Sleeping in Airports

Sydney Airport Guide

Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or you are just quickly passing through, our Sydney Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit.  Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.

It’s unbelievable and embarrassing for Australia that there is a charge to transfer between the domestic and international terminals. – a traveller

Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, we are here to give you the low-down on what travellers have reported back to us about their time at Sydney Airport.

What to Expect

Sydney Airport is spread across three terminals. The Airport Link underground train connects the International Terminal (T1) with the Domestic Terminals 2 and 3 for about $5.50 AUD per person and the ride takes about 15 minutes. The terminals are spacious, so expect a lot of walking.

With slow security and immigration queues, arrive early for peace of mind. Once inside Security, food and shopping are decent, but none stay open 24 hours, so plan ahead if you’re staying overnight. Some travellers have pointed out that the amenities are disappointing considering this is Australia’s largest airport. Additional features are free WiFi and free showers (BYO soap and towel). For a more comfortable layover, economy class passengers can pay to enter some airport lounges. See Airport Lounges in the airport guide below for locations and rates.

Where to Sleep

Overnight sleepers will have to head to the designated waiting area pre-Security in the International Terminal, near the train station entrance. (International airside and the entire Domestic Terminal close nightly.) Unfortunately, this waiting area isn’t comfortable, offers little seating, few power outlets, and a lone vending machine. Expect to rest on the cold hard floor, so bring something soft and extra layers to combat the chilly temperature. For uninterrupted sleep, there’s a hotel at the International Terminal and another at Terminals 2 and 3, and nearby hotels offer free airport shuttle service. See Airport Hotels in the airport guide below for more info.

In this guide we may refer to locations as “landside” and “airside”. Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter by paying at the door, purchasing a lounge pass or through a lounge membership program (ie. Koru Club or Qantas Club). Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

Air New Zealand Lounge – Location: Terminal 1, airside, towards Gates 59-63. Lounge Access: Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

American Express Lounge in Partnership with Plaza Premium – Location: Terminal 1, International Departures, Airside, near Gate 24. Lounge Access: American Express cardholders. [ more lounge info ]

Qantas Club – Location: International Terminal 3, Airside, near Gate 10. Lounge Access: Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

REX Lounge – Location: Terminal 2, Airside, Domestic Departures, near Gate G2. Lounge Access: Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

Passes  SkyTeam Lounge operated by Plaza Premium – Location: Terminal 1, International Departures, Airside, near Gate 24. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge passes. [ more lounge info ]

Virgin Australia Lounge – Location: Domestic Terminal 2, Airside, near Gate 47. Lounge Access: Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

If sleeping in Sydney Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport:

At Airport Mantra Hotel Sydney Airport – A new hotel that opened in July 2017. It is a few minutes walking distance from T2 (800m) and T3 (900m) domestic terminals. No airport shuttle. Day rooms are available. » Check Rates

At Airport Rydges Sydney Airport – Located across from the International Terminal. Free shuttle service to the Domestic Terminal daily from 5:00AM to 10:45PM, on either the Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel shuttle or the Sydney Airport TBus service depending on the time. » Check Rates

Near Airport Ibis Budget Sydney Airport – (5 minute walk from the Domestic Terminal) Airport shuttle runs daily, every 30 minutes, from 5:00AM – 11:00PM, AUD $7 per person, each way. Airport picks up at the shuttle bus pick up area between Domestic T2 and T3 (Bays 4- 7), and also at the International Terminal Bays 11 – 12. » Check Rates

Near Airport Mercure Sydney Airport – (2 minutes from the airport) Airport transfers provided via Super Shuttle service, AUD $7 per person, each way. Shuttle runs daily, every 30 to 40 minutes from 4:30AM to 11:00PM (airport pick-up starts at 6:30AM), and picks up at the International Terminal (Bay 12) and Domestic Terminal (between T2 and T3, at Bay 4). » Check Rates

Near Airport Holiday Inn Sydney Airport – (5 minute walk from the Domestic Terminal) Airport transfers provided via Super Shuttle service, AUD $6 per person, each way. Shuttle runs daily, every 30 to 40 minutes from 5:30AM to 11:00PM, and picks up at the International Terminal (Bay 12) and Domestic Terminal (between T2 and T3, at the “horseshoe”). » Check Rates

To see more options there is a list of hotels near Sydney Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the airport, connect to the “-FREE SYD WiFi-” network.

