Are you looking for the best hostels in Sydney? If you’re not familiar with the city at all, look no further. This is the ultimate guide to choosing the right Sydney hostel for you.
We cover every type of hostel for your Sydney accommodation in this article. Don’t think Sydney hostels are just for backpackers, we’ve seen everyone from families to couples to retirees stay and enjoy it.
Before we dive in with our guide the best backpacker hostels, here’s a few tips for you when choosing the right hostel for you, especially if you’re a backpacker.
But first, don’t stay in an airbnb in Sydney. I’ve had my fair share of bloody terrible ones. They are notorious for being awful, so definitely opt for a hostel or hotel.
1) Don’t be afraid to speak up
If the hostel you’ve booked doesn’t match up to what you were expecting, just like. ahotel, don’t be afraid to say something to the staff. The majority of hostel staff around the world are always really friendly and they understand the concerns of other travellers.
Just because you’re travelling doesn’t mean your standards drop. If there’s anything wrong with your dorm, speak up and ask to be moved. The power of a review on the internet is worth more to the hostel than moving you to another room
2) Lockers are super important
Make sure your hostel has lockers for each person in the room so you can lock your important things away. Sydney is a very safe city but regardless of what country or city you’re in, you always need to make sure there’s a locker in your room.
3) A shared kitchen is a necessity in Australia
Check to see if there’s a kitchen at your hostel so you can save on eating out. Sydney is notoriously expensive so you’ll find this a god send. It’s even better if you can score a free breakfast at your hostel too!
The actual city centre known as the central business district (CBD) is pretty small and basically runs along a couple of main streets which include Pitt St, George St and Elizabeth St.
You can walk from Central Station to Circular Quay and the Opera House in 30 minutes just by walking in a straight line down one of those three streets.
Sydney Isn’t Cheap
…but you probably already know that
While Sydney is an expensive city, there’s actually loads of free things to do.
Cost of dorm beds in Sydney
Dorm beds range from $60-$80 per night whilst double or twin rooms can range from $200+ per night. Obviously this amounts up fast when travelling around Australia.
What area to stay in Sydney
The cheapest Sydney hostels tend to be located in Kings Cross which is one of the night life areas, but it’s not the nicest area either. Hostels in the CBD are ultimately more expensive.
Sydney’s not THAT big
Also regardless of what people say, Sydney isn’t a massive city, if you’re used to cities like London – you can get to most places within about 30 minutes. The actual city centre known as the CBD is pretty small and basically runs along a couple of main streets which include Pitt St, George St and Elizabeth St.
You can walk from Sydney’s (main station) Central Station to Circular Quay (where Sydney Opera House is located) in 30 minutes or so just by walking in a straight line down one of those three streets.
1. Wake up at the best Party Hostel In Sydney Centra
Wake Up! Sydney was the first ever hostel I ever stayed in anywhere in the world.
I booked myself into a four bed dorm and ended up staying there for a whole month. Hand on heart, Wake Up! is one of my best memories because I met so many other single travellers in Sydney and I had a complete ball.
When backpacking was a whole new experience for me, I’m still friends with some of these guys I met at Wake Up!
Wake Up! is also one of the biggest backpackers in Sydney with 540 beds – it’s huge. They’ve got a mixture of rooms from female only to double rooms.
Best of all, it’s a lively hostel with an awesome legendary bar in the basement called Side Bar that many other travellers come to regardless of whether they are staying there. You’ll have many nights down here watching live bands and playing beer pong.
It’s a really fun, modern and clean hostel that is a brilliant place to stay in if you’re new to the whole single traveller thing.
Sitting in an awesome location, and is just over the road from Central Station – the main train station in Sydney.
It also regularly wins best hostel in Sydney award which is no surprise because they just ‘get backpackers’.
2. Drink and sleep in the heart of the City, Nomads Sydney
Our other best party big backpackers hostel in Sydney is Nomads Sydney. This legendary Sydney hostel has been around for a long time and they have countless hostels spread out in east coast across Australia and New Zealand.
