I try to visit local markets when I travel.
I feel their ambience and food can show a lot about the culture I’m visiting and they are often in locations I wouldn’t otherwise have found. I look for markets that locals go to and that avoid selling tourist junk.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of weekend markets in Sydney (there are many more), but the ones I have found to be a great way to spend a day:
PADDINGTON – I went to Paddington market at least half a dozen times and not necessarily to buy anything. I love the energy of this busy market and I like to grab a yummy snack and a cheap neck massage while I’m there. If you are in the mood for shopping, this good-sized market has a variety of quality handmade clothes, jewelry, and gifts from up and coming designers. Getting There: Located on Oxford Street. There are bus routes from the city and Bondi. I usually just walked there, since weekend traffic can get crazy.
KINGS CROSS / SATURDAY – Kings Cross is known for clubs, prostitutes, and the homeless. In reality, it is a fantastic neighborhood if you explore it outside of weekend nights. I lived there for a year and like many of the locals, I rarely missed the Saturday market. Great place to grab a cheap bite to eat, buy fresh fruit & veggies, play boardgames for a small donation, or grab a coffee and walk around the neighborhood. The market is also open Sunday for vendors selling new and well-priced books, clothes, and antiques. Getting There: Catch a train to Kings Cross Station, exit Darlinghurst Rd. Walk left down Macleay until you reach the fountains. You will see the market in the neighboring park.
BONDI BEACH / SUNDAY – Bondi Market on Sundays has similar items to Paddington, but a little lower in quality and price. Good place to go if you need cheap clothes, bags, trinkets, or gifts. There’s no food, but plenty of joints down the road to grab beer and some grub. It is across the road from Bondi Beach and something to incorporate into your beach day. Getting There: Located at Bondi Beach Public School. Take a city bus straight to the beach, or catch the train to Bondi Junction & a beach bus (follow the crowds – they will all be headed for the bus) from there.
SURRY HILLS MARKETS / 1stSaturday of each month– A smaller market for second hand and recycled goods. You will see a lot of young women here selling used but trendy clothes. There are also used books, homewares, and knick knacks. What I like about this market is there is something different every weekend, whereas the other markets are comfortably predictable. Getting There: Located at the corner of Crown and Foveaux Street. I usually took the train to Central Station and walked down Crown.
Markets to avoid: Paddy’s markets by Chinatown are packed with cheap tourist crap in a crowded building. The Rocks Markets are packed with expensive tourist stuff but in a great area.
Written and contributed by cassamaria