Is Sydney Safe for Solo Female Travellers? What You Need to Know

If you’re asking “is Sydney safe for solo female travellers?” you’ll be pleased to hear that Sydney is one of the safest cities in the world and one of the best places to visit in Australia.

It’s an ideal destination for women travelling alone, but there are still things you should do to make sure you stay as safe as possible while you’re here.

Avoiding trouble means you’ll be more relaxed, you’ll enjoy yourself more and you’ll get the most out of your stay in one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

Covid-19 travel restrictions may apply for travel in Australia. Check with your local government for the latest information.

Sydney has a low crime rate and ranks as the 5th safest city in the world. So compared to many other cities, it’s a safe place to visit.

But, for solo female travellers, there are still places in Sydney where extra care is needed, including some popular tourist areas.

While the crime rate is low, sexual assaults, petty theft, and other offences do take place in Sydney. 

This guide to staying safe in Sydney will provide solo female travellers with all they need to know before they visit.

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Sydney harbour bridge and opera house with people milling about. A prime location for pick pockets. Find out how to stay safe in Sydney

Sydney Safety for solo female travellers

Be especially careful in the city and CBD.

The Rocks, Circular Quay, Sydney city, Redfern, Chippendale & Kings Cross have more crime than other places in Sydney. These inner city areas are where tourists usually stay.

You’re more likely to be targeted for petty theft, scams and assaults in these areas.

Sydney’s most unsafe areas

The Rocks is one of the oldest areas of Sydney in a fabulous tourist location right on Sydney Harbour. It’s close to the famous Sydney Opera House and is where some of the most exclusive hotels are located. Try to avoid walking alone at night in the quiet streets and laneways around The Rocks.

Don't Forget to Pack the Essentials!

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Around Central station there are lots of cheaper hostels and it’s a popular area for backpackers. It’s also right next door to Redfern and Chippendale. Although these suburbs have been renovated and gentrified in recent times there is a higher crime rate than in other Sydney suburbs.

Close to Central station in Sydney City there have been problems around George Street and in Haymarket. Avoid the area late at night if you’re alone and be careful if you’re with a friend.

Kings Cross is Sydney’s red light district and it’s where you’ll find late night clubs, pubs and bars. Located between the upmarket harbour suburbs of Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay, “The Cross” is a notorious area for prostitution, muggings, drugs and violence.

And nearby Oxford Street is the centre of Sydney’s Rainbow ribbon. It’s a trendy, colourful area and the place to go for gay bars and nightlife.  But take care while visiting or if you’re staying in the area.

Solo Travel Safety Tip:  Chat to your hotel reception staff and let them know where you’re going. Ask for directions and safety advice. They have a wealth of local knowledge and will be happy to give you tips for the local area.

Stay safe so you can make the most of the best things to do in Sydney.

Sydney Safety at night

When you’re on holiday in Sydney you’ll probably want to go out and enjoy yourself. For a smooth night out there are a few things you should know:

  • Carry ID. Take your passport of drivers licence with you to pubs & bars. You must be over 18 to buy alcohol in Australia and you may be asked to show your ID, especially if you look underage.
  • Drugs like marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy are illegal in Australia so steer clear and you’ll avoid trouble.

If you find yourself out drinking and partying late at night anywhere in Sydney’s CBD take extra care getting home.

Solo travel Safety Tips

  • Team up with another traveller or join a group of people from your hostel for a big night out on the town.
  • Always have a plan for how you’ll get home at night and take enough money for the full cab fare.
  • Check hostel notice boards for free group outings like city walking tours and pub crawls.
  • Join a tour group if you feel like some company. There’s safety in numbers and you’ll have a local guide showing you around.
Bondi Beach in Sydney is one of the safest places for solo female travellers to visit

Sydney’s safest tourist areas

Bondi Beach and Manly are top Sydney destinations that tourists love to visit and they are amongst the safest places to stay in Sydney.

They both have beautiful beaches with a laid back surf vibe and lots of great cafes to enjoy.

Related: Find the best places to stay in Sydney for all budgets.

Sydney Safety Tips for solo female travellers

I live in Sydney and usually feel very safe when I’m out on my own but there are still things I try to avoid or never do:

  • Try to avoid walking alone at night.
  • Don’t walk through a park in the dark.
  • Walk where there are street lights and other people.
  • Don’t walk alone on the beach after dark.
  • Get a lift or take a taxi or Uber late at night rather than catching public transport alone.
  • Lock up your valuables at your hotel and take only what you’ll need when you go out at night.
  • Always lock your car and hide your valuables in the boot.

While it’s unlikely anything bad will happen, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Sydney opera house at sunset

Sydney Safety while Sightseeing

Most of Sydney’s main tourist areas are pretty safe during the day if you take the usual precautions:

  • Keep your valuables on you.
  • Don’t leave your bag unattended.
  • Watch out for scammers and petty theft in crowded areas.
  • Try not to look like a tourist and avoid unwanted attention.
Ferry and Sydney harbor bridge where solo female travellers can get around safely

Sydney Safety tips for getting around

Public transport

Sydney’s public transport system is usually reliable and safe but do take care if you’re travelling alone at night.

Wait for your bus or train in well lit places and sit near other people at the station and while you’re travelling.

Try to avoid empty carriages at night and sit near the guard’s compartment. It’s the one with the blue light.

Most incidents occur at night after 6:30pm in Sydney.

Solo female travellers will be safe enough in Sydney, but should take more care at night if they are alone on public transport.

Taxi & Uber

Late at night, taxis or Uber are the safest way to get around Sydney.

But they are a lot more expensive than public transport.

Download the 13cabs app to your phone and you can easily order a cab. The app knows where you are and allows you to track your taxi’s progress while you wait for it to arrive.

