Have a discussion with your fellow backpackers about the best areas to stay in Sydney and Haymarket is sure to crop up. With its central location (no pun intended based on the main train station), super-affordable hostels & hotel accommodation and the ease of access to the main transport hub (and therefore to the rest of Sydney), you can't wrong with making Haymarket your home base for your Sydney adventures. But before you leap for freedom from Haymarket, there are plenty of attractions within walking distance to check out first!
Who doesn't love shopping for knick knacks and assorted trinkets?
There's something strangely engrossing about searching for cheap items that will have you wondering where did the day go! Paddy's Markets has been alluring tourists and locals alike for over 150 years with just that bait of cheap and cheerful gifts. With literally 100s of stalls and generous opening hours, it's easy to while away the hours searching for sporting merchandise, beauty products, fruit and veg, sheepskins and heavy metal CD's. As the old jingle goes – 'Brothers, Sisters, Mummies and Daddies, you haven’t been to markets till you've been to Paddy's!' Be prepared – if you smartphone case has recently broken, expect a seagull-like flock of vendors to present you with an unimaginable number of options.
From hunting for a bargain…
To a more refined setting – welcome to the Capitol Theatre. Initially the New Belmore Markets in 1892 before becoming a circus in 1916, the Capitol Theatre only appeared in its contemporary form in 1928 during the heyday of cinema. As television trumped the cinema, the Capitol Theatre was on the edge of the precipice, staring at destruction, before the Heritage Council saved it from a terrible fate. After restoration was complete, Sydney once again had a lyric theatre that rivalled the best of Europe and America. World-class productions continue to grace its stage including West Side Story, Miss Saigon, Wicked, The Lion King and Jersey Boys.
By now you've probably passed through Central Station a thousand times
But did you know that the architectural façade hides some interesting stories. The current station itself was opened on the 4th of August, 1906, marking it as the 3rd site to be built on that plot of land, 51 years after the original was built. The sandstone clock tower, despite appearing to be the same style as the rest of the station, was actually put into action 15 years later on the 3rd of March, 1921 at 10:22am (we know, weird time right). Want to learn more about the history behind this fascinating building? Check out the website for a comprehensive list of hotspots.
You may have been traipsing about, not knowing where to head next…
And realistically, you were pretty beat and just wanted to curl up with a good book. But don't head back to your hostel dorm - there's no peace and quiet to be had there! Instead make your way to the UTS Library, on the corner of Quay Street and Ultimo Road. With lengthy opening hours, a superb collection of books from all sorts of academic and non-academic fields, and an open door policy for non-students – this library is the perfect spot to relax and recuperate after a lengthy day, wandering around Haymarket.
When all is said and done, food is the reason we visit other countries
At least that strongly rings true for our team. After saving plenty on your Haymarket hostel, hit up Thai Town on Campbell Street for some authentic pad Thais and Tom Yum soups. This little strip hosts a plethora of Thai restaurants that are just waiting to tingle your tastebuds. Chat Thai is our personal favourite – and many others, so make sure you arrive early for lunch, lest you'll suffer a wait in the queue outside!
Spend Less, Do More
Your Cheaperthanhotels Team
37 Ultimo Road
717 George Street
2 Quay Street
2 Quay Street Unit 1509, The Peak Apartment
701 George Street
178 Thomas Street
33 Ultimo Road
790 George Street, Haymarket
169-179 Thomas Street
11-23 Rawson Place
509 Pitt Street
Cnr George & Quay Streets, Railway Square
6 Little Hay Street
501/6Little Hay Street
6 Little Hay Street, Haymarket