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13 Best Hostels in Central Sydney for Digital Nomads (from AUD 30)

20 May 2024 | Australia, Hostels, Stay, Sydney

Budget-friendly accommodation in Sydney for young travelling professionals

Digital nomad exploring Sydney? This city is home to dozens of hostels with affordable beds, home necessities, communal areas and free Wi-Fi, plus locations that put you within footsteps of iconic attractions. Many of the best hostels in Sydney boast luxuries ranging from rooftop decks and movie rooms to award-winning restaurants and nightclubs.

If you want to stay in the CBD, you’ll find hostels such as YHA Sydney Central, Wake Up! Sydney and Big Backpackers Hostel just steps from Central Station. If you’d prefer to be in the vicinity of the harbour and the Opera House, consider a hostel such as YHA Sydney Harbour, which offers birds’-eye views of the harbour from its rooftop deck.

Hostels such as Original Backpackers Sydney, London Plane Backpackers and Summer House Backpackers lie right next to Kings Cross train station, making it straightforward to explore the Sydney metro area.

Looking for a hostel that’s just a stone’s throw from surf and sand? Bondi Beach Backpackers is steps from Sydney’s most iconic beach and offers free surfboard and snorkelling gear rentals. Those in search of a more relaxed beach vibe may enjoy a stay at PodBed Coogee Beachside, one of the many amazing capsule hostels covered in this article.

Best hostels in Sydney

Best hostels in Sydney: the lowdown

YHA Sydney Central, Wake Up! Sydney, YHA Sydney Harbour and Bondi Beach Backpackers are just some of the top-rated hostels in Sydney for digital nomads and backpackers. Here’s our guide to those hostels and many more:

1. YHA Sydney Central

Situated in Sydney’s Haymarket neighbourhood just a hop away from Central Station, the award-winning YHA Sydney Central occupies a heritage-listed building with facilities that include an indoor pool, rooftop deck and plenty of communal areas for guests. Sleeping options include dorms and private rooms. As this hostel lies in the heart of the CBD, you won’t be short of things to do when you want to explore.

YHA Sydney Central

Besides the skylit pool and the rooftop that offers sprawling views over Sydney, you can mingle with fellow nomads in the cosy lounges and dining areas, which double up as excellent places to set up your laptop. The two communal kitchens allow you to save a small fortune on food during your stay.

Other incredible facilities at YHA Sydney Central include an onsite travel agency, cinema room, restaurant, café and a shared barbecue. Schirrmo’s Bar resides in the basement, where you can enjoy drinks alongside guests and locals alike. Free activities hosted by the hostel include walking tours, movie nights and pizza nights.

When you want to explore, you can take the train from Central Station or the light rail from the adjacent Haymarket stop to just about anywhere in the city. You’ll also be within walking distance of famous attractions such as Chinatown, Paddy’s Markets and Darling Harbour.

A bed in a dorm room at YHA Sydney Central usually starts at around AUD 50 per night. Private rooms with shared bathroom facilities are available for as little as AUD 120. Ensuites typically start at around AUD 150 per night.

  • Location: 11 Rawson Place Corner of Pitt St and, Rawson Pl, Haymarket NSW 2000, Australia
  • Phone: +61 2 9218 9000
  • Nearest public transport: Central Station (train, tram, bus)

2. Wake Up! Sydney

Centrally located right next to Central Station is Wake Up! Sydney, a striking and modern hostel in a historic building with dorms, private rooms, and facilities that range from contemporary shared workspaces to a trendy onsite bar and club. With tram, train and bus stops on the doorstep, exploring Sydney from Wake Up! Sydney is a breeze.

Wake Up! Sydney

In the light and airy shared lounge, you’ll find work desks, comfortable sofas and chairs, and a 24-hour reception desk. When you’re not browsing the web, you can mingle over food and drinks at the onsite restaurant, which boasts indoor and outdoor seating. You can also cook your own meals using the communal kitchen. After hours, you can drink and dance the night away at Side Bar, the onsite bar and night club that remains open until 3 am.

Being so close to Sydney’s main transport hubs makes Wake Up! Sydney ideal for urban explorers. Moreover, there are plenty of attractions and things to do within walking distance of this award-winning hotel; Chinatown, the Central Park Mall and the Capitol Theatre are all less than five minutes away on foot.

