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Sydney, Australia Hotels and City Guide

Sydney Hotels and Sydney Guide with Sydney maps, top attractions, room reservations and hotel deals at a wide range of the best Sydney hotels

Sydney - Transportation


Getting Around Sydney

Driving around any foreign city, even one as friendly as Sydney, is not for the faint of heart. Knowing the ins and outs of the city, the best routes to take, where to park, and how long to allow for driving times can be difficult if you are not familiar with the city. Guests to Sydney often prefer public transportation: it is easy, quick, affordable, and you don’t have to worry about getting lost or finding a parking spot. Knowing a little about how to get around on the city’s trains, buses, ferries, trams, and other convenient modes of travel – including your feet – will allow you to spend more time seeing Sydney’s incredible sights and less time looking at maps.

Depending on how long you are staying in Sydney, you may want to invest in a Sydney Pass. This is valid for all forms of public transportation and offers users discounted fares. You may purchase a three, five, or seven day pass. Other great deals include, the Day Tripper, Travel Ten, good for 10 rides on the bus, the Ferry Ten, good for 10 rides on the ferry, the MetroConnect, the weekly Trip Pass, or the Monorail Day Pass. Get where you need to go and save money.


Buses

Bus is a reliable and easy way to travel around Sydney; in fact, many attractions, such as Bondi and Coogee Beaches, are serviced solely by bus. The city buses, which are the ones most used by tourists, are run by the Sydney city government and offer reasonable fares. Though dependent on how far you travel, fares are usually under $3.50. To further mitigate the cost, you can buy a Bus Tripper, a one-day pass, for $11.70. This is great for a full day of sightseeing. (Think what you save in parking fees!) You may buy tickets at newsagents (small shops that sell newspaper, magazines, etc.), bus transit shops, or on the bus (excluding pre-pay routes). When buying your ticket on the bus, try to have exact change or as close as possible because the drivers do not always have or give change. Discount passes can be bought at newsagents and stations.

The main city bus stops are at Circular Quay, Wynyard Park, and Railway Square. Bus transit shops are located at the Queen Victoria Building on York Street, Circular Quay on the corner of Alfred and Loftus Streets, and at Wynyard and Railway Square stations. Routes marked by an “X” indicate an express route, and those with “L” have limited stops. These will be faster. Buses usually run from 5:00am to 12:00am.

The suburbs are usually serviced by privately owned bus companies, which offer less frequent trips. They typically stop running at 9:00pm, so if you are visiting the suburbs, make sure you have a ride back. Fares are similar to those of city buses, but you cannot use passes from the city. One more bus option is the Sydney Explorer. Owned by Sydney Buses, this bright red bus takes visitors around the city, hitting 27 prime destinations. A ticket costs $39 for adults, $19 for children, or $97 for families. You can ride all day on your ticket, and services run every 20 minutes. This is a great way to see the sights. 

You may also book trips to the airport and hotels in the Sydney area with Kingsford Smith Transport (+61.02.9666.9988) or door-to-door services to and from Manly with the Manly Airport Bus (+61.02.9981.1453). Kingsford Smith Transport charges $10 for a single trip, and $18 for return and runs from 5:00am to 11:00pm. Manly Airport Bus’s service is $30 for a single trip, and $63 for return and also runs from 5:00am to 11:00pm.  Call ahead to book your trip.


Trains

Sydney has an extensive network of trains that service suburban Sydney, Hunter, the Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands, and Central and South Coasts. This is extremely convenient for those staying on the outskirts of the city. The trains all stop at the City Circle, an underground terminal of sorts that has eight city stations: Central, Town Hall, Wynyard, Circular Quay, St James, Museum, Martin Place, and Kings Cross. Visitors or residents in the suburbs can buy a ticket to the “City” and will be able to reach any of these. In that way, it is incredibly easy to get into Sydney City.

Trains operate from 5:00am to 12:00am. Traveling on the weekends and after 9:00pm on weekdays will allow you to buy an off-peak return ticket for about the price of a one-way fare, for a substantial discount. Trains leave every 15 minutes for major stops at Chatswood, Bondi Junction, Hurstville, Parramatta, Bankstown, Blacktown and Liverpool.

Tickets are purchased at the ticket office or machines at the stations. You have to buy the ticket for the entire trip before boarding because of the short hours at suburban train stations (you often would not be able to buy a return ticket), and you cannot buy them onboard. The trains, run by CityRail, do not cover the Northern and Southern Beaches, such as Bondi, or the Balmain or Glebe areas.

