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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Shopping with Teenagers

From Paddy's Market to Sydney Westfield and Tower

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Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.0 miles / 1.6 km
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly
Overview: Sydney has myriad shopping opportunities to tantalize your family, including those discerning teenage members. This tour showcases the best bargains for shopping in Australia's principal "East meets West" Haymarket precinct. It also delves into a variety of eclectic shopping choices and wraps up with classic big-mall retail located within the most distinguishable architectural landmarks of the city center. Along the way, we suggest some excellent places to grab unique bites, enjoy scenic views or partake in an adrenalin adventure high above the Sydney skyline.

Tips: Wednesday to Sunday is the best time to go since our first stop, Paddy's Market, is open only on these days.

Points of Interest


Paddy's Market

Haymarket is a bustling commercial precinct that is located on the southern fringe of the Sydney Central Business District (CBD). Paddy's Market, our starting point, has been associated with the area for more than 150 years. The market offers fruit, vegetables, clothing, CDs, flowers, toys, housewares, sunglasses, jewelry and souvenirs.

Teenagers will find Paddy's Market a hectic but fun place to find bargain jeans, T-shirts, beach wear, jewelry and handbags at affordable prices.

Don't forget to take the opportunity to visit Market City, which is located directly above Paddy's Market. This mall offers an indoor arcade amusement center; factory outlet fashion from Esprit, Dotti, Supre and Politix; ATMs and banks; public toilets; a supermarket; an Internet kiosk; and a food court. It is open daily.

Paddy's Market is located directly opposite the Haymarket stops for the Metro Monorail and Lightrail. The closest city rail station is Central.
Hay and Thomas streets, Haymarket

Wednesday-Sunday 9am-5pm

Dixon Street, the heart of Chinatown

Return to the intersection of Thomas and Hay streets to locate our next POI. Cross the road, turn left, pass by the Covent Garden Hotel on your right and walk a few meters until you see the Chinese-style ceremonial arch or paifang. This marks the entrance to the southern end of Dixon Street.

The Dixon Street strip between Goulburn and Hay streets is pedestrian only. Here you will find an array of traditional and modern Asian restaurants, herbalists and jewelers. Keep in mind that Dixon Street is also the site of the Chinatown Friday Night markets and most of its restaurants are open until very late at night, seven days a week.

Teenagers can peruse:

Emperor's Garden Cake & Bakery: Join the lines for the emperor puffs, which are miniature custard puffs. These cost around $1 for four, and the automated cooking contraption they are made by is also worth a look. You'll find sweet and savory buns, cakes and pastries here, too.
75 Dixon St., Haymarket (next to southern entrance)

Kwong Wah Chong: Teenager history buffs should check out this place, which is the oldest remaining shopfront on Dixon Street. It was established in 1912 when Chinese immigrants first set up private banks, tearooms and gambling houses in this part of Sydney. Why not take a family photo in front of the store?
Opposite the East Ocean Arcade on Dixon Street, Haymarket

Rong Bao Tang: This store features a huge range of Asian entertainment, namely K Pop, J Pop and Mandarin Pop CDs, martial arts movies and Asian feature films and TV dramas, animation, PC games, books and magazines.
50 Dixon St., Haymarket (just outside the northern gate)

While on Dixon Street all of the family should take time to explore the hidden arcades that connect through to Sussex Street, such as Dixon House (Corner of Dixon and Little Hay), East Ocean Arcade (427 Sussex St.) and the Sussex Center (401 Sussex St.). In these arcades are a labyrinth of international food courts (look out for the places producing fresh sugar cane juice) and quirky FOB stores with clothing imported from Korea, Japan and China.

Tip: There are even more restaurants at the other end of Dixon Street beyond the pedestrian-only zone. You may find these restaurants are less expensive than those located in the pedestrian-only "tourist" zone.

Mamak Malaysian Restaurant (optional)

From Dixon Street turn right onto Goulburn Street to find this POI.

