When it comes to shopping at Sydney's weekend markets, it's all too true that the early bird catches the worm. So forget your morning sleep-in, grab your eco-friendly bag and make tracks to beat the crowds and grab the best bargains.
The Saturday markets in Sydney's inner west are all conveniently located so it's easy to explore a few on the same day. On Darling Street there are two to check out: Balmain Markets, held in the grounds of St Andrews Church, and Rozelle Markets in the grounds of historic Rozelle Public School. Both are good for second-hand clothing, homewares, antiques and pots of fresh herbs and flowers.
Sydney's most famous alternative Saturday market kicks off in nearby Glebe, and it's great for vintage t-shirts and jeans, books and CDs, sunglasses and leather goods. The buskers and jugglers in the park alongside the main stalls also lend a little charm to the day as you nibble a satay stick in between browsing.
In the eastern suburbs, Paddington Markets needs no introduction - it's arguably Sydney's most famous bazaar, and jam-packed every Saturday with clothing stalls, handmade jewellery, arts and crafts and much more. Save Sundays for Bondi Markets, which are next to the beach, and a great place to snap up artworks, vintage homewares, books and local design finds. For lunch, wander into Bondi for fish'n'chips on the grass overlooking the beach.
The Rocks Markets runs all weekend, and it's souvenir heaven, with Australiana items, old prints and postcards, handmade scarves and bags, and a variety of gourmet Aussie foodstuffs such as rich chutneys or chilli-flavoured chocolate.
True foodies shouldn't miss the 7am auctions at Pyrmont's Sydney Fish Markets, or the monthly Pyrmont Growers' Market. On Saturdays, the Eveleigh Farmers Market and the Sustainable Markets at Taylor Square are both jam-packed with seasonal produce (and the latter boasts pretty good bacon and egg rolls).
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