Sydney Travel: The Ultimate Guide to Planning your First Trip to Sydney

Welcome to Sydney, where you come for the stunning beaches, and stay for the culture, the restaurants, and the good vibes too. Planning a trip to Sydney can be a challenging experience as Australia offers so many great places to explore and it requires you to consider several travelling guides. Although Sydney is a safe place for visitors and tourists, following these tips travelling to Sydney can make the experience more enjoyable with less trouble. It gives you a chance to explore as many tourist spots as you can. As you plan this trip to Sydney, take time to read these helpful tips to make sure that you’re ready for long walks, and for a safe tour. Be guided on important information we’ve compiled such as airfare tips, getting through the airport, touring around the city, hotel and Sydney vacation rentals recommendation, top attractions and other helpful tips travelling to Sydney.

Airfare tips

Months of October to March are the busiest tourism period in Sydney when the weather is most enjoyable. The airfares are much cheaper during winter months in Australia (the North American summer), and higher for the summer in Australia, and shoulder season during spring and fall. Qantas offers the most non-stop flights including some aircraft from L.A. and Dallas. Air New Zealand flies to Sydney also. Sign up for these airlines’ email newsletter as they often send out promos with discount ranging from $200 to $300.Depending on season or discounts, expect to pay anywhere from $1,200 to $1,600 or more for round-trip economy class from the U.S West Coast. Also, try to find a package with the inclusion of airfare plus hotel as it sometimes gives extra value.

Getting through the airport

You must get an electronic visa online when travelling to Australia, at least two weeks before travel for AUD $20. For electronic passport with microchip holder, look for the kiosks at the immigration for a faster entry into Australia. You need to fill out an immigration card both on entry and leaving the country. A roundtrip train from the airport costs $21.

Getting around the city

Sydney is one of the cities that are easy to navigate, it’s walkable and the streets are well marked. However, do not try to jaywalk as police officers will not hesitate to fine you for doing so. And make sure to look both sides of the street when crossing, they drive on the left here. You can find newsstands that are selling Opal card, a stored-value transit card and the most convenient and cheapest way to access public transportation. The daily maximum limit is $15 for adults, $7.50 for children. Taxis are metered and in egalitarian Sydney, where everyone treats equally so passengers still ride in the front seat with the driver.

Recommended hotels

Same with the airfares, hotel rates are cheaper in winter. The most highest-rated lodgings are not hotels but rather serviced apartments. Some recommendations are Merton Serviced Apartments Campbell Street and World Tower. If you’re looking for a luxury vacation, Sydney Park Hyatt and Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbor get top marks.

Top Eats

There’s no traditional Sydney cuisine or dish aside from shrimp on the Barbie, made famous by Hollywood actor Paul Hogan’s appearances in those tourism TV ads. But today, Sydney is now considered a food culture, even if it’s existing for about 30 years only. One of the must-try dishes is the Australian beef. You’ll also find lamb dishes on many restaurants’ menus. If you’re into fine dining, Nomad at Foster Street in Surry Hills and Rockpool in Bridge Street in the Central Business District are the most recommended restaurants for tourists and visitors.

Top attractions

Sydney Opera House tour must be on top of your list of attractions here in Sydney. This Opera house took 17 to build and is extremely popular with tourists. The standard tour takes an hour and two hours for a backstage option. For tourists who do it, the highlight of there is climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Even the locals like it as well.

  • Sydney Opera House – Iconic landmark, theatre, music, and dance, plus skyline-dominating arts centre for opera.
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge – Opened in 1932, Sydney Harbour Bridge offers a Bridgeclimb and the Pylon Lookout and hosting exhibitions.
  • Darling Harbour – Darling Harbour hosts large-scale events, a waterfront destination housing many of Sydney’s major attractions.
  • Bondi Beach – One of Australia’s most iconic beaches, Bondi Beach has great waves that draw surfers around the world.
  • Royal Botanic Garden – Perfect for the entire family but kids will appreciate this more. A haven for city wildlife with fernery, rose garden and Jurassic Jungle.
  • Taronga Zoo, Sydney – An animal attraction in Sydney, housing 340 separate species and a ferry service to the centre of the city.
  • The Rocks – The rocks is a neighbourhood of historic laneways in the shadow of Sydney Harbor Bridge. Visitors and locals mingle at the Rocks Markets, enjoying the street food and handmade fashions.

Annual Festivals

Sydney Festival holds around 400 contemporary cultural performances every January. More than a thousand artists in 30 different venues and 140 different events showcase this Sydney annual festival. The yearly celebration of Good Food Month brings street food festivals and other culinary events to Sydney.


Tipping is not customary and never expected, probably because the minimum wage is $17 an hour.


If you’re using appliances without built-in converters, you’ll need both a voltage converter and an outlet adapter, as the voltage is 220. In hotels, airport lounges, and other establishments lack 110-volt outlets, although they usually give adapters, it’s good to bring your own.

This article is submitted by Seema Gurnani from