Australia’s East Coast gem and the most populated city in all of Oceania, Sydney is more than its famed Opera House and is one of the coolest backpacking cities on the planet.
But Australia can be expensive, and saving money while backpacking Sydney can be a challenge. Hotels and Airbnb’s may be completely out of your budget region, but don’t worry, I’ve got your back!
Written by travellers, for travellers, this guide to the top hostels in Sydney will help you save money, but just as importantly, it will help you find a hostel that suits your travel style – and quickly!
Organised by your travel needs, I’ve put hostels into different categories, so you can easily identify the one that best suits your style. Looking for a Bondi backpackers? Somewhere with ensuite bathrooms close to Central Station? Or how about the best spot for solo travellers within walking distance of the Sydney Harbour Bridge? I’ve got you covered!
So whether you are going to Sydney to party up, or wind down, my list of the 5 best hostels in Sydney has everything you need so you can book your hostel quickly, and explore this awesome international city – stress-free.
Almost time to hit the beach, my friends…
What to Expect from Hostels in Sydney?
You might be asking yourself: “Why should I stay at one of these Sydney hostels?” Well, let me clear it up a bit.
Hostels are generally known to be one of the cheapest forms of accommodation on the market. If you’re backpacking Sydney on a budget (or pretty much any place in the world) hostels are the way to go.
However, that’s not the only good reason for staying at a hostel. The unique vibe and social aspect are what make hostels TRULY special. Head down to the common room, make new friends, share travel stories and tips, or just have a great time with like-minded travellers from all over the world – you won’t get that opportunity in any other accommodation.
Sydney’s hostels come in all shapes and colours. No matter what kind of traveller you are, there’s definitely the perfect hostel for you in the famous city. There are party hostels, calm family-vibe places and even hostels that are specifically made for people that work on their laptops. Unfortunately, luxuries like free breakfast are hard to find. You can definitely expect free Wifi, airconditioned rooms, high standard cleanliness and a travel desk though.
When it comes to rooms, you normally get three options: dorms, pods and private rooms. Some hostels even offer large private rooms for a group of friends. The general rule here is the bigger the room, the cheaper the price. Obviously, you won’t have to pay as much for an 8-bed dorm as you would for a single-bed private bedroom. To give you a rough overview of the hostel prices in Sydney, I’ve listed the average range below:
- Dorm room (mixed or female-only): $15-22 USD/night
- Private room: $47-56 USD/night
When looking for backpacker hostels, you’ll find the best options on HOSTELWORLD. This platform offers you a super safe and efficient booking process. All hostels are displayed with a rating and previous guest reviews. You can also filter your personal travel needs easily and find the perfect place for you.
Sydney is definitely not a small city and there are hundreds of hostels to choose from. Before you start your travels, you need to figure out exactly where you want to stay in Sydney. There’s no point in wanting to see the city centre’s attractions but ending up at the outskirts of the Sydney CBD. Once you know where you want to base yourself, you can start looking through this list of Sydney hostels.
To make the decision a bit easier for you, I’ve listed my favourite neighbourhoods and districts in Sydney:
- Central Business District – home to high-rise buildings, high-end shopping, celebrity chefs, and major tourist attractions, the Sydney CBD is buzzing with excitement and energy.
- Kings Cross – For some really cool budget hostels, Kings Cross is the right place to stay. You’re also very close to nightlife action.
- Bondi Beach – Probably the most famous beach in Australia, Bondi Beach attracts sunbathers, runners and professional surfers.
Now that you know what to expect from Sydney’s hostels, let’s have a look at your options.
The 5 Best Hostels in Sydney
There are nearly a hundred youth hostels in Sydney. Searching through all the backpacker hostels in Sydney is a daunting task indeed! So, I’ve taken the highest reviews and boiled them down so you can see which one is best for you.
No matter your needs, have a look at my list— I’ve split it into different hostel types to make backpacking Sydney a little bit easier.
