Cost Of Living In Sydney Vs Melbourne: 2024 Guide – UniAcco

Cost Of Living In Sydney V/s Melbourne: 2023

Melbourne and Sydney – the two most popular or widely known cities in the land down under that is Australia—have often been attractions for tourists. Foreigners, migrants, and international students move or visit here once in their lives. The place has often been a source of amazement for many. However, there is also a stark difference in the cost of living. 

This blog delves into the intricate network of costs that define the economic environment of these metropolitan giants, from housing and transportation to food and entertainment. Join us on a fascinating journey as we examine the cost of living in Sydney v/s Melbourne, providing everything you should know about these two beautiful Australian cities.

Cost Of Living Calculator

DescriptionCost (£)
Total Cost of Accommodation100
Total Cost of Transport50
Total Cost of Utilities30
Total Cost of Food70
Total Estimated Cost250

Know About Sydney And Melbourne

Australian cities Sydney and Melbourne both have their own unique charms to offer. Sydney’s magnificent Opera House, gorgeous harbour, and thriving ethnic scene are what make it so alluring. It acts as Australia’s financial centre and is renowned for hosting prestigious sporting events. Visitors may experience a vibrant employment market with excellent colleges while exploring the charming Blue Mountains.

Melbourne, in comparison, emerges a sense of cultural sophistication because of its art festivals, passion for sports, and varied dining options. The city is well-known worldwide for its picturesque lanes and coffee culture. The student life in Melbourne and Sydney also has an attractive student life.

Average Cost Of Living In Sydney Vs Melbourne

When one calculates the average cost of living in Sydney it comes down to AU$ ‎23,820, and when one calculates the average cost of living in Melbourne it comes down to AUD AU$ ‎22,152 for a year. Australian immigration laws offer favourable conditions for international students to work while studying. In most cases, students can work up to 48 hours a fortnight after a simple request. The cost of living in Melbourne is approximately 10% lower than in Sydney, ranking 420th and 240th among the world’s most expensive cities and 5th and 1st in Australia, respectively.

With the average after-tax salary, both cities provide enough to cover living expenses for about 1.8 months. 

Melbourne ranks second in Australia, and Sydney is 1st in the country, followed by an international ranking of 3rd and 2nd, respectively. 

As an international student in Australia, you are protected by labour laws and entitled to minimum wages, typically around $17 per hour and you can find plenty of job opportunities due to the metropolitan nature of the city.

Is Melbourne Cheaper Than Sydney?

When comparing the two cities, one must make note of the factor that every cost must be considered. There is accommodation, transportation, food utilities and so on. Thus, understanding the cost of living is a comprehensive research that can help you survive in either of the cities. In the table below, find the cost of living:

ItemsCost Of Living In Sydney (Monthly)Cost Of Living In Melbourne (Monthly)
Off-Campus AccommodationAU$ ‎705AU$ ‎596
On-Campus AccommodationAU$ 936AU$ ‎1,406
TransportationAU$‎ 160AU$‎ 159
Food CostAU$‎754AU$ ‎754
Utility CostAU$‎ 190AU$ ‎160
EntertainmentAU$‎ 51AU$‎ 66
GroceriesAU$‎ 182AU$‎ 160
ClothesAU$‎ 103AU$‎ 110
Total Cost of Living with Off-Campus AccommodationAU$‎ 1,985AU$‎ 1,846
Total Cost of Living with On-Campus AccommodationAU$‎ 2,216AU$‎ 2,710
Annual Cost of LivingAU$ ‎23,820AU$ ‎22,152

Sydney Vs Melbourne Housing Costing

Each city also offers a variety of alternatives to suit inhabitants’ tastes and requirements in terms of size, location, and facilities. The rent also differs every other kilometre within the city depending on the real estate value. Check the comparison here:

CityOff-Campus Rent (AU$/month)On-Campus Rent (AU$/month)

To gain a clear insight into accommodation abroad, contact UniAcco. UniAcco is an online platform that offers high-quality student housing at a reasonable price. On UniAcco, you can easily compare, consult with other students, and select your student housing.

Cost Of Transportation In Sydney Vs Melbourne

Cost Of Transportation In Sydney V/s Melbourne

Sydney: Monthly public transportation cost is around AU$160, covering buses, trains, and trams on travel passes. 

Melbourne: The city offers Myki passes, including seven-day or year-long options. For a Zone 1 + 2 year-long Myki pass, the cost is AU$159, averaging AU$72 per month, making public transport a viable and affordable choice.

Apart from this, Both cities have costs associated with driving, including fuel expenses and parking fees. These costs vary depending on the distance travelled and the location of parking.

Ride-sharing services and taxis are available in both cities, offering convenient alternatives to public transport and private driving. The pricing may fluctuate based on demand and distance.

