Sydney’s main shopping focus is the stretch between Martin Place and the QVB in the CBD. Apart from its charming old nineteenth-century arcades and two department stores, David Jones and Myers, the city centre also has several modern shopping complexes where you can hunt down clothes and accessories without raising a sweat, among them Skygarden and Sydney Westfield (between Pitt and Castlereagh streets), and Centrepoint on Pitt Street Mall, on the corner of Market Street. Much of the area from the QVB to the mall is linked by underground arcades, which will also keep you cool.

Oxford Street in Paddington is the place to go for interesting fashion, with outlets of most Australian designers along the strip. You’ll find more expensive designer gear in the city at the Strand Arcade and David Jones department store. For striking street fashion, check out Crown Street in Surry Hills. The quality Australian bush outfitters R.M. Williams has branches on George St and is great for moleskin trousers, Drizabone coats and Akubra hats.

The Rocks is heaving with Australiana and arts and crafts souvenirs, from opals to sheepskin, and it’s the best place for souvenir and duty- and GST-free (VAT-free) shopping. Weekends are particularly busy when the touristy open-air market takes over George Street. The two best markets in the city though are the Paddington Market and Balmain Market, both held on Saturday.

If you’ve run out of time to buy presents and souvenirs, don’t worry: the Sydney Airport is attached to one of the biggest shopping malls in Sydney, with outlets for everything from surfwear to R.M. Williams, at the same prices as the downtown stores.


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