Sydney, being the financial capital of Australia and the largest city, is the main gateway of entry for international travelers. Sydney Airport is located at a distance of nine kilometres from the Central Business District. It boasts of three terminals Terminal 2 and 3 are for domestic traffic while Terminal 1 caters to international flights.
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Sydney Airport receives a sizable number of Muslim passengers, especially from the Persian Gulf region. This has resulted in the establishment of two prayer rooms at the airport. Passengers, however, can easily access only one room present at Terminal 1. It is located on Level 3 and directions are clearly marked to help people in finding this room.
The Prayer room is multi-dimensional with separate praying spaces for men and women. It has attached washrooms with foot stools and other accessories. The direction of the Qiblah is marked on the walls and there are shoe stands, among other things.
There is another prayer room in the taxi holding area of Terminal 1 and passengers just arriving at the airport from the city can avail this facility. For people that have arrived from other destinations, this prayer room is not a feasible option as they would have to clear all the immigration and baggage claiming processes and then leave the main waiting and greeting lobby. This would surely take a significant amount of time. Airport staff can help with directions if you have just arrived from the city or other locations and do not want to miss your prayer.
Passengers can also head to the "Mascot Musallah" that is located on Botany Road near the airport link road. The mosque is located at a drive of five minutes from the airport. Alternatively using a secluded area of a departure lounge for prayer is acceptable if permission is sought of airport staff.
Sydney Airport has limited facilities of Halal dining. The following eateries at Terminal 1 claim to offer Halal cuisine. Krispy Kremes (6am to 10pm) Oportos (6am to 10pm)
Apart from the airport, passengers can also explore the Halal restaurants of Sydney. There are dozens of certified Halal restaurants and eateries that are run by Muslims of Pakistan, Indian, Indonesian and Lebanese descent. Closest to the airport is: Marmaris Kebabs and Turkish Pizza (Botany Road: 7am to midnight)
As for the CBD and other parts of Sydney, the choice is simply endless. Most Kebab shops in Sydney offer halal food, as well as Oportos and Nandos outlets, however it is always advisable to confirm with staff prior to ordering. The suburb of Lakemba, located around twenty minutes drive from the airport has a majority of halal food outlets, ranging from traditional Lebanese, to Thai, Chinese, Pakistani and Indonesian. There you can also find numerous prayer rooms and the major mosque in Sydney, Lakemba Mosque.
Sydney Airport has excellent transportation links with the CBD and other suburbs of Sydney. Additionally, passengers can also take the railways to other towns and cities of New South Wales. There is a dedicated Airport Link train that carries passengers to and from the airport terminals.
Sydney Airport is served by two stations first one is located at a short distance from Terminal 1 and is known as the international station. There is another domestic station between Terminal 2 and 3. Inter-terminal commuting is allowed for a small fee. As the trains run on a suburban commuter rail system, passengers can use this mode of transportation to travel to the CBD or other areas of Sydney.
Areas closer to Sydney Airport are covered on this train but passengers would have to first commute to Sydney Central if they want to catch trains for other regions of NSW. Trains run from 5 am until midnight at a frequency of 10 minutes. Tickets can be purchased from the counters in both domestic and international terminals.
Buses are a popular form of travel and relatively cheaper than trains. They, however, take more time due to traffic constraints. There are many bus services available and almost all of them run until midnight. Pre-booking is required for this mode of traveling please contact the booking counters at the airport for further details.
Taxis are available 24/7 and are the most comfortable mode of transportation. Travelers can hire from five-seaters to station wagons, as per their needs. They can also hire cars and limousines from the booking counters present at this location.
Sydney Airport has one of the best options for travelers when it comes to shopping. They might not have as scintillating and magnanimous shopping malls as some other airports of the world but Sydney airport authorities have surely ensured a presence of all major brands. In fact, they have adopted a two-pronged strategy where world famous branded products and ordinary and affordable items are given equal preference.
Shopping areas are present in all three terminals of the airport but Terminal 1 has the most options. There are shops and boutiques in both the public area as well as the check-in halls of the departure wing. A tax- and duty-free shop is present in Terminal 1 that has supplies of fragrances, electronic goods, cosmetics, jewellery, watches and confectionary, among other products. Apart from the tax-free shopping, travelers can indulge in a detailed shopping extravaganza by exploring the branded as well as non-branded products available in the airport boutiques.
There are many stores that sell traditional Australian items and aboriginal jewellery, among other things. Some of them offer great deals and discounts. Beauty salons and barber shops are present at many places. Bookshops offer famous travel guides of Australia whereas the airport pharmacy has all the medicines travelers could want, from sinus relief to travel sickness. A couple of florist shops are also located in Terminal 1.
Money changing facilities are available at both the departure and arrivals' halls of Terminal 1. ATM machines of ANZ Bank are present at all major thoroughfares of Terminal 1 and the international railway station.
The Airport also has plenty of baby change rooms. Additionally, bassinettes are also provided in some of the female washing rooms.
Dedicated baby change rooms also have microwaves to prepare formula food or warm milk for children. Strollers are also available on request. Diapers and other products are available from the convenience stores at Terminal 1. Children playing areas are present at Terminal 1.
Additionally, there are also mini kids' cinemas where large TV screens show famous cartoon movies and other programs. An airside playing field allows kids to play football and other sports. There is a major observation deck where passengers can see the movements of the aircraft. Showers are available at many places. There are also free Internet kiosks for people interested in keeping track of their business routines and e-mails.