Essential city info

Getting into and around Sydney is easy. With some simple pointers, you'll be well on your way to navigating the city like a local.

A new city can be exciting and daunting, all at once. But with some simple – but nonetheless essential – tips, you’ll be able to save time and maximise your Sydney experience.

Here are a few simple tips for getting to and getting around Sydney:


1. Travelling to/from Sydney

Sydney Airport is Australia’s international gateway, serviced by all the major passenger airlines. It offers more than 600 scheduled services per week, including direct or one-stop services from major hub cities. The city centre is a convenient 8 km (5 miles) from the airport, accessible by train or taxi.

2. Visas

Unless you’re an Australian or New Zealand citizen, you’ll need a visa to enter the country for your event. For the most up-to-date information about how to apply for a visa before arriving in Australia, visit the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website.

3. Incoming passenger cards

You’ll probably need to complete and present a passenger card when you enter and leave Australia. Your airline crew will give you this card to complete before you land.

4. Vaccinations

Australia is a clean, green nation, and free of many common diseases. You don’t need any specific vaccinations to enter Australia, but if you’re travelling from a yellow fever-infected country, you will need to present a yellow fever certificate.

5. Australian quarantine inspections

Australia is an island that is protected from a number of diseases. To keep it this way, our quarantine process is extremely strict. Bags can be x-rayed, searched and checked by sniffer dogs. You will be given a list of what you can and can’t bring into the country.

6. Currency

Australian money comes in both notes and coins. The notes are: $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. The coins are: 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and $1 and $2. You’ll find currency exchange facilities at the international airport, throughout the city centre, and at most banks and Australia Post offices.

7. Credit cards and ATMs

All major credit cards (including Visa, Mastercard, American Express) are widely accepted in Australia. Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are available throughout the city and accept most common cards.

8. Electricity

In Sydney, and throughout Australia, the electrical supply is 240 volts, 50Hz. International adaptors are readily available at chemists (drug stores) and electrical supply stores. Most hotels provide 110-volt outlets for shavers.

9. Sydney climate

Sydney enjoys a pleasant and temperate year-round climate, with more than 340 sunny days a year! To pack appropriately, we recommend you learn more about local forecasts in the area you’re planning to visit.

10. Sydney seasons

Summer – December to February
Autumn – March to May
Winter – June to August
Spring – September to November

11. Time zones

Sydney is one of the first cities to wake up each day. We’re 10-11 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), depending on the time of year.

12. Languages

English is Australia’s official language. But Sydney is one of the world’s most multicultural cities, with more than 1.2 million residents who speak a different language at home. So you’re sure to find someone who speaks your ‘lingo’ (that’s Australian for language).

13. Getting around

Sydney is a walking city, so bring some comfortable shoes! Most places you’ll need to go are easily accessible by foot, but if you’d prefer a different mode of transport, the city’s extensive public transport network is always nearby. It includes trains, buses, ferries and taxi services.

14. Australian Goods and Services Tax (GST)

A Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10% is included in the ticketed purchase price of almost all consumer goods and services in Australia. If you have any questions relating to the GST, please contact the Australian Tax Office directly.

15. Accommodation

Sydney boasts a wide variety of hotels, self-contained apartments, motels and hostels. There’s plenty to suit all styles, tastes and budgets. Note: Many international flights arrive in Sydney early in the morning – between the hours of 6.00 am and 8.00 am – and hotel check-in is usually after 2.00 pm or 3.00 pm. Find out more

16. Things to see and do

Living is serious business in Sydney. Our city is united by water and we make the most of it. Our harbour is alive with activity, with events and festivals all year round, and a thriving arts, music, theatre and dining culture. You can enjoy many things at little or no cost. Find out more

17. Eating out

Sydney is one of the most eclectic food capitals in the world, with diverse, fresh and creative cuisines to be savoured. Our restaurants span the full spectrum when it comes to catering for different tastes and budgets. Check out this great guide to some of the local favourites.

18. Tax-free shopping

Sydney International Airport offers international visitors duty-free shopping for a large range of luxury brands. You may also be eligible for a refund of the GST paid on goods you purchase during your time in Sydney. Find out more about applying for the Tourist Refund Scheme.

19. Tipping

Sydney doesn’t operate on a tipping culture. You may tip to show your appreciation for good service, but it’s not a requirement anywhere. As a guide, a tip of 10% in restaurants and taxis would be an indication that you were very happy with the service you received.

Latest News

Wednesday 15 August 2018
Business Events Sydney delegate survey prize draw 2018 winner announced Read more
Thursday 9 August 2018
Global semiconductor experts to connect with Sydney smarts Read more
Friday 29 June 2018
Sydney wins the 2019 MDRT Global Conference Read more

Follow Us