Hugging the southern shores of the Parramatta River, Sydney’s Inner West encompasses several suburbs settled by European migrants at the end of World War II. It’s renowned for its beautifully restored worker’s cottages and terrace houses, many of which are now occupied by charming cafes, laid-back watering holes and boutique stores.
Things to do in Inner West
Spend a day exploring the alternative shopping and entertainment strip of King Street, which carves its way through the bohemian neighbourhood of Newtown. You can browse the independent bookstores and vintage clothing stores before grabbing a bite to eat at one of the global eateries or catch a performance at the legendary Enmore Theatre.
Further west lies the suburb of Leichhardt, which has been dubbed Sydney’s “Little Italy” for its large concentration of Italian-style cafes, restaurants and grocers. Experience the European “piazza” atmosphere of the Italian Forum and marvel at the late-19th-century Leichhardt Town Hall, which was designed in a striking Victorian Italianate style.
Once the industrial hub of Sydney, characterful Balmain has transformed into one of the city’s most affluent suburbs, with upmarket restaurants and trendy cafes occupying its Victorian-era buildings. You can take a dip at the historic Dawn Fraser Baths or coincide your visit with the Saturday Balmain Markets to pick up organic produce, locally-made crafts and designer fashion.
Sydney’s Inner West is around 15 minutes’ drive from the CBD or 25 minutes from Sydney Airport. Trains travelling along the Bankstown, Northern and Inner West & Leppington lines stop at stations throughout the area, as does the Dulwich Hill Line of Sydney’s light rail network. Buses connect the Inner West suburbs to destinations across the metropolitan area while passenger ferries travel along the Parramatta River.