Sydney Travel Guide

Explore Sydney

Looking for a city with impalpable energy and a culture unlike no other? The biggest and most exciting metropolis in Australia is loud, full of energy and impossible not to love.

Located on Australia’s east coast, the city was first founded as a penal colony, and the first European settlement in Australia. Since convict transportation ended in the mid-19th century, it has transformed into a dynamic and global cultural hub, and one of the most multicultural cities in the world.

More than 250 different languages are spoken in Sydney and you can find enclaves and diners from various exotic parts of the world here.


Top Things to Do

Sydney Opera House

Built in 1973, this beautiful performing arts centre has not only become the symbol of Sydney but also one of the 20th century’s most famous and distinctive buildings for its extraordinary architecture. Occupying a prominent part of the Sydney Harbour, the opera house comprises of multiple venues which together host well over 1,500 performances annually. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most visited attraction in Sydney.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Spanning across the Sydney Harbour is this regal steel arch bridge that has seen the city blossom into a cosmopolitan hub over the years. Nicknamed “The Coathanger”, the bridge is made up of 28-panel arch trusses and is the world’s tallest steel arch bridge. These days, you can even climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge to its highest point.

Bondi Beach

Stretching one kilometre in length across the eastern suburbs of Sydney, Bondi Beach is extremely popular among both locals and tourists. The waves here make it an excellent surfing spot, although it’s not very safe due to sharks in the area. Pods of whales and dolphins can be sighted in the bay during the months of migration (March–May, September–November). There is also a string of restaurants and cute cafes across the beach boulevard that are popular with Sydneysiders especially on weekends.

Royal Botanic Garden

Dating back to 1816, the botanic garden is the oldest scientific institution in Australia. Covering 30 hectares of green space in the Sydney Harbour area, the garden forms a large natural amphitheatre, wrapped around Farm Cove. The most prominent landscape feature in the garden is the historic sandstone seawall that provides a focal point for travellers and photographers.

Auburn Gallipoli Mosque

The biggest mosque in Sydney is designed in the Ottoman-style and located in the Auburn suburb of Sydney. More than 500 worshippers attend prayer sessions at the mosque every day. The mosque’s name invokes the legacy of the Gallipoli Campaign during World War I.

Where to Eat and Drink

Whether you are a picky eater or a hardcore foodie, one thing is for sure — you’ll never go hungry in Sydney. As the most international and cosmopolitan city in the southern hemisphere, Sydney has no shortage of high-end restaurants, cheap diners or food trucks serving cuisine from around the world. Muslims will also be happy with the flurry of halal restaurants found here in Sydney.


Recommended places to eat

Atlantis on the Bay

Lauded as the best Lebanese restaurant in Sydney, this halal restaurant prides itself for serving fresh ingredients and the best meat, against the stunning backdrop of Brighton Beach. Their chefs have all been trained in culinary sciences and specialise in Arabic and Lebanese food. The romantic atmosphere and stylish design also make it an excellent place to celebrate a special occasion.

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Quay

Headed by world-renown chef Peter Gilmore, Quay serves up quintessential modern Australian cuisine that matches the beautiful harbour setting. You’ll be guaranteed a truly memorable dining experience that celebrates the diversity of local, natural ingredients cooked with creativity and passion.

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Season Thai Restaurant by Thai Riffic

Another fully certified halal restaurant, this is a local favourite haunt and serves up the most authentic Thai cuisine in Sydney. Don’t let its modern decor deceive you — the food here is as good as the street-side fare you get in Bangkok.

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Bills

The flagship store of Bill Granger’s restaurant chain is located on Bondi Beach’s restaurant strip. It reflects the spirit most people think of as ‘Australian’: sunny, easy-going and generous. It’s best known for the best scrambled eggs and hotcakes in town, served at the now much-copied communal table.

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Recommended Places to Stay

Park Hyatt Sydney

If you’re looking to splurge, this hotel won’t disappoint with the best harbour views of the Sydney Opera House in town. Reminiscent of an exclusive waterfront residence, the hotel offers intimate surrounds with architecture.

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Old Clare Hotel

Sprawled across two iconic heritage-listed buildings, the 62 room boutique hotel has been painstakingly restored with careful attention to details.
Situated along the Kensington Street precinct.

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Pensione Hotel Sydney

Centrally located in the heart of Sydney’s entertainment and theatre district, the 68 room budget boutique hotel is literally just across the road from the Central Train Station. Set in a 19th-century heritage building.

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The Kirketon Hotel

Spotting a swanky black-and-grey exterior (and interior), this iconic boutique hotel is located in the heart of Sydney’s restaurant district and walking distance from the city’s major attractions.

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Best Time to Go

Remember that Sydney is located in the southern hemisphere, so the seasons are reversed here. Summer runs from November to February, with the average temperature around 24 to 27°C, while winter goes from June to August and temperatures at a mild 10 to 15°C. In general, weather in Sydney is mild all year round whether summer or winter.

The best times to visit Sydney are from September to November and from March to May. Spring and fall are Sydney’s moderate tourist season (neither high nor low), offering visitors pleasant temperatures and manageable tourist crowds. Plus, airline prices fall during these shoulder seasons.


Getting There

Several airlines fly from Saudi Arabia to Sydney, including Qatar, Etihad Airways, and Philippine Airways. There are no direct flights, and most flights have one or two stops. The journey is at least 18 hours when you fly from Riyadh.

Getting from Airport to City
  • By Train

    The Airport Link is the fastest and most convenient way to get from Sydney International Airport to the city centre. Trains run approximately every 10 minutes and the journey to the city takes only 13 minutes. The international and domestic rail stations link directly to the City Circle line of the local subway system. A single fare on the Airport Link costs $6.00.

  • By Bus

    Sydney Buses operates a service, Route 400, which connects both the International (T1) and Domestic (T3) airport terminals with Bondi Junction and Burwood. To take the bus, you must have an Opal card, or you will need to purchase an Opal single bus ticket from the driver. A single fare starts from $2.60, depending on how far you are traveling.

  • By Taxi

    Taxis are easily available at the taxi ranks outside each terminal. A one-way fare from the airport to city centre is around $45 to $55, with an additional $4.25 airport toll and other bridge or road tolls.



Extra tips
  • The most-spoken language of Australia, including Sydney, is English.

  • The currency in Australia is the Australian dollar (AUD). The current exchange rate is 1 SAR to 0.35AUD ($).

  • Australia uses 220-240 volts.

  • The plugs in Australia have two flat metal pins shaped like a V. Some plugs also have a third flat pin in the center.