and discover Sydney by day or night.
Redfern and Waterloo combine slices of Sydney history with the heartbeat of its modern creative arts scene. Some of the area’s greatest offerings are hidden right in plain sight. Do as the locals do and explore the back streets behind Abercrombie and Cleveland streets for rustic brunch spots, galleries and tucked-away community gardens.
Flick the switch above, and we’ll dim the lights to show you the best things to do once the sun goes down. You can also explore more inner-city suburbs here.
If you’re looking for quality dining, small bar hopping and some of inner Sydney’s best cultural pursuits all in one place, then look no further. Take an evening wander along Redfern Street as you experience some top bars, pubs, restaurants, and live music and performance venues Sydney has to offer.
Flick the switch above, and we’ll turn on the lights to show you the best things to do pre-6pm. You can also explore more inner-city suburbs here.
In 2014, Redfern Park went ‘global’, winning the prestigious international Green Flag Award and becoming one of the top parks in the world. At 4.8 hectares, the park was designed in the 1880s as a Victorian ‘pleasure ground’ and is now home to the Rabbitohs’ training grounds, public art, picnic areas and a cafe. The park was also the setting for Paul Keating’s iconic Redfern Speech.
Redfern and Waterloo are surrounded by Redfern Station on its western edge, the Eastern Distributor to its east and Cleveland Street to the north where you can catch several buses from the east or west. Start on Redfern Street and make your way through the area on foot to discover the many cafes, shops, galleries and bars.
Get your bearings by taking a Culture Scouts walking tour to uncover the area’s historic architecture and gallery hotspots. Stock up on dumplings from Happy D’s, or grab a Little Marionette coffee and takeaway lunch from Henry Lee’s, and wander to Redfern Park for a lazy Saturday afternoon picnic.
The area retains a strong sense of inner-city grit among the burgeoning era of ‘contemporary cool’. Explore the streets lined with many heritage listed buildings, go to Three Williams for a coffee and head down to the James Street Reserve Community Garden for a glimpse of the lovingly cultivated greenery hiding amongst the terraces.
In 2014, Craig Reucassel and Julian Morrow (of The Chaser fame) had a vision to grow local comedic talent and create a hub for interesting performances. At the time, it raised eyebrows, but now, a few years on, it’s difficult to imagine Redfern without The Giant Dwarf Theatre — its shows regularly sell out.
Redfern and Waterloo are surrounded by Redfern Station on its western edge, the Eastern Distributor to its east and Cleveland Street to the north where you can catch several buses from the east or west. Start on Redfern Street and make your way through the area. Take note, many trains going from Redfern Station stop at midnight or 1am.
The George is a relaxed dimly-lit bar serving up natural wines, local brews and kick-ass tacos and tostadas. With a no-frills front bar, colourful courtyard and overall laid-back ambience, it’s exactly the kind of place you’re looking for when you want to catch up with friends.
Redfern and Waterloo are covered with small bars for a boozy, intimate D and M with mates. Grab a drink right near Redfern Station at Arcadia, toddle next door to The Noble Hops for a niche craft beer and cross the road to GDR (a ‘secret’ bar at the back of the Redfern Continental) for a smoky daiquiri.
Great cafes are tucked away all throughout the area. Whether you're a cold drip drinker or a chai connoisseur, the cafe scene has your beverage of choice sorted. Here's where to start.
Century-old pubs, 1950s Americana and a 100-seat barbecue joint – lunchtime options in the area are diverse and brimming with quality.
A smattering of specialty stores with well-curated collections define the shopping scene here. Explore the area’s florists, barbers and artisanal tea shops.
From local talent set up in a terrace house to bold, industrial gallery spaces, Redfern and Waterloo are full of must-see contemporary art.
Become a gymnast for the day, or stroll through the South Sydney Rabbitohs training ground. The urban landscape here is no barrier to keeping active.
We asked, you answered. These are the spots you love to frequent during the daylight hours — from creative sessions to brekkie falafel.
When dinner rolls around, get your hands messy at a house of crabs, or tuck into a traditional Italian meal.
Redfern's small bar scene oozes charm and warmth. The biggest hurdle is finding where to go. Here’s where to start.
Check out some jazz, cut loose to a DJ set or have a live acoustic band create the soundtrack to your next night out.
Cheese, wine, ice cream, more wine. Head to the area to stock up on imported European fare and local delights.
After sunset in Redfern and Waterloo, you’ll find live music, DJ sets, comedy, theatre, drag nights and gallery openings galore.
We asked, you answered. Here are your favourite evening haunts in the Redfern area.
Explore more of Sydney and your favourite suburbs through the eyes of other locals by following #sydneylocal on Instagram.