The Best Budget Hotels in Sydney to Book in 2024

If you are looking for a list of the best budget hotels in Sydney, with a bit of local insight you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re travelling with tight funds or prefer to spend your money on food and sights, I have put together some tips about where to find cheaper hotels across the city and which properties I am more than happy to spend a night in.

Sydney is not a city known for affordable hotels; most of the year, prices rival London and New York. The reason is consistently high occupancy rates; most hotels in Sydney are 85% occupied year-round.

The average 3-star hotel room in Sydney starts at $250, and anything 5 star is likely to set you back over $400. If you are visiting in the high season, you can double that.

With this in mind, a “budget hotel” in this city can be priced between $120-$190 a night. If you are looking for something cheaper, then your best bet is probably a private room or small dorm in one of Sydney’s best hostels.

This post contains affiliate links. Our full disclosure policy is here.

How did we choose the budget hotels in Sydney for this list?

The hotels that made our list had to meet a few requirements:

  • They had to be well located within walking distance to the city centre or close to excellent public transport connections.
  • They had to be clean; no one likes to go on holiday and sleep in a dirty room no matter how low their budget is.
  • They had to have consistently good reviews online regarding customer service. All budget hotels suffer from the odd poor review when customer expectations are too high, but we have only included places that overall rate well.

What to expect in a budget hotel in Sydney

  • Older style properties that have been renovated- and the word “boutique” added to the name 😉
  • More stairs than elevators, although some have both
  • Some rooms may have shared bathrooms
  • Fewer amenities of the big chain hotels – things like gyms and pools are more unusual.
  • Limited reception hours – most will not have 24 reception.
  • No onsite dining or room service – many have a cafe in the same building or next door.

Thanks to the self-rating systems offered on many hotel booking sites, some of these properties are mistakenly listed as 3-4 stars. In my experience, most budget hotels are in the 2-3 star range. When the stars go up, so does the price!

Being rated 2-3 stars does not mean a hotel is terrible. It just means they offer fewer amenities to their guests. It is essential to set your expectations; you are looking for good quality over price ratio. This is likely to mean you have to forego the extras, but if you are looking for a bargain hotel in Sydney, it’s got to be done!

Just a note about the guest ratings we share for each property. These are taken from and often the lower ones (the 7-8s) have been rated that way due to lack of facilities, something you would expect a budget property would lack. If you look closely you will see we have not included any that do not have high scores for comfort and staff.

When is it impossible to get a cheap hotel in Sydney?

It’s not easy to find cheap hotels in Sydney. In fact any idea of a bargain should go out the window during the following times of the year:

  • Christmas and New Year
  • Mardi Gras (Feb/March)
  • Easter
  • Vivid Sydney Festival (May/June)
  • Any NSW school holiday period or a long weekend.

These are the most expensive times to visit Sydney. It’s also wise to check this list of NSW School holiday dates before you plan. If you are travelling at these times, you should book early, as early as you can, and expect to pay over $350 a night, even in these “budget” places. It’s also a good time to look further into the suburbs or consider Airbnb to nab lower-priced properties!

At these times, a quality hostel is a great idea. We have a shortlist of our favourite Sydney hostels here.

Budget Hotels close to Sydney Harbour

If your dream holiday accommodation includes the combination of harbour views and a low price tag, you might think you would be out of luck. However, I am pleased to say you can find just that, provided you are happy with the views coming from the rooftop terrace or other public areas and not your bedroom window.

The hotels in this section are located within a couple of minutes walk of the harbour foreshore or have publicly accessible views.

The Russell Hotel – The Rocks

Guest Rating: 9.1/10 | Location: The Rocks | View on

Well located in a beautiful heritage building on George Street at the beginning of the Rocks the Russell Hotel is a boutique property with a range of rooms and prices.

The Russell Hotel on George Street is on of the best budget hotels in Sydney.
We spent the night in room 8, the haunted room, and survived!

We recently spent a night in room 8 and had a lovely stay. The room was a good size, the bed very comfortable and the shower had great water pressure.

Downstairs is a small bar called The Push that is a nice spot for a pre-dinner drink, and right across the road is the Museum of Contemporary Art and Circular Quay.

Features of the Russell Hotel

  • Some of the budget-priced rooms have shared bathrooms; however, ensuite rooms are just a few $$ more.
  • There is no air-conditioning but there are ceiling fans and windows that open.
  • While there is a lift to most floors, it’s not really an accessible property. There are some stair to navigate.
  • The hotel is less than 5 minutes walk to the cruise terminal or Circular Quay wharf and train station.

The shared facilities are spotless, and the service here is excellent. If you can get a reasonable price, it is a great choice. 

