For many Sydney-siders, the weekend isn’t complete without a steaming coffee, a gooey bacon and egg roll, and a wander around the Sydney markets. For a real taste of the culture, and a good look at a few landmarks, set out early and make a day of it. These are three markets you just cannot miss.
You start your Sydney markets exploration at the colourful Paddy’s Haymarket, just near Chinatown in the Sydney CBD, where you can pick up almost anything. You try on a pair of top-quality Australian sheepskin UGG boots to keep your feet warm and cosy next winter. You choose some scenic postcards at the souvenir stall to send home, and laugh as your kids pretend to throw a brightly decorated boomerang. A few stalls over, you admire the rows and rows of fresh fruits and vegetables. The sound of locals haggling over prices with stall holders fills the air as you watch them stocking up their baskets with bright red tomatoes and juicy-looking pineapples. Bite into a crisp Tasmanian apple and try not to dribble any juice on your chin.
If you happen to be in town on the fourth Saturday of the month, head to the Kirribilli Markets. These popular markets are held in the shadow of the north pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and feature over a hundred stalls. You jostle through the crowds to admire the homemade fashions, and choose a floppy hat to offer some shade from the hot Australian sun while you browse. In one corner you see spectacular Australian photography, including beautiful pictures of the Opera House that will be a wonderful souvenir of your stay. You stroll past the antique furniture and take some snaps as your kids stop to dance to a busker’s guitar. Just as you approach a stall selling snacks, you realise your tummies are grumbling, so you grab some perfectly chewy bacon and egg rolls, sweet croissants, and coffee. You find a seat on the grass to eat and admire the spectacular bridge just metres above.
The Rocks Markets
Located in “The Rocks” neighbourhood—a beautiful area of Sydney that has the enviable position of being nestled between the CBD and the harbour—the open-air Rocks Markets is open every weekend. As you visit these lively, tented stalls, you notice that you’re surrounded by cobblestone laneways, sandstone terraces, and old pubs that hint at Australia’s colonial history. You wander around the stalls, admiring the fabulous array of original artwork and crafts, one-off jewellery, and beautiful handmade clothing. You sample some local olive oil with a piece of crusty bread, then take in the scent of every homemade candle before picking the right one for you. Your kids love the handmade wooden toys, and you let them choose a souvenir to take home. Then, all shopped out, you grab some ice cream cones and park yourselves on a nearby bench to watch the harbour ferries shuttle in and out of nearby Circular Quay.