Shopping in Sydney
The most archetypal Australian souvenirs you will see anywhere are kangaroo
and koala characters of all sizes, boomerangs, didgeridoos and caps with caps
hanging from the brakes. Yes, it is clichéd and meets all expectations or
prejudices tourists have about the country. But Australians don't mind, and
tourists want to buy it, so everyone is happy.
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You will also find plenty of outlets offering Aboriginal art, especially in
the Sydney Harbor areas. Some of these are beautiful craftsmanship of exquisite
quality, while others are scrap pieces that fall apart if you look hard at it.
In other words, be careful what you buy and where you buy it. Another specialty
in Sydney is opals. But again, be aware that there are many cheap impersonations
on the market, so be sure to buy this from a reputable dealer.
Those looking for exclusive designer products can head for Elizabeth Street
or Castlereagh Street, while others will prefer the more popular shopping and
shopping centers in the Central Business District, such as Pitt Street and
George Street. For example, try The Galleries Victoria or Queen Victoria
In Hay Street / Thomas Street, you'll find the Market City factory outlet,
and here is Sydney's largest and liveliest marketplace, Paddy's, where you can
buy most of affordable clothing, books, CDs and LPs, fruits and vegetables,
flowers, birds and fish.
Most of the shops in Sydney are open from 10am. 0900 to 1730 on
weekdays, with long hours open until 10am. 2000 or later on Thursdays. Saturdays
close some earlier. Sundays are mostly closed everywhere. Don't forget that you
pay 10% VAT and on all purchases over $ 300, or approx. 1450 NOK, you can get a
refund of VAT on departure. Not every business practices this scheme, so look
for the Tax Free Shopping badge at the entrance if you are going to buy some
more expensive items and bring a completed and stamped form and receipt.
Eating in Sydney
Traditionally, Melbourne has been considered Australia's culinary capital,
but in recent years both the quality and quantity of Sydney's restaurants has
increased dramatically. The best eateries usually serve French, Italian or Asian
cuisine, but you will also find all possible nationalities represented in the
diversity. Mexican, Persian, South African, Chinese and Swiss restaurants are
available, as well as all the fast food chains and American specialties such as
TGI Fridays and Hard Rock Cafe.
It is difficult to give examples of typical Australian food, since most
Australians are from a different place and have brought the food culture from
their roots, but barbecues are strong across the continent. Most parties and
social gatherings at one time or another include the ritual grilling of juicy
steaks. Almost all parks have large gas grills, where you can get gas for a
cheap money, and the grilling of most Australian animal species starts.
Kangaroo, camel, crocodile, rabbit or emu, everything has to be grilled and
gnawed at the Great Aussie Barbeque.
Fortunately for vegetarians, there is almost always an offer for them as
well. There are several clean vegetarian restaurants in Sydney, and most
eateries have vegetarian dishes on the menu. You can check recommended
vegetarian eating places on the website of the Australian Vegetarian
You will find many nice restaurants in the old town of The Rocks, and
especially the seafood restaurants are of high quality in Sydney. It's also a
very special experience to have dinner 250 meters above ground level in Sydney
Tower while the restaurant slowly rotates 360 degrees.
Wine and beer in Australia
Australian wines have in a short time gained a solid popularity around
the world, and wines such as Lindemans and Jacob's Creek are among the top
sellers in Scandinavia and Australians are also very loyal and patriotic towards
their beer, and they bright arrow marks Fosters and Castlemaine XXXX are sold
worldwide, also in Norway, can be ordered via the vinmonoploet if your local
store does not have it in their range. In the Sydney area, the local beer
Tooheys is the strongest among the locals.
A strange phenomenon seen with Norwegian eyes is that restaurants that do not
have a license to serve alcohol are happy to advertise with BYO (Bring Your
Own). You can then bring your own beer or wine and pay a small symbolic sum to
the restaurant for the use of glasses and openers.