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6 Things to Know BEFORE Visiting The Rocks in Sydney, Australia

6 Things to Know BEFORE Visiting The Rocks in Sydney, Australia

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The Rocks is a must-visit neighborhood while you’re in Sydney, Australia. With its cobbled streets, sandstone buildings, and amazing views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, it’s hard not to enjoy spending time here.

Plus, The Rocks is actually Sydney’s oldest neighborhood and the place where many European immigrants arrived and built their lives, so there’s a ton of cool history to discover.

We’ve been to Sydney so many times during the course of our travels, and Bailey actually lived here when she first moved to Australia, so it’s safe to say we’ve spent a ton of time exploring The Rocks. It’s a staple place that we love to visit every time we’re in Sydney, and we never get tired of it.

And so with all of that in mind, we felt that it was only right for us to compile our top insider tips and some of the best tours in Sydney for visiting The Rocks. Maybe we’ll even see you there! 

Don’t have time to read the full article? We love visiting The Rocks! There are so many things to do there from grabbing a pint at The Fortune of War to browsing the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. You can even catch this historic pub crawl to learn more about the neighborhood while having a lot of fun!

1. About The Rocks, Sydney

Beer taps on a tour around The Rocks in Sydney
The Rocks from Sydney Harbour Bridge!

The Rocks is where modern-day Sydney all began. It was the first permanent European settlement in Australia, so the historical significance of this neighborhood really can’t be overstated. 

In 1787, the First Fleet set sail from Europe. This was a group of 1,400 people, spread across 11 ships, who had set out to establish European settlements in Australia. In 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip, the leader of the First Fleet, landed at The Rocks and set up a prison colony. 

The Rocks is known for its abundant sandstone, and so the colonists used convict labor to build the now-famous sandstone houses. The area became a busy portside town, and large numbers of people began to settle here, resulting in severe overcrowding and poor living conditions.

From the 1870s to the 1890s, the area was dominated by The Rocks Push gang, and it was very much the underbelly of Sydney. 

Things got even worse around the turn of the century when a local resident caught the plague. Due to the cramped and dirty conditions, the disease spread like wildfire and the government tore down many local buildings to try and prevent it from spreading further. 

Then, in the 1920s and 30s, even more buildings were torn down to make way for the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and in 1968, The Rocks was tipped to be developed and filled with high-rise buildings. However, the locals pushed back, and in 1975, the government agreed to protect and restore many of the area’s historic buildings. 

And nowadays, due to its (admittedly checkered) history, The Rocks is a popular tourist area that’s home to many of the oldest buildings in Sydney. It’s a world away from the modern skyscrapers and glamorous buildings that dominate so much of Sydney’s skyline – and that’s precisely why we love it! 

2. What are the best things to do in The Rocks?

Visit Sydney’s oldest bar – Fortune of War

Daniel out the front of the Fortunes of Wat pub in The Rocks, Sydney
Oldest pub in Sydney!
historical write up on the history of the oldest pub in Sydney the Fortune of War
Fortune of War!

If you want to visit a real Sydney pub, then there’s no better place to grab a pint than the Fortune of War. It’s the oldest watering hole in the entire city and dates all the way back to 1828! It was built by a former convict turned businessman, and its name comes from the fact it was often the last place where Australian sailors would grab a drink before heading off to fight.

It’s warm, cozy, and friendly, and you can often enjoy live music from talented local artists here, too. Plus, they have great craft beers on tap and a very tempting pub grub menu. 

Check out The Rocks Discovery Museum

Display of old bottles at the The Rocks Discovery Museum
Those are some old bottles!
Canon at the The Rocks Discovery Museum in Sydney, Australia
So cool!

The Rocks has such an interesting history, and it feels like there’s always more to learn. We really like visiting The Rocks Discovery Museum because it takes you through the neighborhood’s history, from pre-European times to the fight to preserve the area’s heritage. 

The museum is open from 10 am until 5 pm daily. It’s free to visit, and there are also engaging exhibits for kids to check out, so it’s suitable for travelers of all ages. 

Wander The Rocks Market

One of our favorite things to do when we visit The Rocks Sydney is wander The Rocks Market. This open-air market is located on the waterfront, so there’s a really nice atmosphere. You can find so many artisan goodies between the beautiful sandstone buildings. From natural phone cases and hand-knitted clothing to Tunisian textiles and vintage jewelry, you’ll definitely struggle not to spend any money here.

