Sydney, a city stunningly draped around its famous harbour, exhibits a wow factor unmatched by other Australian cities (especially from your plane). Travel to Sydney year-round with its 230 sun-filled days per year, medley of iconic attractions, vibrant events, world-class food, famous beaches, and top entertainment.
Snap the famous sails of the Sydney Opera House, scale the heights of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and surf the waves at Bondi Beach – then look further to discover a world of lesser-known gems in Australia's biggest city.
Ready to explore? Book flights to Sydney with Virgin Australia now or read on for more information about flying to this incredible destination.
Public transport in Sydney consists of a comprehensive network of buses, trains and ferries. Trains are a fast and reliable way of getting around the city, while many buses run all through the night to a number of different suburbs. For the quintessential Sydney experience however, travel by ferry whenever possible - it's the best way to soak in city and harbour views at the same time as getting to your destination efficiently.
Tap on with your credit card or pick up a free Opal Card and top it up for quick and easy travel across all modes of transport. Plan your route using the NSW trip planner or dial 131500 for round-the-clock help with trip planning.
When is the best time of year to fly to Sydney?
Sydney shines all year round so it's always a good time to book a trip. The summer months (December to February) are the most popular time to travel to Sydney, with a feast of sport, events and festivals on - ATP Cup, Sydney Festival, New Year's Eve, the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, musicals and exhibitions all taking front of stage. Book your airfare in advance to catch the best price for your ticket to a summer in Sydney.
If a sizzling summer isn't your thing, book your trip for autumn (March to May) when things quieten down, the weather is slightly cooler, and you'll find great flight specials too. The winter months are relatively mild (June to August) and you'll often nap a sharp airfare in September too.
What to pack for your trip to Sydney?
Packing for your trip to Sydney all depends on what you're planning to do on your holiday and the time of year you're travelling. Sydney is generally warm year-round with some cooler temperatures throughout the shoulder seasons, and surprisingly cool winters. Sydney is generally a fairly casual city, so be sure to pack your favourite pieces that you can mix n match, a comfortable pair of walking shoes for day trips, and additional layers depending on the season. If you're planning on taking in a musical or special night out, add some heels and a favourite frock - or even better accidentally leave it at home and splurge on some shopping!
What are Sydney's top attractions?
Sydney offers so much to do and see - from art and culture, attractions, family-friendly fun, unique wildlife and must-do experiences. Sydney has plenty of things to do for every type of traveller.
The Art Gallery of NSW
Considered Sydney's most important public gallery, the Art Gallery of NSW presents both Australian and international works. Don't miss the dedicated Aboriginal art gallery space, the new acquisitions from the Archibald and Wynne Prizes 2020, artsy films, the annual ARTEXPRESS exhibition featuring student artworks, and the Brett Whiteley Studio in Surry Hills.
Keep an eye out for the Culture Up Late series in the Summer months where the Gallery stays open until 9pm. Visit the exhibitions, join a tour, enjoy a drink or a bite to eat in the cafe, or grab a ticket for a film screening.
The Museum of Sydney
A Sydney Living Museum, the Museum of Sydney is a modern museum built over and around the remains of Australia's first Government House, celebrating the people and events that have shaped the character and soul of this city. With interactive exhibits and special events taking place year-round, the Museum of Sydney is a fun way for the whole family to learn about Australia's largest colony. The Museum also has extended hours every Thursday evening for the Culture Up Late series during the summer months.
Located at a prime waterfront position, the Museum of Contemporary Art is Australia's home of ground-breaking exhibitions and innovative modern artworks. Locals love visiting MCA Sydney, not just for the art, but also for the rooftop bar, which boasts striking views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Take a self-guided tour, plus experience the Sounds on the Terrace as part of MCA Late program in summer, regular workshops, and for families check out the kids and family summer events.
