Unfortunately, there is NO public transport available around the island, other than in the immediate Sydney area (see below). Unless you are staying in an area where there is a concentration of Celtic Colours events, you will need a car to get around. We strongly advise using Google Maps to clarify the driving distances and times between communities.
Car rentals will book up quickly so book your car rental as soon as possible.
Car rentals are also available at the Halifax airport. It is generally cheaper to fly to Halifax than to Sydney, and it is an easy (but long) drive from the Halifax airport to Cape Breton (about 3.5 hours from the Halifax airport to the Gaelic College).
There is NO Uber (or comparable) service available in Cape Breton.
In larger centres, such as Sydney, inexpensive taxis are readily available, but usually need to be called.
In Sydney, City Wide Taxi provides service at the airport and arrangements can be made in advance by calling 902.564.5432. A taxi between the airport and downtown Sydney will cost about $15 CAD. There are other taxi companies in the area as well.
Limited taxi services exist in Port Hawkesbury and Baddeck. Check for taxi availability in other communities.
NOTE: Only some taxis can take credit card payments, and there are no currency exchange facilities at the Sydney airport. Please ensure that you have some Canadian cash when you arrive, or request a taxi that can take credit card payments. It is normal to give a 10-15% tip to drivers (rounded to the nearest dollar). It’s also normal to share cabs with strangers going in the same direction for a reduced fee for each passenger – the cab driver will arrange this (but you can also say if you’d rather not share).
There is no shuttle bus service between the Sydney airport and Sydney hotels.
There is public transit in the Sydney area, although it is limited.
Maritime Bus runs an intercity bus between Halifax and Sydney, stopping in Wagmatcook, Whycocomagh, and Port Hawkesbury.
Halifax Airport Shuttles
There are a number of privately-run airport shuttle vans that run between Cape Breton and the Halifax airport, most with pick up points in Sydney, Baddeck, and Port Hawkesbury. Other pick-up points can likely be negotiated if they are on this route. Google “Halifax airport Cape Breton shuttle” for listings. The cost per passenger is about $100.