10 reasons to live in Sydney: the best city in Australia

18 March 2016

View of a busy Circular Quay and Sydney harbour

View of a busy Circular Quay and Sydney harbour

Recently ranked as number 10 in Mercer’s 2016 list of most liveable cities, Sydney continues to grow in popularity; each year, almost 10 million visitors stay in the harbour city, and each day, more than 600,000 visitors come into the city and the inner city to see the sights, shop and explore. With the population of this sprawling metropolis predicted to top 5 million this year, here are 10 reasons to consider jumping on the bandwagon and moving to Sydney.

Sydney Harbour is one of the most beautiful harbours in the world

Sydney Harbour, NSW

Aerial of Sydney harbour

Sydney is surrounded by water, and the sparkly azure waters of Sydney Harbour are some of the most picture-perfect. With more than 200km of harbour foreshore, it’s dotted with pretty harbour islands, and is the setting for a plethora events including boat races and, of course, Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display.  

Sydney’s weather

Stand up paddleboarding, Manly

Stand up paddleboarding, Manly

It may sound like a small thing, but it can make the difference between fantastic day out and a day that’s just kind of ok. Sydney’s weather is spectacular at best, and pleasant, moderate, yet still with four seasons that kind of…lazily give way to each other, at worst. Move here and you’ll quickly grow accustomed to generous, lengthy summers, mild winters and sunny days.  

You’ll have time to visit every one of Sydney’s epic beaches

Manly Beach, Sydney

Manly Beach, Sydney

A day at the beach is a favourite Aussie pastime, and Sydneysiders are no exception. From the ever-popular and iconic shores of Bondi, to the surfer-friendly breaks of Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Sydney’s beaches are more than just a major tourism draw; they’re a way of life. Don’t miss the tranquil secret beaches near the harbour, Sydney’s awesome outdoor rock pools and the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk. Move to Sydney and you’ll have the chance to explore them all, from Palm Beach to Cronulla.  

Sydney has a vibrant arts scene and cultural calendar

Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney

The arts and cultural calendar in Sydney is the envy of most of the country, and with good reason. From the Sydney Festival to the fabulous light displays of Vivid Sydney, there’s a multitude of awesome arts and cultural events in Sydney each year, as well as great galleries, museums, gigs and performances; there’s always something going on.  

Sydney is made up of cities within cities within cities

Spanish Quarter, Haymarket

Spanish Quarter, Haymarket

Covering more than 12,000 square kilometres, and with more than 500 neighbourhoods, each with their own distinctive character, choosing which part of Sydney to live in can be overwhelming in the very best way. And with more residents born overseas than anywhere else in Australia, Sydney is diverse, multicultural city, which makes it easy to meet new people, have new experiences, and find a place to call home.  

Eating out in Sydney is a global feast

The Crabbe Hole Cafe, Bondi

The Crabbe Hole Cafe, Bondi

Sydney is the best city in Australia for those who have intrepid tastebuds. In the mood for a bowl of steaming Vietnamese pho? Head to Marrickville or Cabramatta. Craving Chinese? Visit Ashfield, Strathfield, Chatswood or Chinatown for plump dumplings and freshly-cooked seafood. After Middle Eastern Fare? You only need to journey to Lakemba, Punchbowl, Granville, Auburn, or even Surry Hills’ Cleveland Street for delicious falafel, creamy garlic dip and succulent skewered meats. There’s so much to experience and eat in Sydney, you could eat your way around its many vibrant neighbourhoods for months and barely scratch the surface.

The local markets here are fantastic

Paddington markets, Sydney

Paddington markets, Sydney

Sydney is blessed with a string of buzzing local weekend markets that makes shopping and browsing a true pleasure. Head to the Glebe Markets for clothes and great gifts, Rozelle Markets for antiques and vintage clothing, the Rocks Markets for handmade finds, and the Carriageworks Famers’ Market for delicious local produce.

Some of Australia’s best cafes (and coffee) are in Sydney

Sonoma Bakery, Waterloo

Sonoma Bakery, Waterloo

Sydney rivals Melbourne with its cafe offering, and the coffee here is some of the best in the world. Head to Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Alexandria and Newtown for some of the city’s best brews, from chic laneway holes-in-the-wall the vast industrial warehouse cafes. Must-visits include Mecca, Sample Coffee and Gumption.   

