With plenty to do and see, Sydney is a great destination but it is also a notoriously expensive place to travel to, so staying at a hostel can be a great way to cut down on costs. From beachside accommodation to hostels in the city centre, backpackers planning a trip to Sydney will be spoiled for choice when it comes to cheap places to stay at.

Whether you’re looking for a fun and social environment where you’ll meet fellow party-goers or are hoping for cheap, affordable and clean digs for your stay in Sydney, discover our top 6 picks of Sydney hostels on a budget:

Best Sydney hostels on a budget

  1. Manly Harbour Backpackers, Manly
  2. Sydney Harbour YHA, The Rocks
  3. Jackaroo Hostel, Potts Point
  4. Bounce Sydney, Surry Hills
  5. Maze Backpackers, Sydney CBD
  6. Mad Monkey Hostel, Coogee

1. Manly Harbour Backpackers, Manly

One of the best budget accommodation spots north of the Harbour Bridge, stay in the centre of the popular beachside suburb of Manly and enjoy great access to the many celebrated beaches along the northern beaches. With four themed guest rooms that sleep 8 to 10 people, high-speed internet access and free breakfast, Manly Harbour Backpackers is a great value accommodation pick.

Facilities include a kitchen that guests can use at any time of the day (or night) at no cost, free parking, bed linens and access to a locker, 24-hour coin-operated laundry and a common room with a TV, an Internet kiosk and a table tennis board. Backpackers can also enjoy discounted meals at Manly Deck Bar & Restaurant and make their buck go even further.

manly beach hostels
Manly Beach, Sydney, Australia. Source: Destination NSW.

Things to do near Manly

  • Make a splash at Manly Surf n Slide. Manly is home to some of the best beaches in Sydney but there are other spots in the area where you can go for a swim, including Manly Surf n Slide. Visiting Sydney in winter? Worry not – the park’s heated water allows you to enjoy the slides to the fullest no matter the season.
  • Visit The Great Gatsby filming location. There are several iconic movie locations you can visit in Australia and two of them are Manly International College and Centennial Park, where several Great Gatsby scenes were filmed. Movie buffs, this one is a must-do!
  • Get spooked at Q Station. Considered one of the most haunted places in Australia, Q Station hosts daily ghost tours where those who dare can discover the intriguing stories of the spirits still lingering in the station.

2. Sydney Harbour YHA, The Rocks

Sydney Harbour YHA is the only hostel in Sydney’s most historic part of town, The Rocks. Only a stone’s throw from the harbour and its many iconic attractions, this is a prime spot for travellers looking to soak in Sydney’s history and spend time by its million-dollar harbour.

Guests staying at the award-winning hostel can choose between private or co-living rooms, both of which include ensuites, linen, free wi-fi, air conditioning and access to the communal kitchen and rooftop terrace. Other facilities range from barbecue facilities and a dedicated lounge, dining and TV area for groups to laundry facilities and on-site catering.

sydney harbour yha hostel
Sydney Harbour YHA, The Rocks. Source: Sydney Harbour YHA.

Things to do near The Rocks

  • Quench your thirst at Sydney’s oldest pub. Dating back to 1828, Fortune of War combines the old world charm with a modern food and drinks menu to create a completely unique pub experience. be sure to check their events calendar as well, as there are regular live music performances! 
  • Grab a bargain at The Rocks Market. Held every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, the market brings together local craftsmen, chefs and artisans, with dozens of stalls where visitors can purchase clothes, accessories and art pieces at the best price, as well as food stalls offering a wide selection of sweet and savoury treats.
  • Pop into the Museum of Contemporary Art. Boasting an impressive collection of over 400 contemporary art pieces, the MCA is the ultimate spot for art and culture enthusiasts to discover and admire the work of up-and-coming Australian artists. Best of all, entry is free!

3. Jackaroo Hostel, Potts Point

Nestled in the popular nightlife and dining hub of Kings Cross, Jackaroo Hostel is undoubtedly one of Sydney’s most social hostels, hosting a range of fun events and plenty of travel outings. If you’re looking to stay a bit out of the city and only a short walk from waterfront spots like Elizabeth Bay, Woolloomooloo and Rushcutters Bay, Jackaroo Hostel is one of Sydney’s best hostel picks.

The hostel has six air-conditioned rooms, which sleep two to six people. There’s free high-speed Wi-Fi throughout the building, as well as a fully equipped kitchen and large social area. For your daily dose of vitamin D, head to the rooftop and lie down on one of the hammocks, and don’t forget to check out the social events happening during your stay!

kings cross near potts point
Billboard at Kings Cross near Potts Point. Source: Destination NSW.

Things to do near Potts Point

  • Sip on fine wine at Dear Saint Eloise. Wine enthusiasts, this one is for you. Boasting an impressive list of 300 wines from around the world, Dear Saint Eloise is a trendy bar with an intimate ambience and a chic a la carte menu to enjoy throughout the night. If you’re looking for romantic things to do in Sydney, this is a great option.
  • Brunch (or lunch) at Kings Cross Market. If you find yourself in Potts Point on a Saturday, be sure to explore the markets and its dozens of food stalls. Don’t leave without checking out the artisan stalls as well, to find one-of-a-kind antiques and decor pieces.
  • Have a drink under the stars (or the warm Aussie sun). There are several rooftop bars in Sydney and Kings Cross is home to a couple of popular ones, including the trendy Sweethearts Rooftop BBQ and Kings Cross Hotel.

