If we were feeling cynical, we might say that the purpose-built Entertainment Quarter is a vacuous, self-perpetuating specimen of lightweight global commercialism, but we’ll try to restrain ourselves. Instead, we’ll just say that its palm-lined avenues, two cinemas, bowling alley, family-friendly eateries, playground and markets are a good distraction for the kids. There are a few drinking establishments for the adults too. Fox Studios (where The Matrix and two Star Wars prequels were filmed) is next door.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Sydney attractions

1. Moore Park

0.44 MILES

Part of the broader Centennial Parklands (a huge green swathe that cuts from Surry Hills to Bondi), Moore Park covers 115 hectares south of Paddington…

2. Victoria Barracks

0.61 MILES

A manicured vision from the peak of the British Empire (built 1841 to 1848), these Georgian army barracks have been called the finest of their kind in the…

3. Centennial Park

0.66 MILES

Scratched out of the sand in 1888 in grand Victorian style, Sydney’s biggest park is a rambling 189-hectare expanse full of horse riders, joggers,…

4. Paddington Reservoir Gardens

0.66 MILES

Opened to much architectural acclaim in 2008, this impressive park makes use of Paddington's long-abandoned 1866 water reservoir, incorporating the brick…

5. Juniper Hall

0.68 MILES

Australia’s oldest villa (1824), this restored Georgian mansion was built by Robert Cooper with profits from his gin business (he named it after the…

6. Brett Whiteley Studio

0.72 MILES

Acclaimed local artist Brett Whiteley (1939–1992) lived fast and without restraint. Many of his multimillion-dollar paintings were created in this hard-to…

7. Queen Street

0.74 MILES

Despite its status as the premier antique-shopping strip in Australia (the first shop opened in 1957), tree-lined Queen St retains a village vibe, with…

8. Federation Pavilion

0.81 MILES

Among the wide formal avenues of Centennial Park is the domed Federation Pavilion – the spot where Australia was officially proclaimed a nation (on 1…