Like many tourist hotspots around the world, Sydney – though beautiful – can be a bit tough on the 'ole travel wallet.
While fancy hotels are fun (and there are some great ones around), if you’re looking to spend your pennies on activities rather than accommodation, a backpacker’s hostel could be your best bet.
To make sure you don’t miss out, we’ve rounded up some of Sydney’s best backpackers (and if you’re coming for summer – we’d recommend booking sooner rather than later).
Sydney Harbour YHA
Price: From A$38 per person
Where: 110 Cumberland Street, The Rocks
Why: For those wanting to stay in the buzzy (yet touristy) are of The Rocks, Sydney Harbour YHA is pretty much your only budget option.
The site of the first European settlement in Australia, The Rocks has loads of historical value (the hostel itself is built above archaeological remnants of colonial Sydney) as well as superb harbour views, one of the best pub crawls in town and infamous New Year’s Eve celebrations.
It’s a good spot from which to explore Sydney, with ferries and the Circular Quay train station on your doorstep, and includes other perks such as a self-catering kitchen, free guest WiFi, an on-site grocery store and, critically, a rooftop terrace with a cracking view.
Eva's Backpackers Hostel
Price: From A$31 per person per night
Where: 6-8 Orwell Street, Kings Cross
Why: Those who want to get their party on will no doubt want to check out Kings Cross (go on a Saturday night at your own peril), but at the same time, you probably don't want to stay at a place where sleep is impossible.
According to Lonely Planet, Eva's ticks all the boxes, as well as providing new free 24-hour WiFi along with free breakfasts, 24-hour security services, luggage storage facilities and, of course, an excellent rooftop barbecue area.
Travellers will also find Kings Cross a great destination to access much of the rest of the city, with a train station and plenty of bus routes operating in the area.
Sydney Beachouse, YHA
Price: From A$39 per person per night
Where: 4 Collaroy Street, Collaroy Beach
Why: BEACH TIME! The Sydney Beachouse YHA is a mere 50 metres away from Collaroy Beach, meaning those who want to relax in the sun or learn to surf can look no further.
If the ocean isn't your thing, take a dip in the rooftop pool (complete with BBQ deck), hire a bike to explore the nearby Narrabeen Lakes or chill in the Foxtel-equipped TV room.
Sydney Beachouse is the perfect launchpad from which to explore the Northern Beaches, but for those thinking of heading into the city each day, you might want to think again. By road, you'll have to schlep over not one, but two bridges to get into the CBD and train lines aren't existent.
Then again... why would you want to go anywhere else?
Price: From A$38 per person per night
Where: 28 Chalmers Street, Sydney
Why: Voted 'Best Hostel in Australia' and 'Most Popular Hostel in Sydney' at the 2014 HostelWorld.com Hoscar Awards, Bounce Sydney must be doing something right.
Located opposite Central Station -- it doesn't really get more central than this.
The hostel boasts of air conditioning in every room (handy for the Sydney summer), three lounge areas and (we're sensing a running theme here) -- a rooftop terrace with barbecues and a city skyline view.
WiFi is available -- but not included -- and despite being in the middle of Sydney, it appears nature lovers can still get acquainted with the locals...
Price: From A$21 per person per night
Where: 141 William Street, Darlinghurst
Why: Aussies, keep on walking. This laid-back hostel accepts international passports only (for travelers aged between 18 - 35) and is conveniently located between Kings Cross and the city.
It provides free unlimited 24-hour WiFi as well as a free continental breakfast, free airport shuttle service (for guest staying four nights or more) and, of course, a rooftop terrace with views of the city skyline.
Bondi Beachouse YHA
Price: From A$26 per person per night
Where: Corner Fletcher and Dellview Street, Bondi Beach
Why: Fact -- you can't say you've been to Sydney without checking out its most famous beach.
In terms of facilities, Bondi Beachouse offers free WiFi, 24 hour reception and security, airport transfers and -- wait for it, killer views from the rooftop terrace.
It also has surfboards to hire as well as a host of free beach gear including snorkeling equipment, body boards, cricket gear, beach volleyball and footy and soccer equipment.
Keep in mind it's almost too easy to get 'trapped' in the Bondi bubble. With so many cafes, bars, restaurants and great shops -- you may never want to leave.
This story was originally published on 26 August, 2015.