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Pouring a sauce to the dish at Novotel Sydney International Airport

Sydney Airport Layover | Surprisingly Entertaining Things to Do

How can we bear to stay at the airport during a layover when there’s so much to explore in Sydney? From residential suburbs and duty-free shopping to Sydney’s most iconic spots, get out, explore and make the most of it!  So here are some of the best things to do during a layover at Sydney International Airport.


For a short 4-5 hour layover, it’s best to stick to some nearby locations. For a quick look at the surrounding residential areas of the airport, pop on a shuttle bus for a quick 5 minute trip to the nearby station of Wolli Creek. Here, you have the opportunity to take a quick walk along Cooks River to see the airport from afar and walk around in one of Sydney’s fastest growing residential areas.

Think a perfect blend between modern high-rise buildings and leafy green parks by the Cooks River.

If you’re excited for some modern Australian dining, pop into The Marke Kitchen & Bar at Novotel Sydney International Airport and grab a quick bite. There’s such a variety of freshly cooked Australian dining options for you to enjoy in a quiet, relaxing location to unwind after a stressful day of travelling. Afterwards, enjoy a drink at The Marke Bar in a quiet and cosy location. We’ll make you feel comfortable and at ease in no time. After your rest, head out for a quick trip before getting on a shuttle taking you straight back to the airport.

It’s the perfect breath of fresh air after hours of travelling! It’s not the iconic spots you know, but it’s the perfect stroll in one of Sydney’s fastest growing neighborhoods.

Alternatively, one of a traveller’s favourite is a stop at The Grounds near Alexandria. There’s homestyle food and specialty coffee in a former pie factory with brick walls and an organic garden. This is a brunch lover’s paradise with multiple options of dining from the outdoor restaurant to the café.


If you have more than four hours, head to Circular Quay to see some of Sydney’s most iconic destinations. From Sydney’s famous opera house to its iconic Harbour bridge, you’ll be inspired by the stories and sights Sydney has to offer. Walk beside the glimmering water and head to the Royal Botanic Gardens for a glimpse of one of Sydney’s best ranges of botanical plants.

Alternatively, explore The Rocks area and the historical aspects of Sydney in a neighborhood with a tonne of history, good food and shopping destinations. This tourist friendly area boasts beautiful views, luxurious shopping locations and is a short walk from the Bridge and Opera house.

If you’ve got longer than 8 hours to spend, read on here to see the many things you could do near Sydney International Airport! Otherwise, take advantage of your short layover and get a glimpse of life in Sydney!