Sydney, the largest city in Australia, is also one of the most cosmopolitan places in the world, attracting visitors and immigrants from different parts of the world, be it for its great universities, high quality of life or for the countless job opportunities. But what exactly will be the short life in Sydney? This is what you will discover now in this guide.
Cost of living in Sydney: Accommodation
In the center
Sydney is Australia’s most expensive city (and one of the most expensive in the world), so you can expect to spend a good portion of your budget on rent alone. And the main rule in this respect is that the closer you are to the center, the more expensive it will be to rent an apartment.
In the most central regions (and also in trendy neighborhoods) expect to spend, on average, A $ 352 (A $) per week in a house / apartment shared with others. In a shared apartment with hotel services, this value rises to A $ 370 per week. Finally, to live alone in a 1 bedroom apartment, expect to spend around A $ 815 (per week!).
The most affordable option is to live with a local family (which usually already includes meals) and spend, on average, A $ 320 a week.
In the suburbs
In the suburbs of the city these prices fall considerably. To rent a 1 bedroom apartment, expect to spend an average of A $ 540 per week. A room in a house shared with others is around A $ 317 per week, depending on the number of rooms available.
Basic bills (water, heating, electricity and garbage collection fee) will also represent an important part of your cost of living in Sydney, at around A $ 175 for a small apartment. It is worth remembering that the bigger the apartment or house, the higher these values will be.
A 60 Mbps internet package can cost between A $ 59 and A $ 100, with an average of A $ 70.
Which to choose?
University campuses in Sydney are more spread out, so you need to keep that in mind when choosing where to live there. Macquarie University, for example, is located in North Ryde, a suburb north of the city’s famous port, which can slightly increase the time spent commuting.
Although getting around Sydney is easy with its great train system, it can represent a good amount of minutes spent every day if you end up living on the opposite side of the city.
The good news is that most other universities in the city, such as the University of Sydney, the University of Technology in Sydney and UNSW Art & Design, are located close to the center, making it easier to access on a daily basis.
You also need to think about what is most important to your lifestyle when making that choice. Living further away from the center usually means that you will find better apartments (more spacious, for example) for lower prices. However, you may end up spending more on public transportation or other transportation services.
Living near the center will be more expensive from the point of view of rent, but cheaper in relation to spending on public transport. In addition, you will also be closer to cultural activities and the hustle and bustle of nightlife.
Cost of living in Sydney: Public transport
To explore Sydney using public transport, you will need to purchase an Opal card, a smart card that can be used for travel by train, light rail, bus and ferry, both within the city limits and in the surrounding area.
The bad news is that, unlike in many cities around the world, international students are not traditionally eligible for discounted rates.
The exact cost of a trip is based on the distance traveled, but on average, you will spend around A $ 26 per week. In addition to distance, another factor that influences the exact value is the frequency of use.
On Sundays, the full day ticket costs only A $ 2.70, regardless of how many times it is used.
Cost of living in Sydney: Food
If you choose to cook and eat at home, expect to spend around A $ 18 a day (including breakfast, lunch and dinner). Obviously this value can vary more or less according to your lifestyle and preferences for food and shopping.
The most popular supermarket chains in the city are Coles and Woolworths. Other options are the IGA (Independent Grocers of Australia), Harris Farm Market and Aldi. It is also possible to find several smaller markets.
For those who like to eat out, Sydney has an incredible culinary tradition (with restaurants from all corners of the world) that varies greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood.
On average, breakfast in a cafe in town costs around A $ 15. For lunch, expect to spend around A $ 16. Dinner is a little more expensive, around A $ 25 per meal.
Curiosity: unlike many countries in the world, such as the USA, there is no tip culture in Australia. Some places may even ask you if you would like to offer a tip, but this is unusual and the decision to give or not is up to the customer.
Cost of living in Sydney: Entertainment
If you like the nightlife it is good to plan not to spend more than you should. Bars with live music, for example, usually charge an extra fee that can reach A $ 20. A glass of beer, wine or cider costs approximately A $ 10 to A $ 15. A special cocktail ranges from A $ 12 to A $ 25.
Musical shows are also often expensive. A show by a local artist is at A $ 50 each ticket. This is the average applied also for sporting events. A show by a more recognized artist can vary between A $ 100 and A $ 200 per ticket.
Other events, such as theater plays and dance shows, are also at A $ 50 per ticket. To see a movie at the cinema, expect to spend around A $ 23.
The good news is that there are many regular free events going on throughout the year, especially in the summer.
Cost of living in Sydney: Health
If you want to stay in shape while living in Sydney, expect to spend around A $ 18 a week at a franchise fitness center. The most famous in the city are Goodlife, Anytime Fitness, Fitness First and Virgin. Make sure to ask about student discounts.