The 10 Best Suburbs to Live in the EASTERN SUBURBS of Sydney: Reviewed and Ranked in 2024

Choosing the best suburbs in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs can be difficult, each suburb boasts its own charm and challenges. Settling in the wrong suburb could lead to issues such as longer commutes, a mismatch with lifestyle preferences, or even overpaying for amenities that don’t meet your needs. As a seasoned real estate professional with extensive knowledge of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, I have meticulously researched and scored each suburb against ten crucial criteria, offering you a reliable guide for your next big move.

10. Vaucluse – Total Score: 67/100

View of the Harbour from Vaucluse, image by Neil Paton

Vaucluse, with its opulent homes and breathtaking harbour views, balances prestige with a lack of local employment opportunities.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Housing Affordability: 4/10
  • Local Employment: 3/10
  • Schools: 9/10
  • Public Transport: 5/10
  • Shopping and Dining: 7/10
  • Parks and Recreation: 8/10
  • Safety: 9/10
  • Community Spirit: 6/10
  • Healthcare Access: 8/10
  • Cultural Vibrancy: 8/10

Vaucluse’s appeal lies in its grandeur and natural beauty. With top-tier schools and a high safety rating, it’s ideal for families seeking a serene environment. The suburb’s numerous parks and beaches, including Nielsen Park and Parsley Bay, offer exceptional recreational opportunities. However, the limited public transport options and high property prices may deter some.

Negatives include its distance from the CBD, affecting local employment options and necessitating longer commutes. The high cost of living here is not suitable for all, with recent statistics showing a significant disparity in housing affordability compared to other suburbs.

In summary, Vaucluse is best suited for well-off families or retirees who prioritise peacefulness and scenic beauty over convenience and budget.

Interested in Vaucluse?

9. Rose Bay – Total Score: 70/100

Rose Bay Wharf, image by J bar

Rose Bay, a serene haven nestled by the water, offers a harmonious blend of natural beauty and urban convenience but faces challenges in nightlife diversity and housing variety.

​​Scoring Criteria:

  • Housing Affordability: 5/10
  • Local Employment: 6/10
  • Schools: 8/10
  • Public Transport: 7/10
  • Shopping and Dining: 6/10
  • Parks and Recreation: 7/10
  • Safety: 8/10
  • Community Spirit: 7/10
  • Healthcare Access: 8/10
  • Cultural Vibrancy: 8/10

Rose Bay’s allure lies in its tranquil waterfront and lush green spaces, such as the renowned Lyne Park. This suburb is not just about scenic views; it’s also about a lifestyle that balances leisure with convenience. It boasts a range of reputable schools, making it a popular choice for families. Healthcare services are robust, and the suburb’s safety record is commendable.

However, it’s not without its limitations. The nightlife in Rose Bay can feel limited compared to its more bustling neighbours, and the housing market, while diverse in terms of property types, tends to cater to the higher end of the spectrum. This can pose a challenge for those seeking more affordable living options.

Despite these drawbacks, Rose Bay’s strong community spirit shines through in its local events and clubs. The suburb’s excellent connectivity, with efficient public transport options, ensures easy access to the city and surrounding areas.

Rose Bay represents the quintessential Eastern Suburbs lifestyle – serene yet connected, luxurious yet laid-back. It’s ideal for those who desire a peaceful living environment close to the water, with the conveniences of city life just a short commute away.

Interested in Rose Bay?

8. Woollahra – Total Score: 73/100

Woollahra Cottages, image by Sardaka

Woollahra, with its historic charm and exclusive boutiques, provides a unique living experience, albeit with a steep price tag.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Housing Affordability: 3/10
  • Local Employment: 6/10
  • Schools: 8/10
  • Public Transport: 7/10
  • Shopping and Dining: 9/10
  • Parks and Recreation: 7/10
  • Safety: 8/10
  • Community Spirit: 8/10
  • Healthcare Access: 9/10
  • Cultural Vibrancy: 8/10

Woollahra is renowned for its elegant streets lined with Victorian terraces, art galleries, and high-end boutiques, making it a cultural hotspot. The suburb is well-served by schools and healthcare facilities, contributing to its family-friendly reputation. Public transport is reliable, facilitating easy access to the CBD.

