Hostel Review: Sydney Railway Square YHA

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The Good
– The whole building has been converted from an old railway station on the former platform zero of Sydney Central Station, and some rooms are actually on the old platform and in railways carriages. Sleeping in one of these was a novelty I seriously enjoyed!
– Central location in Sydney, but a bit cheaper than the YHA Sydney Central I had previously stayed in.
– Many more backpackers stay in this YHA instead of YHA Sydney Central, so there’s much more of a backpacker vibe, especially in the evenings.
– Incredibly clean – toilets and showers were always clean, tea towels consistently replaced in the kitchen and there were new washing up sponges provided every single morning without fail.
– $2.50 for toast and orange juice for breakfast – bargain!
– Half an hour a day of free WiFi for all guests, or $5 for one night, $10 for three nights or $15 for a week.
– Laundry facilities.
– Large kitchen with a substantial amount of hobs meaning no one really had to wait to use one. There was also plenty of fridge and shelf space to store food.

The Bad
– As much as there were more backpackers in this hostel it still didn’t give the vibe that you could chat to everyone, as it was a bit cliquey at times. The nicest people I came across were slightly older travellers who were on their own.
– Slightly pricey laundry costs, with $4 each for the washer and the dryer, plus an extra $2 for detergent.
– If you stay in one of the railway carriages your sleep is almost guaranteed to be disturbed by trains, platform announcements and the lights from the station. Earplugs could solve some of these issues, but you then run the risk of not hearing any alarms you may have set! Also, some nosy passengers will walk straight up to your window and peer in, not seeming to mind that they’re staring at an actual human and not some animal in a zoo!

The Ugly
– Nothing. Again. BORING!

The Staff
– Everything you would expect from a YHA hostel and they made my stay all the more pleasant – friendly, helpful and not afraid to have a bit of banter with you from time to time.
– Made an effort to know you on first name terms, which was a nice touch considering the turnover rate was pretty high – this is not a hostel you stay in long term.
– Had absolutely no issues with storing my rucksack over the weekend I went to the Blue Mountains. The tour I went on wouldn’t allow me to bring a large rucksack as space on the minibus was limited, and the staff had no hesitations in offering to store my luggage for two nights until I returned.

Tell me a story!
– I can tell you pretty much every single train destination and what platforms they depart from at Sydney Central Station. Weird, useful and a little annoying all at the same time!

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