What's on in Sydney? Check out our blog!

Wondering what's on in Sydney and what to do and see in the Sydney CBD? Sydney is one of the world’s most vibrant and exciting cities in the world, with fun activities and attractions to interest every visitor. From a world-famous theatre and colourful arts scene to heart-pounding sporting events and wonderful outdoor activities, there is truly something for everyone. If you wonder what to see in the Sydney CBD, look no further than our our blog!

Mercure Sydney’s superb George Street location, near Chinatown and other top Sydney attractions, makes our hotel accommodations ideal for those looking to explore the city.

Visit our blog often to find out about current events and activities here in Sydney! 

    • Spice Alley


    • Fredda's


    • Westfield Sydney


    • darling harbour

    Areas to visit

    • Farmers Market
    Every Saturday

    Carriageworks Farmers Markets

    • Chippendale- Our secret neighbourhood

    Chippendale - Our secret neighbourhood

    • transport


    • museums


    • attractions




Spice Alley - Home to six Asian eateries including Japanese, Vietnamese, Singaporean, Thai, Malaysian and Cantonese this 'secret' alley way has something for everyone. 

Ester - Ester restaurant is seriously smokin’ hot...in more ways than one. Not only does this quirky eatery reign in the diners but it dishes out some seriously delicious share plates (all smokin’ hot), whipped up in a massive red hot wood fire oven that sits at the heart of the kitchen. With the oven the focus of much of the cooking, the chefs are trying to get everything touched by it, somehow. Anything from fish, chicken, lamb, duck, steak and even blue swimmer crab will come from the flaming hot oven.

Oilo - Nostalgic Sicilian flavours (featuring olive oil sourced from the head chefs family farm in Sicily) to fine, contemporary dining.  The menu at Oilo uses seasonal seafood, wild fennel, raisins, saffron and couscous.Olio Kensington Street is located in the beautifully restored 'The Old Rum Store' with an indoor dining room plus lush rooftop terrace overlooking Chippendale. 

LP's Quality Meats - They say: “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”. In the case of LP’s Quality Meats, there’s definitely a whole lot of hot stuff smoldering away behind the sliding glass doors. At the heart of LP’s Quality Meats pumps a Southern Pride Smoker shipped straight from Tennessee.  This beast of a machine creates quality, smoked meats and treats under the watchful and masterful control of eponymous and renowned head-chef/owner, Luke Powell. 

Kensington Street Social - An industrial heritage-listed site that was formerly the Carlton & United Brewery administration building, the relaxed menu focuses on Mediterranean sharing plates that showcase the very best Australian produce and wine. With dishes designed to be shared, Culinary Director Jason Atherton and Executive Chef Robert Daniels have created a menu that is both informal and versatile.

Koi Dessert Bar - The open-air courtyard on the ground floor serves coffee and a selection of ready-made desserts, from classic cakes to signature creations. Grab something to go, or drop by for a drink and a sweet bite to eat any time between 10 am and 10 pm (unless sold out, and they regularly sell out).

Holy Duck! -  Holy Duck! is a nod to the joys of street food, whilst staying true to top quality produce and exciting flavour combinations. A true showcase of next-level Chinese BBQ and roasts, with duck at the core of our menu, to give an otherworldly flavour experience. We recommend getting the Holy Duck! Burger and the Buns of Squiel.

Salt, Meats, Cheese (Broadway) - A great place to enjoy the classic, affordable pizzas Salt Meats Cheese has become known for. There’s a half-dozen to choose from, including Margherita, capricciosa, spicy diavola and truffle mushroom.

Surry Hills

Goro's - An izakaya-style bar, think, private karaoke booths, and a huge saké menu. A night at Goro’s can go from zero to 100 rather quickly. The karaoke booths can be booked for groups of up to 20, making it the perfect place to serenade your friends. They also have a pool table and arcade games to enjoy between snacks. The food menu is short, sweet and salty – the perfect afterthought to a cold beer. Revel in an endless stream of yakitori: skewered chicken, grilled over charcoal and best eaten with your hands.

Via Napoli - Here in Sydney, pizza is one of our most beloved dishes. Via Napoli is home to the famous metre-long pizza, there's nothing gimmicky about the menu here. The crust is blistered and puffy, with more give and slightly more of a yeasty flavour than others we tried. Toppings are basic and traditional, with a focus on quality ingredients like San Marzano tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella. Good Food suggests you try the 'Napoletana' sweet buffalo mozzarella, peppery capers, salty anchovies and olives.

