The best Sydney suburbs | A short guide for Expats moving to AU


Moving to a new country is a big decision, and it can be difficult to decide on where to live if haven’t yet had the opportunity to explore the area and get to know all the local amenities in each suburb.

While Sydney is famous all around the world, well known for its cultural diversity, great weather, and spectacular natural beauty, you can’t exactly be expected to know all about the individual suburbs (especially as there are over 500!).

Whether you need somewhere with good schooling, with proximity to employment hubs, or are more interested in a trendier spot with great cafes and restaurants, there are plenty of factors to consider before making the move.

Take a look at some of Sydney’s best suburbs and what makes them so great.


1 | Manly

Voted top waterfront suburb for owning a home in a recent survey by Lendi, Manly often tops people’s lists of most desirable Sydney suburbs to live in thanks to the fact that it has one of the world’s best beaches, a beautiful harbour, exceptional restaurants, an exciting bar scene, and all the open spaces on offer.

It’s particularly popular amongst expats relocating with children, as it’s close to a number of Sydney’s best public and private schools. It’s considered to be a calm, safe, and quiet suburb, ideal for families, sporty types, and nature lovers.

The downside to Manly is that it’s quite expensive and property prices are high, so it won’t be for everyone. Employment opportunities are also limited, but you can easily take the Fast Ferry into the city (although the 30-minute version is a “must do” for visitors so should be tried at least once) and there are also regular buses.


2 | Bondi

Coming in at a close second in Lendi’s survey of best waterfront suburbs to own a home in is Bondi, particularly popular amongst the younger generations. Again, this suburb is located close to the beach, has great shopping and good schools, so it’s another favourite area for families.

Bondi beach is extremely popular amongst tourists, so expect to see plenty of backpackers about looking to enjoy the surf, sand, and sea, as well as the bars, cafes, restaurants, and shops.

Bondi has a nice, relaxing atmosphere and beautiful scenery, but again, it’s an expensive place to live, so you should keep this in mind if you’re limited by your budget.

3 | Surry Hills

If you enjoy the city life and want something a bit more central, then consider Surry Hills. It’s within walking distance to the city and has excellent transport links, with regular trains and buses.

The main draw of Surrey Hills is its proximity to employment hubs, dense concentration of restaurants, and multitude of cafes, shops, clubs, and bars. It’s very cosmopolitan, which is why it’s another popular choice for expats.

4 | Newtown

If you’re looking to move somewhere a little more “young” and “hip,” then Newtown could be the ideal suburb for you. While it’s still a popular area with families, thanks to its good schools and proximity to employment hubs, it also draws in students and hipster crowds thanks to its bohemian atmosphere.

There’s plenty of bars, restaurants, clubs, and theatres to be found in this charming location, as well as more speciality stores such as antique stores, music stores, fashion boutiques, and specialist bookshops, which help to attract a more alternative crowd.

It’s a great spot if you’re a couple that looking for somewhere a little more affordable, or if you’re a young single expat on the lookout for a trendy, cosmopolitan area. 

5 | Crows Nest

This North Sydney suburb is considered to be a trendy and stylish place, with a mix of professionals, students, families, and singles. It’s got less of a college vibe than Newtown and is a bit more family oriented with one of the top-rated public secondary schools in Sydney.

It is situated near St. Leonards train station, about a 10 to 15-minute walk away, so getting the train into the city is easy. It’s got a good mix of city and village life, with plenty of good cafes, restaurants, and pubs around, as well as nice shops.

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