There is no place in the world that I feel more at home than I do in Sydney.
Don’t get me wrong, I have many places that I have called home and I love all of them all in their own separate ways, but Sydney has a special place in my heart. It’s the kind of place that I’m always glad to get back to after spending some time away.
Though it’s not really Sydney that gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling of coming home – specifically, it’s Sydney’s Inner West. This collection of neighborhoods, which I suppose you could compare to one of New York City’s boroughs, is where I’ve always lived in Sydney and I would never consider living anywhere else.
Newtown is the heart of the Inner West, and it’s known as the place where the hipsters, hippies, and students hang out. There are plenty of alternative sub-cultures within this community, and you’ll see LGBT rainbow flags hanging all over the place. It’s a wild mix of wonderful people.
Many visitors to Sydney, especially budget travellers, will visit Newtown to check out this super trendy neighborhood. I’ve put together this list of things to do in Newtown for any of you who want to explore this area.
If you’re interested in visiting Newtown on your trip to Sydney, you can book your Sydney accommodation here. I’d suggest staying somewhere near Central Station to make it easy to get around.
How to get to Newtown:
From Central Station, just take the T2 line train 2-3 stops to Newtown Station. To use Sydney’s public transport system, you can use an Opal card. The fare will be $2.40-$3.50 AUD each way with an Opal card, or $4.20 AUD if you buy a single ticket.
Newtown is not far from the city, so you could also catch a taxi or Uber. From Central Station, it’s a 10 minute drive, and should cost around $10-$15 AUD each way.
The map above shows the best parts of Newtown to explore. From Newtown Station, head north along King Street or west along Enmore Road.
Things to do in Newtown:
Historic architecture – Many of the buildings lining King Street (the main strip) and Enmore Road still have their historic facades from the 1800s or early 1900s.
The houses around here are also historic. Walk north along Church Street and you’ll find some old row houses (we call them terraces). These Victorian-era dwellings were once built cheaply for the working-class residents employed in factories or at the railway workshops, and are ironically now some of the most expensive properties in Sydney.
Camperdown Cemetery – This cemetery, founded in 1848, is one of the oldest in Sydney. It was once much bigger but a large part was converted into the connecting park in the 1940s. It’s fun to walk around and see the old tombstones that remain.
Camperdown Memorial Rest Park – This is one of my favourite spots to hang out in Newtown. Camperdown Park is a great spot for dog watching, people watching, or day-drinking (which is allowed until 9PM). There are always interesting things to see in this park. I once saw a girl walking her pet rabbit on a leash there. No joke.
Enmore Theatre – One of the most historic and well known buildings in the Inner West, Enmore Theatre opened in 1908 and is the longest running live music venue in the state of New South Wales. My favourite thing about the theatre is the art deco architecture in its endearing rusty orange colour scheme.
Street Art – There is a huge amount of amazing street art in Newtown! Some of the famous murals are It’s a jungle sometimes on the corner of Enmore Road and Bailey Street, and the I have a dream mural on King Street (between Eliza and Mary streets). Some of my personal favourites are the Housing Bubble mural on the Urban Hotel, and what I have nicknamed ‘The Avatar mural’ in Camperdown Memorial Rest Park. If you’re interested in murals, you can even do a Newtown street art tour.
Shopping – It’s easy to spend half a day popping into Newtown’s various boutique stores. Some of my favourites are Pentimento (stationery and books), Monster Threads (giftwares), Dangerfield (fashion), and U-Turn (recycled/vintage fashion).
Where to drink coffee in Newtown:
Shenkin is the place where Rob gets his daily coffee (his coworking space is basically next door). This espresso bar has barely any seating, but they are total pros at making an excellent coffee and there is also a nice selection of baked treats.
Black Market Roasters in Enmore is a coffee shop that I visit regularly. Though the inside is fairly small, it’s a nice place to sit and enjoy the smell of roasting beans. Don’t bother with the food menu here – it’s really coffee that they do best.
Where to eat in Newtown:
The Pie Tin. When this pie joint first opened, Rob and I instantly became regulars! They have a selection of savoury pies, so if you haven’t yet sampled a classic Aussie meat pie (or veggie pie), this is a great place to try one. The sweet pies they have are totally drool-worthy, and if you’re lucky they might have some Aussie Tim Tam pie for you.
Japanese Tapas Shinmachi is a restaurant that Rob discovered recently, and we’ve been back multiple times since. Ordering is done from an iPad at your table, then your small plates of tasty Japanese dishes are brought out from the kitchen minutes later.
Hakiki Turkish ice cream have desserts that are guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth. The ice cream bar has so many delicious flavours (my fave is the salted caramel!) and the Baklava and pastries look as though they’ve made by hands of Turkish gods.
Great Aunty Three is where Rob and I go every time we want some casual Vietnamese food. The street food inspired dishes include rice paper rolls, steamed buns, pho noodle soup, or rice. It’s super tasty and also cheap!
Where to drink beer in Newtown:
Newtown Hotel is one of our regular hangs. This historic pub looks super pretty from the outside with its green facade and decorative balcony, which happens to be our fave spot to sit as the balcony has great views of King Street. Inside is a totally gorgeous old-timey bar and a giant rainbow mural.
The Courthouse Hotel (fondly referred to as ‘The Courty’ by locals) is our other favourite pub. Located next to Camperdown Park, the beer garden here is top notch and is surrounded by leafy trees. You’ll find plenty of craft brews on tap, and it even has a secret room filled with Pinball machines. Also, the veggie nachos here are to die for.
If you’re into craft beer, then check out Young Henrys. This microbrewery started in 2012 and is now a staple in many Newtown pubs. I’m personally a fan of the Newtowner (Australian Pale Ale) or the Cloudy Cider. You can sample the goods at their tasting bar, or even do a brewery tour to learn more about the local beer scene.
Newtown is just one of the awesome day trips you can do from Sydney. I’d definitely recommend getting out of the city to visit some nearby towns, national parks, mountains, and beaches. Here’s where you can find more New South Wales hotels.
*This post is sponsored by AccorHotels. I’m proud to be an honest and transparent blogger, so every opinion expressed on AGWT is truly what I believe in!