A network of villages that were once the home of Sydney’s working classes, the Inner West has been renewed, and Sydneysiders can’t get enough of it.
Loved for its off-beat lifestyle, alluring flavours, and melting pot of cultures, Sydney’s Inner West knows how to take life in its stride. Made up of many villages, each neighbourhood with its own story to tell, the Inner West has an endearing vibrancy with an all-embracing attitude.
Multi-layered and diverse, the list of things to do in the Inner West is long. From the immersive arts and cultural scene to the live music venues and ever-evolving street art, it’s easy to lose yourself in the area’s creative energy. Yet, it’s the foodie scene that truly delights and has people from all over coming to indulge in the flavours that hail from all corners of the globe. The café culture is strong, vegetarian and wholesome eats are a way of life, and gastropubs keep locals well-fuelled.
The Inner West’s European vitality is felt throughout, and the streets are lined with beautifully restored workmen’s cottages and terraces, historic pubs and boutique shopping districts. And although the area still retains elements of its gritty past, this only adds to the area’s enduring charm.
With Sydney’s CBD an easy commute (and in some cases, an easy walk), the Inner West packs a whole lot in. So, take a deep breath because the list of things to do in the Inner West is long and varied.
Inner West's Foodie Scene
If there is one thing that the Inner West does well, it’s food. Wherever which way you turn, the area’s rich diversity is celebrated. Asian, Middle Eastern, European, Americas, African and Australasian cuisines – it can all be found here in the local delis, corner stores, hole-in-the-wall eateries, markets, on-trend cafes, fine dining restaurants, and even the local pubs. Needless to say, eating out is one of the best things to do in the Inner West.
Inner West Market Scene
In Sydney’s Inner West, filling your basket with organic produce and shopping for vintage clothes and homewares is a weekend ritual. Glebe Markets is an enduring favourite. Stalls filled with one-off pieces from artists and designers, plus second-hand wares, all while shopping to the backdrop of live music. Orange Grove Market in Lilyfield is a weekly gourmet food and produce market that specialises in certified organic produce. Marrickville Market is a foodie’s haven with organic produce and all-things eco-friendly, and Rozelle Collectors Markets is overflowing with second-hand and antique finds.
The Inner West After Dark
Live music and happy hours to late-night revelry, whatever takes your fancy, Sydney’s Inner West’s pulsing nightlife delivers in a big way. From Newtown to Marrickville to Balmain – small bars with quirky themes are sprinkled throughout. Late-night venues shine a spotlight on live music and DJs, and Australian pub culture endures with old favourites holding strong and British style pubs with cosy beer gardens are a favourite hangout.
Eclectic and artsy with a whole lot of grit, Sydney’s Inner West has established a name for itself on the local and international art and theatre scene. Be it in Newtown, Enmore, Leichhardt, Marrickville or Rozelle – theatre and art galleries bring the arts to life. Street art tells the stories of evolving neighbourhoods, as well as political and social issues that are demanding attention – from the iconic ‘I Have a Dream’ along King Street to popup works that disappear before the paint dries.
Inner West's Village Life
The many villages that makeup Sydney’s Inner West are all worth exploring in their own right. From Glebe’s bohemian lifestyle to Balmain’s on-trend Darling Street to Newtown’s King Street – they all have a vibrancy that stays with you well after you have left. Delight in Haberfield’s Italian heritage, Rozelle’s wholesome lifestyle, Annandale’s rock history, Stanmore’s European vitality, and Ashfield’s Asian dining scene.
Shop ‘til You Drop in the Inner West
Newtown’s King Street and Enmore Road have an eclectic mix of shopfronts, with quirky hole-in-the-walls that sit alongside established brand names. In Balmain, fashionable Darling Street has boutique designer and homeware stores, and Glebe Markets is a short stroll from the ever-growing Broadway Shopping Centre. Birkenhead Point in Drummoyne houses outlet stores for those on a hunt for a bargain.
With cafes that delight on the foodie front to markets overflowing with wholesome goodness and late-night bars that kick-on to the wee hours of the morning, the list of things to do in Sydney’s Inner West is long and varied.