On the southern fringe of Sydney’s CBD, you’ll stumble across the suburb of Surry Hills: a gritty, creative and foodie-filled enclave. It is, in essence, Sydney’s creative heart and anyone visiting the harbour city must see it.
The old Victorian terrace homes are just beyond the warehouses converted into New York-style apartments; all those with dairy and Gluten intolerances can be welcomed on an open invitation. Surry Hills has a duck-tonne of personality; it’s lively and delicious.
Furthermore, it is an evolving place famous for its stunning cafes and views—Cleveland streets with coffee shops, boutiques, and much more. Wine bars and galleries around the Surry Hills Library are highlights of this beautiful city. There are many things to do at Surry Hills, and this article will take you through them.
20 Best Things To Do in Surry Hills
Surry Hills positions as one of the top foodie destinations in Sydney, yet cross country. There’s a rich blend of all-over cuisines from the world in the streets of Surry Hills, from Eastern to Japanese, French to American grill, and that’s just the beginning or less in the Middle.
Fanatics of Italian food are very much served by different cafés where you can find pizza and pasta dishes that any Surry Hills native would be glad to call their city’s food.
A flourishing bistro culture has likewise made Surry Hills one of Sydney’s most well-known weekend lunch spots, where many of its best baristas carry out their speciality. Below are a few places and activities to help you explore the area more appropriately.
1. Bourke Street Bakery
There are many best options at Surry Hills for breakfast, but the most famous Bourke Street Bakery is where you should kick start your day with some delicious pastries and tasty bread. The Bourke Street Bakery is a well-known place among the locals, and travellers rollers are recapped at this amazing bakery.
Regarding specials, sausage lamb roll with almond and harissa is tough to refuse at the bakery. In addition, there are mouth-watering pies, tarts, and much more. When visiting Surry Hills, you must visit the Bourke Street Bakery.
2. Surry Hills Markets
The well-known Surry Hills Markets take place on the first Saturday of each month at the corners of Crown and Collins Street. Famous for its vintage vibes, you can find antiques, home decor, handmade products, and much more at Surry Hills Market. Products are made by local designers at the market, so visiting here should be a must when in Surry Hills.
The funds collected from the Surry Hills Market are then sent to the local neighbourhood centres, which add some positive social impact to the shopping experience. You can get all of it at the Surry Hills market to buy some stuff for the house or have something local to keep the memory of the trip or gifts for the loved one.
3. Brett Whiteley Studio
Brett Whiteley Studio is a well-known destination in Surry Hills, famous for its artistic culture and exhibitions. Brett Whiteley was a young soul who bought a warehouse in 1985 in the Surry Hills and converted that place into a studio; now, after he died in 1992, the site is famous for his preservations of the studio and insights into his living area. The studio highlights show the professional and personal life of Brett Whiteley.
People in Surrey Hills and travellers love the place. Brett Whiteley gave his early years of life on the lush green north shore of Sydney and went to the boarding school of Bathurst. He was a person who had attachments to the landscapes. Brett Whiteley has a unique way of seeing things; curvaceous rock formations, tumbling waves, and rolling hills fascinated him. Whiteley’s style was of deep sensuality.
Brett Whiteley’s landscapes were added to Asian Aesthetics as he was intrigued by Japanese and Chinese art. His work has been a part of Australian artistic culture. When in Surry Hills, you must visit Brett Whiteley’s studio to explore the art and unique style of Brett Whiteley.
4. Golden Age Cinema
Golden Age Cinema is located inside the Paramount House building. It is known as Surry Hills’ best arthouse theatre. The Golden Age Cinema includes various classics, film festivals, and mainstream programs hosted inside the theatre. It is always recommended to reserve the seats beforehand to avoid any delay and watch the show smoothly without any disturbances.
Snacks like Cheese Toast, eschew popcorn, and mocktails improve the theatre experience. The reformed retro rooms inside the Golden Age Cinema display everything from classics to mainstream releases.
5. Belvoir Street Theatre
Belvoir Street Theatre is a place that has nurtured the art of some famous Australian personalities. It’s a maroon-coloured establishment that includes playwright Tommy Murphy and Cate Blanchett. The Belvoir Street Theatre is owned by around 600 actors, patrons, and artists who are passionate about their theatre interests, and their theatre position as a theatre is one of Sydney’s most important cultural institutions.
Belvoir Briefings is a talk that takes place before every play so the audience can know about the space, actors, story, and production. If you are passionate about theatre and its background, visit Belvoir Street Theatres in Surry Hills.
6. Prince Alfred Park
Prince Alfred Park is connected with the eastern side of the central station. The park covers about 7.5 hectares of the lush green area of inner Sydney. Frequent renovations have occurred in Prince Alfred Park, and a major one with 18 million dollars was concluded in 2013.
