Best Place to stay in Sydney Australia
Many people are surprised when they arrive in Sydney to find it’s a large, cosmopolitan city. Make a poor choice of hotel, and you could spend your vacation lost in suburbia, a very long way from where the action is!
The main sights in Sydney are either on the coast, or in the CBD. So it’s best to stay close to the city or in a beach suburb – otherwise you'll waste too much time travelling.
Unfortunately, staying in the CBD is ridiculously expensive, unless you're happy with a backpacker hostel or YHA (the backpacker hostels vary a lot in quality and standards, so do Google them before you book!).
Is Bondi Best?
Most visitors to Australia want to see the sun and sand. So while Sydney's Eastern Suburbs are the most expensive, they're also the place most tourists prefer.
Bondi is the most famous beach, but in my opinion, Coogee is better value: it has a great vibe, lots of cafes and restaurants, a long sandy beach to rival Bondi's - and an express bus to the city.
You can save money by staying a little away from the coast, in Randwick, Kensington or Kingsford – the beaches are a short bus ride or walk, and there's good bus transport to town.
Other great beaches - less well-known outside Australia - can be found to the North. Surfers will hotly dispute which Sydney beaches offer the best surf, but my surfer friends all seem to live in the Northern Beaches at Curl Curl, Narrabeen, Dee Why or Palm Beach (where the soapie Home and Away is filmed). Getting to other parts of Sydney from these suburbs is an absolute pain in the neck as there's no train line - but if you're a surfer, you may never leave the beach!
A compromise is to stay in Manly, which is on the North Shore but serviced by a regular ferry service across the Harbor. It has the best of both worlds - a quiet Harbour beach and an ocean surfing beach, plus plenty of restaurants and cafes.
If you’re not a beach bunny, then you'll find it cheaper to book accommodation to the west of the city, away from the beaches - but don't go too far!
The Western Suburbs are where most Sydneysiders live and bring up their kids, but they're not really suitable for holidaymakers - you're likely to find yourself in suburbia, with limited options for dining out and entertainment, and poor public transport.
Stay closer to the CBD, though, is a good value-for-money vacation choice - because the Inner West is where the young and trendy live, so most Inner West suburbs have good nightlife and great eateries. There are buses to the city and you're close enough to town that a taxi fare won't be astronomical.
The Inner West starts around Five Dock/Concord and extends towards the city, as far as Glebe. My favourite inner west suburb is Leichhardt, which is historically the Italian quarter of Sydney and still has a strong Italian influence, reflected in the quality of the coffee and cakes. If you like Portuguese food, go for Petersham - you'll be in heaven! Glebe and Newtown have an "alternative" feel.
There's something for everyone in Sydney!
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- North Bondi RSL Webcam
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- Sydney - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- New South Wales and Sydney Holidays, Visit NSW
Tourism New South Wales official State tourist site. Includes tours, events and accommodation plus maps of major highways and tourist routes.
- Sydney Accommodation - Sydney Hotels, Tours & Holidays
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