Location: Circular Quay
Who should stay here: Cruise passengers, couples, and singles who want to be close to the harbour.

YHA Sydney Harbour

Guest Rating: 9.5/10 | Location: The Rocks | View on

This hostel snuck onto my best “hotel” list because it’s a bit special. For a start, the view from the roof terrace of this Sydney hostel has got to be among the top of the best hostel views in the world, and secondly, cheap rooms are few and far between in this part of town.

Sydney Harbour YHA Lounge area
YHA Sydney Harbour is on the doorstep of the Harbour Bridge

This is a large property with 350 beds and is located on an archaeological site. The building has been developed around the remains of artifacts uncovered when excavation began.

Wake up early to watch the sunrise behind the Opera House


  • The hostel has excellent facilities with a large kitchen, games room, dining areas
  • All rooms, even dorms, have their own bathrooms.
  • King and Queen rooms have a flat screen tv and
  • There are a large number of family and double rooms
  • The hostel attracts all age groups from families with children, to seniors, and everyone feels comfortable.

It is especially popular on NYE when a one-week minimum stay is required, and rooms are usually booked out by March. Read our full review of Sydney Harbour YHA with photos

Location: 110 Cumberland St, The Rocks 
Who should stay here: Everyone! The hostel is good for friends travelling together, solo travellers, and families of any age. It’s a bit of a walk from the station so perhaps not great for mobility issues.

Budget Hotels in the centre of Sydney CBD

While it’s not as picturesque as other parts of the city, the centre of town is good in terms of walkability to main sites and proximity to shopping if that’s your thing. If you are looking for a budget hotel in the Sydney Central Business District, you might find it challenging. Still, there are a couple of properties that consistently offer prices under $250 a night, particularly on weekends.

The Sebel Martin Place

Guest Rating: 7.9/10 | Location: Martin Place | View on

MArtin Place Hotel Travelodge
Mecure Martin Place is just a 2-minute walk from Macquarie Street and Hyde Park

Situated just a few minutes walk from either St James or Martin Place stations this was previously branded as a Travelodge property. While it is not going to win any design awards, and the location is a bit sterile; it is within walking distance to pretty much everything you are going to want to see and do and on weekends the prices are a steal.

You will be well placed to explore Hyde Park and take our historic Macquarie Street walk.


  • These are spacious rooms that all have a small kitchen area with a sink, microwave and kettle
  • They feature modern furnishings
  • Triple bed rooms are available
  • There is a coin-operated laundry which is unusual for Sydney hotels.

There is no on-site restaurant or room service, but there are many cafes close by for breakfast. Check out the lovely Jardin St James at the top of the Street for a delicious breakfast. You are only 5 minutes walk from the shops of Pitt St Mall and ten minutes walk from Circular Quay. Priced from $240 per night.

Location: Phillip St Sydney
Who should stay here: Business travellers, solos and couples, shoppers

Megaboom City Hotel

Guest Rating: 8.3/10 | Location: Town Hall | View on

Located 3 minutes walk from the Queen Victoria Building and within walking distance of the harbour, Magaboom is centrally located for exploring the city. In fact many of the Sydney’s best small bars are on your doorstep and you are only minutes from Pitt Street Mall, Megaboom scores top marks for location.

While the decor is a little dull, the rooms are clean and comfortable and usually priced around $125-190 per night, making them a good value.


  • They offer free high strength wifi
  • Each room has a refrigerator

There is only one elevator at the hotel, so it can take a while if you are on a higher floor, but the tradeoff is a very quiet room. Some guests also say they can hear train rumblings from the first couple of floors. If you are a light sleeper, perhaps request a room on a upper floor. 

Overall this property is great value for money. Check out the images for yourself and see what you think.

Location: Level 1 93 York St, Sydney
Who should stay here: Solos and couples only – the rooms can be on the small side.

Song Hotel Sydney

Guest Rating: 7.7/10 | Location: Museum Station | View on

Previously the YWCA the Song Hotel is not flash, but it’s worth considering if you are on a tight budget. Located opposite the southern end of Hyde Park and near a busy intersection leading up to Kings Cross, I recommend that you bring earplugs if you are a light sleeper.

Song Hotel near Hyde Park
The Song Hotel is opposite Hyde Park

Having said that, a positive of all that noise is that you are in the middle of the city, and it’s easy to get to Surry Hills Darlinghurst and the CBD on foot. Even Darling Harbour is within walking distance. Also, plenty of space for kids to run around in the park.


