The main city shopping centre has become Cairns Central, next to the railway station, where there are all types of shops including supermarkets and a department store.
Next to the New Esplanade Project is the Pier Marketplace, a combination of marina and shopping area which was one of the past wonders of Cairns. It includes Undersea World, a living reef aquarium.
Shields Street is a busy and popular place. The central area is for pedestrians only, and this effectively blocks off the centre of Lake Street too, so that the section to the south is used as the local bus terminal and that to the north as a taxi rank. At night there are pubs and clubs thriving here and the area is lively, attracting crowds of locals and visitors.