With its iconic landmarks like the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, Victorian architecture, and fun nightlife mixed with a laidback beach lifestyle, Sydney is one of Australia’s biggest cities and one that you’ll love exploring.
But when it comes to budget hostels in Sydney, would you rather be central – primed and ready for hitting the city streets – or set in one of the beachside suburbs for a more chilled out vibe?
We’ve sorted through some of the best hostels in Sydney to help you with that. With our handy, categorised guide we want to make life easy for you.
So maybe you want something high-end, or something near a specific area, or maybe you just need somewhere that’s perfect if you’re keeping to a tight budget – whatever you want, we’ve got you covered.
So let’s jump into the coolest hostels in Sydney and find out what’s right for you!
The Best Hostels in Sydney: Round-up
Best Overall Hostel in Sydney – Wake up! Sydney Central
Best Party Hostel in Sydney – Kings Cross Backpackers
Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Sydney – The Downing Hostel
Best Hostel near Sydney Harbour – Sydney Harbour YHA
Best Hostel in Kings Cross, Sydney – Blue Parrot Backpackers
Best Hostel in Bondi Beach, Sydney – Bondi Backpackers
Best Hostel near Sydney Train Station – Railway Square YHA
Best High-end Hostel in Sydney – Summer House Backpacker’s Sydney
Best Cheap Hostel in Sydney – Jolly Swagman
Best Hostel with a Private Room in Sydney – Mad Monkey Backpackers
Quick Summary: The Best Hostels In Sydney
Wake up! Sydney Central
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Kings Cross Backpackers
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The Downing Hostel
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Sydney Harbour YHA
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Blue Parrot Backpackers
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Railway Square YHA
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Summer House Backpacker’s Sydney
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Mad Monkey Backpackers
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21 Best Hostels in Sydney
Best Overall Hostel in Sydney
Why we like Wake up! Sydney Central…
We love the central location of this Sydney backpackers hostel – but we think that this award-winning place has a lot more going for it than just its setting. This place is modern and very clean, as well as sociable with a host of friendly welcoming staff. No wonder it’s the best overall hostel in Sydney!
Wake up! Sydney Central is perfect for…
Social backpackers. Yes, especially if you’re on your own, you’ll find the welcoming atmosphere of this hub of activity something that’s pretty much invaluable. There are female only dorms here, as well as mixed, meaning female travellers will feel more comfortable, too. And if you’re looking to party? The “outrageous” Side Bar will definitely help with that.
Best Party Hostel in Sydney
Why we like Kings Cross Backpackers…
We like that this place is part of the famous (or infamous) worldwide Mad Monkey Backpackers Group of hostels. That gives it a certain prestige, of course, but what it really means is that this top hostel in Sydney is a great place for partying. We love the number of events, activities and nights out on offer here.
Kings Cross Backpackers is perfect for…
If what you’re looking for is the best party hostel in Sydney, well, you’ve come to the right place. Kings Cross Backpackers is located near the Golden Mile – an area that’s a prime spot for nightlife, packed with many bars, pubs and attractions – so it’s not just the hostel that’s buzzing: even the surrounding streets are up for good times.
Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Sydney
Why we like The Downing Hostel…
As the best hostel for solo travellers in Sydney, we like the location of this place – there’s public transport galore nearby so you’ll be able to navigate the city, as well as get out of Sydney with ease. And the best thing about this place is that it feels like home pretty much as soon as you walk through the door.
The Downing Hostel is perfect for…
Fans of convenience will definitely appreciate staying at this Sydney backpackers hostel; it’s close to not one, not two, but three train stations, as well as being only 20 minutes by train to the airport. Easy journeys are perfect, especially for solo travellers who don’t want to deal with stress by themselves.
Best Hostel near Sydney Harbour
Why we like Sydney Harbour YHA…
Right in the heart of The Rocks, the most historic area of Sydney, we like that this top hostel in Sydney has incredible views over the harbour. We also can’t not like the fact that it’s in a historic building itself, boasts top-notch facilities and is run by professional staff.
