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Welcome To Our City

A Step Back In Time

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. The area was rich and fertile, it offered a source of food and a place to gather.  

Reflecting its rich history since colonisation, 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. Hidden in a typical suburban street lies Elizabeth Farm, the oldest surviving European dwelling in Australia, that is now a hands-on museum. 

You can join one of our hosts and guides on a CBD walking tour, taking in highlights of Parramatta’s past and uncovering it’s hidden history. Find out more at Discover Parramatta

New Beginnings

In 1788, when Governor Arthur Phillip found the Sydney colony dangerously close to starvation, an expedition revealed that the Parramatta River foreshore was an ideal place to provide sustenance to the less resource-rich settlement of Sydney. With this, convicts and new settlers moved to the area and Parramatta was established as a thriving community.

From its early beginnings, Parramatta is an eclectic mix of history, people and food, with significant landmarks speckled throughout the buzzing streets. 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.
 

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Our City Today

Parramatta is brimming with diversity, producing its own unique and genuine charm.

Style seekers, foodies, art aficionados, and culturepreneurs are witnessing Parramatta emerge as a distinct dining and coffee destination and as a hub for a burgeoning events, performance and arts scene. Year round, there is something new to discover.

A burgeoning city of variability, Parramatta promises a decidedly chic and modern atmosphere, abuzz with the energy of its multinational community. It’s the people who live, work, study and visit here that make Parramatta a vibrant, cosmopolitan community. 

Being welcoming, imaginative, fun and stimulating is the fabric that underpins Parramatta’s individuality.  
 

Eat + Drink

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

You’d need a lot more than 24 hours to sample the city’s best eats, many of which are uniquely Parramatta. With nearly half of its residents born outside Australia, this makes for a culinary wonderland where both locals and visitors can literally choose a different cuisine every night. 

As Parramatta continues to expand so does its love for coffee, with countless cafes popping up everywhere. 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 in 2018.
 

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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 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 Australia Day, 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.