Sydney, the capital of New South Wales and arguably Australia’s most famous city, continues to bustle about with new businesses. Tourists booking flights to Sydney are headed for one of the most cultural cities in the world. Sydney is home to the Sydney Orchestra, the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Jewish Museum, the world famous Australian Chamber Orchestra, and is host to the Australian Ballet.
While Sydney is the major focal point of Australia, it is also one of the most economical cities to visit. Sydney flights can be expensive, but compared to other major international cities, Sydney is one of the best cities for frugal travelers. Hotel rooms are generally less expensive than other major international cities like New York and Paris, and food, public transportation and attractions are generally cheap. In many cases, senior and student prices are almost always available. It’s possible for travelers to spend an entire week just touring Sydney. Thankfully, organized tours are available for those wanting to see the best of the city in a small amount of time before boarding a flight to another city in Australia.
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Sydney has a temperate climate with more than 300 sunny days a year. Winters are more cool than cold. June to August are the coolest, and the daytime temperature can drop to 45 (Fahrenheit) degrees.Summers are humid with occasional downpours. Temperatures are usually in the upper 70s but can go over 100. Sea breezes cool the hot days, and evenings are balmy.Fall and spring are delightful with clear, warm days and mild nights.
Best Time to Fly to Sydney
There is no bad time to book flights to Sydney and experience life "down under."
The Sydney festival starts just after New Year’s and runs through January. The beaches are busy and plentiful — there are more than 20 beaches along the oceanfront and more around the harbor.
The summer Surfing Carnivals bring crowds to watch the surfing and other water-sport competitions. There is yacht racing on summer weekends, and the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is on Boxing Day (December 26).
Comfortable to visit any time of year, Sydney is particularly enjoyable in fall and spring. There is a greater chance of rain in spring, but it usually clears quickly.
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Getting around Sydney
Sydney is a city built around its harbor, and that’s where you will find some of the best sightseeing. The public passenger ferries are run by Sydney Ferries and you can board a monorail down to Darling Harbor. There are plenty of ways to get around the city. The By Sydney Explorer and By Bondi Explorer buses stop almost anywhere you’d want to go in the city and around the harbor and beaches. Take the light-rail tram line to Chinatown, Paddy’s Markets or Darling Harbor. You don’t need to drive, and the one-way streets and lack of parking will eat up your time. Taxis are all over and easy to hail on the street. Adventurous travelers who don’t fear heights can join the Sydney Harbor Bridge climb, which walks across catwalks and ladders across the arch of the iconic Sydney Harbor Bridge.
Sydney Travel Information
- Lots of tourist activities in Sydney are all about the views such as climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There are panoramic views from Mrs. Macquarie’s (wife of Governor Macquarie) Chair, in the Royal Botanic Gardens (free to enter). The Open Air Cinema is close to the Chair. The big screen has the Sydney City Skyline, Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge as a backdrop.
- Taronga Zoo was opened in 1916 and sits on high land along the waterfront overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Cove and the Opera House. The zoo is just 12 minutes by ferry from the central business district. The Sky Safari cable car runs between the zoo wharf and the top of the zoo.
- The Rocks is Sydney's oldest preserved colonial area. It is where the first settlers from England landed in 1788. Today, having undergone a makeover, it is a thriving area of galleries, museums, restaurants, cafes and shops. Staying with settlements, Fort Denison was an unhappy place of punishment and confinement … for the convicts. It’s part of Sydney Harbour National Park and is open for guided tours.
- Take the Manly Ferry. Hop on at Circular Quay and cruise the seven nautical miles (takes about 30 minutes each way) to Manly, the suburb by the sea. There’s a lot to do there apart from going to the beach: several heritage walks, galleries and museums, regular festivals and more than 80 restaurants.
- For a view of the city and beyond, visit the Sydney Tower, 820 feet above the streets. High-speed double-decker lifts rocket up to the observation desk in just 40 seconds.
- And beaches. Don’t forget the beaches: Bondi, Manly, Coogee, Balmoral, Tamarama and Palm.
- The flight time from most international departure cities to Sydney is almost 18 hours. Travelers looking for cheap flights to Sydney should book flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Peak travel times -- during festivals or around the New Year -- will cause flights to Sydney to increase. For the ultimate traveler looking for cheap flights to Sydney, book flights on a lesser known airline (Air Canada, Gulf Air and Air New Zealand all fly to Sydney) or better yet, book a flight to Melbourne and make the trek to Sydney via bus or car.