The park includes a heated pool outdoors, which is 50 meters. It is one of the unique pools found in Surry Hills. Prince Alfred Park also has basketball courts, Tennis courts, fitness stations, and more. If you want to relax, you can choose various spots with benches and grassy areas. Here, your dogs can also play with their leash off.
After the latest renovation, Prince Alfred Park includes solar lighting, plant species, and a water tank with 2,50,000 litres of storage, which supplies about 95% of the water needed inside the park. Visitors can also plan to barbeque at the park, with tables and proper seating provided. This place can be reached by bus or by train from Central Station. If you are in Surry Hills, you must visit this wonderful place.
7. Catmostphere Cat Cafe
As understood by the name, Catmostphere is a cafe in the Surry Hills devoted to helping and saving cats and kittens. The restaurant processes partnerships with rescue groups and allows the cats and kittens to find a safe place. It provides everything for their daily needs and cares for them. It also helps a few of them to find homes.
The Catmostphere cafe is a well-known place in Surry Hills. There are various areas inside the restaurants, such as the cafe lounge where you can spend time with adult cats, the treehouse, which is tiki-themed, kitty land, the Catflix cinema where you can have a cinematic experience, and best of all, there is cat yoga. It would be best to visit this fantastic cafe in Surry Hills for an experience of a lifetime.
8. Crown Street
Crown Street is one of the most visited places in Surry Hills. The Crown Street covers about 2.3 kilometres and is famous for shops and restaurants. There are many options for dining at the Crown Streets, so many that you can get confused about where to go.
In 1893, Crown Street resided the city’s largest maternity hospital, the Crown Street Women’s Hospital. Now, where the hospital is used for commercial and residential use, an electric service opened on the street in the early 20th century.
Now, Crown Street is full of stunning boutiques, cafes, and bars, due to which the streets are vibrant. Four Ate Five, Hotcakes at Bill’s and Bourke Street Bakery, and much more you can explore at the famous Crown Street. When in Surry Hills, you must visit this incredible place known as Crown Street.
Famous The Winery is situated on Crown Street and is famous for its food. The renowned eating and drinking place has a garden covered with lights, a drinks menu with various drinks, a food menu, and daily specials. It would be best to eat at The Winery in Surry Hills.
9. China Heights Gallery
China Height was opened in 2004 and has been one of the most visited places since then. The place highlights art galleries’ beauty and contemporary conceptual knowledge space. China Heights has been moved frequently but is now found on the third floor at the Foster Street Warehouse.
China Heights is a place that highlights its power in bringing the talents of all the talented artists and design enthusiasts to the fore. China Heights has processed Commercial Commissions, self-reliant installations, and public projects and has contributed to contemporary art in Australia.
Mark Dew and Edward Woodley run the gallery and have promoted a few most talented artists in the city, such as Trent Whitehead, Numskull, and Mark Whalen. Various exhibitions and work keep the visitors encouraged and interested. In Surry Hills, you must visit this stunning place to learn about art in contemporary surroundings.
10. The Indigo Project
Modern life eases the overall process physically, but mentally, it affects much more than we think. Mary Hoang and the Sydneysiders came to the rescue with their new innovative psychology product, The Indigo Project. The Indigo Project is for all those stressing under everyday pressure from work, family, and whatnot.
The place where people can go and destress themselves and generate inner peace. It is situated in the Surry Hills; the space is used for mindfulness and causes the relief people nowadays lack. The Indigo Project includes workshops, therapy, yoga, nap classes, meditation, and local and international retreats.
Now, The Indigo Project is a well-known program that is attended by a lot of people. To get familiarized with the procedure, you can take the demo yoga and meditation classes. The only requirement to enter inside is the need for a curious mind.
Once you know about the process and are ready to enter this relieving ride of calmness, take up the program and get your mind and body in a better place. In Surry Hills, you must visit this innovative place to help your mind calm down and understand yourself more with meditation in other programs.
11. Palace Cinema Verona
Earlier, Palace Cinema Verona used to be a fashion area, but now it is famous for its design, media, and professional services. The place is unique, with diverse and colourful surroundings and stunning boutiques, brands, and various stores in the Surry Hills.
You can check out this fantastic place’s modern fashions and bohemian style. This is a prominent place for art galleries, antique dealers, pubs, and cafes. If you stroll around, you can see a few artists and students from Oxford Street. It’s a great place to visit in Surry Hills, and you must know if you are into media and fashion.
12. Albion Street
Albion Street is situated in the Surry Hills inside the local government area. The street is about 1 kilometre in the distance and is towards the east-west side of Elizabeth Street.
