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Balmain’s historical soul is grounded in working-class culture as it was not that long ago it was primarily the home for working families. In fact, it was in Balmain that the Australian Labor Party was formed in 1891.

Balmain has a rich industrial background and was home to coal mines, shipbuilding, metal foundries, boiler making, engineering and soap factories. Because of this tiny cottages were built and rented to the workers. Today they have been restored and enjoy a new and grander life.

Henry Parkes Residence Hampton Villa
Photo © Hpeterswald

Thankfully, Balmain respects its heritage which is now enjoyed a wide cross-section of locals, local enterprises as well as tourists and visitors.
Balmain is only 6km west of the Sydney CBD in inner-city and it lies on a peninsula jutting into Sydney Harbour and surrounding suburbs are Rozelle, Birchgrove, Iron Cove, White Bay, and Mort Bay.

balmain sydney photo
Photo Balmain & Glebe Heritage

Darling Street

One of Sydney’s most interesting shopping strips.

Take a walk on Saturdays from Balmain to the Rozelle Markets. You’ll pass high fashion shops, stores with handmade jewelry, shops with shoes from Europe and unconventional fashion designs. There are stunning collections women’s designer wear at Strelitzia and the Saturday Balmain Markets for recycled fashion, pre-loved books and music, antiques and collectibles.

balmain sydney photo
Photo Helen K
balmain sydney photo
Photo jemasmith

Selected Balmain Attractions

Balmain Market
St Andrews Church
217 Darling Street Balmain
8am to 4 pm Saturdays
Ph 0451 637 701
140 stalls with high-quality art and craft, jewelry, bric-a-brac, books, clothing, footwear, antiques and collectibles, organic fruit and vegetables.

Rozelle Collectors Market
Rozelle School 663 Darling St Rozelle 2039
Ph 0402 666 272 (On Saturday & Sunday call 0478 015 203)
Every Saturday and Sunday 9am to 4pm.
Everything from bric a brac, furniture, records and books to vintage clothing and jewelry. Garage sale stalls are a specialty as are antiques and collectibles. All the ingredients are there for the seriously creative or just the practical bargain hunters. There’s a great selection of international food, a massage for the weary and even tarot readings for the curious.

Goat Island
Simmons Street
Balmain East, NSW 2041
Goat Island has long been a significant place in Port Jackson. The island, known as Me-mel by the local Cadigal people, was once inhabited by Bennelong and Barangaroo.
Since European settlement, Goat Island played an important and fascinating role in the development of Sydney’s cityscape. In the 1800s, the island was used as a home for convict work gangs and as a gunpowder storage depot.


Selected Balmain Shopping Destinations

489 Darling Street, Balmain, NSW 2041
Ph 02 9810 8855
Destination fashion store for all Sydney stylistas.
Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm, Saturday 9.30am – 5.30pm and Sunday 11am – 5pm

The Source Bulk Foods
262 Darling Street Balmain,
NSW 2041 Ph 02 9810 0095
Heaven for those looking to nourish nutrition, health and the environment with over 350 raw products lining the walls of this eco-savvy store.
Open Monday-Friday 9am-6:30pm (Thursday open till 7:30pm), Saturday & Sunday 9am-5pm Check the Facebook page for public holiday opening hours.

Selected Balmain Accommodation

“A Waterside Enclave”
Private home at Birchgrove
Birchgrove Road, Birchgrove, NSW 2041
Ph 02 9358 2655 Mobile: 0448 700 199
Beautifully renovated home with original charm, catering for family living and entertaining with sweeping open plan living and spectacular harbour views.

Balmain Wharf Apartments
10 Darling St Balmain East
Ph Seint 02 9810 4319 (9am to 5pm)
“Balmain Wharf Apartments are a boutique block of just four luxury apartments in a heritage 1840’s sandstone building. Originally the Shipwright’s Arms Hotel for 140 years, the interiors have been refurbished in designer comfort and luxury mod cons. Only 1 km to Circular Quay or Darling Harbour, our unique harbour location and proximity to the ferry service offers a perfect base from which to explore Sydney’s attractions. The ferry from Balmain East Wharf is the most scenic and convenient public transport Sydney has to offer. All our apartments have views and a balcony looking out to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.” BALMAIN WHARF APARTMENTS


Selected Balmain Restaurants and Cafes

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Contessa – Cafe/Restaurant
371b Darling Street, Balmain 2041
Ph 02 9555 7399
Open for breakfast and lunch 7 days a week.Casual dining cafe/restaurant bringing a unique slice of New York City cool to Balmain.

“Contessa is a casual dining cafe/restaurant which brings a unique slice of New York City cool to the streets of Balmain. Located on Darling Street and open for breakfast and lunch 7 days a week, Contessa offers a vibrant meeting place for locals and visitors alike to get together and enjoy quality food, beautiful coffee and an exceptional service.” CONTESSA


Bertoni Restaurant

281 Darling Street, Balmain NSW 2041
Ph 0458 011 404
“Our store is a local favourite known for its service, coffee & quality of food.
Our talented kitchen staff are always busy preparing fresh dishes including our famous as well as our classic salads, pastas and sweets.”

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Blue Ginger Restaurant
241 Darling Street, Balmain NSW 2041
Ph 02 9818 4662
A casual style with a buzzy ambiance, it is one of the most popular Asian restaurant in the inner-west.

Cantina Bar
350 Darling Street, Balmain NSW 2039
Ph 02 9810 0086
Menu features Central American street food.

Efendy Restaurant
79 Elliott Street, Balmain NSW 2041
Ph 02 9810 5466
Modern, authentic Turkish cuisine in a vibrant and fun atmosphere.
Dinner Tuesday to Sunday. Lunch Friday to Sunday. Breakfast Sunday only

Indian Palace

235 Darling St, Balmain NSW 2041
Ph 02 9818 3272
Fresh authentic selection from one of the most extensive Indian restaurant menus.


379 Darling Street Balmain NSW 2041
Ph 02 9555 7067
Kazbah’s menus reflect owners Zahi and Penny Azzi


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