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Where to stay in Sydney – a travel guide to Sydney’s neighbourhoods

Find a place to stay

There are Sydney hotels in the city centre, in 24-hour party precincts and on quiet residential streets. This neighbourhood guide will help you choose where to stay in Sydney.

The Rocks

Peering over Circular Quay’s bobbing ferries to the Opera House, The Rocks is where to stay in Sydney’s city centre to catch a glimpse of its colonial past. Restored warehouses and Georgian buildings line the narrow streets, marking the site of the colony’s first settlement in 1788. George Street winds under the pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the gardens of Lower Fort Street and Hickson Road, leading to Darling Harbour. There’s always something happening in The Rocks, with Sydney’s oldest house on the waterfront at Cadman’s Cottage, the Museum of Contemporary Art nearby, historic pubs on every corner, souvenir shops and weekend market stalls.

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Darling Harbour

Sydney’s revamped docklands precinct is south of the Harbour Bridge headland and Millers Point. Choosing a Sydney hotel in Darling Harbour puts you in the heart of the city’s entertainment hub, with waterfront restaurants and cafés at Cockle Bay and King Street Wharf, shopping at Harbourside, dolphins and sharks at Sydney Aquarium and quiet contemplation in the Chinese Garden at Tumbalong Park. The monorail is a fun way to reach the restaurants and food courts of nearby Chinatown, or you can catch a ferry sailing east to Circular Quay.

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Kings Cross

Kings Cross is east of Circular Quay, past the Royal Botanic Gardens headland and Woolloomooloo. Sydney’s 24-hour party people head here for late-night dancing and drinks at clubs and bars on Darlinghurst Road. For a quieter alternative, follow this main street north a little and it transforms into Macleay Street in affluent Potts Point. A quiet, tree-lined enclave of Art Deco apartment buildings and luxury shops, Potts Point has some of Sydney’s most stylish French and Italian cafés and sophisticated bars.

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Paddington

South of Kings Cross run the hilly backstreets of Paddington, lined with gentrified workers’ cottages, terraced houses with wrought-iron lace balconies and some of Sydney’s best local pubs. The main street, Oxford Street, is a nonstop parade of fashion and lifestyle stores, and the ever-popular Saturday markets held here feature locally made handicrafts and clothes. Buses run along Oxford Street to the beaches at Bondi and Coogee or west to Circular Quay, and the quiet residential streets of upmarket Woollahra are next door. 

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Bondi Beach

On the South Pacific coast 7km from the city centre, Bondi is Sydney’s favourite surf, swimming and sunbathing beach. The long golden sands run in a sweeping arc mirrored by Campbell Parade, lined with surf shops, cafés, bars and restaurants. It’s a lively part of town day and night, especially at weekends, and if the pace gets too fast there are quieter beaches at BronteClovelly and Coogee further south, with protected seabaths for family-friendly bathing. A little inland, Bondi Junction is the area’s traffic hot spot for trains and buses, with the huge Westfield shopping centre catering for all shopping tastes, from Chanel to Quiksilver surf gear. 

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