Once one of Sydney’s most prestigious areas and a bohemian hub for artists, writers and poets at the start of the 20th century, today Kings Cross is home to a diverse community of people from all walks of life. Known affectionately as “The Cross”, this inner-city locality has made a name as Sydney’s nightlife capital, with its main strip Darlinghurst Road lined with bars, nightclubs and theatres.
Visiting Kings Cross is not just about the after-dark entertainment. The National Estate-listed Fire Station at the corner of Darlinghurst and Victoria Streets is one surviving example of Kings Cross’ former grandeur. The legendary “Les Girls” building where Carlotta’s drag queen show was staged, now the Empire Hotel, is a living legacy of the area’s provocative history, while the late-19th century McElhone Stairs are another reminder of those who passed through before, built to connect Potts Point with the slums of Woolloomooloo below. Within the landscaped park of Fitzroy Gardens, visitors will find the El Alamein Fountain, commissioned as a memorial to the soldiers who died fighting in Egypt during WWII.. Art lovers will discover engaging and thought-provoking Australian and international contemporary art at the Artspace gallery, while the Cross Art Projects hosts walks focusing on contemporary indigenous art, urban planning, architecture and heritage through the area.
Kings Cross is connected with the CBD and greater Sydney via both train and bus, with the Kings Cross Railway Station a major transport hub at the southern end of the district. Visitors on foot can walk from Sydney’s CBD to Darlinghurst Road in around 20 to 30 minutes.
Originally named Queen's Cross in honour of Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee in 1897, the locality was later renamed Kings Cross after King Edward VII due to confusion with nearby Queen's Square.