Abduls Lebanese Restaurant - Established in 1968, Abdul’s has stood the test of time. What started as a simple hole in the wall, selling freshly made falafel sandwiches soon became one of Sydney's most respected and delicious restaurants. The smell of grilled meats, fresh tabouli and garlic fill the room and a for truley authentic experience belly dancers are available to customers opting for the banquet option. Abdul’s Restaurant is a Sydney institution, with regulars stretching back decades along with a new generation of fans including some international celebrities.

Chin Chin - The food at Chin Chin is smart and snappy. Dishes are delivered at lightning speed, particularly if you order the 'feed me' menu at $69.50 per person. The Melbourne born restaurant is the first of its find in Sydney and there is queue out the front almost every night. Chin Chin is must, we recommend the Pad seuw, butter chicken curry and King fish sashimi

Bodega - The menu is like the venue itself — fun and always interesting. An inventive offering of modern tapas inspired by Latin cuisines, it is prepared right before your eyes in the open kitchen. You can always count on their signature dishes like Fish Fingers (sashimi style kingfish on garlic rubbed toast with a tangle of vinegar onions and a dusting of grated air dried tuna) and Banana Split.

Bourke Street Bakery - Your neighbourhood bakery, with morish pastries, sweets and seriously good baked goods. They pride themselves on making real food from the best ingredients, the old fashioned way – by hand, with dedication and love.

Bang Street Food - This Bangladesh street food-inspired eatery is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it type of venue. Bang is a cosy, exposed-brick-heavy space on Crown Street. The food, isn't street food the way you might think of it, sharing is the way to go at Bang, where you're encouraged to order a few dishes for unified 'food moments'. 


Acre Eatery: Located near by, only a short drive to the Camperdown Commons is where paddock meets the plate. Take a seat in the indoor Hamptons-style dining room to enjoy its refined menu or the outdoor garden terrace. A kids play area will keep the little ones occupied, while you enjoy a cocktail from the Spritz Bar.



Handpicked Wine Cellar - Taste, learn and discover. The tasting bar forms centre stage at Handpicked Chippendale, where guests can discover wines, guided safely by the team and relax with a cheese platter. If you are in a rush to make dinner you can also pick up a bottle to go.

Gin Lane - It's all about Gin at Gin Lane if you couldn't tell. Gin Lane is one of Sydney's most unique small bar, set in an 18th Century Town House and serve up Cocktails, Whiskeys & 'obviously' Gins

Freda's - Freda’s is a bar and creative space in Chippendale with a commitment to showcasing emerging artists, musicians & DJs. This funk venue is an alternate place for a drink and to get a glimps at some local talent.

Sneaky Possum - They have it all; cafe, bar and restaurant. The Sneaky Possum is one of our favourites with great cocktails and a menu to match!

The Lord Gladstone - These guys really define what Chippendale is all about; art/music/food/beer/sport! The Lord Gladstone is an awesome place for an arvo beer and meal or stay and party through the night. With events most weekends, you bound to have a good time at 'The Lord'

Knox Street Bar - This cocktail bar plays host to a wide array of events including but not limited to life drawing, performance art, burlesque, comedy, spoken word and live music. Pop in for a drink or attend one of the many events they host for a true inner Sydney experience!

Surry Hills 

Li'l Darlin - Located in Surry Hills on the corner of Devonshire and Elizabeth streets this charismatic bar serves cocktails and tapas. The Li'l Darlin chain of small bars knows how to deliver the goods with other locations in Darlinghurst and Randwick.

Strawberry Hills Hotel - Whether you’re in need of a quick lunch break meal or just want to relax and soak up the afternoon sun, the Strawberry Hills Hotel is open all day till late. The roof top alfresco beer garden is the perfect place for a pint and genuine meal. If you hang around for the DJ, that's when the party kicks off.

Tokyo Bird - The World Class drinking venue features a refined menu of classic-style cocktails, plus a impressive whisky collection. Order a premium whisky and it will be served up with a hand-chipped ice ball, painstaking sculpted by the bartenders. Tokyo Bird’s simple and technique-focused approach to cocktails is another nod to Japanese culture; using the best ingredients, using tools the best way possible and not overcomplicating the flavours.

