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About Sydney

People wax lyrical about Sydney's colours: the shimmering green-blue of the harbour with its white sails, the bright blue of the sky, the yellow of the beaches and the golden shade of sunshine which turn skin the same colour. Sydney is more than just a glorious picture, it bursts with energy and flavours just as intense as the colours.

The best places to stay in Sydney reflect this town's cosmopolitan nature, there's plenty of fusion food and fashionable decor, but they're pretty laid-back by international standards. You'll find them dotted throughout the city, from the harbour to the CBD (Central Business District) to Bondi and the North Shore.

Where to Stay?

  • If you want to be right on the harbour then there's nowhere better to stay than Circular Quay or The Rocks. You'll be right in the centre of a host of bars, cafes and restaurants, while also being within walking distance to many of Sydney's highlights. And if you can't walk there you'll be able to catch the fantastic ferry, or the train.
  • Glorious Watson's Bay is also on the harbour, as is Manly, but if you chose to stay in either of these locations you'll need to travel in to see the rest of Sydney - they're great places to consider, though, especially if you prefer things a bit quieter.
  • If you're looking for great value try Darlinghurst - especially if you see yourself being out after dark a lot.
  • Or you could even try that old beach classic Bondi: it's an oldie but a goodie.

What not to Miss

For a lot of travellers, Sydney is a long journey, but its myriad of appeals, from proximity to great beaches, a lush wine region, the breathtaking views of the Blue Mountains and all the sports, arts, cuisine and culture packed into the city proper, make the journey well worth it.

  • Most visitors can't resist the harbour's call for much longer than it takes to unpack their luggage, and there are a number of ways to enjoy it. Don't miss a jaunt across to Manly, less than an hour on the ferry, once the 'summer retreat' of Sydney's fashionable set, or a ferry ride to Taronga Zoo, one of the world's most spectacularly located zoos.
  • The Inner Harbour's treasures - the bridge, the Opera House, the botanical gardens and the Rocks - are an exceptional spot to stroll around. The bustle and excitement of the fish markets - and of course the promise of a fantastically fresh seafood lunch - are unmissable.
  • While the fame of Bondi makes it irresistible to many, this whole stretch of coast, from Bondi to Coogee Beach, is worth a wander, if you have the time. Bondi's Sunday markets add an extra appeal.
  • If you fancy a spot of shopping it's also worth checking out upmarket Paddington which has its own Sunday markets too.
  • Sydney also promises a wealth of day trips, to the Hunter Valley for a wine tasting, the Blue Mountains for some bushwalking or caving, or Byron Bay or Palm Beach for some quieter, more spectacular beaches.

With such a wealth of sites in the area this is a popular destination so to be sure of your reservation in one of the best places to stay in Sydney, do make plans and book early.

The Best Places to Stay in Sydney

On the Harbour

  • Sydney's Park Hyatt is a five star luxury classic in a fantastic spot at the end of Circular Quay beside the bridge and opposite the Opera House. As well as opulent decor and a range of room styles, the Park Hyatt has a heated rooftop pool and fully equipped gym and spa.
  • BLUE Sydney is a collection of rooms and loft-style suites just off the pier at Woolloomooloo. As well as being on the harbour, you're right by the Botanical Gardens, around the point from the Opera House surrounded by hip eateries and bars.
  • Ovolo Woolloomooloo shares the location on the old Finger Wharf, but is larger, with 100 rooms in spacious proportions. Cool and contemporary this is a great spot.
  • The Shangri-La Hotel towers over Sydney, offering magnificent views over the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Darling Harbour. A modern luxury classic, this is a the kind of large hotel to meet all your needs and more.
  • The Watson’s Bay Boutique Hotel is right on the beach at Watson’s Bay and offers panoramic harbour views and a lively yacht club atmosphere. Each of the 31 rooms has a unique, beachside feel and the bar and restaurant are local hotspots.

In Darlinghurst

  • The Medusa in Darlinghurst is a small boutique hotel converted from one of Sydney's charming city terraced townhouses. Darlinghurst is a great spot for restaurants, bars and nightlife, and you'll feel suitably hip and colourful retiring to your room.
  • ADGE Apartment Hotel in Darlinghurst offers 12 stylish, self-catering apartments within an easy stroll of all the city's highlights. Each apartment has its own balcony with great views, and top of the range kitchen appliances.

In Bondi

  • For under £100 per night you can also stay at the Dive Hotel in Coogee, just around the headland from Bondi. There are 16 simple rooms with great ocean views, plus a communal dining room where breakfast is served. Great if you want surf or try surfing.

