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SYDNEY CBD SHOPPING
Sydney has a wide collection of department stores, small boutiques and many bargain discount outlets.
Take a stroll along Pitt Street and find shopping precincts such as Glasshouse, the Strand Arcade, the recently redeveloped Midcity Centre and Westfield Shopping Centre. These shopping arcades are located within the Pitt Street Mall area between King and Market Streets.
Photo: View of Sydney Westfield, Pitt Street
David Jones (DJ's) and Myer are the two largest department stores in this vicinity.
The flagship store of David Jones is located in Elizabeth Street at the south end of Hyde Park. This store has a large range of cosmetics and women's clothes and accessories as well as children's items. Access this store from Elizabeth, Market or Castlereagh Streets, or the Westfield shopping centre. Diagonally opposite this store in Market Street, is another David Jones store which locals refer to as the "Men's store" due to its range of men's apparel. Other goods from this store includes: homewares, electrical and furniture. The basement of this store has a large upscale food retail area and various specialty food and dining options. Shoppers can avoid crossing busy roads by accessing the Westfield Shopping Centre from the DJ's basement.
Several years ago, Grace Bros redeveloped its flagship store at George and Market Streets (diagonally opposite the Queen Victoria Building in George Street). Grace Bros was re-branded as Myer. It sells similar items to David Jones however both stores stock a different range of designer clothes. Access to Myer is gained from either George Street or the Pitt Street Mall.
Under Myer is a large shopping mall, Sydney Central Plaza, a food court and above it a deluxe hotel, called the Swissotel. Sydney Central Plaza hosts many fashion retailers and the very large food court is popular with shoppers and workers especially during lunch hour. From either the levels below Myer, shoppers can access the Queen Victoria Building and the Town Hall Station, thereby avoiding crossing busy George Street. The Swissotel is accessed from Market Street. Opposite the Swissotel is the beautiful and ornate State Theatre and the Retro Cafe next door with its original art deco theme.
The Westfield Shopping Centre is a large shopping complex located under the Sydney Tower (formerly known as Centrepoint Tower). The shopping centre's main entrance is Pitt Street Mall opposite Myer, however access can be gained from Market, Castlereagh Streets and through David Jones. There are many high-end retailers and fashion designers in this complex including: Zara, Gucci, Diane Von Furstenberg, Salvatore Ferragamo and Swarovski to name just a few.
Photo: Sydney Westfield and Tower
The Strand Arcade is a Victorian shopping arcade well worth visiting, for the best range of top Australian designers, such as Zimmerman, known for their stylish swim-wear and Victoria Buckley Jewellery, a contemporary designer who is known for her unique engraved gold pieces. Haigh's chocolate shop is located at the George street entrance.
The newly renovated Midcity Centre is located within the Pitt Street Mall and links directly through to George Street and via internal access to the Sydney Central Plaza and Myer Department Store.
The Piccadilly Arcade is a two level shopping centre close to the Pitt Street Mall. The arcade features a number of pleasant eateries, including a quieter take-away food court upstairs. It also houses retailers including fashion and travel shops. The main entrance to this Arcade is in Pitt Street and there is a smaller entrance in Castlereagh Streets and also from the David Jones Market Street store.
Photo: Queen Victoria Building interior
For an elegant shopping experience you really can't surpass the stunning Queen Victoria Building - QVB. Of the 200 tenants, there are many upmarket international and Australian fashion and accessory designers such as Oroton, Guess and Ralph Lauren, as well as galleries and retailers specialising in Australian products. For a sweet indulgence, try one of the specialty chocolate shops, or a light meal at one of the many cafes which are found throughout the building. On the top floor, visitors like to observe The Great Australia Clock or the Royal Clock which strikes on the hour. The QVB is sited on one city block bounded by George, Market, York and Druitt Streets and may be accessed from any of these streets or on the lower levels, through the Sydney Central Plaza or Town Hall Station.
The Galeries Victoria is located close to the Queen Victoria Building. Here shoppers will find contemporary labels and the large Kinokuniya bookshop. Access the Galeries Victoria from George Street (near Park Street) or Pitt Street between Park and Market Streets, or near the Town Hall Station entry adjoining the QVB.
Photo: Galeries Victoria
The World Square centre spans three levels of an entire city block and houses restaurants, cafes, bars and eateries. Shops include Bayswiss, a Coles Supermarket, Sony Centre and Rebel Sport.
In Castlereagh Street, a very elegant street to walk down, you will find many high quality international stores such as Tiffany & Co which is located opposite the MLC Centre on the corner of Castlereagh and Martin Place. Louis Vuitton is also opposite the MLC Centre on the corner of Castlereagh and King Streets. Castlereagh Street also has small intimate coffee shops tucked into alcoves along the way.
The MLC Centre has many international brands, including Chanel, Gucci and Georg Jensen to tempt you, several cafes and a large food court area.
Another pleasurable shopping experience is the elegant Chifley Plaza at Bent and Hunter Streets, which is located closer to the business end of town and Circular Quay. Tenants include Max Mara and the famous iconic store, RM Williams. Chifley Plaza is also home to a terrific food court.
No 1 Martin Place in Martin Place is another beautifully restored landmark building offering speciality wining, dining and shopping.
If you wander the cobblestone streets in The Rocks you will discover some interesting facts about Sydney's history and also gorgeous shops selling fashion, art and craft as well as aboriginal artefacts.
The Opera Quays is a mall over several levels at Circular Quay with shops, restaurants and the Dendy Cinema.
Around the Chinatown area shoppers can find an amazing variety of vibrant stores which sell trendy imported youth clothing from Korea and Japan, plus homewares and Chinese herbs and exotic food.