However, the high cost of living here is a significant downside. The suburb’s property prices are among the highest, making it less accessible for average income earners. Additionally, the limited variety in housing types can be a deterrent for those seeking more affordable or diverse living options.

Woollahra is ideal for those who appreciate historical architecture and a culturally rich environment, but it’s less suited for those seeking affordability or a wide range of housing options.

Interested in Woollahra?

7. Paddington – Total Score: 75/100

Fiveways Paddington, image by Kgbo

Paddington impresses with its vibrant arts scene and boutique shopping, though parking and traffic can be challenging.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Housing Affordability: 5/10
  • Local Employment: 7/10
  • Schools: 8/10
  • Public Transport: 8/10
  • Shopping and Dining: 9/10
  • Parks and Recreation: 7/10
  • Safety: 8/10
  • Community Spirit: 8/10
  • Healthcare Access: 7/10
  • Cultural Vibrancy: 8/10

Paddington is a hub for creativity and style, famous for its art galleries, independent theatres, and fashion stores. The suburb’s educational institutions and healthcare facilities are commendable. The community spirit in Paddington is particularly strong, with regular markets and community events fostering a sense of belonging.

On the downside, parking is notoriously difficult, and traffic during peak hours can be frustrating. The property market is diverse but tends toward the higher end, potentially excluding some buyers.

Paddington is perfect for creatives, professionals, and families who value a lively, community-oriented environment, but it may not be the best fit for those seeking a quieter, more affordable suburb.

Interested in Paddington?

6. Bellevue Hill – Total Score: 78/100

Bellevue Hill, image by Sardaka

Bellevue Hill offers an exclusive lifestyle with stunning views, but its exclusivity comes with limited public transport options.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Housing Affordability: 5/10
  • Local Employment: 6/10
  • Schools: 9/10
  • Public Transport: 7/10
  • Shopping and Dining: 8/10
  • Parks and Recreation: 9/10
  • Safety: 9/10
  • Community Spirit: 7/10
  • Healthcare Access: 9/10
  • Cultural Vibrancy: 8/10

Bellevue Hill is known for its luxurious properties and panoramic harbour views, making it a highly sought-after location. The suburb boasts excellent schools and healthcare facilities, along with safe and well-maintained public spaces. The shopping and dining scene, though not as extensive as in some neighbouring suburbs, still offers high-quality options.

The main issue with Bellevue Hill is its limited public transport, making it less convenient for those who rely on public commuting. Additionally, the high cost of living and the exclusivity of the housing market can be prohibitive for many.

Bellevue Hill is best suited for affluent families and individuals who prioritise privacy, luxury, and a close-knit community, but it may not be the ideal choice for those looking for budget-friendly options or a bustling urban lifestyle.

Interested in Bellevue Hill?

5. Bondi Junction – Total Score: 81/100

Oxford St Bondi Junction, image by Sardaka

Bondi Junction, a bustling hub with exceptional amenities, faces challenges with noise levels and crowdedness.

  • Housing Affordability: 6/10
  • Local Employment: 7/10
  • Schools: 8/10
  • Public Transport: 10/10
  • Shopping and Dining: 9/10
  • Parks and Recreation: 8/10
  • Safety: 7/10
  • Community Spirit: 7/10
  • Healthcare Access: 9/10
  • Cultural Vibrancy: 10/10

As a commercial and transport center, Bondi Junction offers excellent shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The suburb’s connectivity, including a major train station and bus interchange, is unparalleled, making it a commuter’s dream. It is also well-endowed with healthcare facilities and good schools.

However, the bustling nature of Bondi Junction can lead to increased noise and a sense of overcrowding. The rapid development in the area has led to a dense urban environment, which might not appeal to those seeking a quieter, more laid-back lifestyle.

Bondi Junction is ideal for those who thrive in a vibrant urban setting and value convenience and access to amenities. It is less suited for those seeking a peaceful, suburban atmosphere.

Interested in Bondi Junction?

4. Randwick – Total Score: 84/100

Sydney Skyline from Royal Randwick Racecourse, image by Witty Iama

Randwick combines educational excellence and healthcare accessibility with the challenge of managing its rapid growth.

