2023 Living in Sydney Australia Costs
Sydney is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. It has a spectacular harbor, an incredible opera house, fantastic entertainment, pristine beaches, a wonderful climate, distinctive and abundant wildlife, spectacular natural surroundings, and very pleasant locals. It also has a plethora of free outdoor activities to enjoy, and there are ways to reduce the cost of living in Sydney if you are on a tight budget.
The cost of living in Sydney is, in a word, expensive. Let’s get that fact now. It consistently ranks in the top 10 of the most expensive cities to live in and is the most expensive Australian city. This year UBS calculated the basic costs of living in Sydney for one month to be $1792. This includes the cost of food, beverage, clothing, personal care and household items. Expat extras including the cost of a two bedroom furnished apartment, a household help, an international school admission fee and a local language course would add $2987 to this cost totaling $4779.
If you are considering relocating to Australia, you should have a realistic estimate of the cost of living there and how much money you will need to maintain your current lifestyle. We provide information on products and services such as housing, food, utilities, entertainment. You will be better positioned for your move to Australia if you gather information on both sides – the pros: excellent quality of life versus the cons: high cost of living.
So let’s look at all the different costs of living in Sydney for a month.
Minimum Sydney Australia Cost of Living
Rent is referenced by the week in Australia, and the budgeting explained here follows this pattern. Outside of Sydney and Melbourne, life can be reasonably inexpensive, but a good starting point for a minimal lifestyle for a person is $600 per week, plus one-third for Sydney and Melbourne, or about 10% for the other major cities. This would include a modest shared flat in a convenient, reasonably safe outlying suburb, basic utilities, a public transportation card for commuting, and food and low-cost recreation.
Cost of an Apartment in Sydney
The biggest expense in Sydney is accommodation. Accommodation in Sydney is expensive and Sydneysiders can often be heard discussing the high prices of real estate over their morning coffees.
Real estate and accommodation closer to the city and closer to the water is more expensive. Further from the city and further inland the prices become cheaper.
One month’s rent for an average one bedroom city apartment would cost approximately $2800. The cost of a similar one bedroom apartment outside the city center would cost about $1900.
Basic utilities such electricity, heating, cooling, water and garbage costs for a 85 square meter apartment costs about $175 a month.
Sydney Cost of Food
Sydney is a multicultural city with migrants from all over the world. As a result, the food available in Sydney reflects this too. You can find virtually any country’s cuisine you desire here.
Different Sydney suburbs have built up reputations as foodie locations for different cultural cuisines. For example, Cabramatta has a strong Vietnamese foodie culture, Harris Park is renowned for its Indian restaurants and Auburn in Sydney’s west concentrates on fragrant Middle Eastern and Turkish cuisine.
The price of eating out in Sydney varies greatly from expensive 5-star restaurant prices to cheaper McDonalds and Subway type prices, and everything in between. A three-course meal for 2 people in a mid-priced Sydney restaurant would cost approximately $80 – $100.
To save money money on the cost of living in Sydney I recommend buying your food from a supermarket or local food market and cooking it at home yourself.
At the time of writing this article one liter of milk cost $1 and a loaf of sliced bread cost on average $3.20.
The price of food does fluctuate in Sydney due to climatic conditions. Despite Sydney itself receiving adequate rain recently, 94.8% of Greater Sydney and a high percentage of NSW is in drought. This impacts on the price of fruit and vegetables, meat and even bread.
Currently, the price of fruit and vegetables in Sydney is rising as it costs farmers more to water their crops once their own water supplies have dried up.
The cost of meat, however, is decreasing as farmers can no longer afford to maintain their stock and are thus selling them in record numbers, keeping only enough to breed with next season when they hope the drought conditions will have eased.
On the radio this morning I heard that the price of sliced bread is also expected to increase by up to 25% due to the current drought conditions.
Cost of Public Transport in Sydney
For a one month visit to Sydney, you wouldn’t usually buy a car, you’d use public transport. Although in the summer months young backpackers do sometimes buy a cheap van which doubles up as their accommodation. They park in beach suburbs with toilet and shower blocks nearby and sleep in their van. They then sell the van to new backpackers as they leave the country. Be aware however that local beach side councils have started banning the parking of such vans overnight in their beach car parks.
Public transport in Sydney includes buses, trains, light rail, and ferries.
If you are using public transport in Sydney buy an Opal card. Opal is the smart card ticketing system used to pay for travel on public transport in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, the Hunter & the Illawarra. You add value to the card and then tap on and off to pay your fare.
The benefits of using an Opal card include cheaper fares, and daily and weekly fare caps. For adults, you can travel all week on Sydney’s public transport and the weekly fare cap is currently $63.20. The daily travel cap is $15.80.
When visiting Sydney make sure to take a ferry trip on stunning Sydney Harbor for the best views of the harbor, Opera House, and Sydney Harbor Bridge. I recommend a trip from Circular Quay to Manly for a visit to iconic Manly beach.
Cost of Going Out in Sydney
The cost of entertainment in Sydney varies greatly. There are expensive concerts and shows you can attend but there are also numerous cheaper and even free entertainment available.
Movies cost approximately $23 an adult but you can buy cheaper tickets in most cinemas on Tuesdays. Often in school holidays there are free outdoor movies at various locations around Sydney.
An adult ticket to Taronga Zoo costs $47.
Visits to the beach, wandering through the Botanic Gardens, the historic Rocks area and bush walks are free.
Throughout the year Sydney hosts numerous festivals and events. Check out what’s on during your visit. If you are here in June the amazing Sydney Vivid festival is on which lights up major Sydney attractions around the harbor. Viewing is free.
The free New Year’s Eve fireworks are also spectacular to watch.
You really can spend as little or as much on entertainment as you wish.
So, What Does it Cost to Live in Sydney?
If you want to relocate to Australia, you’ve picked one of the best places in the world. However, do your research and arm yourself with practical knowledge about the cost of living in the island country first. You’ll be better equipped before making the transition.
So in conclusion despite the fact that the costs of living in Sydney is is high, it is definitely worth a visit. There are so many unique things to do and see in Sydney that you won’t see in any other city in the world! And there are ways to minimize your costs.