Mamak Restaurant offers yummy Malaysian food with authentic spices. Singaporeans, Malaysians and Indians as well as Westerners choose to eat here for that reason. It's fun to watch the chefs making roti from the glass window outside even if you don't eat here.

Generally, there will be a 15-minute wait before you manage to get a table, but this is more than compensated by the food and the budget prices. Try the teh tarik stretched tea, toti canai, nasi lemak and the crowd pleaser (every patron seems to order this)--the conical-shaped dessert, roti tisu.
15 Goulburn St., Haymarket
Lunch 11:30am-2:30pm daily
Dinner 5:30-9:30pm daily
Tip: The famous Taiwanese dessert franchise Meet Fresh is just around the corner.
Other Resources
Mamak Malaysian Restaurant

Quirky Asian fashion, Sussex Street

From Mamak Restaurant on Goulburn Street, take the first left onto Sussex Street and continue to walk in a northerly direction toward Liverpool Street to find this POI.

Due to the mix of Australian-born and Asian youth going to the University of Sydney in nearby Camperdown or the University of Technology in Ultimo, Chinatown and its environs have transformed into an eclectic center for youth culture during the last 10 years.

Vibrant Art Nouveau-style shops now span in all directions from Dixon Street to Sussex Street, Goulburn Street, Campbell Street and northward to George Street. The area is quickly becoming known as as Korea Town and Thai Town.

Many Korean and Japanese clothing abound in this area, so take some time if you wish to explore further.

The Spanish Quarter (optional)

The Spanish Quarter is located along Liverpool Street mainly between Sussex and Pitt streets.

For decades Liverpool Street and the corner of Kent Street were places for sangria, paella and flamenco but now all of this is gradually being engulfed by Chinatown, mainly due to the aging of Sydney's Spanish population.

If you feel like a bite of jamon, suckling pig or tapas, try either of these nostalgic restaurants before they fade into history.

Captain Torres, 73 Liverpool St.
Casa Asturiana, 77 Liverpool St.

World Square Shopping Centre and Din Tai Fung Restaurant

From the Spanish Quarter, keep walking in an easterly direction toward George Street and then cross the road. You are now at World Square Shopping Centre. Teenagers will find JB Hi Fi, Australia's Napoleon Perdis cosmetics, Rebel Sport, Sony and well-known fashion retailers all here under the one gigantic roof.

If you are hungry, the best thing to do is relax and dine at Din Tai Fung restaurant on the first level. This restaurant is one of the most popular in the CBD, so be prepared to wait for at least 20 minutes for a table.

While you wait outside, the whole family can watch the kitchen staff prepare dumplings behind the giant windows. Teenagers would probably enjoy the pork dumplings (the best in Sydney without question) with Taiwanese fried rice. For drinks, let them have a soda--the red plum soda is divine. For dessert, the taro, green tea or sesame ice cream are all recommended.
Corner of Liverpool, George and Pitt
Monday-Wednesday 10am-7pm
Thursday 10am-9pm
Friday-Saturday 10am-7pm
Sundays, holidays 11am-5pm

Other Resources
Din Tai Fung
World Square

Kinokuniya Bookstore

As you leave World Square, continue along George Street in a northerly direction. On your left you will soon notice the Event Cinema complex. Keep walking and cross over Bathurst Street, staying on George Street. You should soon come across the beautiful Sydney Town Hall (a family photo opportunity) and a Woolworths supermarket on the corner of George and Park streets.

Opposite this intersection is the Galeries Victoria on the right side. You will definitely notice the regal-looking Queen Victoria Building on you left. Please ignore the grand dame for now if you wish to explore the Kinokuniya Bookshop in the Galeries Victoria (TVG) first.

The massive Kinokuniya Bookshop, level two, includes foreign language titles, manga, graphic novels, art and design. A cafe is located within the bookstore.