Their bar, The Scary Canary brings in everyone from city workers to travellers staying there because of the cheap prices.
Sydney Central YHA is a brilliant hostel for couples who want to be near the action but not staying in it. It’s another big backpacker hostel but people keep more to themselves here, although there are plenty of activities on offer to meet people.
They also have a rooftop terrace and outdoor swimming pool as well, making it one of the best hostels in Australia and within easy reach from Sydney airport. It’s literally right next to Central Station so you can just jump on the train from the airport and be there within 20 minutes.
We also love that Sydney Central YHA has a carpark which is reasonably priced. This is absolutely gold dust for a central location so perfect for anyone who’s got a car. Just make sure you book the car park in advance as it’s got limited space.
It is a brilliant hostel for the health conscious! Take full advantage of the free rooftop yoga sessions, learn how to surf and you can even sign up for personal training sessions.
There’s something about Bondi that Sydney backpackers will want to take advantage of this as it’s the kind of place that makes you want to be the best version of yourself. Also, don’t forget the Friday night BBQs.
Please note! This hostel is for 18+ only, no kids sorry!
6. Wake up to an incredible view of Sydney Harbour
Built on one of the most important archeological sites in Australia, Sydney Harbour YHA is the only hostel located in Sydney’s historic Rocks precinct.
What makes this hostel in Sydney special is the fact that it has a huge roof terrace overlooking the famous Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge which are also in easy walking distance from party hostels.
We used to think The Glenmore next door had a great view but Sydney Harbour YHA absolutely smashes it.
A great thing about this hostel is you can literally roll out of bed to catch the sunrise like we did. It’s honestly amazing! Read our full Sydney Harbour YHA Review to see what it’s like staying there.
This is a brilliant quiet hostel and perfect for families, couples and backpackers.
This was the view from our room.
7. Sleep in the most Stylish Hostel, The Pod Sydney Central
The Pod in Sydney takes the spot for the best stylish hostel in Sydney! The new capsule style dorm rooms reminds us of when we stayed at a hostel in Tokyo. After travelling for a while, you’ll be pleased to get a bit of privacy with your own light switch and curtain. Pod Sydney is a super clean hostel and comes with free shampoo as well!
8. Have a futuristic night at The Capsule Hotel, Sydney CBD
Ever wanted to stay in a capsule hotel? Well nows your chance. The Capsule Hotel in Sydney is located in ironically one of the last heritage listed hotels in Australia, above The Century Bar.
Inside the capsule you’ll get a safety deposit box, a locker, USB plugs to charge your phone, a mirror, lights and another power point. If you go for the deluxe capsule, you’ll get a TV and towels too.
This could well be the future for backpackers and easily makes our list as one of the best backpacker hostels in Sydney for it’s uniqueness and closeness to all that Sydney has to offer.
Wake Up! Bondi Beach has a cracking view of Bondi Beach. The new hostel has been recently refurbished so expect it to be super clean and modern. They also offer up yoga classes on the rooftop, personal training sessions, walking tours, free surfboard hire and much more. It’s honestly one of the best hostels in Sydney and is easily a step up when looking for luxury backpacker accommodation in Sydney.
Please note! This is an over 18 hostel only.
11. Explore the Coogee Beach lifestyle at Mad Monkey Backpackers
Mad Monkey is a modern, bright hostel is located right on Coogee Beach and has an awesome bar and restaurant onsite bar below it called FNKY MNKY.
They also have a range of accommodation options from dorms to apartments with en-suites, living rooms and kitchenettes! They also have a co-working space located inside the hostel as well as private rooms.
If you’re not familiar with Coogee, it makes up the famous Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk which everyone needs to do. Coogee is like the smaller version of Bondi but with a different crowd. It’s a bit more laid back here and you won’t see as many people flexing their muscles on this beach. It’s always been one of our favourites!