Sydney Opera House
An absolute must-do on your trip to Sydney, each and every visit. However, there's a lot more to do here than take a few photos for Insta. With over 40 events and festivals per week - covering everything from burlesque circus shows, concerts, musicals, opera and TEDx talks - it's worth looking at what lies beneath that distinctive sail exterior. It's also home to fabulous restaurants and the oh-so-iconic views from Opera Bar.
SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
Displaying more than 700 species comprising more than 13,000 individual fish and other sea creatures, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium offers a range underwater zones, from the Great Barrier Reef to Sydney Harbour. Get up close with some of Australia's most fabled predators in Shark Valley, or for the ultimate and unique reef experience try the Aquarium Private Dining.
WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo
Located adjacent to its sister Aquarium, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo is home to both cute and creepy critters from all over Australia. Meet wombats, koalas, wallabies, snakes and even a giant five-metre crocodile called Rex. Don't forget to meet Frankie too, the rescue numbat who's helping to raise awareness of this endangered species. Grab a Sydney attractions pass deal to save money on entry to multiple attractions including WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo and SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium.
There are few zoos that can boast first-rate views across one of the world's most beautiful harbours. But Taronga Zoo can. See over 4000 animals in the lush surrounds of Sydney's most famous, and Australia's largest zoo - including gorillas, kangaroos, koalas, giraffes and elephants - all set against the backdrop of the city skyline. Why not experience the ultimate overnight stay at one of Taronga's unique accommodation experiences from tranquil eco-lodges, African-style safari, glamping to camping (Wildlife Retreat at Roar and Snore) - or make a trip to Dubbo to experience a stay in a Zoofari Lodge, Savannah Cabins, or Billabong Camp.
For a unique way to take in an aerial view of Sydney city, harbour and beyond, don't miss out on the experience of BridgeClimb Sydney. Offering dawn, day, dusk, night and special experience climbs the leaders will help to keep you safe and entertained with their fascinating stories. An experience to not miss, and one you'll never forget.
Where to find the best beaches in Sydney?
Heading to the beach is a big part of Sydney life. From colossal waves to calm bays, bustling beachfronts to hidden harbour swimming spots, there's over 100 beaches to choose from in Sydney - so you're sure to find a patch of sand to call your own.
Bondi Beach and the Eastern Suburbs
It may be Sydney's most famous stretch of sand, but Bondi Beach is still a favourite retreat for locals, tourists, surfers and sunbathers alike.
Tackle the Coogee to Bondi coastal walk, taking in beaches and clifftop views on the way, before finishing at Bondi's lively strip of cafes, bars and shops. Alternatively, cool off with a dip or drink at Bondi Icebergs. This iconic saltwater pool is perched on the edge of the ocean, with the adjacent bar and restaurant offering some of the best oceanfront dining in Sydney.
Once you've explored all the trappings of Bondi (and sampled one of Australia's best ice creams at Gelato Messina), escape the tourist trail and head for some of the hidden gems of the Eastern Suburbs. Camp Cove in Watsons Bay and Milk Beach in Vaucluse offer secluded sands and city views, while Redleaf Beach in Double Bay is the perfect place for a relaxing dip in a netted harbour pool.
Manly and the Northern Beaches
Catch the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly, a laid-back beach suburb with a different vibe from its famous eastern counterpart. Look out over the surf from one of the beachfront bars, find a shady spot under a tree for some fresh fish and chips or browse the surf shops of the The Corso. Alternatively, just kick back on the long, sandy stretch of Manly Beach or slip away from the crowds to do some snorkelling at nearby Shelly Beach.
Away from Manly, the Northern Beaches offer plenty of sandy spots to explore. Hug the coastline all the way up to Palm Beach, an idyllic peninsula of golden sand and native bushland. Otherwise known as Summer Bay to fans of television show 'Home and Away', Palm Beach is an hour from the city centre, but a world away from city life.
Where to eat in Sydney?
Thanks to its multicultural population Sydney's foodie scene literally takes you across the globe. You'll discover ethnic street eats across the city (from Italian in East Sydney to Chinese in Chatswood) to tapas bars, the seafood renowned Flying Fish, unbelievable patisseries, inner-city cool cafes, through to world-class degustation restaurants. When it comes to Sydney's smorgasbord of options, you'll find yourself happily overwhelmed with choice.
