Capital of the Northern Territory, the city of Darwin is one of the smallest, wettest and most northerly capital cities in Australia. Tempted by Darwin’s lush coastline, its rugged national parks and its vibrant atmosphere, thousands of tourists come to the city each year.

Despite being a small city, Darwin has lots of accommodation options to offer. In this guide, I'll help you find the best areas and hotels so you know exactly where to stay in Darwin on your upcoming trip!

Where to Stay in Darwin: Best Areas

Though not the biggest of cities, the city of Darwin has a number of different areas, each one with its own appeal and drawbacks.

Whether it’s along the Esplanade and waterfront or the suburban area of Fannie Bay, knowing where to stay in Darwin all depends on which area of the city you wish to stay. 

Esplanade/Darwin Waterfront – As a coastal city, Darwin’s Esplanade and Waterfront are some of the most idyllic places to call home for a few days. Looking out over the ocean and the peninsula, you can get a true feel for the seaside here and take in the stunning views across the water. Darwin waterfront hotels often come with balconies, allowing you to enjoy the sea breeze whenever you see fit. 

Darwin CBD – The central business district, or CBD, in Darwin, is the beating heart of the city. Alongside having one of the most diverse choices of hotels, the CBD is the oldest part of Darwin and is home to many of the city's important institutions and landmarks. If you’re unsure where to stay in Darwin, the CBD is a great safe choice.

Parap & Fannie Bay – If you’re looking for a more laidback, residential stay in Darwin, away from the hustle and bustle of the inner city, both Parap and Fannie Bay are perfect choices. Parap is home to one of the most popular and celebrated Darwin attractions, the Parap Village Market. Fannie Bay, the sister suburb to Parap, is another region that provides breathtaking views of the ocean and seascape sunsets.

Mindil Beach – South of Fannie Bay, Mindil Beach is one of the most sparsely populated regions in the city, yet home to top seaside resorts in Darwin. With endless sandy shorelines, golf courses, botanical gardens and the beautiful Mindil Beach Markets, it's the perfect balance of natural wonders and engaging recreation.

1. Best Luxury Hotels in Darwin

Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront

Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront

Sitting on the Darwin Waterfront and surrounded by the harbour, Vibe Hotel is home to contemporary rooms and an impressive wave pool. With each room donning unique and impressive decor, you’ll have your own slice of the city to enjoy.

Vibe Hotel also boasts a fitness centre and spa, so you won’t have to forfeit your fitness while you’re on holiday. With local boutique shops and cafes nearby, you’ll find yourself in the nightlife hub within a short walk of the hotel.

  • Location: Waterfront
  • Price from: $$$
  • Sleeps: 2-4
  • What makes it unique: Home to a top spa and fitness centre to keep you relaxed and healthy during your stay. 

Check availability & best rates

Mindil Beach Casino Resort

Mindil Beach Casion Resort in Darwin

Looking out over the Mindil Beach area of Darwin, Mindil Beach Casino Resort is perfect for visitors looking for luxury accommodation in Darwin. Spanning across 30 acres of tropical gardens alongside the Arafura Sea, the Mindil Beach Casino Resort is home to more than 150 rooms, offering stays for holidaymakers and those on business.

With a bustling casino open from 10 am to 4 am, you can gamble until the early hours before relaxing on its private white-sand beach in the morning – what else would you expect from one of the only 5-star hotels in Darwin?

  • Location: Mindil Beach
  • Price from: $$$
  • Sleeps: 2-5
  • What makes it unique: Indulge in pure luxury with Darwin’s only swim-up bar.

Check availability & best rates

Hilton Garden Inn Darwin

Hilton Garden Inn Darwin

Known synonymously around the world as a hotel of luxury and comfort, the DoubleTree by Hilton in Darwin is quite simply one of the best hotels in Darwin. Overlooking the Darwin Harbour and the Esplanade, this hotel is perfectly placed for epic views of the city. 

An added luxury is the option to enjoy al fresco dining on the outdoor deck, with jaw-dropping views of the harbour and beyond.

  • Location: Esplanade
  • Price from: $$
  • Sleeps: 2-7
  • What makes it unique: Enjoy a romantic alfresco dinner with your loved ones on the outdoor terrace. 

Check availability & best rates

Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront

Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin WaterfrontAdina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront

Surrounded by seafront promenades, Adina Apartment Hotel gives you the feel of home away from home, perfect for exploring the Northern Territory’s capital. With a small spa and fitness centre, you can carry on with your regular healthy habits as you soak up the stunning surroundings of the seafront.

