A Guide to Getting Around in Sydney

Planning a trip to Sydney and have no idea how to get around? We have you sorted.

There are a few methods of transportation so it really is a personal preference depending on how you want to travel and what your budget holds. From buses, trains and ferry’s to taxis and Ubers, check out our guide below.


Public Transport

Sydney’s public transport system is great - including the options of trains, buses, ferries and light rail - and all comes under a magic card called “Opal.” Opal cards are smartcard tickets that you can keep as long as you like, reload and reuse to pay for travel. They are easy to get and once you have one you will be able to hop on all buses, trains, ferries and light rail within the Opal network.  

From Sydney to the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter Valley, Illawarra and Southern Highlands. See a full list of what services you can jump on here.

You have plenty of options when it comes to purchasing a card. It can be done in advance online at www.opal.com.au. Here you will find different options for adults, children, seniors and concession. Alternately, most newsagencies and convenient stores sell Opal cards, however, this can be limited to adults and children cards only.

Selected Transports Customer Service Centres and shops can also sell you a card.  

When you need to top up you have many options. You can top up online, with the Opal Travel app, over the phone, at Opal retailers, Transport Customer Service Centres, selected Service NSW centres and at Opal top-up machines throughout the transport network. Most take cash or card so don’t stress about that.

TripView is our favourite transport app that displays all of the transport data on your phone. It gives your times, platforms and also lets you save your most used routes.


Your Own Driver

If public transport is too much hustle and bustle for you, then you can always catch a Taxi or hire and Uber to get around. They may be a little more pricey, but are time efficient and easily on demand.

Taxis you can hale from anywhere or call if in service. 13CABS in Australian’s leading booking company. Premier Cabs and Silver Service cars you will also see on the roads.

Uber is one of the best ways to get around Sydney, and said to be cheaper than the standard taxi service. All you need to do it download the app, and your ride will arrive in minutes.

Most Taxis and Ubers both take cash or card as well.


Hop-on-hop-off Tourist Buses

These open air double decker buses are a great way to see Sydney. They are designed especially for tourists and hit all the popular and interesting spots in the city. Best of all, as the name suggests, you pay for a day pass and then can hop-on and hop-off at your leisure to see different things and spend time at locations.

The buses have a couple of specific routes - including a city loop and a Bondi Beach tour. You can purchase 24 or 48 hour tickets and you’ll get a discount if you purchase ahead of time online. See more at the Sydney Bus Tours website.


Other Options

Sometimes one of the quickest ways to get from one side of the city to the other is by water taxi. Balmain to Mosman, for example, is going to take you a while any other way. H20 Water Taxis will look after you here.

There is also the option to hire and drive your own car. From Budget, Hertz, Avis, or Bayswater Car Rental, some have reasonable rates and very convenient pickup options.

GoGet is also another great car sharing concept with a fleet of vehicles in all the best spots.

Sarah Stevens

Sarah Stevens is a former journalist, magazine editor and TV producer, and the director of Content Society. You can see more of her work here.

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