Albion Street is known for its heritage buildings and historical background. Various styles, such as Federation and Victorian, can be seen on Albion Street, and ecclesiastical architecture can also be noticed on the street.
Terrace Houses make Albion Streets famous. Few houses are three-storeyed and a few two-storeyed. Terrace houses with iron balconies can also be found inside the Paddington and Glebe suburbs.
To have a proper Surry Hills native experience, you must visit Gelato Messina. This place is perfect for all those sweet tooths out there.
Whether morning, afternoon, or night, this place serves you the best ice cream flavours, such as white chocolate hazelnut, in various ways, like two scoops, cones, and more. Messina is a must if travelling to the vibrant city of Surry Hills.
14. Reuben Hills
Reuben Hills attracts a lot of coffee lovers as the place serves delicious coffee. But remember, the quantity of coffee in each serving is slightly less than expected.
It would be best to visit Reuben Hills at Surry Hills to taste some good coffee.
15. Dog-Friendly City
Surry Hills is a city that welcomes everyone and lets you enjoy yourself to the fullest with all your family, friends, and canine friends; yes, dogs are allowed in this fantastic city.
You can find more canine friends while strolling in the city, roaming around the suburbs, and at the cafes. Also, The Carrington Hotel offers a dog menu with dishes such as steak, tartare and much more so your little furry friend can have the best time of their life.
16. Badger And Fox Gallery
Badger and Fox Gallery is a fantastic place famous for its artistic culture and environment. The gallery is the best place to reach out to explore art.
Promoting local artists is the main focus of this gallery. It would be best to visit Badger and Fox Gallery at the Surry Hills to explore art and its forms.
17. Nightlife In Surry Hills
You can have the best nightlife in Surry Hills, famous for its fantastic bars and restaurants. Rum, Italian Cocktails, chicken, and bars covered with fairy lights set the right party mood among visitors—Gardel’s Bis is well-known in Surry Hills, with a relaxed and classy environment.
The place is near the Portello Restaurant, which is also a great place to have a meal. LOW 301 Bar is also great; you can cheer up your mood here as the surroundings are vibrant and cheerful.
18. Australian Museum of Magical Arts
The Australian Museum of Magical Arts is in Darlinghurst, a few minutes from Sydney CBD. The place is a hidden gem that stores artistic and historical stuff, which fascinates many visitors.
The stunning museum contains posters and literature about magic, drawing, illusions, levitation, and more. This place allows you to enter a world of charm and captivating opportunities. It would be best to visit the Australian Museum of Magical Arts in Surry Hills to have creative, inspirational, and rich experiences regarding various things in a positive environment.
19. The Clock Hotel’s Whisky Room
The Clock Hotel’s Whisky Room is a wooden-made hidden gem comprising about 100 types of whiskies in addition to its whisky cocktails, boilermaker specials, and much more. The Clock also has a beer garden, public bar, and terrace.
It’s an ideal location for a classy, relaxing time with a glass of whisky. When in Surry Hills, you must check out this refined place.
Darlinghurst is an excellent place in Surry Hills; there are lots to do when in Darlinghurst. The fabulous Griffin Theatre has its Headquarters at the SBW Stables Theatre, where Cate Blanchett, the Oscar Winner, worked and graced the stage.
Eternity Playhouse is on Burton Street and resides in the Darlinghurst Theatre Company. Other than this, the Sydney Jewish Museum is also located in Darlinghurst. Here, you can roam around and learn about the Jewish historical culture.
Darlinghurst Gaol Houses is a National Art School; this place is hidden behind a sandstone wall and has remarkable galleries to troll around and explore. If you are in Surry Hills, you must visit this place.
You can visit various boutiques, shopping places, and stores in Darlinghurst. Blue Spinach, located on Liverpool Street, is a stunning boutique emphasizing luxurious fashion. Spunky Bruiser is a well-known clothing brand specializing in handmade styles made of sustainable materials and sources. Zink and SSons is also famous and visits tailoring shops in the locality daily. Darlinghurst is a must-visit place in Surry Hills.
That was the list of activities and places to explore this beautiful city, but before digging, you must know how to visit Surry Hills.
Overall, Surry Hills offers an exciting mix of history, culture and contemporary atmosphere that invites explorers to discover its varied offerings. Each corner has a unique story, whether gastronomic delight or exploring the street full of art. Long after visitors ‘ arrival, community involvement, green spaces, and a buzzing nightlife create an atmosphere long after visitors’ arrival.
Surry Hills is more than a place to visit; it’s an experience that will be remembered forever. This place invites you to discover the extraordinary in ordinary circumstances, whether you are a local searching for new adventures or a traveller seeking authenticity.