Explore Sydney by public transport
It is easy to get around in Sydney using public transport. Just hop on a metro, train, bus, ferry or light rail services to see all of the best attractions, sporting venues and shopping precincts.
NSW TrainLink’s Intercity services connect the city with the greater Sydney surrounds and nearby major cities like Newcastle and the Hunter Valley region to the north, Wollongong to the south and the Blue Mountains to the west.
If you are coming by plane, there are public transport options to get to and from Sydney Airport.
You can explore and experience much of Sydney and surrounding regions on public transport including metro/train, bus, ferry and light rail services. In addition, there are several sightseeing buses, taxi and car hire companies.
Pay for your travel
There are different ways to pay for your travel on public transport in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter, Illawarra and Southern Highlands.
If you don't have an Opal card, or a contactless payment card or linked device, you can buy an Opal single trip ticket from top up and single trip ticket machines at select stations and wharves, however this is more expensive than using an Opal card or contactless card or device.
Ways to get around
Metro services travel between Tallawong Station and Chatswood Station, via Macquarie University in Sydney’s North West.
Train stations in central Sydney include Central, Museum, St James, Town Hall, Wynyard, Circular Quay, Martin Place and Kings Cross. City Circle services travel via Central, Town Hall, Wynyard, Circular Quay, St James and Museum. Trains to the eastern suburbs, including Kings Cross and Bondi Junction, en route to the famous Bondi Beach leave from Martin Place Station.
Nearest City Circle Stations to main attractions:
- Central – Paddy’s Market, Chinatown and Surry Hills
- Town Hall – QVB, Darling Harbour
- Wynyard – Barangaroo
- Circular Quay – Harbour Bridge, Opera House and The Rocks
- St James – Hyde Park, St Mary’s Cathedral
- Museum – Museum, Hyde Park, William Street to Darlinghurst
Train services run from 4am to around midnight on most lines. Night buses replace Sydney Trains services between midnight and 4am.
Buses travel through the city on major routes almost 24 hours a day. Most of the bus routes within the City of Sydney are Opal only to reduce delays, so you'll need an Opal card or contactless payment card or device before you get on board.
Ferry services across Sydney's world-renowned harbour leave from the terminal at Circular Quay and travel to harbourside destinations including Taronga Zoo and suburbs such as Balmain, Balmain, Kirribilli, Manly and Parramatta.
Light rail services run frequently between Central Station and Dulwich Hill via many popular tourist destinations including Capitol Square, Paddy's Market, The Star, Sydney Fish Market and the Tram Sheds, a great destination for food lovers. There is a 24 hour service from Central to The Star.
On Demand services
On Demand services are being trialled in some areas of Sydney. On Demand services allow you to book a vehicle to pick you up from home or a nearby convenient location and take you to a local transport hub or point of interest. You can book using an app, online or by phone.
Whether you’re here for a weekend or a week, there’s so much to see and do. Here’s just a handful of sightseeing ideas that are all easy to get to on public transport.
World-famous Bondi Beach is just a short bus ride from the centre of the city. And it’s just one of 70 spectacular beaches across Sydney – including Coogee, Tamarama, Palm Beach and Manly Beach – that are easy to reach by public transport.
Seeing the Harbour is a must when visiting Sydney. The iconic BridgeClimb Sydney takes you to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for spectacular 360-degree views of the Harbour from above. Then from neaby Circular Quay you can take the ferry to Kirribilli, Manly, Watsons Bay, Balmain, Parramatta and dozens of other dazzling destinations while enjoying views from the water.
If you haven’t seen any koalas or kangaroos yet, Taronga Zoo is just a short ferry ride from Circular Quay. As well as 4,000 types of animals, it has breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour. Buy your zoo entry ticket at Circular Quay.
With a working harbour nestled among beautiful beaches, Newcastle blends cosmopolitan with relaxation in a uniquely Australian way. Newcastle is easy to reach by train from Sydney, and there’s plenty of stunning scenery to take in along the way. Find out more about Newcastle.
Another idea for a great day trip by train is Kiama, a seaside town on the South Coast. When seas are running from the south-east, great plumes of water erupt from the Blowhole. And with lots of picnic spots and parks, it makes for a memorable day out.
If you’re here for a few days, it’s worth making a trip out to the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains. Regular train services run from Central to Katoomba, and connecting local buses can take you right to the attractions. Find out more about Blue Mountains.