In Manly

  • Surrounded by bush, Manly’s Q Station has been converted from an old quarantine station and is a collection of private cottages and rooms and suites in a larger block. There’s a private beach, two restaurants and a shuttle to Sydney harbour.

In The Rocks

  • Pier One, on Walsh Bay, is right by one of the pillars of the Harbour Bridge, a large and luxurious hotel with spectacular harbour views and slick, nautical decor.
  • Rendezvous Hotels Sydney, The Rocks is a collection of chic rooms, suites and apartments converted into a chic design hotel. You overlook the Opera House from the pool and hotel tub, plus there’s a sauna and fitness centre.
  • The Langham, Sydney is elegant and luxurious and well located. You’ve a choice of dining and drinking options in house, plus a fitness suite and a pool.

For A city Break

  • The Westin is a big brand hotel in a beautiful building in a great location and the service is always excellent. There are 416 rooms and suites - many with great city views - a great restaurant and bar and the option in-room spa treatments.

For families

  • The Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour is a luxurious collection of self catering apartments right on Circular Quay. The fully equipped kitchens and laundry facilities make this a perfect - and memorable - spot for families. There's a pool, gym, restaurant, bar and even childcare facilities.
  • ADGE Apartment Hotel in Darlinghurst offers 12 stylish, self-catering apartments within an easy stroll of all the city's highlights. Each apartment has its own balcony with great views and top of the range kitchen appliances.
  • Surrounded by bush, Manly’s Q Station has been converted from an old quarantine station and is a collection of private cottages and rooms and suites in a larger block. There’s a private beach, two restaurants and a shuttle to Sydney harbour.

For boutique chic

  • The Medusa in Darlinghurst is a small boutique hotel converted from one of Sydney's charming city terraced townhouses. Darlinghurst is a great spot for restaurants, bars and nightlife. You'll feel suitably hip and colourful retiring to your room.
  • QT Sydney is another historic building housing a hip and quirky boutique hotel. QT is right in the heart of town, surrounded by boutiques and offices. You're also close to transport links to everywhere you might want to visit.

Hip Havens

  • The Old Clare has been converted from a brewery, now a design hotel with a rooftop pool, an art gallery, two excellent restaurants, 62 ‘urban chic’ rooms and a hip bar.
  • Sydney's Establishment is best known for having its own nightclub, several bars and three onsite restaurants, popular with Sydney's city crowd. Above that are 31 large, boutique style rooms.

Great Guesthouses and B&Bs

  • Simpsons of Potts Point is in a great location just around the headland from the harbour, in a beautiful residential area. The guesthouse occupies a 19th century Arts and Crafts style property and has 12 spacious rooms and is close to restaurants and bars.

For Great Value

  • Hotel 1888 in Pyrmont is a great value boutique hotel with thoroughly modern decor inside a building built in 1888, which is only 100 years after Cook first spied Australia. Rooms start from under £100 per night.
  • For under £100 per night you can also stay at the Dive Hotel in Coogee, just around the headland from Bondi. There are 16 simple rooms with great ocean views, plus a communal dining room where breakfast is served. Great if you want surf or try surfing.

For an Apartment or villa

If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or private villa we recommend you visit our online partner booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Considering Sydney’s size, and the size of Sydney Airport, it’s located quite close to the centre of town in Mascot - about eight kilometres from the harbour. There are plenty of taxis available and an easy rail connection into town.
  • If you want to hire a car - which we highly recommend if you’re staying in Sydney and you want to see more of New south Wales - we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.
  • Sydney is known for its great weather. Depending on exactly how hot you like things, you might prefer not to visit around Christmas, when it’s at its hottest - though it is a dry heat, and the breeze off the harbour does make it bearable in the centre of town. Between June and August it’s cooler, but still sunny. The best deals and availability tend to be during the shoulder seasons between March and May and September through November. But this city really does have great weather almost all year round.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Sydney

  • Hotel 1888 90 rooms from £98

    Sydney (Pyrmont)

    This hotel is situated in a heritage listed building created in 1888, hence it's name. A thoroughly modern boutique hotel which offers luxury, comfort and style in abundance. Centrally located in Pyrmont, a stay in 1888 is unbeatable value for a city break in Sydney.

    Sights nearby  -  Five minutes walk to Darling Harbour, and a 20 minute bus ride to The Rocks and Circular Quay for views of Sydney Harbour
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Lively area  -  In the thick of the action.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet, Fodors
    Check prices
  • Dive Hotel 16 rooms from £99

    Sydney (Coogee)

    A boutique hotel on the beach with some great ocean views. Rooms are simple and clean, some with private balconies. Breakfast served daily in the communal dining area. Just a bus ride from the city centre and a short walk to some good restaurants and cafes - this is a good spot for local exploring.

