So you’ve decided to take the plunge and move to Sydney, Australia’s biggest, oldest, busiest city. In Sydney you’ll have access to great employment opportunities, education facilities, sporting events, outdoor activities, countless food and drink options and, of course, the beach. But that still leaves one burning question: where in Sydney are you going to live?

Sydney is big and you’ll want to spend a bit of time looking around before settling on the right location that gives you access to work, schools and recreation. Nevertheless, you’ll need to start somewhere. These are our recommendations of top Sydney neighbourhoods:

Manly Vale

Best for surfing families

Sydney’s ‘other’ beach is Manly and many people prefer it to the crowded Bondi. Manly Vale is a neighbourhood which not only grants easy access to this surfer’s paradise but also has great parks, several excellent schools and a median house price of less than 1m AUD.


Best for big spenders

Located on the South Head Peninsula at the entrance to Sydney Harbour, Vaucluse is one of the five most expensive suburbs in Sydney. It offers views right across the harbour, has 8 public parks and a lovely little beach in Shark Bay.


Best for outdoors people

With median house prices of less than 1m AUD (compared to approaching 3m AUD in Vaucluse), Wahroonga is a much more affordable neighbourhood but, while it lacks immediate access to a beach, still caters to an upmarket crowd. Near the North Shore National Parks and has excellent schools.

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Best for hipsters

This is our inner-city, hip and trendy pick. While it’s traditionally been known as a rough neighbourhood Redfern has recently seen a lot of gentrification and attracted young, professional tenants to live in its warehouse conversions and sup lattes at its growing number of cafes.


Best for Zen seekers

Another coastal suburb but this time one with a village feel that’s a bit further out from the bustle of the city. A favourite with greens and new age types for its wonderful views and plenty of wooded areas. Cheaper than the exclusive Palm Beach to the north.

Lane Cove

Best for families

A firm family favourite, Lane Cove is another North Shore suburb with great schools, lots of parks, plenty of greenery and some nice lunch options for its many yummy mummies. Only a 15-20 minute commute away from the city centre too, which explains the rising house prices.

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Best for young professionals

A cosmopolitan, arty, liberal neighbourhood to the south east of Harbour Bridge and popular with young professional types. Paddington isn’t cheap (median house price is 1.4m AUD) due to its proximity to the city centre and its appealing Victorian architecture.


Best for newcomers

Moving west we encounter one of the most characterful suburbs Sydney has to offer. Balmain is chock full of pubs, has a great market, views of the harbour and a strong liberal/left identity. It’s popular with young single professionals and families alike and is right on the doorstep of the CBD.


Best for suburbanites

It’s not easy to reach from the centre of Sydney – in fact it’s at least a 40 minute drive away. However, Liverpool is a suburb with a Westfield shopping centre, which has several large employers based there, a long history, plenty of schools and where it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to live. If you can put up with the long commute, or find employment locally, Liverpool is worth a look.

Have the perfect neighbourhood in mind for when you move to Sydney, but not the job? Take a look at our guide to getting a work permit in Sydney to help clarify your options.