Where To Stay In Sydney: 2023 Guide to the Best Hotels and Neighbourhoods

Travelers to Australia often put Sydney on the very top of their list, and for good reason. The city might be famous for its giant harbour and opera house, but there is so much more to see and do here. Sydney is known for its fantastic nightlife, stunning beaches, and fresh local seafood. 

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The waterfront district is the perfect place to stroll through weekend markets and green parks. It’s also a great city if you love history, as there’s something significant on every corner. In addition, there are a ton of great day trips and weekend trips from Sydney for those who want to explore beyond the metropolis.

However, it is a massive city, and for those visiting, especially for the first time, it may be overwhelming to figure out where to stay in Sydney, Australia. Sydney can be expensive, and finding a hotel that fits your budget can be tougher than you think.

Having visited Sydney many times, we’ve had the opportunity to check out many parts of the city and compare the best areas and neighbourhoods to stay throughout the city. 

Read on to find out our recommendations for the best neighbourhoods in Sydney and the best hotels in each part of the city for every budget!

Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia
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Where To Stay In Sydney, Australia: The Best Neighbourhoods And Hotels

Surry Hills

Surry Hills is an awesome part of the city centre that gives you a local feeling while still being close to all the fun and excitement that Sydney has to offer. There are great places to go shopping and tons of quirky art galleries to explore, and it’s the food capital of the city, with tons of charming cafes and restaurants. All these things and more make it one of the best places to stay in Sydney, Australia.

This neighbourhood is separated from Sydney’s Central Business District (CBD) and Kings Cross by Oxford Street and is within walking distance of beautiful historic spots like the Queen Victoria Building, the Hyde Park Barracks, and the Sydney Town Hall. Also nearby are the Royal Botanical Gardens, Queens Square, and the world-famous shopping district in Sydney’s central business district.

If you are interested in the cultural history of the area, the Sydney Central Business District is also home to the Museum of Sydney and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, which houses a permanent collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.

Surrey Hills is a great home base for exploring the greater Sydney area, as Sydney Central Station is located directly west of the neighbourhood. This railway station is the largest and busiest in Australia, and you can get to pretty much anywhere you need to go from there.

surry hills nsw australia
Surry Hills

Best Hotels In Surry Hills

Luxury: Little Albion

After staying at Riley, another Crystalbrook Collection Boutique Hotel in Cairns, we would not hesitate to recommend Little Albion as the luxury hotel option in Surry Hills. Constructed in a historic building that used to be a convent, Little Albion is filled with stunning design, intriguing art, and all the comforts of home. You’ll especially love the rooftop patio, string lights, and open drink and snack bar.

This boutique hotel is surrounded by amazing restaurants, bars, and theatres and is just 500 metres from Central Station. A 10-minute walk brings you to the Central Business District and Taylor Square, an area known for its incredible nightlife.

Mid-Range: Cambridge Hotel

57 Hotel is a unique, disco-themed boutique hotel with decor inspired by the infamous New York nightclub Studio 54. All 92 rooms feature state-of-the-art amenities, and all guests have access to a complimentary 24/7 espresso bar. 57 Hotel is just steps away from Sydney’s most popular eateries and bars and within a short walking distance of several beautiful green spaces and museums.

where to stay in sydney australia - surry hills - cambridge hotel
Photo via Cambridge Hotel 

Budget: Shakespeare Hotel

For something really different, try staying at the Shakespeare Hotel (otherwise known as “The Shakey”). It is best known for being a bustling, 19th-century-style restaurant that serves up pub food and great beer, but there are also five rooms above the pub that offer great value for money. If you are looking for a unique place to stay in Sydney, Australia, the Shakespeare Hotel is a great option.

Bondi Beach

World-famous Bondi Beach is located to the southeast of Sydney’s city centre and is well worth a visit or even a few days’ stay. There’s so much to do here, but it’s especially well-loved for bright blue waters, warm sands, and a fun atmosphere. Surfers come here to ride the world-famous waves and outdoor lovers enjoy the cliff walks and trails that follow the coastline nearby.

Bondi is also beloved for its buzzing gastronomy scene, as well as its youthful nightlife. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or a party atmosphere, there is truly something for everyone. If you don’t know where to stay in Sydney, Australia, definitely consider Bondi Beach.

where to stay in sydney australia
Bondi Beach, NSW. Photo courtesy of Tourism Australia

Best Hotels In Bondi Beach

Luxury: QT Bondi

QT Bondi is a quirky and fun designer hotel right by the water. It’s colourful and modern with lots of roomy suites and awesome views of Bondi Beach and the famous swimming pool. The inviting atmosphere and impeccable taste make QT one of the best places to stay in Sydney, Australia.

