Five Tips for Living in Sydney

Five Tips for Living in Sydney

Known as the ‘Harbor City’, Sydney is a bustling metropolis, home to nearly five million residents, and sees more than 10 million visitors each year.

Currently (as of 2015 data by The Economist), it's the seventh most liveable city in the world.


So, if you’re thinking of moving and living in Sydney, here are my top tips to help you out:

1. Where in Sydney Should You Live?

Existing as Australia’s largest city, you need to have an idea of what you want out of life in Sydney. Do you want an inner-city hipster lifestyle, a beach lifestyle, or do you prefer more of a trendy vibe?

Some of my favorite suburbs in Sydney are:

  • In the North – Kirribilli, Mosman and Manly
  • Inner City – Potts Point, Surry Hills, Pyrmont, Glebe, Newtown and Alexandria
  • In the East – Bondi, Coogee and Bronte
  • In the South - Cronulla

Once you've decided on an area and have arrived in Syndey, you'll need to set yourself up right while searching for a place to stay.  In other words, you'll need a temporary base.  The main sources for this are below.


Stay at a backpackers and set yourself up.

Some top rated places include YHA Sydney HarbourBounce Sydney and Wake Up! Sydney Central. Not only are they a great way to meet people, you can also get access cheap or FREE Wi-Fi, local tips and information from staff.


Stay with friends or relatives.

 I might be stating the obvious, but try to stay with relatives and friends. Do they have a spare bedroom or couch you could use for a couple weeks? If so, this will help a lot!


Try self service.

 If you have some funds and don’t like hostels, then find a self-service apartment instead. One I’ve come across is the Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments in Darling Harbor. Priced at $150-200per night they offer everything you would need and they're also very central.  Enquire directly as they often have long-stay discounts.

Once you’ve found a temporary base, next is finding a permanent rental. The main sites to do this are:


2. How Should You Get a Job?

Since Sydney is an expensive city, you’ll need to get a J.O.B to fund your stay. Unless you have a financial backer, then you’ll likely have to join the rat race like most of us Sydneysiders. The main sites to find work in Sydney are:

Also, you can always sign-up with a recruiter such as HaysRandstad and Michael Page – these are some of the main recruitment companies in NSW.

Otherwise, if you’re business savvy you can freelance and find work via AirtaskerFreelancer or Elance.


3. How Should You Get Around in Sydney?

First thing when you arrive, you need to get yourself an Opal card. It’ll make getting around so much easier and will also save you a lot of money. You simply tap-on and tap-off, and load your card with money. You can purchase a card online at or at most news agents.

You can also make use of taxis though I’m starting to prefer Uber. I’ve had great experiences in Sydney, and you meet some interesting locals.

You’ll need to get familiar with Sydney’s public transport so I highly recommend downloading the mobile app TripView. The full version is around $4AUD and the lite version is FREE.

It’s a lifesaver as it maps out your journey, lists all routes and will show you up-to-date travel times.


4. How Do You Meet People?

This one is pretty simple – just get out and about and talk to people. Otherwise, jump on and attend an event. There’s a bunch of them available to join, many are FREE, and they cater to different interests. Alternatively, why not join a club or fitness centre or take that course you've always wanted to. For instance, I tried a few short courses as the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Kensington and met a bunch of interesting people.


5. What Should I Experience in Sydney?

My top tip is to subscribe to TimeOut Sydney’s newsletter or visit their site regularly. They have great listings and articles about things to do. From events, festivals and attractions, to new and cool restaurants and bars to discover, they cover it all!


In the meantime, some of my top attractions for Sydney are:

Take a cruise along Sydney Harbor (eg. Manly public ferry). A breathtaking experience is to do a dinner or lunch cruise and there are a bunch of companies offering this from Kings Street Wharf in Darling Harbor.

Swim at Bondi Beach or Manly. I personally prefer the northern beaches where Manly is located. In Manly be sure to visit Shelley Beach.  When visiting Australia’s most popular beach, Bondi, the coastal walk to Coogee is a must do. It’ll take around two hours and the views are incredible.

Visit the Sydney Opera House. I recommend having lunch or drinks at the Opera Bar. It’s a stunning and vibrant outdoor venue boasting breathtaking views of the Harbor Bridge, and it has live music on the weekends. From here, be sure to walk along the foreshore to Mrs. Macquarie's Chair. It has perfect views of both the Opera House and the Harbor Bridge.

In terms of where to eat and drink, key sites to help you out are YelpTimeOut Sydney and Zomato.


Do you live in Sydney?

What are your tips for those wanting to live in the Harbor City?