Skip to main content

Christmas in the City 2019

Martin Place, Pitt St Mall & King St - Sydney CBD

Event start
18:30
Event finish
21:30

Important event information

Up to 25,000 people are expected to kick off the festive celebrations at the City of Sydney Christmas in the City event in the Sydney CBD. Sections of King St and Pitt St will close from 4:30pm to create a large pedestrianised zone full of Christmas festivities from 6:30pm. 

The event will feature the arrival of Santa and the Lord Mayor on sleigh from Circular Quay to Martin Place between 7pm and 7:45pm, pop up stages, food stalls, the lighting of the Martin Place Christmas tree every 15 minutes from 7:30pm, and a fireworks display at 8:30pm. For more information visit Christmas in the City.

Large crowds are expected so attendees are strongly encouraged to leave the car at home and catch public transport with several major transport hubs within close walking distance of the event.

A concert is also being held at the SCG in Moore Park at the same time so motorists should allow plenty of extra travel time on all major approaches to the city.

Opal

You can use an Opal card for all modes of public transport in Sydney and surrounding regions, including trains, buses, ferries and light rail. There is also a Travel Cap of $2.80 on Sundays.

Remember to top up your Opal card before you head you travel to avoid queues at top-up machines. You can top up your card online or at an Opal retailer.

More ways to pay

If you have a contactless-enabled American Express, Mastercard or Visa debit or credit card, or a linked device, you can use it to pay for your travel by tapping on and tapping off at Opal card readers. Available on all public transport services, contactless payments are another way to pay on the Opal network. Adult Opal fare pricing applies and you will receive Opal benefitsincluding daily and weekly fare caps.

Sydney Metro services are high-frequency, driverless trains running between Tallawong Station and Chatswood Station.

Metro services start running from the early morning. Change at Epping to connect with trains to city stations.

Last services from Chatswood to Tallawong leave at 1.45am on Saturday nights.

You can use your Opal card or accepted contactless payment method on Sydney Metro services. 

For Metro service disruption information, check trackwork and travel alerts or plan your trip using the Trip Planner.

There are various train stations within short walking distance of the Christmas in the City event site including Martin Place, Wynyard and Town Hall.

The entry & exit to Martin Place train station opposite the MLC Centre will be closed from 8am to 11pm for crowd safety. Alternate station access points will remain open.

Trackwork

Trackwork is taking place from 02:00 Saturday 23 November until 02:00 Monday 25 November and may affect how you travel to and from the event:

  • City Circle Line: Trains run in one direction only, from Central first stop Museum. 
  • T1 Western Line: Trains run to a changed timetable between Penrith and Central. Richmond trains run to a changed timetable between Richmond and Olympic Park. 
  • T1 North Shore Line: Trains run between Berowra and Wynyard or Lindfield and North Sydney only.
  • T2 Inner West & Leppington Line and T5 Cumberland Line: Buses replace trains between Fairfield and Glenfield, then continue to Macarthur.
  • T3 Bankstown Line: Buses replace trains between Liverpool and Bankstown. 
  • T8 Airport & South Line: Buses replace trains between Macarthur and Glenfield, then continue to Fairfield. Trains run to a changed timetable between Leppington and the City via the Airport. Revesby trains run between Revesby and Central via the Airport. Trains from the City Circle run to Macarthur via Sydenham. 
  • T9 Northern Line: Trains run to a changed timetable between Hornsby and Central. 
  • Southern Highlands Line: Buses replace trains between Goulburn, Moss Vale and Central.
  • Hunter Line: Buses replace trains between Dungog and Maitland and between Scone and Maitland. 

Trackwork is carried out on an ongoing basis to maintain the safety, reliability, and efficiency of the Sydney Trains network. Trackwork may affect how you travel so allow plenty of extra travel time and plan ahead. For train service disruption information, check travel alerts or plan your trip using the Trip Planner.

Plenty of bus services run regularly to the city on Saturday's and stop near Pitt Street Mall and Martin Place. 

Due to road closures in place for the event, some bus services will use alternate routes and stops. From 4:30pm until 11pm route 389 services to the city will be diverting via York St and Druitt St due to closures on King St. Services leaving the city will miss stops on King St and Elizabeth St.

For bus service disruption information, check travel alerts or plan your trip using the Trip Planner.

Catch one of the many ferry services to Circular Quay and continue on foot up to Martin Place. Alternatively you can catch one of the many bus services from Circular Quay including Route 333 that stop along Elizabeth St near Pitt St Mall.

For ferry service disruption information, check travel alerts or plan your trip using the Trip Planner.

Light rail services run between Central Station and Dulwich Hill with stops at popular CBD and Inner West destinations.

Services run every 10 to 15 minutes on weekends. Change at Central to connect with trains to Martin Place or Town Hall.

Day and night-time testing of Sydney Light Rail trams is currently underway between Randwick and Circular Quay. Pedestrians are advised to be alert, keep to the footpaths, only cross at designated crossings and remember to look both ways before stepping out onto the road. Learn more about Light rail safety.

For maps and service frequencies see Light rail service information. For light rail service disruption information, check travel alerts or plan your trip using the Trip Planner.

With large crowds expected and road closures in place, attendees are strongly encouraged to catch public transport.

Roads between Martin Place and Pitt St Mall will close from 4pm to 11.30pm including Pitt St between Hunter St and King St and King St between York St and Castlereagh St.

Rolling lane closures will also be in place as a Santa Sleigh travels from Circular Quay to Martin Place between 7pm and 7:45pm. Motorists will be able to pass the sleigh where there is more than one lane available. 

Motorists travelling to the city from the Anzac bridge should use the Western Distributor Bathurst St off-ramp or Parramatta Rd as heavy traffic is expected approaching the King St off-ramp due to closures on King St.

Motorists travelling to the city from the Harbour Bridge should use Grosvenor St or the Cahill Expressway Macquarie St off-ramp.

A concert is also being held at the SCG in Moore Park at the same time so motorists should allow plenty of extra travel time on all major approaches to the city.

For the latest traffic information visit Live Traffic NSW or download a real-time traffic app.

Parking

Parking in the Sydney CBD is extremely limited and special event clearways will be in place before and during the event. Visit City of Sydney to find out more about parking options.

Special event clearways

Special event clearways will be in effect in Sydney CBD from 3pm until 11pm:

  • Castlereagh St between Hosking Pl and Martin Pl (western side)
  • Castlereagh St between Martin Pl and 60 Castlereagh St - start of bus zone (eastern side)
  • Hunter St between Pitt St and Phillip St (northern side)
  • Pitt St between Curtin Pl and Hunter St (western side)
  • Pitt St between Hunter St and King St (both sides)
  • King St between York St and Castlereagh St (both sides)
  • York St between King St and Market St (western side)

Clearways are strict no-parking zones, even for local residents or RMS Mobility Scheme Permit holders. Vehicles left in clearways will be towed and a fee applies. Check signs carefully as vehicles left in clearways will be towed and a fee applies. If your car is towed, call 132 701 to find its new location. For full road closure and clearway details including maps, visit Live Traffic NSW 

Taxi ranks on Pitt St between Hunter St and King St will be closed from 4:30pm until 11pm due to road closures. Alternate taxi ranks are available on Hunter St between Pitt St and George St, and Market St between Pitt St and Castlereagh St.  

For details of taxi networks servicing the Sydney area visit NSW Taxi Council.

Accessible trips are shown in the Trip Planner with the wheelchair icon. You can select "accessible services only" in the Options to ensure you only see accessible services. Only trip plans with accessible train platforms, ferry wharves and buses will be presented. See accessible travel or download a transport app (select the "Accessibility" filter).