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Sydney Harbour YHA
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Reviews (1,139)
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All reviewsrooftop terracearchaeological digopera houseyouth hostelbig digprivate bathroomgreat locationsydney harbourbunk bedsfemale dormcommunal kitchenshared roomfamily roomcommon areason the rockscircular quay stationcruise ship
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Reviewed 26 June 2014

To be very frank, I have always been used to staying at hotels, be it cheap or five star so this was the first time I ever stayed at a hostel and didn't know quite what to expect. From all the other reviews, this YHA seemed to be very highly reviewed and central so I thought I would give it a shot.

Location wise, this is situated in The Rocks district and right by the Harbour Bridge. What you should know is that this isn't the most convenient of locations in Sydney, with the train station at Circular Quay about a 15 min uphill walk away. The Wynyard station is the better bet but still about 10-20min walk away. The times do not seem like much, but can be significant when you have a ton of luggage with you. As others have mentioned, the views on the roof can be quite nice as you have a panaroma including the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.

I stayed in a 4 person mixed shared room and it was spartan (expected) and clean. There are large lockers or each bed and a highly convenient outlet on the walk next to each bed. The bathroom is ensuite and there are a couple other public bathrooms on the first floor. There is a common room with couches, tables, and chairs as well as a kitchen for everyone's usage.

One of the downsides that I found was that there weren't very many activities to encourage socializing, despite a bbq night or make-your-own pancakes, I think they could do a better job organizing some group events outside of the hostel. Overall though (after staying at a different backpacker's lodge later on on my trip), this YHA was quite solid.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
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Thank gnowad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
YHA_Backpacker, Public Relations Manager at Sydney Harbour YHA, responded to this reviewResponded 30 June 2014

Hi Gnowad
Thanks for your review and glad you enjoyed the hostel.
There is at least one activity a day at the YHA for guests - usually in the early evening as that's when most people are around. The idea is to have something which give guests the chance to meet other guests, but then leaves people free to continue socialising after the activity.
We've just added a large big noticeboard beside the lift to help spread the word of what's on to guests.

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Reviewed 25 June 2014

Loved our stay here. We stayed in a private, ensuite room. We had great views of the harbor and light show; it was in walking distance to wherever we needed to go, especially the Opera House and ferries. The staff was kind and helpful. Their $7 breakfasts were ample and included any kind of coffee you wanted (or tea). Could not find a better deal for this area. We had friends 2 doors down the street at the Shangra-La and they paid 3x the price and came running over to this hostel for breakfast because they could get what they wanted for a whole lot less.

Also the hostel is in an archeological dig area with plexiglass floor over the site and had many displays of the artifacts dug up. This was indeed a unique hostel.

Room Tip: Get one with a view of the harbor.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank lfodea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2014

I love history and could not believe that this building had the foundations/excavations of the original Sydney buildings in their reception. This was just my ultimate dream. Add to that the view I had of Sydney Opera House (just) and The Rocks and I was in heaven from the minute I arrived. I did upgrade after the horrendous experiences I had at other hostels on my trip which made it really expensive for a solo traveller. I had obviously discarded a single room on my initial booking because of the cost but I was so glad I did it in the end. Would I go back? I have absolutely no complaints about my stay, everyone was fantastic. I would love to go back however the cost is an issue but maybe it is relative to the cost of hotels in the area which I haven't checked out. Perhaps it would be better for families or friends in a shared room. But I would want to stay in The Rocks again and I get the feeling it isn't cheap here. For the first time on my tour - I really, really want to come back.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled solo
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Thank Carole R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
YHA_Backpacker, Public Relations Manager at Sydney Harbour YHA, responded to this reviewResponded 25 June 2014

Hi Carole
Thanks for your lovely review and delighted that you enjoyed your stay. The Rocks is the priciest area for accommodation in Sydney and hotel rooms are upward of $250 per night. The YHA is the only hostel in this part of Sydney.
Sorry you had bad experiences in other places in Australia, but hope to welcome you back to a YHA another time.

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Reviewed 24 June 2014

Sydney Harbour YHA is a clean, standard Youth Hostel, the staff are helpful and the place is lively without being overly loud/crazy. Beds are comfortable and while it is pricier then most Aus YHA's it is still pretty reasonable. Location is splendid, smack in the rocks and then there is the view..... the roof terrace has the most fantastic view across the harbour and the opera house. Made even better for us as we were there during the vivid Sydney light festival, Wow totally worth it for the view alone!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank RebekkavandenBos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2014

This was my third stay here and I was as impressed this time as I was before. The prices of the rooms are excellent, we paid $180 for a family of 5 with bathroom, which would be double any where else, (if you could find a room for 5 elsewhere). We were with a big family group for a reunion, and what a great way to do it. Affordable for everyone and excellent location. Everyone enjoyed the roof top, with amazing views over the harbour, and you are right there to stroll around The Rocks for markets, pubs or cafés or walk down to Circular Quay to catch a ferry. Location doesn't get better in Sydney. And all rooms basic but really clean and quite spacious.

  • Stayed: June 2014
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1  Thank leylondbros
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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