Nightly rates for a bed in a dorm room at Wake Up! Sydney start at around AUD 58. Private rooms with shared bathroom facilities start at around AUD 150, while ensuites are available from AUD 180. You can pay an extra AUD 12 per day for a delicious lunch.

  • Location: 509 Pitt St, Haymarket NSW 2000, Australia
  • Phone: +61 2 9288 7888
  • Nearest public transport: Central Station (train, tram, bus)

3. YHA Sydney Harbour – The Rocks

Located in The Rocks, a historic neighbourhood by the Sydney Harbour Bridge, YHA Sydney Harbour is an award-winning hostel with modern dorms, private rooms, and facilities that include a rooftop bar that offers bird’s-eye views of the Opera House. 2024 will see the YHA Sydney Harbour receive a range of upgrades, such as improved accessibility and safety amenities.

YHA Sydney Harbour - The Rocks

The highlight of the hostel’s communal offerings is the summer pop-up rooftop bar, which serves drinks from Tulloch Wines, Coopers Brewery and Archie Rose Distillery Co – perfect for washing down treats from the shared barbecue. Downstairs, you can fill up on barista-made coffee as well as sweet, savoury and healthy treats from Trails Café. There’s also a communal kitchen for when you want to rustle up your own delicacies on the cheap.

Scoring top marks for location, YHA Sydney Harbour sits in The Rocks, home to some of Sydney’s oldest pubs, trendiest stores and tastiest restaurants. Just a kilometre away is the Sydney Opera House, which you can see in full view from the hostel’s rooftops and many of the guest rooms. The Circular Quay light rail station is just over 500 metres away.

Nightly rates for a bed in a mixed, male-only or female-only dorm at YHA Sydney Harbour start from less than AUD 60. You can expect to pay at least AUD 200 per night for a private room with a view of the harbour.

  • Location: 110 Cumberland St, The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia
  • Phone: +61 2 8272 0900
  • Nearest public transport: Circular Quay (light rail, train)

4. Bondi Beach Backpackers

A homely hostel overlooking the iconic Bondi Beach with a warm and inviting décor, Bondi Beach Backpackers is the perfect accommodation for those in search of sea, surf and sand. Included in the price are surfboard, bodyboard, skateboard and snorkelling gear rentals. On top of private rooms and dorms, facilities at Bondi Beach Backpackers include indoor and outdoor social areas. The cherry on top – Zeus the hostel’s dog loves hugs and attention from guests.

Bondi Beach Backpackers

You’ll find space to mingle and browse the web using the free Wi-Fi in the indoor lounge area, though you might prefer to relax on the sundeck by the barbecue to make the most of Sydney’s gorgeous climate. You can cook your own meals using the communal kitchen. Moreover, delicious homemade breakfasts are available from just AUD 3 (a basic breakfast is available for free), while lunches can be ordered for just AUD 4.

If you’re new to Australia, the 24-hour help desk will provide you with all the travel tips and services you need to get to know the place. They even offer free Employment services in the form of resume assistance, bank account setup help, Tax File number applications, and more for those looking to do more than just explore the Land Down Under.

Arguably, the highlight of Bondi Beach Backpackers is its location, just a 100-metre stroll from Bondi Beach. Restaurants that surround the hostel serve cuisines including local, Thai, Italian and Mexican. It takes less than an hour to reach Port Jackson and the Sydney Opera House by bus.

Nightly rates for a bed in a mixed or female-only dorm at Bondi Beach Backpackers usually start at around AUD 50. You can get private rooms as well, starting from AUD 125 for two people, AUD 165 for three people and AUD 200 for four people.

  • Location: 35a Hall St, Bondi Beach NSW 2026, Australia
  • Phone: +61 2 9365 4900
  • Nearest public transport: Bondi Beach (bus)

5. Big Backpackers Hostel

Situated between Surry Hills and Haymarket not far from Chinatown and Central Station, the Big Backpackers Hostel is ideal for those who want to be within walking distance of Sydney’s CBD. Its facilities include everything you need to work, relax and live comfortably, whether it’s a short- or long-term stay. Sleeping options include private rooms, mixed dorms and female-only dorms for between four and six guests.

Big Backpackers Hostel

Our favourite place to relax alongside fellow travellers is the rooftop deck complete with comfortable seating, a barbecue and exceptional views of Sydney’s urban landscape. You’ll find work desks, books, games such as foosball, and vintage sofas facing the wall-mounted TV in the indoor lounge aera. There’s also a small bar-style seating area by the communal kitchen. Other facilities include laundry and an information desk.

