Arrival to Sydney
Kingsford Smith International Airport is approximately 10 kilometers south of the city centre.
There are no direct flights to Sydney from Germany, the distance is simply too great for that. But there are numerous connections where you change trains once – either in the Arab States or in Southeast Asia.
There are also numerous domestic flights to and from Sydney. The route between Sydney and Melbourne is one of the busiest routes in the world.
Transport from Sydney airport to the city
According to Countries Include, the airport is very well connected to downtown Sydney by public transport.
The quickest way to get to the city center is by train . Depending on the destination, the journey takes between 12 minutes (to Central Station) and 30 minutes (to Kings Cross). You need a good 20 minutes to get to the center of the Central Business District (CBD) (Circular Quay or Wynyard Station).
The journey costs 19.40 AUD (approx. 12 euros). You don’t need a ticket for this, you can simply hold your contactless credit card up to the card reader and get on board. Alternatively, you can also buy an Opal Card. See the public transport section for more information.
Withdraw and pay in Sydney
In Australia, the Australian Dollar (AUD) is used to pay. The conversion is around 0.70 euros for 1 AUD.
Cashless payments are common in Sydney, so you don’t actually have to withdraw cash at all. In just under two weeks we paid for everything with just a card. This is quick and easy, since you can also pay contactless everywhere and the readers here are significantly faster than in Germany.
If you prefer cash, you will also find many ATMs in the city. Depending on the bank, these machines charge a fee of around 2 to 5 AUD per withdrawal.
But you should still have a credit card with you, because cash is no longer accepted everywhere in Sydney. You can pay with cash in 80 to 90% of shops and restaurants, but not everywhere.
If you don’t already have a credit card that allows you to pay and withdraw money abroad for free, be sure to read our article on the best travel credit card .
We prefer to use the DKB credit card , with which we can pay and withdraw cash free of charge worldwide.
Travel expenses in Sydney
Sydney is not a cheap travel destination. Accommodation is very expensive, as is alcoholic beverages in bars.
Food can, but does not necessarily have to be expensive. If you eat in simple restaurants or food courts, the prices are a bit higher than in Germany, but not by much.
Here is a small overview of the costs you have to expect in Sydney:
Flight to Sydney: 700 to 1200 euros
Overnight stay in a good mid-range hotel: 150-250 euros
1.5 liter bottle of water: 1 to 3 AUD
Coffee: 4 to 6 AUD
Metro ticket: 3 to 5 AUD
Dinner in a simple Local: AUD 15 to 25
Eating in the food court or food truck: AUD 10 to 15
What to pack for Sydney?
You don’t actually need any special equipment for Sydney. If you’re going to Sydney in the Australian summer, pack shorts and flip flops. You are guaranteed not to stand out among the locals.
If you want to make it easy for yourself, check out our city trip packing list .
A power adapter for Australia is also important. We always have a universal travel adapter and multiple USB plugs with us and are therefore well equipped for all countries. If you only need an adapter for Australia, we can recommend this one.
You should also think about sunscreen. You can also buy them in Australia, but it’s best to take a pack with you. The Sydney sun can be really relentless and you shouldn’t go outside without protection.
Travel time & length of stay
The best time to travel to Sydney
Because Australia is in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are the opposite of ours. Australian summer falls on our winter and Australian winter on our summer months.
Overall, however, it is significantly warmer in Sydney than here. No matter what time of year you travel to Sydney, it will definitely be more comfortable than ours. Unless you like the cold and rain.
Sydney is typically hot and mostly dry during the summer months from December to March. Even late in the evening you can still walk around outside in short clothes and flip flops.
Spring from September to October and autumn from April to June tend to be changeable. During the day you usually have pleasant temperatures, but it can rain more often and get cooler in the evenings.
The Australian winter from July to August is probably the least attractive time to travel to Sydney. It’s still relatively mild for winter, but it’s still winter. As Sydney is an outdoor city, we would avoid these months.
How much time should you plan for Sydney?
In our opinion, you should plan at least 5 full days to visit the city. Of course, you can always go longer.
We were in Sydney for almost two weeks ourselves and weren’t bored. If you really only want to see the most important highlights, 3 days are enough for you. But then you have no opportunity to really immerse yourself in the city and soak up some of the atmosphere.
Good travel guide for Sydney
If you like having a printed guide with you, the Lonely Planet Sydney is a good choice.
If more than just Sydney is on your travel list and you are planning a tour along Australia’s east coast, take a look at the Stefan Loose Travel Guide Australia East .
Otherwise you have our page, where you can find the most important information and tips for your trip to Sydney.
Getting around Sydney
In Sydney you can get from A to B very easily by public transport. There are trains (Sydney Trains), a metro, trams and buses.
Opal Card vs Paying by Credit Card
Sydney is the first city we get to know where you don’t have to buy a ticket, but can simply pay for every trip with your credit card.
All you need is a credit card that allows contactless payment, one for each person. If there are two or three of you traveling, everyone needs their own card. Otherwise you have to get an Opal Card, which is available at all major stations.
The Opal Card is a ticket for all public transport in and around Sydney. This includes buses, trams, trains and ferries.
The card itself is free, but you have to load it with at least 10 AUD. You can then use up this credit bit by bit.
To do this, you first scan your Opal Card or credit card when you get on a means of transport and then do the same when you get off. The exact fare for the route you just traveled will then be debited from your card.
You can always top up your card at the Opal machines or at the transport information desk in the train stations. The credit is valid forever, you don’t have to use it up within a certain time. Of course, if you use your credit card, you don’t have to top it up.
The price per trip depends on the kilometers driven, the type of transport (bus, train) and the time. Off peak times and on weekends it is cheaper. A single trip usually costs between $2 and $5. This is significantly cheaper than in Germany.
In addition, you pay a maximum of AUD 16.10 per day, even if you drive more. This is the daily price that is calculated automatically. It’s really worth it, because the ferry to Manly, for example, costs AUD 10 one way. Every additional trip you take after a return trip to Manly that day is essentially a gift with the Opal Card.
Sundays are free from as little as $2.80 AUD, so this is a good day for touring. If you are traveling in Sydney for a whole week, you will pay a maximum of 50 AUD. However, the week here counts from Monday to Sunday and not simply 7 consecutive days.
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Hop on hop off buses in Sydney
The hop-on hop-off bus is another alternative way to get around Sydney. You can hop on and off as you please for a day or two, sightseeing the city from the open-top double-decker buses in between.
The bus runs on two routes. The red line browses the highlights of central Sydney, while the blue line travels to Bondi Beach. The hop-on hop-off bus is a good way to get an overview, especially for the first few days in Sydney.
Our tip : The online tickets are cheaper than the tickets on site.
Can you drink tap water in Sydney?
Yes, Sydney tap water is safe to drink.
However, the tap water is relatively heavily chlorinated. This is absolutely harmless to health, but not everyone likes it.
There are also quite a few water dispensers in the city where you can fill up your drinking bottles for free. If you’re lucky, the water there is even filtered and tastes better. If not, it tastes like chlorine here too.