Sydney Australia Skyline Back to blog

Cost of living Sydney: A guide for newcomers

Moving interstate  |  Guides

Moving to a new city can be exciting, but it can also be challenging. Sydney is a wonderful city, with a vibrant colonial past expressed in its many historic buildings and parks but what is the cost of living in Sydney? 

As the state capital of NWS, Sydney is situated on one of the most picturesque natural harbours in the world along with having magnificent beaches along its seaward shoreline like Bondi in the south and Palm Beach and Barrenjoey along the north shore. 

It is the most populous cosmopolitan city in Australia and exudes a feeling of excitement, wonder and awe.

If you're looking for natural beauty and exciting places to go, Sydney has it all, for instance:

  • Pittwater
  • The Hawkesbury
  • Blue Mountains
  • Barrenjoey lighthouse
  • The Barracks and Quarantine station on the north shore
  • Sydney Harbour and Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Sydney Cricket Ground
  • Parramatta and much much more

One of the biggest concerns for newcomers, however, is the cost of living. So before booking your interstate removalist and moving to Sydney, it's important to know what you're getting yourself into financially. In this article, we'll go through the cost of living in Sydney and give you some tips on how to be able to afford it while saving money.

Cost of housing in Sydney

Housing is one of the biggest expenses when it comes to living in Sydney. The cost of rent can vary greatly depending on the area in which you want to live. The closer you are to the city centre, the more it costs. 

Expect to pay around $665-$700 per week for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre. However, if you're willing to live further out, you can find more affordable housing options. 

The average median weekly rental for a house in Sydney is $956.00. It goes without saying that you need a significant income to be able to handle this rental market. If you are thinking of purchasing a house in Sydney the average price is currently $1.11 million with a projected 5% increase over the next year.

If you're looking to save money on housing, consider shared accommodation or house-sitting. Shared accommodation can cost as little as $200 per week and it's a great way to meet new people. House sitting is another option if you don't mind taking care of someone's home and pets while they're away. It's a great way to save on rent and get free accommodation.


Average cost of a one-bedroom unit: $700 per week

Average cost of a three-bedroom apartment: $1330 per week

Average cost of a home: $1,110,000

Transportation costs in Sydney

Sydney Passenger Train

Transportation in Sydney can be expensive too. The city has a great public transportation system, but the costs can add up. A single trip on the bus or train costs around $4 depending on the distance. If you're planning on using public transportation frequently, it's best to purchase an Opal card. This will give you a discount on your trips and you can recharge it as needed.

Owning a car would cost you the same as anywhere but in Sydney, if you expect to have any kind of commute, factor in the extra petrol costs. It’s not unusual for someone to have an hour commute (each way) or more. 

If you're looking to save money on transportation, consider cycling or walking. Sydney has a great network of cycle lanes and it's a great way to stay fit. Walking is also a great way to explore the city and it's good for your health too.


Monthly transit pass: $225

Average cost of petrol: $2.05/litre

Food costs: dining out & groceries

Food in Sydney can be expensive, especially if you eat out frequently. A meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost around $35-$40 per person. However, there are plenty of ways to save money on food. One of the best ways is to cook at home. 

There are many supermarkets in Sydney stocked with the best quality fruit, veggies and meat in the country where you can buy fresh produce at affordable prices. Sydney gets premium quality produce before any other region in Australia. So let your hair down and enjoy many of the foodie delights available keeping in mind the eclectic cuisine available in such a great cosmopolitan city. You can also find cheap eats at food courts or street vendors around the city.


Average cost of a coffee: $5

Average meal at a mid-range restaurant (for 2): $80 - 120

Groceries for 1: $100 per week

Groceries for 4: $300-400 per week

Entertainment and sport costs in Sydney

Entertainment in Sydney can also be pricey although there are also many free fun and interesting things to do in the area. Movie tickets cost around $20-$25 per person and tickets to musicals or concerts will likely start at the $100 mark and go up from there. 

However, there are ways to enjoy entertainment in Sydney without breaking the bank. Many museums and galleries offer free admission and there are plenty of parks and beaches where you can enjoy the outdoors for free. 

When it comes to sport, Sydney and NSW boasts 10 teams in the NRL along with being the home of the famous Blues State of Origin team. Additionally, Sydney is the starting line for the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race. 

The AFL is also represented with 2 major teams being the GWS Giants and the Sydney Swans. When it comes to cricket Sydney is the home of the Sydney Sixers and the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League. Look there is so much to do and see you might find you don’t have much time at home after all.

Cost of Sydney healthcare

The cost of healthcare in Sydney will depend on your situation. If you're a traveller or not covered by Medicare, you'll possibly need to purchase private health insurance and Sydney may be a bit more expensive. 

If you have more frequent healthcare needs, you may require specialist appointments or just more visits to a healthcare provider in general. Factor in the cost of transportation, time missed off work, and potentially parking fees, depending on your location. The good news is that there are many specialist physicians in this city. Health NSW also offers these ways to save money on healthcare. 

Public hospitals in Sydney are administered by the NSW Health Department so there will be no fee for residents and citizens to use them. You will need to factor in visits to any private hospitals or facilities. Many pharmacies offer free health checks and you can also find affordable healthcare packages if you do your research.

Climate and utilities

Sydney Beach

Sydney’s climate is the equivalent of a mild Mediterranean climate. Summers are warm and partly cloudy with a yearly temperature range of between 8 deg. to 27 deg. Winters are cool but mildly so.

You may require heating in the winter months and air conditioning in the summer months. Costs vary according to your home so factor in between $100-400 per month as a start. 


Basic utilities for a unit or apartment: $330 per month

Mobile phone: $40 - 100 per month (depending on data requirements)

Internet: $80 per month

Education & childcare

If you require childcare services or are looking at private schools for your kids, you should also factor this into your monthly budget. Private primary schools can cost between 15000 and 400000 per month. Childcare or kindy will cost between $500 - 1000 per week. 


Childcare / kindy: $3000 per month

Private school, prep - year 6: $2300 per month

Conclusion: Sydney is on the pricey side

Living in Sydney can be expensive, but it's also a wonderful city to call home. 

Numbeo estimates (based on data contributed by Sydney-siders) the following cost of living for Sydney:

Family of 4: $6400 per month PLUS rent / housing

Single person: $1800 per month PLUS rent / housing

The average monthly salary in Sydney is $5810. 

By being aware of the costs and taking steps to manage your money, you can enjoy all that Sydney has to offer without breaking the bank. 

From finding affordable housing to cooking at home, to engaging a quality interstate removalist to get you to Sydney, there are plenty of ways to save money if that’s what you require. So go ahead and make the move if it seems like the right fit for you. Just run your numbers to be sure it is worth it.

Happy Moving!

New call-to-action