ATMs/Banks -- Banking hours are Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. Many banks, especially in the city center, are open from around 9:30am to 12:30pm on Saturday. Most major bank branches offer currency-exchange services.
Business Hours -- General office hours are Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. Shopping hours are usually from 8:30am to 5:30pm daily (9am–5pm Sat), and most stores stay open until 9pm on Thursday. Most city-center stores are open from around 10am to 4pm on Sunday.
Dentists -- CBD Dental Practice, Level 2, The Country Centre, 74 Castlereagh St., (tel. 02/9221 2453; www.cbddental.com.au), offers same-day emergency treatment. It’s open Monday through Friday 8am to 6pm (by appointment). The Sydney Dental Hospital is on 2 Chalmers St., Surry Hills (tel. 02/9293 3333).
Doctors & Hospitals -- St. Vincent’s Hospital is at Victoria and Burton streets in Darlinghurst, near Kings Cross (tel. 02/8382 1111).The Park Medical Centre, Shop 4, 27 Park St. (tel. 02/9264 4488), in the city center near Town Hall, is open Monday through Friday 8am to 6pm. The Travellers’ Medical & Vaccination Centre, Level 7, the Dymocks Building, 428 George St., in the city center (tel. 1300 658 844 or 02/9221 7133; www.traveldoctor.com.au), administers travel-related vaccinations and medications. It’s open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 9am to 5pm (until 6pm Tuesday and 8pm Thursday) and 9am to 1pm Saturday. Appointments essential.
Embassies & Consulates -- All foreign embassies are based in Canberra. The following consulates are in Sydney: Canada, Level 5, 111 Harrington St., The Rocks (tel. 02/9364 3000); New Zealand, 55 Hunter St. (tel. 02/9223 0144); United Kingdom, Level 16, Gateway Building, 1 Macquarie Place, Circular Quay (tel. 02/9247 7521); and United States, Level 59, MLC Centre, 19–29 Martin Place (tel. 02/9373 9200).
Emergencies -- Dial tel. 000 to call the police, the fire service, or an ambulance. Call the NRMA for car breakdowns (tel. 13 11 11). Call the Poisons Information Centre (tel. 13 11 26); the Rape Crisis Centre (tel. 1800 424 017 in Australia); or the Lifeline 24-hour counseling service (tel. 13 11 14).
Internet Access -- Sydney has many Internet and e-mail centers, particularly in and around Kings Cross, Bondi, and Manly.
Mail & Postage -- The General Post Office (GPO) is at 1 Martin Place (tel. 13 13 18 in Australia or 02/9244 3711). It’s open Monday through Friday 8:15am to 5:30pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm. For the nearest post office, call tel. 13 13 18 or find it online at www.auspost.com.au.
Pharmacies (Chemist Shops) -- Most suburbs have pharmacies that are open late. For after-hours referral, contact the Emergency Prescription Service (tel. 1300/ 882 294).
Police -- In an emergency, dial tel. 000. Make nonemergency police inquiries through the City Central police station (tel. 02/9265 6499 or 13 14 44).
Safety -- Sydney is generally a safe city, but as anywhere else, it’s good to keep your wits about you and your wallet hidden. Be wary in Kings Cross and Redfern and around Central Station and the cinema strip on George Street near Town Hall station in the evening—the latter is a hangout for local gangs. Other places of concern are the back lanes of Darlinghurst, around the naval base at Woolloomooloo, and along the Bondi restaurant strip when sunburned drunken tourists spill out after midnight. If traveling by train at night, ride in the carriages next to the guard’s van, marked with a blue light on the outside.