Newcomer’s Guide to Sydney Neighborhood Manly

It doesn’t get much more inner-city than Surry Hills – it’s within walking distance of Central Station and only a five minute drive away from the CBD. Surry Hills is also the epicurean Mecca of Sydney, with more restaurants, cafes and bars than you can poke a fondue fork at.

The People of Surry Hills

Surry Hills has a bit of an eclectic mix of people. On one hand you’ve got a number of high income-earning professionals who are occupying the chic modern apartments and newly renovated terraces. This crowd is well dressed, eats out a lot, and tends to get around by taxi or scooter.

Meanwhile, there are many long-term residents in Surry Hills who have seen the suburb undergo many changes over the last few decades. Earlier in the 20th Century Surry Hills was pretty seedy, but recently it has undergone a process of gentrification (which has also, unfortunately, caused property prices to skyrocket) through the development of bars, restaurants, hotels and fashion retailers.

Finally, there is also a significant percentage of recent migrants – from countries as diverse as England, China, Thailand, and the USA. It’s not uncommon to find terrace houses in Surry Hills packed full of students and backpackers.

Housing Options and Prices in Surry Hills

The average renter spends $450 per week to live in Surry Hills – making it slightly more affordable when compared with Bondi or Manly.

Accommodation ranges from terrace houses, through to converted warehouse spaces and large apartment blocks. It’s a bit of a mixed bag really – some homes are brand new, while some of the older buildings could do with a bit of work. Make sure you pay attention when attending house inspections, and if you do find anything wrong with the place after moving in, make a note of it in the condition report.

Essentially, the standard of place you’ll be able to rent in Surry Hills will depend on your budget.

Getting There

  • Train
    Getting to Surry Hills couldn’t be easier. Simply take a train to Central Station (all train services will stop here) and walk towards the Foveaux Street exit. Then, simply walk a couple of minutes up the hill, and you’re there.
  • Bus
    There are also plenty of buses that service the Surry Hills – travelling towards the CBD, and also heading east towards Bondi. For specific details, check TransportNSW.
  • On Foot
    If you live in Surry Hills, mostly everything you need will be only a few minutes’ walk from your doorstep. Plus it’s only about a ten minute walk to the CBD.
  • Car
    It can be a bit difficult to own a car in Surry Hills, as parking is scarce. It would be a better option to car share (there are a number of car share companies operating in Sydney) or to simply catch a cab.

Things to Do in Surry Hills

  • Surry Hills Markets
    Held on the first Saturday of every month, the Surry Hills Markets are located at the Shannon Reserve at the corner of Crown and Collins Streets. Here you can pick up clothes and gifts, as well as some delicious edible treats.
  • Eat
    Not only does Surry Hills have a vast number of cafes and restaurants to choose from, it also offers a wide variety of different cuisines. Thai, Italian, Vietnamese, French, Sushi, Fusion – you name it – if it’s a type of food, you’ll find it here. Plus, it’s all pretty much amazing!
  • Drink
    Feeling thirsty? If you live in Surry Hills, a cold beverage is never more than a minute away. There are plenty of pubs to choose from, including the popular Clock Hotel on Crown Street, and the Shakespeare Hotel on Devonshire Street.
  • Belvoir St Theatre
    The appropriately named Belvoir St Theatre has been bringing live theatre to Surry Hills since 1984. It’s open every day, with matinee performances on weekends. Definitely worth a look!

About the Author: Louise Carter is a blogger, copywriter and poet who is also currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Western Sydney.