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Shopping in Sydney Australia


Sydney's shops vary from those with international heavyweights (Tiffany's, Louis Vuitton) to Aboriginal art galleries, opal shops, craft bazaars, and weekend flea markets.

Best buys are opals, precious and semi-precious stones, Aboriginal arts and crafts, woollen and sheepskin goods and fashion by top Australian designers. There's plenty of retail therapy to be had in Sydney's central business district, which is chock-a-block full of department stores, speciality shops and high-end fashion boutiques. Pitt Street Mall, which runs off Market Street, and the 120-year-old Strand Arcade are prime shopping locations.

Woollahra is good for perusing antiques; or if you're after Australian souvenirs then The Rocks area is your best bet: there's a market there on weekends where you'll find opals, Aboriginal art and other items directed towards tourists. The best weekend market is Paddington Market especially for funky fashions, books and designer jewellery. The Bondi and Glebe markets are top spots for art and jewellery.

As for shopping hours in Sydney, shops generally open Monday to Friday, 9 am-5:30 pm; Saturday, 9 am-4 pm and Sunday, 10 am-4 pm. Many shops also stay open until 9 pm on Thursday.

Places to Shop

Most shops of interest to the visitor are in The Rocks and along George and Pitt streets (including the shops below the Sydney Tower and along Pitt Street Mall). Other precincts worth checking out are Mosman, on the North Shore; Double Bay, in the eastern suburbs, for boutique shopping; Chatswood, for its shopping centres; the Sydney Fishmarket, for the sake of it; and various weekend markets.

David Jones is the Sydney's largest department store, selling everything from fashion to designer furniture. You'll find the women's section on the corner of Elizabeth and Market streets, and the men's section on the corner of Castlereagh and Market streets. The food section here is the best in Australia by far.

Don't miss the Queen Victoria Building (QVB), on the corner of Market and George streets. This Victorian shopping arcade is one of the prettiest in the world and has some 200 boutiques; mostly men's and women's fashion on four levels. The arcade is open 24 hours, but the shops do business Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm (Thursday to 9 pm) and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm.

Several other arcades in the city centre also have potential, including the Sydney Central Plaza, beside the Myer department store on Pitt Street Mall, and the Skygarden Arcade, which runs from Pitt Street Mall to Castlereagh Street. The Strand Arcade (between Pitt Street Mall and George Street) was built in 1892 and is interesting for its architecture and small boutiques, food stores, and cafés, and the Downtown Duty Free store on the basement level.

On Pitt Street Mall you'll find record shops, including HMV, a branch of the Body Shop, and boutiques such as Just Jeans, Jeans West, Katies, and Esprit.

Oxford Street runs from the city to Bondi Junction through Paddington and Darlinghurst and is home to countless clothing stores for the style conscious. You could easily spend anywhere from two hours to an entire day making your way from one end to the other. Detour down William Street, once you get to Paddington, to visit the headquarters of celebrated international Australian designer Collette Dinnigan. On the same street are the trendy boutiques Belinda and Corner Store (cutting-edge designs), and Pelle and Di Nuovo (luxury recycled goods).

Other fashion shopping places in or close to Pitt Street Mall include the Glasshouse and the MLC Centre, which are linked to one another via a covered overpass. Farther down toward Circular Quay is Chifley Plaza, home to a selection of the world's most famous and stylish international brands.

The shops at Taronga Zoo, the Oceanarium in Manly, the Sydney Aquarium, and the Australian Museum are all good sources for gifts and souvenirs. Many shops around The Rocks are worth browsing too.





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