Chinatown and Haymarket
Sydney isn't the only global city with a Chinatown, but this one is bigger, better and boasts more than most thanks to the Chinese immigrants that started arriving in the 1800’s. You can find everything here, from small specialist stores to sprawling Asian grocers and noodle bars in hidden food halls to fine dining restaurants using gourmet ingredients.
Things to do
The pedestrian thoroughfare of Dixon Street is the beating heart of Chinatown and it really comes alive during the spectacular Lunar New Year celebrations for the traditional Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Mongolian lunisolar calendar. Celebrations go on for weeks and everyone is welcome.
Enjoy world-class shows at the historic Capitol Theatre, a beautiful heritage-listed venue on Campbell Street, built from 1893-1928. Check out the exciting events calendar for musicals, ballet, comedy, concerts and other performances or sign up for a backstage tour of the theatre.
Chinatown has something for every kind of shopper. Browse boutiques tucked away in arcades or flex your bargaining muscle at Paddy’s Markets, which dates back to colonial times. Upstairs, Market City is home to factory outlets and nearby World Square is filled with high street shops and restaurants.
Eat and drink
If you crave Asian flavours, Chinatown's food experiences are as authentic as they get. The Friday night markets on Dixon Street are a taste of a bustling outdoor Asian food hall. The area around Pitt and Goulburn Streets is known as little Thai town while Pitt and Liverpool Streets is nicknamed Koreatown.
Not sure where to start? Hit up the classics that have been around for a long time. For Cantonese, Golden Century does late-night live seafood and Marigold is great for yum cha. Arisun is all about Korean fried chicken, Mamak is known for its wafer-thin roti and people line up at Gumshara for tonkotsu ramen. For Thai, head to Chat Thai and for Malaysian go to Ho Jiak.
All that eating will work up a thirst. Bancho is a small bar with a focus on whisky and cocktails, Nakano Darling is a Japanese izakaya serving up Japanese whisky and sake and Bucket Boys is all about craft beer.
It's an easy walk from Central or Town Hall stations or you can take the light rail.