This multiple-award-winning hostel is one of the biggest and busiest in the world. It is very popular, so you need to book as far ahead as possible. The rooms are clean and basic and come dorm-style for four, six, or eight people or as doubles (with private bathrooms). There are also family rooms. In the basement is a bar with pool tables and occasional entertainment. There’s also an entertainment room with more pool tables and e-mail facilities, TV rooms on every floor, and a cinema. The YHA is accessible to travelers with disabilities.

The Railway Square YHA is at the corner of Upper Carriage Lane and Lee Street, or enter via the Henry Dean Plaza ([tel] 02/9281 9666). The historic 1904 building adjoining “Platform Zero” at Central Railway Station has 64 beds in four- to eight-bed dorm rooms and 10 double rooms. Some dorm rooms are in old railway carriages. It has a sauna, pool, Internet cafe, tour desk, indoor and outdoor communal areas, and a self-catering kitchen. Rates here are slightly cheaper than at Sydney Central.