1. Wake Up! Sydney Central | Overall Best Hostel in Sydney
Wake up! Sydney Central Hostel gets my pick for the best hostel in the city. If you want a second opinion, just check the reviews! With plenty of great amenities, such as a massive common room, workspaces for digital nomads, a fully equipped kitchen and an on-site cafe, you’ll be having the time of your life here.
The location is, just as the name says, right by Central Station, meaning that you’ll get around without any problems. Loads of the attractions are pretty much right in front of your doorstep as well with the hostel being right in the heart of the Sydney CBD.
Not only do you get a great location near the railway station, but loads of value as well. Even better, the hostel hosts student nights with free pizza – if that doesn’t convince you, I don’t what will…
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Free pizza nights
- Clean and modern design
- Incredibly good reviews
The hostel offers you a bit of everything: super crazy party nights, laptop working space and great communal areas to socialise. It’s a perfect all-rounder hostel! If you’re struggling to decide what to do in Sydney, head to the travel desk and ask the staff for their recommendations. They know their city best and will give you some awesome insider tips.
Many of the hostels included in this list including Wake Up! hostels are chains. These chains, although they make lack uniqueness, are always a safe bet. Their reliability and consistency actually make them a considerable portion of the best hostels all over Australia.
2. Nomads Sydney | Best Cheap Hostel in Sydney
What’s the one thing that makes the difference between a good hostel, and an amazing one? That’s right, an awesome location! You can have all the luxury you want, if it takes you hours to get anywhere, it’s not worth it.
Luckily, this hostel has one of the best locations you could wish for in Sydney. Bang in the heart of the Sydney CBD, you won’t just be close to the main attractions of the city, but also amazing public transport connections, bars, restaurants and the best shops. It’s within walking distance of Central Station, so it’s one of the best-located hostels in Sydney.
The nightly price here is one of the most affordable in the city, so it’s the perfect option for budget travellers.
You’re guaranteed to have fun too: the hostel’s themed party nights on Wednesdays bring together plenty of travellers and give you a taste of what Sydney’s epic nightlife has to offer. If you don’t want to leave the hostel, no problem, there’s an on-site bar, cafe and a fully equipped kitchen. It’s a pretty big hostel so you’ll never get bored or lonely.
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Free airport pick up if you book 3 nights
- Airconditioned rooms
- Women-only floor
Formally known as Base Hostel, Nomads Sydney isn’t just my pick amongst the best cheap hostels in Sydney. It’s also the perfect choice for female travellers that want to stay safe during their trip. Choose from plenty of female-only dorm rooms and make use of the women-only floor – it comes with free shampoo and conditioner, and free champagne from Scary Canary, the on-site bar! Does it get any better than that ladies?
The hostel offers incredible value for a very reasonable price. Private rooms with ensuite bathrooms might be a bit more expensive, but if you’re travelling with a buddy and split the costs, it’ll turn out just as affordable as a dorm.
If you’ve got a long day of exploring Sydney ahead of you, make sure you stop by the tasty continental breakfast in the morning. Then head to the reception desk to pick up some insider tips from the staff on what to see in Sydney.
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3. Summer House Backpackers | Best Party Hostel in Sydney
A clean, comfortable, and cheap hostel in Sydney. Summer House Backpackers Sydney is made all the better by housekeeping services, round-the-clock security, airport transfers, and top-notch services and facilities. Practical stuff includes a kitchen, jobs board, luggage storage, and laundry facilities, while the spacious sunny courtyard, tour desk, book exchange, free Wi-Fi, lounge, and PlayStation takes care of fun and leisure.
Thanks to the epic location near Kings Cross, Summer House Backpackers is an ideal hostel for party enthusiasts that still want to enjoy a quiet night. The nightlife district is just around the corner, but don’t worry, the hostel is tucked away in a quiet street.
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Daily Organised Events & Nights Out
- Super kind staff
- Unlimited High-speed WiFi
Whether you’re here for partying or to relax, Summer House really gives you everything a traveller might need. Super comfy beds in both dorm and private rooms, a great social area to hang out and make new friends, and some of the kindest staff you’ve ever met.
The hostel offers spacious lockers, but don’t forget to bring your own padlock. Also, note that the hostel won’t accommodate travellers younger than 18. This is a shame for the younger backpackers but will also ensure a grown-up and responsible crowd.
