Sydney: the distant land that travellers dream of, for city living or just to make some funds for more travelling. You fly in after a long flight, over the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge, only to get battered by the price of a simple hostel bed. 

When I first landed in Sydney as a solo traveller, I thoughtlessly blasted by budget staying in an unimpressive hostel that turned out to be the most boring and forgetful place in Australia. When I turned to cheap beds, I found way better vibes… and way better people. 

With that, I had more wiggle room for more fun things, that trip to Bondi Beach, and not feel awful for enjoying myself. Turns out, budget doesn’t mean sacrificing. 

The city boasts a fully-fledged backpacking scene with plenty of budget hostels – but you need to know how to dodge the crappy ones. Not all Sydney hostels are equal and weeding out the good ones can take time. 

So I’ve crafted this handy guide to the best cheap hostels in Sydney, drawing on my good and bad experiences. So, no matter how tight your budget – you’ll get the same (if not BETTER) Sydney experience.

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Photo: @Lauramcblonde

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Quick Answer: The Best Cheap Hostels in Sydney

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    Staying in Budget Hostels in Sydney

    Many bright-eyed and bushy-tailed backpackers head to Australia’s East Coast to start a journey of self-exploration. Rightly so, many are going to start or end the trip in the iconic, fake capital of Australia.

    Sydney isn’t famously budget-friendly, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. You’re looking through the endless Sydney backpackers on offer looking for the holy grail: something cheap and fun! 

    Do you know where we are yet?
    Photo: @Lauramcblonde

    Staying in the right area of Sydney will help save a ton of money. The Central Business District (CBD) is slightly more expensive but you’ll save money whilst visiting Sydney if you’re within walking distance of the main sights. A great area to stay in for backpackers is close to Central Station, it makes getting from Sydney airport easy as well as getting to places like the Sydney Opera House.

    5 Top Budget Hostels in Sydney

    Let’s get to it: Australia knows variety in hostel living. We’re going to talk party hostels, cosy city homes, secret sun traps, and where solo travellers can meet the coolest people in the country.

    Wake Up! Sydney Central is part of an award-winning chain of great Australian hostels. If you want a comfy bed at a reasonable rate, here’s your guy. This budget Sydney hostel is way more than just a place to rest your head.  

    Why you’ll love this hostel:

    • Free pizza night
    • Beer pong tournaments (with cash prize!)
    • Yoga classes

    This stylish, modern hostel is designed around the historic building with a large lobby lounge to relax with free wifi (and where digital nomads can smash out their work). There’s also a large shared kitchen to whip up a meal.

    Iif you don’t feel like cooking, no worries. There’s an uber-cool on-site bar/restaurant for your drinking, eating, and partying needs (and a separate cafe, too). The dorms are more basic than the rest of this cheap Sydney hostel, but still modern, clean, and some even have city views.

    This budget-friendly Sydney hostel has a central location, right opposite Central Station, which makes exploring around Sydney pretty easy: Darling Harbour is just a 15-minute walk away. The famous Opera House and Sydney harbour are easy to reach on foot or public transport too. Or, jump on the train to Bondi Beach

    With all the amenities this budget hostel in Sydney has, they also have something going on every night of the week at this epic Sydney backpackers. With a crazy amount of events and tons of space to kick back in on the free wifi, this place offers some next-level value for money.

    Summer House Backpackers Kings Cross Sydney Australia_3

    Why you’ll love this hostel:

    In this historic building is a budget-friendly hostel in Sydney CBD offering the perfect balance of chilled-out vibes and the party you seek! It’s a great place for solo travellers to meet fellow adventurers on your Australia tour and beyond.

    • Rooftop BBQ
    • Free tea and coffee all-day
    • Games room

    This place is affordable and provides all of the basics. That doesn’t mean there’s no effort: this place is the best it can be! It’s colourful AND spotless.

    There are great communal spaces at this Sydney backpackers to spend time chilling out, including a garden and cinema room. On top of that, this hostel is managed by a bunch of cool, friendly staff. 

    You’ll find this party hostel in Kings Cross of the Sydney CBD (a great area for budget backpackers in Sydney). This party-centric area is just a couple of minutes walk to Kings Cross station and Hyde Park

    Close by, discover other cool districts, Westfield Tower and Shopping Centre, as well as Darling Harbour. Just two train stops and you’ll be in Bondi Beach

    Wondering what your room options are at Summer House Backpackers? Well, there aren’t any private rooms, but they’ve got a bunch of dorm rooms – so solo travellers can get socialising!

    This place is more than just a cheap hostel in Sydney to sleep on a shoestring budget. It’s fun and friendly and has a bunch of decent amenities for guests to make use of, including (the essential) free wifi. There’s also a roster of daily events and nights out organised by the hostel team: barbecues, movie nights, karaoke, quizzes, and all sorts of other fun-filled shenanigans.

    Basic and budget-friendly, but funky and fun to boot. Summer House combines its awesome location with a sick team, so you really can’t go wrong.

    3. Mad Monkey on Broadway

    If you’re looking for the kind of place with a lively atmosphere, but not those party hostels where it’s impossible to sleep, this hostel is one of the more unique options for solo travellers in Sydney. It’s great value for money and has tons of character. Overall, it’s a classic laid-back, quality Sydney hostel in a chilled location.

