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City Lifestyle

Calling Parramatta Home

Parramatta is an eclectic mix of history, people and food, with significant landmarks speckled throughout the buzzing streets. It is unique in the number of countries and languages represented within the City and surrounding region. With significant populations of Chinese and Indian residents, it makes for a rich and cosmopolitan community. 

It’s the people who live, work, study and visit here that make Parramatta vibrant and multi-faceted. As the traditional Australian dream evolves, professionals and young families are recognising that you can access quality housing and a global job market; you can raise children in a more traditional setting, and find all the amenities that people need for shopping, transport and jobs. Parramatta’s multicultural character is a reflection of Greater Sydney, with more of an openness and a harmony.

My city, my story

Parramatta is a place of stories. So perhaps it’s not surprising that locals score Parramatta highly on the indicators for happiness, a metric which economists and social scientists now place increasing significance in their research.

Embracing the adventurous spirit that underpinned its early days, Parramatta is creating a city for the future by giving people the option to pursue their dreams. Its residents love the City and are contributing to a diverse, harmonious and vibrant place – a new story for the City’s future.

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Urban Living

As cities grow, often its green spaces contract. City of Parramatta Council's CBD strategy responds to this issue with future planning retaining the established green space the city is so proud of. The strategy recognises the importance of Parramatta’s natural assets and vibrant public spaces where everyone can come together, meet and actively participate in our City.

Among the crowning jewels of reserved green parklands is Parramatta Park. Its gardens, grassy hills and historic buildings draw a cross-section of the community from mother’s groups to workers, tourists and fitness groups. It also includes Lake Parramatta Reserve, now open for swimming and Parramatta River, a destination in its own right as well as a scenic thoroughfare. 

The flat surrounds and connected cycleways of the City and suburbs make it the perfect place to get around by walking or on bike. Dedicated bike paths promote happier, healthier lifestyles for residents, workers and tourists. In fact, now it is possible to walk and cycle away from traffic for almost 20km on a path network between Parramatta Park and Sydney Olympic Park via Parramatta CBD.

Eat + Drink

An increase in workers, students and residents means an explosion of diversity in the Parramatta dining scene. Sydney icons Bourke Street Bakery, Gelato Messina and Neil Perry's Burger Project, alongside Jamie’s Italian are tapping into the emerging food and cultural scene. 

Whether you’re heading down a laneway, or just trying to grab a few minutes away from the office, you’re sure to come across a barista serving up some solid caffeine hits. Locals won’t give away all their secrets – after all, half the fun is finding some of these hidden spots on your own.

At night, the city comes alive. While the restaurants buzz, there are a few other places to explore when you want to celebrate at night. From local favourites Bavarian Bier Café and Woolpack Hotel, to Uncle Kurt’s, Parramatta’s first small bar, there are an abundance of places to explore after dark. V by Crown champions Parramatta’s highest bar, Sky Bar, nestled more than 100 metres above ground level and due to open later this year.

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Healthy Living

Our City is filled with great spaces and facilities to be and stay active. City of Parramatta Council offer access to a broad range of diverse, free or low-cost and accessible recreational opportunities through its active and healthy programs for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. 

Active and healthy living can help you to lose weight, build strong muscles and bones, improve your mental health and provide opportunities to interact and connect with others. Visit the City on any given day and you'll see workers and residents participating in running groups, cycling along dedicated bike paths or practicing yoga in Centenary Square. 

World Heritage-listed Parramatta Park, with its strong connection to the region's Aboriginal history, offers magical views of the Parramatta River, heritage buildings, wildlife and gardens. Here you'll see cyclists of all skill levels enjoying the 3.2km loop cycle lane, that also connects to cycle paths leading alongside the Parramatta River and all the way to Sydney Olympic Park. Walkers and runners also appreciate the Park's natural assets beside dedicated walkways – all within walking distance of the Parramatta CBD. 

See + Do

Parramatta is a hub of activity all year round and boasts a rich and vibrant cultural scene. Creativity in countless forms can be found all around the area, some of it loud and proud, some of it harder to find. One thing's for certain: the search is well worth it.

One great way to begin exploring the city and its artistic flair is with a self-guided walking tour of Parramatta's public art. A number of innovative and thought-provoking artworks are scattered throughout the CBD, and many represent an artistic impression of the physical, cultural and historic significance of their location; it's a gallery visit and history lesson rolled into one. 

After a bite to eat on Church Street, catch a show at Riverside Theatres, Western Sydney's premiere performing arts venue. Located on the banks of Parramatta River, the theatre plays host to many of Australia's leading performing-arts companies. When the multi-use Western Sydney stadium reopens in 2019, a broader range of sports and large-scale outdoor entertainment and events will bring a new buzz to the City.

Each year we showcase incredible moments of celebration with a range of partners from the multi-award winning Parramatta Lanes Festival to Parramasala, Lunar New Year Festival and the much loved Winterlight Festival. There's also the annual Sydney Festival and Tropfest short film festival to look forward to. Our annual program of signature events and festivals and the way we activate our City every day are an expression of Parramatta's diversity.

Heritage

Parramatta is considered one of the most historically significant places in Australia.
 
Long before European settlement, the Darug people were known to have occupied the Sydney basin for more than 40,000 years. Of these, the Burramattagal clan lived at the head of the Parramatta River.
 
Parramatta's cultural tapestry spans over 229 years, providing a rich and compelling history for our burgeoning city's foundation and anticipated growth. The Parramatta River Walk tracks a historic river landscape, from Governor Phillip's 1788 landing point, the 1839 Lennox Bridge and Parramatta Park.

Reflecting its rich history, Parramatta contains many significant heritage buildings and significant landmarks which are scattered within the CBD grid. The centre of Parramatta is home to well-known historical places such as Old Government House and Experiment Farm Cottage. Also hidden in a typical suburban street lies Elizabeth Farm, the oldest surviving European dwelling in Australia and home to the influential and controversial family of John and Elizabeth Macarthur, pioneers of the Australian wool industry. Now, it is a hands-on museum allowing visitors to sit down in front of the drawing room fire, relax on the veranda and explore the house as if it were their own.

City of Parramatta's hosts and guides can take you on a walking tour taking in highlights of Parramatta's past, uncovering the city's hidden history. Find out more at Discover Parramatta