For us, though, the best part is the food. There is so much amazing international cuisine to be found at The Rocks Market, including Brazilian chocolates, Turkish doughnuts, and Filipino cheeseburgers. Our best piece of advice would be to arrive hungry! 

Take in the views of Sydney Harbour 

Sydney Opera House as seen from The Rocks, Sydney
The Opera House from The Rocks!
Dawes Point Park in the Rocks that we visited on a walking tour of the city
Dawes Point Park in The Rocks

Not only is The Rocks a super charming and historic area, but it also has amazing views of Sydney Harbour. You really can’t help but marvel at it as you explore the area! 

The best spots to admire the Sydney Harbour from include Hickson Road Reserve, a small park at the foot of the Harbour Bridge, and the Commissioners Steps Circular Quay. You also get great views from the Rotunda Observation Deck, which is at the top of Observatory Hill.

Related Read: If seeing Sydney’s landmarks from the water and enjoying some great food sounds like a perfect combo, make sure to read our review of the Journey Beyond Cruise Sydney!

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Bailey walks the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in Sydney
So cool that it’s free!
Artwork at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in Sydney
There is so much to see!

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia – the MCA for short – houses one of the largest collections of contemporary Australian art, with over 4,000 pieces and counting. It’s a not-for-profit gallery, and it’s actually the only public contemporary art museum in Australia, so it’s definitely worth checking out while you’re in The Rocks Sydney. 

The collection features Australian artists from all walks of life, and it’s a great place to learn more about the country’s artistic landscape. There is also a fair amount of artwork dedicated to the First Peoples of Australia, including Reko Rennie’s Remember Us, which is a memorial to Aboriginal people who have died while in police custody. 

And even if you’re not especially interested in art, we still think that the MCA is worth a visit because you get amazing harbor views from the museum cafe! 

The museum is free to visit although donations are encouraged. It’s closed on Tuesday and is open from 10 am until 5 pm for the rest of the week, except on Fridays when it stays open until 9 pm.

Hickson House Distilling Co.

Stills at the Hickson House Distilling Co in The Rocks, Sydney
Photo credit: Hickson House Distilling Co
A man pours a cocktail at Hickson House Distilling Co in The Rocks, Sydney
Photo credit: Hickson House Distilling Co

This multi-award-winning craft distillery makes some truly excellent gins, and you can also come here for dinner or a tasting session! 

Hickson House Distilling Co. is housed in what used to be a parking lot for the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, but now it’s one of the best places to grab a drink in The Rocks. As well as their signature gins, the bar is stocked with some very niche whiskeys and spirits from all over the world. They make some really great cocktails!

If you want to eat here, you can enjoy small sharing plates like Kangaroo Tartare (yes, really!) or enjoy more substantial dishes like Wagyu rump steak. But we think the best way to enjoy this place is to do a behind-the-scenes distillery tour and tasting. You’ll learn all about how Hickson House makes its whiskey and gin, and you’ll also get to try lots of samples of their latest and greatest creations.

The 45-minute tours run from Thursday to Sunday at 2 pm and 4 pm. It costs $50 AUD per person, and you can redeem $10 AUD of this on products afterward if you want a bottle to take home.

BridgeClimb Sydney

Bailey climbs the Sydney Harbour Bridge at night in Sydney, Australia
I did the climb at night because it was cheaper!

The famous Sydney BridgeClimb actually starts in The Rocks! If that’s not a good reason to visit, then we don’t know what is…

When you tackle the Harbour Bridge, you climb the steel arch, aka “the coat hanger” to get insane views of the city, not to mention a great sense of satisfaction from climbing this iconic landmark. On a clear day, you can even see as far as the Blue Mountains

Plus, what’s so great about the BridgeClimb is that you don’t need any climbing experience or to be in super great shape. As long as you’ve got a basic level of fitness, you’ll be fine. 

There are a couple of different options for climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The Ultimate Climb

With this option, you get to climb across the entire “coat hanger”. You go from the south side, over the summit, all the way to the north side, and back again. It takes 3.5 hours and costs $364 AUD. You can usually only do this on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday mornings. 

The Summit 

This is a 3-hour option that takes you from the south side to the summit and back. This is the “classic climb” and a bunch of famous people have done it – including Oprah! It costs $249-$424 AUD, depending on the time of day you go. Bailey did it at night to save some money and she loved it! You won’t be able to see for as far after dark, but seeing Sydney lit up at night is just as amazing.