    Close to nightlife  -  Near to bars and restaurants on the beach
    Surfing  -  Let's Go Surfing - Surf School nearby
    Golf  -  Five outstanding golf courses nearby.
    Riding  -  On offer in Centennial Park
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
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  • Q Station 82 rooms from £108

    Sydney (Manly)

    An old Quarantine Station which has been completely renovated to offer comfortable modern bedrooms, private cottages and two fantastic restaurants. With a private beach and shuttle to Sydney Harbour - this is great for families or wedding parties looking for something completely unique.

    Sights nearby  -  Get the Ecohopper to Sydney Harbour
    Surfing  -  Learn to surf at Manly Beach
    Great walks  -  Sydney coast walks
    On the beach  -  Private Beach
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  • QT Sydney 200 rooms from £122

    Sydney

    Quirky restoration of historic building ensures a stunning setting for this hip boutique hotel with day Spa in the city's CBD. Funky decor and super soft beds make for a colourful and unforgettable stay.

    Spa  -  spaQ offers treatments including facials, beauty treatments, haircutting and massages
    Sights nearby  -  Centrally located in the CBD close to the Botanic Gardens and Circular Quay
    Lively area  -  In the thick of the action.
    Quirky  -  An experience!
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Fodors, Mr & Mrs Smith
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  • Simpsons of Potts Point 12 rooms from £139

    Sydney (Potts Point)

    19th-century Arts & Crafts Hotel offering spacious yet cosy accommodation in the heart of Sydney. Enjoy breakfast in the conservatory and a complimentary evening sherry in the games room. Walking distance from hundreds of restaurants, this is an elegant guest house in a prime location.

    Sights nearby  -  Sydney Opera House
    Full of character
    Traditional
    Recommended by  -  Fodors
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  • Watson's Bay Boutique Hotel 31 rooms from £154

    Sydney (Watsons Bay)

    On the beach and recently restored, this hotel boasts panoramic views of Sydney Harbour and a lively Yacht Club atmosphere. Each of the rooms has a unique beachside feel. The hotel Beach Club bar is a local hotspot, serving cocktails and quality seafood. A real vibrant seaside atmosphere.

    Views  -  Panoramic views of Sydney Harbour
    Sights nearby  -  Shakespeare by the Bay Evenings (seasonal)
    Great walks  -  The coastal walk along The Gap
    Full of character
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  • The Medusa 18 rooms from £167

    Sydney (Darlinghurst)

    This beautifully furnished boutique hotel is housed in a converted city townhouse to brilliantly blend old and new. Location in the heart of Darlinghurst, Sydney's vibrant restaurant district, makes it ideal for foodies. Dogs are welcome too.

    Sights nearby  -  Close to historic St John's Church, The Garvan Institute and local cafes and shops. Within easy access of the Surry Hills.
    Full of character  -  Ecletic mix of old and new features
    Swimming Pool  -  Situated in outside courtyard
    Lively area  -  In the thick of the action.
    Recommended by  -  Fodors, Tablet
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  • The Old Clare 62 rooms from £192

    Sydney (NSW)

    A converted brewery that's unquestionably cool. Featuring a rooftop pool, hip bar, art gallery and two excellent restaurants there's plenty to keep busy with in-house. The rooms shout out urban chic with exposed stone, contemporary bathrooms and all the mod-cons. A hard one to beat.

    City Style  -  An achingly hip hotel made for design junkies.
    Local markets  -  Head to the Brewery Yard Markets on the first and third Sunday of the month.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Mr & Mrs Smith
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  • Establishment 31 rooms from £197

    Sydney

    Luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Sydney's CBD. Large double rooms, three restaurants, numerous bars, and even an onsite club make this one of the hippest places to stay in the city.

    Sights nearby  -  Within walking distance to the Opera House, Botanic Gardens and Art Gallery of NSW
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Tablet, Mr & Mrs Smith
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  • Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney 563 rooms from £153

    Sydney (The Rocks)

    This luxury hotel is situated in the heart of Sydney Harbour, and offers large contemporary rooms with magnificent views. Childcare services, a fitness centre, spa and award-winning restaurant make it ideal for a relaxing city break.

    Sights nearby  -  Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Darling Harbour only five minutes' walk away
    Spa  -  With hot tub
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
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  • Pier One 189 rooms from £154

    Sydney (Walsh Bay)

    Situated next to the Harbour Bridge, this luxury hotel is built on a private pontoon with spectacular views across Sydney Harbour. Slick nautical decor inside completes the look. Enjoy top Australian cuisine at the restaurant.

