Is Sydney just too expensive?

Before moving to Sydney everybody warned me just how pricey this incredible city is. After being here seven months I can confirm the rumours are painfully true.

Although the cost of living does tend to balance out with the better rates of pay here, on first arrival, it can be a bit of a shock. Certainly, for holidaymakers to Australia’s biggest city, it isn’t a cheap and chic destination. In fact, in 2013 Sydney failed to make it into the Top 10 Cities list in the World’s Best Awards after is was deemed ‘too expensive’

The Australian city came in at number 12 last year. Other than falling to 11th place in 2009, it has otherwise been in the top ten since hosting the Olympics in 2000.

The prestigious awards, held by Travel & Leisure US, are based on ratings from readers of the travel magazine. Despite being Australia’s biggest city and its main tourism gateway, it ranked poorly when it came to value-for-money. The editor-in-chief of the US edition said that while Sydney, “fares well for its sights and its people in the World’s Best Awards survey this year, the value category, which is always very competitive, is one area where the city fell short”.

Ahead of Sydney on the top 10 list were Bangkok, Istanbul, Florence, Cape Town, Kyoto, Rome, Charleston, Barcelona and Paris.

Due to the strength of the Australian dollar, it has now become one of the most expensive destinations in the world for visitors. “The strong Australian dollar reaching a record high against the US dollar last year certainly has had an impact,” Sandra Chipchase, chief executive of Destination NSW, said.

Over the 12 months from March 2012-2013, Sydney and NSW received 296,000 visitors from the USA, with a total expenditure of $546 million.

The good news from the best city awards is that Sydney is still the favourite city in the Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific region.

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