Best City In Australia For Jobs, Students & Visitors in 2024

Written by

Alisha Azeem

Fact check by

Divyansh Chaudhari

Updated on

Jul 25,2024

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Do you want to live in the best city in Australia? Of course you do! Australia is one of the leading countries in the world, and it accepts a record number of immigrants every year. Australia is thus one of the top destinations for people to immigrate to. It also has some of the best educational institutions around the world, with many of them making it to the top 100 university rankings every year. 

So, which is the best city to live in Australia? In this blog, we will be walking you through the best cities to visit and live in Australia. 

If you want to go to Australia for educational purposes, do not worry! We also plan on giving you all the important information related to that so you can decide which is the best city in Australia for international students like you. 

Criteria for Selecting the Best City in Australia 2024

While selecting the best city to live in Australia, you must keep certain factors in mind. These factors are determined by what you want in the city you wish to settle in as well. Many cities in Australia are very desirable to live in, but different parameters measure their desirability. Some of them are listed below: 

1. Cost of Living 

How affordable is the city you want to live in? The affordability of a city is a very important factor that you must consider when considering your income. Take into account your housing and rent expenses, grocery and transportation expenses, and healthcare, and make a budget. It would be best to decide whether the amenities the city provides you are worth the money. 

2. Mobility

An efficient public transportation system is the best for a city to be considered a top city to live in. You must check whether the public transport system in the city of your choice meets your needs. Also, it is always better if the place you live in is at a walkable distance from places like grocery stores, hospitals, or malls. 

3. Cultural and Leisure Activities 

The city you live in exposes you to the type of culture it harbours. Different cities have different cultural practices. Fast-paced cities have different kinds of city life, which are determined by metropolitan needs, while regional areas and rural cities offer a slower pace. These factors also determine what leisurely activities the city provides

4. Education and Employment

If you are trying to determine the best city in Australia for international students or working professionals, you must consider the educational and employment opportunities the city is facilitating. Different cities also have different salary provisions and internship options, so keep an eye out for that as well as you choose the best city in Australia. 

5. Quality of Life

The standard of living is one of the most important factors that help you determine the best city in a country. Some factors that indicate a high standard of living are accessible healthcare, education, cheaper housing, good quality food, low crime rates, availability of recreational facilities, reliable law and order, etc. 

Top Cities in Australia

Based on the factors listed above, we have curated a list of the top cities in Australia. Through this list, you can determine which is the best city in Australia to live in. 

1. Sydney 

Sydney is often considered as the best city in Australia. Due to its proximity to the sea and beaches, entertainment facilities, and skyscrapers, along with historical sites like the Bondi Icebergs and the Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney has it all. It is one of the best cities to visit in Australia. 

The Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, popular beaches like Bondi and Coogee Beach, and Oxford and William Streets are common spots that you must visit during your time in Sydney. 

2. Melbourne 

Melbourne is the capital of Victoria and is one of the most popular locations in Australia, thereby often considered the best city to live in Australia. Melbourne brings a touch of European regalia to the cultural scene. From a thriving arts scene to a delectable cuisine selection, Melbourne has it all. It is also a sports centre- the Australian Football League, Formula 1 Grand Prix, and the Australian Open Tennis Championships are all held here. 

The city has a large number of bars, cafés, restaurants, and museums that you can explore. Some popular sights are Queen Victoria Market, Federation Square, Parliament House, etc. 

3. Perth

Located in Western Australia, Perth is simultaneously one of the most isolated yet booming cities in the world. Its skyline can rival New York City, but at the same time, the city is most in touch with its aboriginal Australian roots. 

Popular sights include the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Port of Fremantle, Rottnest Island, Swan Valley, and Darling Range, the two of which are just 20 minutes away from Perth. 

4. Cairns

Cairns is often considered the best city in Australia, Queensland. Its abundant natural resources and wonders have made it one of the best cities to visit in Australia. 

The natural beauty of Cairns is often considered otherworldly. Cairns hosts the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Forest, Atherton Tablelands, and the Cape Tribulation, among other locations. 

5. Hobart 

Located in Tasmania, which is the most cost-affordable state in Australia, Hobart is the second oldest city in Australia. Hobart is an up-and-coming financial hotspot with a lot of businesses and attractions for skilled professionals. 

Some of Hobart's most famous locations include the Hobart waterfront by the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Constitution Dock, and Farm Gate Market. 

6. Gold Coast

Another famous city from Queensland, Gold Coast, is favoured as the best city in Australia by many ex-pats. Due to its prominent beaches and sunny lifestyle, it is considered one of the best cities to visit in Australia. 

If you are on the Gold Coast, you must visit its seaside markets, theme parks like the Warner Brothers Movie World and Wet n Wild Water World, and the aquatic centre in the Broadwater Parklands. The Dracula's Comedy Cabaret Restaurant is another must-visit location when you are on the Gold Coast. 

