After 33 hours of travelling I landed in Sydney extremely jet lagged but so exited to finally be there. As soon as I got to the airport I got my Opal card set up and went from the airport station (which automatically charges $13 dollars to you opal card wherever you go so make sure you put at least $20 on it) to central station where my first hostel was.
By booking through the simple app HostelWorld I had thankfully planned it so that my first hostel was as close to the airport as possible, my choices were Bounce or WakeUp; I went with Bounce for their rooftop view. Bounce hostel is literally right outside central station, up the street from a 7 Eleven and a CommonWealth bank, so I knew I had everything at hand once I got there.
Checking in at hostels is always a pain as the check in time is normally around 2pm, however if you have to checkout the previous hostel you were in at about 10am or you got an early transport into the city you’re pretty much stuck. After my three long haul flights the only thing I wanted to do was eat and sleep, so I had paid for the previous night at Bounce which allowed me to check in at 6am when I arrived. Unfortunately, I hadn’t anticipated that all my roommates would be asleep and the room would be pitch black, so I found an empty bed, dumped my bag down and went to see the rooftop view.
Sydney was an incredible city to experience. It reminded me so much of London but with a much slower pace, relaxed atmosphere, and much, much cleaner. It’s pretty easy to navigate yourself around and in no time I felt safe and confident enough to wander around on my own or with a couple of new people I had met in my hostel. There’s plenty of great Australian shops always in walking distance, Glue was definitely a favourite of mine, but so expensive! There was also an area I really liked called Newtown which reminded me of an Australian version of Shoreditch. With lots of niche cafes and independent vintage shops Newtown is definitely the art hub of Sydney. However, I wouldn’t recommend walking through it on your own as I felt quite aware that the area isn’t as busy or built up as other parts of Sydney- take a friend and you’d love it!
As a city Sydney isn’t as vibrant as you may expect, however it is very easy to adjust to when you’re on the other side of the world. With Bondi and Coogee beach a few minutes away by buses and trains you’re able to get the best of both worlds with a massive city and beach life. If you’re up for a quieter trip to the beach and have the time I’d recommend getting the ferry out to Manly beach. You get great views from the ferry and Manly is such a cute town! The strip of shops before you get to the beach can get a bit crowded but once you get on the beach it was way more spacious than a hot day at Bondi.
City living however does come at a high price. I absolutely loved staying at Bounce hostel, but in terms of hostel prices you’re definitely paying for a more expensive stay. Wifi is an added on cost either per day, 3 days or weekly, but you can access it everywhere rather than just a communal area which is a treat. The bathrooms are shared per floor but are so clean they felt like a hotel, and the rooms were spacious and lovely. Despite only being at Bounce for 6 days, I still talk to the people I met there 5 months on now! We had great barbecues on the terrace, and would lie out sunbathing on the cushions whenever it was hot enough.
Starting in Sydney was a truly great decision but I couldn’t wait to fly north to the beach paradise destination: Goldcoast.