Driving

If you’re driving in Sydney, don’t drink while you’re under the influence and never speed. This way you’ll avoid an accident or a fine.

Remember, in Sydney we drive on the left side of the road.

Looking to get around via car? Find the cheapest car rentals here!

Staying Connected – Internet Options

Staying connected will keep you safe. You’ll be travelling with your phone so make sure can use it an emergency.

Invest in a SIM card so you can text and make calls when you’re in Sydney. It’s more reliable than free wifi and you’ll be connected all the time.

This means you can keep in touch with family, make arrangements to meet up with friends and call for help if there’s an emergency.

SIM cards are easy to find at phone shops, supermarkets and Post Offices.

There are a lot of internet providers to choose from but Belong, Vodafone and Moose sell cheap, pre-paid plans.  

If you’re looking for a good quality connection with a lot of data, Telstra and Optus are the main providers in Australia.

Safety Tip:  In an emergency dial 000 for police, ambulance or the fire brigade.

Bronte Beach at sunset with a bright sunny skin showing the need for sun safety in Sydney

Safety in the sun

Sun safety is more important than you might think! You’re far more likely to get sunburnt in Sydney than to be scammed, robbed or raped.

Sunburns can be very uncomfortable and over time it will age your skin and can cause skin cancer.

The sun in Australia is very strong and best avoided in the middle of the day when the sun is high in the sky.

Sun stroke or heat exhaustion are also common and can be fatal.

Make sure you drink plenty of water. This will help your body handle excessive heat, especially if you’re exercising.

Sydney summers can be sweltering so stay out of the heat and be sun smart.

Sun Safety Tips:

  • Wear sunscreen! It’s is essential when you’re out in Sydney. Wear factor 50+ and reapply after swimming.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses with UV eye protection
  • Cover up your body with long sleeves and pants to avoid sunburn.
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol when you’re in the sun as it can cause dehydration.
  • Carry rehydration salts in your first aid kit.
Crashing waves at a Sydney Beach showing the danger of the water

Sydney beach safety

Sydney beaches are some of the safest in Australia.

There are no crocodiles or poisonous stingers, but there are hazards at all beaches if you’re out in the sun and swimming in the surf.

Don’t leave valuables unattended on the beach. Think carefully about what you take with you. Leave your valuables locked up at your hotel, lock them in the boot of your car, or swim with them hanging around your neck in a waterproof wallet.  

Be extra careful if you’re at the beach alone. Not only are you more vulnerable to petty theft and unwanted attention, but you need to be alert to other hazards while you’re swimming or walking.

Shark attacks happen every year in Australia – but they are rare. Patrolled Sydney beaches have sirens that warn swimmers about sharks in the area.

Blue bottles and other jellyfish can also make life uncomfortable at the beach. Blue bottles will sting you even when they are washed up on the beach, so watch where you walk with bare feet.

Unfortunately people drown at Sydney beaches each year and some of them are tourists.

Beach Safety Tips:

  • Always swim between the flags.
  • Don’t swim at unpatrolled surf beaches.
  • Swim with a friend for safety.
  • Be careful in the surf and watch out for large waves.
  • Watch out for rips and strong currents.
  • Leave the water if you hear a shark warning siren.
  • Lookout for other warning signs on the beach.
  • Don’t swim if the beach is closed.
  • Protect your feet.
  • Don’t go swimming while you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Safety Tip About Tides: Check the tides before you go walking or fishing on the rocks on Sydney’s coastline. Large waves can drag you along a rock platform or even sweep you out to sea so keep away from the edge of rock platforms.

Even at low tide, large waves can roll in and surprise you.

Some popular walks like the ”Figure 8 Rock pool” in Sydney’s Royal National Park can only be accessed at low tide and are very dangerous at other times.

Research the tides before you go and keep an eye on them while you’re there.

Safety Tips for the Outdoors

People visiting Australia are sometimes worried about dangerous spiders and snakes. but a tourist visiting the city centre for a few days has next to no chance of seeing one, let alone of being bitten.  

I live in Sydney and I’ve seen a snake once in my lifetime – and that was in the bush!

If you’re digging in the garden or bush walking you may come across a poisonous funnel web or a red back spider. Keep your distance and they are unlikely to worry you.

Just don’t leave your shoes outside at night and you won’t get a surprise when you put them on in the morning.

If you go bush walking in one of Sydney’s beautiful National Parks, (and I highly recommend that you do) wear covered shoes and stick to the walking trails.

Look out for snakes and keep your distance if you’re lucky enough to see one. But you probably won’t.

While most of Sydney’s wildlife is harmless there are some dangerous native animals in other parts of Australia.

Sydney is safe from crocodiles, poisonous box jellyfish and mosquito-borne diseases like Dengue fever. They live in the tropical north of the country and you won’t find them anywhere on the east coast of Australia.

Travel Insurance

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Water lapping at the sand in front of the Sydney harbour bridge

Is Sydney Safe Wrap Up

Sydney is an amazing place to visit with world famous landmarks like the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Solo female travellers can relax and stay safe while they explore Sydney’s many attractions.

Ultimately, solo female travel in Sydney is safe if you follow these safety tips from a local.

You’ll be able to travel alone without fear so you can have an epic adventure down under!

Planning a trip to Sydney? Find 10 Sydney day trips that you’ll love.

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Linda of Muy Linda Travels

Linda of Muy Linda Travels

Linda is a travel blogger and music teacher from Sydney in Australia. She loves to travel solo and over the years she’s visited around 50 countries on 5 different continents. Linda is happiest when she’s exploring new places, visiting temples, climbing mountains, and writing about her adventures. Her recent trips include volunteer teaching in an orphanage in Uganda and a road trip through beautiful Tasmania in Australia.

Linda has spent most of her life living in Sydney and is a Sydney expert.


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