • Ferries Head all around the harbour and up the river to Parramatta.
  • Light Rail (Tram) Useful for Pyrmont and Glebe; and from 2019, city-hopping, Surry Hills, Moore Park and Randwick.
  • Metro Under construction. The first line will link northwestern Sydney with Chatswood from 2019; the second phase will extend it through the centre of the city and out to the west by the mid 2020s.

Health and safety

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