Where to Stay in Sydney: Top Recommended Places

Sydney, the fast-growing metropolis was built around the harbors. With time the city has expanded inland and now hosts a variety of tourist spots. No matter where you’re traveling from, the journey can be hectic. The lengthy flight coupled with day-long lay-off can take a toll on any individual.

To add to the misery, if you have to go and search for hotels after the journey, pretty sure you’ll sleep through your entire trip. This guide will help you in finding your preferred place. 

Sydney’s central business district, CBD in short, is a hub to some of the luxurious hotels and inns. The neighborhood stays crowded throughout the weekdays. During the weekend it gets quieter and enjoyable.

Most people choose CBD or Circular Quay, but there are so many different options to choose from. These neighborhoods offer unique experiences, and on top of that you won’t miss out on the city adventures.

Where to Stay in Sydney: Best Places

The list includes all the famous tourist spots plus a few unpopular locations. Besides the main city, there are some nice suburbs and villages that offer good accommodation for cheap prices. You can try them out as well.

But remember, if you pick a spot far away from the tourist attractions, the Sydney harbor, Sydney Opera house then you’ll have to spend a few extra bucks for your journeys. Time to find out which place suits your style of travel. 

Central Business District or CBD

As the name suggests, it’s the business hub of Sydney. Uninspiring structures are home to government offices, business companies, and multinational business operations. When people refer to CBD, they don’t include Circular Quay or Hyde Park in the location. You’ll find all the bigshot brands here. Hotels like Shangri-La, Radisson Blu make CBD an attractive location. 

Central Business District or CBD
Photo by 500photos.com from Pexels

Why Stay in CBD?  

All the major tourist attractions are within walking distance. The transport options are excellent with all the main bus routes and several train-stops. If you’re planning to enjoy the nightlife, you can head over to the northern part of the CBD around Wynyard Station. 

Although the architecture is a bit uninspiring, the Sydney Tower, Queen Victoria Building Mall, Hyde Park, and Townhall are magnificent landmarks around CBD.

What about Hotels?

There are so many hotels to choose from here in CBD. It doesn’t matter what your budget is, you’ll find a place that aligns perfectly with your plans. 

  • Radisson Blu: This international hotel chain offers the best service no matter which part of the world you go to. Here in Sydney, Radisson isn’t any different. But the luxury does come at a price. Be sure to book earlier as the rooms are always in demand.
  • Sheraton Grand: Another international hotel, it’s right next to Hyde Park. Formerly known as the Sheraton in the Park, the hotel has some amazing rooms and services. If you’re planning a lavish trip, this is the one.
  • Establishment: For all the party freaks out there, this is the one. The hotel has a combination of penthouses, studios, and suites. It even has four restaurants and three bars. Safe to say, you won’t be getting much sleep here. But who sleeps during vacations, right?
  • YHA Central: This is a great option for people traveling on a budget. You get all the basic amenities with YHA. It’s only a few steps away from the central station, making it convenient to travel throughout the city.

Places like Travelodge Wynyard, West Hotel, QT, and Hyde Park Inn get honorable mentions. All of these hotels are always in demand. So, don’t forget to book in advance. 

The Rocks and Circular Quay 

It is right next to the harbor. So, if you’re someone visiting Sydney for the first time, you should pick a hotel on the Rocks. It’s the older part of Sydney, and almost all the structures resemble the essence of the culture. 

The Rocks and Circular Quay
Source: Flickr

Why Stay in the Rocks?

Sydney Opera House, the Harbor, and the classic architecture of the Rocks make it the perfect combination. This site has all the elements that travelers associate with Sydney.

The hotels are comparatively expensive than other areas, but the view and facilities you get make up for it. 

