Best Hostels in Sydney

Sydney Harbour YHA The Rocks
Sun deck at Sydney Harbour YHA

Trying to decide on the Best Hostels in Sydney is no easy task.  There are more than 85 backpacker hostels to choose from and what is best for one traveller will not always be best for you.  As a Sydney local who has worked with backpacking travellers for almost 2 decades I have a pretty good idea of the landscape so I have put together a list of hostels that I would recommend for different types of travellers.

All the hostels  I have listed do a pretty good job of providing a friendly, welcoming, clean and secure environment. So read on and find out which one is perfect for you.

I have included information on whether hostels allow long-term residents as I think that long-term guests can really change the dynamic of a hostel and make it less welcoming for new arrivals

A warning, none of these are super cheap, but my experience in hostels in Sydney is that a $25 room comes at a huge price; noisy, dirty and often full crowded. Most of the better hostels here change from $35-50 a night.

Hostels in the Sydney CBD (Centre of town)

YHA Sydney Harbour

Located in Sydney’s oldest area Sydney Harbour YHA is my favourite hostel in the city.  You are just minutes from the waterfront and the modern facilities make it seem more like a budget hotel.  The only hostel in the Rocks and the only hostel to offer a sun-deck overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, this 106 room hostel is perfect for couples or families exploring the city.

This hostel is quieter than many other Sydney hostels, with its excellent facilities and friendly staff the slightly higher prices will be worth it for most. When I say quieter I do not mean that is boring. The hostel puts on BBQs, guided walks of the area and pub tours and there are special dinners a couple of nights for under $10.  Just a few minutes walk from the hostel are two great pubs, the Australian Hotel and The Glenmore Hotel.


  • Lockers with power in shared rooms
  • Family rooms and twin rooms with ensuites
  • Quieter atmosphere than other hostels in Sydney
  • Daily hostel activity to help you get to meet other guests.
  • Rooftop terrace with harbour views
  • Large communal kitchen
  • Free Internet in public areas
  • Wheelchair accessible rooms


  • Stairs in the area might be too much for those with lots of luggage, prams or mobility issues
  • Terrace closed at night
Sydney Harbour YHA The Rocks CC tomw99au
Sundeck at Sydney Harbour YHA

Best for: Families, groups and quieter travellers
Tip: Try to get up early one day and watch the sun rise over the Harbour from the terrace.

Address: 110 Cumberland Street The Rocks, Sydney
Phone: (+612) 8272 0900
Nearest Station: Wynyard (flat walk) and Circular Quay are approx 600m away.

Check interior photos and current prices on TripAdvisor
You need to book this hostel early to get the best prices.

YHA Central Sydney – Rawson Place

Sydney YHA Central CC J Brennan
Sydney YHA Rawson Place

Perhaps the largest hostel in Sydney and flagship of the Youth Hostel Association (YHA) the Rawson Place hostel is a heritage listed building about 3 minutes’ walk from Central station. With its rooftop pool, on-site café and spacious public areas it offers excellent value for money for any traveller regardless of age. It is also located close to some of the cities most popular backpacker bars and the cheap dining options in Chinatown.


  • Location – right next to Central Station and a short walk to cheap eats in China Town and Paddy’s Market
  • Lockers in rooms
  • Heated rooftop pool and sauna
  • Kitchen open till 10.30pm
  • Free luggage storage
  • Some rooms have balconies
  • Spotless – great recycling program
  • Cafe inside the hostel & small supermarket next door.
  • Some undercover parking available
  • No long-term guests


  • Some say it lacks atmosphere and friendliness of a smaller hostel
  • Can be busy with school groups at certain times of the year
  • No TV in twin rooms
  • No power outlet in lockers
  • Rooms on lower floors may experience noise from the bar

Note: Minimum stay of 7 nights in all room types for all bookings between 28 December 2017 – 2 January 2018.
Address: 11 Rawson Place, Corner of Pitt St and Rawson Place Sydney
Nearest Train Station: Central

Check interior photos and best prices on TripAdvisor

Wake Up! Hostel Sydney 

Wake Up Sydney Image credit - pandrcutts
Wake Up Sydney Hostel at Central

This hostel sits virtually behind the YHA Central one reviewed above.  Originally a department store Wake up is hard to miss sitting on the main intersection of George Street and Railway Square. This hostel is perfect for those of you who are in town to have a fun time with its on-site bar and a great range of activities that include trivia nights, beach walks and parties.


  • Centrally located within 20 mins walk of the harbour
  • Clean rooms with lots of natural light
  • Café and bar/nightclub (Sidebar) onsite
  • Girls only floor
  • Bathrooms have hairdryers
  • Private rooms have TVs
  • Free beach and city tour


  • Can be noisy
  • No free internet
  • Not available to under 18s
  • Small kitchen relative to the size of the hostel

Best for: Young travellers, a bit of a party atmosphere and a great place to meet other young travellers
Tip: Plan to cook early if you want to use the kitchen

Address: 509 Pitt St, Sydney 2000, Australia
Nearest train station: Central

Check out lots of photos of the rooms on TripAdvisor


Bounce Sydney

Bounce Hostel and Hotel Sydney [image credit - jemasmith ]
Bounce Hostel near Central Station
Whenever I walk by Bounce hostel is always buzzing with the sounds of happy travellers, mostly younger, but I have heard that older travellers are equally happy here. The rooftop deck and spacious kitchens here really appeal to me. It is easy to see why it has won best hostel in Australia multiple times.


  • Personal lockers in room with power points for charging devices
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Large Kitchen
  • Terrace overlooking city
  • Regular organised activities
  • Free continental breakfast (basic)
  • Close to Central station trains and buses
  • Free city bus stops right outside
  • Voted number 1 hostel in Australia on Hostelworld in July 2011


  • Windows are sealed shut
  • Allows longer stay guests which can be problematic at times
  • More expensive than many hostels

Tip: rooms at the back are very quiet

Address: 28 Chalmers Street, Sydney 2010,
Phone: +61292812222

Check out the reviews on

Hostels in Sydney by the beach

Bondi Backpackers

With a prime position on Campbell Parade opposite the world famous Bondi Beach, Bondi Backpackers it for me the pick of Sydney’s eastern suburbs beaches. Along with an amazing location, the hostel has a fantastic rooftop area where they host free yoga, enjoy wine and cheese nights, join in the Friday BBQs or just relax on a deckchair.


  • Located opposite the beach
  • Clean rooms with lots of natural light
  • Great rooftop area
  • Generously sized lockers to fit large bags and backpacks
  • Free surfboard hire
  • Ocean view dorms


  • No airconditioning
  • No free internet
  • Small kitchen that closes at 10 pm

Best for sun worshippers and surfers

Address: 110 Campbell Parade Bondi Beach
Nearest train station: Bondi Junction – Also express bus 333 to Circular Quay and city.

The hostel is currently undergoing some renovations so I suggest you check TripAdvisor for the most recent information

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