4 Great Sydney Hostels

Over the last decade specifically, hostels have had to evolve and change with the times.  Hotels are cheaper, AirBnB is a thing and it’s a competitive world. That’s without mentioning there’s also a lot more hostels in general.

 Cleanliness and location just doesn’t cut it anymore, we expect more. We want free wifi, breakfasts, recommendations, evening events, we want to feel special and for each place to have that individual wow factor.  Here’s a 4 hostels that we think have WOW factor.

Sydney is a globally famous City and I don’t know if you’re aware, but it’s got a pretty nice harbour area? Oh you haven’t? It’s really great, it has this gigantic bridge and funny shaped opera house set on a quaint waterfront, it’s simply lovely.

If you’re only in Sydney a couple of days and you know you want to spend time around the harbour and The Rocks, the City’s oldest neighbourhood, then why waste travel time when you can stay in the middle of it all?!

There can’t be many hostels around the world that are situated in the VERY heart of such global icons, to the point where you kind of feel lucky being able to stay here.

It’s main draw is it’s location yes, but the incredible thing is you don’t have to leave the place to soak that in. Just look at this view from the rooftop 😍

What we also love is its affinity to the local historic area with a Free Archaeology Tour and Historic Pub Tour (also free!) on offer for all guests. A bit of difference and quirkiness is always appreciated.. Throw in a guided beach walk, free pancake breakfast, $2 sausage sizzle and $7 burger night and you’ve got quite the hostel.

One last bonus is its ease of access to places such as Manly, Watsons Bay (look it up, beautiful!) and Taronga Zoo. You’re a hop skip and a jump away from the ferry terminal.

If you’re here for the harbour and beaches then Sydney Harbour YHA is the one for you, oh yes!

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Wake Up!


There’s many super hostels and flashpackers right now, but I’d say WakeUp was the first of it’s kind in Sydney.

Although I said we want more, lets start at the top. This hostel IS clean and being next to Central Station, it DOES have one of the best locations in Sydney.

 So what does more entail at WakeUp? They have the very BEST service I’ve ever encountered in a hostel. The staff want to help and are genuinely wanting you to enjoy every aspect of your stay.

They have Guided City Tours and Group Beach Days, things outside the hostel that improve someone’s Sydney trip and help people make friends.

Quality is their thing and this shows in Roy’s Café and Side Bar. All too often these hostel side projects are low quality, ran by underpaid staff and frequented by residents only.

Roy’s does good food and is many a locals daily coffee fix yet is still affordable for us backpackers. Side Bar’s prices reflect similarly making it popular with residents whilst also being a Sydney institution. It’s a final destination on a big night for a huge portion of the City’s students and backpackers.

They have many common areas and a huge welcoming lobby area that has wifi area, luggage storage and a professional travel desk.

 In summary it’s fair to say WakeUp! does it properly and that’s why it came 6th in the Hoscars (Oscars for Hostels!) category of Best Extra Large Hostel in the world! Impressive.

Sydney Central YHA


Where do you want to be when you’re in Sydney? Next to Central Station or on Sydney Harbour of course. That’s exactly why two YHA hostels are featured here.

Something I find incredibly impressive about the property is its spacious and open, alfresco feel despite being so central in such a busy part of town.

This comes from their rooftop which provides spectacular views of the City and features a heated swimming pool. This is what I’m talking about when I say we expect more. How about a morning swim before a day of exploring followed by evening drinks on the rooftop, boy we’re lucky!

Like WakeUp! above they also have a bar and great café that’s not just about $4 bacon and egg rolls, they want to appeal to outside trade too. They do a cracking Thai Beef Salad for instance!

 These guys also have daily activities and all the other things you need such as 24h access, wifi options, air-con, travel desk, luggage storage and even…A  CINEMA AND SAUNA? 2018 hostelling, a different world indeed hey?!


I’d be happy to include Bounce purely for it’s name but thankfully it’s good enough to be included on merit too. Phew. I’d have had to make stuff up otherwise.


We have already established location is key in Sydney and while it’s a few hundred metres from our first two inclusions, it’s still bloody good.


Bounce’s rooftop is simply wonderful. It’s spacious, classy and lends itself to some incredible City skyline views. If it had a pool it may even be looking at number 2 spot on this list.


Bounce is in that WakeUp! Mentality of a high quality and modern hostel and that’s evident everywhere, whether it be the cleanliness of the place to the friendliness at reception, quality filters down to every aspect of the property.


They know the importance of the events too with the burger, pizza, hot dog AND movie nights in their movie room.


In most cities Bounce would be top of this list but it’s just pipped by the other two’s pool, and bar/restaurant offerings. If you stay here you’ll have a great time. It’s a clean, social and all round quality hostel in a great location with an epic rooftop    

Written By

Adam Ogle

Co-founder of Welcome To Travel, who loves a bloody good blog about travel, Melbourne, food and gin. 

Check out welcometo.travel

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