A Local’s Guide to Melbourne’s Best Markets

A Local’s Guide to Melbourne’s Best Markets

Melbourne’s markets are back and better than ever! Judging by the number of people flocking to the stalls each day, it is safe to say that we, the locals, can not live without our markets. 

Whether you are a foodie or antique hunter, vinyl collector or lover of all things handmade, Melbourne’s markets have you covered. 

Here are some of the best markets in Melbourne for shopping or just hanging out.

Queen Victoria Market, Winter Night Market

Queen Victoria Market, popularly known as “Vic Market” or “Queen Vic”, is one of the oldest Melbourne markets, operating since 1878. Host to many events and celebrations, the market takes you on a journey through the centuries over two city blocks. Here you can shop from 600 stalls, selling anything from fresh produce and gourmet foods to clothing, shoes and accessories, flowers, toys and souvenirs.

Come July, the Winter Night Market turns on Queen Vic’s main event. Every Wednesday night, people gather here to eat, drink and be merry. Visitors get to rug up and browse artisan stalls. When hunger strikes, warming food and drinks are available at every corner. 

Location: Queen St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Hours: Tue, Thu & Fri: 6am-3pm; Wed: 5pm-10pm; Sat: 6am-4pm; Sun: 9am-4pm

*Specialty shopping opens at 9am every Market day.

*The Winter Night Market runs Wednesday nights from 1 June to 31 August.

Kensington Market

Once a month (every third Sunday), Kensington Town Hall is home to Kensington Market, a boutique market that gathers all local crafters, designers and artisans to showcase their talent in the heart of Melbourne. 

This eclectic market boasts over 70 specialty stalls selling anything from fruits and veggies to designer clothes, shoes, accessories, unique jewellery, visual art creations and all things handmade. 

Visitors get to shop all the while being entertained with live music and buskers. 

Location: 30-34 Bellair St, Kensington VIC 3031, Australia

Hours for 2022: Sun 21 Aug: 10am-3pm; Sun 18 Sept: 10am-3pm; Sun 16 Oct: 10am-3pm; Sun 2- Nov: 10am-3pm; Sun 18 Dec: 10am-3pm

Spring Place, European Night Market

Spring Place is a recently opened complex featuring four buildings, parks and gardens. Over 11,000 people come to work in Spring Place every day. Located in the heart of Spring Place is Madame Brussels Lane, home to al fresco cafes and dining, international cuisine, boutique shops, a barber, a fitness club – and almost anything you need to have a good time (before and after work). 

The highlight, however, is the European Night Market, which transforms Madame Brussels Lane into a 1920s Parisian marketplace. People of all ages and lifestyles gather at this hidden laneway gem for some mulled wine, European specialties, French desserts of all kinds, freshly baked pastries and a lot of cheese. 

The fascinating French performers and roving musicians keep the European Night Market even more lively. So make sure to pop by 29 July if you want to be a part of this cool event in the heart of Melbourne. 

Location: 50 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Hours: 8th-29th of July, every day from 5pm-10pm 

Arts Centre Melbourne, Sunday Market

Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD) is home to the Arts Centre Melbourne, also known as the Victorian Arts Centre. The performing arts centre is one of Australia’s largest performing venues featuring theatres and concert halls. It is a famous city landmark with a stunning spiral. 

Besides the stage, visitors can enjoy the Australian Performing Arts Collection, Sunday backstage tours and daily guided tours, and the famous arts and crafts Sunday Market

Sunday Market features over 24 stalls showcasing the unique work of local designers and artisans. Expect to find anything from unique jewellery, handmade soaps and candles to silk scarves, leather goods, clothing and even local delicacies. 

Location: Along St Kilda Road between Hamer Hall and the Theatres Building

Hours: Sunday: 10am-4pm

*Opening and closing times are subject to weather forecasts and may change without notice.

The Finders Keepers, Melbourne Naarm

What started as a small side hustle in 2008 today is one of Australia’s biggest design markets. After two years break, the market is back in full force with over 250 stalls of independent art, design, homewares, fresh coffee, and food trucks, including 20 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned and operated businesses.

The three-day event takes place at the Royal Exhibition Building. 

Though the Melbourne Naarm has already been and gone for 2022, they will return even stronger next year. So watch this space, and don’t miss out on the very best from local designers and independent artists.

Location: Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton Gardens

9 Nicholson St, Carlton

Hours: Friday 8 July 4pm-9pm; Saturday 9 July 10am-5pm; Sunday 10 July 10am-5pm

Entry: $5; Free for kids under 12

St Kilda Esplanade Market

Melbourne is the artistic heart of Australia, so it is not uncommon to find some of the best art markets right here in Victoria. St Kilda Esplanade Market is one of the most popular open-air arts and design markets, welcoming visitors since 1970. 

Over 80 stalls (more are added on a regular basis) are lined up on The Esplanade, offering visitors anything from jewellery, furniture, food and beverage, natural soaps and other hygiene products, arts and crafts, fashion and accessories – all of them handmade! 

Its proximity to the beach makes St Kilda Market even more attractive; factor in the buskers and all sorts of performers, and you are set to have a fantastic shopping experience in St Kilda.

Location: The Esplanade, St Kilda VIC 3182

Hours: Every day: 10am-4pm

*Opening and closing times are subject to weather forecasts and may change without notice.

Heide Market

Housed in the Heide Museum of Modern Art’s colourful sculpture park, Heide Market is packed with stalls selling handcrafted goods of all kinds. Once a month (the second Saturday of the month), people who appreciate the work of local artists and designers head down to Heide Market to browse or expand their collections of unique pieces of art. 

From locally made jewellery, fashion and accessories to clothing, homewares and tasty snacks, Heide Market won’t disappoint you with its vast selection. There is everything for everyone; even the little ones will find joy in the delicious crepes, cakes, biscuits and ice cream! A fun Saturday indeed!

Location: 7 Templestowe Rd, Bulleen VIC 3105, Australia

Hours: Sept 10; Oct 8; Dec 10; Jan 14; Feb 11; Mar 11; Apr 8; May 13; 

*Gates open from 10am-3pm  

South Melbourne Market

If you are looking for a market that has it all, head down to Coventry Street. Established in 1867, the South Melbourne Market is considered the oldest running village market in the city. Locals and tourists flock to the market hoping to get the deal or the catch of the day. 

This local indoor market has over 150 stalls selling anything from fresh meat and seafood, fruits and veggies, international dishes, but also flowers, health and beauty products, homewares, fashion, accessories and many more. The market is packed with bistros and cafes, ideal for a lunch break or coffee. The oyster bars are a must if you love seafood!

Different events take place each day, some of which are free. So don’t miss out on visiting this vibrant market – the next time you want to hang out with friends or family, take them to South Melbourne Market.  

Location: 322-326 Coventry St, South Melbourne VIC 3205, Australia

Hours: Wed,Sat & Sun 8am-4pm; Fri 8am-5pm

Final thoughts

There you have it! Though this is just a fraction of the markets in Melbourne, now you know where to head to when searching for a unique gift, meet up with friends or just for a lovely day out browsing Melbourne’s markets.