Where to find the best Cafes?
Whether you're after the perfect breakfast bowl, award-winning interior design or just a Sunday morning seaside view, Sydney is home to a truckload of Instagrammable brunch spots. For a bit of beach luxe head to The Boathouse, located in several locations (the signature at Balmoral Beach); for a farm-to-fork experience try The Botanica Vaucluse in the Eastern suburbs; for rooftop vistas and cool wallpaper dine at The Butler in Potts Point. Cool cafes are literally littered across the city, from the CBD to Manly, Surry Hills, Alexandria, to Chippendale.
Where to find the best fine dining?
Fine dining and degustation restaurants are trickled all over Sydney's CBD, inner-city and beyond. From Bea, Matt Moran's restaurant in Barangaroo; to dining at Peter Gilmore's luxurious Quay housed in the Overseas Passenger Terminal; to the Sydney classic Icebergs Dining Room and Bar in Bondi - you're ridiculously spoilt for fine dining choice in Sydney.
Where to find a good burger?
In the mood for comfort food? Sydney is constantly in the midst of a burger war, and for good reason - delicious new burger joints seem to pop up almost every week. Ask any meat-eating Sydneysider where to find the best burgers in town and they're sure to have a strong opinion. Our pick? The Mary's burger from Mary's in Newtown, the Blame Canada from BL Burgers on Oxford Street or the Bronx from Five Points Burgers in North Sydney. If you like your buns and meat in a high-class setting, seek out Neil Perry's famous Wagyu burger from Rockpool Bar and Grill - widely considered to be the best burger in Australia.
Where to find the best food markets?
From hand-craft cakes to charcuterie and chocolate Sydney offers a huge range of food markets. Our top picks are Addison Road: The Street Food Markets, Bondi Farmers Markets, Chinatown Night Market, Kings Cross Organic Markets, Orange Grove Market (Lilyfield), Brewery Yard Markets (CBD), and Paddy's Night Food Markets (Chinatown).
Where to find the best cheap eats?
If you've shopped up a storm and you're feeling a bit broke and hangry, Sydney has your back. Feast for under $10 at one of the many affordable food safaris in Sydney - from dumplings in Haymarket, to a slab of chicken at Hot Star, to a Bacon and Egg roll at Harvey's Hot Sandwiches - it's easy to find a cheap and tasty treat.
Where to shop in Sydney?
Sydney is the perfect place to find designer fashion, local labels, shoemakers and homewares. From multi-storey shopping centres to hidden boutiques, eclectic markets, and historic arcades - there's plenty of ways to indulge in a spot of shopping.
For bargain hunters
Sydney boasts brilliant bargain shopping with its many outlet shopping 'destinations' - DFO Homebush, Birkenhead Point Outlet Centre (once shipping, now a shopping spot), Market City in Chinatown's Paddy's Market, to the many outlets in Alexandria (think Morrisey and Marcs for starters).
Get your credit cards cleared, you're about to head into a shopping vortex. Brimming with Australian designers The Intersection Paddington is all about high-end labels like Alice McCall to Zimmermann; head to the precinct of Barangaroo for everything from the David Jones concept store to The Waiting Room; or for a serious labels fix hit Military Road in Mosman.
For the lovers of vintage!
From rare vinyl, antique décor and 70s fashion - treasures can be found in vintage shops around Newtown, Alexandria, Surry Hills - even tucked away in the CBD and Manly. Glebe Markets is particularly known as one of Sydney's top vintage markets and is a regular stop off for shoppers looking for retro clothing and accessories. On Crown Street, Surry Hills, you'll discover stores selling unique vintage clothing finds stand side-by-side with shops dedicated to unexpected offerings. U-Turn Recycled Fashion, Cream on Crown and Miss Brown Vintage all stock what second-hand addicts can't get enough of.
