Finding a place to live in a foreign country is easier said than done. Not having having any idea of the local geography means that you won't know the best areas to live in or which neighbourhoods are safe. Let's look at convenience of public transport, something that the Japanese tend to go for when searching for houses. The reality is that no matter how beautiful the scenery in front of a property, commuting to school or work for over an hour each way gets tiring. I've been in Australia for almost 8 years now, living at various addresses all over Sydney from the north to the inner west, and the eastern suburbs. With this experience behind me I now bring to you some of the most popular places to live in Sydney.

Sydneye Suburbs

※Locations in the red circle are roughly within an hour from the city.

1. Around the City

1.City 1. City2

The city region is an area from which one can walk to the city or catch a 10-minute train or tram. Many of the sharehouses in the city are secured apartments with gym and pool facilities, shared by a large number of housemates. Relatively speaking these housemates are mostly Asian exchange students and Europeans on working holidays. There are a various suburbs in the city, and I will now go through those with a lot of sharehouses.


■Town hall/Central area

If you are working or studying in the city you won’t have any travelling expenses here. Perfect for people who love the city life. Mostly secured apartment-type sharehouses.

■Surry Hills/Ultimo

Great for people who want to avoid the center of the city yet still want to be nearby. Surry Hills is a popular neighborhood even among local Australians with many stylish cafe and restaurants. Townhouses and apartment buildings are commonplace. Ultimo is right by Sydney Central and is home to many university students. It’s close to the fish market and Darling Harbor, with mainly secured apartment-type sharehouses.


Home to the stylistas of Sydney. It’s main street, Oxford Street, is lined with many boutiques and stylish stops. This area comes alive with shoppers on the weekend. You can find mostly townhouse and apartment-type sharehouses here.


Pyrmont is said to be home to many Japanese nationals. The area has a stylish atmosphere and is located behind Darling Harbor. Mostly secured apartment-type sharehouses.


Elizabeth Bay, Potts point, Darlinghurst, Broadway, Woolloomooloo are also in the city

※Depending on the time and place, it is generally not advisable to walk around alone after dark in Redfern, Kings Cross, Chippendale or Darlinghurst. Eveleigh street in Redfern is avoided even by locals and is a place one should steer clear of outside of daylight hours. Public safety has improved considerably in the area since its troubled past, however care should still be taken walking the streets after dark.

2. Northern Sydney region

2. North 2. North2

It is said that the north is the safest area in Sydney. There is a high tendency for Japanese nationals to prefer the north, and many representatives from Japanese companies live in this area. There are also many Asian supermarkets, as well as a number of Japanese restaurants. One of the reasons this area is so popular is its convenience of public transport - although some areas are only connected by bus route, trains are available in most areas.


■Neutral Bay/Mosman

This is a comfortable area to live in with safe streets, great access to the city and cafe/restaurant-lined Military Road. Sharehouses here are mainly houses and secured apartment-types.

■Crows Nest/North Sydney

North Sydney is a commercial district with large-scale shopping malls. Crows Nest is famous for its eating establishments, and is also home to many Japanese restaurants. Many people work casual jobs in this area. Sharehouses here are mainly houses and secured apartments.

■Chatswood/Artarmon/ St.Leonards

Chatswood is a major commercial and retail district in the north. Convenience at the train station has improved with the establishment of a supermarket and shops above. Artarmon and St. Leonards are also popular areas comfortable to live in. Sharehouses here are mainly secured apartment-types.


Wollstonecraft, Lane Cove, Manly, Hornsby are also a part of Northern Sydney

3. Eastern Suburb region

Eastern suburb 3. Eastern

Sydney’s east is a popular area with locals as it faces the ocean. Expensive houses line the streets in upscale areas. Bondi Beach is popular among beach-lovers. Access to the city is limited to bus in areas outside of Bondi Junction, however the main reason people continue to choose this location is of course because of its proximity to the beach. It really is the perfect place for people who want to enjoy beach life to the fullest.


■Bondi Junction

Bondi Junction is the central commercial district in the Eastern Suburbs. Convenience of public transport is high with 24-hour access to the city via bus, as well as regular trains. The area is popular for having the luxuries of a large shopping mall, cinema, restaurants and a Japanese supermarket. Sharehouses here are mainly townhouse and apartment-types.