You’ll find plenty of restaurants, cafes and bars surrounding the Big Backpackers Hostel in Surry Hills and Haymarket. Nearby attractions include the Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park, the Capitol Theatre and Darling Square. You can reach the Sydney Opera House by bus in around 20 minutes. From the nearby Central Station, you can visit just about anywhere along the east coast of Australia.

You can get a bed in a dorm room at the Big Backpackers Hostel for as little as AUD 28 per night. Even during peak seasons, nightly rates for a dorm bunk rarely go above AUD 40, making the Big Backpackers Hostel one of the best-value accommodations in Sydney for digital nomads. Nightly rates for private guest rooms with ensuites start from under AUD 100.

  • Location: 212 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia
  • Phone: +61 2 9281 6030
  • Nearest public transport: Capitol Square (light rail), Central Station (light rail, train, bus)

6. Original Backpackers Sydney

Recognised for being fabulous and high value by HostelWorld and TripAdvisor, respectively, Original Backpackers Sydney occupies a striking Victorian building in a leafy area of Sydney’s central King’s Cross district. Facilities include indoor and outdoor common areas, a communal kitchen, and free home-cooked food offerings. It’s also an excellent base for exploring inner Sydney – the Opera House is just 30 minutes away on foot.

Original Backpackers Sydney

Original Backpackers Sydney boasts plenty in the way of onsite entertainment. You can break the ice with fellow guests over a game of table tennis followed by delights from the two communal barbecues in the sunny courtyard. There’s also a spacious TV room with cable TV and Netflix. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hostel.

With two commercial-sized ovens and a range of modern amenities, the kitchen has everything you need to rustle up your favourite dishes. Every morning, you’ll be treated to a free continental breakfast, and free tea and coffee is available around the clock. Dinner is free three nights a week – themes include Aussie barbecue, Mexican and Italian.

As it’s in a central neighbourhood, Original Backpackers Sydney is surrounded by diverse restaurants, nightlife venues, shops and cafés. Being on the doorstep of Kings Cross train station makes getting around Sydney a breeze.

Nightly rates for a bed in a dorm with between four and eight bunks start from under AUD 40. Mixed gender and female-only rooms are available. Private rooms for two people start from AUD 130 with shared bathroom facilities and AUD 140 with ensuites. You can also rent out entire dorm rooms if you want to split the cost of accommodation between travellers in your group.

  • Location: 162 Victoria St, Potts Point NSW 2011, Australia
  • Phone: +61 2 9356 3232
  • Nearest public transport: Kings Cross (train)

7. London Plane Backpackers

Just over 100 metres away from Kings Cross train station is London Plane Backpackers, which has facilities like a green, decked courtyard area plus a spacious glass-roofed indoor lounge that brings the outdoors in. Each dorm has its own private bathroom and sleeps up to 10 people. Mixed gender, male-only and female-only rooms are available.

London Plane Backpackers

In addition to the social areas, facilities at London Plane Backpackers include a communal kitchen and a garden area with a barbecue. The dining area doubles up as an excellent place to mingle or set up your laptop and browse the web.

The hostel’s central location places you within two kilometres of the CBD and just a 30-minute walk from the Sydney Opera House. Attractions in the vicinity include the Australian Museum, St Mary’s Cathedral, Hyde Park and the Botanic Gardens of Sydney.

You can get a bunk in a dorm at London Plane Backpackers for as little as AUD 36 per night. A private room with two queen beds for up to four guests can cost just AUD 125.

  • Location: 172-174 Victoria St, Potts Point NSW 2011, Australia
  • Phone: +61 4 8114 5678
  • Nearest public transport: Kings Cross

8. Mad Monkey Broadway

Located in the creative district in Chippendale not far from the University of Sydney, Mad Monkey Broadway is a cosy hostel with a chilled our vibe and a décor that combines modern with the building’s heritage. Communal areas provide plenty of space to work, relax and socialise with guests. On top of budget-friendly dorm rooms, you can also choose from private rooms at some of Sydney’s lowest prices.

Mad Monkey Broadway

The communal kitchen houses modern appliances that include two-full sized ovens, and the adjoining dining and relaxation area has bench-style desks, a widescreen TV with Netflix, board games, guitars and more. The new gaming room is a recent addition to the hostel, where you can show off your FIFA skills to fellow travellers.

