Given that Darlinghurst is home to Sydney's annual Mardi Gras parade, it's fair to say that this is an out, proud and loud gay neighbourhood. From morning till night there are heaps of places to go to find fun, whether that be the energetic partying kind or the relaxing with a cuppa kind. The city and the Harbour are both less than 20 minutes walk away, too, and there's easy access to public transport.
If there's one thing you won't find in Darlinghurst, it's yourself going hungry. There are a wealth of great cafes and restaurants in which to dine, particularly in the evening. Hit up Sagra for elegant Italian food, Brick Lane for modern Subcontinental cooking or Chaco, a pocket-sized Japanese joint offering very fresh ingredients at reasonable prices (but get there early).
You know when the clock strikes 2am and you're on the hunt for ragù because you may or may not have had a certain amount to drink… No? Well, if you do find yourself in aforementioned position, look no further than hip-hop Italian joint Big Poppa’s – the only place in Sydney where you can get a cocktail and a decent ragù in the wee hours. Also worth hanging around is underground Western saloon Shady Pines.
Up until recently, it was the party capital, though lockout laws (that see venues forced to shut their doors between 1.30 and 2am) have made the area reform its wild ways. When gentrification closes a nightclub, it opens a yoga studio – and you’ll find plenty of boutique wellness options around, as well as upscale shops and small commercial galleries. Darlinghurst is also the centre of Sydney’s theatre community, home to playhouses the Stables (where Griffin Theatre stages new Australian works) and the Eternity Theatre (home of Darlinghurst Theatre Co).
Those with furry four-legged friends will do well in Darlinghurst. A fair few hotels welcome dogs, including the stylish Medusa. If you're flying solo or with humans only, check-in at the boutique Kirketon.
Though Oxford Street is Darlinghurst’s main drag, its most essential strip is Crown Street. Follow the road up into Surry Hills for cafés by the dozen, designer boutiques and perfectly pampered pooches.