7 Of Melbourne’s Best Weekend Markets
There’s arguably no better way to get a feel for Melbourne than by going to the Melbourne markets. It’s the perfect antidote to a night out and a great place to score a bargain, pick up a unique handmade design, down some gourmet food or find that retro buy.
Fear not! We’ve shortlisted our favourite markets – old and new – for you to explore on the weekend, or during the week if you are lucky enough to be visiting the culture capital for more than a few days.
Here are seven of Melbourne’s best markets.
#1 South Melbourne Market
The South Melbourne Market is Melbourne food market all-rounder with proud ties to its village market roots. Chat to the market’s knowledgeable traders and expect to be met with plenty of character and know-how.
Here, you’ll find all types of fresh food and an overarching philosophy of real, honest grub. South Melbourne Markets even offers its own Cooking School, The Neff Market Kitchen, to help you create some culinary masterpieces under expert supervision. With both day and night classes available, it’s a great chance to round up your pals and get gourmet!
When: 8am-4pm on Wednesdays and weekends, 8am-5pm on Fridays. The Night Market runs from 5:30pm-9:30pm on Thursdays
Where: Coventry and Cecil Streets, South Melbourne
#2 Queen Victoria Winter Night Markets
First open for trade 140 years ago, Queen Victoria Market (QVM) is a cultural and historical landmark. Not only is this Melbourne market the largest of Victoria’s great 19th century markets, it’s also the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere. Impressive!
Spice up your Wednesday evenings at QVM’s bustling annual winter Night Markets, where during the winter months you can get toasty by an open fire, and relax with a host of sensory delights; from musicians and performers to street food and mulled wine. What better way to unwind and add bit of festive fun to the midweek?
When: 5-10pm, Wednesday nights
Where: Corner Queen Street and Therry Streets, Melbourne
#3 Prahran Market
Back in the day, Melbourne suburb Prahran needed a central market as a base from which to flog its popular fresh local produce. Prahran Market was born in 1864 and, 27 years later, moved to its current home on Commercial Road.
Today the market is a foodie’s dream, and a strong contender for the best Melbourne food market. Stallholders’ pride in quality goods and the expertise of the market’s traders is a hallmark of its heritage. You can expect to enjoy a healthy dose of recipe and preparation advice with your purchase.
Prahran Market runs during some weekdays and on the weekend, offering both a midweek break and weekend market depending on what you’re after.
When: 7am-5pm, Tuesdays and Fridays, 10am-3pm on Saturdays and Sundays
Where: 163 Commercial Road, South Yarra
#4 Fitzroy Mills
The Fitzroy Mills are a notably younger (and smaller) affair than many of the others on this list, but no less worth a visit, especially if you’re seeking a wholesome market to start your weekend with a helping of locally sourced goodness.
These Melbourne weekend markets, unveiled in late 2017, are all about community, a melting pot of local, organic, sustainable and downright scrumptious food.
Head down to this Saturday market for that all important caffeine fix paired with a plateful of feel-good nourishment.
When: Saturdays between 9am-2pm
Where: 75 Rose Street, Fitzroy
#5 Kensington Market
Pop along to Kensington Market and you’ll find a treasure trove of boutique stalls and all kinds of unique wares. This Melbourne market’s much-loved ambience is brought to you by the musical stylings of live acts and buskers, which you can enjoy as you browse.
The Sunday markets are the perfect hangout for those looking for a unique gift – or those who are happy to wander and browse.
When: 10am-3pm, the third Sunday of the month
Where: Kensington Town Hall, 3034 Bellair Street, Kensington
#6 St Kilda Esplanade Market
Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside. And, apparently, so do the people of St Kilda Market, who have set up camp there since 1970. The Melbourne Sunday market has grown substantially over the years and is now home to over 250 passionate stallholders, each selling lovingly made creations.
You can spend a day strolling along the foreshore, nibbling on a syrup-drenched crêpe or with coffee or hot choc in hand, admiring the impressive craftsmanship of Melbourne’s creative locals.
When: 10am-4pm on Sundays
Where: The Esplanade, St Kilda
#7 European Night Market
Escape from Melbourne with some cultural wizardry that’ll deliver you straight into the heart of Europe. The European Night Market is inspired by Germany and Switzerland’s world-renowned Christmas Markets, and offers up tastes from all over the continent in one winter Melbourne market.
With mulled wine, hot cider and good times to be had, the intimate laneway night market makes for a special seasonal experience.
When: 5pm-9pm, every Friday in July
Where: 50 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
(Lead image: Linda Xu)