  • A range of room sizes, single, double and a few rooms that can sleep four
  • An number of rooms with shared bathrooms to save you a few more dollars
  • You can pay a little more for premium rooms that have been recently refurbished and have double glazed windows to cut down the street noise
  • The family rooms have a microwave to help save on food costs.

The reviews are a little mixed, so take a look and see if any of the issues raised would be a concern for you. The updated rooms certainly seem to be popular if you can get one at a reasonable price.

Location: 5-11 Wentworth Avenue
Who should stay here: Shoppers, families with older children.

The Best Budget Hotels in Darlinghurst, Potts Point & Surry Hills

This part of the city between the CBD and the Eastern suburbs is home to many small boutique hotels. Perhaps this is due to the number of small apartment buildings that popped up here in the 1930s when the city saw a bit of a boom in this type of housing. These properties lend themselves to easy conversion to small hotels, and there are some gems here.

Personally, I love this it here. These three areas all have a village feel, and it’s a real foodie hotspot. Among the cafes and small bars, you will find pretty streets that have retained their beautiful Victorian homes, a throwback to the 19th Century when the colony’s wealthy residents.

Elizabeth Bay view Sydney
The view over Elizabeth Bay

There are lots of lovely harbour views waiting to be found as the streets make their way to the water.

Kings Cross may still be listed in your guidebook as the city’s red light and party area, but the tide has well and truly turned. Personally, I feel safer here than in some of the streets around Central train station.

While this area was once the epicentre of Sydney’s underbelly these days it has become a little more sedate; however, it is still not entirely sanitised, so if you are easily offended, you might still find parts of Kings Cross a little seedy.

Hotel Challis

Guest Rating: 8/10 | Location: Potts Point | View on

Located in one of the prettiest streets in Potts Point Hotel Challis is one of the areas most historic properties. Only a couple of the rooms here fit the budget tag, the small doubles that clock in at just 12m² . They may only be just big enough to swing a cat but the beds are super comfortable and the location excellent.

Hotel Challis Potts Point

The staff get regular praise for their helpfulness. I would happily stay here and if I could spring for the balcony room you might have trouble getting me to leae From here you can walk into the city via Wolloomooloo and the Botanic Gardens.

Location: 21-23 Challis Avenue, Potts Point,
Who should stay here: Solo travellers, couples, and foodies

The Jensen

Guest Rating: 8.1/10 | Location: Potts Point | View on

The Jensen is small hotel offers friendly service in a vibrantarea with Kings Cross train station 500m walk away. You can walk to the Botanic Gardens in 15 mins and the city’s centre in 25 minutes. The street is lovely, with plenty of dining options at your door, including favourites Cho Cho San and vegetarian restaurant Yellow. There are a couple of supermarkets nearby too.


  • While the rooms here are small they are very clean and well-appointed.
  • The shared bathrooms are clean and close to your room.
  • All rooms offer air-conditioning.
  • You can book a room with a balcony
  • Quad or triple rooms make this a good choice for groups.

On the downside, there is no lift in the property and no ensuite rooms, but neither of these issues would stop me from staying here for the right price.

Location: 71 Macleay Street, Potts Point,
Who should stay here: Solo and couple travellers are best suited here due to the room size.

No 9 Springfield

Guest Rating: 7.9/10 | Location: Kings Cross Station | View on

No 9 Springfield is a good budget option located just a 240m walk from Kings Cross station. With prices here often around $130-160, there is lots to like about this place.

Budget Hotel in Potts Point Sydney Springfield Lodge
Springfield Lodge is a 2-minute walk from Kings Cross Station

This street reminds me very much of inner London. It’s just minutes away from lots of fantastic dining on Victoria Road, including The Butler with its great views over the city and Asian fusion hotspot Ms G’s.


  • The old style windows open, allowing excellent air circulation
  • There is free wifi for all guests
  • Each room has its own fridge
  • There is an on-site restaurant
  • There are share laundry facilities

The staff are friendly, and the surrounding area offers lots of dining choices. Single rooms are available, but they are tiny, so even if travelling alone, I would probably pay extra for a double.

Location: 9 Springfield Avenue Potts Point
Who should stay here: Solo travellers, couples, and foodies

Sydney Boutique Hotel

Guest Rating: 8.2/10 | Location: Darlinghurst | View on

Sydney Boutique Hotel is a small property (16 rooms) surrounded by cafes and restaurants with plenty of variety to keep you busy in the evenings.

Sydney Boutique hotel in Darlinghurst
Right on Darlinghurst Road – perfect for dining out

The 311 bus (Railway Square via Wolloomoolloo to Barangaroo) stops around the corner, and Kings Cross train station is a 3-minute walk from the hotel. You can walk into the middle of the city in 20-25 minutes.


