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Sydney's Hip Inner-City Scene

Beyond the harbor, there's a homegrown cool.

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Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4.1 miles
Duration: Unknown

Overview :  Part outsize beach resort, part culture capital, Sydney exemplifies the art of relaxed cosmopolitanism. It's urbane but not... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Kirrily Johnston

The city's fashionable heart is the corner of Oxford Street and Glenmore Road in Paddington, where some of the most exciting Australian designers are conveniently clustered.

Kirrily Johnston exemplifies the laid-back Down Under aesthetic with her earthy-urban, feminine clothes (think billowy red skirts with high cinched waists).
6 Glenmore ... More

2. Josh Goot

Josh Goot has block-printed tube and tunic dresses that come in colors as bright as the Sydney sun.
104 Glenmore Rd.

3. Willow

Inside Kit Willow's chic, bilevel boutique Willow, you'll find flirty draped dresses in organza and tulle.
3A Glenmore Rd.

4. Planet Commonwealth

Planet Commonwealth carries Ross Longmuir's streamlined beds, tables and sofas, all made from Australian hardwoods (don't worry, they'll help with shipping).
114 Commonwealth St.

5. Koskela

The lure at Koskela is aboriginal craftwork, such as the one-of lampshades traditionally woven with bush string.
91 Campbell St.
Imperial Slacks Bldg., Level 1

6. Brent Wilson

Men shouldn't miss the downtown boutique of Brent Wilson with its updated classics, including easygoing suits, shirts and sweaters. For housewares, head to Surry Hills.
500 George St.
Shop RG25

7. Corner Shop

Just up the block in the ornate, shop-filled Strand Arcade is Corner Shop, a Sydney stalwart known for its tightly edited international collections (Marc Jacobs, Isabel Marant and Benah).
12-414 George St.
Strand Arcade, Level 1

Though other areas are better known for barhopping, these days downtown is heating up after dark. The latest night-owl haven is Ivy (drinks for two, $30), a multilevel complex with 18 bars, a ballroom and rooftop cabanas.
330 George St.

Sydney's coolest cultural commissar, actress Cate Blanchett, now directs the Sydney Theatre Company along with her husband, Andrew Upton. Snag some tickets to a production at either the STC headquarters (a spectacularly converted wharf by the bridge) or at the Sydney Opera House--you may well catch Blanchett onstage.
Pier 4, Hickson Rd.
011-... More

Don't let the name fool you, there's a lot more than just arias going on under the swooping, cantilevered roofs of Australia's most famous architectural landmark. The Opera House actually contains six different performance spaces, including the 350-seat Studio and the grand 2,679-seat Concert Hall, which host entertainment ranging from ballet to... More

Post-show, grab a cocktail at the Opera House's restaurant, Guillaume at Bennelong (drinks for two, $34), where the bar is surprisingly little known and the harbor views are knockout.
Sydney Harbour Tunnel
Sydney Opera House

There's a notable newcomer to the established culinary scene in the harborside Rocks district: Sake Restaurant & Bar (dinner for two, $100), where the young and well-heeled flock for superior sushi, sashimi and bite-size shrimp tempura with a spicy cream sauce.
12 Argyle St.

In city center, celebrity chef Neil Perry recently opened Rockpool Bar & Grill (dinner for two, $226) in a grand Art Deco building. The kitchen specializes in wood-fired grills and house-aged beef--plus, Perry's sexy, restrained Spice Temple (dinner for two, $226) is right downstairs.

Spice Temple: Sydney's fooderati favor the basement space ... More

At Marque (dinner for two, $226) in nearby Surry Hills, Mark Best has been winning raves for creative concoctions like yellowfin tuna on French toast with foie gras butter.
355 Crown St.

Manly, a less touristy beachside hangout than Bondi, is a roughly 30-minute ferry ride from downtown's Circular Quay, but it's worth the (quite lovely) trip to sample the exciting new Manly Pavilion (dinner for two, $85), where the fresh Italian dishes (pan-fried whiting wrapped in lardo, pappardelle with wild-boar ragù) are as stunning as the... More