The beating pulse of Sydney’s greater western suburbs, Parramatta is a cultural hub that has awhole lot going on. 6 PARRAMATTA AREA GUIDE BUSTLING A bustling shopping precinct, popular foodie hangouts, late-night bars, thriving art spaces and commercial offices, this thriving cultural centre is historically significant and strategically positioned at the tail end of the Parramatta River in Sydney’s western regions. Once a suburban outpost but nowconsidered Sydney’s secondCBD, Parramatta has long played an essential role in Sydney’s expansion. And there are no signs of things slowing down. There is a whole lot to brag about in Parramatta’s foodie scene. Boasting an impressive selection of global eats and on-trend cafés, where Persian, Lebanese, Japanese, Mediterranean and South-East Asian cuisines sit alongside burger joints and dessert bars. There’s also waterfront dining, gastropubs and lounge bars on offer. Parramatta’s sporting culture has been immortalised at the newly built Western Sydney Stadium, the home to Western Sydney Wanderers Football Club and Parramatta Eels National Rugby League Club. Just up the street, Parramatta Park and Lake Parramatta are natural oases with plentiful green space and cycle paths. And there is also the riverside foreshore, which has people out pounding the pavement from the break of dawn. Westfield Parramatta is a sprawling shopping centre with big-name brands and boutique storefronts alike covered off. Yet still, it’s the museums and performing arts centres that really shine here – Old Government House, Riverside Parramatta theatre, Philip Ruddock Heritage Centre, as well as Elizabeth Farm in nearby Rosehill, just to name a few. If all this wasn’t enough, Parramatta is also a standout for its well- connected transport set-up. Buses run regularly in all directions and trains link commuters to the Sydney CBD and Blue Mountains. A Light Rail connection is currently under construction, while a Sydney Metro line is in the planning stages. But nothing quite beats the RiverCat ferry, which connects Parramatta to Sydney’s Circular Quay via Parramatta River. Diverse and community minded, this thriving CBD ticks many boxes and, when it comes to urban living, there is no denying that Parramatta offers it all.