4. Wake Up! Bondi Beach | Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Sydney
This hostel is EPIC- my personal favourite in all of Sydney. With a 9.2 rating on Hostelworld at the time of writing this article, do I need to say much more?
A fab backpacker hostel within steps of Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach, sun, sea, sand, and surf are right at your fingertips! Wake up! Bondi Beach is the best hostel for solo travellers in Sydney, with heaps of cool activities where you can meet others and comfy common areas for socialising and relaxing.
Join in with rooftop yoga classes on the terrace, coastal walking tours, wine and cheese nights, and more. Every Friday is BBQ time, with a lively cook-up on the roof terrace. There are mixed and female-only dorms and all guests have a large security locker.
Other plus points include self-catering and laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi, free surfboards, and a jobs board.
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Stunning Views
- Rooftop Terrace
- Supder modern kitchen
Wake up! Bondi Beach has recently been refurbished, so every amenity will be brand new. If you want to feel like a real chef, head to the kitchen and prepare a tasty meal – it’s a super modern and professional kitchen.
Choose from 4-6 bed dorm rooms (some of them have sea views) or private twin and double rooms. Each bed comes with a futuristic reading light and USB plug sockets.
Note that Wake Up! Bondi Beach has an over-18 rule! When it’s time to head to the beach or explore Sydney, the staff will be happy to help you decide what you should check out during the day. According to previous guests, you’ll be welcomed with open arms and a friendly smile as well – this Bondi backpackers hostel is perfect for solo travellers!
5. Secret Garden Backpackers | Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Sydney
For digital nomads who like to work outdoors in the fresh air, you should check out Secret Garden Backpackers. Secret Garden, as its name suggests, has a nice sun-trapped garden area complete with faux grass and picnic tables.
Once the to-do list is cleared, you can hang out in the comfy TV room, or join in with the free nightly hostel fam activities. The Secret Garden crew will let you know what’s on when you arrive! Opposite Prince Alfred Park, Secret Garden Backpackers is in a great central location.
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Calm vibe
- TV room
- Incredible location
Secret Garden Backpackers might not be the most social hostel in Sydney, but it’s definitely the perfect spot for someone who needs to sit down during the day and get some work done. Take your laptop outside in the spacious garden and enjoy a bit of fresh air. Once you’re done with work, you can head out and explore all of Sydney’s famous attractions or simply chill in the movie room.
The dorm rooms are pretty basic, but the beds are very comfortable according to previous guests and they have a reading light and power socket each. You’ll also get lockers in each room – they’ll fit even the biggest backpack. It’s a pretty big hostel, but that does make it good for solo travellers too.
Note that to stay in this hostel you must be between 18 and 35 years old and hold a foreign passport (Not Australian).
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More Epic Hostels in Sydney
Haven’t found the right hostel for you yet? Don’t worry, there are plenty more options waiting for you. To make the search a bit easier, I’ve listed more epic hostels in Sydney below.
Sydney Harbour YHA | Another Cheap Hostel in Sydney
It’s all about the awesome location and top-class facilities at the brilliant Sydney Harbour YHA. Situated in the Rocks area and offering killer views across Sydney Harbour, it has heaps of handy facilities and comfy beds.
Want to cook dinner in the large kitchen but have forgotten something vital? No worries—there’s an onsite grocery store! Can’t be bothered cooking? Grab a bite in the café.
Chill on the roof terrace with an epic view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, play pool or foosball, join in with diverse activities, veg in front of the TV, and keep life in order with the laundry facilities and jobs board.
Honestly, it’s pretty hard to get budget accommodation this close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. So if you’re after an unbeatable location, then Sydney Harbour YHA is the one!
The Hostelworld reviews for this place are VERY impressive. Trust other backpackers on this one and you won’t be let down – I promise.
The Village Bondi Beach | Best Hostel in Bondi Beach
Soak up the Australian beach lifestyle with The Village Bondi Beach! Located only 100 meters away from the ocean, not only is staying here very convenient for water and sun lovers, but it’s situated close to a busy promenade full of cafes, restaurants, and shops.
