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The Strand Arcade

This 19th century arcade is at the heart of downtown Sydney, and full of delightful boutique shops.

TravelCurious Tip

If you’re in the Strand Arcade at rush hour, be prepared for it to get very busy indeed – many pedestrians use it as a shortcut between the streets at either end.

Located in the heart of the Central Business District, The Strand Arcade has established a reputation as one of Sydney’s premier fashion retail hotspots. Opened in 1892, it is the only remaining arcade of the five that were built in Sydney in the Victorian era. It was originally due to be known as “City Arcade”, but shortly before its opening it was renamed after The Strand in London, which was Britain’s most fashionable address at the time. Sydney’s arcade fell into decline during the middle of the 20th century, but after being partially destroyed by a fire in 1976 it underwent a full renovation and reopened the following year having been restored to its former glory.


Victorian Charm

These days, the Strand Arcade merits a visit even if you aren’t looking to shop. The atmosphere of the place oozes charm, with many of the original carved wooden fittings and ornately tiled floorwork still in place. Exploring its different levels, you may see shoes being shined or beards being trimmed with an old-fashioned cutthroat razor, and it can be easy to forget that you are still in the centre of modern Sydney.


Shopper’s Delight

If you are looking for fashion retail, then you will not be short of options. There is a particular emphasis on Australian labels, with Aesop, Alannah Hill and Galanni all represented, but there are plenty of international brands as well, such as Fred Perry and Aveda. If you’re feeling like a treat after a day’s shopping, look in at The Nut Shop, which has been making delicious chocolates on site since the 1940s.


Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Sydney
Hyde Park
An oasis of calm in Sydney's busy city centre, famed for its fig-lined avenues.
St Mary's Cathedral
Situated next to Hyde Park, St. Mary's is the most important church in Sydney - it's also the longest in Australia.
Sydney Tower Eye
The tallest building in Sydney offers breathtaking 360 degree views of the city.
Sydney Town Hall
Built from local sandstone, Sydney's ornate town hall is a magnificent civic building.
City Skyline
The city's iconic silhouettes are best viewed from across Darling Harbour, the North Shore or from a ferry cruise.
State Library of NSW
Officially the oldest library in Australia, with a grand exterior to match its distinction.

Related Tours

Half Day Highlights of Sydney
You will start your tour at Circular Quay, famed as the main departure point for the city’s many ferries and also for the didgeridoo players close-by.  

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Your guide will lead you on a short walk to what is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the city: the iconic Sydney Opera House.  Set on a spit of land jutting out into Sydney Harbour, and opened in 1973 by Queen Elizabeth II, this centre for performing arts has won international acclaim for its style and beauty.  You will visit the outside the Sydney Opera House and take a look out at the magnificent panoramic view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

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Now heading inland, your guide will take you up Macquarie Street, stopping briefly to admire the State Library of New South Wales - the oldest public library in Australia.  At the end of Macquarie you’ll be faced by the lush greenery of Hyde Park, Sydney’s equivalent to Central Park in New York or the original Hyde Park in London.  Flanking one side of park is the imposing St. Mary’s Cathedral that is the current seat of the Archbishop of Sydney.

After a quick stop in the park, you’ll move across town through one of Sydney’s oldest shopping arcades, The Strand, before heading back to circular quay down high-rise George St.  This will be the perfect opportunity for your guide tell you the story of modern Sydney and how it has grown into the metropolis you see today.

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