West of the centre, immediately beyond Darling Harbour, the inner-city areas of Glebe and Newtown surround Sydney University, their vibrant artistic communities and cultural mix enlivened by large student populations. On a peninsula north of Glebe and west of The Rocks, Balmain is a gentrified former working-class dock area popular for its village atmosphere, while west of Glebe, Leichhardt is a focus for Sydney’s Italian community.Read More
Right by Australia’s oldest university, Glebe is very much the centre of alternative culture in Sydney. Its main thoroughfare, Glebe Point Road, lined with a mix of cafés with leafy courtyards, restaurants, organic food stores, healing centres, yoga schools, bookshops and secondhand shops, runs uphill from Broadway, becoming quietly residential as it slopes down towards the water of Rozelle Bay. The side streets here are fringed with renovated two-storey terraced houses with white-iron lacework verandas; not surprisingly, Glebe is popular with backpackers and offers several hostels.
Glebe is at its best on Saturday, when Glebe Market (10am–4pm), which takes place on the shady primary-school playground on Glebe Point Road, is in full swing. On sale are mainly secondhand clothes and accessories, CDs, the inevitable crystals and a bit of bric-a-brac. At 49 Glebe Point Rd, you’ll find the excellent Gleebooks – one of Sydney’s best-loved bookshops. The original, now selling secondhand and children’s books, is worth the trek further up to no. 191, past St Johns Road and Glebe’s pretty park. A few blocks on, Glebe Point Road trails off into a more residential area, petering out at Jubilee Park. The pleasantly landscaped waterfront park, complete with huge, shady Moreton Bay fig trees, children’s playground and picturesque Harbour Foreshore Walk around Blackwattle Bay, offers an unusual view of far-off Sydney Harbour Bridge framed within the cabled Anzac Bridge.