7. Darwin 

Darwin is often regarded as the best city in Australia due to its year-round climate, which remains consistent and hospitable throughout the year. Darwin also boasts of the Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks. 

From swimming with crocodiles to exploring the Defense of Darwin Experience at the Darwin Military Museum, you can do many adventurous and historical activities in Darwin. 

8. Brisbane 

Brisbane is one of the most well-known metropolitan cities in Australia. It is also the capital of Queensland. 

Brisbane is most famous for the Brisbane River, the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, and GoMA- the largest modern art gallery in Australia. 

Another one of the famous things in Brisbane is the craft beer tours in the city, as Brisbane is quite famous for its breweries and beer-tasting sessions. 


9. Adelaide 

Located in South Australia, you can call Adelaide the best city in Australia to live in. Its strong food and culture scene, art exhibitions and societies, eco-tourism, and vineyards make it the best city in Australia for most people. Adelaide is just a 45-minute ride away from Kangaroo Island too. 

Some common spots to visit include Port Adelaide, Adelaide Zoo, and the variety of pubs in the city. 

10. Canberra 

Falling under the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Canberra has always been a city of national importance in Australia. Due to rapid industrialization and growth, Canberra is a hotspot of not only national and historical locations but also restaurants, boutiques, and many popular markets. 

Some of the important sights include the Parliament House, Opera House, War Memorial, and the National Gallery of Australia. 

Best City in Australia for International Students

Australia is a top destination for many international students. It offers a plethora of courses- from diplomas, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees to doctoral programs- in many different fields. Considering the interdisciplinary approach followed by most international universities, you can expect the same level of education in Australia. 

While deliberating the best city in Australia for international students, we must consider the employment options after work that you can avail as well. 

Here is the list of countries competing for the title of the best city in Australia for international students. 

1. Melbourne 

The best universities in Melbourne are:

  • University of Melbourne 

  • Monash University 

  • Deakin University

  • RMIT University

  • Victoria University

The best courses to pursue in Melbourne are:

  • Business 

  • Engineering

  • Architecture

  • Biomedical sciences 

2. Sydney

The best universities in Sydney are:

  • University of Sydney

  • Western Sydney University

  • University of New South Wales 

  • Macquarie University 

  • University of Technology Sydney

The best courses to pursue in Sydney are:

  • Data sciences

  • Data Analytics 

  • Environmental science 

  • Environmental engineering

  • Marine Sciences 

3. Canberra 

The best universities in Canberra are:

  • Australia National University

  • University of Canberra

  • Canberra University of Technology

The best courses to pursue in Canberra are:

  • Accounting

  • Business

  • Law

  • International relations

4. Brisbane 

The best universities in Brisbane are:

  • James Cooke University 

  • University of Queensland 

  • Griffith University

  • Queensland University of Technology

The best courses to pursue in Brisbane are:

  • Marketing

  • Business 

  • Information Technology 

  • Biotechnology 

5. Adelaide

The best universities in Adelaide are:

  • University of Adelaide

  • Flinders University 

  • Torrens University Australia

  • University of South Australia 

The best courses to pursue in Adelaide are:

  • Accounting

  • Psychology

  • Hospitality

  • Law

6. Perth 

The best universities in Perth are:

  • University of Western Australia 

  • Curtin University 

  • Murdoch University

  • Edith Cowan University

The best courses to pursue in Perth are:

  • Agricultural sciences

  • Environmental studies 

  • Psychology

  • Architecture 

7. Gold Coast

The best universities in Gold Coast are:

  • Griffith University 

  • Bond University 

  • CQ University

  • Southern Cross University 

The best courses to pursue in Gold Coast are:

  • Business 

  • Photography 

  • Sales 

  • Construction



Australia has a variety of places vying for the title of the best city in Australia. Each city has its perks and privileges. If you live in a metropolitan city like Sydney or Melbourne, you will be exposed to a fast-paced, cosmopolitan city with many foreigners and expats alike. If you opt to go to a more regional city, you will experience a much healthier, slower, and less expensive way of life, which is equally fulfilling as well. Australia has an abundance of natural resources and wonders that make life in Australia quite fun as well. So, you are bound to have a wonderful time there regardless of whichever place you decide is the best city in Australia for international students, foreigners, or skilled workers. 

If you are looking to relocate to any of the above-mentioned cities in Australia and need assistance with that, then TerraTern can be your go-to destination for all your immigration needs.

Get all the details on Australia PR with this visa checklist

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the safest city to live in Australia?

Canberra is the safest city to live in, as it falls under the ACT region.

Which Australian city has the best public transport?

Sydney has the best public transport, followed by Inner Melbourne.

What is the cost of living like in Melbourne compared to Sydney?

Sydney is a bit more expensive than Melbourne in terms of cost of living.

Which city in Australia is best for outdoor activities?

Gold Coast has a lot of outdoor activities that you can do. Sydney and Brisbane also have a lot of activities in and around the city for you to explore.