If you have never been to Parramatta before, it’s probably well-known for having a rugby league team named after a slimy river and being Sydney’s Western Center Business District. There are so many constant discoveries that Parramatta brings such as hundreds of high towers and Powerhouse Museum. However, it would always be the little things that make this part of the city a wonderful place to live.

The city of Parramatta is filled with diverse population composing of almost a quarter of a million people. Although, the central area is busy with the bustle of building, shopping, and dining, just five minutes out of the heart of Parramatta is a quiet suburbia. Here are some of the top seven things you can also love in Parramatta like how Australians also do.

1. Near to Sydney CBD

Sydney CBD

Parramatta is not really that far away from the city and there are different modes of transportations that can take you there. The easiest way is the 25-minute express train that leaves Central half an hour.

If you ever miss the train, don’t worry because it will only take five minutes for the next train to come. If you plan to drive your way there using your car, it’s just as bad as anywhere else during peak hours. Most Australians take the Parramatta River Ferry which will take you on a smooth and fun journey from Darling Harbour to Parramatta Wharf in just over an hour.

2. Great Food

Parramatta truly has some great eats that every first-timer should try. Look for Church Street and you’ll find two yummy restaurants. First one is the Singapore institution, Temasek, which is great if you love seafood and spicy foods. You should try their mountain of chili crab with a loaf of white bread on the side to sweep up the sauce. The other one is, Honey Persian, home to a fantastic biryani!

Want great coffee? Visit Circa Espresso. Also if you’re looking for great top pho, look for Pho Pasteur. For a fancy menu, then head over to Courtney’s Brasserie. Of course, after trying that fancy menu, you might want to try some legendary street food destinations such as Cabramatta, Fairfield, and Canley Vale which is a 20-minute drive away.

3. Cool Off at Parramatta Lake

Australia is already known for its pristine shorelines, so why not try taking a nice swim on a man-made lake? Hunts Creek was dammed in the 1850s for the area’s water supply but good thing is you can now swim in Parramatta Lake when the heat is scorching.

This is a great place to take your family with you. Most Australians, enjoy long walks and meaningful picnics with their loved ones here and they also roast some great BBQs as they admire the beauty of the lake on a hot day.

4. More Parks

This is the reason why most Australians are fit! Most of their houses are just a 20-minute walk of about 10 different ovals. Most of North Parramatta’s public parks have a range of various sports taking place every evening. If you simply enjoy nature and love being outdoors, you must visit the one and only Parramatta Park itself composing of 85 hectares of trees just next to the Parramatta CBD, together with the World Heritage-listed Old Government House in the middle and a modern unique playground next to Domain Creek.

5. Fun Community Events

There have been numerous times that Vivid and Sydney Festival shows and exhibitions take place in Parramatta. Also, the city also showcases the amazing Parramatta Lanes food and cultural festival, which is packed with the city’s smaller streets with foods trucks, pop-ups, and music. When winter is out, they would set up an ice skating rink in the park and a number of nights and weekends celebrating the multiculturalism of the city, including the energetic Parramasala.

6. Easy to Find Colonial History

Parramatta is Australia’s oldest inland European settlement which just makes colonial history easy to learn and discover. The Elizabeth Farm is must-visit for every tourist that visits the country, plus Parramatta is rich with various heritage-listed cottages, cathedrals, and hospitals throughout town.

There are multiple churches in the city–there’s also Buddhist, Hindu and Murugan temples and the local mosque. Parramatta is a great city that openly celebrates multiculturalism by having many fantastic excellent food options, diverse people and culture that every Australian is proud of.

The post is by Ivandrea Ollero is a resident writer for Holiday Inn Parramatta, one of Australia’s contemporary luxurious hotels that also offers a great historical experience for tourists. Ivandrea provides hotel tips and hacks for a blissful best vacation.