An Honest Best Suburbs In Sydney to Rent 2024 Guide

Wondering where are the best suburbs in Sydney to rent? We talk all about the best places to live in Sydney in this post from personal experience. This includes cheap rent in Sydney, apartments for rent in Sydney, as well as rooms to rent in Sydney.

We personally started off in the Southern Suburbs near Hurstville (to be near Steve’s family) and ended up in the Lower North Shore. One thing I can definitely admit is, renting in Sydney isn’t cheap.

We’re not going to talk about where to buy a house in Sydney because you’ll be looking at living further out because of the astronomical prices. The average house price in Sydney is apparently $1.3 million dollars and an apartment can be over $800,000.

Use this more like a first-timers guide on where to live in Sydney. We try to mention the best suburbs in Sydney and how they could be comparable (very loosely) to somewhere in London, just so you can have an idea of what to expect.

Make sure you familiarise yourself before deciding on where to live in Sydney. This guide is coming from what we’ve experienced, so we hope we can be of help to your search in finding your new Sydney home!

If you’re thinking about moving to other cities, read our Where To Live In Melbourne guide and our Where To Live In Brisbane guide, both written by locals in these cities.

Firstly, how many people live in Sydney?

Sydney’s population in 2023 is estimated to be 5,120,894 people. Australia’s population in total is estimated at 26,439,111 people. Almost 20% of Australia’s population live in Sydney alone.

What’s the average rent in Sydney cost?


A good one bed property will be anywhere from $600-$800 (give or take) per week in Sydney CBD (town centre), so that includes Bondi, Surry Hills, Paddington, Balmain, Kirribilli etc. You only pay for electricity over here so there’s no TAX, water bills, gas (in most properties) or TV licence to consider.

Richest suburbs in Sydney

If you’re wondering what are the richest suburbs in Sydney, the number 1 that always makes it to the top of the list is Point Piper located in the Eastern Suburbs. It will set you back a cool $12.5 million for a home in Point Piper which sits on Sydney Harbour.

Personally, when looking in the Eastern Suburbs, I always found the beach areas of Bondi and Bronte to be really expensive as you don’t get a lot for your money (trust me we searched and searched). Also, I’ve found housing to be pretty bad and run down on that side of town, maybe because it’s just so in demand that the property owners don’t need to look after them as much. Who knows?!

I do remember a friend paying over $1,000 a week to have a beach view in Bronte for a very small one bed apartment five years ago. That actually seems pretty cheap considering how much a one bed costs these days.

Cheapest Suburbs in Sydney

If you’re wondering what are the cheapest suburbs in Sydney, turns out the cheapest suburb in Sydney to buy is Tregear in Western Sydney. It will set you back $620,000 for a home here. The most affordable Sydney homes tend to sit in the Blacktown area, Western Sydney.

The further you head away from the beach, the more affordable Sydney accommodation tends to be. This doesn’t mean the areas get worse, if living up in the Blue Mountains is your thing, you could live in a beautiful area away from the city. But you’ll need to expect to commute a good few hours a day to work.

Sydney Suburbs to live in

We’ve split the best suburbs to live in, into a Sydney suburbs list so it’s easier to understand where all of the places we mention are located.

1. Eastern Suburbs in Sydney

2. North Sydney Suburbs

3. Where to rent in Sydney CBD

4. Inner Western Sydney Suburbs

5. South Sydney Suburbs

1. Eastern Suburbs in Sydney

ES typed

The Eastern Suburbs in Sydney basically means all of the main tourist beaches near to the city which include: Bondi Beach, Clovelly, Coogee, Tamarama, Bronte Beach and the popular and usually cheaper option of Bondi Junction as it’s close to the train station.

In my personal opinion Eastern Suburbs really has that ‘I feel like I’m on holiday’ vibe whenever I visit and the scenery is just out of this world with view after view of the beach.

<em>Bondi Beach at sunset <em>

You’ll see EVERYONE exercising in Eastern Suburbs which is great if that’s your kind of thing. Everyone wears their gym gear all weekend with of course a full face of make up on and their hair done. Gym gear on the weekend is a given in most of Sydney for some reason.

Coogee has a more chilled out if not a bit more of a relaxed vibe, and Bronte has more of a local vibe. Maroubra has more family vibe which feels way more chilled out than the movie set feel of Bondi.

