Travelers Corner

A First-Timer’s Guide to Living in Sydney

Before we talk about how to make the most of your move to Sydney, Australia, I’d like to take a minute to thank Lamyerda’s Riz for giving me the chance to talk about one of my favorite places! If you’d like to read more about Sydney, I’d recommend checking out 6 Best Places to See the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, but you also can’t miss her post about her Avenue K Food Adventure in Malaysia!

Sydney is an entertaining and beautiful city that consistently ranks among the top cities in the world to live in. Although not the capital of Australia, it is Australia’s biggest city and one of its most beautiful. From nature to culture to history, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for here and have fun in the process! Because of its many charms, Sydney is a city that many people dream of moving to, but there are some things to consider before you take the leap. Here are ten things you’ll want to think about:


1. VisasWhether you plan to work in Australia or just live there for a while, you’ll need a visa to stay in the country for an extended period of time. Investigate your options and gather your documents early to make sure you can get your visa prior to your intended arrival in the country!

2. PackingPacking to move abroad is always a challenge. Make sure you aren’t over-packing—you’ll have to pay a small fortune in baggage fees or international shipping fees if you try to bring everything you own with you. Even if your move to Sydney is intended to be permanent, you should think of downsizing or putting things in storage with family or friends for now to be brought over on later trips.

3. Sockets and VoltageWhen you’re packing, you’ll probably need to think about packing some plug adapters and voltage converters:  Australian sockets have a different shape than most places in the world and voltage is generally 220-240 volts (versus 110-120 volts in North America).

4. TechnologyThe Australian government has recently passed new legislation that means internet users’ browsing habits and online activity is being more closely monitored. The legislation is designed to aid the fight against piracy, but even if you’re not up to anything illegal, you may still want to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to escape the watchful eyes of Big Brother. Plus, you may just find yourself missing a few of those American TV shows, and a VPN will help you stream those no matter your IP address.

5. FlightsIf you’re thinking about moving to Sydney, you’ll want to remember that you’re looking at a long—and often expensive—flight from nearly everywhere. And you’ll have to take this flight over and over again to visit friends and loved ones. Best thing to do:  look for deals on flights, figure out which seat you want to be sitting in, throw on some music or a movie, and take a long nap.



6. ClimateSydney has a lovely, temperate climate year-round—depending on where you’re coming from, you might find that the winter in Sydney doesn’t get anywhere near as cold as winter in your home country. Remember that if you’re coming from the Northern Hemisphere, seasons in Australia will be the opposite of what you’re used to:  summer is usually from December to February, while winter is usually from June to August.

7. Cost of LivingAustralia has a reputation for having a high cost of living, and Sydney is no exception to that. A single apartment in downtown will cost you upwards of $1000 per month, plus an extra couple hundred dollars for utilities. And then there’s food. And transportation. It’s definitely possible to live in Sydney on a budget, though, so don’t let the potential price tag be too much of a deterrent!

8. TransportationSydney has an excellent transportation system that can take you all over the downtown area as well as out into many of the suburbs. A monthly pass will cost you $150 AUD, and there are also free downtown buses that will get you around the Central Business District and to many of the city’s tourist attractions, including the Sydney Opera House, Australian Museum, and Chinatown.

9. DiningEating out in Sydney can get expensive, with meals at a cheap restaurant usually costing more than $10 per person, but there are plenty of budget options for those in the know. The best part is, because more than a third of the city’s population are expats, you’ll have great options for culinary delights from around the world!

10. SightseeingIf you choose to live in this wonderful city, you’re going to want to do some sightseeing. Take a free tour of the city to help you get your bearings when you first arrive. For a great view of the skyline, take a walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and visit the Pylon Lookout. Enjoy Sydney’s plethora of beaches, and head to Darling Harbor for its once-weekly fireworks show. And don’t forget to check out the Australian Museum for a look into the history of your new home country!

Hopefully you now feel a little more prepared for your move to Australia. Whatever your reasons are for moving to Sydney, you’re sure to find plenty to love in this gem of a city! The number of expats who already call the city their home are a testament to how wonderful life in Sydney really is—and the multiethnic fabric of the city gives it a unique and textured feel. Get ready to get out and explore and enjoy all the delights of your excellent new home!


About the Author: 


Jess Signet is a blogger who writes about technology, traveling and technology needed when traveling. Having visited places all over the globe, traveling is both her love and addiction. She does not want to be cured.

Photo credit: Pixabay

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