A Shopping Experience: Sydney
By Somaya Ong

Having travelled across some of the shopping capitals of the world, in Europe, Asia and North America, I was interested to see what Sydney had to offer in terms of shopping.  My usual trips to Australia are for work and travel tends to gravitate to outdoor activities or enjoying some of the good food on offer.  I admittedly never thought of Sydney as a shopping destination, so I asked around and did a quick google before leaving, I was happy to find that I would be more than busy and would have plenty to discover.

Starting with the jewel in the crown, the splendid Queen Victoria Building or as locals call in QVB occupies an entire block on Sydney’s George Street, and has over 180 of Sydney’s finest fashion boutiques, jewellery shops and homewares, accompanied by delightful cafes and restaurants.

This amazing building adorned with copper-clad domes and stained glass, the Queen Victoria Building is an idyllic destination to celebrate special moments in your life (not just shopping), which has made it a popular location for wedding photography or join the QVB Chocolate Tour (I did my own version which my waste-line might still be paying for)

The next day I headed for The Rocks which is near the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.  I found plenty including art, souvenirs and gifts and a few really cool spots for a hot drink, it was a brisk early winter with beautiful blue skies so hot chocolate was the order of the day.

In the city centre, Westfield Sydney sets the pace for sensational shopping with four floors of fashion favourites. Nearby you’ll also find Australia’s two largest department stores, Myer and David Jones, which stock many top brands and offer personal shopper and stylist services.

The splendid Strand Arcade is home to a hatter that sells Australia’s famous Akubra hats, worn by farmers and ranchers, prime ministers and presidents. For boot lovers it’s a must to get your hands on a pair of classic Australian leather boots from the R.M Williams shop on George Street, near the Strand.

In recent years Australian designers have wowed the world with their innovative take on fashion; a good place to find emerging talent is Paddington, a cool neighbourhood in Sydney’s east.  The Intersection, on the corner of Oxford Street and Glenmore Road, is also a good spot to check out as it is the home of local boutiques and upcoming designers.

Admittedly I was in Australia for a week but these places are close to each other so you can cover them in a few days if you really wanted to, moving to the Paddington Markets, where many fashion designers got their start.  This is also the best place to get all the souvenirs for friends and family.

Definitely looking forward to my next trip to Sydney.

Where to stay?

Located in the heart of Sydney just walking distance to some of the most-lively spots during the festival is The Grace Hotel has been beautifully restored to its former glory, making it one of Sydney’s most prominent historical landmarks, a fine example of Neo-Gothic architecture with contrasting Art Deco interior.

Located in the heart of Sydney, this heritage-listed hotel offers a warm and personal service with the luxury of a 4 1/2 star hotel exuding a unique blend of old world charm with modern comfort to meet the needs of guests today, for more information visit http://gracehotel.com.au/


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