The Bondi to Bronte Coastal walk starts just 5 minutes from QT Bondi, and the hotel is steps away from some of the best boutiques, spas, and waterfront cafes in the area. This is truly a wonderful location with lots to explore.

Mid-Range: Hotel Bondi

For a mid-ranged budget, Hotel Bondi is an excellent option. It’s right across the road from the beach and has a bright, airy atmosphere featuring a restaurant, beer garden, and its own spirits shop.

All 33 rooms have been recently renovated, with single, queen, or king bed options. Some rooms have beautiful ocean views and private balconies. Hotel Bondi also hosts events, live music, and festivals, so you don’t have to go far for a party! 

where to stay in sydney australia - Hotel Bondi
Photo via  Hotel Bondi Facebook Page

Budget: Wake Up! Bondi Beach

Wake Up! Bondi Beach is an energetic backpacker hostel just steps away from the ocean. Recently renovated and always clean, the hostel has a slew of daily activities to participate in, such as surfing, yoga, personal training, and more. Both dorms and private rooms are available.

The hostel’s rooftop terrace offers panoramic views of Bondi Beach, the coastline, and the surrounding areas. Wake Up! Bondi Beach also offers complimentary surfboard hire, walking tours of the Bondi to Bronte coastline, and personal training sessions.



The Rocks/Circular Quay

Right downtown and at the centre of all the action, The Rocks and Circular Quay are two small side-by-side neighbourhoods with tons of charm. They’re located by the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, a must-visit tourist attraction. They’re also steps away from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, and (of course) the Sydney Opera House.

While there is plenty to explore in The Rocks and Circular Quay, this area is also close to Darling Harbour, which is full of interesting attractions like the Chinese Garden of Friendship, the Australian National Maritime Museum, and the Waterfront Boardwalk. There is no shortage of waterfront restaurants, cafes, and microbreweries featuring some of Sydney’s finest beers.

Sydney Opera House

the calyx at Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
The Calyx, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
The Seven Best Day Trips From Sydney, Australia
Sydney Harbour NSW. Photo courtesy of Tourism Australia

Best Hotels In The Rocks/Circular Quay

Luxury: Sir Stamford Hotel

There is no shortage of luxury hotels in this area, and Sir Stamford is a stunning 5-star hotel right on Sydney Harbour. With an antique design, the hotel is cozy and welcoming. It has a rooftop swimming pool with harbour views and is also a TripAdvisor GreenLeader on the gold level.

A majority of Sir Stamford Hotel’s 105 spacious rooms feature Juliet Balconies with wonderful city views. Guests have access to the onsite Highlander Whisky Bar, and can reserve a time for the hotel’s famous High Tea. For guests’ convenience, there is also a transportation service available that will pick up from the Sydney airport or other collection points in the city. 

Mid-Range: Russell Boutique Hotel

InterContinental Sydney offers recently refurbished accommodations overlooking the iconic Sydney Opera House, the Royal Botanic Gardens, and Harbour Bridge for a more moderate price. All 509 rooms feature contemporary design, with picture frame views and window seats.

The Circular Quay Ferries are just a 2-minute walk from the hotel, where you can join one of Sydney’s famous whale-watching tours or catch a ride to the famous Manly Beach in north Sydney. If you would rather explore what’s nearby, there is plenty to see in this neighbourhood, plus the attractions in the Central Business District are just a short walk from the hotel.

where to stay in sydney australia - - the russell
Photo courtesy of Russell Boutique Hotel 

Budget: Sydney Harbour YHA

It’s no secret that we love YHA Hostels, and the Sydney Harbour YHA is no exception. This award-winning hostel has unbelievable harbour views, clean and inviting common spaces, and follows a huge list of sustainability measures. Private and dormitory-style rooms are offered, and all guests have access to spectacular rooftop views of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 

Sydney Harbour YHA rooftop
View from the rooftop of the Sydney Harbour YHA
YHA Sydney Harbour, where to stay in sydney
Private room in the Sydney Harbour YHA

where to stay in sydney

Figuring out where to stay in Sydney, Australia can be a bit of a challenge sometimes, but these three neighbourhoods are truly great options.

  • The Rocks are perfect if you want to be right downtown near many top attractions.
  • Surry Hills gives off the perfect combination of local charm and historic vibes.
  • Bondi Beach is outside the city centre but is still a hotspot for travelers who love the beach, surf, and nightlife.

When you choose where to stay in Sydney, Australia, keep these three very different but equally interesting neighbourhoods and their best hotels in mind. You won’t be disappointed, regardless of which one you choose.

Have You Ever Visited Sydney? What’s Your Favourite Neighbourhood Or Hotel There?


READ NEXT: The Ultimate Best Things to do in Australia

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