City East in Sydney

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Immediately to the east of the City Centre and also adjacent to City South is an area of laneways, nightlife, cafes, pubs, bars and entertainment. Sometimes referred to as the "Inner East" it is an area where many choose to stay, and many more visit.

From the tiny wine and tapas bars to the "Klondike-like saloons", the City East is one of Sydney's favourite areas to visit for a night out.

The central location also makes it a popular place to stay for budget and upmarket travellers alike.

In addition to the entertainment and commercial aspect of the area, the district is home to many people, and boasts some of the most densely populated and lively postcodes in Australia.



The following areas and suburbs make up the City East district:

Get in

Map of Kings Cross and Woolloomooloo

Trains and a maze of bus routes run through the area. From the city, its often possible to walk to where you want to be. Parking is nearly all time restricted any day of the week, although cruising around the back streets is an option if the parking fairy is smiling upon you.

Kings Cross, can be accessed by bus or train to Kings Cross Station, which is on Darlinghurst Road. The train station exits deliver the visitor into the southern end of the main Kings Cross entertainment district. The 323, 324, 325, and 326 buses also run from Circular Quay, up Elizabeth Street and along William Street. You can also walk from the City Centre to Darlinghurst Road in around 20-30 minutes.

Oxford Street, has a long strip of night club, bar, restaurant, fashion boutiques and other retail activities running it's length. It starts in East Sydney at Hyde Park and runs through Darlinghurst,Taylor Square and on to Paddington. You can use the train station at Museum to enter Oxford Street from the Hyde Park end. This station is just near the start of Oxford Street, and you can walk the length of it in 45 minutes or so. The 'strip' unofficially ends around Queen Street in Woollahra. If you want to get directly to your destination, you can catch one of the stream of buses that go up Oxford Street. Routes 333, 392, 397, 373, 394, 399, 377 run from Circular Quay and Elizabeth Street and up Oxford St at least as far as Taylor Square.

Surry Hills, is adjacent to Central station and runs up the hills to the east toward Moore Park. Walk east from the station through Sydney's commercial fashion quarter and up toward Crown Street. Crown Street is serviced by bus routes 301, 302, 303.

Woolloomooloo, lies to the north of William Street across from the Domain and the Royal Botanic Gardens and runs down to the old wharves at Woolloomooloo Bay. Stairs link Art Gallery Road down to the finger wharves. The walk will take around 20 minutes from the city or Martin Place or St James Station. The walk is slightly shorter from Kings Cross Station, but a little less scenic, just follow Victoria Street from the station north to the water. Alternatively the 311 bus links Woolloomooloo, Kings Cross, Darlinghurst Road, Oxford Street and Railway Square every 15 minutes or so. If you are driving, you can park in The Domain car park [1], which is only a short walk away, or cruise around the back streets if you are feeling lucky.

Moore Park, has a frequent bus service from the city. Consider the Metrobus 10, which leaves Town Hall every 10 minutes or so. The 392, 394, 396 all continue from Oxford Street along Moore Park. You can buy a combined train/bus ticket from any station to Moore Park. During events extra buses run to Moore Park from Central Station. These buses leave from near the Chalmers St exit. These buses do not accept Multi tickets, but do except combined train/bus tickets to Moore Park. During events you may want to consider just walking from Central - you will see many people doing the same, the walk will take around 30 minutes. There is a multi-storey parking lot at Fox Studios (The Entertainment Quarter) which sometimes offers free parking for 3 hours, but charges a flat fee during events. Traffic around the area can be congested during events.

Get around

To get around the area, most locals walk. Expect to see lots of other pedestrians around Oxford St, William St and Darlinghurst Road most times of the day and night.

Kings Cross can be a jam for cars both in peak hours on weekdays, and late at night.

Almost everywhere has either limited parking (one to two hours) or parking meters. Expect to pay for parking if you drive. Moore Park has three hours free parking, except during sporting or large entertainment events, when you can expect to pay a larger flat fee.


Museums and Galleries

  • Australian Museum (address: 6 College Street, East Sydney) (directions: Opposite Hyde Park on the corner of William St and College St) 9320 6000
    price: general admission adult $10, child / concession $5, family $17.50, temporary exhibitions attract an additional fee
    open: 9.30am to 5pm daily (except Christmas day)
    With an international reputation in the fields of natural history and indigenous studies research, community programs and exhibitions, the Australian Museum was established as Australia's first museum in 1827 with unique and extensive collections of natural science and cultural artefacts. There is a cafe next to the entrance, that you can access without requiring payment for admission to the main exhibition area.
  • [ National Art School Gallery] (address: Forbes Street, Darlinghurst)
    open: Monday to Saturday 10AM-4PM. The National Art School is housed in a beautiful sandstone prison precinct built in the 1840s
  • Australian Centre for Photography (address: 257 Oxford Street, Paddington) +61 2 9332 1455
    price: Admission to the Gallery is Free
    open: Tue-Fri 12PM-7.00PM, Sat & Sun 10AM-6PM
    ACP established in 1973. The ACP initiated the first major retrospectives of work by photographers such as Max Dupain, Olive Cotton and Merv Bishop, and organised the early public displays of photographs by Bill Henson, Tracey Moffatt, William Yang and Trent Parke and has presented works by international photo-artists such as Bernd & Hilla Becher, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Larry Clark, Joan Fontcuberta, Nan Goldin, Roni Horn, George Platt Lynes, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Duane Michals, Pierre Molinier, Erwin Olaf, Martin Parr, Man Ray, Cindy Sherman, Wolfgang Tillmans and William Wegman.

