Each weekend Sydney hosts dozens of markets, while they are all great for a nice morning out, some of them particularly suited to visitors, offering locally made products perfect to take home as mementoes of your visit to Sydney. Below is my pick of the best markets for anyone visiting Sydney.
Paddington Market, Sydney’s original art and craft market, has been operating since the mid-1970s and provided a launching pad for several top names Aussie designers including Zimmerman and Sass and Bide. The stalls here are a mix of new designers and interesting art and craft products. On my most recent visit, I discovered an artist who jewellery features old postage stamps, another that made reusable bags in a great range of colours and patterns. They hold 20kgs and the wide straps make them the most comfortable I have ever owned.
The goods on display are handmade and higher quality that you usually find in many market stalls.
The stall that will have me going back soon featured these adorable felt toys
There are lots of great cafes along Oxford Street so once you have finished at the market head to a café or grab some take away and walk up along Oxford street and explore the eclectic range of shops.
Where: 395 – 435 Oxford St Paddington
When: 10 am to 4 pm Saturdays
How to get there: To get to the market take the 333, 380, 378 buses from Circular Quay or Elizabeth St near Hyde Park. It is probably a 30-minute walk from Hyde Park up Oxford Street to the market if you are feeling like some exercise and the street provides plenty of window shopping.
When you are done jump on the 380 bus to Bondi beach for a walk or a swim.
Glebe Markets offers a mix of old and new with emerging designers and vintage fashion side by side. There is a strong focus on clothing, jewellery and accessories with new, sample and second hard goods on sale. Not so good for souvenir hunting but a fun and friendly local market! There is also a flea market section if you are looking to bag a bargain.
With lots of good international food stalls and free music on the lawn from 12-3pm, it’s a great spot to stop for lunch.
This map of stall holders will give you an idea of the types of goods here.
Where: Glebe Public School – Glebe Point Road Glebe
When: Saturday 10am-4pm
How to get there: Bus 431/433 from the city right outside the market – alternatively many others stop on Parramatta Road just a few minutes walk away. If you need to drive you may find parking difficult. There is some parking in the back streets however I recommend you park at Sydney Uni where all day parking is just $6
Once you are all shopped out why not walk down to the bottom of Glebe Point Road and stroll through Blackwattle Bay Park back to the Fishmarkets light rail stop.
The Rocks Market
This market is almost certainly the best market for grabbing interesting souvenirs. The stalls here feature locally made handcrafted goods, and there are plenty of Australiana items for sale from lucky coins to native herbs and spices.
I have found some quite beautiful gifts here, among them the photographs from “The French Photographer” which I think make great mementoes. Particularly when your photos do not turn out as well as you hoped! Lots of artisan jewellery that won’t take up much room in your bag and will provide you with special memories of your visit like the beautiful pieces by Creatively Belle I also suggest you check out the t-shirts from Sean Carver. You can see the full details of the various stall holders on the Rocks Market website
The market begins just south of Circular Quay on George Street and runs the length of the street to almost under the harbour bridge. Big umbrellas provide shelter from the weather year round. It gets busiest at lunchtime so arrive early to avoid the crowds. By the time you are done, it will be time to explore some of the fabulous old pubs with a nice cold beer.
Where: George Street, Playfair St and Jack Mundey Place, The Rocks
When: 10am – 5pm, Saturdays & Sundays
There is also a foodie market on Fridays
When: 9am – 3pm, Fridays
When you are done, I suggest you check out my self-guided walking tour of the Rocks which will help you discover all this fascinating nooks and crannies and just a couple of pubs!
Carriageworks Farmers Market
The inner -west Carriageworks Saturday Market has a strong focus on organic and sustainable products from farms and providers around NSW. There is a monthly roster of stall holders here with some weekly stalls and others only appearing once a month. Each week there are about 40 offerings.
My favourite stall holders include the bread from social enterprise Bread and Butter project who trains refugees to become bakers and the delicious butter from Pepe Saya. Add some of the smoked fish from Brilliant Foods and your lunch is sorted!
Don’t miss the protein balls on sale just inside the entrance. You can read my full review of Carriageworks Market here
Where: 243 Wilson St, Eveleigh / Darlington
When: Saturdays 8am-1pm
How to get there: Take the train from any city train station to Redfern Station and exit via the main entrance on Lawson Street. Turn left on exiting and take the first left. No more than a 10- minute walk.
While you are here check out the Carriageworks gallery space for cutting-edge art and consider wandering along Wilson Street to Hollis Park for your picnic or onto King Street in Newtown and check out some of the areas fantastic street art.
There are actually two markets held at Bondi at Saturday Farmers Market and the Sunday general market. This is not a large market but the location makes it worth a look while you are exploring Bondi or visiting the beach.
The Saturday market is one for foodies, especially good if you are renting an Airbnb or apartment for your stay in Sydney. If not then there is plenty of prepared food you can enjoy on the large lawn area before you head to the beach. Lots of veggie and vegan options.
The Sunday market is quite similar in style to Paddington Market, the goods a mix of emerging designers and vintage fashion with an emphasis on clothing and jewellery. It’s a great spot to browse and also fantastic for people watching. If you want some Bondi inspired souvenirs you can pick up some cool prints on bags, cushions and posters.
Where: Bondi Beach Public School on Campbell Parade
When: Saturday’s 8am – 1pm and Sunday’s 10am – 4pm
How to get there: 333 or 380 from the city or Bondi Junction Station. Parking is a nightmare so I suggest you take the bus!
Once you have finished at the market its time to stroll the Bondi Coastal Walk. If you are visiting in November don’t miss the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition
Paddy’s Market at Haymarket
I almost didn’t include Paddy’s in this list because it is mainly just Chinese imported Aussie trinkets and lots of cheap nasty clothing, but for anyone needing to make their dollars last or just wanting to pick up some dirt cheap souvenirs for family back home (albeit made in China), this is the place to come. Also good for grabbing $10 white shirts and black trousers for working holidaymakers about to start a bar job 😉
There is a fresh fruit and vegetable market at the southern end of the building which is great for helping keep food costs down if you have an apartment for your stay.
Where: 9-13 Hay St Haymarket
When: 10 am – 6 pm Wednesday to Sunday
How to get there: A 5-minute walk from Central Station or Darling Harbour
You will find Paddy’s on the edge of Darling Harbour in Chinatown. Why not grab some Yum Cha while you are in the area and make your trip worthwhile.
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