To work out how expensive Sydney is, we've broken down the main costs of living and provided estimates of how much you're likely to pay.
What you need to know
- Housing and Utilities: $3,224 in total a month.
- Transport: Around $193 per month for bus/train, $32,000 for a standard car.
- Food and Drink: Eating out for lunch? Expect to pay around $20.
- Clothes and Shoes: Need a new pair of shoes? You'll likely pay around $150.
- Entertainment: Movie tickets for two will cost $41 on average.
- Personal Care and Hygiene: A trip to the doctor's is around $63.
How we sourced this data
We sourced the data from Expatistan.com and Numbeo.com in July 2022. Both sources index and compare the cost of living in cities around the world. The costs in the tables below are an average of the two (where possible) based on over 3,300 prices entered by 503 different people.
Housing and Utilities
Housing is easily the biggest expense living in Sydney. By comparison, housing in Melbourne is 23% cheaper than in Sydney. The average rent in a normal area is around $2,057. Here's a breakdown of the housing expenses you'll need to budget for in Sydney.
|Monthly rent for 85 m2 furnished accommodation in expensive area||AU$2,971|
|Monthly rent for 85 m2 furnished accommodation in normal area||AU$2,057|
|Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas) for 2 people in 85m2 flat||AU$183|
|Monthly rent for a 45 m2 furnished studio in expensive area*||AU$2,529|
|Monthly rent for a 45 m2 furnished studio in normal area*||AU$2,080|
|Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas) for 1 person in 45 m2 studio*||AU$190|
|Price per square meter to buy apartment in city centre#||AU$18,450|
|Price per square meter to buy apartment outside of centre#||AU$10,205|
|Internet 8 Mbps||AU$70|
|40" flat screen TV*||AU$624|
|Microwave 800/900 Watt (Bosch, Panasonic, LG, Sharp, or equivalent brands)*||AU$200|
|Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.)*||AU$14|
|Hourly rate for cleaning help*||AU$39|
If you drive in Sydney, a standard car is likely to set you back around $32,000 which is very similar to other major cities like Melbourne. Fuel costs work out at around $2.02 a litre, while public transport is more expensive than most other cities in Australia - $193 a month.
|Volkswagen Golf 1.4 (or equivalent), with no extras, new||AU$32,035|
|1 litre of gas||AU$2.02|
|Monthly ticket public transport||AU$193|
|Taxi trip on a business day, basic tariff, 8 km*||AU$40|
Food and Drink
In comparison to Melbourne, Sydney is a bit cheaper in terms of food and drink costs. While apples cost a little more – 1 kg is $4.30 compared to $4.17 in Melbourne - bread, milk and domestic beer are cheaper.
|Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district||AU$20|
|Combo meal in fast food restaurant (Big Mac Meal or similar)||AU$13.50|
|500 gr of boneless chicken breast||AU$6.36|
|1 litre of whole fat milk||AU$1.57|
|12 eggs, large||AU$5.40|
|1 kg of tomatoes||AU$6.07|
|500 gr of local cheese||AU$10.04|
|1 kg of apples||AU$4.30|
|1 kg of potatoes||AU$3.07|
|0.5 l domestic beer in the supermarket||AU$5.79|
|1 bottle of red table wine, good quality||AU$17.13|
|2 litres of Coca-Cola*||AU$3.99|
|Bread for 2 people for 1 day||AU$2.82|
Clothes and Shoes
Unless they're being made and sold in Australia, clothes and shoes are always going to be more expensive here than in other countries. On average, Sydney is 7.62% more expensive than Melbourne (and other major cities in Australia) for clothes.
|1 pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||AU$108.26|
|1 summer dress in a chain store (Zara, H&M or similar retailers)||AU$71.78|
|1 pair of sport shoes (Nike, Adidas, or equivalent brands)||AU$152.03|
|1 pair of men's leather business shoes||AU$181.75|
Entertainment is an integral part of any city. It can include a dinner for two at the local pub, cinema tickets, drinks at pubs and cocktails and more. In Sydney, 2 tickets to the movies will set you back close to $40 bucks. A pint in a pub will cost you $8.
|Basic dinner out for two in neighbourhood pub*||AU$51|
|2 tickets to the movies||AU$41|
|2 tickets to the theatre (best available seats)*||AU$256|
|Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert||AU$99|
|1 cocktail drink in downtown club*||AU$19|
|Cappuccino in expat area of the city||AU$4.87|
|1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.)||AU$8|
|iPad Wi-Fi 128GB||AU$753|
|1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans)||AU$0.69|
|1 month of gym membership in business district||AU$82.60|
|1 package of Marlboro cigarettes||AU$43.50|
Personal Care and Hygiene
An important one not everyone considers when moving, personal care and hygiene include everything from doctor appointments to haircuts and toiletries. A short visit to a private doctor might set you back as much as $63.
|Cold medicine for 6 days (Tylenol, Frenadol, Coldrex, or equivalent brands)*||AU$10|
|1 box of antibiotics (12 doses)*||AU$14|
|Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes)*||AU$63|
|1 box of 32 tampons (Tampax, OB, ...)*||AU$7|
|Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.)*||AU$4.37|
|Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.)*||AU$5.02|
|4 rolls of toilet paper*||AU$3.48|
|Tube of toothpaste*||AU$3.83|
|Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city*||AU$31|
*Data is from Expatistan only
#Data is from Numbeo only
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