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The Best Student-Friendly Suburbs in Sydney

As a city of villages, Sydney offers a very different vibe in each of its suburbs. However, with an array of eateries, bars, markets and other facilities in every single suburb, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing where to live.

To help make your decision a little easier, we’ve rounded up some of the most student-friendly suburbs in Sydney.


suburbs in sydney

This little enclave is nestled between Chippendale and Redfern and is located next to the main University of Sydney campus. Its streets are lined with cute terrace houses – many of which are filled with students – and it boasts a buzzing cafe scene.

On the weekend, Darlington truly lights up, with cafes and restaurants packed with locals and a farmers market held in the suburb of Eveleigh, which is just next door. The area also connects to the great food and drink spots on Newtown’s King Street (just a 15-minute walk away) and Redfern’s hidden gems like The Bearded Tit and Ra Ra Ramen, which are just ten minutes away.

You’ll feel right at home in this mini-suburb, with a large number of student accommodation options dotted about the place and plenty to keep you busy – when you’re not studying, that is. Plus, with Redfern train station located just minutes away, you’ll find it easy to get around to explore Sydney’s other suburbs.

Places of note: Have a truly delicious breakfast at Henry Lees, grab a great cup of coffee at Terra Cotta Roasters and enjoy an afternoon beer at the Eveleigh Hotel.


suburbs in sydney

This inner-west suburb is located a little outside the main bubble of Sydney’s city area. More and more young people are flocking to Marrickville thanks to its relaxed yet industrial vibe, considerably cheaper rental prices and a strong sense of community.

Marrickville contains some of Sydney’s best cafes, as well as a weekend farmers market. There’s a large Vietnamese and Greek community based here too, which means there’s an incredible array of food on offer and a rich culture to be immersed in.

From Marrickville, it only takes 10 minutes to reach the University of Sydney or the University of Technology, Sydney by bus, or to the fringe suburbs of Newtown, Enmore, St Peters and Stanmore, which are great places to visit on weekends.

Places of note: Treat yourself to a bottomless brunch at Hello Auntie or dinner at Baba’s Place. The award-winning Marrickville Pavilion and Library is open for business – with 85,000 books available to borrow.


suburbs in sydney

For students attending the University of NSW or the local TAFE campus, living in the eastern suburb of Randwick will allow you to cut down on your daily commute and immerse yourself in a student-heavy population. Plus, Randwick offers access to some of Australia’s best beaches, including Coogee, Bondi, Clovelly and Bronte.

Randwick has a residential feel, but it’s only a 20-minute bus ride from Sydney’s CBD. Plus, with a huge number of amenities available including shopping hubs, a library, bars, restaurants and cafes, as well as close proximity to beautiful Centennial Park, you’ll rarely need to leave the area – unless it’s to visit a nearby beach.

Places of note: Catch a movie at heritage-listed, art deco cinema The Ritz, get dressed up for a day at the races or catch a play at NIDA (the National Institute of Dramatic Art), which trained some of Australia’s best actors such as Cate Blanchett and Mel Gibson.

Homebush/Olympic Park

suburbs in sydney

The Homebush/Olympic Park region lies in Sydney’s west and is an ideal option if you’re studying at one of Western Sydney University’s campuses, a Western Sydney TAFE campus, or Australian Catholic University in Strathfield, which is the next suburb over.

Olympic Park is home to Accor Stadium, which hosts a number of major sporting matches and live concerts. There is also a growing number of cafes and restaurants in the area and plenty of great shopping options including DFO Homebush, which contains several outlet stores. There’s a large Indian community in Homebush, so you’ll also find plenty of Indian food and grocers in the area.

Places of note: Catch a netball game at Ken Rosewall Arena or enjoy a delicious dinner at Pnut Asian Kitchen.


suburbs in sydney

This inner-city suburb offers the perfect mix of the industrial vibes of Marrickville and the bustling nightlife of Newtown and Redfern. It’s also only a short walk from Green Park train station and under 30 minutes on the bus to the University of NSW.

Waterloo is an evolving area of Sydney – as are its neighbouring suburbs of Zetland, Rosebery and Alexandria – with a mix of heritage terrace houses and converted warehouses. Waterloo’s own dedicated train station is soon to be completed, making transport to and from the area more efficient.

On the weekend, you can enjoy any of the local cafes, pubs, bars or restaurants, or shop at the East Village Shopping Centre or along Danks Street, where you’ll find all your necessities. You can also enjoy a round of golf or go horse riding in nearby Centennial Park.

Places of note: Check out aMBUSH gallery if you want to soak up some art or check out the City of Sydney website for events taking place in the area.


suburbs in sydney

Parramatta has previously been ranked as one of the most liveable suburbs in Sydney. While living out of Sydney’s CBD often means compromising on nightlife, that’s not the case in Parramatta; it has its own vibe and is filled with new cafes, bars, restaurants and a huge Westfield shopping centre.

It’s also an extremely culturally diverse suburb, with large Indian and Lebanese communities. In 2021, 56.4 per cent of people in the Parramatta region spoke a language other than English at home.

Places of note: check out a performance at the Riverside Theatre, kayak or paddle board at Lake Parramatta, or commute by bike using the River Valley Cycleway.

All images except Marrickville and header image courtesy of Destination NSW. Waterloo image courtesy of James Horan and Destination NSW.