Please see the City Centre article for more comprehensive details on The Art Gallery of NSW and other nearby public Art Galleries and Museums

The City East precinct is home to an extensive range of private art galleries with a high concentration in the Paddington area.

  • Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery (address: 8 Soudan Lane, Paddington) +61 2 9331 1919
    open: Tuesday-Friday: 10am-6pm, Saturday: 11am-6pm
    The gallery currently represents over thirty highly esteemed artists, who have had significant shows and whose works are held in major collections nationally and internationally. This gallery has supported work that is both challenging and at the forefront of contemporary art practice.
  • Blender Gallery (address: 16 Elizabeth Street, Paddington) (directions: off Oxford Street in the centre of Paddington) +61 2 9380 7080
    open: tuesday to saturday: 10AM - 6PM
    Exhibition space over several levels in a typical Paddington terrace. Blender is an outlet for both Australian and international photographers, collectors and enthusiasts.
  • Brettt Whitley Studio (address: 2 Raper Street, Surry Hills) (directions: Down a couple of back lanes, best approached from Devonshire Street near Ray Hughes Gallery, left into Davies St and left into Raper St) +61 2 9225 1892 (Mon-Fri), 9225 1881 (Thu-Sun), 1800 679 278
    Studio of the late Brett Whiteley is now an art museum that is managed by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The museum is a tribute to the life of Brett Whiteley, considered by many to be one of Australia's most gifted, best known and controversial artists.
  • Ray Hughes Gallery (address: 270 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills) (directions: between Crown and Bourke Streets) +61 2 9698 3200
    open: 10am to 6pm tuesday to saturday
    This established gallery has a wide range of interesting work from many artists spanning several cultures and styles including works on paper, canvas and others.

Other attractions

  • El Alamein Fountain (address: Fitzroy Gardens entrance) (directions: at the top of Darlinghurst Road)
  • Paddington Reservoir Gardens (address: Cnr Oxford St and Oatley Rd, Paddington)
    Newly opened, interestingly designed gardens built in the old reservoir.
  • Elizabeth Bay House (address: 7 Onslow Avenue, Elizabeth Bay) +61 2 9356 3022
    price: Prices: adult $7, child / concession $3, family $17
    open: Open Tu-Su 10AM–4:30PM, closed M (except for public holidays), Christmas Day and Good Friday
    Built between 1835-1839 and once "the finest house in the colony", this colonial mansion preserves the lifestyle of some of Sydney's wealthiest early settlers, Colonial Secretary Alexander Macleay and his family. Designed by the most fashionable and accomplished architect of the day, John Verge, Elizabeth Bay House is a superb example of colonial architecture and is elegantly and authentically furnished in the style of 1839–1845. Guided tours are available on request.


Although the district is densely populated and space is certainly at a premium, there are parks and open spaces around.

  • Moore Park +61 2 9339 6699, 24-hour Ranger assistance: +61 412 718 611
    price: Open access to all park areas except for groups of 50 or more persons requiring registration and fee payments. Special events may have entry prices fixed by the event managers and special event car parking may attract charges
    open: The main body of the park is open 24 hrs/7 days per week however some areas may be restricted or annexed as venue sites or parking areas during major events
    To the south east corner of this part of Sydney, this 115 hectare open park area has sport fields used by local the local community, bike and walking tracks run through the park area and Kippax Lake, a small lake near the sports stadiums is a pleasant area for picnicing or relaxing on days without major functions in the adjoining facilities. There is one gas-operated barbecue located on the western side of Moore Park near South Dowling Street. This park is part of a green zone connecting thru to the Centennial Park a little further to the east and the greater Moore Park area to the South east. Moore park adjoins the Sydney Football Stadium, the Sydney Cricket Ground and the Fox Studios entertainment quarter. This section of the greater Moore Park area often hosts large performance events such as concerts, exhibitions and Big Tent Circus events.
  • Rushcutters Bay Park (address: Adjacent to Royal Cruising Yacht Club and extensive private mooring facilities at Rushcutters bay.) (directions: Turn off New South Head Road and park on New Beach Rd)
    open: Open access all hours
    Busy on weekends with walkers, people excercising their dogs, picnicers and local people playing informal ball games. The park has a cafe located toward the centre near the water that serves light meals, drinks and other refreshments.
  • Green Park (address: 301 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst)
    A small pleasant area just opposite St Vincents hospital.
  • Beare Park (address: Ithaca Rd, Elizabeth Bay)
    A picturesque spot right on the Harbour on Elizabeth Bay, this is a popular place for picnics and a bit of inner-city sunbathing.
  • Trumper Park Oval (address: Cnr Glenmore Road and Hampden Street, Paddington)
    Primarily used for cricket (turf pitch), Trumper Park is also a good quiet spot to relax or get some sun.
  • Embarkation Park (address: Victoria Street, Potts Point)
    Great views of the CBD skyline and parts of the harbour. This is one the most popular places in the Inner East to watch the New Years Eve fireworks shows. The park may be locked at night.

In addition to those listed above, some of Sydney's largest and most popular parks and gardens lie in close proximity just beyond the boundaries of the district. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Domain and Hyde Park form part of the north-western boundary of the district and lie in the City Centre. Centennial Park and the 'greater' Moore Park area is just to the south-east of the district in the Eastern Suburbs.


  • Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, [2]. Australia's biggest celebration of gay and lesbian culture, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras comprises a two week festival including a fair, exhibitions, fundraising events and parties. The first Mardi Gras was held in 1978, more as a political demonstration. However over the years following it has developed into a large scale cultural festival. The Mardi Gras season culminates in a colourful night-time street parade which winds it's way up Oxford St to Taylor Square before turning down Flinders St, and ending up at the Showgrounds. The all-night party that follows the parade is a Sydney institution.


