Shopping in Sydney CBD

Sydney CBD has a lot to offer a discerning shopper. From iconic department stores and grand shopping arcades, to shopping malls and stand alone boutiques, it’s not tough to find something to please everyone. Orient yourself for your next shopping experiences with these top shopping destinations in Sydney CBD.

Shopping in Sydney CBD | Travelshopa

Image: Queen Victoria Building, Tom Hall

 

Pitt Street Mall is the epicentre of shopping in Sydney’s CBD. Arguably the busiest cosmopolitan shopping spots in Australia, it holds the bulk of the retail scene with everything from high-end international brands to must-know local labels. The mall itself holds countless cafes, restaurants and street entertainers inviting eager shoppers into the adjacent shopping malls such as Glasshouse, The Strand Arcade, Mid City Shopping Centre, Sydney Arcade, Myer and Westfield Sydney.

Pitt St (between Market and King Streets), Sydney 2000 NSW 

Department Stores

David Jones and Myer are the two major departments stores in Sydney’s CBD. David Jones Elizabeth Street store first opened in 1927, and to mark the store’s 100th anniversary, another store on Market Street was opened in 1938. Both stores still remain open and are a must visit for their architectural beauty, and iconic piano man on the Ground floor of the Elizabeth Street store. Another historic CBD building, which first opened as a department store in 1885, is now the home of Myer on George Street. Both stores offer an extensive list of international and Australian fashion designers as well as a broad range of shoes, bags, accessories, homewares, furniture, beauty and food.

David Jones Elizabeth Street, 86 -108 Castlereagh Street, Sydney, NSW 2000

David Jones Market Street, 65-77 Market Street, Sydney, NSW 2000

Myer 436 George St, Sydney 2000 NSW

 

The Queen Victoria Building, known as the QVB, was completed in 1898 and replaced the Sydney markets. The elaborate Romanesque architecture building – lying between George, Market, Tork and Druitt Streets – is drenched with gloriously stained glass windows and dominant features like the mighty centre dome and 19th-century staircase. Take the time to marvel at this iconic shopping destinations, which is now home to some of Sydney’s finest fashion boutiques, homewares stores, galleries, art shops and jewellery stores.

455 George St, Sydney 2000 NSW 

Known as the only Victorian-style shopping arcade in Sydney, The Strand Arcade arcade may be small in size but it is packed with some of the most love Australian designer labels, speciality stores and cafes – so much to see and do. Stretched bewteen George and Pitt Street, some key local labels are Dion Lee, Lover, Scanlan Theodore, Camilla and Marc, Jac + Jack and more.

412-414 George St, Sydney NSW 2000

Located on Pitt Street Mall and close proximity to the Mid City Centre and The Strand Arcade, Westfield Sydney holds over 280 flagship, food and lifestyle stores across six levels – making it the ultimate retail and dining destination.

Pitt St & Market St, Sydney NSW 2000

The newest, and hottest, shopping destination in Sydney’s CBD is Barangaroo. The laneways of Barangaroo’s southern precinct have brought bleisure to the heart of the new financial district with an exquisite edit of local and international designers and boutiques.

201 Kent Street, Sydney, NSW 2000

Touted as the home of bespoke fashion, The Rocks features everything from high street luxury brands to emerging designers. Look to this enthralling precinct for a mix of jewellery designers, Australian art and photography, weekend craft and food markets. Meander along the cobblestone streets and sandstone architecture for a lesson in Australian history and culture.

The Rocks, 2000 NSW

PITT STREET MALL

MYER

DAVID JONES

QUEEN VICTORIA BUILDING

THE ROCKS PRECINCT

THE STRAND ARCADE

WESTFIELD SYDNEY

Barangaroo

Resorts with Sea Views in Bali

Want the sound of waves crashing, the caress of a salty breeze and uninterrupted beach views? Take in the spellbinding coastlines of Bali at these resorts with magnificent sea views.

Alila Seminyak | Resorts with Magnificent Sea Views in Bali | Travelshopa

Image: Alila Seminyak

Alila Seminyak

Take a dip in one of its five infinity swimming pools

Immerse yourself in a fantastic beachfront experience at Alila Seminyak. Unfurling along a pristine beach on Bali’s southwest coast, this lush secret garden offers soul-stirring beach views at any of its five infinity pools and contemporary-style Ocean Suites. Designed by Gaurang Khemka at the award-winning Singapore architectural firm URBNarc, Alila Seminyak holds private pool parties designed for sparkling social gatherings.

