Where to stay in Sydney with family: 8 Best areas

In this post, I will help you to find Where to Stay in Sydney with Family, best areas to stay in Sydney with kids and best family-friendly hotels in Sydney for all budgets and preferences.

Sydney is the capital city of New South Wales, located on the east coast of Australia. It is known for its stunning harbor, iconic landmarks, and vibrant culture.

Sydney is an excellent family-friendly holiday destination as it offers a wide range of attractions that cater to all age groups including Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Taronga Zoo, and SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium.

The city boasts numerous beautiful parks and beaches, such as Bondi Beach and Royal Botanic Garden, perfect for picnics and outdoor activities for the whole family.

The public transportation system is efficient and easy to navigate, so your families can take advantage of buses, trains, and ferries to explore various neighborhoods and attractions. 

You’ll also find plenty of family-friendly restaurants, cafes, and accommodations that cater to the needs of children, including high chairs, kids’ menus, and play areas. 

Where to Stay in Sydney with Family?

The best areas to stay in Sydney with family are Sydney CBD, The Rocks, Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, North Sydney, Bondi Beach, and Manly. Each of these areas has its own unique appeal, so consider what suits your family’s needs and desires best.

Sydney CBD, The Rocks, Circular Quay, and Darling Harbour are the best areas for families visiting in Sydney for the first time. They have the most central locations and highest concentrations of hotels, restaurants, and shops for families to choose from.

If your family wants a quieter residential atmosphere while still having easy access to the city center, you can choose to stay in North Sydney. While families want a beach holiday, it is best to stay in Bondi Beach and Manly.

Map of the best areas to stay in Sydney with family
Map of the best areas to stay in Sydney with family

Overview of best areas to stay in Sydney for family

Here is an overview of recommended areas in Sydney for family with kids: 

Best areas in Sydney with familyWhy should you stay in this area?
Sydney CBDoffers easy access to many iconic landmarks, shopping, and dining options. It’s a convenient location for families who want in the heart of the action.
The RocksThis historic area is a great choice for families interested in history and proximity to the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
Circular Quayprovides breathtaking views and easy access to ferries and main attractions. Families can enjoy the Circular Quay’s vibrant atmosphere and dining options.
Darling Harbourhome to family-friendly attractions such as the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and the National Maritime Museum. It’s a hub for family activities and dining, making it an ideal choice for those traveling with kids.
North Sydneygood base for quieter atmosphere with great views of the city skyline. It offers a more residential feel while still being well-connected to the city.
Bondi Beachpopular base for families looking for a beachside experience. it’s a bit further from the CBD, but the relaxed coastal vibe can be worth it.
ManlyAnother beachside option, Manly, is accessible by ferry from Circular Quay. It offers a more relaxed pace of life and plenty of activities for families.

8 Best areas to Stay in Sydney with Family are:

1. Sydney CBD (Central Business District)

Sydney CBD (Central Business District) is a convenient choice for families with kids, especially if you want to be in the heart of the city with easy access to many of Sydney’s top attractions, restaurants, and transportation options. 

Pros of staying in Sydney CBD with family and kids:

Central Location: You’ll be close to major landmarks like the Hyde Park, Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney Opera House, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales. This makes it easy to explore these iconic sites.

Public Transportation: The Sydney CBD has excellent public transportation connections, including buses, trains, trams, and ferries. This makes it simple to travel around the city and beyond.

Shopping: The CBD is home to several shopping precincts, including Pitt Street Mall, where you’ll find a wide range of shops, from high-end boutiques to international brands.

Dining: There are countless dining options in the CBD, catering to various tastes and budgets. You can find everything from fine dining to casual eateries and street food vendors.

Cultural Attractions: Many of Sydney’s cultural attractions, museums, and galleries are located in or near the CBD. The Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Australian Museum are notable examples.

Consideration: The CBD can get crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons. It’s a bustling area, which may not be ideal if you prefer a quieter atmosphere.