To reach destinations within the city, you may use Metro Light Rail. From Central Station, you can go to Darling Harbour, the Star City Casino, and other popular tourist attractions. A trip across one zone is $3.20 ($4.60 for return), and a trip across two zones is $4.20 ($5.70 for return). A daypass is only $9.00, and a week pass is $22. In addition, there are several discounts you can get: for instance, the Monorail and Light Rail Day Pass is a convenient combination pass for only $15, and passengers get access to many discounts on area attractions. For more information on routes, zones, schedules, fares, and passes, consult the Metro Light Rail website.


Ferries

Take advantage of all that water and hop on a ferry. Departing from Circular Quay, you can take ferries to Manly and Parramatta from 6:00am to 12:00am (though make sure to check on the hours, as they may be shorter for those ferries servicing tourists). It is a wonderful way to see the city while relaxing. The RiverCats to Parramatta are $8 one way, and riding on the JetCats to Manly will cost $5. The ride, though, from Circular Quay to Manly is well worth it: see the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge in the most famous harbour in the world. A grand sight.


Taxis

Taxis are a convenient way to get around the city, though for longer journeys, a bus or train might be less expensive. The fares are $3.00 for the initial pickup, and $1.80 for each kilometer. After 10:00pm, rates jump by 20 percent. Most taxis in Sydney accept credit cards, but make sure to ask before you accept the ride – also make sure to ask if your driver knows where he’s going. Some may not – so make sure you, too, know the route as much as possible so you can ensure you are not paying too much.


Cars

Visitors who prefer to drive generally will not be confronted with traffic nightmares such as those in New York City or Los Angeles, but it does get congested during rush hours (from 6:30am to 9:30am and 4:00pm to 6:30pm) and around the city’s major attractions, such as Bondi Beach. Signs clearly mark roads and speed limits and make travel a bit easier. The speed limit in residential areas is usually 50 kilometers per hour. Main roads have a slightly higher limit, 60 or 70 kilometers per hour, and on freeways, you can travel 80 kilometers. But do keep an eye on the signs: you will find posted speed limits for schools zones during school hours or construction and work zones. There are speed cameras monitoring school zones and areas where there is road work, so always be sure to read the signs.

There are some expenses associated with driving in the city that you should be aware of: parking and tolls can add a lot to your travel budget. Parking at central lots can be $25 per hour, or $70 for the day. There are specials that require you to arrive and leave at certain times (you can park at the Opera House if you arrive before 10:00am and leave between 3:00pm and 7:00pm for only $16. Don’t be late, or you’ll pay $42). Hotels in the Central Business District charge guests for parking, and there are also parking fees at beaches, on  the streets (which is hard to find), and at shopping centers. If you exceed your time, you will get an $80 fine. This is a steep price to pay, but you will not get out of it by reloading the meter or moving to the same zone. If you want to look on the bright side, once you’ve received your fine, you can’t be fined again that day, so the spot is yours for the day if you want it.

The following freeways, tunnels, and bridges are toll roads: M2, M4, M5, and M7 Motorways, the Falcon Street Entry and Exit to Gore Hill Freeway, Lane Cove Tunnel, Cross City Tunney, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Tunnel going southbound, and the Eastern Distributor Motorway going northbound. Depending on the road you use, tolls are between $2.50 and $7.00.

If you are going to use the Cross City, Lane Cove, or Harbour Tunnels, Falcon Street Exit or Entry, the M7, or Harbour Bridge, be aware that those roads have only electronic tolling. You can buy a visitor’s tag (RFID transponder) or an electronic pass. The lanes marked with “E” accepted the tag, and those with “e” accept the pass or a tag. A bit confusing for foreign drivers, but more and more roadways are going to electronic tolling and eliminating cash. If you plan on driving in Sydney, especially on toll roads that do not accept cash, go to the RTA (Roads and Traffic Authority) of New South Wales and register for the E-Toll pass or gather any information you need.

In addition to these options, you can exercise your curiosity and your feet. Walking tours are popular in Sydney, and you can go on those focused on historical areas, shopping, or different districts within the city.


