Haymarket precinct

Haymarket is home to Sydney’s vibrant Chinatown as well as Thaitown, Koreatown, Railway Square and Darling Square.

Crowds walk underneath a decorative gate and colourful paper lanterns in the Haymarket precinct.

Haymarket is a unique and distinctive part of Sydney. It has a special urban character that is lively, diverse and ever changing, characterised by dining and shopping, and a popular destination for locals and tourists.

Haymarket has historic links with Chinese culture and community. The growing influence of other Asian cultures and communities adds to an increasing diversity of shops and restaurants throughout the area.

Plans to revitalise Haymarket

A long-term plan to breathe new life into Haymarket and Chinatown is underway. The multi-million-dollar vision sees key projects focus on activating and improving streets and public spaces, shopfronts, parks and lighting.

In December 2023, Council endorsed the Haymarket and Chinatown revitalisation strategy and Haymarket and Chinatown public domain plan after extensive consultation with the community.

Priority projects complete or underway

  • Preparing designs for Dixon Street's update
  • Restoring and heritage listing the Chinatown ceremonial gates
  • Transforming George Street south
  • Improving Thomas, Hay and Barlow streets and Ultimo Road
  • Waiving outdoor dining fees until 2025
  • Revitalising the area with major events like Sydney Lunar New Year and Sydney Streets
  • Heritage listing the Kwong War Chong building at 82-84 Dixon Street in 2020
  • Supporting the precinct's branding, funded by the NSW Government's Uptown Accelerator Grant
  • Supporting the new Museum of Chinese in Australia (MOCA) with grant funding
  • Sponsoring SXSW Sydney, a week-long tech, innovation and culture event in Darling Harbour and Haymarket in October 2023.

Haymarket precinct news

Stay up-to-date on projects and initiatives in the area.

An entrepreneur holding plates of food in a restaurant in Haymarket.

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City of Sydney News

Couple enjoying a Sydney Lunar Festival event

Markets, events and activations

Sydney Lunar Festival is the largest Lunar New Year celebration outside mainland China – with a street festival in Haymarket, daily lion dancing performances, delicious food and over 60 events in January and February.

The famous Friday Night Markets on Dixon Street are one of Sydney’s most popular late-night shopping hotspots. Showcasing local designers, delicious Asian street food and unique products.

The restaurants, cafes and bars provide theatre goers at Capitol Theatre, tourists staying in surrounding hotels and backpackers hostels, city residents and workers late-night food and entertainment options. Arts and cultural organisations such as Gallery 4A and the Museum of Chinese in Australia, help define the precinct as a cultural hub.

What’s On

Planning and development

Haymarket is continuously changing with major developments nearby such as universities in Ultimo, Darling Harbour and potential development at Central precinct, part of the NSW Government’s innovation precinct, Tech Central. Our plans for a new public place at Central, described in the city south public domain plan, are part of our vision for this area.

Chinatown is designated a Special Character Area, with planning rules in place to retain and enhance the unique character of the area. The Haymarket and Chinatown revitalisation strategy proposes a review of planning rules to allow more freedom and cultural expression in building signs and lighting, and to encourage renewal of smaller buildings as a point of difference from other areas of the city. A new grant program will incentivise improvements to buildings and shopfronts on Dixon Street south.

The Haymarket and Chinatown public domain plan recommends priority projects to improve the streets and parks, including the Dixon Street upgrade and restoration of the Chinatown Ceremonial Gates.

Our Central Sydney planning strategy identifies areas to the north and south of Haymarket as key areas for employment growth. Changes to planning rules are supporting more development in these areas.