Gift shopping. Love it or hate it, it’s something we all have to do. Christmas is quickly approaching and we all know what that means – gifts are exchanged at a higher and more bank-breaking frequency than ever. Whether you’re giving gifts to your family, friends, partner, work colleagues, or anybody in-between – I’ve got you covered with my 5 favourite places to shop for presents.
Top 5 Places To Find Unique Gifts in Sydney
1. Boutique Book Shops Examples: Harry Hartog, Berkelouw Books, Dymocks, Kinokuniya, Pentimento
Books are always an appropriate gift. No matter what you’re into, you’ll likely find a good book about it from one of the bookstores listed above. Though, as great as books are, don’t be fooled by the idea that you can only find books in bookstores. The bookstores listed above all sell a wonderful range of other bits-and-bobs that make perfect gifts. My favourite of the bunch is Harry Hartog, which has stores at Miranda Westfield + Bondi Junction. Harry Hartog has well curated and organised shelves full of books + a great selection of non-typical gifts and stationary, including candles, kitchenwares, bags, trivets, and even seeds to plant in your garden.
2. Art Gallery Gift Shops MCA Gift Shop, White Rabbit Gallery Gift Area, Art Gallery of NSW
Make gift shopping a more cultured experience by stopping over at your local art gallery’s gift shop. Take a day to see an exhibit you’ve been meaning to see, and get your gift shopping taken care of – all in one go. Small galleries may not have much to offer here, but Sydney’s main galleries will always make it easy for you to exit through the gift shop.
If you’re not one to frequent galleries, you may be thinking, “What do they actually sell in art gallery gift shops? T-Shirts with ‘I Love Picasso’ printed on them and Mona Lisa keychains?”
While you may find some of those tackier items available, you’ll mostly find that art gallery gift stores are filled with an excellent array of modern books (not all boring art history books), unique jewellery, scarves, bags, puzzles, creative children’s toys, stationary and even kitchenware! Check out the Museum Of Contemporary Art’s ‘Best Sellers Under $25’ page of their store linked here.
3. Independent Gift Stores Examples: Page and Page, The Card Shop, Kikki.K, Monster Threads, Pigeon Hole, MR & MRS. Jones
Where better to buy gifts than a gift shop? It’s the obvious choice.
But these aren’t your average gift shops. At the places listed above, you’ll find stylish ranges of gifts for a wide variety of people. For summer lovers, you’ll find a big range of Sunnylife products at MR & MRS. Jones – with stores in Miranda and The CBD. If you’re looking for gifts for a younger, hipper crowd you should head over to Pigeon Hole, with stores in Central Park and Surry Hills. In Pigeon Hole, you’ll find all things quirky and stylish – for the modern cool guy/girl. And finally, if you’re looking for beautiful stationary, cards and organisation items, you won’t find a nicer place to shop than Kikki.K (stores all over Sydney.)
4. Grocery Shops, Fruit Shops & Your Local Deli Examples: Harris Farms, David Jones Food Hall, 7 Star Grocery Shop
If you’re putting together a hamper for somebody, or you simply believe that the best gifts are edible – then you may be able to find all your Christmas gifts at the same place that you find your weekly groceries.
Sydney has an impressive amount of ‘artisan’ grocery stores, along with independently owned fruit stores, which often have exciting imported ranges of sauces, biscuits, chocolates and pantry goods from all over the world. Packaged food can be a surprisingly great gift, especially for people who you know like to enjoy the finer things, but live within a budget for food. I always try to choose gifts that people typically wouldn’t buy for themselves, so a fancy Italian jar of pesto, some imported shortbread or a top quality flavoured olive oil can be a great gift for anybody.
5. Markets Coming up: The Big Design Market(!), Finders Keepers Market, The Brewery Yard Markets
One of my favourite things about Christmas in Sydney is all the markets and festive events on yearly. Doing your Christmas shopping at markets can be a very expensive exercise – but you’ll always find something special there. Plus, you can always get creative and find smaller, more budget friendly gifts at markets if you look hard enough. The hard thing is that beautiful hand-made clothes and wares tend to cost more because of their unique nature, and the costs for small businesses to make what they make. So if you have the money to spare, why not support the little guys out there by shopping at a market?
Remember, giving presents shouldn’t feel like a chore or obligation. Think of gift-giving as an opportunity to provide somebody you care about with something you think they’ll love or appreciate. Besides, while you’re out gift shopping, you can always pick up something nice for yourself to take home; if that doesn’t encourage you to go shopping, then I don’t know what will!
If you have any suggestions of great places I’ve missed, or you have a favourite go-to gift store, leave me a comment below so I can check it out next time!