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In a vast sprawling city like Sydney, deciding where to live as a new expat is not a simple task. Before expats begin their search for accommodation, they should take the time to consider what their priorities are and then decide on the area suitable for their new home.
Much of the decision on where to live in Sydney will depend on one's lifestyle, family and personal preferences. The city has a housing option to suit everyone’s tastes and budget.
City-living in Sydney
Sydney is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city and there are a lot of city-living options on offer. However, space is hard to come by in popular parts of the city, so expect to pay more if choosing to live centrally.
This area is close to the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is a great city-living location with some of Sydney’s best restaurants, bars and nightlife just a hop and a skip away. This part of town is scenic and has a fun, laid-back feel to it. The area is best suited to young professionals who enjoy the buzz of city life or business executives who want to be located close to the city centre for work purposes.
Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay
Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay are also popular areas amongst single, young professionals with large disposable incomes. This part of Sydney is also popular with the LGBT+ community.
Apartments in these areas often have stunning views across Sydney Harbour. Residents will be right in the middle of town and surrounded by cafés, restaurants and shops and will have access to good public transport links.
Family-friendly areas in Sydney
Thanks to Sydney’s glorious weather, sublime beaches and wide open spaces, it is a great place for expats relocating with children. For expats moving to Sydney with a family, their child’s schooling options should be considered before making a decision on where to live. It’s important to note that many schools in Australia only offer places to students living within a particular catchment area.
Manly and Warringah
Suburbs located near the northern beaches of Sydney are very popular with expat families, especially those from the UK or New Zealand. Areas like Manly and Warringah are great for expats with children as they are close to some stunning beaches as well as a number of Sydney’s top private and public schools.
Public transport links to the city are good in these areas, with regular bus, train and ferry services in operation.
Merrylands and Parramatta
Merrylands and Parramatta are also great, affordable areas for those relocating to Sydney with children. Properties in these areas are large and there are lots of wide open spaces.
These suburbs are serviced well by the suburban train network and private bus services.
Blacktown in western Sydney is a very family-friendly area with lots of community facilities and schools. Blacktown also has plenty of shopping and entertainment facilities to keep the whole family busy.
Blacktown has good public transport links and is close to major highways, making for easy commuting to the city centre.
Young and hip areas in Sydney
Sydney has a number of suburbs that are well suited to young, single expats who want all the facilities the city has to offer on their doorstep. In some of the up-and-coming areas of Sydney, expats can still find relatively affordable accommodation close to the city centre.
Surry Hills and Paddington
Surry Hills and Paddington are areas that are close to the heart of the city and have plenty of entertainment and shopping facilities available. Surry Hills, in particular, has a dense concentration of restaurants, so expats in this area will have no trouble finding a bite to eat.
These areas are well serviced by local buses.
Newtown is a bohemian area of Sydney and is the perfect place for single expats or couples on a budget. It is a colourful and unconventional area with a whole host of restaurants, bars, theatres and clubs. The streets are full of vintage fashion boutiques, music stores, specialist bookshops and antique stores.
Although it looks a little run-down in parts, this is all part of the Newtown charm. It is very cosmopolitan and full of young expats.
Coogee and Cronulla
For young people looking to make the most of Sydney’s beach culture, it is worth looking at housing options in Coogee or Cronulla. These areas have a relaxed atmosphere and are popular with students and backpackers. There are lots of economical living options here, including house shares.
Although these suburbs are further away from the city centre, the commute into the city centre is not difficult thanks to Sydney’s extensive public transport network.
►For an overview of the city's property market, read Accommodation in Sydney
Are you an expat living in Sydney?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Sydney. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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