Other attractions

  • Oxford St Rock and Roll Walk of Fame (address: Oxford St, Darlinghurst & Paddington)
    Download the podcast from the City Of Sydney website and do a walking tour of past and present landmarks from the Sydney rock'n'roll scene.
  • Spa and sauna at the Ginseng Bathhouse, The Crest Hotel, Level One, 111 Darlinghurst Road. tel +61 2 9356 6680, fax +61 2 9356 2348 [3]. The Ginseng Bathhouse has separate men's and women's facilities, each with a hot bath, a cold bath, a ginseng spa, a wet sauna and a dry sauna. You can also get Korean treatments, massages and beauty therapy. Children from 5 years old are welcome. Open 9:30AM-9:30PM weekdays and 9AM to 9:30PM weekends. Entry to the baths is $25, entry combined with treatments from $53.
  • Entertainment Quarter (address: 122 Lang Road, Moore Park)
    contains an open air shopping strip, bars and cafes, weekend markets, cinemas, and a number of live television events. This used to house the Fox Studios, but no longer. However the nearby entertainment facilities include cinemas, restaurants, bars and promenade areas that are open to the public. There is no entrance charge to access the entertainment quarter. Ample parking in multi-story carpark.
  • Darlinghurst Gaol (address: Forbes and Liverpool streets, Darlinghurst)
    Darlinghurst Gaol was founded in 1822, and is a complex of sandstone penal buildings which now house the National Art School. The complex features several early 19th century sandstone buildings, including a central circular watchtower. There is no signage but the complex is free and open to visitors during business hours. If the large gate on Forbes St is closed, try the gate on Liverpool St. Captain Moonlight, a bushranger, was the last man to be hanged in NSW, outside Darlinghurst Gaol on Forbes St.

Movies and Theatre

  • Chauvel (address: Oxford St, Paddington)
    Two cinemas in the old Paddington Town Hall. Focus on alternative and arthouse.
  • Palace Verona (address: 3a & 17 Oxford St, Paddington)
    Cinema on Oxford St focussing on arthouse and foreign films.
  • Hoyts Cinema Paris (address: Building 215, Entertainment quarter, Lang Rd, Moore Park) +61 2 9332 1633
    Four auditoriums with cinemaxx size screen, facilities for wheelchair and hearing impaired. Also provides venue for international and local film festivals and events
  • Hoyts IMAX and EQ (address: Building 206, Entertainment quarter, Lang Road, Moore Park) +61 2 9332 1300
    Hollywood blockbusters converted into the IMAX format, also educational documentaries in both 2D and IMAX 3D. EQ offers large screens and extra comfort.
  • Hoyts La Premier (address: Building 206, Entertainment quarter, Lang Rd, Moore Park) +61 2 9332 3726
    Large screens and gallery style seating giving unobstructed views from private two seater sofas. La Premiere has a dedicated concierge and reservation service

Live Music

There are numerous live music venues scattered throughout the inner east area, catering to all sorts of music from local up-and-coming bands to international touring acts.

  • Hordern Pavilion (address: The Entertainment Quarter, Lang Rd, Moore Park)
    With a capacity of up towards 10,000, the Hordern is a common choice for touring bands. It has played host to the likes of Sigur Ros, Interpol and many others. See website for upcoming shows.
  • Oxford Art Factory (address: 38-46 Oxford St, Darlinghurst)
    Indie and underground venue, capacity 500-600.


Sydney is well known for its beach culture but inner city dwellers and city workers do not have to go all the way to one of iconic Pacific ocean beaches to have a swim. There is a long tradition of Public baths in Sydney. Some of the old ones remain, such as at North Sydney at the base of the Sydney Harbour Bridge next to the Luna Park [4] entrance. Several of these Public baths or swimming centres are directly adjacent to the City east precinct or are within walking distance.

  • Cook and Phillip Park Aquatic and Fitness Centre (address: 4 College St, Corner William St, East Sydney) +61 2 93260444, +61 2 9356 3877
    price: Adult: $6.00, Concession: $4.50, Family: $16.00, Additional Family Member: $2, Spectator: $2.70
    open: Mon-Fri: 6AM to 10PM, Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: 7AM to 8PM, closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day
    Centre provides world-class swimming, fitness, sporting and recreational facilities including a gym. Sited within a picturesque parkland setting. Swimming facilities include an eight lane 50 m heated indoor pool and a wave machine.
  • Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool (address: 1C Mrs Macquaries Rd, The Domain,) (directions: Access from below at the western end of Wooloomooloo bay or from Art Gallery Road)
    price: Adult: $5.50, concession: $4.10, family: $15.30, additional family member: $2, spectator: $2.70
    open: 1 Sept 2009 – 30 Apr 2010, non-daylight saving: Mon-Sunday: 6AM to 7PM, Daylight Saving: Mon-Sun: 6AM to 8PM
    A famous yet paradoxically little known location overlooking Wooloomoloo bay and near to the Botanic gardens. It was a popular swimming location with Indigenous Aborigines before the arrival of Europeans in Australia. The pool was also the venue for the sporting triumphs of Australian swimming legend Andrew Boy Charlton in the 1920s and is believed to be the birthplace of the 'Australian Crawl or freestyle swimming stroke.
  • City of Sydney swimming centres are closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day.

