The Best Hostels in Sydney for First Time Travellers to Australia

Heading to Australia this year? Travellers’ first point of call is often New South Wales’ capital, Sydney. Famed for its Opera House, beautiful beaches and busy city atmosphere, Sydney is a where a lot of travellers finish and start their journeys – and many stay a bit longer to live and work.

Sydney is not my favourite part of Australia – it’s too similar to home for me – but it has a lot of appeals. In fact, it is one of many travellers’ reasons to visit Australia and I completely understand why a lot of people spend so much time there.

There are lots of things to put on your Sydney itinerary: there’s the world famous Opera House, kilometre after kilometre of stunning beaches and cool and quirky suburbs. If you end up living in the city, its great position in southern New South Wales means that you’ll be in prime location to reach national parks such as the Blue Mountains and Mount Kosciuszko on a weekend away. Public transport in Sydney makes it an easy place to explore, too.

Plus, I think Sydney is a great first stop in Australia – it is a huge city with a lot of conveniences, making it easy to adjust to Aussie lifestyle and, if you’re moving to Australia for a year or two, get a bank account, phone, and other things set up.

I wouldn’t recommend booking your entire Australia trip before you get out to the land Down Under – you’ll never know where you want to go and what you want to do, and you can generally find places to stay. But it’s definitely a great idea to book your hostel before arriving in Sydney. To make this easier for you, I’ve rounded up a list of some of the best hostels in Sydney:

Best Hostels in Sydney Central


Photo Credit: Bounce

As far as hostels go, Bounce is doing it right. It’s got amazing facilities and is sparklingly clean. There’s a huge kitchen, perfect for those who love to cook away from home and a fantastic communal dining area. If you’re after something a bit more Aussie, however, why not take in the amazing views of the Sydney skyline from the rooftop terrace, while making use of the BBQs? There are also weekly social events; ideal for making your first travel buddies. With all of these features, it’s easy to see why Bounce is considered one of the best hostels in Sydney by so many people.

For rates and to book, click here. 

Railway Square YHA


Why stay near Central Station (which is just 13 minutes on train from Sydney airport) when you can stay in it? An awesome quirky accommodation option, YHA Railway Square is easily one of the best hostels in Sydney: offering guests the chance to sleep in disused railway cabins. The cabins look vintage from the outside – but inside they’re perfectly kitted out for a great night’s sleep. Elsewhere in the hostel, there’s a huge dining area, fantastically well equipped kitchen and airy reception with details about pretty much any part of Australia travel. There’s a great social scene – with bar crawls and free pancake mornings – and it’s in a an ideal location for Central Sydney’s attractions. 

For rates and to book, click here.

Sydney Central YHA


Photo Credit: YHA Central

Warning: once you’ve stayed in YHA Central, you may find it hard to stay in other hostels. This hostel is located a stone’s throw from Central Station and is housed in a gorgeous heritage building. It has all the facilities you could wish for in a hotel and more: a basement bar, a heated pool, a cinema, free WiFi, to name a few features. The dorms are clean and well equipped, with communal bathrooms with fantastic showers. What more could you want from your first few days in Australia?

For rates and to book, click here.

Wake Up!

Photo Credit: Wake Up!

Priding themselves on offering a ‘complete backpacker experience’, Wake Up! offers free daily activities and social events, with the aim to orientate new travellers to the city. Backpackers staying at Wake Up! have the chance to watch TV in their social areas, grab a coffee or cheap meal at their in house restaurant, or catch up on jet lag in their comfy dorm rooms. Attached to the hostel is Sydney’s most popular backpacker bar, Side Bar.

For rates and to book, click here.

The Village – Glebe


 If you’re wanting to stay a little out of the city, but still be in a great location for all of its famous attractions, The Village Glebe might be your answer. Glebe is a fun neighbourhood with quirky cafes and bars and is loved by Sydney’s artsy scene. The hostel is located in Victorian style buildings, BBQs, movie nights and a large communal kitchen. It’s a great social space that will have you guaranteed to make plenty of friends in no time.

For rates and to book, click here.

Best Sydney Hostels by the Beach

Mad Monkeys Coogee Beach

If you’re looking for beachside accommodation in Sydney; but don’t want to sacrifice on distance from the CBD, Coogee Beach is a fantastic option – and Mad Monkeys Coogee Beach is your perfect backpacking option for this beachside suburb.

With dorms no larger than 6 beds, you’ll be guaranteed of a personable atmosphere while staying at Mad Monkeys. Opt for a 4 or 6 bed dorm; all of which are in a modern apartment style, with lots of natural light and comfy mattresses and en-suite bathrooms, or, if you’re a female there are girls-only dorms. If you are travelling in a group, private rooms for up to 5 people are bookable.

The hostel features fantastic amenities, which make backpacking easy; including a lounge area with TV, laundry facilities, free wifi, a large kitchen and surfing equipment available to hire. Mad Monkeys Coogee is one of the most social hostels in Sydney; but once you’ve enjoyed the buzzing atmosphere of the accommodation it’s a short walk to Coogee Beach and the suburb’s main attractions. The iconic Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk can be started from here, there’s great surf almost every day and it’s only half an hour into Central Sydney.

Bondi Beachouse YHA 

With cheap rates for Sydney and fantastic facilities, Bondi Beachouse YHA takes beach living very seriously. With surfboards to hire and free beach gear with all you need for a fun day out on Sydney’s most famous beach, there’s no better place to stay in Bondi.  From the rooftop, there’s breathtaking views of Tamarama Beach, and within the hostel, you can enjoy free WiFi, a movie room, a fantastic kitchen and various backpacker activities.

For rates and to book, click here.

Manly Bunkhouse


Photo Credit: Manly Bunkhouse

If you’re landing in Sydney, but don’t really want to spend much time in the city, head over to Manly. It’s a town within itself, with some of the city’s best beaches and a unique atmosphere. It’s loved by backpackers, so don’t worry, you’ll meet lots of people in no time. Manly Bunkhouse is its favourite hostel, with en suite rooms and dorms, a large common room, reading room and an outdoor courtyard. It is loved by backpackers who are keen to explore this alternative side of Sydney!

For rates and to book, click here.

When you’re booking one of the best hostels in Sydney, I’d really recommend you use They have lots of great features, including free cancellation on many of their properties – and if you use this link you can get £20 off your first booking.

Disclaimer: some of the links in these posts are affiliate links. If you use them, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This is just one of the ways I keep this blog running free of charge – so please consider using these affiliate links when you’re booking one of the best hostels in Sydney!

Searching for one of the best hostels in Sydney for first time visitors to Australia? These hostels all have fantastic facilities, a great social scene and chances to find work. Look no further for Sydney's best hostels!