For everything in between
For all your other retail needs discover the abundance of stores in Sydney CBD, from Strand Arcade, to Queen Victoria Building, and dare we say it, Westfield Centre on Pitt Street. For the more conservative budget Zara and H&M equally offer excellent fun-fashion. You'll find everything you need, and everything you didn't know you needed, in Sydney.
Kingsford Smith Airport (T2)
Average airport transfer time
25mins to city
Price of a coffee
Average flight time
Frequently asked questions
The average flight to Sydney from Australia's major cities is typically around one and a half hours, with Adelaide and Hobart a slightly longer domestic flight, longer again from the wild west.
- Flights from Melbourne to Sydney - 1h 25m
- Flights from Gold Coast to Sydney - 1h 30m
- Flights from Brisbane to Sydney - 1h 30m
- Flights from Canberra to Sydney - 55m
- Flights from Hobart to Sydney - 1h 50m
- Flights from Adelaide to Sydney - 1h 50m
- Flights from Perth to Sydney - 4h 10m
*Note: flight times should be used as a guide only. Carefully consider your requirements before travelling and always allow extra time to arrive at your destination.
Virgin Australia flies into Sydney Domestic Airport (SYD), also known as Kingsford Smith Airport. The busiest domestic airport in Australia, it's the primary airport serving the city of Sydney and the great state of New South Wales, located 8km from the city centre of Sydney.
Virgin Australia operates from Terminal 2 (T2) for all Virgin Australia Domestic flights and International flights in and out of Sydney Airport (SYD).
Some flights labelled as Virgin Australia are codeshare flights operated by other Airlines. As a result, Terminal 1 in some cases is used for codeshare flights labelled as Virgin Australia. Ensure you check your itinerary for the relevant terminal before heading to the airport.
Sydney Airport is located just 13 minutes by train from inner Sydney and the CBD. Offering a fast, easy and cost-effective way to reach the city and suburbs, the Airport Link train is a go to for many leisure and business travellers. The station is located at the northern end of the terminal and accessible from the arrivals level. Trains run approximately every 10 minutes.
To use this service, you can either purchase an Opal Card at the station itself, or simply tap on with your Amex, Visa or Mastercard.
Other transfer options
Other options include shuttle transfer, limousine, and rental car.
You can also access taxis and book rideshare services when you arrive at Sydney airport. Request the ride share through your preferred app and your driver will meet you at the pick-up area - for Domestic terminal this is the Priority Pick-up zone, for International terminal this is the Express Pick-up zone.
Transfer cost guide:
Taxi and rideshare: approx. $55 to Sydney city*
Airport Link Train: approx. $18 one way to Central Station
*pricing varies depending on the vehicle type, travel time and distance.
Read more in our Sydney Airport Guide.
The cheapest airfare tends to be during the low season, which runs from May 1 through the first week in June, and again from about the third week in July through the third week in September.How can I get the cheapest flight tickets? ›
- Start early: Image Source: ...
- Be flexible with the date: Image Source: ...
- Use and compare multiple search engines: Image Source: ...
- Try budget airlines: ...
- Go incognito: ...
- Look for frequent flyer miles and points: ...
- Use alternative routes: ...
- Search the price for a single person:
- Main destinations for Australia's low cost airlines: ...
- Jetstar. ...
- Scoot. ...
- Tigerair. ...
- AirAsia. ...
- Virgin Australia. ...
- Cebu Pacific.
