On the 11th of january 2017, I hopped on a train from Melbourne’s Southern Cross station and went to Sydney. The train was an overnight one and it took somewhere around 12 hours. It was easy to get the train because I could just walk to the station from my hostel, King Street Backpackers, and didn’t need to do any check-ins and could just walk to my hostel from the station in Sydney. But honestly don’t take the train, if you are going from Melbourne to Sydney, please fly. It only takes like 1-2 hours.
Sydney, the city everyone knows and desperately wants to visit to go surfing in Bondi and take a photo of the Opera House. Sydney is Australia’s biggest city with population approx. 5 million. It is one of those places you just have to visit.
When I got to Sydney, I got off from the train at Central Station. I had booked a hostel for three nights from the CBD, because I thought it was the easiest option for the first days; to get to know the city bit more and could easily walk to the hostel from the station.
I stayed in The Downing Hostel which is on Castlereagh Street. The location is quite good, but I didn’t really like it though because the area was really busy as it was in the CBD. The hostel itself is quite small and has few levels. On the ground you got this tiny space for reception and then you need to go up two or three levels and then you get to the kitchen and rooms. There is no aircon and it’s right in the CBD surrounded by tall buildings so during summer it gets really hot. On my first week being in Sydney it was 35 and more celsius degrees and everyone was just sweating in the hostel. I wouldn’t recommend staying there.
As I noticed that I didn’t like being in this hostel, I started to look for other hostels. I was also looking for work for accommodation positions in hostels since I was planning on going to New Zealand after Sydney so I could save up some money. As I went trough Hostelworld, I saw two hostels I liked; Secret Garden Backpackers and The Village Glebe. Secret Garden didn’t have any availability so I decided to go to The Village Glebe.
The hostel is located in the Glebe suburb and you need a bus to get anywhere basically. The closest supermarket (Coles) is 1,3 km away. The hostel is like a one big houseshare and I really liked it. They have aircon in rooms, comfy beds, lockers under your bed, clean rooms and good free breakfast. You get 500mb free WiFi when you check-in and after that you need to buy more. The outside area closes at 10pm and after that they have a security guard outside. So safe to say, the hostel is safe!
Glebe area itself is really nice. The hostel is located on Glebe Point Road which has a lot of different coffee shops ans restaurants. There is also Glebe Markets every saturday. I would recommend this place even though the WiFi is a minus.
As I was staying in Glebe Village, I got an email back that I could work for accommodation at the Secret Garden Backpackers. So I left the next day, 17th of january, and started working there right away.
Now, Sydney was the first place where I actually went alone without knowing anyone and I met one of the best people in this hostel. The atmosphere that this hostel has is so good that you want to stay longer right away. The beds are comfy, rooms clean, there’s big garden, two kitchens, free breakfast and free unlimited WiFi. But there is a lack of bathrooms and toilets as there is seven of both. The hostel is located in Redfern approx. 7 minute walk from the Central Station and right next to Prince Albert Park. You got Coles and Woolworths in opposite directions about a 10 minute walk away. In this hostel, I felt like home. I would highly recommend it!
Back to talking about Sydney. I would say that you can do Sydney in just few days to see the main places; Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Botanical Gardens, Two Rocks and Bondi Beach. All of them are close to each other only Bondi being further away from the others. You can walk to these spots or use public transport for which you’ll need Opal card that you can get from 7-eleven’s. If you’re on a budget, then walk, Sydney public transport is stupidly expensive.
If you have time, go and visit Manly and take the ferry there or/and back! Manly is located north from the CBD. It’s a nice beach side suburb with a relaxed holiday vibe. You got clothing stores, coffeeshops, restaurants and two beaches; one where you can surf and one where you can swim. The ferry from the harbour is 7 dollars one way, but if you wanna save, go there on a sunday when the public transport is 2,50 for the whole day.
While I was staying in Sydney I also went to Blue Mountains. And of course on a sunday. Me and my two friends took the train there which took approx. 2 hours. When you get of the train, you need to walk a bit and you come across a bus stop which will take you to the Three Sisters. When we went to Blue Mountains we only saw Three Sisters and did a bushwalk, which was really nice, because everything else is quite far away. So if you have a car or can rent one, go there with a car; you’ll be able to explore more of the area.
Lastly I have to talk about Sydney’s nightlife. It is quite strict. You can’t be too drunk while getting in which is fair enough, but so many of my friends got kicked out of the clubs and bars because they were sitting down in a dance area or were on their phone. There is also a lockdown at 1:30 am which means that you can’t get in the bars and clubs after that. So fair to say, don’t get too wasted while you’re out clubbing in Sydney!