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More Things to do in Sydney, including Tours, Layover, and Overnight Ideas

Stuff to do in Sydney

Things To Do in Sydney & Sydney Airport Layover Ideas

Sydney things to do

Things to do in Sydney if you have a Sydney Airport Layover or Extended Sydney Airport Stopover

If you have an extended layover at the Sydney Airport or staying in town, why not consider getting out with some fun activities? We list a few here and there are many more on Sydney.LayoverIdeas.com.

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From the Airport Sydney to the city centre by airport train takes about 15-25 minutes. So if you are keen to leave the Airport Sydney while you are in transit, there are any number of things you can experience. Sidney is a city that is alive with culture, architecture and atmosphere and has so much to offer while you wait for your connecting flight.

Getting there

The same-day return rail ticket is the way to go if your time in Sydney is limited. Although other "shuttle" options might be less expensive, the dependability and frequency of the train service will allow you to get the most out of your Sydney transit experience. If you think you might want to visit more than one attraction in the city, make sure that your same-day return ticket includes the "city hopper" feature, which allows you to get on and off the train at several stops in the Sydney CBD.

Left Luggage

SYD Sydney International Airport International terminal has an attended baggage-keeper service that is a bit pricey, but better than lugging a large rolling suitcase along a beach promenade or through a museum. It is conveniently located on the way to the AirportLink train, on your left, as you walk toward the train from the baggage carousels. It is up to your discretion if you are comfortable leaving your computer bag or camera there, but it seems to be a safe and reliable service.

Rocks Market and Circular Quay

If the weather is nice and you are there on a weekend day, consider going to The Rocks Market, which is a craft market with lots of stalls that pops up on weekends a few blocks to the left of Circular Quay after you snap the obligatory photos of the Harbour Bridge. Or if you're not the market type, a couple blocks to the right of Circular Quay are the Royal Botanic Gardens which, during the warm months, offer picturesque natural beauty within the city. If you have around 6-7 hours, consider taking the train to Circular Quay and then a ferry to Manly beach for lunch and some time near the water. Less well known than Bondi, it is where many locals go to enjoy a day at the beach.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

This remarkable piece of architecture offers first class views of Sydney Harbour. If you think you are fit enough, you can take a guided tour to the top at sunrise, sunset, during the day or even at night. This tour takes about three and a half hours so make sure you will have time to make it back to the airport before your connecting flight.

Sydney Waterfront

If you feel like stretching your legs and getting some fresh air, a walk along the Sydney waterfront and The Rocks will give you the perfect opportunity. You can wander down to Cadman’s Cottage, Sydney’s oldest building dating back to circa 1816, or you can stop at one of many restaurants and pubs for a great meal or a few refreshments before heading back to the airport.

Sydney Opera House

A guided tour of Sydney Opera House takes about an hour and offers the opportunity to enjoy this city’s most popular tourist attraction even when you only have a few hours to spare. A Sydney Harbour boat cruise takes around 35 minutes and gives a different perspective of Sydney as seen from off shore. With buses, trains and taxis available to take you to the harbour, this is a great way to see Sydney when you only have a couple of hours before take off.


If none of this interests you, Sydney's two big downtown department stores, Myer and David Jones, can be reached via the Town Hall or St. James stations. If it is raining or freezing cold (and you have packed for that tropical vacation in the Cook Islands rather than a Sydney winter day), you can alight at Town Hall and use the underground shopping mall corridors to reach Myer without even getting too cold or wet. The QVB, a multi-floor indoor shopping promenade with smaller shops selling clothing, shoes, jewelry and other items, is also reachable via those corridors.

Or would you rather shop til you drop with a professional shopper showing you the way? Then a guided shopping tour of Sydney’s warehouses and factory outlets will have your suitcases brimming over as you head for your onward flight. A Shop and Save Tours fully trained shopping tour hostess will take you in an air conditioned luxury coach or luxury coaster to show you all of Sydney's best kept shopping secrets.

Half Day Retail Therapy Shopping Tour:

Adult AUD 54
Child (5-11 years) AUD 21.60
Family AUD 140.40
Students and Seniors AUD 49
Children under 5 free

Full-Day Shop till you Drop Shopping Tour:

Adult AUD 88.50
Child (5-11 years) AUD 43.20
Family AUD 237.60
Students and Seniors AUD 83.50
Children under 5 free.

As always, make sure you leave plenty of time to get back to the Airport Sydney in time for your connecting flight. Enjoy your transit city rather than whiling away the time leaning up against your luggage in the departures lounge.

 More Sydney Airport Transfer & Airport Connection Options

Last Updated: 13 Jul 2023