Sydney Markets

Who I am
Lluís Enric Mayans

Markets are multiplying in Sydney and you can find everything there, even what you didn't come looking for, at a stand or a café.

Sydney is a city divided into many neighborhoods or "suburbs", each of which, or almost, has its own market.

Most open on Saturday or Sunday, you can get there between ten in the morning and four to five in the evening.

"Going to the markets" being an entertaining activity for all, I recommend that you visit them all (especially since by getting lost to find them, you will visit the districts) even if they each present an unequal interest.


The Rocks market, first of all, stands out from the others by being open two days a week: Saturday and Sunday.

It is then remarkably located, right in the heart of the district, a stone's throw from the Harbor Bridge and just a few minutes from the Opera House. Or how to kill three birds with one stone!

All along the market are dozens of cafes, restaurants (including the French patisserie La Renaissance) and bars (including a Bavarian bar which, by the way, is worth a visit!).

The market itself offers many decoration stalls, ranging from photo frames to trinkets of all kinds, books, jewelry but few clothes, which once again sets it apart from other markets.

If you are a little hungry, you can buy hot chestnuts or chocolate, cooked corn on the cob or nougat bars at the market.

Especially since the orange-coloured tents that overhang the stands give the market a relaxing and intimate atmosphere, like the Rocks and their atmosphere frozen in time.

Glebe Market, a ten minute bus ride from the city centre, is a whole different kind of 'must see' market.

You will mainly find clothes, dresses and t-shirts at low prices, but also jewelry, decorative items, shoes and just about everything there is.

Divided in two, you will have to pass the first part of the market to reach the second where the food and drink stalls are piled up.

Last detail that makes the Glebe market a must-see attraction: located in the district public school, it has a stretch of grass where many rest or play rugby.

From all points of view, therefore, Glebe is a living market where you can't help but stay for several hours. The Glebe Market, however, is only open on Saturdays.

The world-famous Fish Market is the largest fish market in the southern hemisphere and the second largest market in the world in terms of fish varieties.

Located about twenty minutes walk from Glebe and a good thirty minutes from the City, the market overlooks Blackwattle Bay, in continuity with Sydney Harbour. To get there, just follow the smell of fish.

Open daily, you'll understand that the Fish Market offers an amazing variety of fish and seafood at very low prices (you won't find better prices in all of Sydney). Oysters, prawns, lobsters… nothing is expensive! And everything is good there.

You can buy or eat on the spot at your convenience, but know that you will get your money's worth and that the waiters do not hesitate to serve you kilos of food!

Note that the Fish Market is also very popular for its cheeses. Indeed, you will find all kinds of cheeses, from gorgonzola to goat cheese.

Admittedly, it's expensive, but there's no better value in Sydney (cheese being a rare commodity).

It should be noted that those nostalgic for France will find Petits Ecoliers de Lu there, a fact remarkable enough to be mentioned, and that a few stands offer kitchen utensils… for fish!

Another essential market in Sydney which, I admit, I go to every week, and more than twice: Paddy's Market, located in the heart of Sydney, five minutes walk from the Central metro station, is open from Thursday to Sunday.

Covered market, you will find in its right part literally EVERYTHING you are looking for: souvenirs such as one finds in the specialized "tourist" shops, clothes, hats, watches, carpets, toys, CDs and DVDs, wigs (!), Christmas trees during the holiday season, jewellery, shoes, flowers (non-exhaustive list)… but all this is not the main interest of Paddy's Market.

Crossing all these stalls, you will arrive in the left wing of the market where a fresh and seasonal smell will totally assail your nostrils.

Because if people go to Paddy's Market, it's mainly for its fruits and vegetables. They are so inexpensive that it is almost scandalous!

The fruit and vegetable stalls extend over a large area constantly crowded with people, where market gardeners are shouting and plastic bags are flying.

A kind of Australian souk, in short! You will find the best fruits and vegetables in Australia, starting with avocados, mangoes and apples… to give you an estimate, the average kilo of apples is $2, currently €1!

Among the essential markets, I can finally mention the Bondi Market which, although less interesting than those previously mentioned, is a relatively correct market.

You can find a lot of things there, with a predilection for sunglasses or “sunnies” (here, it's a beach atmosphere!) but unlike the others, this market has nothing to set it apart from its neighbours. Bondi Market is open on Sundays.

Only visit if you have nothing else to do

I will quickly review these three markets which are, in my humble opinion, not the ones to turn to first.

Many people make a fuss about Paddington's Market, open on Saturdays and so cleverly located in the Paddington area off Oxford Street. However, I found that this market ultimately had few stands and that everything there was a bit expensive.

What's the point of going to a market if it's to find everything at the same price as in the shops? It must however be recognized that if you are looking for dog clothes (true!), it is at Paddington's that you will find your happiness...

Surry Hills Market is only open the first Saturday of the month and we can see why.

Small, far from lively (which any market is supposed to be by definition), the Surry Hills Market only offers clothes and a few antiques, as well as furniture.

We can at least grant him this benefit.

Finally, and to close this page, the Manly Art&Craft Market! Go your way.

There are many interesting things to see in Manly, but its market is not one of them, so little can be found there.

Unless you like art (there are more paintings here than in other markets, where there are sometimes none at all) or you are in Manly on a Saturday or Sunday, you won't lose nothing to avoid this market when there are much better ones closer to the center.

Useful Links

Glebe Market Information Site

Bondi Market Information Site

Paddington Market Information Site

Everything you need to know about the Fish Market

All about Paddy's Market

Marielle Aithamon ©

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