Sydney/City East

Immediately to the east of the City Centre and also adjacent to City South is an area of laneways, nightlife, cafes, pubs, bars and entertainment. Sometimes referred to as the "Inner East" it is an area where many choose to stay, and many more visit.

From the tiny wine and tapas bars to the "Klondike-like saloons", the City East is one of Sydney's favourite areas to visit for a night out.

The central location also makes it a popular place to stay for budget and upmarket travellers alike.

In addition to the entertainment and commercial aspect of the area, the district is home to many people, and boasts some of the most densely populated and lively postcodes in Australia.



The following areas and suburbs make up the City East district:

Sydney City East District
Kings Cross
Kings Cross is the city's red light district, busy all hours of the day and night. The area, which is referred to by locals simply as "the Cross", is actually a tiny unofficial locality within the larger surrounding suburbs of Potts Point, Elizabeth Bay and Rushcutters Bay.
Darlinghurst & East Sydney
Darlinghurst & East Sydney is the area lying between Oxford St and William St. Good eating, including Sydney's original "Little Italy". The Darlinghurst section of Oxford Street including Taylor Square is the centre of Sydney's world famous gay scene.
Woolloomooloo is on the harbour, and a rough naval areas is now gentrified, with finger wharf apartments and modern Australian bars and restaurants in an historical setting.
Paddington is one of the Sydney's premier boutique shopping areas. Everyone will enjoy a daytime stroll through the area, with its great coffee shops and pubs.
Surry Hills
Surry Hills is terraces and quaint parks, and an ideal place to fraternise with the locals in the many down-to-earth pubs. The Crown St area has some of Sydney's best eating - tapas, Asian, Middle Eastern and Indian food. Great for a night out.
Moore Park
Moore Park is for sports, and the entertainment quarter - football, cricket, movies, shopping, markets, circus and restaurants.

Get in

Map of Kings Cross and Woolloomooloo

Trains and a maze of bus routes run through the area. From the city, its often possible to walk to where you want to be. Parking is restricted nearly all the time on any day of the week, although cruising around the back streets is an option if the parking fairy is smiling upon you.

Kings Cross can be accessed by bus or train to Kings Cross Station, which is on Darlinghurst Road. The train station exits deliver the visitor into the southern end of the main Kings Cross entertainment district. The 323, 324, 325, and 326 buses also run from Circular Quay, up Elizabeth Street and along William Street. You can also walk from the City Centre to Darlinghurst Road in around 20-30 minutes.

Oxford Street has a long strip of night clubs, bars, restaurants, fashion boutiques and other retail activities running it's length. It starts in East Sydney at Hyde Park and runs through Darlinghurst,Taylor Square and on to Paddington. You can use the train station at Museum to enter Oxford Street from the Hyde Park end. This station is just near the start of Oxford Street, and you can walk the length of it in 45 minutes or so. The 'strip' unofficially ends around Queen Street in Woollahra. If you want to get directly to your destination, you can catch one of the stream of buses that go up Oxford Street. Routes 333, 392, 397, 373, 394, 399, and 377 run from Circular Quay and Elizabeth Street and up Oxford St at least as far as Taylor Square.

Surry Hills is adjacent to Central station and runs up the hills to the east toward Moore Park. Walk east from the station through Sydney's commercial fashion quarter and up toward Crown Street. Crown Street is serviced by bus routes 301, 302, and 303.

Woolloomooloo lies to the north of William Street across from the Domain and the Royal Botanic Gardens and runs down to the old wharves at Woolloomooloo Bay. Stairs link Art Gallery Road down to the finger wharves. The walk will take around 20 minutes from the city or Martin Place or St James Station. The walk is slightly shorter from Kings Cross Station, but a little less scenic, just follow Victoria Street from the station north to the water. Alternatively the 311 bus links Woolloomooloo, Kings Cross, Darlinghurst Road, Oxford Street and Railway Square every 15 minutes or so. If you are driving, you can park in The Domain car park , which is only a short walk away, or cruise around the back streets if you are feeling lucky.

Moore Park has a frequent bus service from the city. Consider the Metrobus 10, which leaves Town Hall every 10 minutes or so. The 392, 394, and 396 all continue from Oxford Street along Moore Park. You can buy a combined train/bus ticket from any station to Moore Park. During events extra buses run to Moore Park from Central Station. These buses leave from near the Chalmers St exit. These buses do not accept Multi tickets, but do except combined train/bus tickets to Moore Park. During events you may want to consider just walking from Central - you will see many people doing the same, the walk will take around 30 minutes. There is a multi-storey parking lot at Fox Studios (The Entertainment Quarter) which sometimes offers free parking for 3 hours, but charges a flat fee during events. Traffic around the area can be congested during events.