Goro's - An izakaya-style bar, think, private karaoke booths, and a huge saké menu. A night at Goro’s can go from zero to 100 rather quickly. The karaoke booths can be booked for groups of up to 20, making it the perfect place to serenade your friends. They also have a pool table and arcade games to enjoy between snacks. The food menu is short, sweet and salty – the perfect afterthought to a cold beer. Revel in an endless stream of yakitori: skewered chicken, grilled over charcoal and best eaten with your hands.


Riley St Garage: Raw, edgy and impossibly chic, Riley St Garage brings a slice of the New York Meatpacking District to Woolloomooloo. Dim lights, art deco tiling and a colossal backlit bar create a buzzing 1920s vibe, enriched by tumbling jazzy beats and the preserved bones of the historic industrial warehouse.


People from all cities in Australia and around the world know Sydney to be a hit for shopping. From fashion to food and everything in between, shopping in Sydney has something for everyone. We’ve put together some of our favourite shopping destinations in the New South Wales capital that will satisfy any type of shopper / bag carrier.

Central Park Sydney - Lcoation: 28 Broadway, Chippendale
A stone’s throw from the Mercure Sydney, it goes without saying that your first stop should be Central Park Mall.
This green oasis can’t be missed, a stunning building that features Glue Store, Adidas, Superdry, Diaso, Pigeon Hole, Foot Locker, Hype DC, Woolworths, Red Bottle and Priceline. The Mall also offers a range of different eating areas and restaurants including Din Tai Fung, Coco Cubano, Brazilian Fogo Churrasco Grill, Ippudo Japanese, Ribs & Burgers, Sushizilla, Soul Origin and Anita Gelato to name a few. As well as the amazing range of restaurants you can also catch a movie at Palace Cinemas, take a load off at Massage World or pamper yourself at Pearl Nails with a Manny or Petty.

Broadway Shopping Centre - Location: 1 Bay Street, Broadway
A large shopping centre just on down the road from the Mercure Sydney, Broadway Shopping Centre has a number of popular department, retail, technology and accessory stores including Bonds, Dymocks, H&M, Kmart, Target, Apple Store, Cotton On, EB Games, JB HiFi, Marcs, Sephora and Victoria's Secret. To top it all off the centre features a delicious dining precinct with cafès and food outlets to satisfy any tastebud. You could easily lose a whole day wandering around this centre.

Getting there:
• Walk: 10-12 Minutes from Mercure Sydney
• By Bus: Broadway & City Road stops across from centre, leaves from Railway Square

World Square - Location: 644 George St, Sydney
An iconic precinct, World Square is a go-to destination for shopping and dining with a number of popular clothing stores and eateries all located in one convenient place. You'll be able to browse clothing stores such as Cue, G-Star Raw, Calvin Klein Jeans, General Pants Co., Forever New and Superdry, pick up some new shoes from Nine West, stock up on cosmetics from Blush Cosmetics and The Face Shop or even get a makeover from Toni & Guy. You could easily spend the whole day browsing, trying on, buying and eating.
World Square has an abundance of options for dining. Burger Project, Bavarian Bier Cafè, Dumpling Avenue, Grill'd, Guzman Y Gomez and Hero Sushi to name a few.

Getting there:
• Walk: 10-12 Minutes from Mercure Sydney
• By Train: Midway between Central & Town Hall Stations
• By Bus: Stops surrounding World Square
• By Light Rail: Capitol Square stop, close by

Pitt St Mall - Location: Pitt St & Market St, Sydney
One of the most popular and recognisable shopping precincts in Sydney, Pitt St Mall has it all. Designer brands to casual urban wear and international retail giants including H&M, Uniqlo, Gap and Topshop, as well as popular stores Cotton On, Cue, Zimmermann, Forever 21, Lorna Jane, Ralph Lauren and Sephora. There are also a number of small shopping centres and arcades branching off from the Mall itself so you can easily spend an entire day browsing all of the different stores and centres. Some eateries include Zeus Street Greek, Ragu Pasta & Wine Bar, Charlie & Co. Burgers and the famous Sydney Tower Dining

Getting there:
• By Train: St James, Martin Place & Town Hall Stations are close by
• By Bus: Stops on York, King, Castlereagh and Market Streets