Cost Of Food In Sydney Vs Melbourne

While planning and comparing the cost of living in Sydney v/s Melbourne, you must have to plan your budget appropriately so that it should cover every essential cost. Food is one of the major costs to consider. Sydney and Melbourne have an average monthly food expenditure of AU$754, which is the same across the board. There are, nevertheless, small price differences for typical food products. For instance, a kilogram of chicken breast in Sydney costs AU$11.32, whereas a kilogram in Melbourne costs AU$11.13. 

Sydney charges AU$18.76 per kilogram for beef rounds, while Melbourne charges AU$18.23. Vegetable costs in the two cities are equal, although Sydney’s pricing for a kilogram of tomatoes is AU$ 6.17 instead of Melbourne’s AU$ 4.61. Sydney offers more economical alternatives for food lovers as restaurant costs are 2.52% cheaper than in Melbourne.

Healthcare Cost in Sydney Vs Melbourne

Both Sydney and Melbourne’s healthcare prices cover a variety of expenses. Depending on the healthcare provider and the precise services requested, there may be differences in the typical cost of medical consultations, treatments, and prescriptions. Health insurance prices and coverage alternatives significantly influence healthcare cost control.

CityHealthcare Cost (AU$/month)
SydneyAU$ 190
MelbourneAU$ 160

Cost Of Education In Sydney Vs Melbourne

Both cities are hot destinations for international students. Often, this means that the cost of education keeps increasing and varying across cities. The following table will help you understand the same: 

AspectUniversity of MelbourneUniversity of Sydney
Undergraduate Tuition FeesAU$17,124 per yearAU$37,960 per year
Postgraduate Tuition FeesAU$30,539 per yearAU$38,325 per year
Hostel and Meal ExpensesAU$20,250 per yearAU$30,330 per year
Off-Campus AccommodationAU$596 monthlyAU$705 monthly
On-Campus AccommodationAU$1,406 monthlyAU$936 monthly
Scholarships Available1,103 scholarships for national and international students1000+ Scholarships available for students

Entertainment Costs In Sydney Vs Melbourne

Entertainment costs in Sydney and Melbourne encompass a variety of activities. Students or expats must put some money aside to indulge in any activities. Often, students are provided with discounts from brands and restaurants, check the table for a broad understanding of the cost of entertainment:

Cinema Ticket Price (Intl.)AU$20.00AU$20.00
Tennis Court Rental (Weekends)AU$23.50AU$21.64
Monthly Fitness Club FeesAU$80.74AU$69.00
Consumer PricesSydney is 6.59% higher than Melbourne

Quality of Life In Sydney Vs Melbourne

A person living in either of the cities will be used to the high quality of living and good quality of life. Thus, students and expats have varied experiences. Check some of the factors or aspects that display the quality of life in Australia’s cities!

Safety and Crime RatesFavourable with low crime ratesFavourable with low crime rates
Green Spaces & FacilitiesAbundant parks and recreational areasAbundant parks and recreational areas
Cultural DiversityVibrant multicultural communitiesVibrant multicultural communities
Community EngagementActive participation through programmesActive participation through events
Best Places to VisitSydney Opera House, Bondi Beach, Royal Botanic GardenFederation Square, National Gallery of Victoria, Queen Victoria Market
Work-Life BalanceStrong economies, diverse job opportunitiesBalanced work-leisure approach


The cost of living in Sydney v/s Melbourne is influenced by many factors. The cost of living in Sydney is often greater than in Melbourne. Melbourne has a sophisticated cultural culture and more inexpensive housing alternatives, while Sydney offers famous monuments and a thriving employment sector. Individual objectives, lifestyle choices, and financial factors ultimately determine which of the two locations will be chosen. We hope this blog helped you to get clear insights into the cost of living in Sydney vs Melbourne.


Q1. Is the salary higher in Sydney than in Melbourne?

Ans: Due to its position as Australia’s financial and economic centre, Sydney often provides higher average earnings than Melbourne. However, incomes might vary depending on sectors and work titles.

Q2. Which is better, Sydney or Melbourne, to live in?

Ans: Individual choices determine whether one prefers Sydney or Melbourne. Sydney and Melbourne are desirable destinations to reside in due to their famous monuments and busy urban lifestyles. Melbourne also stands out for its vibrant cultural scene and more affordable housing.

Q3.  Compare the cost of living in Sydney and Australia.

Ans: On average, if you live in Sydney, the amount comes down to AUD 2,216 per month, whereas in Melbourne, it is  AUD 2,710 per month.

Q4. Where is rent cheaper? Sydney or Melbourne?

Ans: Both off-campus and on-campus living is cheaper in Melbourne.

Q5. Where can I find a job easily, Sydney or Melbourne?

Ans: Both cities have strong job markets, although Sydney may have a bit more employment options across a wider range of industries due to its larger economy and international presence.

Thank you for reading about the “ Cost of living in Sydney vs Melbourne.” If you’re interested in exploring more articles on related topics, we recommend checking out the below articles:

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Cost Of Living In Sydney V/s Melbourne: 2023

Cost Of Living In Sydney Vs Melbourne: 2024 Guide – UniAcco

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