Sydney is a global shopping destination known for its sophisticated fashion and swimwear boutiques. While most international brands have storefronts in the Central Business District (CBD), the inner city and beachside neighborhoods provide a more local perspective on style.
Successful designer labels like Romance Was Born, P.E Nation, Bec and Bridge, Zimmermann, Ellery, Camilla and Marc, and Dion Lee were all founded in Sydney, and its residents take their beach-chic style seriously. Here's our list of where to shop if you intend to do the same.
In the heart of the city, Pitt Street Mall is a pedestrian shopping strip surrounded by large department stores and other shopping centers including Westfield Sydney, the MidCity Centre, the Strand Arcade, and Stockland Piccadilly. You'll find everything from international fast fashion retailers like Topshop and H&M to local designers, homewares, and other essentials here.
Pitt Street is a great option if you're planning on doing some general shopping, although it can be busy on weekends and public holidays. Parking is expensive, so we recommend using a ride-hailing service or taking the train to Town Hall or St James station.
A block west on George Street, the Queen Victoria Building affords shoppers a much more relaxed atmosphere. The QVB, completed in 1898, is a temple to high-quality craftsmanship, with stained glass windows, tiled floors, and an original staircase in the Romanesque style. In fact, the building was designed to be elaborate to employ as many of Sydney's skilled tradespeople as possible during an economic downturn.
David Jones is Australia's premier department store, beloved for its wide range of professional attire, party dresses, cosmetics, and lingerie. The store was founded in 1838 and is the world's oldest continuously operating department store still trading under its original name.
Known as DJs, there are eleven outposts dotted across the city. The flagship, in the CBD, covers two city blocks and is always packed with locals and visitors. David Jones also offers premium services like bra fitting, styling, makeovers, gift wrapping, and bridal consultations.
Sydney's most historic neighborhood, the Rocks, was established by arriving convicts in the late 1700s. Right on the harbor, these cobblestone streets house Sydney's oldest pubs, along with some of the city's best fine dining restaurants.
The biggest draw is the Rocks Markets every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with local produce, art, and souvenirs. Local stores, including Hunting Hue, Joe Bananas, and Atty Gallery mean the area is also bustling throughout the week. You can get here by walking from Circular Quay or Wynyard train station.
Sydney's fashionistas shop in Paddington, scouring the boutiques on Oxford Street for the latest trends. At the Intersection, you'll find stores stocking all of Australia's top designers. Scanlan Theodore was the first to open its doors in 2004, and the precinct has only grown since then.
Head to Parlour X for luxury labels, or William Street for stylish finds tucked away inside the Victorian and Edwardian terrace houses. On Saturdays, the Paddington Markets showcase local makers. Paddington is just east of the CBD and is easily reached by bus. Visit in late October or November to catch the jacarandas blooming.
Further east, Bondi is the epicenter of all things light and linen. At Bondi Junction, the huge Westfield shopping center is a popular destination for upmarket fashion and homewares, while down at the beach you'll find the swimsuit of your dreams.
Gould Street has become an indie designer hub one block back from the sand. Stop by Tuchuzy for clothes and accessories, Bondi Wash for skincare, Lucy Folk for jewelry, and Sunburn for the perfect bikini. Take the train to Bondi Junction, then the bus to the beach.
Mosman is the Northern Beaches' most sophisticated address, thanks to its harbor views and leafy streets. Unsurprisingly, Military Road, the neighborhood's main thoroughfare, is lined with restaurants, cafés, homewares, and fashion outlets.
Fox and Dove stocks the ideal mix of emerging designers and old favorites, and the Upside has got you covered when it comes to activewear. Then visit Lily and Mitchell for on-trend Australian jewelry. The bus to Military Road only takes around 20 minutes from the city center in good traffic.
For a more budget-friendly and experimental fashion scene, Newtown's King Street is the place to be. Flick through racks of high-quality yet affordable vintage at SWOP or Uturn. Or, try your hand at op shopping (thrifting) at Vinnies or the Red Cross Shop alongside students from the nearby University of Sydney.