The cheapest way to get from Sydney airport to the city centre

While multiple transportation options are available to get out of Sydney Airport [which are mentioned later], there is one little-known cheapest option to get out of the Airport without paying a hefty premium.

The cheapest way to get from Sydney Kingsford Smith airport to the city is by taking the N20 bus (which runs during the night) or the 420 bus to the next train station (Mascot) and jumping on a train from there.

It is possible to save you as much as $14.30 per person just by opting for a bus over a train ride out of the airport. This is because the airport privately owns the train station and can charge premium fees that you wouldn't get charged on the previous or the following train stop. And if you're a smart traveller on a tight budget [I'm assuming you are], then a small inconvenience of taking a bus to the Mascot station and transferring there to the same train could earn you an ice cream next to the Opera House.

To take any public transport, you will need to purchase an Opal card in any of the convenience shops located at the airport. These cards work like a credit card for public transport. Alternatively, you can tap on/off using your Tap and Pay credit card, but this would incur a $1 surcharge.

The bus can be located just outside of the airport. Here is a link to the map.

There will also be signs to it throughout the airport, or you can ask any airport worker, and they will happily direct you.

Sydney Airport Bus Schedule

We recommend using the TripView app or the Public transport section in Google maps to see the bus's schedule. Both options offer live updates and real-time tracking of your location in relation to the route.

Airport Train Link

If you are looking for a simpler yet less cost-effective way to get from the Sydney international airport to the central station, then taking the train might still be the cheapest option, with a one-way train fare costing $19.53. To find out more, head to the Airport Train Link Website to see the route, timetable and fees.

To enter the train or any other public transport, you will need to purchase an Opal card that kind of works like a public transport debit card. These cards can be found in convenience stores at the airport. As of today, the minimum purchase for these cards is $35 to avoid loopholes of running on negative balances.


Sydney Public Transport Opal Card in a shop

Ride Sharing

This option is next on the list and makes the most sense if you are a couple, a family or travelling in a group. At the time of writing (2023) Uber estimates the cost to be $26.70. That is assuming you can avoid peak-hour traffic.

The pick-up point for ride shares, like the bus stop, is a short distance from the main arrivals area exit. Click here to pre-book your ride or find out more.

Most popular ride-sharing apps in Sydney.

  • Uber

  • DiDi

  • Ola

  • Shebah

Shuttle service to Central Station

These services will provide the most value for the money as the Sydney shuttle services will drive you directly to the hotel you're staying. This way all the heavy bags don't have to handle through the city. The average fare for 3 people for cush service is $75.