Jalan Taman Ganesha No. 9 Petitenget, Seminyak, Bali

Alila Seminyak | Resorts with Magnificent Sea Views in Bali | Travelshopa

The Royal Purnama

A hidden sanctuary with views of a sparkly black-sand beach

The adults-only Royal Purnama is a secluded sanctuary set in a tranquil location and is blessed with dramatic coastline views extending to the southern beaches including Pantai Purnama (Full Moon Black Sand Beach) and the eastern mountains. Relax in the freeform swimming pool at the open-air beach lounge or stay at the Jepun One-Bedroom Jacuzzi Suites for exceptional ocean views.

Jl. Pantai Purnama (Purnama Beach), Sukawati, Gianyar, Bali

The Royal Purnama | Resorts with Magnificent Sea Views in Bali | Travelshopa

What To Pack

Aimee Beach Scarf | The Wit and The Will | Resorts with Magnificent Sea Views in Bali | Travelshopa

The Wit and The Will

Aimee Beach Scarf

Fella Mad Max Full Piece, White | The Well Dressed Society | Resorts with Magnificent Sea Views in Bali | Travelshopa

The Well Dressed Society

Fella Mad Max Full Piece, White

Papeete Sarong Seaform | August Society | Resorts with Magnificent Sea Views in Bali | Travelshopa

August Society

Papeete Sarong, Seafoam

The Ungasan Clifftop Resort

Private plunge pools and stunning ocean vistas

Sitting majestically on a peninsula cliff is luxurious The Ungasan Clifftop Resort. This beachfront oasis is complete with seven fully staffed private pool villas but Villa Chintamani and Villa Nora is where you’ll find those breathtaking ocean views. Sit back, relax and enjoy the stunning ocean vista in your private bale for two or cool off in a private plunge pool with a backdrop of the open sea.

Jalan Pantai Selatan Gau, Banjar Wijaya Kusuma, Ungasan, Bali

Naumi Hotel | Colourful Boutique Hotels in Singapore | Travelshopa

Earthy Home Office

A home library is a place to hold your book collection – but for some, it is a special nook of inspiration, a space for escapism or a spot to show off treasurable finds. No matter the motive, creating an alluring home library is a definite must. We take cues from AERIN LAUDER's earthy home office in Aspen to create an inviting space with distinct details for a warm and cozy feel – mix natural materials with charming white and gold accessories, and add a massive bookshelf so you never run out of space.

Earthy Home Office | Dream Spaces | Travelshopa
Earthy Home Office | Dream Spaces | Travelshopa

Image: Veranda, Vogue 

Get The Look

Read Bookshelf Bibliotek | Earthy Home Office | Dream Spaces | Travelshopa

Bibliotek Design Store

READ Bookshelf

Atlantic Table Lamp | Earthy Home Office | Dream Spaces | Travelshopa

Bowerbird Home Hong Kong

Atlantic Table Lamp

Camila Led Votive Holder L | Maison Curio | Earthy Home Office | Dream Spaces | Travelshopa

Maison Curio

Camila Led Votive Holder L

Amber & Vetiver | Maisey Candle | Earthy Home Office | Dream Spaces | Travelshopa

Maisey Candles

Amber & Vetiver

Afteroom Lounge Chair | A+R Store | Earthy Home Office | Dream Spaces | Travelshopa

A + R Store

Afteroom Lounge Chair

Brass Plum Window Bookend | Scene Shang | Earthy Home Office | Dream Spaces | Travelshopa

Scene Shang

Brass Plum Window Bookend

Desk Hilda Teak | WTP The Furniture Company | Earthy Home Office | Dream Spaces | Travelshopa

WTP The Furniture Company

Desk Hilda Teak

Stardust Gold Rug | Departures & Arrivals | Earthy Home Office | Dream Spaces | Travelshopa

Departures & Arrivals

Stardust Gold Rug

Zig Zag Small Bookcase 60x75cm, Natural | Loft Furniture | Earthy Home Office | Dream Spaces | Travelshopa

Loft Furniture & Other Ideas

Zig Zag Small Bookcase 60 x 75cm, Natural

Indie Bookstores in Sydney

From local institutions to quaint shops; rare finds to mainstream titles, Sydney holds a great number of bookstores that would satisfy every type of bookworm imaginable. Here are the indie bookstores in Sydney that have caught our eye.