If you are not travelling with a mobile device, free internet kiosks are available throughout Terminal 1 (Departures level, airside – near Gate 24, 31 and 53), at Everywhere Internet in Terminal 2 (departure level towards gates 31 – 41 ) and Terminal 2 Arrivals level, near baggage Carousel 1.

Communications

  • Post Office – Australia Post – You can purchase stamps and mail products such as post cards and envelopes, send/receive money transfers (Billpay, [email protected], Western Union), purchase insurance and more. Location: International Terminal (T1), oppsite check-in J. Hours: 6:00AM – 8:30PM.
  • WiFi – see “Airport WiFi/Internet” above.

Family Services

  • Baby Care Facilities – Baby change facilities are located throughout the airport.
  • Children’s Play Areas – Locations: Terminal 1 – Landside, between counters A & B and at the end of check-in counter J / Airside, between Gates 31 & 33 and Gates 58 & 59 in pier C.
  • Children’s Cinema – The Kid’s Cinema provides a comfortable area for kids to watch kid friendly tv shows. Location: Terminal 1 – Airside, near Gate 33.

Food & Drinks

  • Drinking Water – Thirsty? Water bottle refill stations are available free of charge. Locations: various locations and outside most washrooms.
  • Food & Drinks – You will find many options available both Landside and Airside however; at the time of this update there were no 24 hour food or beverage concessions available. You will find some restaurants open as early as 4:00AM and most close between 9:00PM and 10:00PM.

Information

  • Information Desk – Airport ambassadors sporting bright blue jackets are stationed in two terminals, as follows: Terminal 1 (Departures, Landside, at Check-in Counters G & H • Departures, Landside, opposite Check-in Counter D • Departures, Airside, opposite Duty Free • Arrivals, Landside, opposite Exits A & B) • Terminal 2 (Arrivals, Landside, opposite Baggage Carousel 2). Hours: unknown.
  • Travel Agencies – If you are arriving in Sydney and need local arrangements or help planning a really last minute trip abroad, there is a Flight Center travel agency (T1, Airside, Level 2, near Check-in G) with offices at the airport that can probably be of assistance.

Luggage

  • Baggage Trolleys – Need a hand with your luggage? Baggage trolleys are available. Rate: AUD $4 for departing passengers. Once you pass through security, smaller trolleys are available free of charge. Arriving passengers will find free trolleys available in the baggage claim area.
  • Luggage Storage & Lockers – Location: SmarteCarte – Terminal 1, arrivals level, opposite Blooming Trails Florist (hours: 6:00AM – 9:30PM) • SmarteCarte – Terminal 2, arrivals level, near carousel 6 (hours: 5:30AM – 9:00PM). Rates per item: Small items: $9.00 (0 – 4 hours) • $ 11 (0 – 8 hours) • $ 13 (0 – 12 hours). Large Items: $11 (0-4 hours) • $13 (0 – 8 hours) • $16 (0 – 12 hours).
  • Luggage Wrapping – Available at Secure Travel. Locations: Terminal 1, Airside, near Check-in D. Hours: 4:30AM – 8:30PM.

Medical Services

  • Medical Services – Yes, the Sydney Airport Medical Centre is located on level 3 of International Terminal (T1). Hours: 8:00AM – 5:00PM Monday to Friday.
  • Pharmacy – Airport Guardian (T2, Airside, near the food court. Hours: 6:00AM – 10:00PM) • Amcal Pharmacy (T1, Airside, near Gate 51. Hours: 6:00AM – 9:00PM) • T3 Pharmacy (T3, Airside, near Food Court. Hours: 6:00AM – 9:00PM).

Mobile Charging

  • Mobile Charging – Yes. One of our readers found two stations in Terminal 1, landside, near check-in counter B and the eatery • Terminal 1, landside, near check-in counter F.

Money

  • ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. Machines are operated by ANZ Bank, Travelex and Westpac. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Locations: Terminals 1 and 2. Travelex has 33 multi-currency ATMs throughout the airport.
  • Banking Services – ANZ Bank provides full banking services. Location: International Terminal, Level 2, near Check-in J. Hours: 5:15AM – 9:00PM.
  • Currency Exchange – Available in all 3 Terminals. Services provided by ANZ Bank, Global Exchange and Travelex.

