Just 23 kilometres west of the Sydney CBD, Parramatta is a colourful hub of food, culture and colonial history. It sits on the banks of the Parramatta River and is essentially a city within a city. Most of the action is centred around its modern CBD, anchored by a lively dining precinct known as Eat Street. If you’re looking for a vibrant and affordable alternative to Sydney, Parramatta is a great bet.
Things to do in Parramatta
Parramatta supports a vibrant arts and cultural scene, and there’s no better place to soak it up than the Riverside Theatre. It’s one of Sydney’s premier performing arts centres, hosting everything from comedy and drama to ballet and contemporary dance.
It may not have The Rocks, but there’s still plenty of history to soak up in Parramatta. The NSW Lancers Memorial Museum is housed in heritage listed barracks, while Hambledon Cottage and Elizabeth Farm offer a fascinating glimpse at colonial Australia.
For a dose of retail therapy, head to Westfield Parramatta, one of Australia’s largest malls. If you crave fresh air and open space, Lake Parramatta Reserve has 73 hectares of bushland and parkland to explore.
In Parramatta, you’ll find a wide array of food offerings. You can splurge at a fine dining restaurant on upmarket Phillip Street, or head to Church Street for a smorgasbord of international cuisine.
Getting around Parramatta
Parramatta lies to the west of the Sydney CBD, with both the drive and train ride taking around 40 minutes. Ferries also run between Circular Quay and Parramatta Wharf, with the scenic 50-minute route passing by riverfront suburbs, wetlands and the iconic Sydney Olympic Park. Free shuttle buses operate in the city centre, which makes it easy to explore the downtown area.