You can catch a bus from nearby Broadway to just about anywhere in Sydney. Central Station is just a ten-minute walk away. Places to see on your doorstep include Victoria Park (which has a public swimming pool) and university landmarks like the Quadrangle and the Chau Chak Wing Museum. You’ll find many stores, restaurants and shopping malls along Broadway and the surrounding streets.

A night for a bunk in a dorm can cost less than AUD 35 at Mad Monkey Broadway. Private rooms for up to two people go for as little as AUD 80 per night.

  • Location: 20 City Rd, Chippendale NSW 2008, Australia
  • Phone: +61 2 8705 3762
  • Nearest public transport: City Rd opp Victoria Park (bus)

9. Pacific House Hostel

Overlooking the Domain in Woolloomooloo, the Pacific House Hostel represents the epitome of affordable luxury in Sydney. Housed inside a heritage-listed building, the hostel features a reimagined interior décor by celebrated Australian designer Tamsin Johnson. Facilities include elegant social areas, a kitchen and a café. The dorms feature bunks with privacy curtains, and many rooms have balconies with city or garden views.

Pacific House Hostel

The hostel’s design has retained many elements that pay homage to the building’s history. Expect a combination of classic elegance and contemporary sophistication, with a colour palette of greys, greens and blues.

One of the many highlights of the Pacific House Hostel’s offerings is the delicious breakfast buffet. There are also indoor and outdoor seating areas, a restaurant and café serving delicious food and drinks until 10 pm, and areas for activities such as yoga.

From the Pacific House Hostel, you can walk to the Sydney Opera House through the Royal Botanic Garden in less than 25 minutes. Attractions such as Finger Wharf, St Mary’s Cathedral, the Australian Museum and the Sydney Tower Eye are less than one kilometre away. You can walk to Kings Cross train station in about 15 minutes.

Nightly rates for a bunk in a dorm usually start at around AUD 55–65, and private rooms for up to two people are available for as little as AUD 169.

  • Location: 50-58 Sir John Young Cres, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011, Australia
  • Phone: +61 2 9191 4912
  • Nearest public transport: St James (train)

10. Summer House Backpackers (Kings Cross)

Situated in Woolloomooloo not far from Kings Cross train station, Summer House Backpackers is one of the most affordable hostels in central Sydney. Its facilities include a courtyard with plenty of space to dine, browse the web and socialise with guests plus a TV room with double-tiered seating.

Summer House Backpackers Kings Cross

Other useful amenities for digital nomads include high-speed Wi-Fi, a kitchen with a food storage area, laundry facilities and a reception desk that operates between extended business hours daily. Free pancakes are served every morning between 9 am and 11 am.

On top of practically being on the doorstep of Kings Cross station, Summer House Backpackers is within walking distance of attractions such as the Australian Museum, Hyde Park and the Sydney Tower Eye. The Sydney Opera House is just a couple of train stations away, or you can walk there in 30 minutes.

A bed in a dorm at Summer House Backpackers usually costs around AUD 32–45 per night. Mixed, male-only and female-only dorms are available.

  • Location: 153 Forbes St, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011, Australia
  • Phone: +61 2 9189 7360
  • Nearest public transport: Kings Cross (train)

11. Tequila Sunrise Hostel Sydney

Conveniently located by Chinatown in Sydney’s CBD, the Tequila Sunrise Hostel is a light and contemporary accommodation that offers a variety of dorms with pod/capsule-style, single and double beds, perfect for those looking for a combination of privacy and a vibrant social atmosphere. Indoor and outdoor common areas provide plenty of space to work, mingle and relax.

Tequila Sunrise Hostel Sydney

The communal lounge and dining areas have work desks, bar-style seating and comfortable sofas facing flat-screen TVs. A continental breakfast is served every morning, and you can rustle up your own delights in the shared kitchen. You can soak up the lively vibe of the surrounding Haymarket neighbourhood from the sofas on the outdoor street-level terrace.

The Tequila Sunrise Hostel is within a few hundred metres of famous attractions including Chinatown, the Anzac Memorial and Paddy’s Market. The Chinatown light rail station is just across the road, while Central Station is only five minutes away on foot.

The pod-style beds each feature a privacy curtain and a premium single or double-sized mattress, plus plug sockets and a light. You’ll also have plenty of secure storage space for your belongings underneath the bunks.

Nightly rates for a Deluxe Pod with a double bed can be as low as AUD 63 or as high as AUD 110. Pods with single beds are cheaper on the same dates but generally fall into the same price range. Breakfast and dinner are included with your stay.