Sports fixtures

Moore Park is one of the main sporting precincts in Sydney. Most weekends during winter will feature games of any one the three football codes played in Sydney. Cricket and soccer are played in summer.

The Sydney Football Stadium is a rectangular pitch catering for rugby league, rugby union and soccer, while right next door the Sydney Cricket Ground hosts cricket and Australian Rules. A number of clubs are based at Moore Park:

  • Sydney Roosters [5] (formerly Eastern Suburbs District Rugby League Football Club) play in the National Rugby League. Games from March to September.
  • New South Wales Waratahs play in the Super 14 rugby union competition. Games from February to May.[6]
  • Sydney Swans play in the Australian Football League. Games from March to September.[7]
  • Sydney F.C. play in the a-league soccer competion during summer.


Oxford Street

Home to a huge range of boutique shopping, fashion, quirky gift stores, book shops, and everything in between. Great for an afternoon's window shopping and casual discovery. Max out your credit card at one of the many higher end clothing and accessory shops running down Oxford Street. Featuring some of Australia's most popular brands and designers - Sass and Bide, Lisa Ho, Morrissey, Scanlan and Theodore and Kitten. Be sure to explore the side streets such as Elizabeth St and especially William St for the newer, funkier labels such as Ginger and Smart and the ever present Collette Dinnigan.

  • Paddington Fresh (directions: Just across the road from the Church in Paddington) +61 2 9380 9988
    Fresh produce markets.
  • Paddington Markets, 395 Oxford St [8]. Every Saturday 10AM-5PM. Held in the grounds of Paddington Uniting Church, just off Oxford St. Paddington Markets has been in operation since 1973 and is a stylish stall venue for designers, jewellers and craftsmen. Not many true bargains to be had, but perfect for unusual gifts and clothing, as well as some mainstream items. Fantastic for people-watching.
  • The Bookshop [9], 207 Oxford St, ☎ +61 2 9331 1103, open Mo–We 10AM–10PM, Th 10AM–11PM, Fr–Sa 10AM–midnight, Su and public holidays 11AM–11PM — Trading for over 20 years, the Bookshop is one of Sydney's premier retailers of gay and lesbian books, magazines, calendars and DVDs. Great for a browse.

Crown Street, Bourke Street, South Dowling Street

At the 'off' Oxford Street end of these three streets can be found a developing precinct of some ecclectic and more edgy shops than many of those on the Darlinhurst section of Oxford Street.

  • Wheels and Doll Babies (address: Crown St, Surry Hills/Darrlinghurst) (directions: Just around the corner from Oxfrod St at the first side street)
    edgy biker and hooker style alt club and street clothing


Kings Cross

  • Aperitif (address: 7 Kellett St, Kings Cross) +61 2 9357 4729
    open: 6PM-3AM
    Hidden away in a leafy corner of Kings Cross. With the kitchen open until 2AM most nights of the week, this is one of the few options in Sydney for a late night meal that doesn't involve standing and looking up while ordering. Spanish menu featuring tapas and other plates best for sharing.
  • Bootleg Bar and Italian Food (address: 175 Victoria St, Potts Point) +61 2 9361 3884
    Good simple Italian food in cosy but trendy surrounds. Eat or just enjoy a drink or two at the bar.
  • Doma Bohemian Beer Cafe [10], 29 Orwell St Potts Point. Bookings ☎ +61 2 9331 0022. Open 7 days M-S noon-midnight, Sun, noon-10PM. Their Bohemian platter has large portions of Central European cuisine. Selection of European beers.
  • Haradokei - Brown Rice Organic Cafe, 58A Bayswater Rd, Rushcutters Bay, ☎ +61 2 9360 2342. Open 6 days Mon-Fri 12PM-8:30PM, Sat 12PM-9:30PM, Sun closed. Home style Japanese cooking using organic ingredients. The restaurant is small and intimate, with a range of Western and Japanese journals to read while you wait. They offer the choice of brown (gen-mai 玄米) or white rice.
  • Jimmy Liks (address: 186-188 Victoria St, Potts Point) +61 2 8354 1400
    open: 6PM-11PM
    Modern Thai food and cocktails. They only accept bookings between 6PM-7PM and the communal tables can fill up fairly quickly after this, especially on weekends.
  • Lotus Bar and Bistro (address: 22 Challis Ave, Potts Point) +61 2 9326 9000
    Restaurant and cocktail bar located just off Macleay St towards the quieter end of Potts Point. The food is modern Australian style with a slight Asian influence.

Darlinghurst & East Sydney

There are two main eating strips in the Darlinghurst & East Sydney area. Victoria St in Darlinghurst is home to a good array of quality restaurants for all budgets. East Sydney is Sydney's original Little Italy and many Italian restaurants are to be found on and around Stanley St.