Sydney Harbour YHA is perfect for…
Backpackers interested in a little bit of history will really enjoy staying in this hostel. Not only is this the best hostel in The Rocks area, but it’s also the best hostel near Sydney Harbour. That means the Harbour Bridge and Opera House are practically on your doorstep. All sorts of ages stay here, so never fear if you’re an ‘older’ traveller.
Best Hostel in Kings Cross, Sydney
Why we like Blue Parrot Backpackers…
We like the location of this place – a lot. It’s not just the best hostel near Kings Cross, Sydney, though; more specifically it’s located in Potts Point, a cool, buzzing area that’s packed with eateries and bars. The staff here are super helpful, too and will help you arrange tours and other activities in the city.
Blue Parrot Backpackers is perfect for…
Solo travellers! This place has a homely atmosphere (helped a lot by its very friendly staff) that makes you feel welcomed, which is perfect because travelling by yourself can be tough sometimes. The location is great as well: just imagine working your way through these streets and exploring this cool area.
Best Hostel near Bondi Beach
Why we like Bondi Backpackers…
This hostel is located just seconds from Bondi Beach, you can’t get much closer to the beach without being actually on it. We like about this place, of course. It’s also been recently refurbished and features a rooftop terrace where you can chill on a sunlounger, take a yoga class or work out with a personal trainer.
Bondi Backpackers is perfect for…
Not much of a city hostel, this is the best hostel near Bondi Beach so it’s just right for those who want to be close to the beach and all the fun that comes with it. That includes surfing. And yes: this top hostel in Sydney offers up free surfboard hire! There’s also a selection of weekly events (including the famous cheese and wine nights), great for getting to know fellow travellers.
Editor’s Note – Heading to Cairns next? Check out our post about the incredible hostels in Cairns!
Best Hostel near Sydney Train Station
Why we like Railway Square YHA…
A spacious, laid back hang out that’s hard not to like, we also appreciate how close this is to the train station. This cool Sydney hostel is actually very historic too: set in the original Central Station’s Platform 0, there are even dorms in some renovated old trains! Love it.
Railway Square YHA is perfect for…
Convenience fans take note: this top hostel in Sydney is right near the main station, but the facilities and buildings are so top notch that you won’t even hear the trains. A fan of history? Then you’ll love staying in this old station building. Very easily the best hostel near Sydney Train Station.
Best High-end Hostel in Sydney
Why we like Summer House Backpacker’s Sydney…
We absolutely adore the fact that this Sydney backpackers hostel is set in a sumptuous heritage building, a slice of Victorian architecture that’s been renovated inside with funky interiors and cool furnishings. But it’s not all decor: there’s a stylish sun terrace here where you can have a few drinks, too.
Summer House Backpacker’s Sydney is perfect for
Looking for a little bit of affordable luxury when you’re staying in the New South Wales capital? Then look no further than this, the best high-end hostel Sydney has to offer. It feels more expensive than it actually is. And as for location, well, there’s plenty to eat and drink within an easy walking distance.
Best Cheap Hostel in Sydney
• Jolly Swagman •
Why we like Jolly Swagman…
We love the name of this youth hostel in Sydney (how could we not?), but we also really like the prime location of this place. It’s easy to get around the city from here. The staff here put a lot of effort in to make sure everyone’s having a good time, which is something we definitely appreciate, too.
Jolly Swagman is perfect for…
Do you like a good bargain? Then be prepared to be wowed by the number of perks on offer at the best cheap hostel in Sydney. There’s free airport pickup, a complimentary breakfast, and barbecues throughout the week – absolutely free. Staff will also take you out and get you free entry to clubs. One of the best budget hostels in Sydney, without a doubt.
Editor’s Note – If you are visiting Melbourne, you HAVE to check out our article about the best places to visit in Melbourne!
Best Hostel with a Private Room in Sydney
Why we like Mad Monkey Backpackers…
Another member of the famous backpacking chain, this Mad Monkey hostel is great for partying (like all the others), but it also has some boutique hotel quality rooms, too. That easily makes it the best hostel with a private room in Sydney. We also like how close it is to some buzzing nightlife though.
