Best Shopping Spots in Sydney (Self Guided), Sydney

Sydney is not only the capital of New South Wales but is also the continent’s most attractive shopping center. The city features a wide variety of stores, markets, and specialty shops. This is a list of shopping spots and areas that are popular among tourists as well as Sydneysiders.
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Best Shopping Spots in Sydney Map

Guide Name: Best Shopping Spots in Sydney
Guide Location: Australia » Sydney (See other walking tours in Sydney)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Author: nataly
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Paddy's Market
  • Chinatown Night Market
  • The Galeries Victoria
  • Queen Victoria Building (QVB)
  • Sydney Fish Market
Paddy's Market

1) Paddy's Market

The Paddy’s Market is in the Haymarket area near Chinatown. Today, it is not just regarded as a market but an Australian icon that dates back to the first European settlements in the land.

Paddy’s Market gets its name from the Irish Market in Liverpool, England that has the same atmosphere as the Paddy’s of Sydney. Sydney had become the home of many Irish settlers, some whom came as convicts and others as immigrants, and the name came to stay. It was established in 1834 by Governor Bourke who built a market for hay and grain near an existing cattle market. Soon food sellers and second hand dealers set up shop here and later it became the major farm produce outlet in the city. In the Gold Rush era, there was an entertainment centre near the market where circuses, especially the Wilson’s Circus, and fairs took place. In 1891, a building was constructed and Paddy’s Market became an indoor trading space and the entertainment centre was demolished.
The old Paddy’s Market has stalls selling fruit, vegetables, clothes and novelties. It is frequented by tourists looking for cheap mementoes to take back home like caps, tee shirts, bags and other Australian souvenirs.

Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Chinatown Night Market

2) Chinatown Night Market

The Sydney Chinatown Night Market is held every Friday night in Dixon and Little Hay Streets between December and June. It has a typically Asian colourful and festive shopping and eating atmosphere.

The Chinatown Night Market includes entertainment, street theatre, alfresco shopping, fine dining and extended outdoor dining. There are over a hundred stalls selling Asian food, jewellery, arts, electronic gadgets, jade figures, crafts, clothing, furniture and flowers. The market does business from 4 to 11 pm each Friday and gives visitors the feeling that they are in Shanghai while in the heart of Sydney.

The highlight of the Chinatown Night Market is the range of Asian cuisine available. Visitors can choose from Taiwanese, Indian, Japanese, Malaysian, Indonesian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean or Thai food. One can also get Dragon Beard Candy, a special sweet confectionery served only to Emperors in ancient China. There are over 60 restaurants and food courts for casual dining around Chinatown.

Besides food, visitors can haggle with traders over Asian ornaments, gift articles, designer dresses, scarves and footwear to get a true feeling of being in a traditional Asian market. Visitors can also opt for a relaxing massage if they are weary after shopping at this busy bazaar.
The Galeries Victoria

3) The Galeries Victoria

The Galeries Victoria, also known as TGV, is situated in the center of Sydney’s Central Business District, and across from the famous Queen Victoria Building. In this shopping center you will find dozens of boutiques and shops, where you can spend hours choosing unique gifts and souvenirs, fashionable clothing and accessories, then take a break at one of the many restaurants and food stops.
Hours: Monday-Wednesday, Saturday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm; Thursday: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm; Sunday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Queen Victoria Building (QVB)

4) Queen Victoria Building (QVB) (must see)

The Queen Victoria Building is a large air-conditioned shopping mall in the heart of Sydney. The hundred-year-old structure has been recently restored and its ornate façade and interior displays carefully preserved.

The QVB was designed by architect George McRae. The architectural style is Romanesque Revival and it was built with the purpose of providing employment to jobless skilled workers during a recession. The building was opened to the public in 1898 and named after the reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria. A statue of the queen greets visitors at the entrance. At the time of its inauguration, it contained cafes, showrooms and a concert hall. Later it housed the central library and government offices. Between 1984 and 1986, the Malaysian firm, Ipoh Garden Berhad leased the run down and neglected Queen Victoria Building and restored it to its former splendour.

A notable architectural feature is the large central dome with glass on the inside and copper on the outside. There are four floors and stained glass windows allow light into the interiors, patterned floor tiles and ornately wrought iron balustrades. Today, it has over 200 shops selling high-end products including fashion, jewelry and traditional Australian crafts.

Why You Should Visit:
The renovations are very respectful to the era of the original build and everything about this building oozes sophistication.
If not for the high-end boutiques, you can still enjoy a stroll through and marvel at the two beautiful clocks that still hang from the ceilings.
It's also lovely to sit on the 2nd or 3rd levels at one of the cafés looking out at the unique clocks.

Sydney was built over tunnels and underneath the QVB are two levels of tunnels for additional shopping.
At night the building is beautifully illuminated, the shops are closed and you can wander through and gaze at ease.

Opening Hours:
Mon, Wed-Sat: 9am-6pm; Tue: 9am-9pm; Sun: 11am-5pm
Sydney Fish Market

5) Sydney Fish Market (must see)

The Sydney Fish Market is an authentic working wholesale market for fish in the city. It is located on Blackwattle Bay in the Inner West suburb of Pyrmont.

The Sydney Fish Market was opened in the location by the State Government in 1945. It became a privately owned firm from 1994. It is the largest seafood market in the Southern Hemisphere and the second largest in terms of the variety of species available, in the world. Buyers arrive to check the catch of the day at 5:30 in the morning before bidding at a seafood auction. Over 52 tons of fish are sold every day.

The Sydney Fish Market has a working fishing port, a wholesale fish market where fish is auctioned daily, a fresh fish retail market, many eating places where customers are assured of the freshest seafood dishes, a florist, a beverage outlet, a vegetable market and a gift shop. There is also an outdoor promenade for visitors. A behind-the-scenes tour takes visitors around the market to learn how a functioning fish market works. The Sydney Seafood School forms part of the market. It holds seafood cookery classes that are sometimes hosted by leading chefs from around Australia.

Why You Should Visit:
To shop for gorgeous prawns and scallops to prepare at home, but you can also find cooked items and join the locals who are dining.
There are nice variations available where seafood and fish are grilled and/or prepared in a number of different ways using sauce, cheeses and rice.

Firstly, enjoy walking around the market and absorb the atmosphere. Select your meal from the array on offer and take it to your table outside. If crowded, find a table or spot first then get someone to go to order the food.

Operation Hours:
Mon-Fri: 7am-4pm; Sat-Sun: 7am-5pm

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