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Exploring Sydney’s Parramatta

Bankwest Stadium, ParramattaCREDIT: Destination NSW

The river city of Parramatta in Western Sydney.

#ilovesydney

Exploring Sydney’s
Parramatta

Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta CREDIT: Destination NSW

The river city of Parramatta in Western Sydney.

#ilovesydney

Hashtags #ilovesydney

Parramatta is Sydney's second major city centre and the historic heart of Western Sydney. With a vibrant multicultural food and cultural scene, as well as UNESCO World Heritage-listed colonial sites and the natural beauty of the river, there is plenty to do and lots of great food to try. 

Highlights: 

  • Exploring Sydney’s convict past at World Heritage-listed sites 
  • High tea at Gatehouse High Tea Rooms, one of the oldest tea houses in Australia 
  • Evening cocktails at a Nick & Nora’s, 26 floors above the city 

Where to have breakfast (or brunch) 

Parramatta local favourite Circa Espresso roasts its coffee in-house and the food is outstanding and plated up beautifully. Try the famous poached Ottoman eggs and take home a bag of your favourite coffee blend. 

Or grab a bite of breakfast at the vegan-friendly Lil Miss Collins, a cute café fashioned from shipping containers and recycled timber. Try the lamington French toast or the halloumi and sweet corn fritters while enjoying the pretty Insta-worthy garden with its pastel-painted walls and hanging plants.  

What to do 

Pop into Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre on Church Street, in the heart of the city, to pick up maps on the area, then walk or cycle along Parramatta River. The river winds past Old Government House – the country residence of the first 10 New South Wales governors — in beautiful Parramatta Park, right in the city centre. Both the building and the surrounding park are World Heritage-listed Australian Convict Sites.  

While in Parramatta Park, indulge in an opulent high tea at Gatehouse High Tea Rooms. It’s one of the oldest tea houses in Australia and a significant historical landmark amid the greenery and beds of flowers. 

You can also take a tour through the historic house and gardens of Elizabeth Farm in Rosehill, a five-minute drive from central Parramatta. It was built in 1793 for a young John and Elizabeth Macarthur, best known as pioneers of the Australian wool industry. Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of one of the oldest surviving European buildings in the country, explore the glorious gardens and marvel at the elegant interiors. 

In the neighbouring suburb of Merrylands, a 10-minute drive from central Parramatta, join a Taste of Afghanistan, Syria and Persia tour. Over the course of 3.5 hours you’ll explore this fascinating area, which is home to a number of refugee communities, and indulge in delicious hearty dishes and meet talented refugee guides, chefs and business owners who share their stories from home and their journeys to Australia. 

Lil Miss Collins, Parramatta CREDIT: Destination NSW

Lil Miss Collins cafe, Parramatta.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Lil Miss Collins, Parramatta CREDIT: Destination NSW

Lil Miss Collins cafe, Parramatta.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Parramatta River, Parramatta CREDIT: Destination NSW

Walk along the banks of the Parramatta River, Parramatta.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Parramatta River, Parramatta CREDIT: Destination NSW

Walk along the banks of the Parramatta River, Parramatta.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Where to grab a drink 

Enjoy a killer cocktail at Alex & Co., Parramatta’s 600-square-metre mega bar on Church Street. Try the Passionate Kiss, with vodka, lychee liqueur, lychee, passionfruit, grapefruit; or the salted caramel espresso martini made with vodka, Kahlua, salted caramel, espresso.  

Bringing a bold Brooklyn vibe to Parramatta, Uncle Kurt’s is a small speakeasy tucked in an urban car park boasts cool tunes, creative cocktails and a moreish Reuben sandwich.  

A great place for after-dinner drinks is Nick & Nora’s Parramatta, a 300-seat rooftop bar styled like a New York City penthouse from The Speakeasy Group (the group behind Sydney’s Eau de Vie cocktail bar and Roosevelt restaurant, among other establishments). One of Western Sydney’s sleekest watering holes, it sits sky-high over Parramatta on the 26th floor of the luxury V by Crown residential tower.  

Where to have dinner 

Inspired by the traditional street food of Mumbai, Chatkazz Harris Park, a five-minute drive from central Parramatta, serves up authentic, mouth-watering vegetarian Indian dishes. Some of the recipes featured on the extensive menu can’t easily be found outside Mumbai. This popular eatery usually has a line-up of hungry locals waiting for their fill of fried puffed bread with sumptuous chickpea curry. 

The Coffee Emporium Restaurant & Bar on Phillip Street in the city centre, is like a small slice of Europe in Parramatta, with an elegant interior, aromatic coffee and hearty, classic fare. Just as popular for morning coffee or a relaxing dinner, where Sydney rock oysters and NSW beef from the Riverina and New England take centre stage on the curated menu.  

And for Greek food made with locally sourced and sustainable produce, head to Kouzina Greco, also on Phillip Street. This family-run restaurant has been putting a modern twist on traditional Greek dishes and making the most of produce such as Jervis Bay octopus for more than two decades.

Where to stay 

The five-star SKYE Hotel Suites Parramatta is a great choice for a fabulous stay. The suites are luxurious and combine architectural muscle with spacious boutique accommodation as well as access to an infinity pool, spa, gym and sauna. With an urban resort style, this luxury stay is in the heart of all the action.  

Or book in to the centrally located Mantra Parramatta, which offers a range hotel suites and self-contained apartments, including one-bedroom apartments with a two-person spa bath – perfect for relaxing at the end of a busy day exploring the city. 

Nick and Nora's, Parramatta CREDIT: Destination NSW

Bartender creating cocktails at Nick and Nora's bar in Parramatta.

#ilovesydney

Nick and Nora's, Parramatta CREDIT: Destination NSW

Bartender creating cocktails at Nick and Nora's bar in Parramatta.

#ilovesydney

Kouzina Greco, Parramatta CREDIT: Destination NSW

Classic Greek food available from Kouzina Greco in Parramatta.

#ilovesydney

Kouzina Greco, Parramatta CREDIT: Destination NSW

Classic Greek food available from Kouzina Greco in Parramatta.

#ilovesydney

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