Living in Newtown

Newtown is an Inner-West suburb close to Sydney CBD and the University of Sydney's main campus. It's a highly recommended area with a vigorous and multicultural atmosphere but a bit of a weary look about it.

Housing

Generally accommodation in Newtown costs comparatively lower than its neighbor districts Broadway, Ultimo and Sydney CBD. It is a suburb that has newly built apartments sitting alongside old style houses. In addition, Newtown is a gallery of other architectural styles from the typical Newtown and Victorian-era terraced houses to cottages and mansions. Plus there are a number of motels, hostels, and hotels providing acceptable prices for tourists and short term stays. Because of the close distance to the university, accommodation in Newtown is up for grabs every January and is snapped up very quickly.

People

Newtown is a pioneer of embracing the multiculturalism which Sydney is well known for worldwide. All kinds nationalities can be found here and you will here a variety of languages and accents spoken in the area. Tourists all over the world come here too to find products from their continent here.

Local Australians including indigenous people form a large group of residents of Newtown. Overseas students of the University of Sydney count for another big group. Punks are commonly seen in this suburb and they largely contribute to the sharp colors on the street.

Pubs, Clubs and Entertainment

Newtown is a popular area for club-goers and non-mainstream film fans. Hub theatre in Newtown does not frequently show Hollywood movies unless they are really big ones. Instead, it puts on smaller, independent and international films.

Different clubs along the main road, King Street, have various and interesting themes and designs, although they often are considered to be the punk genre. But people in these clubs come from every sects of the society from white-collars work in the CBD to retired ones live in the aged terraces minutes walk away.

Another distinguishable feature of Newtown is the graffiti which includes murals dedicated to Martin Luther King, the Sydney Heral and the Last Supper along with many others. Despite being graffiti, they are the work of greatly skilled artists and contribute to Newtown's reputation as an artsy suburb.

Parks

There are a few small parks in Newtown which are not well facilitated or organized. The parks are usually attached to residential accommodation down the side roads from King Street.

Shops, Restaurants and Takeaways

As a suburb heavy on colour and culture you can find lots of quirky shops in the area. There seem to be a number of shops selling Buddhist religious items. Also there are shops selling small imported items all over the world, of which a large proportion is from Africa. But the prices of these products are usually not cheap.

There is no major shopping mall in Newtown although the Newtown Plaza connects with the train station. In it there are small news agency shops and food shops. Newtown is not the place to be if you are looking for international brands. Boutiques here sell imported dresses from Nepal, India, Morocco and many other countries. There are also some small shops which have works by local designers.

Newtown is rich in restaurants offering international cuisine including Thai, Indian, Japanese, Turkish, Italian, Greek, Mexican and African. People drive a long way to Newtown to sample the different kinds of food available. Fast food giants have not set up shop in Newtown but take away shops are available opening late at night.

Transportation

Newtown is a stop on the Inner-West train line, two stations after Redfern towards the west. It is sometimes reported that crimes happen at the station at night.

Bus services are also available in Newtown, including buses between Sydney CBD, the University of Sydney and further Inner-West suburbs. These bus services are run late at night till around 11.30pm. Only one bus route, the 370, connects Glebe, the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales, although it detours a bit.

Street parking is possible on some weekdays but not as many at night as many people go to Newtown for dinners and clubbing. There don't seem to be many taxis in Newtown and those that you do see will seldom be vacant.

Good Points

  • Rich in culture, fashion, art and cuisine
  • Close to universities and Sydney CBD
  • Handy transportation

Bad Points

  • Safety issues especially at night
  • Not many banks in the area
  • Not considered as clean as it once was

Areas of Sydney

  • Bondi Beach
    Great for beach lovers but pretty and popular and therefore expensive.
  • Chatswood
    Multicultural area close to the city centre has everything you may need.
  • Coogee
    A lively area with a good beach and lots to do, day and night.
  • Darlinghurst
    Accepting of all types of people and lively at all hours of the night.
  • Glebe
    An artsy, multicultural suburb filled with students and backpackers.
  • Haymarket and Chinatown
    Asian influences abound in this lively area.
  • King's Cross
    Some would say seedy and dodgy but good for a cheap night out.
  • Manly
    Beautiful suburb with beaches, surf and a laid back lifestyle.
  • Newtown
    Crammed with funky clothing stores, cafes and bars playing live music.
  • Randwick
    Nice, relaxed area that is close enough to the beach.
  • Surry Hills
    Close to the centre of Sydney and full of character.

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