12. Got lost in Manly adventures at Manly Bunkhouse
Manly is a favourite amongst travellers, ex-pats and locals and it’s no wonder when you’ve got a world-famous beach on your doorstep. The area of Manly has a good community feel to it yet it is bustling with tourists, especially in the Summer season.
Stay in Manly Bunkhouse and you’ll get to experience the Manly ferry ride from Circular Quay which takes 30 minutes and is a highlight for many when travelling to Sydney. You can also get plenty of buses headed out that way too.
The hostel is on a quiet street just 250m from the beach and each room has an ensuite and kitchenette. It’s also a relaxed hostel with a friendly atmosphere.
We’ve personally stayed at Blue Mountains YHA and it’s a brilliant stay for everyone – including families and older couples. The rooms all have central heating so if you’re visiting during the colder months, you will be nice and cosy.
The kitchen is big and there’s a huge eating area. Did we mention the big chess board outside in the gardens?
It’s also in a handy location on the main street of Katoomba and is easy to get to and from Katoomba train station as well as the famous Three Sisters lookout!
14. Great for long-term travellers, stay at The Village
If you’re looking for a hostel in Sydney for long-term travellers we recommend staying at The Village in Glebe.
Glebe is a fantastic suburb in Sydney as it’s got that sort of actual village vibe to it, a great weekend market and some awesome places to eat along Glebe Point Road.
Also, did we mention the Friend In Hand pub? It’s got a resident talking parrot and the pub has probably the best character we’ve seen in any pub in Sydney.
Plus Broadway shopping centre is around the corner and it’s just a 10-minute bus ride into the city. Basically living in Glebe will give you the opportunity to live like a local, there aren’t many backpackers around there.
With a rooftop terrace, pool, female-only dorms and being close to great bars, theatres and vintage shops, Summer House in Newtown is an amazing hostel if you want to immerse yourself in the retro suburb vibe. Unlike most hostels, this place will actually make the bed for your arrival…luxury! Plus, did we mention there’s an outdoor pool?
16. Escape the hustle and bustle in an Eco Hostel, Pittwater
Pittwater is just over an hour North of Sydney and completely worth the visit. Staying at the Pittwater Eco YHA in Ku-ring-gai National Park will give you incredible views with a balcony and hammock to relax on, countless hiking trails to explore and a massive lake to admire.
The Lord Wolseley is a historic family-run pub in Darling Harbour offering dormitory rooms so you can enjoy a boozy night in the pub with only a short walk home to bed. What is great about staying in a pub hostel is your easy access to pub grub, great beers and the old school vibrant pub atmosphere.
18. Have a zen stay at Zen Harmony House, Woolloomooloo
Don’t think hostel and zen should be in the same sentence? Think again. The guys at Zen Harmony House are bringing relaxation to shared living spaces. Please note, it is a non-alcoholic hostel so only book here if you respect this rule. But, immerse yourself in the free daily meditation sessions and you will be glad you stayed here!
19. Have an a-MAZE-ing time at Maze Backpackers, Chinatown
Maze Backpackers is a multi-story long standing hostel, offering a free pool table, and is in a convenient location close to central station and Sydney’s main attractions. It’s also got a TV room, kitchen and free daily activities, BBQ nights and movie specials.
It is a recognised LGBTQIA+ space and everyone is made to feel safe and welcome. Looking for more places to be out and proud? Check out our list of the best gay bars in Sydney.
20. Explore Sydney’s inner west at Cambridge Lodge, Stanmore
The best way to explore a city is to get out of the tourist areas and experience life as a local. There is no better place to do this than Cambridge Lodge, boasting skyline views of the city centre, laundry facilities and free wifi. Being within walking distance of Enmore theatres, live music venues and bars, you can really feel like a local.
Heading up on an East Coast trip?
Bookmark these famous hostels in Australia for your East Coast trip from Sydney to Cairns and the Great barrier Reef.