The Summit Insider

This is a guided tour along the lower arch of the Harbour Bridge to the summit. It’s a fast climb, and you get to see the inside of the bridge, which is a really cool experience. It takes 2.5 hours and costs between $344-$394 AUD per person.

The Burrawa Tour

This is very similar to the Summit climb, but there’s a focus on Sydney’s Aboriginal history, which your climb leader will teach you all about as you go. It costs between $364-$384 AUD and a portion of your fee goes to an Aboriginal nonprofit organization. It’s a great way to learn about Australian history while enjoying some spectacular views. 

All of the prices we’ve listed above include your jumpsuit, harness, and gloves. You also get a safety briefing beforehand, and the staff is really supportive and patient with those who are afraid of heights. 

Admittedly, this is not a cheap thing to do, but Bailey loved her experience and felt it was 100% worth it. 

Go on a walking tour

Bailey walks the Rocks in Sydney, Australia
Bailey exploring The Rocks.
Bailey walks a small alley in The Rocks, Sydney, Australia
The Rocks is such a cute area!

A walking tour in Sydney is one of our favorite ways to explore The Rocks, and this specific one has almost 1,000 5-star reviews! It’s a super comprehensive tour that takes you to the area’s top historical sites, including Cadman’s Cottage which is the oldest residence in Sydney. You’ll also learn all about the less-than-savory origins of the area and how it was built with convict labor. 

The story of The Rocks is definitely not a fairytale, but it sure is interesting, and this walking tour really takes you back in time and gives you lots of information about Sydney’s first-ever neighborhood. The tour is also really well-paced, and the guides keep things interesting, with lots of fun facts and amusing anecdotes alongside the more serious stuff. 

The tour costs $35 AUD and it does such a great job of highlighting why The Rocks is so important to Sydney. It lasts for 1.5 hours and we think it’s the perfect introduction to the area! Book your walking tour of The Rocks here.

Susannah Place

Susannah Place is a small museum in the heart of The Rocks, Sydney. It’s a group of 3 terraced houses and a corner shop, where over 100 families have lived since it was built in 1844. Most families moved out by the mid-1970s, but one couple actually remained until 1990 when the property was converted into a museum.

As you can imagine, Susannah Place has many stories to tell, and the museum helps to keep them alive. Three of the houses have been furnished to reflect different eras in The Rocks’ history, from the 1840s to the 1970s, and the corner shop is fitted out as it would have been in the 1920s. You can even buy old-timey souvenirs! 

Visiting Susannah Place is an awesome way to step back in time and understand what life was like for working-class families throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. It’s open from 10 am until 5 pm every day.

Walk the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Views of Sydney Harbour from the Sydney Harbour Bridge (2)
Views of Sydney Harbour from the Sydney Harbour Bridge

The southern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge is located in The Rocks, and the structure spans the harbor to reach Milsons Point on the North Shore. It’s free to walk across the bridge, and you really shouldn’t miss the opportunity to do so while you’re in the area. After all, it’s one of the most famous bridges in the world!

The bridge is 1.15 kilometers (0.7 miles) long. You could walk across it in 20 minutes at a brisk pace, but this is a sightseeing opportunity, not your daily commute, so we recommend allowing 30-45 minutes. You’ll want plenty of time to take in the views and snap lots of photos along the way! 

You can access the Sydney Harbour Bridge from The Rocks via the Bridge Stairs on Cumberland Street. You’ll find them between the Glenmore Hotel and The Big Dig archaeological site

This is one of our favorite free things to do in Sydney, but we do want to stress that the views are a bit limited, especially compared to the Bridge Climb. You only get views to the east of the bridge due to the seven-lane highway and safety fences on the west. However, these views are pretty special, since you can see the harbor and the Opera House – not too shabby if you ask us!

3. What are the best tours that explore The Rocks?

Bailey enjoys a drink at the Fortunes of War historic pub in The Rocks Sydney while on a historic pub tour
Beer taps on a tour around The Rocks in Sydney
Historic bar tours are one of the best ways to explore!

The Rocks Pub Walking Tour

Museums and markets aren’t the only way to get to know The Rocks. You just can’t overlook its pub scene, and this pub walking tour provides a stellar introduction.

With a small group and a fun-loving guide, you’ll meet at Harts Pub and visit four of The Rocks’ best-known pubs, including Fortune of War, which we mentioned earlier in this article. You’ll also learn a ton about the area’s history, which is definitely not squeaky clean. You’ll hear stories about Larrikin Gangs, the plague, and even ghosts! 