Get around

To get around the area, most locals walk. Expect to see lots of other pedestrians around Oxford St, William St and Darlinghurst Road most times of the day and night.

Kings Cross can be a jam for cars both in peak hours on weekdays, and late at night.

Almost everywhere has either limited parking (one to two hours) or parking meters. Expect to pay for parking if you drive. Moore Park has three hours free parking, except during sporting or large entertainment events, when you can expect to pay a larger flat fee.


Museums and Galleries

The Australian museum

Please see the City Centre article for more comprehensive details on The Art Gallery of New South Wales and other nearby public Art Galleries and Museums

The City East precinct is home to an extensive range of private art galleries with a high concentration in the Paddington area.

Other attractions


Although the district is densely populated and space is certainly at a premium, there are parks and open spaces around.

In addition to those listed above, some of Sydney's largest and most popular parks and gardens lie in close proximity just beyond the boundaries of the district. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Domain and Hyde Park form part of the north-western boundary of the district and lie in the City Centre. Centennial Park and the 'greater' Moore Park area is just to the south-east of the district in the Eastern Suburbs.



Other attractions

Movies and Theatre

Live Music

There are numerous live music venues scattered throughout the inner east area, catering to all sorts of music from local up-and-coming bands to international touring acts.


Sydney is well known for its beach culture but people do not have to go all the way to the coast to have a swim. There is a long tradition of Public baths in Sydney. Some of the old ones remain, such as at North Sydney at the base of the Sydney Harbour Bridge next to the Luna Park entrance. Several of these Public baths or swimming centres are directly adjacent to the City east precinct or are within walking distance.

Sports fixtures

Moore Park is one of the main sporting precincts in Sydney. Most weekends during winter will feature games of any one the three football codes played in Sydney. Cricket and soccer are played in summer.

The Sydney Football Stadium, known commercially as Allianz Stadium, is a rectangular pitch catering for rugby league, rugby union and soccer, while right next door the Sydney Cricket Ground hosts cricket and Australian Rules. A number of clubs are based at Moore Park:


Oxford Street

Home to a huge range of boutique shopping, fashion, quirky gift stores, book shops, and everything in between. Great for an afternoon's window shopping and casual discovery. Max out your credit card at one of the many higher end clothing and accessory shops running down Oxford Street. Featuring some of Australia's most popular brands and designers - Sass and Bide, Lisa Ho, Morrissey, Scanlan and Theodore and Kitten. Be sure to explore the side streets such as Elizabeth St and especially William St for the newer, funkier labels such as Ginger and Smart and the ever present Collette Dinnigan.

Crown Street, Bourke Street, South Dowling Street

At the 'off' Oxford Street end of these three streets can be found a developing precinct of some eclectic and more edgy shops than many of those on the Darlinghurst section of Oxford Street.


Kings Cross

Darlinghurst & East Sydney

There are two main eating strips in the Darlinghurst & East Sydney area. Victoria St in Darlinghurst is home to a good array of quality restaurants for all budgets. East Sydney is Sydney's original Little Italy and many Italian restaurants are to be found on and around Stanley St.

It's also worth having a wander to the 'Paddo' Five Ways which is north of Oxford St in central Paddington. It's a loosely Parisian-inspired collection of cafes and restaurants nestled among five corners which meet at one roundabout. Coffee at Heeley's is highly recommended.


Harry's Cafe de Wheels

The finger wharf at Woolloomooloo is home to some of the most exclusive (and pricey) restaurants in the district. Lunch on the wharf is a favourite of Sydney's high-flying banking and business types, as well as the occasional media or sporting celebrity. Beautiful views of the Sydney skyline and Woolloomooloo Bay.

Surry Hills

There are a huge number of restaurants on Crown St between Oxford and Cleveland Sts and down some of the side/parallel streets like Foveaux St and Bourke St. Quality tends to be pretty good as rents are high and bad/unpopular places tend to close down quickly.

There are also a number of cheap but tasty South Indian restaurants on Cleveland St between Bourke and Crown Sts.


Kings Cross

Kings Cross is the red-light district, but don't let that put you off it if that is not your scene. There are many pubs and nightclubs here, but it is still strip clubs that are the most prominent. There are brothels and some street prostitution as well. The strip clubs aren't the sort of place you would go for a drink and regard the entertainment is a sideshow. They also tend to be a bit dingy, where the nightclubs and pubs in the area generally are bright, with a vibe. Due to the licensing laws and the state government's reaction to recent fatal brawls, the drinks on sale are limited and expensive, lockouts occur at 1:30AM and last drinks is at 3AM.