The one thing I really like about the Eastern Suburbs in Sydney is it certainly makes you want to be a lot more healthier as there is just THAT buzz in the air.

Living in Eastern Suburbs downsides


The major downside about living in Bondi or any of the rest of the Eastern Suburbs is transport. For some reason, Sydney transport never built a train line down to any of the beaches in the Eastern Suburbs, so most people take the bus to and from work.

Bondi Junction is the main hub of the Eastern Suburbs with a good Westfield shopping mall and train line into the city.

<em>Bronte rock pool is one of the best swimming spots in Sydney<em>

If you are going to live by the beach then expect to get a bus to Bondi Junction (around 20mins in rush hour) and a train from there into town (around 15 mins). That’s actually not that long but buses are unpredictable and traffic is horrendous in Sydney so expect to probably double that time on occasion.

Check out our Bondi guides to read more about this area:

Northern Beaches


Manly vs Bondi

There’s always a bit of a divide when it comes to Manly and Bondi. If you’re wondering whether to live in Bondi or Manly, just to let you know both offer up completely different vibes.

Personally I find Bondi offers up literally more space. Manly can feel so overwhelmingly busy during the Summer as the tourists flock there on the famous Manly boat. But, Bondi has more space to sit up on the grassy areas and is a bigger beach.

Even though Manly might be crazy busy (and of course so is Bondi), it also offers up quite a relaxed vibe. It’s not nearly as pretentious as Bondi.


Manly also seems more like a little holiday town where the main street is pedestrianised and everyone walks around in bare feet. Although there’s not nearly as many eating options, it still packs a punch and has some great options for all. We really love the walk down to Shelly Beach on the ocean front to The Boathouse restaurant, a great spot for breakfast or lunch.

The one time I’ve actually been out drinking in Manly recently and everywhere pretty much closed by 12am on a Friday night so if you’re into the partying vibe, definitely head to Bondi.

Although both Manly and Bondi are popular places for British expats, especially backpackers, I’d personally live in Bondi if I was looking for a party vibe. If I was looking for somewhere relaxed next to the beach, I’d head to Manly.

Because Manly is much further away than a lot of the city suburbs, a lot of people who live in Manly actually never venture further out. While it might offer up the best commute in the world, the Manly ferry takes about 30 minutes or around 20 minutes on the fast ferry to Circular Quay which pulls in next to Sydney Opera House. Sounds all romantic right?

Just be careful you don’t try to catch the ferry on one of these days below. A rarity but it does happen! If it is awful weather, you’ll have to catch the bus into the city. You might not have heard of Military Road yet, but it will become a dread in no time.

A good tip about living in Manly is you can get a ferry over to Watson’s Bay in the Eastern Suburbs making it much easier to get over to that side of town. Why there isn’t a boat going between Manly and Bondi is beyond me. They are just opposite sides of the heads on the outskirts of Sydney Harbour.

Check out our Manly guides to help you get familiar with the area:

Balmoral Beach


Balmoral Beach is a gorgeous family beach in Sydney that’s a proper local gem. You won’t find any tourists here and it’s the perfect place to live if you’re after somewhere clean and more on the upper scale of decent suburbs.

A bus to get into the city will take you around 30-40 minutes.

The Lower North Shore


As I mentioned earlier on, we moved to South Sydney near to Hurstville when we first came to Sydney to be near Steve’s family. After about six months we moved to the Lower North Shore and ended up in Kirribilli, Neutral Bay and then Cammeray.

Although every time we moved, we looked at other areas like Marrickville and the Eastern Suburbs, but we never found anywhere that had better quality housing for our budget than in the Lower North Shore.

I think the reason why we stayed in the area is because a lot of people assume living on the Harbour will be really expensive. Turns out it’s not as expensive as you think. We paid $475 for a one bed right opposite Sydney Opera House. It was tiny but as far as the location goes, it doesn’t get much better. However, today a one bed can set you back $700 per week.

The suburbs we lived in are far from ‘happening’ areas but I liked the quietness and the fact that I got to live right on the Harbour as well.

The Lower North Shore in Sydney is a great location because it feels like you’re not in the city but yet you’re literally just a stone’s throw away. If you get the train from Milsons Point, the next station is Wynyard Station which takes just a couple of minutes.


