Get your culture fix (topped off with some very tasty cocktails) in Sydney’s oldest suburb

Be taken back in time as you meander through the cobblestone alleyways of Sydney’s oldest suburb. An area where bustling markets stalls, upmarket restaurants and cool cocktail bars occupy some of Australia’s most historic buildings, once renowned for its drunken debauchery, brothels and unsavory characters.
the rocks sydney


We’ll take you to some of the most eclectic boutiques in the area, where passionate Australian designers showcase their goods in historic buildings that once served as sailor’s lodgings, coach houses and military barracks.

If you appreciate modern art, we recommend a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art. An imposing waterfront building in art deco style, it’s home to a changing feast of sculpture, paintings, photography and unusual objects from Australian and international artists such as Annie Leibovitz, Yoko Ono and Anish Kapoor.

Once you’ve seen the sights, enjoy a late lunch at Japanese restaurant Sake – a Splendour favourite.

From old to new, leave the cobbled streets for a while to enjoy a cocktail in the luxury 5 star Shangri-La Hotel’s Blu Bar on 36. Located high above the city with panoramic views of Sydney Harbour, we’ve had some of our most memorable cocktails and unforgettable nights there.

If you’re in town over a weekend, The Rocks has a fabulous foodie market on a Friday and designer fashion, souvenir and gift market on Saturday and Sunday.


“I loved The Rocks. Having such an amazing guide meant we were able to see things we would have missed on our own. The restaurants and pub culture there is great. So different to the rest of the city.”

Marcus – Texas

Suggested Itinerary

  • Meet your guide mid-morning in the heart of The Rocks and be taken to the best boutiques and market stalls, while finding out about the area’s historic buildings
  • Explore the Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Enjoy lunch at Japanese restaurant Sake
  • Visit the Susannah Place Museum to learn the history of the early settlers who lived in the tiny sandstone cottages
  • Head up to the five star Shangri-La Hotel’s Blue Bar on 36 for cocktails and a panoramic view of the harbour to finish the day in style
the rocks market shopping
sake sydney

Fabulous Facts

  • The Rocks is home to Sydney’s oldest house, Cadman Cottage. It was built in 1816 as a barracks to house the crew of the Governor’s boats.
  • The Fortune of War hotel, which claims to hold the longest continuous liquor license in Sydney, began operation in 1828 (the original building was torn down and rebuilt in 1922 – those old walls would have had some rollicking tales to tell!)

Splendour tailored tours are your luxury tour guide to Sydney. We offer personalised Sydney tours curated by locals for those who like to do things with style. Let us design your private guided tour of Sydney and other amazing Australian locations so you can sit back and enjoy the experience.

Photo credit: The Rocks Market image courtesy of Tourism Australia.