Forward-thinking Aussie designers create unique products utilizing eco-friendly materials and practices.
Everybody knows about Australia’s gorgeous beaches and natural landscapes to die for. But nobody ever mentions the amazing shopping down under, especially in Sydney, where everyone is dressed in resort metropolitan chic 24/7! Due to the high cost of imports, Australians are great at making their own stuff. Tons of forward-thinking Aussie designers create unique products utilizing eco-friendly materials and practices. Shopping in Sydney is a godsend as you’ll consistently come across items that are beautiful and high-quality that you know you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Here are our top choices for fabulous shopping sprees in Sydney.
The Intersection, Paddington
Get your credit cards out ladies. The Intersection in Paddington is the place to shop for all the hottest Australian designers. The stretch of Oxford Street on the Paddington side of the Eastern Distributor is an upscale slice of heaven lined with glamorous boutiques and shops.
The Intersection brings together many of Australia’s top fashion designers. It has everything from extravagant resort wear by Camilla, sexy shoes by Tony Bianco, made-to-wear essentials by Bassike, to runway fashion by Camilla and Marc. The best part is there’s a range of price points from affordable to upmarket. Every shop contains high-quality one-of-a-kind items by independent designers you won’t find anywhere else. Shopping at the Intersection is essential for any fashionista looking to make their friends jealous after they come back from Sydney.
Plus, the cute cafes and bistros to lunch at make the area a true retail heaven. Scurry over to Ampersand, the coziest rustic bookshop cafe you’ll ever see, or Jackie’s Cafe, an adorable sushi bar with breezy outdoor seating.
Is dreamy boho-chic beachwear totally your style? Then you’ll find everything you’re looking for and more at Bondi’s sunny boutiques and Sunday market.
As expected from Sydney’s trendiest beach town, there are bikinis, bikinis and more bikinis everywhere you look in Bondi. If you’re due for some new swimwear, you are bound to find the new swimsuit of your dreams from popular brands like Seafolly, Sunburn and Bondi Bather. Of course, there’s more than just swimwear in this hip paradise. Head to Gould Lane, right behind the main Campbell Parade, and spend the afternoon going in and out of all the adorable shops selling fashionable local brands. Tigerlily is always a popular stop for colorful boho prints and Playa by Lucy Folk is a fun concept store where you can find eye-popping bespoke accessories and sunglasses.
Bondi’s open air market which pops up every Sunday is possibly the best market in all of Sydney. Cool, creative artisans sell beautiful crafts of every kind: from organic beauty products and Turkish beach towels to one-of-a-kind kaftans, bikinis, jewelry and sunglasses. It’s an absolute joy to support individual artisans while walking away with more than one treasure under your arm.
King Street & Enmore Road, Newtown
Vintage shopping here we come! There’s only one place in Sydney for thrifting, and that’s Newtown.
The long stretch of King Street is lined with upcycled boutiques, charity shops and secondhand racks galore. Many shops are dedicated to one specific style or era, whether it be 80s club gear, 90s streetwear or rockabilly. The Collective Ensemble is the most popular choice among hip locals, a unisex emporium of bold sartorial treasures. Start at the top of King Street where Newtown begins and continue working your way down all the way through Enmore. There are a few non-vintage independent boutiques along the way, for those who still prefer to wear new threads only.
Crown & Bourke Street, Surry Hills
Whimsical Surry Hills is where you will find some of the best independent boutiques in all of Sydney. It’s the place to go for discerning hipsters looking for the most elusive brands in fashion and lifestyle. Whether you’re after the perfect wash of artisan jeans or a superior cast iron skillet, chances are you’ll find it in Surry Hills.
The entire lengths of Crown and Bourke Street, upwards of Oxford Street, are dotted with neighborhood cafes, wine bars, bistros and creative artisan shops of all kinds. It’s a delight to spend an afternoon exploring the cute hole-in-the-wall stores, knowing that everything you find will be one-of-a-kind. The best stores for clothes include Somedays for minimalist made-to-wear pieces, Paris Texas for beautiful womenswear by local designers and Blue Works for vintage war-inspired menswear. Chili Coral is a must if you’re in the market for cute, boho-chic home decor and accessories. Oscar and Friends is one of the loveliest bookstores you’ll ever see with the best coffee table books to impress your friends.
Once you’re done consuming all the trendy sophistication your wallet can take, head over to Bourke Street Bakery (aka my favorite place in Sydney) for the most delicious baked goods you’ll ever try.
George & Pitt St, CBD
David Jones, Westfield and Myer, oh my! For all the biggest names in retail, join the frenzied crowds on George and Pitt Street in the heart of the CBD. With shops and department stores galore, every chain brand from Chanel to Adidas can be found here.
Start with some sightseeing to go with your shopping at the Queen Victoria Building and Strand Arcade. Both buildings were constructed in the 1890s in the style of the old-world glass arcades of Europe. The Queen Victoria Building is particularly beautiful with restored stained-glass domes and the Great Australian Clock hanging from the ceiling. Although the buildings are historic, the boutiques are fashionable and modern with upscale artisan brands for apparel, antiques and gourmet food.
Make your way down Pitt Street once you’re done and you’ll find yourself smack dab in the sprawling Westfield Center. The CBD’s Westfield is a shiny conglomerate of trendy brands and departments stores. It’s where you’ll find everyone’s go-to Sephora and high-end shops like Miu Miu and Fendi. Sometimes you just need a trusted Zara or Nars makeup counter. For all your basic shopping needs, the CBD is there with every one of your favorite brands from around the world.
Paddy’s Market, Haymarket
Paddy’s Market is a replica of a Southeast Asian flea market in the middle of Chinatown. The market is located on the lower levels of the huge Market City brick building on Hay Street. The cavernous indoor market is teeming with rows of vendors selling clothes, accessories and knock-off goods of every kind. Expect tons of fake Supreme hoodies and Kate Spade clutches for bargain prices. Once you enter Paddy’s Market, it’s impossible not to walk out with two or three things that you absolutely didn’t need, but bought for fun, not to mention the extremely low price point.