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Home to some of the world's most iconic landmarks, Sydney is a dynamic, world-class city where breathtaking natural beauty and a cosmopolitan spirit meet.
Expats moving to this New South Wales city can look forward to a vibrant, culturally-diverse environment with loads to see, do and explore. It’s no wonder Sydney is constantly ranked as a top expat destination.
Living in Sydney as an expat
Expat families in Sydney live a high quality of life and rarely run out of things to see and do. The city heaves with modern eateries of all kinds, exciting nightlife, museums, shopping districts and entertainment venues.
That said, Sydney is not a city content to rely only on its scenic charms or hedonistic indulgences. It is also a major financial hub and economic power, so it is no surprise that the number of working expats relocating to Sydney every year is on the rise. Particularly those in finance, insurance, healthcare, retail and manufacturing will find ample opportunities to work in Sydney.
Accommodation-wise, expats will have a huge variety to choose from, be it lavish high-rise apartments in the city centre or more affordable family homes in the suburbs.
Sydney also offers good, accessible public transport systems that get commuters where they need to go. With trains, trams, buses, a monorail system and taxis, expats will find getting around quite easy. Having a car can be convenient, especially for parents, but it is definitely not necessary.
Sydney also offers efficient healthcare facilities, with state-of-the-art hospitals and ubiquitous pharmacies. As in the rest of Australia, residents in Sydney have access to the Medicare universal healthcare scheme.
Cost of living in Sydney
The cost of living in Sydney is high. Accommodation, entertainment, transport and eating out are all far more expensive than in many other parts of Australia. That said, expats usually find that the quality of life in Sydney is worth the cost, and in most cases expat salaries are high enough to afford a comfortable life here.
Expat families and children
When it comes to their children’s education, expats can rest easy as Sydney’s schools are generally of an excellent standard. Public schooling is free for residents and locals, saving parents some money. Non-government Catholic schools and other private schools are also options, and some international schools are also available.
There is much to be said for the spectrum of lifestyle benefits available to expat families in Sydney. The city is famous for its gorgeous beaches, but also boasts lush parks and other family-friendly attractions and annual festivities. For those families who need a break from the city, there are countless options for weekend getaways around Sydney.
Climate in Sydney
The climate in Sydney is much milder than other parts of Australia, and expats don’t take very long to acclimatise. Occasional flash floods and storms do happen, and Sydney has been getting drier, so expats should keep an eye on weather updates.
Expats who enjoy plenty of sunshine, the beach, friendly people, a safe family environment and entertainment galore will have a good time in Sydney and probably stay longer than they had planned.
►Learn more about moving to Australia
"It goes without saying that Australia is beautiful, and Sydney is arguably the crowning jewel. The wonderful thing about a city on the water is that it can never feel crowded – no matter how hectic you feel China town is on a Friday night, you can always head to the harbour and look out into the ocean." Read more about US expat Katie's impressions of Sydney.
"I love Sydney. I think it is a fantastic city. The weather is lovely and there is so much to do; from shopping at Paddy’s Market to taking surfing lessons at Bondi Beach." Find out what British expat Jo has to say about living in the bustling city.
Are you an expat living in Sydney?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Sydney. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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