Find a touch of Paris in Sydney's affluent inner city neighbourhood of Potts Point.
By Alissa Jenkins
Largely occupied by Sydney's well heeled (and well fed), Potts Point is something of an inner city oasis with a Parisian twist. With many of Sydney's trademark attributes, such as spectacular harbour views and leafy streets, this historic neighbourhood, just east of the city centre, is also characterised by stunning Art Deco architecture, a buzzing cafe culture and designer lapdogs out for their daily stroll. Stretching from vibrant Darlinghurst and lively Kings Cross to the south, alongside photogenic Woolloomooloo Wharf, up to Garden Island to the north, Potts Point is for those who enjoy the finer things in life.
- Sample Potts Point's impressive restaurant scene
- Walk around the water's edge to Elizabeth Bay House
- See a show at one of the many local theatres
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Top things to do in Potts Point
Enjoy some of the city's best food
With more than 200 restaurants within the Potts Point vicinity, food aficionados are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining out. Among the better-known landmarks is Billy Kwong, helmed by Australian celebrity chef Kylie Kwong. It fuses Chinese influences with native Australian ingredients, and you can expect inventive, award-winning dishes that are as eco-conscious as they are delicious. Also loved by locals is Fratelli Paradiso, just around the corner, which serves casual Italian fare that exceeds expectations without costing a fortune – order the risotto. For a decidedly more night-time setting, Monopole is a bar and restaurant in one, with expert cocktails, a 500-strong wine list and an array of hearty, European-inspired share plates. Ms G's is another popular haunt, famed for its eclectic design, bustling vibe and creative Asian menu, with crowd pleasers such as mini banh mi baguettes, jungle curry prawns and fettuccine with octopus and kimchi. There are some serious cocktails to be had here too. At weekends, Yellow is a brunch favourite. With its rustic decor and a largely vegetarian menu featuring dishes such as egg whites with shimeji mushrooms and goats curd, even diehard meat eaters will be impressed.
Take in a local theatre performance
Potts Point has a flourishing creative community, providing a bevy of artistic entertainment for locals and visitors alike. For small-scale musical theatre or an intimate cabaret show, visit Hayes Theatre Co on Greenknowe Avenue. Its performances vary from reimagined classics to children's productions. SBW Stables Theatre, home to the acclaimed Griffin Theatre Company, specialises in original works, written and performed by Australians. At the grungier end of the spectrum is the Kings Cross Theatre (KXT), an indie theatre housed within the Kings Cross Hotel, with a focus on emerging artists, independent theatre and ideas that push boundaries. For a more relaxed scene, popular restaurant and bar Riley St Garage hosts a gin and jazz night every Thursday from 6pm.
Stroll the scenic streets to Elizabeth Bay House
You needn't stroll far along Potts Point's leafy streets to notice the abundance of gorgeous Art Deco architecture dating back to the 1920s and '30s, as well as mansions from the 19th century. Of all the elaborate homes and striking apartment blocks, one of the most celebrated landmarks is Elizabeth Bay House. Built in the 1830s on a hill commanding enviable views over Sydney Harbour is one of the most famous private houses ever built in Australia. Once surrounded by a 21 hectare (52 acre) garden, this extravagant property eventually pushed its passionate owner to financial ruin. You can visit the house and enjoy what remains of the landscaped grounds around it, as well as its ornate architecture, sweeping staircase and lavish furnishings. Various workshops and tours are held here, making it a great day out for families.
Shop Macleay Street
Macleay Street, a main vein of Potts Point, is thick with shiny stores and boutiques, frequented by savvy shoppers with fine taste. Becker Minty is one local favourite. It's a lifestyle concept store that unites home furnishings, art, men's and women's fashion, jewellery and perfume. Arida combines new and old with an eclectic mix of European fashion, Asian antiques and various other collectibles from around the globe. Soho London meets European footwear at Booty, with an indulgent array of shoes for men and women, as well as bags. Gift giving is made easy at The Little Candle Shop, which offers all manner of candles, scents and styles. For something already loved, Potts Point Vintage specialises in furs, wedding dresses and menswear, as well as English fine china.
How to get there
Just 2 1/2 kilometres (1 1/2 miles) east of the city centre, Potts Point can be reached via train, bus or on foot. From Sydney’s Town Hall Station, take the Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra Line to Bondi Junction, and alight at Kings Cross Station, at the southern tip of Potts Point.