Things to do in Darlinghurst

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Darlinghurst Sydney Australia

Once a run-down red-light district, Darlinghurst has come a long way since the 80s and is now a charming suburb bursting with petite bars and gorgeous scenery. It is located in the east of Sydney, just south of Woolloomooloo and north of Paddington, and is a few minutes walk from Central Station, should you need to travel anywhere?

What you’ll find in Darlinghurst

Darlinghurst is rich in culture and boasts art studios and many boutiques to shop in (although this can be a little pricey). One of the best things about Darlinghurst – or Darlo, as the locals affectionately call it – is that you can spend ages just walking around all the pretty terraced houses in the winding streets and lose yourself in their charm. However, the area is known for its nightlife with many cocktail bars and clubs providing late entertainment. Darlinghurst is also the heart of the gay scene in Australia, holding the annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras every March.

For those who love harking back to a previous era – whether that is with retro clothing and vintage bars – Darlinghurst is the place for you. The suburb is vibrant and charming without being too touristy. As soon as you’ve settled in, you’ll feel like a local. The location of Darlo in Sydney couldn’t be better with neighbouring suburbs such as trendy Paddington and gorgeous coastal walks to the Opera House, should you need some inspiration for a morning jog?

Darlinghurst is also the best place to indulge a little, with so many great restaurants and bars on offer, you will be spoilt for choice. We’ve recommended to you what we think are the best places to visit, so don’t hesitate to plan your trip to Darlo!

Food and Drink in Darlinghurst

There are many types of cuisine to be enjoyed in Darlinghurst, so make time for yourself to eat out and indulge a little. La Petit Crème is perfect for breakfast, serving sweet crepes and toasted brioches with bacon and scrambled eggs. Another great breakfast place is Bills, a small chain of restaurants started by self-taught cook Bill Granger when he was just 22 years old. Here, you can find coconut bread, organic sourdough, and sour cherry and apple loaf.

For dinner, try The Passage. This restaurant has daily deals to tempt you, like Magnum Mondays, Cheap Eats on Tuesdays, and $10 cocktails on Thursdays between 6 pm and 10 pm. Tastevin Bistro & Wine Bar offers a little of Paris in Sydney with dishes including slow-cooked pork and freshly shucked oysters. There’s a Mexican restaurant called Mad Mex, which offers the tastiest burritos and tacos for under $10. For some authentic American food, try the Jazz City Diner. As soon as you walk in, you’ll feel you’ve been transported back to 1930s New Orleans with shrimp corn dogs and southern fried chicken burgers. You’ll be spoilt for choice with the amount of international cuisine in Darlinghurst.

The same goes for bars and clubs in Darlinghurst – it’s hard to go wrong in a place that’s known for its vibrant nightlife. Try Eau-de-Vie, a cosy and classy, self-defined speakeasy, and also the 13th best bar in the world according to Drinks International. The bar has the most impressive cocktails on offer with vintage spirits and open flame used with wild abandon. The drinks aren’t cheap, but they are worth the extra few dollars that you wouldn’t normally spend. If you want something a bit more budget-friendly, grab your mates and visit The Hazy Rose, a newly opened bar serving wines and cocktails, that want to give you more bang for your buck.

Shopping in Darlinghurst

To get away from the hustle and bustle of the regular shopping haunts, we suggest you visit one of Sydney’s Markets, namely the Darlinghurst Flea Markets. Here, you’re sure to find something valuable, arty, and of interest, like vintage clothes and zines. The market stays open until 10pm, so you can stick around in the evening, get your hands on some homemade grub and perhaps a pint or two.

Another great market to visit is the Sustainable Markets at Taylor Square, which are open until December 22. On sale here are fresh farmers’ produce, including fruit and veg, free-range eggs, and pasture-raised meats. It’s well worth a visit, particularly if you want to help local farmers and be a little more sustainable and eco-friendly.

Away from the markets, though, there’s a whole plethora of boutiques and shops selling anything and everything from recycled designer products (Blue Spinach) to posh-punk glamour (Wheels & Dollbaby). Alfie’s Friend Rolfe is a ‘tiny but mighty’ boutique on Darlinghurst Road which features only the best Australian designers, while Grandma Takes A Trip specialises in outfits from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. If it’s vintage and retro you’re lusting after, then Darlo only has the best.

Accommodation in Darlinghurst

Flat shares in Darlinghurst are easy to come by and are reasonably priced considering the area. A room in a house share starts at around $125 per week, but, if you want something more professional and less student, you’re looking at paying about $200 – £280 per week. It’s worth doing some research before you go to ensure you know what you’re looking for and what you’re likely to find.

If you’re just holidaying in Darlinghurst or need somewhere to stay short term, then there are many hotels and hostels to choose from. Kirketon Hotel Sydney is a cute boutique hotel nestled in the heart of the suburb and offers a charming experience. Rates per night for a standard double room start at $150, but you can opt for the premium and superior rooms for extra if you’re feeling flush and desire the extra luxury. For something cheaper, try the Funkhouse Backpackers Hostel located on Darlinghurst Road, a 15-minute walk from the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Rooms range from a single bed to a dorm, but the rates are pretty good at around $30 per night.

Darlinghurst is perfect for professionals who enjoy a nose around shops and markets and like to indulge in a bit of home cooking.

By Georgina Deacon