Feature: A Suburb Like Alex

The warehouses of Alexandria, at one time Australia's largest industrial district, were once the unflattering first glimpse that many visitors got of Sydney as their cab drove them from airport to city. These days, though, there's all sorts going on in this up-and-coming area. Groundbreaking cafes, smart food culture, renovated pubs, creative industries and a range of outlet stores make it well worth discovering. Note that the distance between reconstructed areas makes cycling a good option here.

Marrickville

Once the slightly frumpy western neighbour of Newtown and Enmore, the suburb of Marrickville has gradually attracted bohemians, artists, students and kooks forced out of Newtown by rising rents. Alongside a great set of pubs and bars (some of which host live music), cafes are Marrickville's new claim to fame. We suggest you explore the neighbourhood under your own steam. Jump off the train at Marrickville station, turn right and head up Illawarra Rd.