This tour is also great for learning about the fight to preserve The Rocks which has taken place over the past few decades. All in all, it’s so much fun, and learning about this one neighborhood actually gives you a lot of insight into Australian culture and the country’s class system.

The tour costs $116 AUD per person including a drink at each pub, and it’s an awesome tour if you’re looking to let loose and meet some fun new people while exploring The Rocks. Book The Rocks Pub Walking Tour online here.

Sydney The Rocks Historic Pub Tour

One of our favorite things about exploring historic areas is discovering old watering holes and hearing all of the debaucherous stories of days gone by. That’s why we think that this pub crawl is the perfect way to get acquainted with The Rocks! 

As an Australian myself, I can tell you that pubs are a big part of the Aussie lifestyle – and they always have been. On this tour, you’ll learn all about how residents of The Rocks used to spend their free time in days gone by and hear some fun stories about seedy goings-on in the places that you visit. 

Beginning at Harts Pub, your group will go to four pubs and have a drink at each of them, plus a meal in one. The group size is capped at 15 so it doesn’t feel too overwhelming, and I think that this tour could be a great way to make some new friends in Sydney.

I also like the fact that you get to go behind the scenes of a working brewery and that you get discount vouchers to use at other local businesses at the end of the tour.

This tour costs $153 AUD per person and lasts for around 2.5 hours. You can go at 2:30 pm or 6:30 pm, although personally, we’d go for the later option as this tour is a great start to a fun night out in Sydney. Book this Historic Pub Tour online here

illi-Langi The Rocks Aboriginal Dreaming Tour 

Before it was known as The Rocks, the area was originally called illi-Langi by the Aboriginal people of Sydney. We love the fact that this tour shows you a totally different side to The Rocks and teaches its pre-colonial history, whereas most tours focus on the impact of the British settlers.

This tour lasts for 1.5 hours once you arrive at the meet-up point and teaches participants all about the Aboriginal way of life. You’ll learn a lot about Dream Time, which is the creation story in the Australian Aboriginal culture and is the foundation of many cultural beliefs. 

You’ll still visit all of the area’s top places, like Cadman’s Cottage and Dawes Point, but you’ll hear their history from a different perspective and see the area in a new light.

If you’re interested in Australian Aboriginal history, then we highly recommend this tour. It costs $59 AUD per person and really does deliver a fascinating experience! Book your spot online here.

Old brick buildings in The Rocks, Sydney
Old brick buildings in The Rocks, Sydney

Sydney Photography Tour in the Historic Rocks Area

As well as being super historic, The Rocks is also one of the best places in Sydney to practice your photography skills thanks to its amazing views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House across the water. Plus, the historic sandstone buildings and cobbled streets aren’t bad subjects, either! 

On this 3-hour photography tour, you’ll explore The Rocks while getting customized lessons from a professional photographer on how to capture the area’s beauty. You’ll get lots of tips on how to take better travel photos that you can put to use during the rest of your Australian adventure. Plus, your guide will take you to the best vantage points around to make sure that you get those all-important shots. 

You’ll need to bring your own camera, but we think that’s a good thing because you’ll learn how to get the most out of it and get personalized advice on how to take good photos going forward. You also get a copy of the course notes once the tour is over to refer back to whenever you need a reminder! 

This tour is offered on Saturdays and you can choose either the afternoon or at night, depending on which light you prefer to hone your skills in. Each tour costs $107 AUD and you can even book both options for the ultimate photography masterclass! The spots fill up fast, so make sure you book your tour in advance here.

Convicts and The Rocks: Sydney’s Walking Tour Led by Historian

Sydney – and The Rocks more specifically – has a colorful history, to say the least. If you’re keen to learn real stories of the neighborhood’s convicts and their role in building The Rocks, then we think you’ll love this tour!

It’s led by a historian who will entertain you with stories of gangs, dodgy dealings, and how the city of Sydney was initially built by prison labor. You don’t just visit The Rocks, as this tour begins in Circular Quay at the Customs House, and you’ll also visit Macquarie Place Park, but naturally, you will spend a fair amount of time exploring The Rocks and discovering its murky past.

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget modern-day Australia’s bizarre origin story when you’re soaking in the sights of Sydney, and this tour takes such a fascinating dive into the city’s past. 

At the end, your guide will give you a ton of recommendations on where to eat, drink, and explore further in The Rocks, so it’s also a great introduction to the area. It costs $52 AUD per person and lasts for 2 hours. Book your spot on this walking tour here to learn about the seedy past of The Rocks and nearby areas.