  • A Tavola (address: 348 Victoria St, Darlinghurst) +61 2 9331 7871
    open: 6PM-late
    Italian pasta restaurant. Patrons sit at a huge communal table which dominates the room. Good food and service.
  • Bar Reggio (address: 135 Crown St, East Sydney) +61 2 9332 1129
    price: Pizzas $20-24, pastas $13-18
    open: L&D 7 days
    Popular East Sydney pizza and pasta restaurant from early evening until late at night. Can be very noisy, but lots of fun for larger groups.
  • Bill and Toni's (address: 74 Stanley St, East Sydney) +61 2 9360 4702
    price: Under $15
    open: 11am-10pm
    One of the original restaurants of Little Italy on Stanley St. Pastas, but the schnitzel with cheese is a highlight. Have your post-prandial coffee and gelato or cake in the San Siro coffee lounge downstairs.
  • Tastevin (address: 292-294 Victoria Rd, Darlinghurst) +61 2 9356 3429
    price: From $19, mains $29
    open: We-Mo L&D
    French-style bistro and wine bar. Selection of Australian and French wines.
  • Thada Thai Cuisine (address: 245 Victoria St, Darlinghurst) +61 2 9360 6455‎
    Thai food that's always fresh, good and quick. Takeaway or eat in the casual and bustling restaurant. One of several Thai places in the immediate vicinity.
  • The Bunker (address: 399 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst)
    Tiny cafe in the middle of Darlinghurst, coffee, snacks, breakfast and lunch.
  • Tigerbakers Cafe (address: 292 Victoria St, Darlinghurst)
    Relaxed and welcoming. The walls and tables feature the work of local artists and are constantly changing.
  • Tropicana Caffe (address: 227 Victoria St, Darlinghurst)
    price: Breakfast around $10, focaccias $8-10, salads $10-12 and mains<$20
    open: 6AM-late 7 days
    A Sydney institution, with Ferrari-driving Eastern suburbs socialites rubbing shoulders with taxi drivers. Breakfasts, foccacias, salads, pastas, main dishes, cakes and coffee. The Tropfest short film festival started in this cafe in 1993. Decide what you want from the menu board first, spot a free table and tell the cashier your table number when you order and pay.
  • The Original Balkan Restaurant (address: 217 Oxford Street Darlinghurst) (directions: Two minutes from Taylor Square) +61 29331 7670
    Very popular family-run Croatian restaurant specialising in grilled meats and seafood. The Balkan has been a Darlinghurst stalwart for over 40 years.
  • Universal Restaurant (address: Republic 2 Courtyard, Palmer St, between Burton and Liverpool streets, Darlinghurst) (directions: Five minutes from Taylor Square) +61 331 0709
    open: Dinner Monday to Saturday, lunch Friday
    Christine Manfield has long been regarded one of Sydney's best chefs. This is her current restaurant, opened in 2007, which features beautifully crafted dishes which draw inspiration from around the world. Christine Manfield is especially famous for her desserts. Universal was nominated as one of the 10 best new restaurants at the 2008 Food and Wine awards in New York.
  • Almond Bar (address: 379 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst) +61 2 9380 5318
    Funky Middle Eastern restaurant reflecting the Syrian background of the owners. Carol and Sharon Salloum are warm and charming hosts.


The finger wharf at Woolloomooloo is home to some of the most exclusive (and pricey) restaurants in the district. Lunch on the wharf is a favourite of Sydney's high-flying banking and business types, as well as the occassional media or sporting celebrity. Beautiful views of the Sydney skyline and Woolloomooloo Bay.

  • Akis (address: Woolloomooloo Wharf)
    Fine Indian food.
  • China Doll (address: Woolloomooloo Wharf)
    Asian/Chinese cuisine.
  • Harry's Cafe de Wheels
    A piece of Sydney history, right on the water at Woolloomooloo. Stand up against the van, and grab a pie, peas and mash. There are another couple of franchises open now, in Capitol Square and at the airport. Ignore them, this is the original, and it isn't about the pies. Open early, and late.

Oxford Street Darlinghurst & Paddington

  • The Pink Peppercorn (address: 122 Oxford St,) +61 2 9360 9922
    Informal, calm and minimalist. Anouvong Kaseum's beautifully presented dishes fuse Lao flavors (think Thai with less kick) and a modern western influence.
  • Betty's Soup Kitchen (address: 84 Oxford Street Darlinghurst)
    Provide a selection of soups and salads at very reasonable prices.
  • Perry Lane CafeArtStudio (address: Rear 264 Oxford St, via Perry Lane Paddington) (directions: Down Perry lane Behind the Oxford Store) +61 2 8354 1222
    price: Max price is around $15
    open: From 8AM
    20m from Oxford St. Suitable for a group lunch. 3 level courtyard cafe with wifi available. The ArtStudio hangings are rotated fortnightly. Largely caters for vegetarians.
  • The Original Balkan Restaurant (address: 217 Oxford Street Darlinghurst) (directions: Two minutes from Taylor Square) +61 29331 7670
    Very popular family-run Croatian restaurant specialising in grilled meats and seafood. The Balkan has been a Darlinghurst stalwart for over 40 years.
  • Universal Restaurant (address: Republic 2 Courtyard, Palmer St, between Burton and Liverpool streets, Darlinghurst) (directions: Five minutes from Taylor Square) +61 331 0709
    open: Dinner Monday to Saturday, lunch Friday
    Christine Manfield has long been regarded one of Sydney's best chefs. This is her current restaurant, opened in 2007, which features beautifully crafted dishes which draw inspiration from around the world. Christine Manfield is especially famous for her desserts. Universal was nominated as one of the 10 best new restaurants at the 2008 Food and Wine awards in New York.
  • Almond Bar (address: 379 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst) +61 2 9380 5318
    Funky Middle Eastern restaurant reflecting the Syrian background of the owners. Carol and Sharon Salloum are warm and charming hosts.

It's also worth having a wander to the 'Paddo' Five Ways which is north of Oxford St in central Paddington. It's a loosely Parisian inspired collection of cafes and restaurants nestled among five corners which meet at one roundabout. Coffee at Heeley's is highly recommended.

Surry Hills

There are a huge number of restaurants on Crown St between Oxford and Cleveland Sts and down some of the side/parallel streets like Foveaux St and Bourke St. Quality tends to be pretty good as rents are high and bad/unpopular places tend to close down quickly.

There are also a number cheap but tasty South Indian restaurants on Cleveland St between Bourke and Crown Sts.

