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Inner Sydney is a lively hub full of life. It has everything you want for a great day out; take in the heritage architecture, lunch at one of the many ‘eat streets’, spend an afternoon at an art gallery or shopping the designer boutiques, head to the theatre at night and then perch yourself at one of the many cool bars.
Things to do
Darlinghurst boasts some cutting-edge theatres. The SBW Stables Theatre is in Nimrod Street and the Eternity Playhouse in Burton Street. For alluring cabaret, Slide Lounge on Oxford Street is where the two-week Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival ends with the glittering parade in early March.
Weekend markets are another delightful drawcard. The popular Glebe Markets is on Glebe Point Road, near the University of Sydney. Paddington Markets is an institution, many designers start out with stalls here before making it big enough to open a boutique nearby at the Intersection or along Oxford and William streets.
Surry Hills and surrounds will introduce you to marvellous independent art galleries, including the warehouse studio and home of the late Brett Whiteley, one of Australia’s most celebrated artists of the 20th century. The White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale displays contemporary Chinese art and has a gorgeous teahouse.
The Enmore Theatre is the go-to for live music and comedy. Nearby Marrickville has the Factory Theatre and Camelot Lounge for more music and cabaret. At the Giant Dwarf in Redfern, comedians will have you in stiches and the acclaimed Belvoir Street Theatre in Surry Hills features some of Australia’s brightest acting talent.
The events calendar is brimming with an embarrassment of riches, everything from evocative shows to sassy cabaret, vibrant festivals and the world-famous Sydney Mardi Gras Parade. Check out these other attractions for even more things to do.
Eat and drink
On Saturday mornings you can browse fresh seasonal produce at Carriageworks Farmers Markets in Eveleigh, near Redfern or the Orange Grove Organic Food Markets in Lilyfield. Both markets also have a plethora of food and coffee stalls for tasty brunch options while you shop.
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to delicious restaurants and cafes and hip bars. The hottest dining spots include Kensington Street in Chippendale, King Street in Newtown, Darling Street in Balmain, the beautifully restored Tramsheds near Glebe, and Crown plus all the side streets in Surry Hills.
The lovingly converted warehouses and terraces in Alexandria and Rosebery have been reimagined as eating precincts such as The Cannery, home to delicious places to eat, design shops, cool bars and distilleries that regularly hold night events and food truck markets.
Food festivals are a big thing and one of the biggest is the Norton Street Italian Festa in Leichhardt, where all the restaurants and cafes dotted along Norton and Marion Streets take part. The Newtown Food Festival is also a can’t-miss eating event with the eclectic suburb’s restaurants and breweries participating.