4. Bounce Sydney, Surry Hills

Located in the trendy suburb of Surry Hills, right near Sydney’s Central Station, enjoy easy access to Sydney’s CBD and extensive rail and bus networks from one of the most convenient spots in the city. Bounce Sydney also has a rooftop terrace which proves a popular spot for sunset drinks and mingling with other travellers after a long day of exploring the city.

Backpackers have 35 rooms to choose from, spanning from double and triple rooms with a private bathroom to six and eight-bed mixed dormitories. There is an open-air restaurant and beer garden where you can hang out with other backpackers, as well as a bar and a roof garden.

bounce sydney surry hills
Bounce Sydney Hostel, Surry Hills. Source: Bounce Sydney.

Things to do near Surry Hills

  • Go thrift shopping. As one of the trendiest suburbs in Sydney, it comes as no surprise that Surry Hills is home to several vintage and second-hand shops: Blue Works, Uturn Recycled Fashion, Zoo Emporium Vintage and more.
  • Enjoy the thriving cafe scene. Latte, cappuccino, espresso, flat white… whatever your coffee preferences are, in Surry Hills, you’ll find exactly what you need to satisfy all your caffeine cravings. Add an avo toast or some scrambled eggs on the side and you’ve got yourself the ultimate brekkie.
  • Paint and sip at Cork & Chroma. Open Wednesday to Sunday, Cork & Chroma is a BYO art studio where all you need is a paintbrush in one hand and a glass of wine in the other – and what better combo to get your creative juices flowing?

5. Maze Backpackers, Sydney CBD

Located on the very central Pitt Street, Maze Backpackers is a great spot for travellers hoping to stay right in the beating heart of Sydney’s CBD. With a 24-hour front desk and only moments away from Sydney’s Chinatown, George Street, the shopping hub of Pitt Street and boutique shopping along Oxford Street, Maze Backpackers proves a great base for exploring all that Sydney has to offer.

There are single, double and twin rooms for those who want some privacy, or shared rooms for four to eight people if you’re hoping to make new mates. As for facilities, Maze Backpackers has everything you might need: a TV lounge room, coin-operated laundry, driers & ironing facilities, a sociable dining area, a fully equipped kitchen and much more.

maze backpackers sydney
Maze Backpackers, Sydney CBD. Source: Maze Sydney.

Things to do near Sydney CBD

  • Catch a film at the picturesque State Theatre. Dating back to the 1930s, the State Theatre has achieved iconic status when it comes to film, theatre and music venues in Sydney. Visit the heritage-listed building for a cinematic experience like no other.
  • Have a picnic with a view at the Royal Botanic Gardens. One of the prime vantage points to admire the city, the gardens are an incredibly popular attraction among Sydneysiders and tourists alike. Be sure to visit Mrs Macquarie’s Chair to get the best views of the Harbour Bridge!
  • Venture out on a pub crawl. Whether you join a guided pub crawl or organise your own, Sydney is bursting at the seams with pubs and watering holes any backpacker would love. From MAYBE SAMMY to The Duke of Clarence, Cantina OK! and Old Mate’s Place, the list is endless.

6. Mad Monkey Hostel, Coogee

Another excellent accommodation option for anyone planning a beach getaway, Mad Monkey Hostel is located only a stone’s throw away from the popular Coogee Beach. Offering private rooms as well as male, female and mixed shared dorms and apartments, Mad Monkey is a popular choice among backpackers travelling on a budget. 

Besides facilities like common areas, lockboxes and free wifi, the hostel also rents out boogie boards and hosts regular outings to the beach, as well as experiences around the area, perfect for you to connect with other backpackers exploring Coogee.

Things to do near Coogee

  • Go on a coastal walk. Whether you’re backpacking solo, with friends or with a special someone, a trip to Sydney isn’t complete without a scenic waterside walk. Not sure which track to choose? Bondi to Coogee is a classic, but there is also the Coogee to Maroubra beach path.
  • Have an underwater adventure at Gordon’s Bay. When it comes to hidden oases in Sydney, it’s hard to top Gordon’s Bay with its serene waters and spectacular views. With an Underwater Nature Trail that stretches for 600 metres, this is the perfect spot to go scuba diving or snorkelling and get up and close to the most amazing sea life.
  • Zen out at Wylie’s Baths. One of the most popular outdoor pools in Sydney, the heritage-listed baths are located just a stone’s throw away from Coogee beach and Mad Monkey Hostel. Whether you just want to relax or are keen for some laps around the pool, a trip to Wylie’s Baths is a non-negotiable for anyone visiting Coogee.

Need more cheap accommodation choices? Webjet has plenty of Sydney hotels and accommodation ranging from cheap hostels to affordable bed & breakfasts, cozy lodges and cheap serviced apartments. Be sure to book early and save. Looking for flights to Sydney as well? Find them at the best price with Webjet.

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