Sitting so close to the boating lagoon and the park, this hotel is within walking distance of some of the best attractions in the area.

  • Location: Waterfront
  • Price from: $$
  • Sleeps: 2-5
  • What makes it unique: Perfectly situated so you can walk to all of the city’s best attractions. 

Check availability & best rates

2. Best Mid-Range Hotels in Darwin

H on Mitchell Apartment Hotel

H on Mitchell Apartment Hotel Darwin

An apartment-style hotel, the H on Mitchell Apartment Hotel is an attractive choice when it comes to staying in Darwin.

Only 200 yards from the Darwin Entertainment Centre, the H on Mitchell Apartment Hotel is perfectly located for an easy walk around the area, returning for a relaxed meal in your self-catered kitchen and dining room. If you don’t feel like cooking, the on-site restaurant and bar also offer some tasty local specialties to try.

  • Location: Darwin Eplanade 
  • Price from: $$
  • Sleeps: 24
  • What makes it unique: Enjoy a quiet evening in your own apartment, or head out to the onsite restaurant – the choice is yours!

Check availability & best rates

Argus Apartments Darwin

Argus Apartments Darwin

I've stayed at one of the self-contained Argus Apartments in Darwin before and really liked it. The complex is made up of high-rise buildings, which in turn give you a bird’s eye view of the city from the comfort of your room.

I found the apartment to be very generous in size. They feature a full-size kitchen, a separate laundry room and a top-of-the-range 32-inch TV; everything you could need for a city break.

  • Location: CBD
  • Price from: $$
  • Sleeps: 2-10
  • What makes it unique: Chat with the tour desk downstairs to organise a trip to Kakadu National Park, Katherine Gorge or Litchfield National Park.

Check availability & best rates

Travelodge Resort Darwin

Travelodge Resort Darwin

When you stay at the Travelodge Resort in Darwin, you can enjoy a tropical experience without even leaving the hotel. With a waterfall at its centre and a private pool surrounded by palm trees, we wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t want to leave the hotel during your stay.

During the day you can sip on cocktails at the Raintree Poolside Café and Bar, sipping on homemade cocktails and a selection of local drinks and at night retire to the onsite restaurant.

  • Location: CBD
  • Price from: $$
  • Sleeps: 2-7
  • What makes it unique: The striking waterfall at the centre of the hotel makes for an Insta-worthy snap.

Check availability & best rates

Oaks Darwin Elan Hotel

Oaks Darwin Elan Hotel

Perfectly located in Darwin’s CBD, Oaks Darwin Elan Hotel is only a short distance from some of the city’s most popular sights, including Smith Street Mall and the Darwin Waterfront Precinct.  

Choose from one and two-bedroom self-contained apartments, many of which come with private balconies overlooking the stunning Darwin Harbour and Frances Bay.

  • Location: CBD
  • Price from: $
  • Sleeps: 2-10
  • What makes it unique: Enjoy a bite to eat at the Original Australian Kitchen, serving up plenty of Aussie favourites. 

Check availability & best rates

Ramada Suites

Ramada Suites by Wyndham Zen Quarter Darwin

If you’re looking for a few lively nights while you’re in Darwin, the Ramada Suites by ​​Wyndham Zen Quarter Darwin sits just minutes away from Darwin’s most popular nightlife spot on Mitchell Street.

Each room comes equipped with a modern setup, including a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher, oven and a refrigerator.

  • Location: Mindil Beach
  • Price from: $$
  • Sleeps: 2-8
  • What makes it unique: This child-friendly hotel offers plenty of options for families to stay with adjoining rooms and cots available. 

Check availability & best rates

Mercure Darwin Airport Resort

Mercure Darwin Airport Resort

Mercure Darwin Aiport Resort is the perfect option if you want to fall straight off your flight and into hotel luxury. Located within the grounds of Darwin Airport, the resort provides air-conditioned rooms, an onsite pool and four-star luxury services.

The great facilities and luxury provided at this four-star hotel are unexpected from a hotel that is 400 yards from the arrival lounge! 

  • Location: Eaton
  • Price from: $$
  • Sleeps: 2-6
  • What makes it unique: Being so close to the city’s airport, this hotel is ideal for an overnight stay before an early flight.

Check availability & best rates

3. Best Budget Hotels in Darwin

Palms City Resort

Palms City Resort Darwin Esplanade

Nestled between the CBD and the Esplanade, Palms City resort is a mini oasis surrounded by the city. Lush tropical gardens surround villa rooms and a luxury pool. Keeping with the tropical nature of Darwin, Palms City Resort blends in perfectly with the nearby coastline and idyllic surroundings.