When is the best time to book domestic flights in Australia?
|Destination||Weeks in advance|
Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to fly domestically. The cheapest days to depart if you're flying within the U.S. are midweek — generally Tuesday or Wednesday. For economy tickets, Tuesdays are about 24% lower than peak prices on Sundays, which translates to savings of about $85 per ticket.What is the most cheapest day to fly? ›
Typically, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday is the cheapest day to fly. If you can structure your travel schedule around these days, these will likely be the best days to fly – both for a lower cost and a less hectic airport experience.What is the cheapest day to buy airline tickets 2022? ›
In 2022, the cheapest day of the week to fly is Wednesday. Flying on Wednesday will save you $57 per airline ticket versus the most expensive day to travel, which is Sunday. Tuesday follows Wednesday closely, with average savings of $56 versus the most expensive day to fly.Which airlines are offering cheap flights? ›
|Rank||Airline||Cost per Mile|
|4. (T)||Allegiant Air||$0.322|
Timing plays an important part. Specifically, plane tickets usually don't get cheaper closer to the departure date. Instead, flights tend to be the most inexpensive when you book between four months and three weeks before your departure date. According to CheapAir.com, you can expect rates to go up after that period.Which airline is the most affordable? ›
- 10 AirAsia.
- 9 JetBlue Airways.
- 8 Norwegian Air.
- 7 EasyJet.
- 6 Jetstar Airways.
- 5 Virgin America.
- 4 AirAsia X.
- 3 Southwest Airlines.
Why are fares so high? It's largely about supply and demand. Airlines axed routes and staff in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic and, with demand picking up sooner than expected, they are still playing catch-up.What is the cheapest new airline? ›
Breeze provides nonstop service between underserved routes across the U.S. at affordable fares. With seamless booking, no change or cancellation fees and customized flight features delivered via a sleek and simple app, Breeze makes it easy to buy and easy to fly. Welcome to Breeze, Seriously Nice™ flights and fares.Why are flights so expensive for 2022? ›
As eyes turn toward the holiday season, flight prices are on the rise and not expected to slow anytime soon. The combination of elevated demand and restricted capacity are pushing ticket costs toward the highest point in five years. Travel costs rising around the holidays is expected due to increasing demand.What time does prices Drop for flights? ›
Most airlines will decrease ticket prices until 4 four months before the departure date. The ticket prices will generally remain lowest between 4 months and 3 weeks before the departure date, and then will increase 3 weeks before departure. Ticket prices are at their highest on the date of departure.What time of week are flights cheapest? ›
If you want the cheapest fares, book your trip as soon as possible. The best time of day to book flights is at 3 p.m., according to Skyscanner. Saturday also happens to be the best day of the week to buy tickets, followed by Wednesday and Sunday, with cheaper prices on these days as opposed to others.Are flights cheaper at night? ›
It is always a good idea to book a flight at midnight. Yes, during midnight the prices of the flight go down. A trend is that Thursday Midnights are usually a great time for making your reservations for both domestic and international flights.What time do flight prices drop on Tuesday? ›
Tuesday Around Midnight is the Cheapest Time to Book
We found that travelers who search for flights on Tuesday at midnight save about 6% on their flights, making this the cheapest time of the week to book. In general, flights were slightly cheaper at midnight earlier in the week (Monday through Wednesday).
More often than not, booking directly through the airline's website will give you the best price, or will at least be the same as the OTAs. Some airlines, like Southwest, won't even show up on sites like Expedia or Orbitz, so you have to book direct. It can also be the most simple way to book.What month are airline tickets cheapest? ›
♦ Cheapest month to fly: January
For the lowest fares on domestic flights, travel in January. But for international trips, you'll find the cheapest fare in August.
But it's not about when you buy airline tickets: It's more about when you actually get on the plane. That means flying on off-peak days: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays are often much cheaper days to fly. Shifting your departure and return dates by just a day or two can save you hundreds of dollars.
Airlines start releasing tickets almost a year before the flight, but prices are higher when first released and tend to get cheaper as the day of travel approaches.Why are flights so expensive in April 2022? ›
Demand is outpacing supply
It's also a story of simple supply and demand. Leisure travel demand has fully rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, but the supply of flights is still down 15-20% because airlines are still short on pilots, planes, and ground crew. High demand + low supply = higher fares.
It can be cheaper
When traveling within the U.S., airlines typically price one-way flights at exactly half the cost of a round-trip. There certainly are exceptions, especially for those that fly out of smaller, regional airports.