Oxford Street


Some gay venues on Oxford Street were affected by a 2AM-5AM lockout policy. The official lock out ended in late 2009 however some venues may choose to uphold it.

Bars and Pubs

Darlinghurst & East Sydney



The area hosts some of Sydney's most prestigious hotels, and some of the less desirable places!. The Sydney landmark, the Boulevard Hotel is near the Cross, on William Street. This area is the MECCA for Backpackers in Sydney - Hostel joints are everywhere and bring a wonderful influx of young independent travellers to the area which really add to the vibrance. There are also a few mid-range hotels scattered around.

Kings Cross

The Kings Cross area is one of the main backpacker hubs in Sydney. The majority of the backpacker hostels around the Victoria St area will not accept travellers with Australian passports. Some won't accept New Zealand travellers or those above a certain age.

Oxford Street

Surry Hills


Australia Post

Contact number: Australian national contact: 13 7678, International contact +61 3 8847 9045




Surry Hills and Paddington have many yoga centres and training facilities.


For a serious medical emergency you should call 000 from any phone for immediate attention of the emergency services.

Stay safe

Kings Cross is frequented by drug-users, sex-workers and drinkers, all of whom influence the general vibe of the locale. The area is lively, well lit and always full of travellers and residents going about their business all days and nights of the week. Most people there don't cause problems. Ignore the touts and stay out of fights. Be careful in the less well-lit laneways and alleys as, although they are rare, muggings and violence do occur. The area is popular with large groups of men, and sexist leers and remarks are not uncommon.

Be a little careful on Friday and Saturday nights along Oxford Street, particularly the stretch from around Taylor Square to Liverpool St/College St. There are a lot of late-night venues here and the area is very popular for bucks' parties and the like. If you keep to yourself and avoid large groups of males, it's very unlikely that you'll find trouble.

Surry Hills gets its share of drunks as well at night, so be aware of alcohol-fueled violence. During the day it has a light, residential feel, and you should have no problems. At night there are quiet laneways, and overall the area is quiet. Keep to the main roads.

Problems are unusual at Moore Park. Sporting events and concerts in Sydney tend to be convivial, with any rivalries limited purely to banter.

Call 000 for immediate emergency services assistance or 131444 for NSW Police Service, non-emergencies.

Go next

The City east area is a wonderful place to stay as it is central to so many of Sydney's attractions and gives access to transport such as rail and bus services to explore further afield. It is also close to the airport making it an easy destination for an international or interstate arrival or departure. Many attractions are within walking distance, including the Central Business District, Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour. The inner Sydney area, often referred to as the 'Inner City' is a great place to walk with many parks and gardens to take a rest in and most areas of the city and nearby inner city areas have cafes, bars and restaurants in abundance to help keep thirst and hunger at bay.

City Centre The busy centre of government and finance, but also home to many famous attractions. The city has many fine restaurants, museums and art galleries, the botanic Gardens and the Domain, the Conservatory of Music, a large Public Library and plentiful shopping for all tastes and budgets.

The Rocks Just to the west of Circular Quay on the headland that provides the city end to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Look west toward the inner harbour Goat island and the old maritime suburb of Balmain and east toward the Opera House and the small island of Fort Denison. Now a cosmopolitan area with many tourist oriented shops, bars and an at times rowdy nightlife in some parts. The Rocks includes the first colonial village of Sydney, many old workers cottages and the iconic Harbour Bridge at the far end on Millers Point.

Darling Harbour This precinct is home to an extensive leisure and entertainment area immediately to the west of the Central Business District (CBD). See restaurants, boardwalks, aquariums, wildlife, and museums including Australian National Maritime Museum all by foot or above by monorail.

City South The Haymarket, Chinatown and Central Station area is home to markets, cafes, Chinese culture and cuisine, and some cheaper accommodation and shopping.

Eastern Suburbs For more shopping look at Double Bay in the shopping quarter toward the water for upmarket boutiques and other shops and also along New South Head Road. Also Woollahra, Rose Bay and further on to Vaucluse for shopping restaurants, cafes and historical attractions.

City West The fish markets, Powerhouse Museum, find a maritime pub for a drink, visit the Star City Casino and the old docks area of the inner west containing art galleries, exhibition spaces, apartments and restaurants.

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