Prayer

  • Prayer Room – Location: Terminal 1, airside, Level 3 (Hours: 5:00AM – 10:00PM). A second prayer room is available landside near the taxi holding area, mainly for use by taxi drivers.

Rest & Relaxation

Shopping

  • Duty Free & Shopping – Duty free is available in addition to a variety of other shops both landside and airside.

Showers, Salon & Spa

  • Massage – Mandarin Massage offers reflexology, massages and more relaxing services. Location: Terminal 1, Airside, near gate 34. Hours: 6:00AM – 10:00PM every day.
  • Showers – Free showers are available, but you need to bring your own soap and towel. Location: Terminal 1, Airside, near Gate 31, Gate 51 and Gate 24 (male only) on the departures level. Landside you will find showers at general check-in area near check-in counters A and K on the departures level.

Smoking

  • Smoking – There are designated smoking areas in the Terminal 1 Terrace Bar (landside). If you are a transit passenger, there are no designated smoking areas, so you better travel with a patch or lots of gum.

Things to do & see

  • Observation Deck – Relax and watch planes taking off and landing from the vantage point of the airport’s observation deck. Location: Terminal 1 – walk through Terrace Bar or use the passageway near check-in counter B to gain access to the stairs leading up to the deck.

The airport is 3:00AM – 11:00PM (Terminal 1) • 4:00AM – 11:00PM (Terminal 2). If you have a valid ticket for a flight the next morning the airport staff may direct you to a seated area near the train station at the international terminal.

As of March 2018, Sydney airport is served by the following airlines: Air Canada • United Airlines • China Eastern • Philippine Airlines • Cathay Pacific • Air New Zealand • British Airways • Qantas • ANA • Etihad Airways • Air China • Emirates • Qatar Airways • Virgin Australia • Asiana Airlines • American Airlines • China Southern • Korean Air • Japan Airlines • Delta • China Airlines • Xiamen Airlines.

Sydney Bus route 400 offers a scheduled service between Bondi Junction and Burwood, stopping at designated bus stops on the Arrivals Level of Terminals 1 and 3 along the way. A paper ticket or reusable Opal card is required for boarding. For more information on this bus route and other Sydney Buses, go to the Sydney Buses website.

The following car rental agencies operate onsite in the Arrivals level of both terminals: Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Redspot and Thrifty.

See Airport Hotels above for some nearby hotels.

Terminals 2 and 3 are within walking distance of each other, but transportation is necessary to transfer between Terminals 1 and 2 or 3. There are a few different ways to travel between the terminals: T-Bus – Taxi – Airport Link – Qantas Seamless Transfer – Virgin Australia Seamless Transfer. For more information, visit the Sydney Airport website.

By law, limousines are not allowed to pick up passengers from the airport without a pre-arrangement. Passengers who have not pre-booked a limousine prior to arrival at the airport can hire a limousine at the Royale Limousines desk in Terminal 1 Arrivals.

Redy2Go provides door-to-door shared ride or exclusive ride service between the airport and the Sydney metropolitan area. Services can be pre-booked on the Redy2Go website or requested at any Sydney Airport Travel Desk located in the Arrivals areas of Terminals 1 or 2.

Sheltered taxi ranks are located outside of each terminal, with different types of taxis readily available to accommodate passengers needing baby capsules, wheelchair-accessible vehicles or multi-passenger “maxi taxis”. “Kerbside Supervisors” available on hand to direct taxis and assist passengers in finding the right taxi for their needs. At the time of this January 2018 update, the average fare from the airport to central Sydney is AUD $45 – $55 one way.

Trains from the airport (both Terminals) connect to the City Circle line in central Sydney. Tickets and Opal cards are sold at train stations, with Opal cards offering discounted fares on Sydney trains, buses and ferries. Go to the Airport Link website for more details. For information on Sydney’s city and regional trains, go to the Transport Sydney Trains website.

Last updated: 2018-10-23

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, are subject to change at any time without notice.   The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors or to add/update any items mentioned in the guide, write a review or send an email to [email protected] and we will update this guide.