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

4. Where are the best places to eat at The Rocks?

6HEAD Sydney view of the Sydney opera House
Photo credit: 6HEAD
Steak at 6HEAD Sydney
Photo credit: 6HEAD

The Doss House

Back in the day, a doss house was a cheap place to stay for people who didn’t have many other options. As an overcrowded, working-class neighborhood full of sailors and convicts, it’s safe to say that The Rocks was once home to a fair few of these – including this bar.

As well as a doss house, this building was also once an opium den, so it’s a great place to go if you’re keen to engage with The Rocks’ less-than-savory past. Now, though, the Doss House is a classy underground bar that’s all about whiskey and fine wine. You can find some really rare bottles here, and can even take a whiskey masterclass that’s offered once a month for $99 AUD.

You can also order a sumptuous charcuterie board with fresh local produce, a cocktail, or even a beer, and then sit back and relax as this heritage bar takes you back in time. We love the concept! 

El Camino Cantina The Rocks

If you’re after something a little more casual, then we recommend El Camino Cantina! It’s a fun Tex-Mex spot that doesn’t take itself too seriously. In fact, if you visit, you’ll see lots of neon lights and hear plenty of cheesy 80s, 90s, and 00s music, and the staff will probably give you a novelty sombrero. 

The food is really good and perfect for sharing with friends. This place is a party, so it could be the perfect place to grab a bite (and a frozen margarita) after exploring The Rocks on one of the pub tours that we mentioned earlier! 

6HEAD Sydney

For those looking to mark a special occasion, enjoy a romantic dinner, or just eat some amazing food, then we recommend 6Head Sydney. Not only does this stylish spot serve some of the best steaks in town, it also has amazing views of the Sydney Harbour and the Opera House, so eating here feels really special. It’s definitely pricey, but if you want to enjoy a special meal in Sydney, then you can’t go wrong here. 

Tayim Restaurant and Bar

At Tayim, you’ll find some of the best Middle Eastern food in Sydney. It’s all made using fresh, Australian produce and the restaurant itself has a very chic, upscale feel. There’s also a nice outdoor terrace where you can enjoy a drink or two with some yummy bar snacks, like pita and smoked Moroccan carrot dip! 

The Glenmore Hotel

The Glenmore Hotel is one of Sydney’s best-known rooftop bars, thanks to its amazing harbor views. I mean, after a day of exploring, is there anything better than enjoying a drink with a view? The food here is also really good and they often have weekly specials on offer, like $10 AUD cheeseburgers on a Tuesday or $20 AUD for a full steak dinner on a Monday.

Related Read: Aussies definitely know a thing or two about wine. We’ve done countless wine tours in the Swan Valley and highly recommend them!

5. When is the best time to visit The Rocks in Sydney? 

The Campbell's Stores in The Rocks, Sydney
The Campbell’s Stores in The Rocks, Sydney

Any time of day is great to visit The Rocks. If you want to avoid the crowds, it’s best to go in the morning. However, the afternoon is better if you want to check out some of the historic pubs, and seeing the sun begin to set over the water is just magical! 

As for the best time of year, we consider spring and summer to be the best seasons. The Rocks is a super walkable area and it’s so lovely to stroll around on a beautiful day, enjoying the historic architecture and the amazing harbor views. 

6. Is The Rocks worth visiting?

Photo taken through a sculpture in The Rocks, Sydney

Yes! The Rocks is the oldest part of Sydney and you just have to visit while you’re here. Even if you don’t do any of the things that we have mentioned above, it’s still worth going to The Rocks to take a walk, soak in the views, and enjoy this historical neighborhood. 

Related Read: If fitting everything into one trip seems overwhelming, we put together a 1-day itinerary, a 2-day itinerary, and a 3-day itinerary for Sydney that can help!

