Sleeping Like a Local at Sydney Central YHA

Sleeping Like a Local at Sydney Central YHA

I enjoyed my stay in #Sydney during the spring! Nice #foodanddrink and plenty of #relaxation in the hostel I have chosen. Fortunately it was one of the best in the area and I would have only changed small details.


Returning to Sydney was an odd sensation, as I spent over six months living there in 2011, riding the train to work everyday past the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. This time around, I did something I never did back then: I stayed at a hostel in Sydney. I was lucky enough to be able to stay with someone when I first arrived, avoiding the mess of finding a place to sleep. And in case you didn’t know, Sydney has a lot of hostels, but most are not very nice.

from  $132

Hotel Sydney Central Yha

 11 Rawson Place, Sydney, NSW, Australia
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Since Sydney is the first point of entry into Australia for most travelers and working holidaymakers, many people end up staying in hostels long term until they find a more permanent arrangement. This makes for a rather uncomfortable experience for those who are first arriving. The long termers have an established group of friends and may have taken over the dorm space as such. Thankfully, Sydney Central YHA is not one of these types of hostels.

View from the Rooftop
View from the Rooftop
Front Desk
Front Desk

Sydney Central YHA is, as the name implies, centrally located, only steps from Central Station, where the buses and trains come in, and a short (free) bus ride away from all the touristy goodness of Circular Quay. I was glad to finally check out this hostel that I’d walked past hundreds of times. As my sister and I were just arriving, we stayed in a private room, where we were able to sleep through our jetlag. It included 2 twin beds with sheets and towels and an ensuite bathroom.

The property also has 556 beds, which is a mix of private rooms and dorms, which all have plenty of outlets and reading lights. Hallway bathrooms are available throughout the floor, making this hostel popular with tour and school groups. There are also 2 kitchens, a rooftop pool and sauna, a cinema, book exchange, computers, 3 lounges, a café, storage lockers for hire, a tour desk and friendly 24 hour reception. Sydney Central YHA is also located in a historic building and is above ScuBar, the city’s best backpacker bar, which is home to Monday night crab racing and other specials throughout the week.

  ScuBar, the city’s best backpacker bar, which is home to Monday night crab racing and other specials throughout the week.  
Private room at Sydney Central YHA
Private room at Sydney Central YHA

I stayed at a few YHA properties throughout my time in Australia and each was unique. Some of their hostels are rather clinical and dull, like my experiences at the Canberra and Coffs Harbour hostels, but others are steeped in history, like all of the Sydney properties. I also had great visits to the Newcastle YHA, set in an old hospital, and the Bungalow Bay Koala Village YHA, which has its own wildlife park. The YHA hostels have their own grading system, which ranges from wilderness, which are not much more than campgrounds, to 5, which are more like hotels with bunk options. Central is one of those rated with a 5.

There was so much to love about my four days at the YHA, starting with the kitchen. I’ve stayed in a number of large hostels that cater to groups where there wasn’t enough cooking space for the number of people. One group would overtake the kitchen and you wouldn’t be able to prepare a meal until they were done. The two kitchens were a great solution here at Central. I also enjoyed watching About Time in the hostel cinema, which plays movies at 10:30 am and 8 pm. I paid $10 for 3 days of WiFi, which turned out to be cheap in comparison with my hostel in Melbourne, at a steep $10 per day.

  There was so much to love about my four days at the YHA  
Rooftop pool and sauna
Rooftop pool and sauna

The only things I would change were small details. Since the internet is run through Global Gossip, you have a card number and pin to enter into your device that bypasses its firewall. It’s possible to use your WiFi on two devices, my iPhone and laptop in my case, but you have to go about logging out of one and logging into another, entering in a long numbered password each time. It became a bit annoying, but was doable, especially as the connection was good once logged in. The air conditioning is also on some sort of timer and didn’t have controls in the rooms, so it got fairly hot when we were trying to go to sleep at night. And it can be a bit overwhelming when there are large groups of school children (we’re talking maybe 10-12 year olds) take over. But otherwise, I was glad to be at Central.

   I was glad to be at Central.  

I will be the first to admit that the Sydney Central YHA is not the cheapest hostel in Sydney, but it is the best value. If you are only looking for a place to crash for the lowest possible cost, look elsewhere, namely World Square or King’s Cross. Sydney Central YHA has the best amenities for your money. And even if you don’t want to stay near Central, I urge you to check out one of the other Sydney YHAs, including those in The Rocks, Glebe, Bondi, Cronulla and Wollongong.

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