  • Toko Restaurant & Bar (address: 490 Crown St, Surry Hills) +61 2 9357 6100
    A good local sushi restaurant. The dishes are light and tasty, but not particularly large. Beautifully fitted-out interior. They don't accept dinner bookings so arrive early or be prepared to spend up to 1 hr at the bar on busy nights.
  • Maya Sweet House (address: 468-472 Cleveland St, Surry Hills) (directions: Just east of the intersection with Crown St) +61 2 9699 8663
    price: Mains $8-15
    Delicious and cheap South Indian vegetarian restaurant that specialises in thalis, dosas, idlis and other treats. Also has a good range of Indian sweets such as gulab jamun and a range of burfis. There is a tandoori (ie. non-vegetarian) restaurant upstairs.
  • Marque (address: 355 Crown St)
    price: Degustation menu $145pp + wine
    Fine dining on Crown St.
  • Bills (address: 359 Crown St, Surry Hills) (directions: just south of Foveaux St) +61 2 9360 4762
    price: Expect to pay $40-50 for two with coffees and juices
    open: 7am-10pm 7 days
    Cafe renowned for its scrambled eggs, sweet corn fritters and ricotta hotcakes. A Sydney favourite when it comes to brunches. Also has branches in Darlinghurst (433 Liverpool St) and Woollahra (Queens Court, 118 Queen St)
  • Billy Kwong (address: 3/355 Crown St, Surry Hills) +61 2 9332 3300
    open: Mo-Su dinner from 6pm
    The signature restaurant from TV chef Kylie Kwong, this is definitely a cut above most other Chinese restaurants. Produce is seasonal and mostly organic. No bookings, so get there at 5:45PM to line up or leave your mobile number and have a drink or two at the Dolphin hotel across the road.
  • Bird Cow Fish (address: 500 Crown St, Surry Hills) (directions: between Foveaux and Devonshire) +61 2 9380 4090
    price: From around $18, mains $32-38
    open: B Sa-Su, L 7 days, D Mo-Sa
    Modern Australian food in a bistro setting. The chef here is very creative.
  • Jazushi (address: 145 Devonshire St, Surry Hills) +61 2 9699 8977
    price: Mains $20-40
    Japanese/European food. There's an open air bar up from the restaurant section with nice seating although a limited selection.
  • House (address: 202-210 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills) +61 2 9280 0364
    price: Price is around $30 pp
    open: Noon-midnight
    Authentic north-eastern (Issan) Thai cuisine. There is a nice outdoor area and an adjacent pub where you can wait for your table.


Kings Cross

Kings Cross is the red-light district, but don't let that put you off it that is not your scene. There are many pubs and nightclubs here, but it is still strip clubs that are the most prominent. There are brothels and some street prostitution as well. The strip clubs aren't the sort of place you would go for a drink and regard the entertainment is a sideshow. Due to the licensing laws the drinks on sale are limited and expensive, and the entertainment on stage is very much the focus. They also tend to be a bit dingy, where the nightclubs and pubs in the area generally are bright, with a vibe. Weave your way past the touts at the doors of the strip clubs and you'll find a slice of eclectic Sydney in the many bars and hangouts.

  • Goldfish Bowl
  • Hugos Lounge (address: Level 1, 33 Bayswater Rd, Kings Cross) +61 2 9357 4411‎
    Situated right in the middle of the Cross, Hugos tends to attract a reasonably young and sometimes pretentious crowd. It's been around for over 10 years and is still a favourite place for trendy Sydneysiders to see and be seen.
  • Soho Bar and Lounge, 171 Victoria Street, Potts Point, ☎ +61 2 9358 6511 [11]. Open until 6AM. The lounge bar of choice for celebrities, trend setters and those-who-aspire since the 1980s. The Soho Bar is spread over 2 levels just off the main drag down from Kings Cross, combining dance and cocktails in a consistently stylish, up-to-date manner.

As the sun begins to think about rising, about 4-5AM many of the nightclubs start to close It could be time to move on to one of the day clubs, which have their crowds arriving around 5AM and continue until the afternoon. Try Spice for an international party crowd. Move back to the pub in the afternoon to round off 24 hours in the Cross.


  • The East Sydney Hotel (address: Cnr of Crown & Cathedral Sts, Woolloomooloo) +61 2 9358 1975
    price: ">They call themselves the last "Country Pub
  • The Tilbury Hotel (address: 12–18 Nicholson St, Woolloomooloo) +61 2 9368 1955
    A popular spot with the CBD after-work crowd during the week, while on weekends the upstairs balcony is a good place to enjoy some quiet(ish) drinks and music. Food is served in the contemporary style, Italian restaurant downstairs or eat at the bar from the cafe menu.

Oxford Street


Some gay venues on Oxford Street were affected by a 2AM-5AM lockout policy. The official lock out ended in late 2009 however some venues may choose to uphold it.

