PopulationMetro: 4,390,000
Friendly, warm and rich, Sydney is a beauty with a growing line of suitors.

If Sydney weren’t so (relatively) isolated, chances are it would be challenging Paris and London for visitor number supremacy. It’s the laid-back, safe and sunny manifestation of the good life.

Let’s use new residents as a benchmark: according to local numbers, Sydney has been gaining 80,000 new residents a year, ranking #26 in our global People category, including coming in #11 for foreign-born residents.

That staggering growth is indicative of the pull of the golden beaches, the big-city harbor and the mellow, generous, welcoming citizens—Sydneysiders—who call this spectacular location home.

Ranked #17 globally in our multifaceted Place category, with an impressive eighth overall in Parks and Outdoor Activities, Sydney is first and foremost a natural beauty—gifted with perfect integration of the natural and built, and accessible by all manner of ferries and watercraft from which new angles on icons like the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge are revealed.

Place 62
Product 23
Programming 15
People 72
Prosperity 46
Promotion 22

Locals new and old leave plenty of time to take in the natural treasures by foot. And few routes get you out there better than the Bondi to Coogee Walk, a coastal meander that serves up beautiful coastlines, diverse beaches and spots to refuel on coffee and smoothies. At two hours, it’s a rite of passage to appreciate just to what degree Sydney won Mother Nature’s lottery. Bondi Beach—a mix of fashion boutiques and massive waves (an alchemy that produces some of the best people-watching on the planet)—has been known to make visitors contemplate citizenship after a few minutes in the neighborhood.

Longer (vehicular) trips to other jewels like wild Manly Beach (especially with a surfboard) make first-timers realize the joy that the ocean bestows on its citizenry—from sprinting tyke to grizzled jet skier towing out a future surf champion.

Of course liveability is more than skin deep and Sydney is busy at work ensuring its growth is sustainable and controlled.

Bondi Beach Annie Spratt

The long-serving local government has committed to extensive light rail build-outs to battle increased traffic congestion, and the newly formed Greater Sydney Commission will finally centralize planning and development in the city. Meanwhile the contentious Barangaroo development commences construction on the waterfront. The shovels have also hit the dirt on the new Western Sydney Airport to accommodate all the new arrivals.

Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music, and ideas (May 24 – June 15, 2019) is the city’s celebration of it beauty and brains, transforming it into a colorful canvas, attracting visitors from around the world in a major celebration of the growing creative industries.

Given its #30 ranking for Promotion, including #16 for Google searches, the word is out on this tantalizing city, with more people poised to swell the 80,000 streaming in annually already.