Queen Victoria Building - Location: 455 George Street, Sydney CBD
Built in 1898, the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) has remained in the same location for over 120 years. A beautiful building to admire and now a bustling shopping quarter, QVB is filled with a number of high fashion brands and more including Camilla, Rodd & Gunn, Gorman, Bunda Boutique, MJ Bale, Coach and Fossil. More affordable brands include Cue, Asics, Lush, Lorna Jane, Topshop, Kikki K, Country Road and Victoria's Secret.
The QVB also features some great savoury and sweet dining options such as Haigh's Chocolates, Starbucks, Yama Japanese Cafe & Restaurant and Chatime

Getting there:
• By Train: Town Hall & Wynyard Stations nearby
• By Bus: Multiple stops nearby

Harbourside Shopping Centre - Location: 231/2-10 Darling Drive, Sydney
Located on beautiful Darling Harbour, Harbourside Shopping Centre is a great place to do some shopping, grab a bite to eat and entertain the whole family. Harbourside includes a number of retail and gift shops spread over two levels as well as a popular food court and waterfront dining strip. With a number of different cuisines and entertainment facilities to keep all ages occupied, you're sure to find something to tickle your fancy. In terms of entertainment, the centre is home to 9D Action Cinemas, Kingpin Bowling, Racecentre and M9 Laser Skirmish. If it is food that you're after you'll find Baskin Robbins, Hard Rock Café, San Churro, Thai Foon, Toros Tapas & Bar, Waterfront Grill, Pancakes on the Rocks and many more popular fast food restaurants.

Getting there:
• By Light Rail: Convention Centre Stop located behind carpark
• By Ferry: Stops located right in the harbour
• By Bus: Various stops in surrounding streets
• By Foot: Walking distance from the CBD and Mercure Sydney

Market City & Paddy's Markets - Location: 9-13 Hay Street, Haymarket
Located in the heart of Sydney's Chinatown, Market City and Sydney's famous Paddy's Markets are a combine shopping experience you must try. Blending Asian culture with Asian grocery, fashion and factory outlets you could wander around the centre and the markets for hours. Here you'll find a number of stores including Authentic Factory Outlet, Converse, Bonds Outlet, Cotton On, Dotti, Espirit, Platypus and Watch World Australia. The centre occupies floors one to three while Paddy's Markets is spread out over the ground floor. While you wander around the markets you'll find fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers, homewares, clothing, jewellery and technology. The markets are great for bargain hunters or picking up some Australian souvenirs. If all that walking around has made you hungry, Market City has many options to curb that craving. Gozleme, Hakata-Maru Ramen and Happy Chef are some eateries or you could explore Chinatown for authentic Asian cuisine.

Getting there:
• By Train: 5 minute walk from Central Station; 10 minute walk from Town Hall Station
• By Light Rail: Haymarket Stop directly outside centre
• By Bus: 5 minute walk from Railway Square Bus Interchange
• By Foot: Walking distance from Mercure Sydney

Birkenhead Point Outlet Centre - Location: 19 Roseby Street, Drummoyne
Home to over 120 outlet stores, Birkenhead Point Outlet Centre is a mecca for all things shopping. Featuring some of the most popular Australian brands at low, outlet prices you're sure to nab yourself a bargain! Some of the shops include Adairs, Asics, Armani Outlet, Converse Authentic Factory Outlet, Gap, Lorna Jane, Bonds outlet, Polo Ralph Lauren, Cotton On Mega, Tommy Hilfiger, Country Road, Spotlight, Sunburn, Witchery and The North Face. Eateries at Birkenhead feature Blossom Café, Cafe Birkenhead, Gloria Jean's Coffee, Gozleme Turkish House and Lindt

Getting there:
• By Bus: Victoria Road stop, 5 minute walk
• By Taxi: Rank on Roseby Street
• By Water Taxi: Marina located outside of centre
• By Car: Onsite parking

DFO Homebush - Location: 3-5 Underwood Road, Homebush
Sydney’s largest and most popular outlet store, Direct Factory Outlet's (DFO) has a number of high-class brands and department outlet stores. Great for browsing discounted, last chance stock as opposed to shopping full priced items at the other popular locations. Featuring a number of great brands such as Converse Authentic Factory Outlet, Ben Sherman, Billabong, Bonds Outlet, Bose, Coach Factory, Calvin Klein Underwear, Cue, Glassons, Lacoste, Lululemon Athletica and Polo Ralph Lauren. There are multiple small food courts in the outlet that include Mad Mex, Oporto, Subway, Noah's Café, Oliver Brown Belgian Chocolate Café and Sahara Grill