Sapphobook | Indie Bookstores in Sydney | Travelshopa

Image: Sapphobook, @oing1209

Ampersand Cafe & Bookstore

For coffee, breakfast, brunch, or a good hard-to-find book

With over 30 000 pre-loved books, it’s hard not to find something for everyone at Ampersand Café & Bookstore. Have a cuppa or a full-fledged meal along with your choice of book, or seat yourself at the communal table to mingle with the locals.

78 Oxford St Paddington 2021 NSW 

Ariel Booksellers

From coffee table books to eclectic treasures

With a brand new location at Oxford Street, Ariel Booksellers continues to entice bookworms with art and design, architecture, interior design coffee table staples to a wealth of fiction, non-fiction, film, theatre, poetry and children’s books.

98 Oxford St, Darlinghurst 2010 NSW 

Berkelouw Books

Australia’s largest and longest established new, secondhand and rare bookseller

A Sydney Institution, Berkelouw Books is the most successful and longest running bookshop. Though not necessarily indie – Berkelouw currently has 10 stores across Sydney, Eumundi and the Sunshine Coast – this establishment deserves a spot on our list due to its extensive selection of genres with a special interest in Children’s books as well as a hand-picked display of rare books.

Available at various locations

Better Read Than Dead

A modern bookstore in the heart of Newtown

Better Read Than Dead’s contemporary space, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and sky-lit mezzanine level create a respite from the busy King Street, luring readers to spend hours at this literary landmark. Discover a specially curated collection of books as well as regular author and community events.

265 King St Newtown 2042 NSW 

Bookoccino

Wide-ranging mix of titles over coffee and nibbles

Bookoccino presents a wide-ranging mix of titles from Australia and from around the world, including fiction, non-fiction, classics, biographies, travel, crime, food and wine, gardening, children’s books and of course the current best sellers and latest releases. Enjoy all these over a cup of coffee at the café.

37a Old Barrenjoey Rd, Avalon Beach 2107 NSW 

Gertrude & Alice

Quality contemporary fiction to obscure rarities

Gertrude & Alice bookstore Bondi Beach is a quirky oasis for writers, readers, coffee lovers and thespians alike. Enjoy an award-winning Campos coffee, mains with Middle Eastern touches and find that book you’ve been looking for.

1/46 Hall St, Bondi Beach 2026 NSW 

 

Gleebooks

Local authors, mainstream titles and elusive finds

Touted as Australia’s favourite indie bookstore, a trip to Gleebooks will have bookworms and movie lovers squealing in joy thanks to a miscellany of rare books and DVDs.

49 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe 2037 NSW 

Goulds Book Arcade

Mounds of genres and specialist areas

Goulds Book Arcade specialises in out-of-print books, publishers of the last 30 years, and second-hand books, catering to the general reader, students and some specialist areas like Australian history and politics.

32 King St, Newtown 2042 NSW

Harry Hartog

An independent bookstore vibe with children’s books and beyond

Owned by the Berkelow family, Harry Hartog firstly scores major points for its ambience. Along with that sits a range of children’s books and cards and gifts you won’t find elsewhere.

Available at various locations

Lesley McKay's Bookstore

From children’s books to biography titles

Lesley McKay’s Bookstore is a premier independent bookshop, hosting an extensive range of fiction, non-fiction and children’s books together with a wide selection of history and biography titles.

Spicer St, Woollahra, 2025 NSW 

Oscar & Friends

An attention to interesting and design-led books

Though small in size, you’ll be in here for hours. Other than the standard selection of genres, Oscar & Friends carries modern literature, art books dedicated to fashion, interior design and graphic design.