  • Housing Affordability: 6/10
  • Local Employment: 8/10
  • Schools: 10/10
  • Public Transport: 8/10
  • Shopping and Dining: 9/10
  • Parks and Recreation: 8/10
  • Safety: 8/10
  • Community Spirit: 9/10
  • Healthcare Access: 10/10
  • Cultural Vibrancy: 8/10

Randwick is a hub for education and healthcare, home to the University of New South Wales and several renowned hospitals. The suburb’s parks and recreational facilities provide ample outdoor opportunities. Public transport is efficient, and there is a good mix of shopping and dining options.

The suburb’s rapid growth, however, has brought challenges like increased traffic and strain on infrastructure. Property prices have been steadily increasing, reflecting its popularity and development.

Randwick is well-suited for students, healthcare professionals, and families who appreciate the blend of urban amenities and community feel. However, those adverse to the downsides of rapid urban development might find it less appealing.

Interested in Randwick?

3. Coogee – Total Score: 86/100

Coogee Beach, image by H Peterswald

Coogee’s beachside charm and community vibe are offset by its higher cost of living and limited parking options.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Housing Affordability: 6/10
  • Local Employment: 9/10
  • Schools: 9/10
  • Public Transport: 8/10
  • Shopping and Dining: 9/10
  • Parks and Recreation: 9/10
  • Safety: 8/10
  • Community Spirit: 9/10
  • Healthcare Access: 9/10
  • Cultural Vibrancy: 10/10

Coogee is known for its stunning beach, vibrant community events, and laid-back lifestyle. The suburb offers a balance of recreation, dining, and shopping, making it a highly desirable place to live. The community spirit here is strong, with numerous local groups and events promoting a close-knit environment.

Coogee, with its stunning beachside setting and vibrant community life, undoubtedly ranks as one of Sydney’s most sought-after suburbs. However, its popularity comes at a cost, both in terms of living expenses and practical challenges.

Additionally the cost of living in Coogee is significantly higher than in many other parts of Sydney. This includes not just the price of real estate, but also the day-to-day expenses such as dining out, groceries, and entertainment. The high demand for properties in this area, driven by its desirable location and lifestyle, has pushed housing prices and rents well above the city’s average. This makes Coogee a less attainable option for those on a moderate income or for young professionals just starting their careers.

Also Coogee’s popularity, particularly in the warmer months, leads to another significant issue – parking. The suburb becomes a magnet for both locals and tourists alike, drawn to its beautiful beach and vibrant café culture.

Coogee is perfect for those who value a beachside lifestyle and a strong sense of community. It may not be the best fit for those looking for affordability or ease of parking.

Interested in Coogee?

2. Bronte – Total Score: 88/100

Bronte, image by Allan Henderson

Bronte’s stunning coastal views and family-friendly environment are somewhat marred by its limited nightlife and public transport options.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Housing Affordability: 6/10
  • Local Employment: 9/10
  • Schools: 9/10
  • Public Transport: 8/10
  • Shopping and Dining: 10/10
  • Parks and Recreation: 10/10
  • Safety: 9/10
  • Community Spirit: 9/10
  • Healthcare Access: 9/10
  • Cultural Vibrancy: 9/10

Bronte is a picturesque suburb known for its beautiful beach, parklands, and family-oriented atmosphere. It is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering excellent facilities for swimming, surfing, and picnicking. The suburb also boasts a strong sense of community, with local events and gatherings fostering a warm, inclusive environment.

Bronte can be especially challenging for young professionals who work in the CBD or for those who enjoy the cultural and social activities that Sydney’s inner-city areas offer. The reduced frequency of public transport means planning around bus schedules or relying more on private transport, which can add to the daily commute time and reduce the overall convenience of living in this otherwise idyllic location.  Furthermore, these transport limitations can also impact social engagements and accessibility to events or activities in other parts of the city.  

The area is home to a few cozy cafes and restaurants, but lacks the variety and vibrancy of nightlife found in places like Bondi or Coogee. This can be a downside for those who enjoy a bustling night scene, with a wide range of bars, clubs, and late-night entertainment options.

Bronte is an excellent choice for families and those who prefer a quieter, more scenic living environment. It might not be suitable for young professionals or those who prioritise vibrant nightlife and easy city access.

Interested in Bronte?