  • YHA Sydney Harbor: With this hotel, you’re getting the best view of Sydney on a budget. The roof directly looks over the Sydney Opera house. You get all the necessary facilities at a reasonable price with YHA. The hotel also has dorms for budget travelers.
  • Holiday Inn Old Sydney: This hotel consists of basic rooms that aren’t too charming but does the job. The rooftop pool is a notable attraction of the Inn. The hotel is located right beside the Rocks Market. You can walk to Circular Quay from here.
  • Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel: If you’re in the mood to get nostalgic while drinking a pint of beer, this hotel will fulfill your desires. The hotel has eight rooms on the upper floors. The ground floor houses one of the oldest breweries of Sydney.
  • Park Hyatt Sydney: This is the expensive one of the lists. But the prices are truly justifiable. You get what you pay for. Sitting right on the banks of Sydney, this is arguably one of the best hotels for your honeymoon.

You can also check out the recently renovated Hotel Paradise, but it’s tough to get a room there. 

Darling Harbor  

It once used to be a working-class port, but after its renovation in 1988, it has become a family tourist spot. Festivals and concerts are now a big part of the experience in Darling Harbor.

Darling Harbor
Photo by David Jia from Pexels

Why Stay in Darling Harbor? 

This is a good option if you’re traveling with your family as the prices are reasonable and there are a lot of kid-friendly restaurants. There are green spaces and parks available for your kids to play and enjoy themselves.

You’ll find a few unique hotels here at Darling Harbor.

  • Ovlo Darling Harbor: This hotel used to be a warehouse, but now this is almost like a secret gem. The soundproof rooms, coupled with modern facilities, will help you forget all your sorrows. The self-service washers and dryers are ideal for longer stays, and the minibar offers free drinks for the hotel guests. 
  • The Darling: Located at the Star Sydney this hotel makes late-night entertainment their priority. There are bars and restaurants inside the hotel. The hotel has a spa and fitness center, an indoor pool, and all the modern-day facilities. 
  • Novotel Sydney: This is a good option for families, especially that have children as the rooms have two double beds. Novotel is situated right next to the Harborside shopping mall, and you can easily walk to the Maritime Aquarium and Wildlife World from it. 

You can check out The Sofitel and Ibis as well. 

Surry Hills 

If you’re planning to get away from the crowd, Surry Hill can help you with that. Surry Hill is situated in South-East of Central Business District. It has some of the best coffee bars in Sydney, and the restaurants are unique.

Surry Hills
Source: Wikipedia

Why Stay in Surry Hill? 

This is the hipster part of Sydney with boutique coffee shops and restaurants. Almost every street has a coffee bar, and they taste amazing. Being a suburb, the prices at Surry Hill are reasonable. 

  • Little Albion Guesthouse:  This guesthouse offers great service and the attention to detail in every aspect is visible and truly praiseworthy. The décor has a vibe of the 1920s and the 1970s. This hotel is a combination of service, quality, and reasonable pricing.
  • The Cambridge Hotel: This hotel is located in the popular Crown Street of Surry Hills. The rooms are spacious, and they have a minimal design. You will certainly get a good value for your money here. 

Adge Apartments and Adina Apartments are also good options if you only want to stay in Surry Hills. 


Bondi is away from the chaotic scene of the city and has beaches and beautiful sunsets. This location is preferred by Americans and Europeans but no as much by the Australians because of the heavy traffic at times. 

Photo by Max Ravier from Pexels

Why Stay in Bondi? 

Bondi has some good lodging options for people that want a view of the beach but don’t want to go too far away from the city center. 

  • QT Hotel Bondi: QT is a reliable hotel brand that ensures quality and service in all of its locations. The rooms are like small apartments. They include kitchenettes for you to cook your meal.
  • Bondi Backpackers: It is a few steps away from Bondi beach, and the pricing is one of the cheapest in the area. The hostel has an amazing view of the beach for you to lay back and relax.

People that love the Bondi beach can go to Manly as well. Both locations have similar facilities.


  • Best Place for a short stay (1-3 days): The Rocks
  • Best place to stay for families? Darling Harbor or the CBD
  • Best for foodies: Surry Hills, Potts Point or Paddington
  • The best area for budget travelers: Kings Cross or Surry Hills
  • Honeymoon Destination: The Rocks or Manly
  • Best for Shopping: The CBD

Final Thoughts

This rundown of the pros and cons of various tourist locations in Sydney should be enough to help you make your choice. Whether you prefer traveling on a budget or luxuriously, you will want to come back to Sydney no matter how many times you visit.

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