Our history and heritage

Thirsty for history? Order a drink with a dash of old Sydney

Pull up a bar stool at one of these 7 locations and experience our city's past

  • Hotel Hollywood, Surry Hills

    Time travel back to The Hotel Hollywood in Surry Hills, a deco symbol of 40s cinema.

    The hotel’s founder, Doris Goddard, was an actress and Vaudeville star, appearing in movies with Bob Hope and Katharine Hepburn.

    For three decades Doris concentrated all her efforts on creating an inclusive venue until she died in 2019.

    Photo: Hotel Hollywood built in 1942. Black and white photo of the curved facade taken in 1989, featuring signage and parked cars on the street.

    Credit: City of Sydney Archives, A-00024115
  • Paramount House, Surry Hills

    Across the road, sip martinis at Golden Age Bar, nestled in the basement of the old Paramount Pictures screening room.

    You can also see screenings of classic and cult films from the likes of Ingmar Bergman to Federico Fellini. Or even play film trivia on Tuesdays.

    Photo: Former Paramount Studios building built in 1940, photographed in 1989. Black and white photo of the curved, two-story Paramount building, featuring elongated windows and a flat roof.

    Credit: City of Sydney Archives, A-00023896
  • Marble Bar, Hilton Hotel, George Street

    Drink in the opulence of Marble Bar, a heritage listed watering hole in the basement of the CBD Hilton Hotel, featuring a mahogany bar and grand marble archways from the Victorian era.

    Photo: Interior view of Marble Bar showing bartender and female customer, surrounded by an elaborately decorated interior with paintings and a detailed ceiling.

    Credit: City of Sydney Archives, A-00012820
  • Terminus Hotel, Pyrmont

    Journey back to 1841 at the Terminus Hotel, this Pyrmont gem was built beside the route of the once bustling tram line. Ding ding.

    There was a hotel on the corner of Harris and John streets in Pyrmont since 1841. Named the Terminus Hotel, it was once on the route of a bustling tramline.

    Photo: Residence beside Terminus Hotel on Harris Street Pyrmont, circa 1909. People standing on the balconies and in front of the hotel in process of being demolished for an extension of the Terminus Hotel building. You can see the building application here.

    Credit: City of Sydney Archives, A-00036442
  • Fortune of War, The Rocks

    The birthplace of cold frothies, the Fortune of War Hotel is Sydney’s oldest pub in The Rocks dating back to the 1820s.

    Photo: Fortune of War Hotel in 1989, with a classic van parked in front, flanked by older buildings.

    Credit: Photo: City of Sydney Archives, A-00023536
  • Bells Hotel, Woolloomoolloo

    An iconic stop to wet your whistle, Bells Hotel at Woolloomoolloo Bay was built in 1922. The hotel captures the essence of a 'Country Pub in the City'.

    There’s been a pub on this exact location dating back to the original ale house ‘Punches’ in 1868 - as you sip your cold drink you can imagine the bustling working wharves that used to operate over the road.

    Photo: Bells Hotel facade in the 1970s, a two-story building with signage and a beer garden advertisement.

    Credit: City of Sydney Archives, A-00066909
  • The Golden Mile, Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

    End your tour with a touch of glitter from many of the bars that dot Sydney’s Golden Mile, Darlinghurst’s Oxford Street.

    The strip has been a queer haven since the 70s before homosexuality was decriminalised in 1984, throughout the AIDS crisis of the 90's and right through to present day where it shines as the proud heartland of our LGBTQIA+ community.

    Photo: Oxford Street at night depicted by photographer Niels Ellmoos in 1982. Nighttime street view showing Oxford Cinema, a chemist, and other lit-up storefronts, with cars traffic on road.

    Credit: Niels Ellmoos, City of Sydney Archives, A-00034682