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Is Sydney A Suitable Place To Live For Digital Nomads?

The wonderful thing about being a digital nomad is being able to move around, work remotely, and see much of the world while you are at it. However, despite there being so many positives, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. One of the more difficult aspects of being a digital nomad is finding somewhere you can legally remain—and indeed afford to live—in.

In this article, we’re going to answer the question: “is Sydney a suitable place to live for digital nomads?”

digital nomad

Digital nomads remaining in Sydney: Short-term yes, long-term no

The first thing on every digital nomad’s mind will be “the visa situation”. Unfortunately, as it stands, Australia doesn’t have a visa that has been specifically designed for digital nomads (unlike a growing number of countries that do off a specialised digital nomad visa or thereabout). That being said, if you are only looking to visit Australia for three-months (and potentially up to one-year), then there are a few visa options for you to explore.

The good news is that most digital nomads are happy to move around every three to six-months, so the limited visa option in Australia makes living in Sydney for a short while viable enough.

Accommodation is comparatively expensive

If you’ve been ‘digital nomading’ around South-East Asia, then coming to Sydney, Australia will be one huge culture shock. And we’re not talking about the lack of Tuk Tuks, elephants, and gilded temples; but the cost of accommodation.

The average Airbnb price is approximately $100 USD per night. While there are certainly cheaper options available if you are patient and/or know where to look, securing suitable accommodation for three to six-months could end up costing you a fair amount.

That said, if you’re happy to stay in shared hostels, you could be looking at a more realistic $15 to $50 USD per night.

Eating out in Sydney can be dear

Eating out in Sydney can be very expensive, however, there are a number of cheaper eateries to be found – especially if you are staying in a hostel with other digital nomads who will have the lay of the land.

If you are to buy groceries on a weekly basis and cook for yourself (which may be difficult in a hostel), you’ll be looking at around $100 USD per week.


Night’s out in the city are expensive

Of course, as a digital nomad in a new location, you’ll likely want to go out with your new friends and hit the town. Unfortunately, when compared to most popular digital nomad spots, Sydney is very expensive indeed.

It will cost you an average of $7 USD per beer and your typical (cheap) night out will likely be around $100.

Conclusion: Viable for a short-term tip

To the average digital nomad, Sydney is likely not very suitable given how expensive it is (when compared to the many other destinations out there which are rather expat friendly). A three-month trip could end up costing you quite a lot, however, for the sake of being able to tick this beautiful destination off your bucket list, it’s almost certainly worth it.

Of course, if you are an established digital nomad with a fairly high income, you can have an awesome lifestyle with plenty to explore in Sydney (e.g., beautiful weather, great outdoor lifestyle, plenty of sports and healthful activities to enjoy); however, if your earnings are on the lower end of the spectrum, you may have to look for a cheaper alternative (e.g., Georgia, Vietnam, Bali).

One alternative is to look for permanent work in Sydney and go for residency. For example, if you find a career in SEO in Sydney, you might be able to secure a permanent position with an established agency and work toward remaining in Sydney permanently. While the city is certainly very expensive, the wages are much higher to reflect that, so you wouldn’t have too much trouble carving a nice life out for yourself.

In any case, our take on Sydney as a destination for digital nomads is: average. The visa situation is unattractive and given how expensive it is only the wealthier nomads will be able to comfortably survive.


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