1. Double Bay – Total Score: 91/100

Double Bay, image by Ana Vila-Concejo

Double Bay combines luxury living with a vibrant community, though its exclusivity may not appeal to all.

  • Housing Affordability: 6/10
  • Local Employment: 9/10
  • Schools: 10/10
  • Public Transport: 8/10
  • Shopping and Dining: 10/10
  • Parks and Recreation: 9/10
  • Safety: 10/10
  • Community Spirit: 10/10
  • Healthcare Access: 9/10
  • Cultural Vibrancy: 10/10

Double Bay is the epitome of luxury and sophistication, with high-end shopping, gourmet dining, and exquisite waterfront properties. The suburb’s schools are top-notch, and the healthcare facilities are excellent. The community is vibrant and welcoming, with a variety of events and activities fostering a strong sense of belonging.

The main drawback is its high cost of living, making it less accessible to the average income earner. Additionally, the focus on luxury can feel exclusive and may not resonate with everyone’s tastes.

Double Bay is perfect for those seeking an upscale, vibrant lifestyle with a strong community feel. It’s less suitable for those on a budget or who prefer a more low-key, diverse environment.

Interested in Double Bay?

How I scored each suburb

To provide a clearer understanding, let’s delve into the specific criteria I used to evaluate each suburb in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, highlighting their significance and providing examples of suburbs that scored both low and high on each metric.

Housing Affordability

Housing affordability is a crucial metric as it determines how accessible a suburb is to the average buyer or renter. It reflects the economic diversity of a suburb and its inclusivity for people from different financial backgrounds.

A suburb that scores low on this metric, like Point Piper, typically features extremely high property prices and rental rates, making it accessible only to the wealthiest.  On the other end, a suburb like Matraville would score high due to its relatively affordable housing options, making it accessible to a broader range of income groups.

Local Employment

Local employment opportunities indicate the job market within the suburb or its immediate vicinity. This criterion is important because it affects residents’ commute times and work-life balance.

A suburb with scarce job opportunities, like La Perouse, would score low, necessitating longer commutes for most of its residents.  A suburb with a thriving local job market, such as Mascot, known for its commercial areas and proximity to the airport, scores high, offering ample employment opportunities nearby.

Schools

The quality and variety of educational institutions in a suburb are vital for families. This criterion reflects the suburb’s investment in children’s future and community development.

A suburb with limited or poorly-rated educational facilities, such as Watsons Bay, would score low on this criterion.  Suburbs like Kensington, with a range of quality schools, including public, private, and tertiary institutions, score highly.

Public Transport

Efficient public transport is essential for connectivity and environmental sustainability. It reduces residents’ reliance on personal vehicles and eases traffic congestion.

Suburbs with limited public transport options, like Vaucluse, score low, making commuting challenging for those without private vehicles.  A suburb like Bondi Junction, with excellent train and bus connectivity, scores highly on this criterion.

Shopping and Dining

The availability and variety of shopping and dining options reflect the suburb’s lifestyle quality and convenience for residents.

A suburb with few to no dining or shopping facilities, like Dover Heights, scores low on this criterion.  Suburbs like Surry Hills, known for their vibrant dining scene and diverse shopping options, score highly.

Parks and Recreation

Parks and recreational facilities contribute to the physical and mental well-being of residents and enhance community engagement.

Suburbs with limited green spaces and recreational facilities, such as Rose Bay, would score low on this criterion.  Suburbs with abundant parks, sports facilities, and recreational areas, like Centennial Park, score highly.

Safety

Safety is a fundamental concern for residents, influencing their quality of life and overall satisfaction with the suburb.

Suburbs with higher crime rates or perceived safety issues, like Kings Cross, would score low.  Suburbs known for their low crime rates and strong community vigilance, such as Bellevue Hill, score highly.

Community Spirit

Community spirit reflects the social cohesion and neighbourliness of a suburb, contributing to its overall appeal and residents’ sense of belonging.

Suburbs with a lack of community events or social engagement, like Elizabeth Bay, score low on this criterion.  Suburbs with active community groups, regular events, and a strong sense of neighbourliness, like Maroubra, score highly.

Healthcare Access

Access to healthcare facilities is crucial for residents’ well-being and is an important factor, especially for families and the elderly.