  • ARQ [12], 16 Flinders St. One of the premier gay night clubs in town. Upstairs features trance and hard house on Friday, Sat and Sun, while downstairs has funkier music and shows on Thurs and Sun nights. The venue often has short live performances in the middle of the night. Usually open from 10PM-dawn, often still going at 10AM. The last Fri of every month Arq hosts on of Sydney's biggest lesbian nights, named Moist.
  • Nevermind, 163 Oxford St. Gay venue featuring drag shows and special performers on Fri nights (Disgraceland) and Sat nights (Saturday F*cking Nights).
  • The Midnight Shift, [13] 85 Oxford St. Gay venue that has a newly refurbished leather bar upstairs, and a bar downstairs. The downstairs bar is open daily and hosts popular drag shows on Wed-Sun. Upstairs has a cover charge and downstairs is free.
  • Spectrum, [14] 34 Oxford St. An intimate live music venue, with a capacity of 250 people, catering to the the rock and indie crowd. A good place to see up and coming local talent. After the band are over DJs play pop, rock and indie hits till the early hours.
  • The Stonewall Hotel (address: 175 Oxford St) (directions: Between Crown St and Taylor Square)
    Drag shows, dancing and cocktails. Spread across 3 floors. The bottom floor tends to play the camp 80s/90s hits and hosts the drag shows, whereas the top two floors play dancier music.
  • Q Bar (address: 44 Oxford St, Darlinghurst)
    Long running Sydney institution and has been running for over 20 years. These days it plays host to DJ nights, live music and burlesque performances attracting a mixed crowd ranging from the glamourous to the trashy.

Bars and Pubs

  • The Columbian Hotel, 117 Oxford St (on the corner of Crown St. One of the most popular gay bars in the area, especially with straight people. The beautiful people sit at the open table facing the street to be seen.
  • The Oxford Hotel, On the corner of Oxford and Burke St is a great place to visit. The basement contains Gilligan's, home to the famous Oxford Smash cocktail.
  • Palms, 124 Oxford St. Gay bar/dancing area located underground. Music is anywhere between the 70s and today. Attracts a mixed, generally friendly and unpretentious crowd. Very small, so expect long queues on Saturdays.

Darlinghurst & East Sydney

  • Royal Sovereign Hotel (address: 306 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst) +61 2 9331 3672
    Trendy retro-styled pub with a couple of bars and a bottle shop. A good place for a quiet drink or to get a big night started. There is an outdoor area with a bar on the first floor.
  • The Green Park Hotel (address: 360 Victoria St, Darlinghurst) +61 2 9380 5311
    Popular neighbourhood bar, attracts a diverse clientele of locals, staff from the nearby St Vincent's Hospital, as well as gay guys. Burgers from a local restaurant, The Burger Joint, can be ordered at the bar.


  • The London Tavern (address: 85 Underwood St, Paddington) +61 2 9331 3200
    Cosy local favourite tucked away in amongst the terrace houses of Paddington.
  • Royal Hotel (address: 237 Glenmore Rd, Paddington) +61 2 9331 2604
    Located in a prime position at the Paddo Fiveways, the Royal is a good spot for a drink before having a meal at one of the surrounding restaurants, or at the hotel itself.


The area hosts some of Sydney's most prestigious hotels, and some of the less desirable places!. The Sydney landmark, the Boulevard Hotel is near the Cross, on William Street. This area is the MECCA for Backpackers in Sydney - Hostel joints are everywhere and bring a wonderful influx of young independent travellers to the area which really add to the vibrance. There are also a few mid-range hotels scattered around.

Kings Cross

The Kings Cross area is one of the main backpacker hubs in Sydney.

  • Jolly Swagman Backpackers Sydney Hostel (address: 27 Orwell St, Kings Cross) 1800 805 870
    Safe, clean, cheap accommodation with free breakfast, pick up, 24 hr internet access. Friendly staff. Will arrange Sydney day tours and travel including bus passes and east coast packages.
  • Funkhouse Backpackers (address: 23 Darlinghurst Rd, Kings Cross)
    Upbeat hostel famous for it's friendly social atmosphere and funky murals.
  • Lido Suites (address: 2 Roslyn St, Kings Cross) 1800 060 954
    price: From $99
    Studio rooms with basic kitchenettes.
  • Vibe Hotel Rushcutters (address: 100 Bayswater Rd, Rushcutters Bay) (directions: Entrance off New South Head Rd, heading east) +61 2 8353 8988
    Modern hotel with well appointed rooms, next to a park with good access to the city centre, walking distance from Kings Cross and Sydney Cruising Yacht Club at Rushcutters Bay, large secure car park under hotel, has a rooftop swimming pool with a view of Sydney Harbour.
  • Roslyn Gardens Serviced Apartments, 4 Roslyn Gardens, Elizabeth Bay. ☎ +61 2 9358 1944. (fax: +61 2 9357 7939). ( [15]. Studio apartments with secure undercover parking. 5 min from the centre of Sydney. Close to public transport. Single studio $99/night, family studio $145.
  • Inhouse Potts Point (address: Apartment 2, 8 Rockwall Crescent, Potts Point)
    A chic, luxury, full-floor apartment in a grand townhouse. Good location just a short walk to restaurants or the harbour.

Oxford Street

  • Sullivans Hotel (address: 21 Oxford St Paddington) (directions: situated on the main drag between Paddington and Darlinghurst) +61 2 9361 0211
    price: Standard rooms from $135/night
    Visitors suggest trying to get a courtyard facing room, as those facing Oxford St can be noisy

Surry Hills

  • The Sebel Surry Hills Sydney (address: 28 Albion St, Surry Hills)
    Newly refurbished rooms.


Australia Post

  • Post Office (address: 50-58 Macleay St, Potts Point, 2011)
  • Post Office (address: Suite 1 Gnd Flr 1 Oxford St. Darlinghurst, 2010) (directions: opposite South east corner of Hyde Park)
  • Post Office (address: 246 Oxford St, Paddington 2021)

Contact number: Australian national contact: 13 7678, International contact +61 3 8847 9045



  • City Gym Sydney, 107–113 Crown St [16]. Heading north out of Darlinghurst is one of the premier fitness and bodybuilding gyms in East Sydney.
  • Golds Gym Sydney, 23 Pelican St [17]. Part of the international chain of gyms, located at Level 1, 58 Kippax St, Surry Hills. Popular with locals & International guests. Involved with the local gay and lesbian community.


