A Guide to the Best Shopping Spots in Sydney, Australia

The 19th-century Queen Victoria Building is home to numerous clothing boutiques and food shops
The 19th-century Queen Victoria Building is home to numerous clothing boutiques and food shops | © Rolf_52 / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Mikki Cusack
29 September 2020

In a city as beautiful as Sydney, shopping is the ideal activity, as you can sightsee while getting some retail therapy. From the Queen Victoria Building to the Strand Arcade, here’s Culture Trip’s guide to the best shopping spots in this popular Australian metropolis.

Queen Victoria Building (QVB)

Building, Architectural Landmark
Map View

This gorgeous heritage building is worth a visit for the beauty of the architecture alone. Marble floors and stained-glass windows adorn this grand structure, but the standout feature is the cage elevators with ornate wrought-iron handles. The QVB has been standing since 1898, and today, it plays host to a lively and central shopping district. Stop for something sweet from Haigh’s Chocolates, and then peruse the upmarket clothing boutiques.

The Strand Arcade

Shop, Shopping Mall
Map View
Sydney, Australia - Feb 8 - The Strand Arcade in the middle of a busy day in Sydney CBD on February 8th, 2015.
© Chris Putnam / Alamy Stock Photo

Among the most historic shopping areas in Sydney, the Strand Arcade is a Victorian-style listed building, housing some of Australia’s top designers, such as Dion Lee and Scanlan Theodore. In addition to clothing stores, including a bridal boutique, the arcade offers dining, locksmiths and much more. Look up to see the sunlight hitting the colourful stained-glass windows on the top floor.

Pitt Street Mall

Shop, Shopping Mall
Map View

In the heart of Sydney’s central business district (CBD), Pitt Street Mall has it all. This pedestrianised area, spanning approximately two blocks, is a popular shopping destination, complete with chain stores, independent boutiques and dining establishments. You’ll find the city workers here on their lunch breaks, alongside a trove of tourists. If you’re looking for something more, head to the neighbouring Westfield Sydney shopping centre, home to several popular department stores.

The Rocks

Building, Market, Shopping Mall
Map View
The Rocks, Sydney, George Street, Sydney Harbour Bridge and buildings with blue sky. Famous Historic Downtown street. Sunny Morning.
© Paul Tama / Alamy Stock Photo
The Rocks precinct, lined with sandstone buildings and cobblestone streets, is a vibrant tourist area that’s home to a variety of stores and markets. Weave in and out of the restaurants and museums, and then shop for Australian opals at one of the area’s jewellery stores or for Australian art at the Argyle Gallery. If you’re visiting during the weekend, explore the Rocks Market, which showcases local produce and crafts.

King Street, Newtown

Map View
King Street, Newtown, Sydney, Australia
© Bosiljka Zutich / Alamy Stock Photo

This lively bohemian suburb is one of the coolest spots in Sydney’s Inner West. Walk up and down King Street towards the CBD and back again, followed by a stroll down South King Street for an array of the weird and wonderful, including boutique clothing stores, quirky knick-knacks, hat shops and more. Culture Trip’s recommendation? Head here for vintage stores and op shops.

These recommendations were updated on September 29, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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