Kirribilli was our favourite suburb which really reminded me of living in a village, something like back home but the weekly harbour fireworks became really annoying. You’ll be able to hear a lot of noise on the Harbour on weekends, from boat parties to all sorts. Noise on the water travels far.

Read our Lower North Shore guides

3. Where to rent in Sydney CBD


So you want to be right in the heart of the city? Our top picks for living right in the heart of Sydney CBD are Surry Hills and Darlinghurst, Paddington, Balmain and Glebe.

Surry Hills & Darlinghurst


Surry Hills & Darlinghurst are great areas to rent in Sydney for the city professionals. For those that want to be close to work and feel like they are living in the city, then Surry Hills is for you. You’ll find loads of restaurants, cool ‘secret’ bars and much more that you won’t run out of places to explore if bars and food is your kind of thing.

The only thing about Surry Hills is that I have heard there’s a bit of a damp issue in a lot of housing there. But, I’d put it on your list to check out regardless.

We love Darlinghurst. Located just a bit further up from Surry Hills, Darlinghurst offers up some awesome cul-de-sacs and brilliant little housing areas. Honestly, we’ve found some proper little gorgeous streets in this area that we would snap up in a heart beat. Go check out Cat Alley and you’ll see what we mean.

Where to live in Paddington

Further down from Surry Hills & Darlinghurst is Paddington, a gorgeous village vibe that I’d be surprised if every person in Sydney wouldn’t want to live there. To me it has all of the London vibes of Hampstead where I used to live with designer stores and beautiful pubs.

You are in a central location, in walking distance to the fun of Oxford Street or close to the tranquility of Centennial park.

Make sure you go to The Lord Dudley, our personal favourite British pub in Sydney. You can even stand outside with your pint. To me this is gold dust and makes this one of the most liveable suburbs for this reason!

Renting in Glebe


To us Glebe is like the nicer version of Newtown. Mind you we love Newtown for having vibrancy and individuality in Sydney but Glebe is like a sort of nicer version of it. With it’s main road of Glebe Point Road, you’ll find door to door restaurants and shops to spend a day exploring. We recommend you go and visit on the weekend when Glebe Markets are on at the school.

For us, Glebe is the sort of area we would have looked at moving to in Sydney as we like somewhere that’s a bit different with an alternative and art vibe.

Renting in Sydney’s Balmain

Balmain where to live in sydney

I remember an old boss moved to Balmain because he said it was the one suburb that had the familiarity of an English town. I must admit, he’s right. I love the sort of high street vibe going on with the shops and love how close it is to the city.

Balmain is one of the best family friendly suburbs close to the city centre or for older middle class couples (I’m talking in the 30’s+ bracket). It is also home to the most pubs per square km in Sydney but don’t expect Balmain to be a banging party vibe, it’s actually very quiet.

There’s a few options for getting into the city, you can either take a ferry or catch the bus.

4. Where to rent in Inner Western Sydney Suburbs 


Sydney’s Inner West is a popular area to rent in Sydney because it’s more affordable than a lot of suburbs. We love this area because it’s a bit more arty and more alternative than other generic areas in Sydney.

Where to rent in Redfern


What was once known as one of the roughest areas in Sydney, we love Redfern as it’s just one stop on the train to Central, it has an awesome main street with so many cool and hidden bars and you’ll find more alternative types living there. Honestly, check out the nightlife sometime, you’ll be just as surprised as we were!

Renting in Newtown


Newtown to us is a bit like the Shoreditch of Sydney. Take that comment VERY loosely as what we mean is it’s more of a trendy area to live in. Check out our guide for the 40 best things to do in Newtown to learn more about this area.

You’ll find loads of antique shops, quirky shops, quirky people and a breath of fresh air. There are some great pubs, there’s a good nightlife scene and it’s easy to get into Sydney city by jumping on the train for 10 minutes to Central. Easy!

Make sure you check out The Courthouse Hotel for it’s good beer garden and Earl’s Juke Joint (a Butcher’s shop turned secret bar).

Watch our Newtown video below

5. Where to live in South Sydney 

Cronulla NSW Google Maps

South Sydney tends to get a bit of a bad rep but there are some beautiful areas to consider, especially in the Como area and further South to Cronulla.

