Best Suburbs In Sydney To Live In – Northern vs Eastern Suburbs

There is no doubt Sydney is one of the best places to live in the world. It’s known for its high standard of living, open space, spectacular coastline, parks and walks, coupled with a rich and diverse restaurant and café scene just to name a few enticing aspects! So are probably reading this article if you about to move to Sydney or relocate within the state (renting or buying) and not sure where the best location is to live? It’s always a good idea to do a bit of research and weigh up the pros and cons of the best areas to live in, in particular what the North shore and the Eastern suburbs has to offer and which is the right fit for you and your family.

Having moved people all over the Sydney for numerous years, this article by Mooving Matters, your professional home organisers and Moving, packing and unpacking service team, may just help you decide on where you should call home next.

Choosing The Best Suburb In Sydney For You

When choosing where to live in Sydney that will be suited for your lifestyle and circumstances, it’s important to consider the main factors that are most important to you.

Recent livability study’s of Sydney has found that those living in the east were more likely to have shorter commute times. However, commute times were seen as less important to those living to the west, where family homes are more affordable.

For young professionals, Proximity to their workplace tends to be one of their biggest priorities, however, for those couples with young families having a spacious property and yard is often more important. 

When you start your research focus specifically on the following features of a suburb;

  • The median price of local property
  • Types of accommodation available – houses or units
  • Proximity to shopping centres
  • Public transport options and frequency
  • Distance to your workplace
  • How quiet the area is and if there is any areas in major construction
  • The current local crime rate
  • What local amenities like schools, parks and swimming pools are nearby
  • What parking is available – on property and on the street
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The Northern Suburbs – The Pros and Cons

The North shore, (being the northern beaches) and lower northern suburbs of Sydney encompasses the following areas: Manly, Freshwater, Curlcurl, Newport, Seaforth, Dee Why, Mosman, Cremorne, Neutral Bay, Crowsnest, Cammeray, Linfield, Roseville, Killara, Wahronga, Willoughby, Northbridge, Castle Cove, Lane cove, Chatswood, North Sydney, Milsons Point, McMahons Point, Wollstonecraft, Greenwich, Waverton, Hunters Hill.


Sydney’s North Shore and Northern Beaches North Shore and are by surprise popular for property owners. Suburbs in the area have a more laid back feeling than those closer to the city. It’s the winning combination of water views, top class beaches and prestigious schools. The lower north shore suburbs have dominated the top suburb rankings, seven of the top 10 in Sydney.

According to the Urban Living Index and other recent suburb surveys,  Crows Nest and Milsons Point have been voted as the most liveable suburb in Sydney. They gained 10 out of 10 for liveability due to walkability, lack of airport noise, visibility of harbour views, culture, employment and transport. They also rated highly for important indicators as proximity to shops and cafes and schools and parks. Other suburbs that top the list are North Sydney, Lavender Bay, Neutral Bay, Kirribilli and Manly and Fairlight

Looking toward the upper bushland areas of the northern region, Hornsby and Waitara also reached high marks of the Urban Living Index and Domain’s livability study

PROS OF LOWER NORTH SHORE (Neutral Bay, Lavender Bay, North Sydney, Kirribilli, Waverton)

Offering a more relaxed way of life, this peaceful district of Sydney is only an express bus or train stop over the Harbour Bridge to the CBD or you can jump on ferry. With its numerous classy cafes taking in the stunning harbour views, its no wonder why there is no doubt some of Sydney’s most voted liveable suburbs are here.

The real estate landscape across the area varies, with everything from stunning waterfront houses to federation mansions and lower density apartment blocks.

Many have found that the lower North shore also offers better quality housing for your budget. The median house price in Crows Nest is $1,750,000, while units are at $835,000. On the upper North Shore the sought after Waitara has a median unit price of $655,000.

Crows Nest has some great dining options, North Sydney has your local shopping centre and next suburb over is Chatswood, with Westfield and the Chase.

Balmoral Beach is a gorgeous family beach in Sydney, know as local gem. You won’t find many tourists here and it’s the perfect place to live if you’re after somewhere clean and more on the upper scale of decent suburbs.

PROS OF NORTHERN BEACHES (Manly, Fairlight, Balgowlah, Curl Curl, Dee Why)

Taking things up a notch on the relaxed factor is the northern beaches. With its it’s leafy streets and a strong beach culture. These localities have numerous tranquil coastal havens and area offers plentiful spacious, generous sized family homes with great sized back yards.

Even though Manly might be crazy busy, it still offers quite a relaxed vibe. It’s not nearly as pretentious and gym junky focused as Bondi. Many locals love the walk down to little Shelly Beach on the ocean front.

Manly and surrounding beaches are really like a little holiday town where the main street is pedestrianised and most walk around bare feet.

Whilst it might offer up the best commute in the world, the Manly ferry takes about 30 minutes or around 20 minutes on the fast ferry to Circular Quay 

In terms of affordability in Fairlight, the median house price is currently $2,110,00, while units are currently at $1,100,000.



Kirribilli is a picturesque suburb with quant village feel however for some the weekly harbour fireworks can became really annoying. You’ll be able to hear a lot of noise on the Harbour on weekends, from boat parties to all sorts. Noise on the water travels far, the noise from Luna Park can echo really far so choose your apartment wisely

Lavender Bay another lovely location has a lot of apartments, but they can be pretty small.

We found North Sydney to be a bit deserted on weekends. It’s the sort of place you’d work in, not live in. Nightlife and restaurants are also slim pickings this side of the bridge.