    Sights nearby  -  Twenty minutes' walk to the Opera House and Botanic Gardens
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
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  • The Westin 416 rooms from £155

    Sydney

    Comfort and chic contemporary style come together in this centrally located luxury hotel. Big rooms with city views, plus a restaurant and fully stocked bar on site. Re-energise with in-room spa treatments.

    Sights nearby  -  Within walking distance of Opera House, Darling Harbour and Art Gallery of NSW
    Spa  -  In-room treatments available
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  • ADGE Apartment Hotel 12 rooms from £156

    Sydney (Surry Hills)

    Top of the range kitchen appliances and ensuite rooms ensure self-catering in Sydney has never been so simple and stylish. Each apartment has a personal balcony to take in the central sites of the city, six minutes drive to Sydney Harbour.

    Sights nearby  -  Within easy walking distance to Sydney Harbour, Hyde Park and the CBD
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  • Rendezvous Hotels Sydney The Rocks 61 rooms from £211

    Sydney

    Georgian restoration meets modern design, in the heart of Sydney's Rock District. Chic self catering apartments and bedrooms overlooking the Opera House, with a swimming pool, hot tub, sauna and fitness center. A bustling area with plenty of local restaurants and bars.

    City Style  -  Mismatch of chic modern and restored Georgian architecture, surrounded by bars & galleries with views of the iconic Opera House.
    Great walks  -  The nearby Royal Botanic Gardens are well worth checking out for their extensive range of flora.
    Sights nearby  -  Just a few minutes walk to Sydney's world famous Opera House.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
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  • Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour 65 rooms from £225

    Sydney

    Family friendly luxury self-catering apartments with fully equipped kitchen and laundry facilities. Situated just metres from the Opera House, the building also boasts an indoor pool, gym, restaurant and bar, plus child care services.

    Sights nearby  -  Located by Botanic Gardens and Opera House, plus city centre half a kilometer away
    Views  -  Out to the Sydney Opera House
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor
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  • Ovolo Woolloomooloo 100 rooms from £248

    Sydney (New South Wales)

    A hip industrial property running the length of the Finger Wharf. An impressive lobby and lounge are of epic proportions. Rooms are equally spacious with all the mod cons and cool contemporary style. Perfectly located just minutes from some of Sydney's best sights and eateries. Superb.

    Local exploring  -  Boasting an enviable location right in the heart of Sydney Harbour and with many sights just a short walk away.
    Great walks  -  The hotel is located just 2 minutes from the picturesque Royal Botanical Gardens.
    Sights nearby  -  Make a trip to the nearby St Mary's Cathedral.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Recommended by  -  Kiwi Collection
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  • BLUE Sydney 100 rooms from £222

    Sydney (Woolloomooloo)

    Centrally located chic hotel with stunning views across Sydney Harbour. Loft suites available. Next to the Botanical Gardens. Family-friendly with ultra-modern facilities including an indoor pool and fitness centre.

    Sights nearby  -  Short walk to Botanical Gardens, Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Pitt Street Mall
    Lively area  -  Central city location
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Fodors
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  • The Langham Sydney 100 rooms from £330

    Sydney

    The Langham is a luxury downtown hotel situated in the heart of The Rocks district. Elegant, magnificently furnished bedrooms with views of Sydney Harbour and the city skyline. A fitness suite and swimming pool are on offer as well as a number of dining areas and cocktail lounges.

    City Style  -  Palatial immaculately decorated suites, wonderful French cuisine and Sydney's favourite bar- all overlooking the harbour.
    Total relaxation  -  Unwind in style with unbeatable service, state of the art spa, hot tub, pool and sauna.
    Great walks  -  Perfectly placed for exploring the quaint sandstone cottages and colonial era pubs and churches of The Rocks.
    Sights nearby  -  A must for any visitor is the incredible Sydney Observatory, just a few minutes away.
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  • Park Hyatt Sydney 155 rooms from £524

    Sydney (The Rocks)

    Five star luxury at its best, with an unbeatable location between Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. This opulent hotel, rooms in rich chocolate, cream and beige hues will not disappoint. Enjoy private balconies and dining rooms, plus a fully equipped gym and spa.

    Sights nearby  -  Located at Sydney Harbour and close to Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, The Rocks, Bondi and Manly Beach
    Spa  -  The Spa facilities include a rooftop heated pool, a gym and a relaxation room
    Outstanding location
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
    Check prices