19-27 Cross St, Double Bay 2028 NSW  | Shop 35/277 Crown St Surry Hills 2010 NSW 

Potts Point Bookshop

Holds an extensive range in a quaint setting

A quaint bookstore that stocks a notable range of contemporary and classic fiction, biography, history, art, photography, design and cook books. Dig deeper and you’ll be surprised to find a large selection of children’s books from board books for babies to teenage fiction and everything in between.

14 Macleay St, Potts Point 2011 NSW 

Published Art

The latest and best titles for the design community

Open since 1999, Published Art has long been a haven for professional aestheticians stocked with a well-curated range of contemporary art, architecture, design and photography books for discerning professionals and students.

Shop 2, 38 Mary Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010

Sapphobook

Bookstore and café by day, wine and tapas bar by night

One of Sydney’s favourite second-hand bookstores, Sapphobook is a bookshop, café and bar thrown into one. Uncover over 30 000 titles and enjoy live music and monthly poetry events at this bustling spot.

51 Glebe Point Rd Glebe 2037 NSW 

AMPERSAND CAFE & BOOKSTORE

ARIEL BOOKSELLERS

BETTER READ THAN DEAD

BOOKOCCINO

GERTRUDE & ALICE

GLEEBOOKS

GOULDS BOOK ARCADE

LESLEY MCKAY'S BOOKSTORE

OSCAR & FRIENDS, Surry Hills

OSCAR & FRIENDS, Double Bay

POTTS POINT BOOKSHOP

PUBLISHED ART

SAPPHOBOOK

Logan Komorowski, United Strangers

Meet New Zealand-born and Guangzhou-based Logan Komorowski. As the Co-Founder and Creative Director of UNITED STRANGERS, he talks us through his idea of a modern furniture brand that celebrates recycled furniture and home accessories, and sheds light on a sustainable design process.

Logan Komorowski, United Strangers | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

Logan Komorowski’s passion for creating furniture from recycled materials struck when he was just fifteen years old. His first dabble was shortly after he dropped out of school and together with a bunch of his rugby mates started doing house demolition work. Logan filled his father’s garage with collected wood from the building sites. Eventually, he made some tables, sold them to family and friends, and started a company by the time he was sixteen years old. After a short stint in the USA, Logan studied product design in NZ, headed to China and landed a job as Head Creator with Halo by Timothy Oulton. It was there where Logan had the opportunity to explore every material and every idea, and then find the courage to go do it for himself.

It is probably not surprising that he co-founded United Strangers and under his title of Creative Designer, Logan has taken the brand from an idea to thirty-three stockists in thirteen countries in just five years. Known for repurposing bruised, battered and forgotten materials like aged brass and surplus army tents, United Strangers stands out because of the painstaking craftsmanship that goes into every piece of work. The result is a collection of timeless classics with a modern appeal and personal touches like hand stitched leather work and hand patina finishing.

We caught up with Logan while he was in Singapore launching the collection at Journey East. In this candid interview, Logan shares his love of furniture, unique design process, Singapore debut and thoughts on the future of the furniture industry.

What do you love about creating furniture and accessories?

I have a huge passion for the development process. I just got off the plane from Bali this morning and I found a new technique in Bali that I’ve never seen before so it is something that I want to try with our leather. I enjoy just trying to find a new way in doing something and use that on the production line.

In 2009, UNITED STRANGERS was created as a design company and in 2013 the brand started. How did UNITED STRANGERS come to be what it is today?

When we started the design company, I was still young and didn’t know the business side of things. I just knew the creative element and we did quite a few years of helping other companies build their brands. It got to a point where I knew I could do this for myself. At that time, I was surrounded by guys from France, NZ, China and Korea. We were just a bunch of strangers who came together to start the brand so even though I founded it, I had a lot of these guys around me to help get it off the ground. That’s how United Strangers came about.

Our brand has never been constrained to a specific look. Trends come and go and I just want to keep evolving. I didn’t want to be a brand that was pigeonholed into a certain look. So when I started United Strangers, I decided that it could be anything. When you say United Strangers it could be a record label, hotel business or anything. That’s the point with it; to keep having fun.

UNITED STRANGERS means “to be unique, to think differently and to create a world where everyone is welcome”. How have these values played out in developing the brand?