Southwest Airlines is at it again and offering $59 flights, available for travel through February 2023. These discounts apply to domestic and international trips, making way for an affordable getaway to your favorite fall, winter or tropical destination. Here are all of the fine details.How do I find flights without prices going up? ›
Always search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode to see the lowest prices. In Google Chrome or Safari, incognito is enabled by hitting Command (or “Control” if using PC), Shift, “N”.Can you show up at the airport and get a cheap flight? ›
Can you simply show up at the airport without a ticket and expect to get somewhere for cheap? The short answer is no. Airlines no longer allow you to wait around at the counter in hopes of snagging a "standby flight" and filling the last seat of a departing flight.Which month Airline tickets are the cheapest? ›
♦ Cheapest month to fly: January
For the lowest fares on domestic flights, travel in January. But for international trips, you'll find the cheapest fare in August.
The best times to visit Sydney are September through November and from March to May. These months skirt Sydney's high and low seasons, offering visitors comfortable temperatures and manageable tourist crowds.Which month is best for cheap flights? ›
Specifically, plane tickets usually don't get cheaper closer to the departure date. Instead, flights tend to be the most inexpensive when you book between four months and three weeks before your departure date. According to CheapAir.com, you can expect rates to go up after that period.Why are flights to Sydney Australia so expensive? ›
Why are fares so high? It's largely about supply and demand. Airlines axed routes and staff in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic and, with demand picking up sooner than expected, they are still playing catch-up.
In 2022, the cheapest day of the week to fly is Wednesday. Flying on Wednesday will save you $57 per airline ticket versus the most expensive day to travel, which is Sunday. Tuesday follows Wednesday closely, with average savings of $56 versus the most expensive day to fly.Why are flights so expensive for 2022? ›
As eyes turn toward the holiday season, flight prices are on the rise and not expected to slow anytime soon. The combination of elevated demand and restricted capacity are pushing ticket costs toward the highest point in five years. Travel costs rising around the holidays is expected due to increasing demand.Will flight prices go down 2022? ›
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index, airfare prices recently hit their largest one-month jump in history – climbing 18.6% from March to April 2022. Since then, prices don't seem to be going down, either.What is the coldest month in Sydney? ›
Sydney's winter months are June to August when average temperatures drop between 8.8 - 17°C (47.8 - 62.6°F). Sydney's rainfall is generally highest in June, with an average of 132 mm (5.2 inches), while July is the coolest month when average daytime temperatures reach about 17°C (62.6°F).How many days in Sydney is enough? ›
Sydney boasts a lot of attractions and fun things to do. No matter how long one stays in Sydney, there will always be new and fantastic adventures to make. However, a reasonable number of days one needs to spend in the city to get the best out of it is a minimum of 5 days.What month is hottest in Sydney? ›
January is the hottest month in Sydney with an average temperature of 23°C (73°F) and the coldest is July at 13°C (55°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 9 in December.Why is Tuesday the cheapest to fly? ›
One of the reasons that Tuesday is the cheapest weekday to buy flights is because major airlines release their seats on different days and at different times of the year. This means you may find a better deal booking flights for a specific time or month.Why are flights cheaper on Tuesdays? ›
According to the internet, the best day of the week to buy flights is a Tuesday. Apparently, this is due to airlines announcing deals on Monday evenings. By Tuesday at noon, other airlines are trying to match those deals. So Tuesday afternoons are the best time to hunt for reduced airfare.Do flights actually get cheaper on Tuesdays? ›
But it's not about when you buy airline tickets: It's more about when you actually get on the plane. That means flying on off-peak days: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays are often much cheaper days to fly. Shifting your departure and return dates by just a day or two can save you hundreds of dollars.Which airline is best for Australia? ›
- Virgin Australia.
Keep these tips in mind: fly in the off-season, Wednesday or Thursday, preferably at night, late night or during the early morning (between 2 and 4 am).What is the cheapest city in Australia to fly into? ›
The cheapest city to fly into is Melbourne, and the cheapest airport serving this city at the moment is Melbourne Tullamarine.