As iconic in its time as the Opera House, this beautiful colonnaded sandstone Victorian palazzo (built 1874) was once Sydney’s General Post Office. It has since been gutted, stabbed with office towers and transformed into swanky shops, restaurants and bars, along with a hotel. Inspired by Italian Renaissance palaces, architect James Barnet caused a minor fracas by basing the faces carved on the sandstone facade on local identities. Queen Victoria dominates the central white-marble statuary, surrounded by allegorical figures.

Under a staircase in the basement there is a small historical display and a pipe housing the dribbling remnants of the Tank Stream.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby City Centre & Haymarket attractions

1. Martin Place

0.04 MILES

Studded with imposing edifices, long lean Martin Place was closed to traffic in 1971, forming a terraced pedestrian mall complete with fountains and areas…

2. 5 Martin Place

0.06 MILES

Built in 1916 to be the headquarters for the then-state-owned Commonwealth Bank, 12-storey 5 Martin Place was Australia’s first steel-framed ‘skyscraper’…

3. State Savings Bank Building

0.15 MILES

The Commonwealth Bank has taken over the old State Savings Bank building: it’s a beautiful example of interwar beaux-arts architecture, featuring green…

4. Wynyard Park

0.16 MILES

Above Wynyard train station is this rare wedge of downtown greenery. Surrounded by skyscrapers and spindly plane trees, it has a certain Manhattan vibe to…

5. Australia Square


Generally acknowledged as Australia’s first major office tower, Australia Square (1968) was designed by archi-phenomenon Harry Seidler. His 50-storey…

6. Sydney Tower Eye

0.21 MILES

The 309m-tall Sydney Tower (still known as Centrepoint by many Sydneysiders) offers unbeatable 360-degree views from the observation level 250m up. The…

7. State Theatre

0.23 MILES

The ostentatiously ornate State (1929) is Sydney’s most beautiful theatre. Originally built as a movie palace during Hollywood’s heyday, it’s now a…

8. St James’ Church

0.23 MILES

Built from convict-made bricks, Sydney’s oldest church (1819) is widely considered to be architect Francis Greenway's masterpiece. It was originally…