Surry Hills and Paddington have many yoga centres and training facilities.

  • Mind Body Life (address: Level 1, 55 Forveaux St, Surry Hills.) +61 2 9211 4111
    Vinyasa Yoga integrates yoga postures and breath to effect your body, mind and spirit.
  • Ashtanga Yoga (address: 17 Oxford St, Paddington) (directions: Verona Centre) +61 29360 7602
  • Bikrams Yoga College of India (address: 256 Crown St, Darlinghurst) (directions: Nearby to Oxford St, on the corner of the little lane running parallel) +61 2 9356 4999, mobile +61 419 232990
    Created to build a strong body and nervous system, classes are conducted in a room heated to 38 Deg C


For a serious medical emergency you should call 000 from any phone for immediate attention of the emergency services.

  • Darlinghurst Medical Centre (address: 213-219 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst) +61 2 8302 1111
    24 hour medical clinic just a few minutes walk south of Kings Cross down Darlinghurst Rd. General practitioners, minor accident/emergency treatment and other services. No appointments.
  • St Vincent's Hospital (address: Victoria St, Darlinghurst) (directions: Follow the signs at the Accident and Emergency entrance of the Hospital) +61 2 8382 1111
    open: 24 hour Emergency Department and serious trauma centre
    NSW Health Department.
  • Sydney Children's Hospital (address: High St, Randwick) +61 2 9382 1111
    open: 24 hours ER and serious trauma
    NSW Health Department. Please see Eastern suburbs article for more detail including Royal Hospital for Women, Randwich for maternity care
  • Sydney Hospital and Sydney Eye Hospital (address: Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000) (directions: At the top (East) end of Martin Place, where it meets Macquarie St) +61 2 9382 7111
    open: small 24 hour Emergency Department, general hospital with specialist eye hospital
    NSW Health Department.

Stay safe

Kings Cross is frequented by drug-users, sex-workers and drinkers, all of whom influence the general vibe of the locale. The area is lively, well lit and always full of travellers and residents going about their business all days and nights of the week. Most people there don't have a problem. Ignore the touts, and stay out of fights. Be careful in the less well-lit laneways and alleys as, although they are rare, muggings and violence do occur. The area is popular with large groups of men, and sexist leers and remarks are not uncommon.

Be a little careful on Friday and Saturday nights along Oxford Street, particularly the stretch from arond Taylor Square to Liverpool St/College St. There are a lot of late-night venues here and the area is very popular for bucks' parties and the like. If you keep to yourself and avoid large groups of males, it's very unlikely that you'll find trouble.

Surry Hills gets its share of drunks as well at night, so be aware of alcohol-fueled violence. During the day it is a has a light, residential feel, and you should have no problems. At night there are quiet laneways, and overall the area is quiet. Stay on main roads and visible.

Problems are unusual at Moore Park. Sporting events and concerts in Sydney tend to be convivial, with any rivalries limited purely to banter.

Call 000 for immediate emergency services assistance, 131444 for NSW Police Service, non-emergencies.

  • Surry Hills Police Station (address: 151-241 Goulburn St, Surry Hills) (directions: Turn off Oxford St into Riley St and the Police Centre is on your right hand side at Goulburn St. The large police centre is impossible to miss) +61 2 9265 4144
    open: Open 24 hours
  • Kings Cross Police Station is located close to the El Alamein Fountain in Fitzroy Gardens.

Get out

The City east area is a wonderful place to stay as it is central to so many of Sydney's attractions and gives access to transport such as rail and bus services to explore further afield. It is also close to the airport making it an easy destination for an international or interstate arrival or departure. Many attractions are within walking distance, including the Central Business District, Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour. The inner Sydney area, often referred to as the 'Inner City' is a great place to walk with many parks and gardens to take a rest in and most areas of the city and nearby inner city areas have cafes, bars and restaurants in abundance to help keep thirst and hunger at bay.

City Centre The busy centre of government and finance, but also home to many famous attractions. The city has many fine restaurants, museums and art galleries, the botanic Gardens and the Domain, the Conservatory of Music, a large Public Library and plentiful shopping for all tastes and budgets.

The Rocks Just to the west of Circular Quay on the headland that provides the city end to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Look west toward the inner harbour Goat island and the old maritime suburb of Balmain and east toward the Opera House and the small island of Fort Denison. Now a cosmopolitan area with many tourist oriented shops, bars and an at times rowdy nightlife in some parts. The Rocks includes the first colonial village of Sydney, many old workers cottages and the iconic Harbour Bridge at the far end on Millers Point.

Darling Harbour This precinct is home to an extensive leisure and entertainment area immediately to the west of the Central Business District (CBD). See restaurants, boardwalks, aquariums, wildlife, and museums including Australian National Maritime Museum all by foot or above by monorail.

City South The Haymarket, Chinatown and Central Station area is home to markets, cafes, Chinese culture and cuisine, and some cheaper accommodation and shopping.

Eastern Suburbs For more shopping look at Double Bay in the shopping quarter toward the water for upmarket boutiques and other shops and also along New South Head Road. Also Woollahra, Rose Bay and further on to Vaucluse for shopping restaurants, cafes and historical attractions.

City West The fish markets, Powerhouse Museum, find a maritime pub for a drink, visit the Star City Casino and the old docks area of the inner west now containing, art galleries, exhibition spaces, apartments and restaurants.