Paddington has been in the spotlight from the time of its convict and working class roots to its current status as one of the Inner City’s chicest suburbs. For renters who want a great lifestyle close to the Sydney CBD, Paddington ticks all the boxes.
Oxford Street is the suburb’s nerve centre, winding its way from Bondi Junction and the vast green expanse of Centennial Park at one end, to Hyde Park and the city at the other end. Glenmore Road and Fiveways are also shopping and dining hotspots, and William and Elizabeth Streets are home to European style boutiques that stock tempting luxury fashion and knick-knacks.
Paddington’s stylish strip shopping has always been one of its main claims to fame. After a temporary downturn caused by parking restrictions and competition from larger retail developments, local area retail is blooming again. The Australian Fashion Precinct at Glenmore Road champions local designers, and Paddington Markets in the grounds of the Uniting Church continues to be a shopping mainstay, its stalls overflowing every Saturday with unique clothes, jewellery, homewares and accessories.
For groceries and everyday staples, there’s a Woolworths Metro store at Five Ways, as well as plenty of mini-markets along Oxford Street.
The drinking and dining options are endless in Paddington, where style is everything – even the pub crawl has had a makeover here. Bar-hoppers are truly spoiled for choice with trendy drinking holes (where you can also usually get an exceptional meal) dotted everywhere from the main drag to the leafy back streets. Trattorias, bistros and restaurants with cuisines of every kind can be found all the way along Oxford Street and at Five Ways.
The Chauvel Cinema plus the huge number of independent art galleries and bookshops will satisfy even the keenest of culture vultures. A much needed break from the hustle and bustle can be had in Reservoir Gardens – an urban oasis in the heart of Oxford Street where locals sit and chat with a takeaway coffee and a BYO bite among the unique architecture.
Paddington living is all about the terrace house. There are hundreds of terraces in every shape, size and style. Most are character filled and retain original features such as fireplaces and lacework balconies.
Some units, townhouses and larger freestanding houses are dotted around the suburb, but they’re in the minority and there’s much less choice in those categories of accommodation.
Current average rents in Paddington are $1,500 pw for a three-bedroom house and $750 pw for a two-bedroom unit.
There are plenty of buses from Paddington into the city, as well as in the other direction to Bondi Junction and the eastern beaches.
Happily, the traffic flow along Oxford Street during peak commuter periods has been vastly improved with the introduction of express bus services and dedicated bus lanes. Barring unusually heavy traffic, you’ll be in the CBD within 10 or 15 minutes.
As an alternative, walking to work from Paddington is entirely possible as well as being a great way to get exercise and avoid the traffic.
Paddington also has a significant number of empty nesters and downsizers looking to rent or buy in the area, having come from larger homes in outlying suburbs that are now too big for their needs.
For families, Paddington is also a great option – lots of its streets (especially at the non-city end) are quieter and calmer than other Inner City suburbs and there’s a feeling of safety.
Paddington is in the public schools catchment area for Paddington and Glenmore Road Public Schools. Access to private and selective high schools in neighbouring suburbs is also a drawcard, including Sydney Girls and Boys High Schools, Ascham, SCEGGS and Sydney Grammar.