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Sydney’s most desirable suburb has been revealed

It might be our job to shine a light on the best elements of our city, but bias aside, we’re confident in stating that Sydney is a pretty desirable place to live. That being said, not all suburbs are created equal – with our wildly varying house and rental prices testament to the fact (eek!). A new study by Time Out Sydney asked residents from all over Sydney which suburb would be their dream place to call home, and the coastal hub of Manly came out on top.

So, why are people so crazy about this beachside ‘burb? Earlier this year, Manly Beach was named as one of the best beaches in the world by the Tripadvisor community, and the sun-kissed neighbourhood is home to some pretty exceptional eateries with Queen Chow, Norma’s Deli, and Time Out Australia’s Travel Editor Melissa Woodley’s favourite, Pocket Pizza, leading the charge. But the locals say it’s the lifestyle that makes Manly the perfect place to live.

Local resident Alice Donaldson put it best when she spoke to Time Out for our local’s guide to Manly, saying: It’s the kind of place where your mum always had beach towels in the boot so you could meet her for a swim after school during summer, and your weekends consisted of nippers in the morning followed by a pink iced doughnut from the local bakery.”

The pink exterior of Lode pastry in a terrace
Photograph: Katje Ford

That being said, living by the ocean on the north side of the harbour isn’t for everyone – and the findings from our survey demonstrate that. The city’s urban heartland (and home to the city’s coolest street) Surry Hills came in at number two, followed by Balmain, Newtown, Marrickville and Rozelle – all suburbs south of the bridge, and not within easy walking distance of the beach. The dreamy beachside suburb of Palm Beach came in at number seven on the list, with the final four suburbs on the list all found in Sydney’s Inner City and Inner West.

Our survey asked 121 Time Out Sydney readers to tell us the suburbs that they’d most like to live in, and the results are as follows: 

  1. Manly
  2. Surry Hills
  3. Balmain
  4. Newtown
  5. Marrickville
  6. Rozelle
  7. Palm Beach
  8. Kirribilli
  9. Kings Cross
  10. Glebe
  11. Annandale

The main takeaway? There’s a Sydney suburb for everyone (well, so long as you don’t get priced out of living there…). Looking for ways to make the most of the city, wherever you are? Here’s our guide to things to do in Sydney this week.

Stay in the loop: sign up for our free Time Out Sydney newsletter for more news, travel inspo and activity ideas, straight to your inbox.

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