    Why you’ll love this hostel:

    • Gym access (included in price)
    • Organised events
    • Nights out

    Consistently ranked one of the best hostels in Sydney, it’s perfect for solo travellers AND those on a tight budget. The glowing reviews back all this up, with many guests returning for the family vibe.

    It could be something to do with the homey feel this hostel radiates. It’s nothing too out of the ordinary, but they do ordinary in the most comfortable and welcoming way. 

    The house itself is super nice and the staff are friendly and make sure everything runs smoothly. They’ll help you get to grips with the city, which makes all the difference. 

    As well as super comfy beds, there are large, spacious dorms, including female-only dorms. There’s a great kitchen to get into and communal spaces that make socialising second nature. It’s the kind of place you come into and meet those people that make travel so special. 

    The TV room also has a Playstation (although kinda intense at times) it’s the place to allow your mind to wander and mingle with other travellers, free from pressure. You’ll be close to Sydney’s major tourist attractions like Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. One bus ride will take you to the Sydney beaches and a swimming pool is just across the road.

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    Base Sydney Australia_3

    Once called Base Sydney (as the name suggested) it’s the perfect base for exploring Sydney. This super cheap hostel has actually been included in iconic guidebooks like Lonely Planet

    Though it’s set inside a historic, red brick building, the interiors are lovingly modernized. Combined with antique leather sofas, chandeliers, and exposed brick walls, it’s roomy, with a ton of communal spaces, a dining area, games room, and an awesome event space.

    Why you’ll love this hostel:

    • Free guided tour over Sydney Harbour Bridge
    • Bar and nightclub
    • Free beach trips and BBQs

    Rooms come in an array of shapes and sizes. They offer private and dormitory rooms, so plenty of choices. 

    The dorms are clean, bright, and modern. They’re spacious and are definitely clean; in fact, they claim to be the “cleanest hostel in Sydney”! 

    Nomads has an awesome location close to Darling Harbour, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Town Hall in Sydney CBD. It’s a few minutes walk to Centre Point Tower, with cafes and bars in the surrounding area. 

    Basically, you can stroll to pretty much all of Sydney’s must-do experiences, saving extra dollaridoodles on public transport. Jump on the train to get to Bondi Beach.

    As well as looking the part with a great vibe, Nomads Sydney comes complete with a whole host of different amenities. The large shared kitchen and laundry facilities are great to save money. There are also a load of activities (rotating weekly) going on, often taking place at the hostel’s very own Scary Canary Bar

    Nomads Sydney is a sanctuary for backpackers, with historic charm, tons of things to do, and plenty of space to kick back in. If you’re travelling on a budget but want to stay right in all the action, this is an amazing option.

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      720 On George is a great cheap Sydney Hostel.
      720 On George is a great cheap hostel.

      This fun hostel offers great value for money and is a TRUE party hostel through and through. The 720 on George is a decent-sized hostel, with friendly, welcoming staff, and an all-around great vibe. It’s not the newest place in town, yet still one of the best budget hostels in Sydney!

      Why you’ll love this hostel:

      • Movie room
      • Drinks deals
      • Free entry to bars and clubs

      It’s comfortable, with a ton of communal areas to kick back in. There’s also a free breakfast, so you can save your pennies for more important things, like, drinks… and sightseeing.

      This hostel is located along a fairly low-key street in George in the Sydney CBD. This isn’t exactly the most happening area, but it’s just a five-minute stroll to the backpacker-friendly party action of Kings Cross (and Kings Cross station, too). 

      Just a short train ride is Sydney CBD (Central Business District), but you could always walk there through the Royal Botanic Garden. The Sydney Opera House is also just a stone’s throw away or take the train to Bondi Beach.

      Being the sociable hostel that this place is, it’s got a few tricks up its sleeve to keep you entertained during your stay. There may not be specific events going on, but the drinks deals and general party atmosphere definitely make this a fun place to be. If you’re in Sydney to party, that is.

      Overall, this is a solid hostel in Sydney. It’s not a fashionable or super modern backpacker hostel, but this is way more fun if you’re a solo traveller in Sydney and feel like meeting new people.

      FAQs about Budget Sydney Hostels

      Don’t Forget Your Sydney Travel Insurance

      No matter where you’re going in the world, trusty travel insurance is the number one thing to sort out before you leave home. Take care out there.

      ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

      They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

      SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

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      Final Thoughts on Cheap Hostels in Sydney

      Sydney has a pretty revolutionary hostel scene going on. It’s been a popular backpacking hub for decades, and there’s no slowing it down any time soon. 

      The area of Kings Cross is pretty much Sydney backpackers central, with plenty of international visitors, cheap bars, and hostels. It’s here where you’ll probably find that holy grail of Sydney hostels: cheap and well located!

      If you’re still unsure, check out Wake Up! Sydney Central and take it from there. It’s the best all-rounder. 

      There’s a lot of variation going on with Sydney backpackers, too. Whether you want a cosy hostel experience or you’re just after something basic for a weekend in Sydney, you’ll find it. Plus if you’re feeling social, Sydney’s budget hostels are great for meeting fellow travellers and partying on down. 

      If you’re just starting, just ending, circling around in your Australia trip, Sydney is the classic go-to. You’re going to be super welcome here.

      Don’t fall in!
      Image: Nic Hilditch-Short