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.
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.
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.
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