To me, Cronulla is like the epitome of a proper Aussie beach town. The main focus is the RSL and this is the sort of suburb you’ll only find locals living here. The beaches are stunning and you’ll be able to find something quite cheap as it takes about one hour on the train to the city. It’s actually on the same line as the Bondi train so you could always head over there for a change of scenery one day!

The great thing about Cronulla is it’s a stones throw away from the world’s second oldest National Parks, The Royal National Park.

Even if you decide this area isn’t for you, make sure you go and visit The Royal National Park. It is absolutely incredible!!



After what’s been a very long post, I thought it would be best to write a quick summary so it can help you with understanding where to look when you move to Sydney.

Best Sydney suburbs close to the beach

Eastern Suburbs – Bondi, North Bondi, Bronte, Tamarama, Clovelly, Coogee, Maroubra

Northern Beaches – Manly, Balmoral

Sutherland Shire – Cronulla

Best Sydney suburbs ferry commute into the CBD 


There are loads of ferry commutes that all pull into the harbour at Circular Quay. These are the places to consider;

Eastern Suburbs – You can get a boat from Rose Bay but you’ll need to either drive or catch a bus to the ferry.

Balmain – 10 minute boat ride

Manly – 30 minute express boat right down the harbour

Neutral Bay, Kirribilli and Lavender Bay – 10 mins right to circular quay

Most expensive and cheapest area to live in Sydney

The most expensive suburb is Point Piper (located near Bondi) where houses fetch a good $30 million each. Nearby suburbs Vaucluse, Double Bay and Rose Bay are all well to do suburbs.

For affordable suburbs, as I said before, the further out West you go, the cheaper it will be. There are plenty of house shares on Gumtree, Flatshare.com or flatmates.com.au if you fancy making it cheaper to live  in a nice area

Are there any unsafe areas to rent in Sydney?

Sydney really isn’t dangerous at all so there’s no need to worry about your safety. Redfern is renowned for being a bit on the dodgy side although we have never felt that at all and it’s a great place to explore.

Personally I would definitely walk the streets of Sydney alone at night and not feel threatened in the slightest.

As always, never put yourself in danger and be careful no matter where you are in the world.

Best place to rent in Sydney for single people


We recommend living in the Eastern Suburbs, preferably Bondi. There are a lot of young professionals and expats living in that area. You’ll find mostly British and Irish over that way and it’s great for those on a Working Holiday Visa.

Think of this as the Clapham Common of Sydney.

By this I mean it’s where everyone lives when they first come to Sydney. It’s also full of healthy Instagrammers and expect lots of people who will out do each other with their plastic surgery! But, it has a fantastic vibe, and really makes you feel like you are on a constant holiday. Expect to be paying more for rent in this Sydney suburb though.

Best places to rent in Sydney for couples

Any of the suburbs mentioned in this post! I think Balmain is a great spot if you are over 30 as there are more couples around that age living there, it’s quite quiet with a great big selection on pubs.

Balmain is like the Islington of Sydney, it’s a really nice area, clean and quiet.

We also recommend checking out Paddington as well which is one of our favourite suburbs and really close to Sydney CBD. Just don’t expect it to be cheap to rent in this Sydney suburb.

Best family friendly suburbs

For families we recommend the best places to live in Sydney include the following; Leichhardt, Balmain, Coogee, Maroubra and Manly. These family friendly suburbs offer leafy streets, green space, public and private schools and a family friendly neighbourhood.

Best Sydney suburbs for partying

If you’re looking to find somewhere to live in Sydney that’s great for partying, then we recommend the following suburbs; Surry Hills, Newtown and Bondi.

Best Sydney suburbs for healthy living?


We definitely recommend living by the beach if you want to immerse yourself into Sydney’s infectious healthy living lifestyle.

Best Sydney suburbs for trendy alternative vibe?

If you’re looking for a place to live in Sydney which is more on the trendy side, we recommend the West Sydney suburbs of Newtown and Marrickville. Think of these areas to be a bit like the East End of London, such as Shoreditch or Dalston.

Best affordable Sydney suburbs to live in close to the city?

We found (surprisingly) the Lower North Shore is one of the best places to live in Sydney for a one bed flat in terms of value for money and in close proximity to Sydney CBD.

You’ll get a flat that has both a decent kitchen and bathroom which is something that can be hard to find in Sydney. (We did warn you Sydney housing isn’t the best). Housing is cheaper and you can get a harbour view for not as much as other suburbs.

