The Rocks area guide

Restaurants, bars, shops and events in the Rocks

Museum of Contemporary Art in The Rocks
Photograph: Hamilton Lund; Destination NSWMuseum of Contemporary Art in The Rocks

Tourist-friendly it remains, but the big news out of the Rocks is that it's no longer off-limits to locals. A higher concentration on fine grain creativity has enriched this historic part of Sydney and today its famous cobblestones regularly come alive for visitors of all ages and tastes.

There's still high-class restaurantshistoric pubs, curio shops selling Australiana and rustic cafes galore but now local artisans also sell their independent wares from pop-up shops, troubadours busk from corners and burlesque performers set up their red-light delights in the many alleyways and coves.

Community gatherings are also plentiful hereabouts – the Rocks' Friday night markets are thriving and street festivals devoted to music, coffee, beer, light installations and more activate throughout the year. It's now common for culture vultures hitting the nearby Opera House and Walsh Bay theatres to wet their whistles, fill their bellies and fuel their conversations in The Rocks before and after shows. And why not? With zillion dollar views across the Harbour, ferry, bus and train connections close by and surprises around every corner, the Rocks is rocking once more.

The Rocks highlights

A pub crawl through The Rocks

A pub crawl through The Rocks

Susannah Place Museum

Susannah Place Museum