Unfortunately, Spit Bridge is the main culprit! There’s only one main road into the northern beaches. There are also no trains, so you have to really enjoy the bus, or try and position yourself within walking distance of Manly Wharf. Overall, the vibe’s pretty conservative and family-orientated, and the nightlife is slowly picking up. Because Manly is much further away than a lot of the city suburbs, a lot of people who live in Manly actually never venture further out.

The Northern beaches unfortunately doesn’t offer plentiful eating options as its east side, however it still has some great options.

Manly pretty much shuts shop around 12am on a Friday night so if you’re into the partying vibe, definitely head to Bondi and its surrounding burbs.

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The Eastern Suburbs – The Pros and Cons

Flipping to the east side, the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney covers the following suburbs: Darling Point, Point Piper, Dover Heights, Bellevue Hill, Rose Bay, Double Bay, Bondi, Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly, Coogee, Woollahra, Watsons Bay, Woolwich, Queens Park, Rushcutters Bay, Waverley, Paddington, Edgecliff, Elizabeth  Bay, Kensington and Randwick.


Home to some of Sydney’s most prime real estate and stones throw from the city’s iconic beaches and harbour and schools . You’ll find wide leafy streets and harbour views, at a price premium. 

Many suburbs in the Eastern Suburbs rank highly in the Urban Living Index, including beachside postcodes such as Bondi, Bronte and Double Bay, including those eastern suburbs closer to the city as Woolloomooloo and Darlinghurst and Paddington. Potts Point and Randwick also rank highly.

The Sydney’s eastern suburbs it’s a pretty peaceful and attractive part of the world. Like the Northern suburbs the east side has plenty of surf spots, beaches, ocean pools, harbour and coastal walks with close accessibility to shops and dining options. Bondi, has lots of awesome clean eating cafes that could take a bit of time to work through.

The inner east is the beating heart of Sydney. You really can’t get more central than this, where you are able to walk into the city or jump on all kinds of public transport In Surry Hills and Potts Point the restaurant scene is strong, with lots of nightlife options on your doorstep. Darlinghurst, is also home to Sydney’s LGBT community

Watsons Bay, Vaucluse and Rose Bay are some of the most desirable and safest areas to live in in Sydney. Properties in the east vary in styles from stunning Victorian terraces to slick modern medium density housing to charming art deco inspired apartments.

Maroubra, having its own beach, an excellent cafe culture and some attractively priced homes, is definitely worth considering. Here buyers may find the suburb more affordable with the median house price sitting at $1,769,500, and units at $820,000

Bondi Junction is the main hub of the Eastern Suburbs with a good Westfield shopping mall and train line into the city.


The major downside about living in Bondi or Rose Bay, Watsons Bay or Vaucluse is transport. For some reason, Sydney transport never built a train line down to any of the beaches in the Eastern Suburbs, so most people take the bus to and from work. But don’t think for a moment that they come as a bargain

It’s no secret that Eastern Suburbs real estate is expensive. In one of Australia’s most exclusive postcodes, Point Piper, the median house price is over $14,000,000 with $3,000,00 for an apartment.

In Sydney’s inner east, don’t expect your money to go far. The areas closest to CBD are loud and busy, most of the time. Unfortunately, being woken in early morning by shouting is a common occurrence. Cockroaches, also a real problem, and some areas you need to be happy to occasionally commingle with homeless people and drug-addicts.

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Northern Suburbs or Eastern Suburbs – The choice is always yours…

The Eastern Suburbs offers more of a cosmopolitan lifestyle with the North Shore possessing more of a laid-back vibe. Both are close to essential amenities and the CBD.


The Eastern Suburbs is well served by Bondi Junction as one of Sydney’s best shopping precincts. It is serviced by world-class hospitals in Royal Randwick and St Vincent’s in Darlinghurst. It also houses some of the best schools in the country including Cranbrook, Scots, Kincoppal and Ascham.

That quality of amenities and care is similar on the North Shore with Chatswood as its prime shopping district, Royal North Shore Hospital and the Northern Beaches Hospital and schools including Shore, St Joseph’s, Abbotsleigh and Queenwood.

Locals enjoy a good quality of life in both areas

For family homes you do get more value for money in the north. Ultimately it all depends on which side of the bridge you want to live on.


Both the Lower North Shore and the heart of the Eastern Suburbs are close to the CBD, making commuting relatively easier. At their closest both locations are just a train stop away from the city.

Outer areas of the east, like Watsons Bay (11.5km) and Clovelly (8.5km) are further away. In the north, the sought-after Mosman is 8.5km afield, while Manly is 17km away and Palm Beach, 45km.

who want to be close to the city, are keen to live in Paddington and Woollahra in the east but they are also keen on McMahon’s Point and Kirribilli in the north. They don’t necessarily have a preference

The city is also easily accessible from the Upper North Shore via public transport.

“From the Lower North Shore to the Upper North Shore, that train line is a very easy way to commute,” Mr Bramley said


The deciding factor is often value for money, what sits within is your budget

Its also depends greatly on what stage of life you are at? What are your family’s needs? A five-bed house, a two-bed unit or in between?”

There are plenty of pros but no real cons of either the north or the east. Either way both suburbs are a good move.

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Whether you are looking to move to the Northern or Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, Mooving Matters your professional home organisers, full service packers and movers Sydney are here to help. The experienced Mooving Matters team will get you packing , moving and unpacking as soon as possible. To arrange a complementary on-site inspection of your home and any packing and unpacking or home organisation tasks, just contact Mooving Matters, your home organiser Sydney. To simply discuss our Ultimate full service packing + moving’  experience call (02)93375333 or visit us at

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