You’ll be surrounded by fabulous day trips and weekend getaway opportunities

Scenic World, Blue Mountains

Scenic World, Blue Mountains

Day trips and weekends away departing from Sydney are numerous, and there are some beautiful places to explore, many even accessible by public transport; which makes for a cheap day out. Head to the the stunning Blue Mountains for bushwalks and to see the Three Sisters rock formation, spend a weekend on the South Coast exploring its beaches and national parks, or sign up for a wine tour of the Hunter Valley. All are within a couple of hours’ drive of the city.  

You’ll have the best New Year’s Eve in the world…every year

The 2007 New Years Eve Fireworks on Sydney Harbour

New Years Eve Fireworks, Sydney Harbour

With Sydney Harbour as the spectacular setting and the Sydney Harbour Bridge as its centrepiece, New Year’s Eve is the biggest party in Sydney, and arguable, the best celebration of its kind in the world. With a different theme each year, fireworks light up the city in epic display synchronised to music which has to be seen to be believed.

To find out what to see and do in Sydney, visit sydney.com

  • Denys

    I’ve sent this to all of my American friends and they are all impressed, some have threatened to visit!

    • xoxAnnieove123xox


  • Herr Pumpkinfurher

    “And with more residents born overseas than anywhere else in Australia, Sydney is a diverse, multicultural city, which makes it easy to meet new people, have new experiences, and find a place to call home.”

    How does “more residents born overseas” and “diverse, multicultural” equate to “which makes it easy to meet new people”. Doh!!

    There is not a lot of English spoken in Sydney these days and it is an extremely expensive city if you just want to enjoy coffee.

    • noobvile69

      its fukn expensive to live in sydney braaa…

  • dixfordimands


  • MF

    Having just moved to Sydney from London in the last 2 months, here’s my 2 pence/cents.

    1. Property in and around Sydney CBD is expensive – shock rating 10/10. If you are buying here, it will take up the large chunk of your earnings if relying on a mortgage. For a 3 bed (standard) house in inner west you are looking at 2m+ Au$ (About £1.4m with current xchange rates). By comparison a similar size house just outside of London in a reasonable suburb is approx £600-700k give or take.

    2. I was worried about d2d living cost’s but in general grocery shopping is on par with the UK. They have Aldi’s, Coles & Target which is similar to Asda or Tesco’s in the UK and prices are similar too.

    3. Eating out in restaurants / home delivery meals is seen as more of a luxury in Sydney and can be expensive. In the UK the weather is not as great, so we tended to eat at home more via Domino’s etc – you don’t have to do that so much here, so you can buy most of the stuff locally, cook at home and take out to a park etc. We have not ordered delivery meals so far since arriving.

    4. Utilities – Can’t comment yet as not seen a 1st bill but a big complaint by other family members. I was thinking everyones Electricity bills would be low as the availability of solar but that is not the case. It does get chilly in the evening/mornings as older houses are not designed for energy efficiency. Supplier switching seems quite new here compared to the UK so could be a good option in reducing bills. if you buy the right clothing (like we had to in the U.K. – Fleece, Thermal clothing etc) you can stay quite comfortable even when the room temperatures dip (roughly 18 degrees overnight room temp – you’re not going to freeze to death)

    5. Petrol is cheaper here compared to UK. Roughly 1 dollar 50 per ltr which is roughly 90p back in the UK. 2nd hand cars are expensive. Not figured out why yet. A local dealer was selling a Mini must have been an 80/90’s model for 20k Au$. I don’t know if it was owned by someone famous beforehand, it was immaculate but I wouldn’t have paid £1k back in the UK. It’s a complete reverse of the 2nd hand market back in the UK and will make your eyes water at 1st. Public transport is cheaper.

    Overall it is swings and roundabouts but taking the cost of housing out of the situation, generally things are on par with the UK. You have to live differently but the weather helps you do that. Shop around if time permits.

    Overall we are very happy we made the move. Folk more likely to say hello and engage in conversation whereas if you did that in the U.K. people look at you weird or worse still could turn violent.