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Hostel Guide: Where to stay in Sydney

Sydney is one of the most expensive, if not THE most expensive city to explore in the world.

And the best time to come, which is the time you’re probably planning to come {weather wise anyway} is over Christmas and New Year when the prices are at their peak.

But, this doesn’t stop many people. Tourists flood in from all over to watch the sensational display of fireworks that this city come beach destination hosts to bring in the New Year or to enjoy a Christmas beach barbecue.

How To Choose a Hostel In Sydney | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Adventure Lifestyle Blog

Over Christmas and New Year, prices pretty much double from that of the rest of the year – if not more. You can expect to pay $50+ a night for a hostel.

So how do you choose a hostel to stay in in Sydney?

If you haven’t already, take a quick read of my ‘Guide To Choosing The Best Hostel’. That will give you a general guideline of how I research, plan and book all of the hostels I stay in. But, if you’re looking specifically for Sydney recommendations, keep on reading…


Prices of Sydney hostels, most of the year, will lie between £10-£20 {$16-32 AUD} pp per night. There isn’t a ‘cheap place to stay’ just maybe older, more run down options that will save you a few pennies if you’re looking to do it as cheap as possible. I wouldn’t let price sway your initial decision too much. I’d decide the best location first and then bargain hunt on prices.

Top tip: I would definitely advise staying within Sydney (not in the outer suburbs), particularly if your time is limited and you’re backpacking. As with most cities, the money you’d save being further out of the city, you’d end up spending on transport getting back in anyway.

Top tip: If you’re in a group, sometimes booking on Airbnb can work out cheaper than a hostel. You can use my code for £25 off your first booking here.


I would say the location is the main thing to factor for when choosing your hotel in Sydney. Sydney is a very large city and it takes some time to get between the likes of Manly, Bondi, Opera House and Darling Harbour.

The first thing I would do, if I were you, would be to think about what kind of Sydney experience you are looking for…

Want to be near the beach and experience Sydney beach life?

Search for a hostel in Bondi or Coogee

Want to be in the heart of the city?

Search for a hostel around Pitt St {main shopping area} or on The Rocks {right by Sydney Harbour Bridge}

Both Bondi Backpackers and Mad Monkey Coogee Beach have good reviews.

Hostels I can recommend:

– Wake up!

– YHA The Rocks – the WMGT Sydney accommodation! It was more like a hotel than a hostel, and we couldn’t have asked for a better location or more stunning views…

Hostel Guide: Where to stay in Sydney
Hostel Guide: Where to stay in Sydney
Hostel Guide: Where to stay in Sydney

In fact, I’ve heard most of the Sydney YHAs have excellent reviews!

Want to be in the middle with easy access to both?

Search for a hostel in Kings Cross

I found that the streets of Kings Cross were riddled with backpacker hostels and backpackers themselves. Kings Cross is a lively area filled with bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Kings Cross is one stop on the Metro and a bus from Bondi Beach and just a 2 stop Metro {in the opposite direction} to Martin’s Place in the centre of Sydney. So Kings Cross it in the perfect location for a diverse Sydney experience and where I would probably stay should I require a hostel in Sydney again.

For a party vibe try Mad Monkey Kings Cross.

Want an escape from the city?

Try somewhere further out like YHA Pittwater – smack bang in the middle of the National Park.

Top tip: You can see the different areas I’ve mentioned above, plus the main tourist spots, located on the map below to give you an idea of their whereabouts. Choose a hostel that’s in the middle of all the things you want to do and see!

Top tip: Hostels can change hands, owners can reappoint staff, and the ‘best hostel in Sydney’ can change very quickly. Sometimes I like to leave my hostel choice until I am on the road so that I can pick up traveller recommendations or simply head to a random hostel with a group I find myself travelling with. If you’re the spontaneous type that can deal with such last minute decisions – it can sometimes work out for the better.

How To Choose a Hostel In Sydney | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Adventure Lifestyle Blog
Hostel Guide: Where to stay in Sydney

In Conclusion:

Try not to spend too much time worrying about the hostel you’re staying in. I know a hostel’s vibe can have a big influence on your experience of a place, but it can also be looked at as just a place to rest your head.

If you’re worrying about getting to a hostel with a bad or dull vibe, then just book one night at the hostel that most takes your fancy and then have a look around and switch to another when you get there.

The only time I wouldn’t advise this is over Christmas and New Year as you may not get a bed if you don’t book in advance. Saying that, over Christmas and New Year you wouldn’t need to worry about vibes anyway. Hostels will be FULL of travellers and everyone will be merry!

If you’re still umming and arring, check out my ‘Guide To Choosing A Hostel‘ post for more advice.

Which hostels would you recommend in Sydney?

I’d love to know!

Love as always + happy adventuring,


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