Traveler Information, Maps, and Books

Taking a little time to plan your trip has several benefits: you have an idea of the sights you want to see and how to get to them, you have your accommodations taken care of so you have a great deal less stress, and planning doesn’t restrict your movements in the least. Far from making you rigid as you go around Sydney with a checklist of your “must-see attractions,” having a feel for the city frees you up to explore and find adventure. With knowledge comes the confidence that you can get around in the city and have the time of your life.

Other great resources include: the Sydney Destination Map from National Geographic. This has helpful maps and travel information. You can find attractions and businesses that you will need during your visit; the Australia Touring Atlas from Hema Maps will help you navigate the city; and the Sydney City Guide with Popout Map from Globe Pequot Publishing.





Hotels in Sydney, Australia

InterContinental Sydney Hotel

InterContinental Sydney Hotel

117 Macquarie Street, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia

Welcome to the InterContinental Sydney Hotel, located next to Sydney landmarks such as the Royal Botanic Gardens and Circular Quay. The InterContinental Sydney Hotel is the ideal hotel for those who are travelling to Sydney and offers travellers access to the very best...




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Best Western Ashfields Philip Ldg Mtl

Best Western Ashfields Philip Ldg Mtl

156 Parramatta Road, Ashfield, Sydney, 2131, Australia

The Best Western Ashfields Philip Lodge Motel is located within an easy drive to Sydney's Olympic site and sporting complex, Sydney Entertainment Centre and Darling Harbour. It offers queen size beds and spa rooms, executive rooms, with some family units available. For...




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Best Western Hotel Stellar

Best Western Hotel Stellar

4 Wentworth Avenue, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia

Ideally located in the heart of Sydney, the Best Western Stellar Suites Wentworth Syndey Hotel is a charming retreat offering affordable luxury, which is appealing to both business and leisure travellers. In a location of convenience, the Best Western Stellar Suites...




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Best Western Lidcombe Motor Inn

Best Western Lidcombe Motor Inn

Cnr Mark & Taylor Streets, Lidcombe, 2141, Australia

The Best Western Lidcombe Motor Inn is a modern three story motel with 25 units and six two-bedroom apartments. All rooms are serviced by a lift to each floor, have recently been refurbished and feature natural light from big bright windows. Our friendly staff welcomes...




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Marriott Sydney Harbour at Circular Quay

Marriott Sydney Harbour at Circular Quay

30 Pitt Street, Sydney, NW, Australia

Hotel Description: The Sydney Harbour Marriott is ideally located in the central business district just one block from Circular Quay and Sydney Harbour. Guests can enjoy views of the botanical gardens, the city skyline, historic Macquarie Park,... more
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Park Hyatt Sydney

Park Hyatt Sydney

7 Hickson Road, The Rocks, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia

Welcome to Sydney, one of the most beautiful and dynamic cities in the world. Choose to stay at the Park Hyatt Sydney Hotel on your next visit to Sydney, Australia and find out why this Sydney hotel has been voted The best hotel in Australia. more
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Sydney Hilton

Sydney Hilton

488 George Street, Sydney, Australia

Chic and central, the Hilton Sydney hotel boasts stylish bars, the city's largest health club and fine dining at its famous brasserie. Soak up harbor views from the Executive Lounge, do business in one of 23 meeting rooms or unwind with a dip in the pool or indulgent... more
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Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach, Sydney

Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach, Sydney

Corner Arden&Carr Streets Coogee Beach Sydney, NSW 2034 AUSTRALIA

Just ashore the Pacific Ocean, Sydney's Coogee Beach boasts of the magnificent terrain of sea and sand, and amidst this enchanting scenery stands Crowne Plaza Sydney Hotel Coogee Beach, offering star class accommodation to the holiday-maker and business traveller... more
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Crowne Plaza Hotels - Norwest

Crowne Plaza Hotels - Norwest

1 Columbia Court, 2153, Baulkham Hills

Crowne Plaza Norwest Sydney is ideally located at the gateway to the Norwest Business Park on the Corner of Windsor Road and Norwest Boulevard. Just 40 minutes drive from the Sydney's CBD and within the heart of the North Western Business District. Only minutes from... more
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Sofitel Wentworth Sydney

Sofitel Wentworth Sydney

61-101 Phillip Street, 2000 Sydney, Australia

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Swissotel Sydney

Swissotel Sydney

68 Market Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia

Swisstel Sydney boasts a vibrant inner city location, offering relaxed and luxurious surroundings right at the doorstep of some of the best dining, shopping, entertainment and landmarks Sydney has to offer. The Sydney Harbour Bridge, the historic Rocks, the Sydney Opera... more
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Best Western Twin Towers Inn

