The Strand Arcade at Christmas time will make you stop and stare
The Strand Arcade in Sydney city is one of those places that is impressive all year long, but really comes alive at Christmas time. Located between Pitt Street Mall and George Street, you’ll see from the gasps of people walking by just how much of an effect it can have on you.
Christmas trees and decorations line the entire arcade
Named after one of London’s most iconic mid-nineteenth century shopping streets, The Strand Arcade in Sydney does all it can to live up to its name. Housing a number of designer and specialty shops, you don’t even have to buy to enjoy it. Simply having a browse is a real treat.
A festive sight to see
But it’s at Christmas time that it really shines. Numerous wreaths hang from shop signs, decorated trees line every spare space, and lights twinkle. A large, lit tree at one end is surrounded by a cushioned seat, making the perfect spot to sit and people-watch, or just take in the festive spirit. This tree was inspired by Australian fashion designer Alex Perry, and standing at eleven metres tall with over one thousand fairy lights - it’s a real must-see.
With plenty of Christmassy treats to purchase too
It is these Christmassy touches that really set off the arcade so well. With its Victorian décor (it was the last of Sydney’s arcades built in the Victorian era), you’ll feel as if you’ve taken a step back in time. Tiled floors in a mosaic of colours; timber finishings on elevators and stair rails; a curved glass ceiling and signs that hang above shop doors are relics of days gone past that make this strip just so charming. It was also one of the first places in Sydney to be lit by electricity; a little fact that makes the sparkling Christmas tree lights seem even more significant.
Stores that are currently in The Strand Arcade include high-end fashion designers Alex Perry, Alannah Hill, Leona Edmiston and Sass and Bide, jewellers Zappacosta, Victoria Buckley and Larsen, and chocolatiers Haigh’s and Bon Bon Fine Chocolates. There are also a number of services, including shoe repairers and hairdressers, and boutique stores for specific finds such as vintage watches.
Victorian touches are everywhere
There are also places to sit down and have a coffee. This is what I would recommend, after your feet have gotten tired from browsing. Taking a seat in the middle of the arcade, surrounded by shoppers, Christmas decorations and Victorian décor is a simply beautiful way to pass an hour or so.
The perfect spot to sit and have a coffee surrounded by ambience
Where: Between Pitt Street Mall and George Street, Sydney City.
Why: Because it might just be the most Christmassy spot in Sydney
Cost: Free (or whatever you feel like spending if you go shopping)
When: Mon - Wed & Fri 9:00am-5:30pm, Thurs 9:00am-8:00pm, Sat 9:00am-4:00pm, Sun 11:00am-4:00pm.