Sydney's shops vary from those with international cachet to Aboriginal art galleries, opal shops, craft bazaars, and weekend flea markets. If you're interested in buying genuine Australian products, look carefully at the labels. Stuffed koalas and didgeridoos made anywhere but in Australia are a standing joke.

Aboriginal art includes historically functional items, such as boomerangs, wooden bowls, and spears, as well as paintings and ceremonial implements that testify to a rich culture of legends and dreams. Although much of this artwork remains strongly traditional in essence, the tools and colors used in Western art have fired the imaginations of many Aboriginal artists. Works on canvas are now more common than works on bark. Much of the best work of Arnhem Land and the Central Desert Region (close to Darwin and Alice Springs, respectively) finds its way into Sydney galleries.

Australia has a virtual monopoly on the world's supply of opals. The least expensive of these fiery gemstones are triplets, which consist of a thin shaving of opal mounted on a plastic base and covered by a plastic, glass, or quartz crown. Doublets are a slice of mounted opal without the capping. The most expensive stones are solid opals, which cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. You can pick up opals at souvenir shops all over the city, but if you want a valuable stone you should visit a specialist. Sydney is also a good hunting ground for other jewelry, from the quirky to the gloriously expensive.

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  • 1. Bondi Markets

    Bondi Beach

    This relaxed and friendly beachside market at Bondi is the place to go for clothes—vintage and by up-and-coming designers—plus handmade jewelry, organic cosmetics, art, retro...Read More

  • 2. David Jones

    City Center

    The city's largest department store maintains a reputation for excellent service and high-quality goods. Clothing by many of Australia's finest designers is on display here,...Read More

  • 3. Paddington Markets


    About 200 stalls crammed with clothing, plants, crafts, jewelry, and souvenirs fill this busy churchyard market (sometimes called Paddington Bazaar). Distinctly New Age and highly...Read More

  • 4. Paddy Pallin

    City Center

    This should be the first stop for serious bush adventurers heading for wild Australia and beyond. Maps, books, and mounds of gear are tailored especially...Read More

  • 5. Queen Victoria Building

    City Center

    This is a splendid Victorian-era building with more than 200 boutiques, cafés, and antiques shops. The building is open 24 hours, so you can window-shop...Read More

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  • 6. R. M. Williams

    City Center

    The place to go for riding boots, Akubra hats, Drizabone raincoats, and moleskin trousers—the type of clothes worn by Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman in...Read More

  • 7. Strand Arcade

    This ornate three-story shopping arcade built in 1891 runs between George Street and Pitt Street Mall and is one of Sydney's most elegant shopping strips....Read More

  • 8. The Rocks Market

    The Rocks

    This sprawling covered bazaar transforms the upper end of George Street into a multicultural collage of music, food, arts, crafts, and entertainment. It's open weekends...Read More

  • 9. Aribella

    The Rocks

    Here you'll find a unique mix of high-grade silk caftans and resort wear. Each is handcrafted, with high-quality crystals and beads threaded onto each piece....Read More

  • 10. Ariel Booksellers

    City Center

    This is a large, bright, browser's delight, and the place to go for literature, pop culture, avant-garde, and art books. They also hold book readings...Read More

  • 11. Balmain Market


    In a leafy churchyard less than 5 km (3 miles) from the city, Balmain Market has a rustic quality that makes it a refreshing change...Read More

  • 12. Belinda

    Double Bay

    This is where Sydney's female fashionistas go when there's a dress-up occasion looming. From her namesake store that scores high marks for innovation and imagination,...Read More

  • 13. Birdland Records

    City Center

    This institution for music lovers has an especially strong selection of jazz, blues, African, and Latin American music in multiple formats, including vinyl and super...Read More

  • 14. Birkenhead Point


    A factory outlet with more than 100 clothing, shoe, and housewares stores on the western shores of Iron Cove, about 7 km (4 miles) west...Read More

  • 15. Cooee Aboriginal Art

    Bondi Beach

    This gallery, open Tuesday–Saturday 10–5, exhibits and sells high-end Aboriginal paintings, sculptures, and limited-edition prints. It's a five-minute walk from Bondi Beach....Read More

  • 16. Country Road

    City Center

    The fashion here stands somewhere between Ralph Lauren and Timberland, with an all-Australian assembly of classic, countrified his 'n' hers, plus an ever-expanding variety of...Read More

  • 17. Dinosaur Designs

    City Center

    This fun store sells luminous bowls, plates, and vases, as well as fanciful jewelry crafted from resin and Perspex in eye-popping colors. There's another location...Read More

  • 18. Dymocks

    City Center

    This big, bustling bookstore is packed to its gallery-level coffee shop and is the place to go for all literary needs....Read More

  • 19. Gertrude & Alice Café Bookshop

    Bondi Beach

    Need something to read on Bondi Beach? Take a stroll to Gertrude & Alice Café Bookshop, named in honor of lovers Gertrude Stein and Alice...Read More

  • 20. Glebe Markets


    Handmade and secondhand are the order of the day at this colorful market at the top end of Glebe Point Road. One of the best...Read More

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