While the rest of Sydney becomes increasingly gentrified (with ever-increasing prices to match), Paddy’s Markets continues to keep it real, with an authentically old school flea market vibe and plenty of bargains to be hunted out. Paddy’s actually has two locations (the larger site, in the western suburb of Flemington specialises mainly in fresh produce), but the Haymarket site is a true Sydney icon, with a history going back over 150 years.
Sydney’s only true indoor market, Paddy’s is massive, maze-like and at times, borderline chaotic, assaulting the senses with the bewildering sights and sounds of hundreds of tightly-packed stalls, vendors vocally vying for attention from the shoppers crowding the narrow aisles.
It’s great fun, even if it takes some work to find the hidden treasures amid the mass-produced plastic knick-knacks, knock-off clothes, phone accessories and cheap souvenirs. Clothes, bags, cosmetics, homewares, tools, novelty gifts and electronic gadgets can all be picked up here at rock-bottom prices (relative to the surrounding shopping centres, at least!) Unusually for Sydney, many of the vendors here will happily engage in a little low-level haggling
Paddy’s doesn’t just cater to tourists buying up koala keychains in bulk. Frequented by in-the-know local shoppers, the produce section is hard to beat for low-priced, high quality fruits and vegetables fresh from the farm. Things get particularly lively on weekends with the vegetable vendors loudly spruiking their wares at wholesale prices. Here you’ll also find a very popular seafood monger and a butcher, as well as a small selection of fresh plants and flowers.
Paddy’s Markets is located on the ground floor of the Market City shopping centre. If you’re starved after all that shopping, head to Level Three for some authentic Asian food court fare.