Melbourne is known for its shopping and the markets the city has to offer do not disappoint — but where to start? We put in the legwork so you don’t have to.
As anyone with a serious retail addiction can attest to, Melbourne is the shopper’s paradise. Not only are there myriad shops to lose yourself in, but Melbourne’s markets are many and varied, catering to shoppers who hunger for handicrafts, desire delectables or just want to make a beeline for bargains.
Here are some of the best:
The most famous market in Melbourne is indisputably the Queen Victoria Market (known affectionately by locals as Queen Vic or Vic Market), located in the heart of inner-city Melbourne. This historic and labyrinthine landmark is open five days a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Friday–Sunday) and caters for everyone from tourist to foodie alike.
South Melbourne Market has the honour of being the oldest market in Melbourne to have operated continuously since its inception in 1867. With over 150 stalls ranging from fresh produce to fashion and more, South Melbourne Market also plays host to a range of both upcoming and established designers in SO:ME Space, with a rotating roster of pop-up stalls dedicated to design.
For the art-and-design lover, the Rose St. Artists’ Market nestled in hip Fitzroy is the place to see and be seen at on the weekend. If you get hungry – or thirsty – you can head up to the rooftop for delicious dining and craft beers at Young Bloods Diner.
In the warmer months, fashionistas can get their fix at the Rag Trade & Recycle Market in Collingwood, an area famous for fashion and textiles. This market offers a forum for new and upcoming fashion designers, as well as a way to recycle vintage and second-hand clothing.
Bibliophiles will find their idea of heaven in the unlikely surrounds of Federation Square, the largest weekly Saturday book market in Melbourne. Home to some of the most experienced book dealers around, this market offers thousands of new and second-hand titles and also plays host to authors and illustrators looking to ply their trade.
The Esplanade Market in St Kilda is another great Melbourne market to visit, as long as the weather is good on a Sunday. It is located along the St Kilda Esplanade with views over the bay and easily combined with a trip to the beach or a walk along St Kilda pier. There you get almost 200 original artists and crafts people displaying a diverse range of quality handmade artworks of wood, glass, paper, resin, recycled materials.
For second-hand goods and trash and treasure, the Camberwell Sunday Market is a must. It operates from the carpark behind the main street shops. Camberwell is about 20 minutes east from the city, and the market is only a short walk from the train station. This Melbourne market is a hot tip and many locals scavenge there for a piece of designer clothing or interesting home wares. You can get collectibles, bric-a-brac, recycled and vintage clothing — and often something you did not know you needed. This Melbourne market is extremely popular with sellers and buyers alike.
St Andrew’s Market, an insider’s tip for an alternative market — similar to markets in places such as Byron Bay — is the St Andrew’s Market. It is about one hour’s drive northeast of Melbourne and operates on Saturdays. Its focus is on “handmade” and “home grown” items It has a Chai tent, people jamming, home made food and produce. You can get everything from tie-died clothes, to jewelry, to toys and plants, and all sorts of handmade gifts and treats.
Melbourne is also home to Australia’s oldest continuously operating growers market, located in Prahran. Established in 1864, Prahran Markets is mecca for Melbourne foodies and offers heirloom produce, cheeses, smallgoods, artisan products, certified organic fruits and veggies, as well as fresh meats – including game.
This list is just the start of the many amazing and unique markets in Melbourne. Happy shopping.