■Bondi Beach/Coogee/Bronte/Maroubra

Access this beach from the city without having to change buses. Living beachside is a popular choice because a 24-hour bus runs between the beach and the city. Sharehouses here are mainly houses and apartment-types. This area is great for people to want to live within walking distance to the beach.

■Randwick/Maroubra Junction/Kingsford

This area is home to a relatively high number of students with UNSW nearby. There are shopping malls in Randwick and Maroubra Junction, as well as everything you could possibly need in life (including post offices and banks). In Kingsford there are many Asian supermarkets and cheap restaurants aimed at university students.


Double bay, Woollahra, Centennial Park, Rose Bay, Bellevue Hill, Queens park, Kensington are also part of the Eastern Suburbs

※Bondi is a popular place, and with many pubs in Bondi Junction and near the beach, you will want to be careful not to get involved in any situations involving drunken revellers. I was once on my way home from work walking in Bondi Junction at around 17:30, and had my arms pinned behind my back by a drunk for 5 minutes. Another day I saw a man with a knife scuffling with 6 policemen. Where there are pubs there will be people under the influence of alcohol, so please be careful!

4. Inner West region

4. Western Inner West suburb

West of the University of Sydney is an interesting area comprised of very different suburbs. The Inner West is a melting pot of cultures with an ethnic attitude, with it’s own Little Italy and Chinatown. There is no mistake that being in Sydney means being able to enjoy a variety of different cultures. The main feature of the inner west is that there is no one area that is predominantly Western. Another is convenience of public transportation, with the area mostly connected to the city by train and bus.



The main street, King Street, is a bustling place lined with shops. It’s a popular destination filled with unique and interesting things, including individual fashion stores, cute shops and antique dealers. Close to the University of Sydney, the area is oriented towards the many students living in the area. Sharehouses here are mainly townhouse, house and apartment-types.


Glebe is not quite like Newtown but it does have its fair share of cafes, and the Broadway Shopping mall is a great convenience with its cinema among other things. Sharehouses here are mainly townhouse and apartment-types.


Marrickville was once known for its Vietnamese immigrant population, however trendy cafes have multiplied and so has its popularity with the Australian locals. A convenient location with a shopping centre, sharehouses here are mostly house-types.


Balmain is also a trendy, popular area. The atmosphere is great with its boutiques and cafes, and the bay as well. Access to the city is by bus or ferry. Sharehouses here are mainly house and townhouse-types.


Suburbs around Parramatta Road near the city. These suburbs are relatively close to each other, and for shopping you can go to the shopping centre in Leichhardt. Leichhardt is known as Sydney’s “Little Italy” where you can enjoy a different atmosphere to that of the city. Sharehouses here are mainly townhouse and house-types.


These suburbs have predominant Chinese and Korean populations. There are also a number of Asian supermarkets in the area. Burwood is the biggest, having a shopping mall with a cinema. Ashfield is closest to the city, with many Japanese nationals living there and many house-type sharehouses. Sharehouses in Burwood and Strathfield are mainly secured apartment and house-types.


Petersham, Dulwich Hill, Hurlstone Park, Summer Hills, Lewisham, Rozelle, Concord are also part of the Inner West

※The west is known as an area home to an increasing amount of immigrants, and it is not advisable to walk outside alone after dark. Areas around the city are fine, but one should be careful riding trains especially at night.

5. Southern Sydney region

5. South2 5. South

This area is close to the airport and progressing rapidly, with many newly-constructed properties. Public transport access is great with buses and trains in service. There are also facilities such as shopping centers and malls, and all-in-all the south is a convenient place to live. In the south is Botany Bay, so one can experience a relaxing life by the sea down here, too.



Safe areas popular because of relatively cheap prices compared to the North and Eastern suburbs. Both suburbs have shopping centres and are connected by bus and train. Sharehouses here are mainly house and secured apartment-types.


Mascot, Hurtsville are also part of Southern Sydney

I personally have lived in Manly, Annandale, Stanmore, Randwick, Lane Cove, Chatswood, Frenchs Forest and Bondi Junction. One thing I can say for sure is that you can really enjoy a different vibe and atmosphere from each suburb. I’ve met some people who have lived in the north for 20 years, though. What’s important is that you find a place you like, as well as somewhere safe and comfortable. A home is a place where one can relax. Let’s find that place for you. I’m looking forward to your questions about Sydney and Australia.
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