While it has a laid-back feel, its close proximity to the rest of the city makes it ideal for sightseeing. The resort’s convention facilities also make Palms City Resort an ideal place for business as well as pleasure.

  • Location: Esplanade
  • Price from: $
  • Sleeps: 1-5 
  • What makes it unique: Get lost in the lush tropical gardens that surround the property.

Check availability & best rates

The Cavenagh

The Cavenagh Darwin

The Cavenagh sits just moments away from the Crocosaurus Cove and is home to one of Darwin’s award-winning restaurants.

Spacious rooms complete with an en-suite bathroom, including a shower and hairdryer, provide all you’ll need before heading down to the bar, which has an impressive drinks menu, complete with hundreds of craft beers.

  • Location: CBD
  • Price from: $
  • Sleeps: 2-4
  • What makes it unique: As a hotel guest, you can enjoy a discount on your bill at the award-winning restaurant downstairs.

Check availability & best rates

Darwin City Hotel

Darwin City Hotel

The Darwin City Hotel may be simple in name but you are sure to find everything you can want and more. A short distance from the city’s Darwin Convention Centre and Mindil Beach Casino, you can venture out on a short walk to either of these places or explore everything else the city has to offer.

If you’d prefer to take advantage of the hotel’s amenities, there’s a huge pool and fitness centre on-site, along with room service and great laundry facilities. 

  • Location: CBD
  • Price from: $
  • Sleeps: 2-5
  • What makes it unique: Enjoy a budget stay at one of the most affordable hotels in the city, without scrimping on the amenities. 

Check availability & best rates

Where to Stay in Darwin – Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Is it worth staying in Darwin?

The large cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are well known on the tourist trail and rightly so, and while Darwin has its fair share of visitors, it still maintains that off-the-beaten-track mystic that makes it so appealing. 

Sitting so far north on the Australian continent, Darwin is the only state capital with a tropical climate, making it a fantastic place to experience beautiful weather, and best of all, unbeatable wildlife.

Here are a few reasons why Darwin is a must-go visit destination:

  • Easy access to some of the country’s most beautiful national parks. With four fantastic national parks, all within a short drive of Darwin (Kakadu National Park, Litchfield National Park, Mary River National Park and Berry Springs National Park) Darwin is perfectly placed for adventures.
  • Stunning beaches and lagoons. Overlooking the Beagle Gulf and the Timor Sea, Darwin’s shoreline is some of the most stunning in all of Australia. This being said, it’s not a bad idea to seek out a beachfront hotel in Darwin for the views alone.
  • Fascinating, multifaceted history. Home of the Larrakia people, and a significant spot during WWII, Darwin is a city full of history to be discovered. 

📅 How many days do you need to explore Darwin?

Aside from finding your perfect accommodation in Darwin, it’s handy to know how many days you’ll need to explore the city and its surroundings. Really, it all depends on what you want to see and do while you’re in the city.

From experience, you’ll probably need to set aside around two or three days to explore the city. This will give you a chance to soak up the city itself, enjoy its many attractions and get a real feel for life in Darwin. You can add on a few extra days for exploring the region’s many national parks and famous wildlife. 

Of course, it’s easy to spend far longer in Darwin and setting aside a week allows you to really take everything in at a far more relaxing pace.

☀️ What is the best time to go to Darwin?

Darwin’s climate is broken down into two seasons; the wet season and the dry season. The city’s wet season runs from November to April, and it’s dry from May to October. While you would most likely want to visit Darwin during its dry season, the wet season also has its charm!

The wet season’s rains make the picturesque rivers and waterfalls swell, only adding to their beauty. Rolling tropical thunderstorms across blue skies may not be for everyone, but they are some of the most amazing sights to behold. Booking your stay during the wet season will also increase your chance of finding cheap accommodation in Darwin out of season.

Where to Stay in Darwin – Final Words

Whether you’re looking for a real outback adventure or after a chilled-out sunset getaway in the Nothern Territory, Darwin is sure to deliver on all levels.

And, with some of the best accommodations in Darwin to choose from on this list, you’ll leave feeling with a new appreciation for nature and a desire to explore more of Australia.

Please note, this post may contain affiliate links, which means that – at absolutely no cost to you – we earn a small commission on sales generated through this website. We only recommend sites we actually use and thank you for your support!