Sydney/Inner West

King Street, Newtown

The Inner West of Sydney stretches from the small inner city suburb of Chippendale (south of Central Railway Station) to the secondary railway hub and business-retail centre of Strathfield and also Sydney Olympic Park to the west. Particular areas of interest to the traveller include Newtown, Glebe, Balmain, and Leichhardt.

The Inner West suburbs are among the oldest parts of Sydney. They developed along Parramatta Road, which runs to Parramatta at the source of the Parramatta River. The architecture of the Inner West ranges from terraced houses to small mansions and reflects its development in the Victorian (1840–1900) and Federation (1901–1914) periods. The area is quite culturally diverse and its proximity to the central business district makes it popular with commuters and an alternative base for business.

Get in

By bus

From the city, various Sydney Buses routes run regular services to the Inner West. Route numbers in this area begin with 4 or 5; useful routes include the 431-434 to Glebe/Balmain, the 436-440 and Metrobus 10 to Leichhardt, 422-428 to Newtown, the 480-483 to Strathfield Station and the 500 route up Victoria Rd through the suburb of Drummoyne. Most buses are "Prepay Only" between 7AM and 7PM; you must buy tickets from designated outlets such as newsagents or convenience stores, as they are not available for sale on board.

The Inner West suburb of Burwood is the north-west terminus of the route 400 bus which runs from Bondi Junction to the airport. Using this bus and changing onto a train is a cheaper alternative to using the train directly from the airport. However, the bus is subject to Sydney traffic, and a train will usually be better for time.

By ferry

Ferries run a scenic route from Circular Quay in the city centre to the area via the inner harbour and the Parramatta River, stopping at various wharves along the way. The most useful for travellers are the wharves at Balmain.

By light rail

Inner West can also be reached by the Metro light rail service, which travels from Central station via Darling Harbour to Glebe and onwards to Dulwich Hill. This is an interesting way to travel, as it follows the old goods (freight) lines which serviced Sydney's ports.

By train

Only the more southerly parts of the district are served by rail lines:



The redeveloped Colgate-Palmolive Building, just next to the Balmain ferry wharves

Interesting areas include the student-orientated suburbs of Newtown and Glebe, the once-working class, now-fashionable Balmain peninsula, the European chic of Leichhardt and Petersham, and the Asian bustle of Burwood, Ashfield and Strathfield.

Parks and gardens

Directly south of the Sydney Harbour, the Inner West has plenty of quiet bays and headlands with views, although they will be much easier to reach by car or ferry. If you're fit and adventurous, go for the Bay Run, a mostly flat 7 km stretch that sticks close to the Iron Cove Bay waterfront passing through 7 different Inner West suburbs.

University of Sydney

Sydney University's Main Quadrangle, completed in 1862

The University of Sydney was founded in 1850, the first university in Australia and Oceania. Located right at the boundaries of central Sydney and the Inner West, its Camperdown campus has grand sandstone buildings with detailed stone carvings and is well worth a visit. It takes twenty minutes to walk from Central station and you'll pass through Victoria Park, a large quiet haven bounded by two busy roads. The University also houses a few interesting museums and galleries, which may be closed over the Christmas break.


The Enmore Theatre

Shows and acts






Shopping malls


The Inner West is really a great place to eat, with a choice of "Eat Streets", where you can get to, and stroll along and do some menu inspecting before you choose your favourite.


Contains a large population of Chinese people and is known among the Sydney Chinese community as 'Little Shanghai' where you can find a decent amount of cheap and authentic Chinese/Shanghainese food not far from the station along Liverpool Road.


A highly multicultural suburb, located about 15 minutes from Central Station, there are a few dining options to be had which are particularly convenient if you are staying in the area. Burwood Road is where you will find most restaurants and businesses. Conveniently located right at Burwood Station, if you head left/south upon exiting you will find many Asian restaurants and businesses, whilst heading to the right you will find a range of outdoor dining cafés and restaurants and Westfield Burwood.


Balmain is a cosy neighbourhood with lots of cute houses and quirky shops. Ballast Point Park is a great spot for a picnic with a view over the Harbour bridge. You can get to Balmain by ferry or bus. There are also a lot of pubs around and a good selection of restaurants, mostly located around the main street, Darling Street.


Concentrated on Glebe Point Road, there is a variety of excellent restaurants to suit a range of budgets.


Norton Street is Sydney-speak for Italian. Norton Street contains a mix of residential buildings, restaurants (Italian and others), cafés, eateries and individual retail outlets, including several bookstores and grocery shops. There are also hotels, a Palace Cinema and two of the suburb’s three shopping centres: Norton Plaza and the Italian Forum. Thai, Brazilian and Lebanese restaurants have also recently opened in Leichhardt. There are a few more Italian options in nearby Haberfield.

The Italian Forum has a handful of restaurants that can be a little pushy for custom, however it is quite quiet and relaxed and the restaurants tend to be authentic and good quality; definitely worth the walk down the steps from Norton St to peruse the menus!

The Italian Forum, styled after a Mediterranean piazza


Located 7km from the CBD, Marrickville is well known for its multicultural working class Greek and Vietnamese heritage built under the flight paths of Sydney airport. These days, some describe it as the 'new Newtown' as it is now an emerging area popular with students and artsy types. Trendy cafes and bars mix with old school good value eateries in this suburb.


The King Street strip is a cheap eats paradise, with food from all corners of the globe, including a strong Thai presence. Try also the Portuguese bakeries of nearby Petersham for their famed custard tarts.


The Inner West suburbs of Glebe and particularly Newtown have a thriving nightlife scene. Newtown is renowned as one of Sydney's main alternative suburbs and is also frequented as a nightlife hotspot away from the chaos of the CBD. King St is lined with many funky pubs and bars and it is convenient to walk from Newtown Station to most of these venues.


Other Suburbs




Go next

Go down Parramatta Road to reach Parramatta, or back up to the city centre. Cross town to experience more late-night shenanigans at City East.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, March 15, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.