  • There is free wifi in every room
  • Each room also has a fridge
  • Fresh renovated rooms
  • Superior rooms have decent sized balconies

The “standard” rooms (10-22sqm) -are very small and only suited to solo travellers or friendly couples 😉 I have not inspected the hotel, but some of our FB community members stay here and have been happy with it.

Location: 114 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst
Who should stay here: Best suited to solo travellers and couples wanting to be close to cafes, bars and nightlife. I would not recommend this for a family due to the size of the rooms. There is also a few spaces nearby for kids to let off steam.

Best Budget Hotels to the south of the CBD

We have defined south of the CBD to the areas around Central station including, Glebe, Redfern, and Chippendale. Some parts of the southern CBD are pretty ugly with lots of building sites and run-down properties around Central Station itself; however, other pockets like Chippendale and Surry Hills have seen a resurgence over the last few years are much sort-after hipster hotspots.

Central Station Where to Stay in Sydney
Eddy Ave at Central

I suggest you check any address on Google maps street view to see what the surroundings look like. Alternatively, pop over to our Facebook group and ask for a local opinion.

Metro Hotel Marlow Sydney Central

Guest Rating: 8.2/10 | Location: Darlinghurst | View on

The Metro Marlow is just a stone’s throw from the Capitol Theatre and Thai town making it perfect for anyone in town to catch a performance and a good meal. Just 7 minutes walk to Central Station, and 3 minutes from the light rail it is well located for exploring all of the city and inner suburbs.


  • The rooms are larger than average for hotels at this price in Sydney
  • There is a small rooftop pool
  • They offer 24-hour reception and room service
  • Family rooms are available and many rooms sleep 3

Location: 431-439 Pitt St, Sydney
Who should stay here: travellers wanting the facilities of a chain hotel without the price tag

Budget Hotels on the North Shore of Sydney Harbour

If you fancy staying out of the city’s hustle and bustle, then properties on the north shore, especially those with easy ferry access, are a lovely choice.

It’s kind of like taking a holiday while on holiday. Yes, you will spend 20 minutes or so getting back to your hotel after you finish wandering around the city. Still, you will have the chance to taste the harbour lifestyle that a very privileged few Sydneysiders are lucky enough to live.

The habour foreshore from Kirribilli
The Harbour foreshore at Kirribilli

View Sydney

Guest Rating: 8.4/10 | Location: North Sydney | View on

A stay at View Sydney will have you within metres of the Harbours Edge and only a couple of minutes from North Sydney Station. While the hotel does offer lovely harbour views a budget room here will score you a North Sydney View (i.e no sparkling harbour view from your bedroom window).

View Hotel North Sydney view
The NYE view from The View Hotel

Each of the North Sydney view rooms offer:

  • Small table and two chairs
  • onsite gym and restaurant
  • Outdoor public patio area with a view
  • a workdesk
  • large window to let in lots of natural light
  • Flat screen TV and wifi

This is a great choice and if you are not on a budget their harbour view rooms are lovely. Who knows you might get an upgrade 😉

This is a great NYE hotel.

Location: 17 Blue Street, North Sydney
Who should stay here: Anyone who wants a decent sized room just 10 minutes or so from the city by train.

Glenferrie Lodge

Guest Rating: 8.2/10 | Location: Kirribilli | View on

Glenferrie is a boutique hotel housed in a light-filled heritage building in the lower north shore suburb of Kirribilli. In my opinion, it is one of the best budget choices in Sydney.

The key selling point is location, just minutes from the water’s edge. It’s a short walk to 2 ferry wharves which will have you in the city in 6 minutes or only 25 mins to walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge right into the town.


  • well-styled with comfortable beds and furnishings
  • air conditioning and ceiling fans
  • lots of room types from small singles with shared bathrooms to family rooms.
  • good buffet breakfast
  • large garden and children’s playground

Tip: It is also my top pick for NYE in Sydney on a budget!

Location: 12 Carabella St Kirribilli
Who should stay here: Great for families and solo travellers alike. If you want to be close to the city but feel a bit more a (rich) local this is an excellent choice.

Cremorne Point Manor

Guest Rating: 8.5/10 | Location: Cremorne | View on

This two-story Federation-style mansion has been recently refurbished, and the result is a beautiful guesthouse/hotel with harbour views well above its price tag. Winner of 5 Tripadvisor excellence awards, the customer service is excellent, and the value for money is hard to beat.

This view of the city from Cremorne
This view of the city from Cremorne was taken just a few minutes walk from the Manor.


