The inner west starts at the beginning of Parramatta Road near Sydney University and takes in the historic suburbs of Glebe and Balmain. Glebe has retained many of its grand Victorian homes, Federation houses and modest workers’ cottages, and has a reputation as an alternative suburb. With its arty flair, in complete contrast to its previous population of dockland workers, Balmain sits on a peninsula in Port Jackson, adjacent to the suburbs of Rozelle to the south-west, Birchgrove to the north-west and Balmain East.
Once a predominantly working-class suburb, Glebe has become more refined over the years. With Sydney University close by, you can find excellent bookshops, lively cafes and some great weekend markets here.
Its leafy streets lined with old weatherboard houses, Victorian terraces and the occasional mansion, Glebe is a fabulous area to explore on foot. At the far end of Glebe Point Road are the Glebe foreshore parks, which feature landscaped walks with views of Blackwattle Bay and Anzac Bridge.
Tucked away on its own little peninsula, Balmain is another suburb of quaint houses, stepped lanes and harbour views. The main shopping centre is in Darling Street, a lively area with cafes, boutiques and top-quality shops. Quickly and easily reached by ferry, this is another suburb that is best seen on foot.