Mad Monkey Backpackers is perfect for…
Flashpackers! Yes, if you prefer staying at places that are a cut above the usual backpacker spots, then you should definitely look into staying at this recommended hostel in Sydney. It’s not the most social of places, but if you want a clean, design-led place to stay in Sydney, here it is.
More Best Hostels in Sydney
• The Pod Sydney •
Why we like The Pod Sydney…
We like that this top Sydney hostel is literally set in the CBD of the city itself, meaning there’s plenty of transport and entertainment options just a stone’s throw from this place. We also love the setting: it’s inside a renovated old building, everything’s modern and well thought out. Perfect for a great night’s sleep.
The Pod Sydney is perfect for…
If you’re in Sydney and you’re not looking for a party hostel that will have you feeling terrible every morning for the next month – and you’re not too bothered about mingling with other people – then The Pod Sydney will be a great choice for you. It’s clean, high-end and features a very cool kitchen/lounge to hang out in.
• Lord Wolseley •
Why we like Lord Wolseley…
Ok, so we can’t help but like that this Sydney backpackers hostel is set inside a historic old pub. It comes complete with light, airy rooms that feel more like a budget hotel. It may be a little rough around the edges, but the features like large windows and ensuite bathrooms.
Lord Wolseley is perfect for…
If you’re unfussy and you’re not too bothered about having the usual hostel lounge hang out area, then you might want to look into this recommended hostel in Sydney. The bar downstairs (which also hosts live music at weekends) serves as the hub for this place. For foodies and those on a budget, the delicious delights of Chinatown are a short stroll away.
• The Funk House •
Why we like The Funk House…
The vibe of this place is something we can appreciate: it’s fun and upbeat and the perfect place to meet new people. It’s not party central, which is refreshing, but it’s got a lot of nicely chilled out communal spaces, including a cool rooftop hang out with loads of little nooks to sit, drink and mingle with fellow travellers.
The Funk House is perfect for…
This Sydney backpackers hostel is the place for people who want to be social but don’t want to stay in a mad party hostel. And it’s convenient: within walking distance to the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge as well as the Botanic Gardens (to name a few), plus just a few steps from public transport.
Why we like Mad Monkey Coogee Beach…
This branch of Mad Monkey boasts the privilege of being the first of the franchise to be opened in Australia – that’s cool in itself. But we also like the location: set right on Coogee Beach, this cool Sydney hostel is all about chilling on the sand and catching some waves. Rooms come with sea views.
Mad Monkey Coogee Beach is perfect for…
Not too interested in the city itself and would rather base yourself on some prime stretch of beach instead? No worries, this Sydney backpackers hostel is the best choice for you. Surfers, beach bums, backpackers who just want to chill out, and anyone who likes to be near the sea will love this place.
• Ady’s Palace •
Why we like Ady’s Palace…
This budget hostel in Sydney offers up comfortable, clean and affordable accommodation in the middle of the city. It’s basic, it’s no frills, but we like that there are still cool amenities here, like a rooftop terrace, a cinema room and a big industrial kitchen for all you budding chefs out there.
Ady’s Palace is perfect for…
Just want somewhere to lay your head and don’t mind about being somewhere Instagrammable or overly social? Then staying at Ady’s Palace will suit you down to the ground. A great option for backpackers on a budget, this top hostel in Sydney also comes complete with a complimentary breakfast, too.
Why we like Coogee Beach House…
Another Sydney backpackers hostel near the chilled out Coogee Beach, we love the practically beachside location of this hostel. There’s also a whole lot on offer in the area surrounding the hostel, including a massage centre, cafes, bars and surf schools. The hostel offers free surfboard hire so it’s easy to hit the waves, too.
Coogee Beach House is perfect for…
If a quiet, clean beachside getaway sounds good to you, then you’re in luck: you’ll find that at this top Sydney hostel. It’s also a good choice if you like hiking, with a few coastal walks to enjoy. It’s close to late night bus services too, so you can get into the city for a night out if you want.
