My favourite place to stay in the city is the Sydney Hotel QVB on York Street, directly opposite the Queen Victoria Building. While it is no fancy five star hotel, for someone who appreciates and writes about history as I do, it’s pretty well perfect.

For the best experience, you need to book an executive room on the 6th floor. Walk out onto the balcony and there at eye level to the left are the gorgeous copper domes of the Queen Vic., framed by skyscrapers. How alarming to think that this stunning building was once in danger of being demolished.

History at eye-level; the domes of the Queen Victoria Building.
COUNT THE DOMES

Look to the right, and there is the clock tower of the Town Hall, its flag pole juxtaposed with the spire of the contemporary, Art Deco style HSBC building. I love hearing the chiming of the Westminster Quarters and the hourly tolling of the bell. You can glance over at other times to check your watch. More bells ring out from nearby St Andrew’s Cathedral.

History of Sydney -The Town Hall Clock Tower.
NO EXCUSE FOR POOR TIMEKEEPING
LOVE THE FLAG. LOOK AT THAT INCREDIBLE DETAIL…THE VICTORIANS WERE AMAZING
RED GLOW AT NIGHT, PHOTOGRAPHER’S DELIGHT

Down below is the city scene of people rushing about and buses and trams criss-crossing George and Park Streets..

View from the Sydney Hotel QVB, the history buff's pefect location
CAN YOU SPOT THE STATUE OF THE OLD QUEEN?

To explore further, ride the lift down and walk onto parallel George Street to the QVB tram stop; so convenient for travelling around town. It’s a quick spin down to Circular Quay to visit The Rocks, old Customs House etc.

HISTORY OF SYDNEY - THE QUEEN VICTORIA BUILDING
AFTER A LONG WAIT….THE TRAMS ARE RUNNING

A short walk away is historic Macquarie Street, location of The Hyde Park Barracks, The Mint, old Sydney Hospital, Parliament House and the Mitchell Library….Sydney jewels every one.

MONEY MATTERS

In mid January, during the Festival of Sydney, my partner and I paid just $140 per night for our double room. It wasn’t large, but there was a very comfortable, king size bed and an up-to-date-bathroom (even decent lighting, which can’t always be counted on in hotels. )

Room at my 'history' hotel
SMALL, BUT ALL ONE NEEDS

The balcony is large enough to enjoy, with chairs and a small table.

A pre dinner drink overlooking Sydney history.
GOOD SPOT FOR A PRE DINNER DRINK

Our young associate Editor Des appreciated the complimentary snacks.

Editor Des at the Sydney Hotel QVB, a perfect location for a history buff.
ENJOY EVERY MORSEL, EDITOR DES

Honestly, what more could a lover of history (and Sydney) desire?

UPDATE – I forgot to add that the site of the hotel was the location for the city’s first permanent Synagogue.

FOR SOME REALLY STRANGE STORIES ABOUT QUEEN VICTORIA AND SYDNEY, CLICK HERE

5 Comments
  1. Hello Pauline, I enjoyed reading this article. Makes me reminisce my last trip to Sydney. I particularly enjoyed my tour of the Mitchell Library and tea at QVB.

    • Pauline

      Thanks for taking the trouble to leave a message, Christian. I spend a lot of time in the Mitchell Library.

  2. Lovely tour thank you. I last visited Sydney in July 2005, but as the Maitre’d came up to our table on the evening of the 7th to let us know about the dreadful bombing of the bus and underground in central London, that rather coloured my memories. Loved Sydney though, and the Blue Mountains – and have visited both twice.

  3. Lovely tour thank you. I last visited Sydney in July 2005, but as the Maitre’d came up to our table on the evening of the 7th to let us know about the dreadful bombing of the bus and underground in central London, that rather coloured my memories. Loved Sydney though, and the Blue Mountains – and have visited both twice.

    • Pauline

      Reminds me of when my elderly aunt from Tasmania came to stay with us in London. The very first morning we had to tell her about the massacre at Port Arthur.

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