Things to do in Sydney's Surry HillsThings to do in Sydney's Surry Hills

An Insider's Guide to Surry Hills

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As one of Sydney’s most historic areas, Surry Hills is no stranger to evolution. From its origins as a working-class suburb full of pubs and workers’ cottages to its present-day reputation as one of Sydney’s premier destinations for everything and anything, Surry Hills is a local area that enables visitors to see the Harbour City throughout the ages.

Not only does this charming foodie destination provide many of the best things to do in Sydney, but it also gives you a mishmash of truly Australian experiences.

Art & Architecture

Home to many of Sydney’s architects and designers, its no surprise that wandering the streets of Surry Hills will leave you inspired to reconvert a heritage building into your very own piece of paradise. That’s exactly what many locals have done – created modern living in the charming cottages of yesteryear, as seen on the quaint Riley Street or the reconverted St. Mary’s Hospital. Architect lovers can also rely on the stock of the wonderful The Architect’s Bookshop, which is open daily and offers a local and international selection of books on architecture and design.

Those looking to explore local art should head to the Brett Whiteley Studio, which was the workspace and home of the gallery’s namesake local artist.  The studio is not only an art space that offers changing exhibitions of his works, but it offers insight into his life, unfinished paintings and a picture-worthy graffiti wall covered in quotes and images inspired by the artist. For a taste of contemporary art in Australia, head to the M2 Gallery on Elizabeth Street. The gallery's focus is on embracing the artist’s personal style and celebrating a wide range of artistic expression, as well as offering a variety of pop-up stores, seminars and group gatherings.

Drinking & Dining

The only rule for eating in Surry Hills? Arrive hungry, as you will experience the city’s most diverse, eclectic and delectable range of restaurants and bars. Start the day with a selection of sweet treats and pastries from the iconic local bakers at the Bourke Street Bakery, which offers pastries that are so good it makes the queuing worth it. Wash down your breakfast with a coffee by micro roastery Reuben Hills, a funky cafe that offers some of the best brew in the city.

If you’re lucky enough to be in Surry Hills on the weekend, head to Dead Ringer for a boozy bottomless brunch. This is an insight into Australia’s famous brunch culture, with local produce and a heritage setting giving it true charm. Sample modern Australian cuisine at Bills Surry Hills, innovative vegan at Yulli's, reimagined Lebanese food at Nour, or fabulous Spanish tapas at Porteño. Enjoy date night at Arthur, or indulge at the wood-fuelled Firedoor, one of Sydney’s coolest (or should that be, hottest?) restaurants.

Music & Theatre

When the sun goes down, there are loads of entertainment options in Surry Hills, including live music at some of the pubs and other venues. For live theatre in a much-loved historic venue, head to the Belvoir St Theatre. Here, you can see a variety of up-and-coming playwrights and actors showcase the country’s best talents in a venue owned and operated by an art collective that champions innovation.

Enjoy cheap eats, retro tunes and party vibes at the Soda Factory, get your screen fix at the Golden Age Cinema, or catch some live music on Thursday nights at the Australian Museum.


This isn't the kind of place you want to venture to on a daytrip - Surry Hills has so much to offer, there's never enough time to sample all of the facets this inner-city Sydney suburb has to offer. The best way is to immerse yourself in the neighbourhood, using a fully-equipped apartment as a base to stretch out and relax in between visits to galleries, shops, bars and restaurants. There's no better place to base yourself than Adina Apartment Hotel Sydney Surry Hills. Not only is it amongst the action of Crown Street, it provides access to all the best things to do in Sydney and has killer views of the downtown skyline.

** Peace of mind when you stay with us: Introducing Clean Touch. Note some activities listed may be subject to Covid restrictions.**

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