(Last Updated On: July 14, 2021)

Answering the question of where to stay in Sydney is a truly tough one as there are just so many choices. The laziness of beach life or the bustling city? Or maybe you might like some views of the sparkling Sydney Harbour.

Here’s a list of the best accommodation in Sydney to suit any budget or taste.

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Things to do in Sydney - Best Walks in Sydney - Emma Jane Explores

The Ultimo

You wouldn’t know from looking at The Ultimo Hotel, but it’s an astrology-themed accommodation. Not that being discreet is a problem; the 1911 building in Haymarket is beautiful on the outside and tastefully appointed within. The neutral colours and warm lights are the perfect foil for the exposed brick features in the rooms and around the property. It’s also a pet-friendly place, with a courtyard for fur babies to run around, and–in this writer’s experience–friendly and attentive service.

It’s not often that a hotel receptionist requests your star sign at check-in; here, you get in return creative food and attraction recommendations that are supposed to suit you based on the zodiac. These include drinking and dining spots close by and around Sydney. If you need to understand more about your horoscopes, you can even set up an appointment with an astrologer! While the hotel doesn’t have its own restaurant, you’re never far from good food in Chinatown, and Darling Harbour is a short walk away. It’s also easy to get to other parts of the city and the airport when the central train station is just a five-minute walk away. 

Contributed by Nicholas from Rambling Feet

Sydney Harbour YHA

For a budget-friendly accommodation in the heart of the city, Sydney Harbour YHA is a great option. This will be suitable for backpackers, Working Holiday Visa holders keen to save money before getting a job and long-term place to stay, and younger travellers. Private rooms are available for those looking for cheap accommodation while still having their own space – great for couples, families, or anyone after a cleaner and quieter room.

What makes Sydney Harbour YHA stand out compared to other hostels is the panoramic rooftop view; your own private Sydney photography location, overlooking the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. The rooftop is a great place to eat dinner, use the BBQ facilities, or watch a sunset. There is an assortment of comfy seats and dining tables ready to use on this gorgeous rooftop.

Other facilities of Sydney Harbour YHA include free WiFi, communal kitchen, tea and coffee. En-suites, and linen provided. Dorms have individual lights for each bed and lockers, while private and family rooms have towels and hairdryers provided plus the option of widescreen TVs and partial harbour views.

The location could not be better. Based in the historic suburb of the Rocks, from here visitors can walk to most key attractions, plus the Circular Quay station and ferry wharf are a few minutes away.

Contributed by Cassie from Cassie the Hag

Roar and Snore at Tooronga Zoo

Tooronga Zoo is one of Sydney’s most famous attractions and in recent years, the zoo has been expanded further to offer glamping experiences in the warmer months. Not only does the ultimate zoo sleepover have you glamping in one of Sydney’s most iconic locations, but the package also includes a night safari at the zoo and the chance to meet some creatures in the twighlight.

One night in the zoo will cost around $600 AUD but this can go all the way up to around $850 AUD at busy times. The large tents are fitted out with plenty of comforts, power and plenty of bedding. The tents are set up with brilliant views looking back over at Sydney Harbour – one of the best sights in Sydney.

The Shangri-La

Everyone loves a Shangri-La Hotel as it is always a sign of creature comforts anywhere in the world. But the Sydney Shangri-La makes the list because it is superbly positioned with incredible views of Circular Quay and Sydney’s magical harbour.

The Shangri-La is located in the picturesque Rocks district of Sydney, so you’re smack bang in the middle of Sydney’s oldest neighbourhood. You’re also a stone’s throw from the Harbour Bridge walk and also the Museum of Contemporary Art.

The Shangri-La is also home to one of Sydney’s most sought after bars, Blu Bar on 36, which not only has some of the city’s best cocktails – it also has unparalleled views of the Harbour Bridge and Darling Harbour.

Establishment Hotel

The Establishment Hotel is run by Sydney pub giant Merivale and it is absolutely up to their very high standards. Connected to The Establishment downstairs which is a bar and restaurant (and also gets a little rowdy at night), this CBD-located hotel is decked out with the finest.

The Establishment Hotel is perfect for a romantic hideaway in the heart of the city, perfectly nestled in between some of Sydney’s best restaurants. Merivale’s own iconic dim sum restaurant, Mr Wong is a great choice for a dining experience like no other. 

Sydney’s tram network runs out the front of The Establishment Hotel and Circular Quay, Botanical Gardens and The Queen Victoria Building are all walking distance. Get lost at night uncovering Sydney’s hidden wine bars and cocktail joints down the myriad of laneways nearby.

A street sign saying George Street

Ovolo Woolloomooloo

Ovolo Woolloomooloo might have the hardest name to spell on the list, but it makes up for it with its exceptionally luxurious accommodation. Lovers of converted warehouses will love this boutique property with its industrial chic fitout.

Located in a quiet pocket on the city outskirts, Ovolo Woolloomooloo is a stone’s throw from the Royal Botanic Gardens – a perfect Sydney picnic location – and a short walk to the Sydney Opera House.

The rooms are spacious and light with gym access and sundowner drinks available to guests.


The Royal Botanic Garden

Watson’s Bay Boutique Hotel

A day trip to Watson’s Bay is a rite of passage for any visit to Sydney. To extend out that trip a little longer, why not book a room at the boutique Watson’s Bay Boutique Hotel? This spectacular hotel features waterfront views and is connected to the gorgeous Watson’s Bay Hotel pub where Sydneysiders flock in summer to enjoy Aperol Spritz and seafood in the sun. 

The sunsets here are second to none and the coastal walks in the area are picturesque and lovely.

This hotel is a winner of the 2020 Traveller’s Choice Awards from Trip Advisor, so it seems I’m not the only one who thinks its an awesome place to stay. 

Striped umbrellas and crowds at Watsons Bay Hotel

Tandara at Lane Cove National Park

Just 10 kilometres outside the CBD of Sydney lies the quiet natural paradise that is Lane Cove National Park. Venturing north of the Harbour Bridge holds many surprises and one particular one is the beautiful glamping Tandara experience in amongst the Australian wildlife and the Lane Cove River.

Tandara costs $250 per night and is attached (but set apart) from the Lane Cove Holiday Park where more budget-friendly and family accommodation can be accessed.

The Tandara experience also comes with an inbuilt ensuite, so it is definitely a step up from the usual camping experience.

Boats on the Lane Cove River

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Where to stay in Sydney - Emma Jane Explores
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