The Village Bondi Beach, which has been newly renovated, offers aircon throughout the property, chill common areas, and a self-serve kitchen. It’s one of the best Bondi backpacker hostels if you want to stay close to the beach. Want to head into the city and see the Sydney Opera House and take a walk across the famous Sydney Harbour? Well, Bondi junction station is a short bus ride away.
Sydney Central YHA | Best Hostel for Couples in Sydney
The award-winning Sydney Central YHA offers fun for all. While great for everyone, it’s my pick for the best hostel for couples in Sydney, though it’s great for solo travellers too!
There are comfy double rooms with ensuite bathrooms in addition to mixed and single-gender dorms. Spend loved-up couple time together at the Sydney Central YHA or mingle with others; the swimming pool, movie room, café-bar, lounge, sauna, and games room offer heaps of choices to suit any mood.
There’s even a quieter room to read, relax, or work at the Sydney Central YHA. The huge kitchens with multiple workspaces and equipment (yes, plural—there are two!) will make you feel like you’ve stepped onto the set of Masterchef.
To top it all off, the Sydney Central YHA organises a diverse program of fun events. Public transport is just around the corner too so you can jump on the metro and be at the Sydney Opera House in no time at all.
Mad Monkey Backpackers Kings Cross | Another Great Party Hostel in Sydney
The life and soul of Sydney’s hostel scene, Mad Monkey Kings Cross knows how to make life fun. It’s the best party hostel in Sydney and the youthful members of staff go out of their way to show you the best nightspots of the pumping Kings Cross area there are terrific events all throughout the week, including free dinners, bar hopping, and tours.
Wake up to a free hot breakfast (pancakes included) at Mad Monkey Backpackers Kings Cross before you head out and explore Sydney. Come back and chill in the lounge, whip up a storm in the kitchen, hang with other cool nomads and fall asleep in comfy beds in spacious dorms. With its super social atmosphere, it’s also one of the best Sydney hostels for solo travellers.
Note that to stay in this hostel you must be between 18 and 35 years old.
Mad Monkey Backpackers on Broadway | Best Luxury Hostel
Luxury doesn’t always have to be incredibly expensive – and this hostel proves it! A rather posh Sydney backpackers hostel close to Central Train Station, Mad Monkey Backpackers on Broadway has a youthful vibe and good facilities.
When it comes to nosh, breakfast is free, there’s a kitchen you can use, and there are tons of restaurants and bars nearby. One of the best hostels in Sydney in 2024, there are regular free events and lively nights out.
You’ll also find lockers, laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi, and a tour desk for complete convenience. With its Central Station location, it’s also ideal for exploring places like the Sydney Harbour Bridge and beyond.
Massive outdoor terraces and a large common area provide lots of atmospheric space to spend chilling with other travellers. Connecting with other backpackers and gaining new friends is a breeze when staying at The Village Glebe.
Located in the trendy and natural area of Glebe, an up-and-coming suburb of Sydney, The Village Hostel puts you smack in the middle of vintage stores and trendy cafes.
A large communal kitchen, pool table, and tv lounge make for a relaxing afternoon if you have had a big sightseeing or travel day.
The Pod Sydney is one of the best hostels in Sydney for travellers who like the low costs and sociability of a hostel but with bags of privacy when it’s time to sleep. The pod-style beds are enclosed on three sides and have a curtain for maximum privacy come bedtime. Each pod has its own light, power socket, and clothes hook, and all guests have a locker. Toilets and showers are single-sex.
Featuring sleek industrial-style designs, the cool hostel has a large kitchen and a lobby lounge with a TV. Toiletries, Wi-Fi, and luggage storage (on the day of check-in and check-out only) are free, and there are coin-operated washing machines. The onsite restaurant bar at this Sydney backpackers hostel is a huge bonus too.
Location-wise, you’re close to public transport so you’ll be walking around Sydney Harbour in no time!
