Sydney is a shopper’s paradise filled with superb malls, specialty shops, shopping arcades, department stores and designer boutiques. Sydney’s markets provide shopping aficionados with a different type of experience, however. The market culture was established shortly after the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 in order to provide residents with basic essentials. The markets today feature indie artists, entertainment, secondhand goods, organic produce, jewellery and more.
The Rocks, which was the site of the first market, continues to host one of Sydney’s most vibrant markets today. Located on the edge of the CBD, it is within easy reach, and the atmosphere is mellow and relaxing. Browse handmade dresses, explore original artwork, and pick up some one-off jewellery while sating your appetite with grilled salmon and lamb kebabs from one of the many food stalls. The Rocks Markets are open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. every weekend.
One of Sydney’s best-known markets is Paddington Markets. Every Saturday, the 250-stall market features some of Sydney’s top emerging designers displaying the latest styles, original art, jewellery and handmade clothes for children and adults. International and Australian artists are well represented in the Paddington Markets, which are held on the grounds of the historic Paddington Uniting Church. The markets are open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. in the summer and from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. during the winter.
The Sydney Fish Market offers visitors a different type of experience. The SFM is the largest of its kind in the area and the second most diverse seafood market outside Japan. Anglers, fishing businesses, co-ops and aquaculture farms in the area contribute more than 100 different species every day. Stop by to pick up some fresh seafood, or participate in one of its behind-the-scenes tours where you can learn more about the Dutch auction process, see live product and watch oysters being shucked. The markets are open from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. on every day but Christmas day 25 December.
Paddy’s Market has been active for more than 150 years and features such diverse goods as fresh produce, CDs, sunglasses, flowers, home wares, Australiana and jewellery. Paddy’s Market has locations in Sydney Markets 2129 and in Haymarket. Paddy’s Market in Haymarket is open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and entry is free.
The Sydney Opera House Market is set against the stunning sails of the Opera House and is within walking distance of Circular Quay. Open every Sunday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., the Opera House Market features handmade arts and crafts, souvenirs, personal care items and more.
If vintage and second hand is more your style, Rozelle is your market. The Rozelle Markets follow the classic flea market design and offer antique figurines, framed flowers, secondhand clothing, vintage records and more.
Parklea is one of the biggest markets in the Southern Hemisphere. A virtual treasure trove of camping goods, gardening supplies, clothing, cosmetics, seafood and more, Parklea Markets offer their own ATMs, fast food outlets and cafés.