We have a tagline, “Some things mean everything to us” because there is a lot of stuff that gets discarded and maybe we can’t put it into a mass production but we can take elements of it. That takes us off in another direction. We start off with something we’ve found along the way. It might not be viable for mass production but there will be an element we’ll take out of it to recreate the process on a larger scale.

Tell us about your aesthetic ‘furniture with a twist’, what does that mean?

To run a workshop and have stores, you need to have an x amount of products which you know can move and sell. You need to have cabinets, tables, etc. but you also need to be able to produce those things that are a little different. For an example, the stitching on the Drum Round Coffee Table is done by hand. I want it to have some hand element, something that feels a little different or special. Or the hand-formed piece of brass on the Pilot Chair. Just to have a feel so that it doesn’t look like it has come out of the assembly line. It’s got to have soul to it.

Logan Komorowski, United Strangers | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

I’m not trying to make products that are so expensive that my age can’t buy. That’s the whole purpose. There’s too much high-end product and low-end mass produced product out there, so we’re trying to fit into that sweet spot in the middle.

You are a Kiwi based in China, how did that happen?

One of my friends from back home was doing charity work in China and asked me to join him. I was doing charity work for the first year in a very poor part of China back in 2003. We got put up into quarantine because of an outbreak of the SARS virus. We were in these tents in a small province and there was a guy who saw me sketching furniture. He had a house in Xianjin and told me to build furniture once I was out of quarantine. I started making some sofas there and moved back home after. When I was back in New Zealand, I thought, “What am I doing here?” so I moved back to China.

Tell us about the design process from concept to finished product.

A lot of designers would come up with the form and idea first but when you tend to work with your own manufacturing base, if you don’t think about how to manufacture the beginning, you can have huge issues. The development process could be five times longer.

Our approach is a bit more practical in the sense that it starts with the material. We think about what can be done with that material inside our manufacturing base and then we work on the final concept. There is a lot of work done in the background to get it to that point. Like the leather on our Pilot Chair. Even though it looks like a piece of leather, it’s a 13-day process of hand finishing of leather. It starts in a tiny tannery in Argentina. We bring it across to China and then we have to cut, stain, dye and hand finish it together with the brass elements. Every year we try to look for three or four new directions we can take.

So you base it on the materials you have and not the design element?

Yes, it always starts with the material. For an example, a piece of leather has the raw shape of a cow hide. If I design something with it and the wastage is 50% of the hide, no one is going to buy it. Then I can’t get to the people I’m trying to reach. I’m not trying to make products that are so expensive that my age can’t buy. That’s the whole purpose. There’s too much high-end product and low-end mass produced product out there, so we’re trying to fit into that sweet spot in the middle so it definitely starts with the material.

Logan Komorowski, United Strangers | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

Why is sustainability an important part of your process?

I think sustainability should be engrained in what everyone thinks. I don’t go out of my way to do it necessarily but it’s how I always found our materials and ideas. Maybe it’s the background coming from New Zealand. We’ve got a pretty green image down there and I think we should all be doing it. As long as we’ve got the ability, it’s not difficult. Definitely, it’s a lot harder than going to find a normal piece of wood and making a table but in the end, you can get a lot more out of your process in the long term. I don’t think it should be a selling point. It should be part of the company anyway.

You’ve collaborated with brands like Matt Blatt. How do you choose projects/collaborations?

We’re based in SEA and Southern China and traditionally Southern China is a place where you buy a thousand chairs at the cheapest price. So when I started out, I decided that I did not want to be that type of company. I just want to work with retailers that can give me a small in-store gallery of 80-100 sq.m. I don’t have to go out to find a retailer that buys a thousand pieces. I’m after a retailer that can give me a showroom space that I believe I can work with for the next 10-15 years.

The whole concept is to have in-store galleries, provide the business model, which is small volume so we are not taking up huge warehouse space, as that’s a waste of resources, energy, time and money. We are trying to create collections our retailers can buy in small volumes and in the end it helps everybody. We don’t have to hold too much stock, we can produce more containers for them quickly and it just has to feel right.

Who else have you collaborated with?

In terms of our product, we’re doing some interesting collaborations in Japan with a fashion company called Journal Standard, WeWork, a co-working space in New York and Airbnb. In terms of our showroom space, we have 33 around the world, in 14 countries. In America, we work with a company called Four Hands; Matt Blatt in Australia plus China is growing quite fast for us at the moment.