This area reminds me a bit of Hampstead in London which is where I used to live. Think of it as being just a nice area that’s a bit more well to do than some others in Sydney.

No partying really happens here but you’ll be just a stones throw from the action in Sydney CBD. I did look over in the Eastern Suburbs and Inner West a couple of times but we just couldn’t find anything decent for the money we wanted to pay.

Best Suburbs To Live In Sydney

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      1. Hi where would you say the best place to live would be, which is quiet yet not like 1 hr away from the city rather like 20 mins away? Also are there green nature areas for going for walks near by? I want to be somewhere quiet/nice prefably near greenrey but not ridiculously far from city. Thanks

      2. Hello Annie
        I ve found your site really helpful but have a couple of questions. I m heading over to Sydney for a year in June 2022, COVID and lockdowns permitting, with my husband and 18 yr old daughter. We want to rent a house to the west of Sydney as work is in Rydalmere. Balmain is too long a commute. Have you got any recommendations of suburbs with a bit of character out that way? We re debating whether to bring our dog but guess this will severely limit rental choices? Any tips would be great. Big thanks, Andrea

  1. Hello Annabel, I was searching where to live in Sydney and I found you. I love the article. Very helpful.. I am going to move Sydney this September and have no idea so..thank you very much! l would try Bondi and Surry Hils 😉 I am following you xo

  2. I love your blog, it’s so helpful! Glad I came across it 🙂 my boyfriend and I both have working holiday visa’s and we are planning on moving to Sydney end of November/begging of December. Is it going to be hard to find an apartment just before Christmas? we don’t want to end up paying ridiculous prices for hostels etc over the Xmas period! X

  3. Great article Annabel! This would have been super useful when I moved to Sydney years ago.

    Not sure if this might benefit your readers but me and a mate just started a site – http://liveable.in/sydney – after being asked the same questions from other expats on where to live in Sydney. It basically recommends you suburbs to live in based on your personal preferences like how much rent you’re willing to pay, do you care living near restaurants, pubs, parks etc.

    Would love to hear your thoughts as well given you know heaps about the suburbs in Sydney!


  4. The suburbs mentioned in this article are amongst the most expensive in Sydney. Good for single people who want to be close to the action and who can afford to pay a bit more for rent as they don’t have any kids or for those that are on high incomes. I grew up in the Sutherland Shire, which is a pretty decent part of the world, but also very expensive when it comes to housing. There are other suburbs south west of Sydney or even at the base of the Blue Mountains where commuting to the city is still possible but the rent / housing is more affordable. I will run off a few suburbs that are nice family areas. Mortdale, Peakhurst, Padstow, Panania, Illawong, Menai. Further out in the lower Mountains are Penrith, Lapstone, Glenbrook, which are about one hour by train to Central. Don’t be scared to venture out a bit further west if you cannot afford a home close to the city. These areas are safe family areas close to schools and a variety shopping centres. Stay within walking distance to a train line and the commute to the city is reliable and easy.

  5. This blog is amazing! It’s literally helping me so much and getting rid of a lot of unanswered questions and stress. Thank you!!

  6. I LOVED THIS! I’m looking at moving to Sydney from Cairns. Great article, answered lots of questions I had about renting costs, distance to city, etc

  7. Thank you this is incredibly helpful for our plans to move from the UK, the commute times seem amazing compared to London!

  8. so great, am moving from Auckland but this has been super helpful and a lot of things Aussies have told me about where to live and why I had already decided Lavender Bay or near by and you have confirmed it. Great blog, huge fan now! kia ora

    1. Thanks Yvonne, I love Lavender Bay, it’s beautiful there. Just be careful about being too close to Luna Park as you’ll jut hear the kids screaming on the rides all weekend otherwise!

  9. Really helpful article. I’m an Aussie looking to move back to Oz with my family after being in London for 12 years. I’m from Melbourne, but choosing Sydney for the weather.
    I have family in Maroubra and while it is a beautiful suburb, it’s outside budget, so looking for family friendly suburbs around there – slightly west/south. Marrickville was already on my list, so glad it’s on yours, however if it’s more East London, maybe not for us as I’m more after a Wimbledon/Putney villagey/family feel. Any thoughts?

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