Sydney Layover Guide (SYD)

The Sydney Airport (SYD) is commonly known as Kingsford Smith Airport is found in Sydney, Australia. It is about 8 km (5 miles) from the Sydney city center. It was first opened to flights in 1920. Sydney is a coastal metropolis with many pristine beaches. It is one of the largest cities in Australia and is the state capital of New South Wales.

Can you leave Sydney Airport (SYD) airport during a layover? Do you need a visa?
It's possible to visit the city during a layover. You will need an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) or eVisitor Visa depending on your nationality to go through immigration and customs control. (more info).

Tours/To do | Relax/Sleep | Internet/SIM | Transport | Storage | Money

Tours, Things to do, Sightseeing

Organized Tours

Sydney Opera House

This Opera House symbolises Sydney. It was designed by Jørn Utzon who was inspired by sailboats. It is an architectural masterpiece that features millions of tiles on its four shell-like roofs. Within are theatres and music venues with world-class acoustics. Around the Opera House, you can indulge in panoramic views of Sydney Harbor. Tours are offered throughout the entire year. » book this tour

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney has many breathtaking sites and one of the best ways to get unrivaled views of the city is to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge with an experienced and professional guide. The height of the bridge is 440 feet. It is one of the most adventurous things to do in Sydney. » book this tour

Sydney Harbour Cruise

An evening sightseeing cruise in Sydney is one that stays in your memory banks. Catch the fascinating Sydney sunset and watch the city skyline change in different hues. Even better this tour has sumptuous food and you can enjoy the views right from your dinner seat. » book this tour

Things to do / Sightseeing

Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour is a beautiful natural harbour that stretches 150 miles and offers glimmering shoreline views of over the blue water. Iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, and Royal Botanic Garden are all in the vicinity.

Time required: At least an hour would be the minimum because there is so much to do and see around the harbour. Remember to watch the time since you could get lost exploring.

Airport to here: Public transport with the Sydney Train, T2 (40 mins). Taxi 20 minutes.

Royal Botanic Garden

On the vast shoreline of the Sydney Harbour is a 74-acre Royal Botanic Garden that is covered in vibrant and beautiful flora and interesting fauna. The park is made up of different parts, including the Australian Rainforest Garden and the Palm Grove, where the tallest tree in the gardens tower into the sky and the Chinese Garden of Friendship.

Time required: You can spend an hour or two.

Airport to here: Public transport with the Sydney Train, T8 takes 23 mins. Taxi takes an average of 15 minutes.

Australian National Maritime Museum

The maritime museum solidifies Sydney as a harbor city even more. The museum has a wide range of exhibits. Close to the museum is the Darling Harbour. It is a truly family-friendly and a place for children to learn while having fun participating in themed arts and crafts projects, interactive activity trails and other events.

Time required: You will need at least 30 mins to enjoy some of the exhibitions.

Airport to here: Public transport with the Sydney Train, T8 takes 23 mins. Taxi takes an average of 20 minutes

Darling Harbour

The darling harbour is a small closed-off harbour with a bunch of ships docked. The interesting thing is that visitors are encouraged to visit ship after ship to explore. The popular ships include the Akarana, 1800s racing yacht, HMAS Vampire, a destroyer ship; and the HMAS Onslow, a submarine.

Time required: You will need a minimum of 30 mins to explore the harbour.

Airport to here: Public transport with the Sydney Train, T8 takes 23 mins. Taxi takes an average of 20 minutes.

Art Gallery of New South Wales

The Art Gallery of New South Wales features a variety of art collections, varying between indigenous, colonial and contemporary art, ceramics and photography.

Time required: A minimum of 30 mins to explore the gallery might be okay but 2 hours is needed to experience it fully.

Airport to here: Public transport with the Sydney Train, T8 takes 23 mins. Taxi takes an average of 15 minutes.

St. Mary’s Cathedral

The Gothic Revival-style cathedral is impressive with its gorgeous stained-glass windows. It also houses a crypt that is clad in a stunning mosaic floor that has images representing Creation and occasional special exhibits. It is opened most days from 10 am to 4 pm.

Time required: Less than an hour.

Airport to here: Public transport with the Sydney Train, T8 takes 20 mins. Taxi takes an average of 15 minutes.

The Rocks

The rocks is an area in Sydney named after the sandstone rocks that line Sydney Harbour, this neighborhood has a rich history and is known for being the cool part of urban Sydney. The streets are made with cobblestone and the buildings have a 19th-century aesthetic. There are many shops, pubs, restaurants, galleries and occasional outdoor markets. It is also close to the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

Time required: You can explore the Rocks within an hour or two.

Airport to here: Public transport using the Sydney Train, T8 takes about 25 minutes. Taxi takes an average of 20 minutes.

Manly Beach

Manly Beach, is quite far from the city center but it gets just as crowded as other beaches. What makes Maly beach worth the trip is the dynamic shoreline draws and rough waves that look amazing.

Time required: You would need 3 hours or more to enjoy Manly Beach.

Airport to here: Public transport using the Sydney Train, T8 and F1 takes about an hour. Taxi takes an average of 35 minutes.

Relaxing and Sleeping

Airport Lounges and Relaxing
There are several lounges in the Sydney Airport in each terminal. » view all lounges or buy a lounge pass or membership online

Hotel and Sleeping
There are hotels very close to the airport. » view all or book an airport hotel online

Rest Area and Sleeping in Airport
There aren't designated sleeping zones as in other airports but there are several waiting areas with comfortable seating.

WIFI/Internet and SIM Card

WIFI/Internet: Free Wi-Fi named "SYD Wifi" is available in both international and domestic terminals.

SIM Card: You can also buy a SIM card from Optus shop in Terminal 1 before security.

Transportation to/from airport

Taxi: You can easily get taxis or rideshare services when you arrive. There are taxi ranks at the front of all terminals as well as signs that guide you to them.

Train: Airport Link offers a fast and convenient way to reach the city and suburbs, with trains running approximately every 10 minutes. The station is located at the northern end of the terminal and accessible from the Arrivals level. (more info).

Bus: Sydney Buses operates a timetabled service, Route 400 and 420 include the airport. The service stops at both the T1 International and T3 Domestic terminals. There are several signs leading to the buses. (more info).

Shuttle: Redy2Go and Mozio offer shuttle services. Their desks can also be found at the arrivals hall of T1 and T2 terminals.

Car rentals: Sydney Airport has several car rental companies located at the arrivals level at T1 International and T2/T3 Domestic terminals. Search and compare the best deals from quality rental car providers like Avis, Hertz, Europcar, Budget, Thrifty, and Enterprise. » view available cars or rent a car now online

Parking: There are several parking areas separated by proximity to the international or domestic.

Luggage Storage & Lockers

There is baggage storage in T1 International terminal.

Money Exchange and Withdrawal

- Sydney Airport (SYD) ATMs, currency exchanges and banks
- Order your foreign currency ONLINE and PICK IT UP at the airport!