As far as inner city suburbs go, Paddington is a great example of how such a historical place can retain its charm and eclectic mix of Georgian, Victorian and modern architecture whilst doubling as a chic and stylish hub for the modern generation. This area of Sydney was formerly established in the 1830s as a retreat for wealthy Georgians before it was later transformed with many Victorian terraces, housing many city artisans. Today, visitors can feel the influence of Paddington's previous inhabitants through the influx of art galleries and design studios.
At the heart of Paddington is Five Ways, a junction of streets established in the later part of the 19th century that remains a centre point of Paddington offering an array of shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. Our suggestions of where to go include Eat Thai (229 Glenmore Road, Paddington) which alternates from a cafe in the day and enjoy a contemporary take on a Thai curry at night and Tequila Mockingbird (6 Heeley Street, Paddington) which, puns aside, offers quite the selection of raw food through to flame grilled fare. With shared plates inspired by the fresh flavours of Central and South America, you'll love the restored interior of this old terrace. The Royal Hotel (237 Glenmore Road, Paddington) is an unmissable 3 storey building which occupies one corner of Five Ways. Here, people can enjoy a cocktail on the rooftop bar overlooking the city before heading to the restaurant's iron-lace balcony downstairs. This hotel showcases the best of Sydney's architecture in the late 19th century as it was built in 1888.
Next have a look at Juniper Hall, a beautifully restored Georgian building on Oxford Street. The name of this building was inspired by the profession of Robert Cooper, a gin distiller, who built the hall in 1824. In the mid-1980s it was said to be demolished but thankfully was saved and restored to what it is today. Once a home for Cooper's family consisting of his wife and 14 children, Juniper Hall has since been a space used as a private office, function hire and an art gallery, displaying the Moran Arts Foundation collection. This architectural beauty is protected under that National Trust.
Escape the busy Paddington Streets with a stroll in Centennial Park, 554 acres of lush green gardens, ponds and parkland. Alike The Royal Hotel, this park opened in 1888 for the enjoyment of Paddington's citizens and people from all over the city. Enjoy a picnic, run or barbeque in this ideallic spot on the edge of Paddington. Visitors can also enjoy spotting different water birds in the swamps that once supplied Sydney with its water. There are also playgrounds for children to enjoy.
Perhaps one of the finest preserved military barracks in the world, with its regency architecture, the Victoria Barracks are worth exploring whilst in Paddington. When you enter the Sandstone arch in Oxford Street, you are instantly taken back to a time when the walls were used to fend off attackers. Visit the former prison which is now the museum, to learn more about the history of the Australian military and discover precious artefacts including medals, uniforms and portraits or take a tour of the grounds run by the Corps of Guides.
One thing's for sure, you will never get caught out with nothing to do in Paddington, as it is a treasure trove of history and a centre for activity. Interested in discovering more of Sydney? Then check out our Sydney tours we offer.