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Getting around Sydney

Public transport

Sydney's public transport system is well developed and efficient. Transport NSW (tel: 131 500, in Australia only; www.transportnsw.info) operates Sydney's network of buses, ferries and trains that run between the suburbs and the city. 

As of 2016, most paper tickets (other than single-journey tickets) have been phased out. The most economical way to travel is by using a reloadable Opal smartcard. These are available from retailers across the city as well as online (www.opal.com.au).

Taxis

Taxis run on meters, with a 20% surcharge added between 2200-0600. Tipping is not expected, although fares are generally rounded up to the nearest dollar. Recommended taxi firms include Taxis Combined (tel: 133 300, in Australia only) and Premier Cabs (tel: 131 017, in Australia only).

Taxis are generally in good supply, although on busy nights with numerous events on simultaneously across the city, expect a wait. Generally speaking, if the light on top of the vehicle is on, the taxi is available for hire.

Driving

Sydney drivers are renowned for their speed and intolerance, and parking is invariably difficult and/or expensive. In many cases, unless you’re heading to the outer suburbs, using Sydney’s public transport is faster and easier. Many of Sydney's motorways are tolled and fully electronic, so you have to arrange a pass before or shortly after your trip - see www.rms.nsw.gov.au for details.

Car hire

The minimum age for hiring a car is often 25 years. Minimum third-party insurance is required.

Recommended car hire firms include Avis (tel: +61 2 9353 9000; www.avis.com.au), Budget (tel: +61 2 9353 9399; www.budget.com.au) and Hertz (tel: +61 2 9360 6621; www.hertz.com.au)

Bicycle hire

Sydney's many steep hills make cycling a challenge, but Sydney is a cycle-friendly city, with numerous well-maintained bike paths. The beachside suburb of Manly has mostly flat bike paths, but it’s hard to beat the popular Centennial Park for space and scenery.

Recommended bike hire companies include Centennial Park Cycles, 50 Clovelly Road, Randwick (tel: +61 2 9398 5027; www.cyclehire.com.au), and Inner City Cycles, 151 Glebe Point Road, Glebe (tel: +61 2 9660 6605; www.innercitycycles.com.au).

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Four Seasons

The original luxe Sydney hotel the Four Seasons boasts one of the best views around. Located in the historic Rock’s area overlooking the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge the hotel’s 531 luxurious guestrooms and suites all feature a 42- inch LCD television iPod/MP3 player connectivity and wireless internet access. The spa is one of the best in the city and facilities include steam sauna and Sydney’s largest heated outdoor pool.

Ovolo Woolloomooloo

One of the most boldly conceived hotels in Sydney, Ovolo Woolloomooloo (formerly Taj BLUE Hotel) occupies the renovated interior of an old loading wharf, jutting out into the harbour at Woolloomooloo Bay. Retaining the original exterior and many of the interior beams, the refit is an ingenious exercise in industrial chic. Business travellers are well catered for with luxury meeting spaces with amenities such as AV equipment, TV screens, and other high tech features.

 

Kirketon Hotel

Situated in Darlinghurst, the Kirketon Hotel is an intimate, 40-room boutique hotel set amid the bustling restaurant and nightclub district. Home to an award-winning bar and the Fu Manchu Asian restaurant, this is a stylish property featuring gold tones, caramel hues, free internet access and plush rain-effect showers.

The Woolbrokers Hotel

In the heart of Darling Harbour, Woolbrokers Hotel is located near some of Sydney’s main attractions, including the Sydney Aquarium, Harbourside shopping complex, and Sydney Wildlife World. The heritage building has been redesigned with 27 rooms to accommodate groups, families, or solo travellers.

 

King’s Cross Backpackers

 Located in vibrant King’s Cross, KXB is popular among travellers looking to be in the heart of Sydney at a cheap price. Newly renovated in 2017, the hostel holds weekly rooftop barbecues, day and night activities, and free breakfast.

Cambridge Hotel

Close to the restaurant and shopping areas of Oxford and Crown Streets is this moderately priced hotel with 149 modern rooms and an on-site Italian restaurant. Adjacent to the hotel is an area that used to be a notorious no-go zone in the 1920s frequented by the city’s worst criminals.