Getting there:
• By Bus: Routes 525, 526 to the Underwood Road stop
• By Train: Strathfield Station nearby + buses
• By Taxi: Rank located at the northern end of the building
• By Car: Onsite parking

Areas to visit

No more than a twenty minute walk through Sydney’s bustling Chinatown you will find yourself situated in the alluring gardens of Darling Harbour south, after getting lost in the playful water fountains you will stumble upon Sydney’s graceful Marina that is Darling Harbour abundant with some of the freshest seafood and juiciest steaks that Sydney has to offer. If you are looking for something to wash down dinner with then you do not have far to go at all! You may soon discover that after Sunset the gleaming promenades of Darling harbour transform into a range of different style bars catering to everyone’s needs.

Carriageworks Farmers Markets

Every Saturday 8am to 1pm

This is an award winning Farmers’ Market to over 70 stall holders, featuring seasonal fresh product, bio dynamic foods from farmers and producers across NSW.

Entry is free 

Chippendale - Our secret neighbourhood

Our concierge Adam Gittings has worked at Mercure Sydney for almost 10 years and is both our guests and staff's first point of contact when asking which areas we should visit on the weekend.  Adam gives us his insight of how Chippendale has transformed into one of Sydney's greatest food and bar districts.

Chippendale has always had a soul and character of its own.  In the early days, its soul was a little dark and misunderstood being an area to pass by or circumnavigate on the way to or from the city. 

Chippendale is notable for a number of unique reasons.  It was the location of the 168-year-old Carlton & United brewery which closed in December 2006 and at this time it had the unenviable title of having the lowest open space per person compared with any other suburb of Sydney (City of Sydney open space study, 2006).

In 2007, Frasers Property Australia purchased the brewery site from the Foster’s Group and lodged a modified concept plan for the 5.8 Hectare site. The development proposal included approximately 255,000 sqm of commercial and residential space, retention of a number of heritage buildings and the development of a large new park for Chippendale, called Chippendale Green.  The addition of Chippendale Green has provided much needed green space, however given the corresponding population increase from the redevelopment of the former CUB site (now Central Park), Chippendale now has less than 1 sqm of green space per resident. 

Even though there is on average not much room to swing a cat, Chippendale has an ever growing creative and cultural scene as well as an emerging yet highly acclaimed dining presence.  With no less than six unique galleries within a couple of hundred meters of one another and cosmopolitan spread of restaurants, small bars, cafes and bakeries, there is something to cater for most tastes.  Time Out Sydney has created an amazing Chippendale Guide on where to visit and find your new favourite pub, restaurant, bar or cafe.

Based in a 19th Century Gothic revival building tucked away in a secretive alley in Chippendale, founded by Gallerist, Curator and Director Nicky Ginsberg, NG Art Gallery is a showcase for the very best in Australian contemporary art.  Another gallery of significant note is the White Rabbit Gallery containing one of the world’s largest collections of Chinese contemporary art focusing on works produced after 2000, again located within unusual architecture.

There is still so much more to discover throughout this neighbourhood and with the emergence of ongoing annual creative festivals, events and markets, Chippendale is destined to become the next must visit destination


Situated across the road from Sydney’s Central Station, Mercure hotel has arguably one of the most accessible locations to public transport, i.e. a taxi rank on the hotel driveway, the large bus interchange that is Railway square out the front of the hotel and just beyond that is Central station, allowing you to get where you need to be in a prompt and efficient manner.


Arguably Australia’s oldest settlement, Sydney has a vast and diverse range of Museums representing its differing yet cumulative history. Sydney Museum is for those with an interest in Australian Aboriginal History, the Heritage of the City of Sydney and everything in between. If you have a more refined interest then Sydney Fire Fighting Museum, The museum of contemporary Art, The Sydney Police museum or the Jewish museum may be for you.


With views of up to 60km on a clear day, Sydney Tower soars above the city skyline and is a must see (if you are not afraid of heights).

From Duck-billed Platypus to Crocodiles, Sting rays to Sea Anemones, Sydney Aquarium offers everyone from families to your everyday happy snapper the perfect opportunity to see some of Australia’s diverse and beloved Sea Life, share a selfie with a shark or double up with a dugong in the underwater tunnels through the vast enclosures.