Walking on Oxford street makes me happy. There is something about the Oxford street that gives happy vibes. The rainbow flags and clothes showcased at the stores are a delight to look at. I have always been a supporter of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) community and the Oxford street is where all the buildings, pubs and bars reflect the support of LGBTQI community.
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Where is Oxford street?
Known for its night life, especially gay nightclubs, Oxford street is one of the primary streets of Sydney that runs from Hyde Park in Central Business District (CBD) to Bondi Junction. It is city’s main gay district. The stretch between Hyde Park and Paddington Town Hall is called “The Golden Mile” because of the popular venues of the gay community.
How to get to Oxford street?
- Public transportation – The best way to reach Oxford street is by a train. St James is the closest train station. The train station is just few metres from the start of the Oxford street near Hyde Park. There are also buses that travel between the different bus stops on Oxford street and Sydney CBD.
- Up to date information on public transportation can be found on Transport for New South Wales (NSW).
- Driving – The start of the Oxford Street at Hyde Park is part of Sydney CBD and there many side lanes and parking spaces that are available throughout the street.
6 things to do on Oxford street
Dance at one of the gay bars
An amazing thing to do when in Oxford street is to enjoy its vibrant and colourful nightlife. Dancing and grooving at one of the gay bars is an experience in itself. The music, drag queens and the whole magical vibes are absolutely delightful. I celebrated my birthday with a few friends of mine many years ago and I must say it was one of the best birthdays ever.
For other bars and pubs details in Sydney, read nightlife in Sydney.
Attend a Mardi Gras festival
One of the phenomenal and largest festivals in the World is Sydney’s Mardi Gras festival. The festival includes various events such as the parades and parties, and Bondi beach Drag races. The name Mardi Gras derived from French words referring to Fat Tuesday. It is the celebration on Mardi (meaning Tuesday) when Gras (meaning Fat) is eaten prior to the Christian abstinence period of Lent proceeding the Easter.
The Mardi Gras Parade is a parade done for LGBTQI rights and celebration of sexuality. Usually taking place in the first week of March, the parade is between Sydney CBD and Darlinghurst, mainly on Oxford street. It is a total distance of around 1.7 kilometres. The parade is also complimented with fireworks. Mardi Gras is a huge celebration in Sydney and there are many events that happen pre and post the festival too.
Definitely do not miss attending the Mardi Gras festival in Sydney!
Explore the street art
Even though Newtown is the most famous suburb of Sydney known for its street art, other parts of Sydney including the Oxford street also has many street art. There are a few dedicated lanes parallel and near Oxford street dedicated to graffiti and street art. I would highly recommend walking around the Oxford street to see these huge murals of art.
Visit the Heritage buildings
Oxford street is made up of plenty of heritage listed buildings. The street definitely has some of the old, historical and beautiful buildings. Some of the buildings to look out for are:
- Victoria Barracks, an Australian Army base and is home to the Headquarters Forces command. The Army museum is open to public on Thursdays between 10 AM and 12:30 PM.
- Paddington Town Hall, a former town hall. Designed by John Edward Kemp, the structure is a fine example of Victorian architecture.
- Paddington Post office, a working post office designed by James Barnet and later by Walter Liberty Vernon. The building was a former telephone exchange.
- St Matthias Church, an Anglican church. The church is open for Sunday gatherings between 10 AM and 11 AM, and between 5 PM and 6 PM.
Even though it is not heritage listed, there is a pedestrian street mall on Oxford street. The Oxford street mall houses many cafes and restaurants.
Enjoy the art galleries
Oxford street not only has the heritage listed buildings and nightlife, it is also very popular for art. There are many art galleries where one can see the unconventional and different art. The street is also home to many art centres which offer art classes with wine. I have attended a few of these art classes on Oxford street and they are really a great way to bond with friends and spend an evening doing art. Some of the art done in the classes are also on sale for as low as AUD 50.
See the rainbow flags and boards
Oxford street is a street where even the Australian post box displays the support of rainbow colours and the community. The street is filled with boards and flags that showcase the support and has quirky things. My favourite was when I found a dinosaur outside of a coffee shop that had worn a colourful mask. That was definitely pretty cool!
The rainbow flag, also known as gay pride flag, is associated to the LGBTQ community and activities around the World.
I highly recommend visiting the Oxford street and enjoying all the things that it has to offer. I especially love the nightlife there and I suggest visiting them with an open mind and enjoying the energy and the excitement.
Have you visited the Oxford street? Did you like it? Let me know in the comments below.
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