Hotels around Darling Harbour
offer good access to the local facilities, including museums, the Sydney Aquarium, the
Star City Casino, the IMAX Theatre, and Sega World. Most Darling Harbour hotels are a
10-minute walk, or a short monorail or light rail ride, from Town Hall and the central
shopping district in and around the AMP Centerpoint Tower and the Pitt Street Mall.
More hotels are grouped around Kings Cross, Sydney's red-light
district. While some of the hotels found here are among the city's best, in this area
you'll also find a range of cheaper lodgings, including several backpacker hostels. Kings
Cross can be unnerving at any time, but especially so on Friday and Saturday nights when
the area's strip joints and nightclubs are doing their best business. Staying here does
have its advantages, though: you get a real inner-city feel and it's close to some
excellent restaurants and cafes located around the Kings Cross/Darlinghurst and Oxford
If you want to stay near the beach, check out the options in
Manly and Bondi, though you should consider their distance from the city center and the
lack of City Rail trains to these areas. A taxi to Manly from the city will cost around
A$30 (U.S.$21), and to Bondi around A$20 (U.S.$14).
Always ask about discounts rates, package deals, and any other
special offerings when booking a hotel, especially if you are traveling in winter when
hotels are less likely to be full. Ask about weekend discounts, corporate rates, and
family plans. Serviced apartments are also well worth considering, because you can
save a bundle by cooking your own meals; many also have free laundry facilities.