Market City in Haymarket, Chinatown offers some fantastic bargains (factory outlets included) all under the one roof.
At Darling Harbour, there is the Harbourside complex which houses souvenirs, a food court, restaurants and fashion.
A note to shoppers: Australia has a program where visitors may apply to have the GST (Goods and Services Tax) refunded by Customs either at the airport or the cruise terminal prior to departure. If you plan to buy several items at one shop, and if the value of the goods totals more than $300, ask to pay for the goods on one tax invoice. The GST cannot be refunded if each tax invoice is less than $300 and refunds are only paid where GST has been paid. Please click on this link to learn more about the Tourist Refund Scheme.
OTHER LOCATIONS TO SHOP IN SYDNEY (SUBURBS)
More stylish shopping areas include Double Bay and Paddington, with antiques found at Woollahra, particularly in the area around Sotheby's. The inner courtyard also has a great little lunch café.
If you're looking for less costly antiques, visit the Sydney Antique Centre at 531 South Dowling Street in Surry Hills. This huge building houses about 50 smaller antique 'shops' and offers everything from antique buttons to mammoth teeth carvings and Chinese vases.
Mosman is another fabulous trendy area which specialises in small boutique European and top label brands.
If you are looking for a more bohemian experience then try the following suburbs: Surry Hills, Balmain, Paddington, Glebe or Newtown. These inner suburbs offer vintage, re-cycled and new designer fashion.
The shopping precinct at Bondi Junction offers department stores, a Westfield complex and boutique shops. The large food court on Level 5 and the restaurants on Level 6 feature panoramic views of Bondi and even the Opera House in the distance.
In Chatswood shoppers can find a Westfield Shopping Centre, street shopping and the more upmarket Chatswood Chase.
Recognisable by the two clock towers, the Broadway Shopping Centre, which is walkable from the CBD has many brand names, two supermarkets a cinema and a food court.
In Parramatta there is another Westfield complex plus diverse street shopping.
The Eastgardens Shopping Centre in Pagewood is another large complex, situated in the south-eastern suburbs.
Warringah Mall is located in the Northern Beaches.
FACTORY OUTLETS AND SYDNEY BARGAIN SHOPPING
Wholesale shopping can be found at Birkenhead Point - a large complex offering discount prices on clothes such as Country Road, Marcs and Events.
DFO at Homebush has 90 leading brands under one roof.
Other areas where you can pick up bargains include factory outlets at Redfern, Surry Hills and Alexandria.
The largest market is Paddy's Market which is located in the Haymarket / Chinatown area. The plentiful stalls are open from Thursday to Sunday and are well worth exploring for cheap bargains.
Also you may like to include a visit to the The Rocks Market, which is open every weekend from 10 am to 5 pm. Here you will find 150 stalls all under cover. There's art and crafts, jewellery, frames, photography, indigenous art wares, delicious homemade produce and much more. Many items are high quality and handmade.
Tarpeian is an arts and crafts market held on Sunday next to the Sydney Opera House.
For the latest in fashion, jewellery and bric-a-brac head for the Paddington Village Bazaar held on Saturday on Oxford Street, Paddington
Bondi Public School 9am - 4pm Sunday (bus 380 or 333) Campbell Parade
Glebe Public School 10am - 4pm Saturday (bus 431 - 434) Glebe Point Road
St. Andrews Church, Balmain - a great way to explore Balmain on a Saturday afternoon (bus 433, 434, 442) Darling Street, Balmain
Rozelle Markets, Darling Street, Rozelle
The best areas to shop for Australiana items and souvenirs are The Rocks or Darling Harbour. There is an Aboriginal and Tribal Art Centre located at George Street, The Rocks and another in Darling Harbour called the Gavala Aboriginal Art Centre located in the Harbourside shopping arcade.
Australian Wine Centre: 1 Alfred Street Circular Quay 9.30am-6.30pm Mon-Sat. Take a sample of Aussie wine home.
Strand Hatters: 8 The Strand Arcade Pitt Street City, 9am-6pm Mon-Wed, Thurs till 9.00pm Sat/Sun 11-4pm. Buy your original Akubra hat!
RM Williams: 389 George Street City, Sat/Sun 11-5pm, Thurs till 9pm, Mon-Wed 9am-6pm. Buy your original Aussie boots and moleskin coats, trousers and other interesting articles.
Opal Fields: Queen Victoria Building City, 9am-6pm Mon/Sun. Buy your beautiful Australian opal and jewellery at this special store. Other Opal stores can be found at The Rocks.
Collette Dinnigan: 33 William Street Paddington.10am-6pm Mon-Wed, Sat 10am-7pm. Discover one of Australia's finest dress designers and take home an absolutely stunning silky number. Bring your credit card too!!
Mambo: 17 Oxford Street Paddington. 10am-6pm Mon-Sat 12-6pm Sunday. You cannot go home without an original Mambo t/shirt, an Australian classic and icon.
Paspaley Pearls: 142 King Street City (near corner of Elizabeth St). 10am-5pm Mon-Fri, Sat 9am-4pm. Just bring your credit card along. These pearls are the best in the world.
Australian Geographic: There are many stores scattered throughout Sydney and indeed Australia that offer quality goods that are uniquely Australian. A great gift idea is a subscription to the quarterly magazine. To find the nearest store, please click here Australian Geographic store locator.
Darrell Lea: This iconic chocolate and sweet (candy) store has been owned and operated by the Lea family since 1927. It's flagship store in Sydney is located at the corner of George and King Streets. To find more stores, please click here Darrell Lea
Haigh Chocolates: Founded in the early 1900's in Adelaide South Australia, chocoholics of Sydney were delighted when Haigh's opened a store in the city. The shop is located at the George Street end of the Strand Arcade, Pitt Street Mall.