• 790 On George •
Why we like 790 On George…
This recommended hostel in Sydney is set on one of the city’s main streets, so staying here means being close to bus stops as well as just a few minutes to the central station. We also love how close this is to Chinatown: this area is full of food, bars and nightclubs.
790 On George is perfect for…
Want to be in the thick of it all? Then staying here is the best idea for you. Staff are on hand at this youth hostel in Sydney 24 hours a day to help you out, or just give you some tips on what to do in the local area. Big focus on cleanliness here, so if you like things neat and tidy it’s a plus.
• Backpacker’s HQ •
Why we like Backpacker’s HQ…
We like this place because of its quirky and eclectic style in its interiors, complete with houseplants and vintage wooden furniture. There are plenty of places to relax in the open air courtyard at this cool Sydney hostel, too. It’s in the Kings Cross area, meaning the choice of cafes and restaurants is huge.
Backpacker’s HQ is perfect for…
Digital nomads! Yes, not only is it a slice of something outside of the norm when it comes to typical Sydney backpacker hostels, but it’s clean, it’s cool, and – most importantly – the internet is very, very fast. So getting a bit of work done whilst you’re sitting in the cool of its common areas is a breeze.
Why we like The Village Broadway…
This place is modern and contemporary – in fact, it’s newly renovated. We like the minimal vibe inside this place, complete with whitewashed walls and sleek furniture, but we really like the cool rooftop garden going on here. There’s a bar/music venue downstairs, making this Sydney backpackers hostel a lively place to stay.
The Village Broadway is perfect for…
Are you a music fan? Or do you fancy staying in one of the coolest hostels in Sydney? Then you’ll no doubt love the renovated old building of The Village Broadway, as well as the live music in the bar. There’s good nightlife nearby, too. And as a bonus, the staff here are notably helpful and friendly.
• Hump Backpackers •
Why we like Hump Backpackers…
Put simply, we love this place because it’s fun and friendly. The staff are great and this place also seems to attract sociable backpackers. The nightly events are a plus. On top of that, it’s in a fantastic location: just two minutes from the nearest metro and great access to the action of the CBD.
Hump Backpackers is perfect for…
Looking for value for money? Then you’ll love this budget hostel in Sydney. As well as the ace location of this place, you’ll also get a tasty free breakfast (a great way to start the day), lots of communal space, a great kitchen to cook your own meals in, and plenty of showers – no queues!
Why we like The Village Bondi Beach…
Set basically on (100 metres away from) the famous stretch of sea and sand that is Bondi Beach, we like this top hostel in Sydney precisely because of its fantastic location. The order of the day at this newly renovated place is chilling on the beach or surfing, and we can’t fault that.
The Village Bondi Beach is perfect for…
Couples. We think couples on a getaway, or even a backpacking couple, will love this place. Why? Because for an extra slice of privacy, you can opt for your own private room and make it feel like you’re on a real beach getaway. The interiors at this cool Sydney hostel are also very stylish.
Further Reading – Have a look at the most awesome hostels in Byron Bay!
Closing thoughts on the best bargain hostels in Sydney
So there you have it – the best hostels in Sydney. It may be a city, but there are plenty of budget-friendly, backpacker frequented places to stay in the New South Wales capital that make travelling this country easy.
And once you’ve got your accommodation sorted, all you’ve got left to do is get ready for an exciting city that’s rife with as many bars and restaurants as it has historical buildings and heritage sites. Need to stay near Sydney Airport? Our list of the 11 best hostels near Sydney Airport is designed to help you find a great hostel to travel from!
Some parts of Sydney may be very urban, of course, but there are plenty of areas that are perfect for backpackers. Even staying in laid-back Coogee or the famous Bondi Beach will give you a different perspective on the city.
Don’t forget: if you can’t decide on a hostel, there’s always the best overall hostel in Sydney, Wake up! Sydney Central. Catch a few waves for us while you’re there, won’t you?
Editor’s Note – No matter where you are traveling, you NEED to have great travel insurance. We have personally tested TONS of travel insurance companies, and can say without a doubt that World Nomads is the absolute best (and most affordable!). Fill out the form below to get a quote.
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