Parramatta, a city of the western district of Sydney, is a dynamic contemporary city that is rich in colonial history.
The thriving city has managed to conserve its history despite its rapid developments in the commercial and industrial sector. Previously founded as a place to graze animals and grow food for the fledging Australian colony, Parramatta is home to historical buildings that have been conserved as museums. These historical buildings include the Old Government House Parramatta, Elizabeth Farm, and the Experimental Farm. Old Government House Parramatta, Australia's oldest public building, showcases a fine collection of pre-1855 furniture; Elizabeth Farm, Australia's oldest home displays a variety of interesting botanic specimens whereas Experimental Farm, an old farming experimental site, provides an insight to farming techniques previously conducted.
More information about Parramatta's heritage sites and stories can also be found at the Heritage Centre. For keen walkers, the Heritage Walk which starts at the Rivercat terminal, Charles Street Wharf is another fantastic way to experience some of Parramatta's significant colonial architecture.
A visit to the Riverside Theatres is an alternative and fun way of experiencing the city. Riverside Theatres are passionate about bringing the very best performing acts can offer. Conveniently located on the banks of the scenic Parramatta River, it offers its audiences theatre, dance and music performances.
Today, Parramatta is a multicultural commercial area that is well served by rail connections. Taking around 30 minutes, a train ride from Sydney Central would be the most convenient way to get to the city. It is also easily accessible via the motorway, the Parramatta River via the ferry service or by bike via Parramatta Valley cycleways. As a recommendation, a ferry ride along the river before sunset would be at its most scenic.
Westfield Parramatta, Australia's fourth largest shopping centre, is connected to the city's railway station via an underground pedestrian link. It accommodates for everyone and has stores ranging from specialty retailers to cafes, restaurants, a cinema complex as well as a medical centre and an insurance company. For fans of outdoor markets, the Parramatta Farmers' Market situated at the Town Hall is popular amongst locals. It is held every Thursday and Saturday and sells fresh local produce including fruit, vegetables, dairy, meat as well as jams and flowers.
Parramatta is a food hub offering an exotic variety of food. Along Church Street or "Eat Street" as the locals call it, there are al fresco dining restaurants featuring cuisines from various cultures. This ranges from modern Australian restaurant Barnaby's Riverside to Italian restaurant Criniti's, and Malaysian restaurant Temasek to Middle Eastern restaurant El-Phoenician. However, these are only a few of the hundreds of eateries offered, and a visit to this cultural oasis is a must!
Last but not least, Parramatta offers accommodation of all kinds, from luxury hotels to serviced apartments and motels. Although the level of comfort, style and space ranges according to the type of accommodation selected, they all provide friendly services that would cater to travellers of all kinds.
Serviced apartments in Parramatta are a good option for those wishing to have a long stay for business or family reasons. Self catering facilities and multiple furnished rooms with daily service provide home away from home comfort and convenience. Even for those wanting a short stay it can be an affordable option.