The Galeries Victoria is the funkiest shopping mall in Sydney's CBD, but the clothing is more upscale compared to Chinatown. Fashionable teenagers will love stores here such as Mooks, Graniph, Incu and Industrie.
Galeries Victoria
500 George St.
Daily 11:30am-10pm
Other Resources
The Galeries Victoria

Queen Victoria Building

OK, retrace your steps slightly and head over to the Queen Victoria Building to find Hobbyco.

The Queen Victoria Building was built in 1898 and was formerly Sydney's marketplace. It is an architectural jewel with its ornate sandstone, stained glass and Romanesque dome.

The upper floors feature a number of exhibits and attractions that are well worth a look. The main attraction is the royal clock. This spectacular mechanical clock was made by the queen's clockmaker and resembles Balmoral Castle. It is suspended from the ceiling and is the world's largest hanging animated turret clock. Every hour on the hour between 9am and 9pm, its mechanical action figures sound the trumpets and act out a royal pageant. It features six scenes from England's history including King John signing the Magna Carta in 1215, Queen Elizabeth I knighting Sir Frances Drake in 1588 and the beheading of Charles I in 1649.

Located inside this world heritage building is Hobbyco (level three), filled with radio control cars, figurines, animie and all sorts of models.

In addition, the QVB offers other stores of interest to families, such as Peter Nathan Toy Soldiers (medieval and military soldiers), the ABC shop, Just White (exquisite toys, including porcelain dolls) and aboriginal art galleries. Why not allow your teenagers to explore these while you have a coffee at the delightful Old Vienna Coffee House on level one.
Queen Victoria Building
455 George St.
Monday-Wednesday, Fri-Sat 9am-6pm
Thursday 9am-7pm
Sun 11am-5pm

Sydney Tower & Sydney Westfield

Now exit the Queen Victoria Building via ground level, Market Street. Diagonally across the road on your right is the Myer department store, and if you look up you should also see the Sydney Tower soaring just beyond. Walk up Market Street until you reach Pitt Street Mall and then enter the Sydney Westfield.

This recently revitalized shopping destination offers one of Sydney's most beautiful retail experiences. It is a Sydney highlight. Teenage fashion is concentrated in the lower floors (one and two). Australia's premier food court is on level five. Many of the food outlets are owned by Sydney's celebrity chefs.

The Sydney Tower Observation Deck, accessed via level five, soars 305 meters above Sydney. It is open daily from 9am to 10:30pm. Sydney Tower is closed on Christmas Day.

If you prefer buffet dining with uninterrupted views why not stay and enjoy the view from the Sydney Tower Revolving Restaurant?

Skywalk features a glass platform that moves out from the Sydney Tower. Each Skywalk takes approximately 60 minutes. Skywalkers also get a guided walk along purpose-built steel walkways and platforms. Admission includes a safety briefing and suiting up. Skywalk operates from 9.30am to 4:30pm daily at 45-minute intervals. Skywalkers must be 10 and older for safety requirements. Children between the ages of 10 to 17 must be accompanied by an adult.

This is where our walk ends. The nearest public stations are the Museum or Town Hall city rail stations, which are each a 10-minute walk. Or there are bus stands on Elizabeth Street.

The Concierge at Westfield is located on level two (Pitt Street Mall) if you require assistance.
100 Market St.
Pictures in this guide taken by: kozik, sydneycalm, Haymarket, Sydney, Queen Victoria Building, George Street, Sydney, Peter Nathan Toy Soldiers, QVB, George Street, Sydney, Queen Victoria Building Sydney, George Street, Sydney, Over Westfield, Sydney, Soaring from Darling Harbour, Sydney viewpoint, Pitt Street Mall vantage point, Sydney, Cnr view Market and Pitt Street, Sydney, Queen Victoria Building view, Sydney, Pitt Street Mall, Sydney

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We like to travel and get outside. With two young children, it's always an adventure! Our oldest loves...

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