Your stockists are located all around the world, how much do you travel in your role?

I love to travel so I try to stand grounded at the workshop for 3-4 times a year for a solid month for the development process. The rest of the time is either furniture shows, travelling to get ideas or customers. I would say once a month I’m outside somewhere.

Journey East in Singapore has become one of your most recent stockists, what do you look for in a stockist?

I really think a big part of the furniture is the owners of the company. Especially in our type of niche industry, these owners love furniture. They are not in this for financial gain. Essentially, we are in a partnership together and partnerships go through hard and good times. So it’s a big thing to know if they’ve got a good history behind them and it just feels good.

I don’t have a strategy. If we try it for 2 years and the retailer decides to open a store, that’s great and if they want to do it slightly differently, we’ll do that. It’s an evolving thing. Gone are the days with big flagship stores everywhere. You have to keep evolving.

Journey East is 22 years old now. They’ve been through a lot to keep the company going. So you just know, with a company that has got that kind of history and when you meet them and get the feeling of how they talk about furniture, it’s not just about the product they are selling. I met Terence and Anita before the Shanghai furniture show in 2016 and we didn’t really talk about furniture for the first hour. And that tends to be how most of our retailers come about. And once we have a good retail base, we don’t look for anyone else.

Logan Komorowski, United Strangers | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

"In my travels, I can only count on one hand the stores I walk into and say, 'This is a great furniture experience and this is what a furniture store should be.' I think in the future, your retail store is going to become a showroom for your online store. Enough people aren’t thinking that way and it’s a little crazy because everything is bought online."

In your opinion, what’s the future of retail and in particular how is retail changing for the furniture industry?

Obviously, online is going to start playing a bigger part. If you look at the furniture retail game at the moment, a lot of stores are going to die in the next 2 or 3 years, as the rents are too high. And especially with our generation, we’ve done our time with IKEA products. We’ve gone through our first window where we’ve bought our first flat or house and then we start earning a bit more money and want to individualise the house.

That is where the retail stores have to hit and I think there’s not enough that are doing a good job. I don’t know about Singapore but in my travels, I can only count on one hand the stores I walk into and say, “This is a great furniture experience and this is what a furniture store should be.” I think in the future, your retail store is going to become a showroom for your online store. Enough people aren’t thinking that way and it’s a little crazy because everything is bought online.

Maybe my mother’s generation is never going to buy furniture online but if you can build credibility with the brand or if you’ve walked into a store and say “Yes, I know that brand and I trust them,” they’re going to buy it online. If they know it is going to be delivered in 48 hours, they’re going to shop online. So the showroom is going to be more of a support to the online store.

Retail stores have to also provide an amazing experience. I think there’s no reason why we can’t have a cool café in places like the Journey East’s showroom, there’s no reason why on Friday night we can’t have a guy pumping some music in the corner. There has to be some different elements.

I know that United Strangers can’t take an 800 sq. m. space to make the store interesting but what happens if we make an indie line of organic products from India or something that is completely different from United Strangers? I think that’s what brands have to start doing. My job in the backend is the keep providing a certain culture and trend and put that into all the stores.

What’s next for UNITED STRANGERS?

We have a Las Vegas show next week, for the launch of a new product and a Shanghai show in September. We also have two new showrooms opening in Japan next month and a new workshop in Vietnam in October. The workshop in Vietnam will focus on more wood elements. We are also looking at providing a long-term experience to connect with partners and focus on what each market and customer need.

Shop The Story

Pilot Chair | United Strangers | Logan Komorowski, United Strangers | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

United Strangers

Pilot Chair

Drum Coffee Round | United Strangers | Logan Komorowski, United Strangers | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

United Strangers

Drum Side Table (Round)

Urban Sofa | United Strangers | Logan Komorowski, United Strangers | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

United Strangers

Urban Sofa

Brooklyn Living Cabinet | United Strangers | Logan Komorowski, United Strangers | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

United Strangers

Brooklyn Living Cabinet

United Strangers is currently stocked at Journey East.

#03-02 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road, Singapore 169074

All images courtesy of Journey East and United Strangers.

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