When it comes to quintessential Sydney chic, Queen Victoria Building takes the crown. A mecca for well-heeled shoppers and sightseers alike, its dramatic architecture houses more than 180 of Sydney’s premier fashion boutiques. Its footprint occupies an entire block on George Street and is a coveted setting for both independent local designers and international fashion houses.
Designed by legendary Scottish architect George McRae, QVB was inspired by the majesty of European cathedrals. The late nineteenth-century building definitely lives up to its reputation, with its a towering central dome, stunning stained glass windows, elaborate balustrades and an intricately tiled floor.
Located in the heart of Sydney’s city centre, QVB is an easy walk from popular sites like Martin Place, Circular Quay, and Hyde Park. For those coming by rail, Town Hall is the closest stop. Once inside, visitors can shop up a storm, admire the architecture or indulge in a refreshment at one of the building’s artisan cafes or restaurants.
Like many of Sydney’s iconic buildings, QVB is rich in history. While today the building is home to high-end boutiques, it was originally built as a monument to the long reigning monarch. The elaborate Romanesque architecture was part of a strategic government plan to create jobs for craftspeople and act as a Municipal Market. After a period of neglect, QVB was beautifully restored in 1986 and quickly re-emerged as Sydney’s most prestigious shopping hub.