Best Western Twin Towers Inn

260 Pacific Hwy, Artarmon, Sydney, 2064, Australia

Just 10 minutes away from the commercial and tourist heart of Sydney, Twin Towers provides superb 4 star accommodation, a restaurant with panoramic views open for all meals, a pool and spa, ample free parking and friendly, profesional service from our attentive staff. We... more
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Grand Mercure Apartments One Darling Harbour

Grand Mercure Apartments One Darling Harbour

50 Murray Street, Darling Harbour, 2000 Sydney, Australia

Hotel Introduction110 luxury apartments located in Darling Harbour. Direct monorail link to CBD and a short stroll to the Convention Centre and Casino. Surrounded by premier Sydney tourist attractions including the Sydney Aquarium, IMAX Theatre and Powerhouse... more
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Holiday Inn Darling Harbour Hotel

Holiday Inn Darling Harbour Hotel

68 Harbour Street, Darling Harbour,PO Box K1205, Haymarket 1240,Sydney NSW,2000 AUSTRALIA

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Holiday Inn Old Sydney

Holiday Inn Old Sydney

55 George Street, Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia

Holiday Inn Old Sydney is a unique hotel nestled between Sydney's famous Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, in the historic Rocks area. Magnificent views, by day or night, of the world's most stunning harbour from our rooftop pool. During the day, the deep blue... more
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Holiday Inn Potts Point, Sydney

Holiday Inn Potts Point, Sydney

203 Victoria Street,Potts Point,Sydney,2011 AUSTRALIA

290 guest rooms and 7 suites 8 floors Complimentary parking for in-house guests or conference guests. The hotel car park has approximately 120 car spaces available. It is an undercover security car park, with access by room key card or intercom to reception.... more
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Holiday Inn Rooty Hill Hotel

Holiday Inn Rooty Hill Hotel

Cnr Railway and Sherbrooke Streets,Rooty Hill,Sydney NSW,2766 AUSTRALIA

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Holiday Inn Sydney Airport Hotel

Holiday Inn Sydney Airport Hotel

Bourke Road and Oriordan Street,,Sydney 2020,,Australia,

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Mercure Sydney

Mercure Sydney

818-820 George Street, Po Box 7082, Nsw, 2000 Sydney, Australia

Hotel IntroductionLocated in the heart of the entertainment district next to Central Railway Station. Within walking distance of Darling Harbour and Chinatown. Easy access to the CBD. 2 restaurants, 1 bar, rooftop indoor swimming pool, sauna and gym. Conference... more
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Novotel Brighton Beach

Novotel Brighton Beach

Cnr Grand Pde And Princess St, 2216 Brighton Le Sands, Australia

Hotel IntroductionA 296 room hotel opposite Brighton Beach with sweeping views across beautiful Botany Bay. Located only 15 km from Sydney City and 5 minutes from Sydney Airport. All 296 rooms boast a private balcony and the hotel offers a variety of leisure... more
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Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour

Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour

100 Murray Street, Darling Harbour, 2009 Pyrmont, Australia

Hotel IntroductionLocated in the heart of Darling Harbour, adjacent to the Sydney Convention Centre and surrounded by the premier attractions of Sydney, including the Sydney Aquarium, Maritime and Powerhouse Museums,Star City Casino and the Entertainment... more
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Parkroyal Darling Harbour

Parkroyal Darling Harbour

150 Day Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000, Australia

Located on the city-side of Darling Harbour, the PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney Hotel offers premium accommodation within minutes of the citys most popular sights and attractions more
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Hotel Ibis Darling Harbour

Hotel Ibis Darling Harbour

70 Murray Street, Darling Harbour, 2000 Sydney, Australia

Hotel IntroductionIbis Hotel Darling Harbour is centrally located. Many of the 256 rooms offer spectacular views of Darling Harbour. Star City casino, and the Sydney Aquarium are both within walking distance of the hotel. Hotel facilites include a restaurant,... more
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Ibis Sydney World Square

Ibis Sydney World Square

382 -384 Pitt Street Sydney 2000 Australia

Hotel IntroductionHotel Ibis World Square is located in the heart of Sydney City. This 166 room hotel is within walking distance of shopping areas, Chinatown and theatres. A short stroll to monorail and light rail stations. Hotel facilities include breakfast room... more
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