Cambridge Lodge Budget Hostel is located near youthful Newtown, close to some of Sydney’s trendiest cafes and bars. The bright city lights are within easy reach too from this top hostel in Sydney. If you’ve hired a car for your tour Down Under, free street parking is available outside.
Looking for work? Check the jobs board, and be sure to make full use of the laundry facilities before heading off for any interviews! Secure and clean with dorms for two, four, and six, there are also private rooms for solo travellers and couples.
Just steps from the beach and within easy reach of the city’s highlights, Manly Bunkhouse is a top hostel in Sydney for laid-back travellers who love the chilled vibe. There’s a sunny garden and courtyard where you can relax or grill up some meats on the BBQ, and a cosy TV lounge with foosball.
There’s also a quieter reading room, ideal for digital nomads or people trying to get some work done. As well as a large shared kitchen, all rooms have a basic kitchenette. Rooms also have their own bathrooms—bye-bye long queues!
Big by name and big by nature, Big Hostel is a brilliant base for any backpacker in Sydney. Airport transfers make getting here and away a piece of cake; no need to search high and low for the best Sydney hostel near the airport.
There’s a huge choice of rooms and dorms in different sizes, and females can opt for a ladies-only dorm if they prefer. There’s a spacious lounge with a TV and selection of DVDs, ideal for taking it easy, and a large roof terrace with space for sunbathing and cooking up a BBQ feast. You’ll also find a kitchen, restaurant, tour desk, and book exchange, as well as free Wi-Fi, bike parking, and friendly members of staff.
Not a place for those seeking a quiet and peaceful stay, one of the major draws of The Village Broadway is that it is situated above a very lively bar. Music rocks the joint until the wee small hours as the drinks keep flowing and the banter gets louder. There’s often live music and the bar even has a small dance floor if you want to bust out your best moves.
All common areas are spacious, from the kitchen to the lounge and roof terrace. Breakfast and Wi-Fi are free too at this top hostel in Sydney.
Live the beach life on stunning Coogee Beach, but be close to the vibrant city with a stay at Coogee Beachside Budget Accommodation. It’s close to the bus stop, making getting into the heart of Sydney and places like the Sydney Opera House a breeze.
A recommended hostel in Sydney for people who love to take it easy, the hostel has a well-equipped kitchen, a homey lounge with a TV, and a sunny garden with BBQs. Age restrictions apply; only guests between 18 and 35 can stay in the dorms.
What to Pack for your Sydney Hostel
Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.
Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.
Hanging Laundry Bag
Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.
Sea To Summit Micro Towel
Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.
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Grayl Geopress Water Bottle
Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!
Check out our definitive Hostel Packing list for even more top hostel packing tips!
FAQ about Hostels in Sydney
Here are some questions backpackers ask about hostels in Sydney.
How much does a hostel cost in Sydney?
The average price range of hostels in Sydney for a dorm room (mixed or female-only) is around $15-22 USD/night, while a private room costs $47-56 USD/night.
What are the best hostels in Sydney for couples?
Sydney Central YHA is an awesome hostel for couples in Sydney. It’s an award-winning hostel with various amenities, a great way to meet fellow travelers.
What are the best hostels in Sydney near the airport?
Cambridge Lodge Budget Hostel is 5.8 from Sydney International Airport. It’s close to the train station and some of Sydney’s trendiest cafes and bars.
Travel Safety Tips for Sydney
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!
Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.
More Epic Youth Hostels in Australia
Hopefully, by now you’ve found the perfect hostel for your upcoming trip to Sydney.
Planning an epic trip all across Australia? Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered!
For more epic youth hostels around Australia, check out:
Final Thoughts on the Best Hostels in Sydney
By now I hope my epic guide to the best hostels in Sydney has helped you choose the perfect hostel for your adventure!
If you’re planning on travelling further, you can be (almost always) sure that you’ll find a great place to stay wherever you are. There are so many amazing hostels all over Australia, each of them offering a comfy bed, a welcoming vibe, and a chance to meet like-minded travellers – you’ll be well looked after when it comes to youth hostels in Aus!
If you think we’ve missed anything or have any further thoughts, hit us up in the comments!
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!
Updated June 2023