Suburbs with limited healthcare facilities or difficult access to hospitals, like Tamarama, score low.  Suburbs with several hospitals and clinics, offering a range of medical services, like Randwick, score highly.

Cultural Vibrancy

Cultural vibrancy includes the presence of arts, entertainment, and cultural events. It reflects the suburb’s cultural diversity and liveliness.

Suburbs with little to no cultural venues or events, like North Bondi, score low in this aspect.  Suburbs that host various cultural events and have multiple arts and entertainment venues, like Darlinghurst, score highly.

Research: A Guide to Finding Your Ideal Eastern Suburbs Home

My research methodology to rank these suburbs was a meticulous blend of quantitative data and qualitative local insights. Drawing from a diverse range of sources, I ensured that each suburb’s score was reflective of its true character and appeal to potential residents, particularly those familiar with the Eastern Suburbs’ unique charm.

Initially, I delved into a wealth of statistical data from real estate databases, government reports on crime rates, and educational performance metrics from the NSW Department of Education. This provided a solid, objective foundation for evaluating factors like housing affordability, safety, and school quality. For instance, the housing market trends and median prices in suburbs like Double Bay and Vaucluse were scrutinised through reports from Domain and Realestate.com.au.

Furthermore, I also immersed myself into each of the suburbs, including visiting cafes like The Grumpy Baker in Vaucluse for firsthand observations and casual conversations with locals, which offered invaluable insights into the community, how it feels, during the weekends and other lifestyle nuances. Similarly, dining experiences at places like the bustling Bills in Bondi Junction and the cosy Charing Cross Hotel in Waverley provided a taste of the local culinary scene.

Additionally, I complemented these experiences with an extensive review of local news articles, online research and other community forums. Publications such as The Wentworth Courier and online platforms like the Eastern Suburbs Mums Facebook group were instrumental in understanding current issues and sentiments in these areas. This approach helped me gauge aspects like cultural vibrancy and local employment trends, which are often best understood through the stories and experiences of the residents themselves.

Finally, I integrated this data with my professional experience and knowledge of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs real estate market. This holistic approach, combining hard data with the soft nuances of local living, ensured a well-rounded and authentic evaluation of each suburb. Whilst the aim was to complete the hard work on your behalf and to provide a guide not just based on figures, but also on the real-life experiences and qualities that make each suburb in the Eastern Suburbs unique and desirable.

In Conclusion

Our exploration of the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney has unveiled a diverse range of suburbs, each offering its unique blend of lifestyle, amenities, and community. The top 10 suburbs include:

  1. Double Bay – Total Score: 91/100
  2. Bronte – Total Score: 88/100
  3. Coogee – Total Score: 86/100
  4. Randwick – Total Score: 84/100
  5. Bondi Junction – Total Score: 81/100
  6. Bellevue Hill – Total Score: 78/100
  7. Paddington – Total Score: 75/100
  8. Woollahra – Total Score: 73/100
  9. Rose Bay – Total Score: 70/100
  10. Vaucluse – Total Score: 67/100

These rankings, derived from a comprehensive analysis of various critical factors, aim to guide you through the nuances of each suburb. Whether you are drawn to the upscale and vibrant lifestyle of Double Bay, the family-friendly and educational richness of Randwick, or the beachside charm of Coogee, there’s a suburb in the Eastern Suburbs that caters to your preferences and lifestyle needs.

Remember, finding the right home in the right suburb can be a challenging task, especially in a market as dynamic and diverse as Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. If you’re looking for more personalised assistance in navigating this complex market, considering the use of a residential buyer’s agent might be a wise choice. A buyer’s agent can provide you with tailored advice, in-depth market insights, and the support needed to find a property that perfectly aligns with your preferences and lifestyle aspirations.


Interested in somewhere more specific within Sydney

Try the Best 10 Suburbs to Live in the North Shore

Try the Best 10 Suburbs to Live in Sydney’s Western Suburbs

Try the Best 10 Suburbs to live in the Northern Beaches

Try the Best 10 Suburbs to live in Sydney’s Southern Suburbs

Try the Best 10 Suburbs to live in Sydney’s Inner West

Try the Best 10 Suburbs to live in Sydney’s Inner South

Join our email list to receive our latest listings and sales reports