The state capital of New South Wales, Sydney boasts some shopping centres that are world class. Being the most populous Australian city, the shopping opportunities – generally speaking – beat anything else in the country with a good choice of designer boutiques, department stores and speciality outlets on offer. There is a retail tax that is applied in Australia, known as the Goods and Services Tax or GST. This ten percent levy applies to most things you might buy and is included in the ticket price of the goods. However, tourists should be able to claim a refund against the GST they have paid on departure.
Places to shop central Sydney are positioned within convenient walking distance of each other, so you don’t have to be hopping in and out of taxis all day to enjoy exploring them. The central area of Sydney affords the discerning shopper some historic city arcades including the recently restored Queen Victoria Building which is home to high street clothing stores as well as more upmarket boutiques that offer a little more in designer fashions. Another arcade worth looking out for, with a wonderfully old-fashioned architecture, is The Strand. In either of these attractive arcades you will discover designer jewellery outlets, antiques stores and fine art galleries.
The centrally located arcades are not the only shopping choice in this area of the city. Pitt Street, which is situated in the heart of the city centre offers a superb array of retail outlets. This shopping paradise consists of one large block and is one of Australia’s busiest and most cosmopolitan retail precincts. The internationally recognised Westfield shopping mall is located at one end of Pitt Street. It is here that you can also find another mall, called Mid City Centre which links Pitt Street to George Street, so it is worth seeking out as well.
Accessed from Mid City Centre, George Street was once Sydney’s main high street and today it remains one of the busiest thoroughfares in the city. Nowadays, it is given over to offices as well as retail. Shoppers will delight in the Cinema District on George Street which gets busy every evening and is home to plenty of hi-tech shops as well as food outlets. George Street is also home to Sydney’s Chinatown which has a vast array of Oriental shops and restaurants – as you might expect. Check out the famous Grace Brothers store which is located at the corner of Market Street and George Street.
Sydney is probably most famous for its natural harbour. At Darling Harbour you can not only expect a wonderful shopping experience, but street entertainment, too. The area is home to plenty of shops and restaurants as well as some national attractions, so it is great for combining shopping with sight-seeing. Shops in the area include well known global brands as well as some distinctly Australian ones making it the perfect location to pick up a souvenir or a present.
Nothing says Australia more than its beach culture and you can find this in the suburbs of Sydney which sprawl along the coast. Here you will discover plenty of big brand clothing stores that are more suited to Sydney’s relaxed beach life as well as independents selling anything from swimwear to ceramics as well as specialist surfer shops.
If you like to shop outside, then head to Paddington Markets for the latest in up and coming designers and artistic traders. Located just off Oxford Street, these markets have been running since the mid 1970s and have a reputation for creative and edgy designs in art, jewellery and high-quality local handicrafts. Saturdays are the best day to head here to enjoy the hustle and bustle.
Many people travel to Sydney to experience its outdoor lifestyle, but there’s plenty on offer for lovers of shopping as well. So why not grab a flight out here and experience Sydney’s boutiques and markets for yourself!