In summary, staying in the Sydney CBD is an excellent choice if you want to be close to major attractions, have easy access to public transportation, and don’t mind the hustle and bustle of a busy urban area. Just be prepared for potentially crowds, especially during peak travel seasons.

Best places to stay in Sydney CBD with family:


2. The Rocks

Staying in The Rocks is a unique and historic option in Sydney for families. This area offers a distinct atmosphere and proximity to some of Sydney’s most iconic landmarks. 

Pros of staying in The Rocks:

Historic Charm: The Rocks is one of Sydney’s oldest neighborhoods, and it retains much of its historic charm. You’ll find cobbled streets, charming sandstone buildings, and a rich history to explore.

Proximity to Landmarks: The Rocks is right next to Sydney Harbour, offering easy access to the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay, and the Royal Botanic Garden. Many of these attractions are within walking distance.

Cultural Attractions: There are several museums and galleries in The Rocks, including The Rocks Discovery Museum, which provides insights into the area’s history.

Markets and Shopping: The Rocks Markets are held on weekends, offering a variety of artisanal goods, crafts, and street food. It’s a great place to explore and shop for unique souvenirs.

Restaurants and Pubs: The Rocks is known for its dining and nightlife scene. You can enjoy a meal at historic pubs, contemporary restaurants, or outdoor cafes with views of the harbor.

Harbor Views: Some accommodations in The Rocks offer stunning views of Sydney Harbour, making it a picturesque place to stay.

Consideration: Accommodations in The Rocks can be relatively expensive due to its prime location and historic charm.

In summary, staying in The Rocks is an excellent choice if your family wants to immerse yourself in Sydney’s history, be close to iconic landmarks, and enjoy a unique atmosphere. Just be prepared for potentially higher accommodation costs.

Best places to stay in The Rocks with family:


3. Circular Quay

Staying in Circular Quay is an excellent choice if you want to be right at the heart of Sydney’s harbor and enjoy easy access to some of the city’s most famous landmarks. 

Pros of staying in Circular Quay:

Waterfront Location: Circular Quay is situated right on Sydney Harbour, offering breathtaking views of the harbor, the Sydney Opera House, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Proximity to Landmarks: You’ll be within walking distance of iconic attractions like the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Rocks, and the Royal Botanic Garden. These landmarks are perfect for sightseeing and photography.

Public Transportation: Circular Quay is a major transportation hub in Sydney. You’ll have easy access to ferries, trains, buses, and taxis.

Cultural Attractions: In addition to the Sydney Opera House and The Rocks, Circular Quay is close to cultural attractions like the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Harbor Cruises: You can easily book harbor cruises from Circular Quay, allowing you to explore the harbor, nearby islands, and beaches.

Consideration: Accommodations in Circular Quay can be quite pricey due to its prime location and stunning views.

Best places to stay in Circular Quay with family:


4. Darling Harbour  

Staying in Darling Harbour is a great choice if you’re looking for a vibrant waterfront area with plenty of entertainment options.

Pros of staying in Darling Harbour:

Waterfront Location: Darling Harbour is a picturesque waterfront area with stunning views of the harbor and the Sydney skyline.

Family-Friendly Attractions: There are several family-friendly attractions in the Darling Harbour precinct, including SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Wild Life Sydney Zoo, Madame Tussauds, and the Australian National Maritime Museum.  

Entertainment: The area offers a variety of entertainment options, including theaters, cinemas, and live music venues. The ICC Sydney (International Convention Centre) hosts various events and concerts throughout the year.

Shopping: There are shopping options in Darling Harbour, including Harbourside Shopping Centre, where you can find a mix of retail stores.

Fireworks and Festivals: Darling Harbour is known for hosting fireworks displays and cultural festivals, particularly during special events and holidays.

Public Transportation: While not as central as Circular Quay, Darling Harbour has good public transportation connections, including light rail and bus services.