  • Full range of rooms from tiny single rooms with shared bathrooms right up to a two-bedroom penthouse
  • The luxury penthouse that sleeps five people is priced at around $120 per person per night, making it good value in this expensive city.
  • Nicely furnished
  • Harbour views from some rooms and public areas

The location is perfect; it’s just a 3-minute walk to the ferry and an 8-minute ride across the harbour to Circular Quay. Beautiful harbour walks surround you, and the very cute Mccullum Pool is minutes away. You can even walk to Taronga Zoo!

Tip: Disabled access is available with assistance (lift), but this property is not ideal for anyone with mobility issues. Last-minute rooms are often available outside peak periods at excellent prices.

Location: Cremorne Road, Cremorne Point
Who should stay here: Anyone wanting to have a more local experience, great for solo travellers and family groups.

Hotels in the Eastern Suburbs

The Eastern suburbs of Woollahra and Paddington and are home to some serious wealth and not exactly a spot you would expect to find bargain hotel rooms however we have managed to find a couple that we would consider.

389 Bus route Sydney for tourists
Plenty of buses service Woollahra

The Hughenden Boutique Hotel

This Victorian property, built-in 1878, is in one of Woollahra prettiest streets with buses to the city and Bondi beach right at your door. You could describe the decor as French Renaissance, and each room is individually furnished. This hotel has been recently renovated and offers great value for Sydney. It would certainly appeal to lovers of old-world charm.


  • variety of rooms including small doubles, queens, king, suites,
  • spacious family and deluxe rooms
  • five dog-friendly rooms, with balconies if you are travelling with your pooch
  • several communal sitting areas to relax
  • small onsite cafe

It’s a very short walk to Centennial Park which is a great spot to see wild cockatoos and for a morning run.

Location: 14 Queen Street, Woollahra
Who should stay here: travellers with dogs, those who love old world charm, travellers looking for an upmarket quieter location.

Budget Hotels by the Beach

Budget and beach don’t go that well together in Sydney, with most hotels costing over $200 a night. There are some exceptions, but these may not always meet the budget, so check before you get too excited!

Coogee Beach is a lovely spot to watch the sunrise
Sunrise along the Bondi to Bronte Walk

If your trip to Sydney has you dreaming of spending part of your day paddling in the ocean or strolling along the sand, then a beach hotel is probably for the best. There are a couple of things to note if you decide to stay by the beach. Firstly, you will have at least a 30-minute commute to the harbour’s main attractions, and on weekends these spots can get a bit noisy.

Coogee Sands Hotel

The Coogee Sands is located at the Northern end of Coogee Beach and right next door to the favourite local hotspot, the Coogee Pavilion. It is less than 50 metres from the beach, and the Bondi walk starts right outside the front door. Buses to the city and Bondi Junction are just a short walk away.

Coogee Budget hotel
The Sands is the building on the left; the large Coogee Pavilion is a favourite local hotspot.


  • Variety of rooms on offer, some with stunning water views
  • All rooms have kitchenettes.
  • Level 6 boasts a sundeck with BBQs.
  • There is a 24-hour reception,
  • No in-house dining is offered but chargeback service from several local restaurants

Tip: This is a pretty busy area, so it can be a little noisy. Request a room away from the street if this bothers you or bring earplugs as I do.

Location: 161 – 167 Dolphin St, Coogee
Who should stay here: Good choice for families with plenty of space right outside the door to run around. Also well suited to those who want to combine site seeing with a beach holiday.

Have questions about things to see and do in Sydney?
Head over and join our Facebook Group and we will be happy to help

2 thoughts on “The Best Budget Hotels in Sydney to Book in 2024”

  1. Hi. All the Sydney Harbour accommodations listed here are sold out for around NYE. As a single female traveler who will be in Australia first time and solo for NYE, I was looking into the Pier One Harbour Party. Accommodations at the Pier One Marriott and vicinity are extremely pricey and have 3 to 5-night minimum stay requirements around NYE. I can only stay for 3 nights (12/30-1/2). I do not want to stress about getting to the party or back to my hotel that night; which one of these areas/hotels would be my best bet? Is it correct to assume train would be the main option for getting around that night? Which areas are most accessible? Would it be possible to walk to Pier One from any of these areas? Many thanks in advance!

  2. Yes it is possible to walk to Pier One – It is literally under the Harbour Bridge 🙂 If you can give us an idea of your budget perhaps we can help. Trains run all night and are really busy for the first few hours after midnight. The YHA Sydney Harbour starts their NEW bed sales tomorrow so that might be a good bet if you are looking for a budget choice although they may have a one week minimum it could still be less than 3 nights elsewhere? It also includes tickets to their rooftop party.

Leave a comment