  • Location: 611 George St, Haymarket NSW 2000, Australia
  • Phone: +61 433 584 114
  • Nearest public transport: Chinatown (light rail)

12. Nomads Sydney

Situated in Sydney’s CBD between Darling Harbour and Hyde Park, Nomads Sydney is a lively hostel with an award-winning bar that’s a popular hangout spot for locals and backpackers alike. More relaxed communal areas are available just for guests, and sleeping arrangements include dorms with bunks as well as deluxe private rooms with shared bathrooms or ensuites.

Nomads Sydney

The star of Nomads Sydney’s social offering is the onsite bar, The Scary Canary, where you can enjoy cocktail jars, wood-fired pizzas, pool and party vibes until 3 am every night. Featuring seasoned wooden floors, vintage chairs, exposed brick walls and a large TV, the communal guest lounge is a more chilled place to mingle with fellow travellers, kick back or browse the web.

Thanks to its central location, Nomads Sydney is a handy base for exploring the city. Within walking distance are attractions like Darling Harbour, SEA LIFE, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo and the Australian National Maritime Museum. From Town Hall across the road from the hostel, you can catch buses and trains to Bondi Beach and beyond. The Sydney Opera House is a 15-minute bus ride away.

The most economical sleeping option at Nomads Sydney is a bed on a standard bunk in a shared dorm. If you’d prefer a little more privacy, you can stay in a capsule-style bunk complete with privacy curtain and night light. Private rooms with double or king beds for up to two people are also available.

Nightly rates for a bunk in a dorm at Nomads Sydney range from AUD 60–120. You can expect to pay at least AUD 200 for a private room.

  • Location: 477 Kent St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
  • Phone: +61 2 9267 7718
  • Nearest public transport: Town Hall (light rail)

13. PodBed Coogee Beachside

If you fancy a break from the hustle of central Sydney, you might enjoy a stay at PodBed Coogee Beachside in the relaxed coastal suburb of Coogee. This hostel has all the facilities you need to make the place your temporary home from home, and the swim-friendly Coogee Beach is just a few hundred metres away. Sleeping options include private rooms, standard dorm bunks and capsules that offer a mix of privacy and value.

PodBed Coogee Beachside

When you want to relax, you can put your feet up on the sprawling corner sofa in front of the widescreen TV in the homely lounge. The kitchen is equipped with all the appliances you need to bring any recipe to life, and plenty of nearby fish ‘n chip stores sell tasty local catches. You can also embrace the local culture by rustling up delights on the barbecue in the hostel’s cosy courtyard.

In addition to Coogee Beach, scenic coastal attractions within walking distance of PodBed Coogee Beachside include Gordon’s Bay, Koojah Cliff and Wedding Cake Island. The starting point of the Bondi to Coogee Walk is just around the corner from the hostel. Just over a kilometre away is the Randwick light rail station, which will get you to Central Station in the heart of Sydney in around 40 minutes.

Nightly rates for a capsule can be as low as AUD 30 during the low season, and standard dorm bunks are a few dollars cheaper. Single rooms can cost as little as AUD 77 and double rooms as little as AUD 87. Prices can double during the peak season, but PodBed Coogee Beachside remains one of Sydney’s best-value hostels year-round.

  • Location: 178 Coogee Bay Rd, Coogee NSW 2034, Australia
  • Phone: +61 428 881 624
  • Nearest public transport: Coogee Bay Road (bus)

Have we missed any of the best hostels in Sydney?

Central Sydney has no shortage of incredible, budget-friendly and modern hostels with all the facilities you need to work, play and make yourself at home. And with prices as low as AUD 30 per night, exploring Australia’s most vibrant city doesn’t need to break the bank.

We’ll keep updating this article with the latest news on the very best hostels in Sydney, but we could use a helping hand. Have we missed any of Sydney’s best hostels for digital nomads? What do you look for in a hostel when it comes to long-term stays? Let us know in the comments below.

Josh Saunders

Josh Saunders

I've been writing my way through Europe, Asia and Oceania for just over a decade, providing SEO copywriting, editing and content strategy services to travel-industry clients ranging from startups through to Fortune 500 giants. Now, I'm on a mission to connect digital nomads with the world's best destinations for work and leisure.


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Filled with guides and recommendations on the best coworking spaces, hostels and things to do in the world’s most exciting destinations for digital nomads and remote workers.

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