In summary, staying in Darling Harbour is an excellent choice if you want a vibrant waterfront experience with family-friendly attractions, dining options, and entertainment. It’s particularly suitable for families and travelers who enjoy a lively atmosphere. 

Best places to stay in Darling Harbour with family:


5. North Sydney 

Staying in North Sydney is a suitable choice for travelers who prefer a quieter and more residential atmosphere, don’t mind a short commute to the CBD, and want the option to enjoy views of Sydney Harbour. 

Pros of staying in North Sydney:

Relaxed Atmosphere: North Sydney has a more laid-back and residential feel compared to the Sydney CBD. It offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city center.

Harbor Views: Some accommodations in North Sydney provide excellent views of Sydney Harbour and the city skyline, making it a picturesque place to stay.

Close to the CBD: North Sydney is just across the harbor from the Sydney CBD. You can easily reach the city center by walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge or taking a short train or ferry ride. This makes it convenient for exploring downtown attractions while enjoying a quieter base.

Green Spaces: There are several parks and green spaces in North Sydney, including North Sydney Oval and Kirribilli Park, providing opportunities for relaxation and outdoor activities.

Best places to stay in North Sydney with family:


7. Bondi Beach

Staying in Bondi Beach is an excellent choice if you want a beach-focused vacation with a relaxed coastal atmosphere. It’s particularly suitable for beach lovers, surfers, and those looking to enjoy the outdoors. 

Pros of staying in Bondi Beach:

Beautiful Beach: Bondi Beach is one of Sydney’s most famous and beautiful beaches, known for its golden sands and great surf. It’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

Surfing: Bondi is a popular spot for surfers of all levels. You can take surf lessons or rent equipment if you’re a beginner or enjoy the waves if you’re an experienced surfer.

Scenic Coastal Walk: The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk is a must-do activity. It offers stunning coastal views, passes by other picturesque beaches, and provides opportunities for hiking and picnicking.

Outdoor Activities: In addition to surfing and the coastal walk, you can also engage in activities like snorkeling, paddleboarding, and yoga on the beach.

Consideration: Bondi Beach is a bit farther from the Sydney CBD, so if you plan to explore the city center regularly, you’ll need to take public transportation or drive.

Best places to stay in Bondi Beach with family:


8. Manly

Staying in Manly is a wonderful choice if you’re seeking a beachside escape with a laid-back atmosphere. Manly is known for its beautiful beach, outdoor activities, and relaxed coastal lifestyle. 

Pros of staying in Manly:

Manly Beach: Manly Beach is one of Sydney’s most famous and picturesque beaches. It’s great for swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and beach sports. The beach is family-friendly and has a long promenade for walking and biking.

Scenic Ferry Ride: To reach Manly, you can take a scenic ferry ride from Circular Quay. The ferry offers stunning views of the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the city skyline.

Outdoor Activities: Manly offers a range of outdoor activities, including snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and coastal walks. The Manly to Spit Bridge Coastal Walk is a popular hiking trail with beautiful views.

Cultural Attractions: Manly also has cultural attractions like the Manly Art Gallery and Museum, which is worth a visit.

Relaxed Atmosphere: Manly has a laid-back vibe that’s perfect for those seeking relaxation and a slower pace of life.

Consideration: Distance from the CBD – Manly is located across Sydney Harbour from the CBD, so it requires a ferry ride to access the city center. While the ferry ride is scenic, it adds travel time.

Best places to stay in Manly with family:


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Summary – Where to Stay in Sydney with kids?

In conclusion, Sydney CBD, The Rocks, Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, North Sydney, Bondi Beach, Manly are the best places to stay in Sydney for families with kids. These areas offer a wide range of family-friendly accommodations and attractions for children of all ages.

Overall, Sydney CBD, The Rocks/ Circular Quay, and Darling Harbour are the best areas in Sydney for families visiting the city for the first time. North Sydney is the best location for residential atmosphere with easy access to the CBD. Bondi Beach and Manly are the best locations for a family beach vacation.

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

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