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"Places in Sydney to live in (and avoid...)" Sydney by electriclight

Sydney Travel Guide: 6,070 reviews and 14,737 photos

I wrote this page after 6 years of living in the city I love, after coming as a tourist (I arrived straight after Uni in the mid-00s, started working, and loved it so much I stayed on). After reading a lot of blogs on Sydney's suburbs, and a lot of bias, I decided to write this about areas where I've lived and worked - advice I wish I'd known before I moved.

<B> Glebe </B>

Glebe may lack the critical mass that other inner Sydney areas have, but that's one of its charms. Few areas in Sydney are as diverse and genuinely accepting, and there's a strong air of tolerance here. Glebe gets a bad wrap from some; admittedly parts of the neighbourhood look grimey, and there are whole blocks of public housing where you'll see a lot of loitering - generally, these bad bits are all facade, and you're highly unlikely to encounter any serious dangers aside the odd drunk stumbling home or drongo asking you for change "for the bus" (or his/her next hit) - ignore and keep walking. The area has been gentrifying since at least the 1960s, but its a slow and ongoing process, the area is still socially (and economically) quite diverse, but as a negative, the choice of housing hasnt really kept pace with the times (apartments tend to be older, Victorian style blocks).

Areas to the east of Glebe Point Rd and especially areas near Broadway Shopping Centre tend to look rougher, and aren't especially appealing after dark (watch your wallet/bag/purse, and stick to the main streets). That said, there are genuinely very few places to avoid.

I lived here in 2005-06 and found the area very safe at day and night - the nicer areas tend to be west of Glebe Point Rd, the areas near Paramatta Road (to the south), and Forest Lodge/Annandale (to the west) are surprisingly central and within walking distance to Newtown and the City. Many streets are leafy, the houses old and the overall look quite beautiful.

Nightlife options are limited, albeit there are a handful of bars and pubs, and a cluster of resteraunts on Glebe Point Road, and a much smaller set on Ross Street catering more to the no frills crowd. This is more a place to go to once every couple of months, rather than a night-time destination in itself (even at its core, the area feels very residential - unless you know where to go, you're probably unlikely to find a night here particularly memorable - but as a resident, you'll probably relish in the quiet, calm vibe and community feel). The only real destination in the area is the Saturday Market, but its generally unlikely to hold your attention for longer than an hour or two.

Good for:

Students (UTS, USYD, & TAFE)
Entry level workers (if you're on better pay or want to spend more on rent, you'll have better housing choices elsewhere)


Friendly vibe - you're unlikely to encounter any attitude
Central location - 20 minute walk to Newtown, 30 min walk to CBD
Beautiful terraces & streetscapes - leafy feel
Great bookshops and cafes - almost all down the lower end of Glebe Pt Rd
Cheap rents - some relative "bargains" if you're not looking to spend a lot on housing
Cheap drinks - the mass of uni students nearby keeps prices low at the bigger pubs


Lack of housing choice - most apartments are in converted Victorian houses, so expect noise
Lacks the critical mass of other inner Sydney areas
Transient population - pockets of the area can feel sketchy

  • Last visit to Sydney: Jan 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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