Other Things to do While You’re in Sydney

Bailey enjoys a drink at the House Canteen at the Sydney opera House
Enjoying some wine after a Sydney Opera House tour!
Prince Henry cliff walk on a Blue Mountains Tour from Sydney
Prince Henry cliff walk on a Blue Mountains Tour from Sydney

Sydney is a city full of exciting things to do and see, so you’re going to want to fill your schedule while visiting this iconic city. Below are a few of our favorite activities that you should consider adding to your Sydney itinerary:

  • Helicopter Ride – Sydney is a beautiful city; there is just no doubt about it! And one way to take in all the sights is on a helicopter tour! We did this helicopter ride the last time we were in the city, and it was incredible! We got the most amazing views of the bridge and Opera House, not to mention the beautiful coastline. And to top it off, we even saw whales!
  • Day Trip to the Blue Mountains – The Blue Mountains is a beautiful wilderness area where you can enjoy hiking, waterfalls, mountain views, and charming local towns. It’s about an hour’s drive and makes for a great day trip from Sydney or even a weekend getaway. This Blue Mountains day full-day tour is our top choice as it includes a gourmet lunch, Scenic World, the wildlife park, as well as a cruise! Plus, the almost 4,000 5-star reviews are pretty reassuring that it’s an excellent tour!
  • Take a Sydney Harbour Cruise – In the city, you absolutely must take a Sydney Harbour Cruise! It’s a great way to take in the sights while leisurely sailing down the water. They have both lunch cruises and dinner cruise options. On this dinner cruise, we had a fabulous time watching the skyline and enjoying a gourmet meal with bubbly in hand.
  • Explore Darling Harbour – One of our other favorite areas in Sydney is Darling Harbour, which features more restaurants, bars, and cafes than I can count! Plus, almost everything is waterfront! Here, you can enjoy the Chinese Garden of Friendship or walk across the Pyrmont Bridge. You can also visit popular attractions like Madame Tussauds, the Sea Life Aquarium, and Wild Life Sydney Zoo (which are all included on this Sydney Attractions Pass!).
  • Tour the Sydney Opera House – Did you even visit Sydney if you didn’t go to the Opera House?! You can walk around for free, but if you want to see the inside, then you’ll have to join a guided tour of the Opera House or buy tickets to a show. We did this guided tour and found it super interesting! They took us to all of the different theatres, and we learned all about the history of the building – all for only $43 AUD!

Related Read: After your time in Sydney, head to Melbourne! We put together the perfect weekend itinerary for a lovely little getaway.

Where to Stay in Sydney

Get the best views of Sydney at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, Australia
Photo credit: Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

If you’re planning a trip to Sydney, you’re going to need a place to stay. Luckily, Sydney has a huge variety of accommodations to fit every budget. If you’re overwhelmed with where to start, check out our top picks for places to stay, from luxury rooms to budget-friendly hostels. We’ve got you covered!

Four Seasons Hotel Sydney – $$$

For stunning views of Sydney Harbour and the iconic Opera House, book a room at the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney. You’ll have unobstructed views of the city from the comfort of your room. The hotel is located in the city center right within The Rocks neighborhood – nice and close to lots of activities and restaurants we’ve mentioned in this blog!

It’s also just a 10-minute walk to the Circular Quay, where you can catch the Fast Ferry or Hop-on Hop-off Ferry to Manly Beach. Rooms here start at $400-$500 AUD per night and can be reserved with

Meriton Suites Kent Street Sydney – $$

Stay right in the heart of Sydney in a modern luxury apartment at Meriton Suites Kent Street. The suites are air-conditioned and have laundry facilities, and either a kitchenette or full kitchen to make longer stays more comfortable. You’ll also have access to an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, and hot tub.

These full apartments are $230 AUD nightly when booked in advance with

Sydney Harbour YHA – $

For a hostel with a view, head to the rooftop terrace at the Sydney Harbour YHA. This is also located right in The Rocks so you’re set to explore this historic area we’ve been talking about! You’ll also have amazing views of the harbor and be within walking distance of all the major sights. You can opt for a shared dorm room or a private room here. There’s a communal kitchen, TV lounge, billiards, and a 24/7 reception desk.

Dorm rooms are around $70 AUD nightly and private rooms are more around the $180 AUD mark. You can check for the best rates and book on either or

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey pose for a photo on a cruise in Sydney
Thanks for reading!

The Rocks has played such a significant role in Sydney’s history and is home to some of the city’s iconic landmarks. Exploring this neighborhood is a must-do while visiting the city. Even though we’ve been to The Rocks many times, we keep coming back!

Hopefully, this guide has given you an idea of just how much there is to do in The Rocks. We want you to enjoy the area just as much as we do! As you plan your trip to Sydney, be sure to take a look through all of our Australia blogs. Or click on one of the popular ones below:

15 FUN Things to do in Manly Beach, Sydney (more than just swimming and beaching!)

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Spirit of Melbourne Dinner Cruise Review – Is it Worth it?