Queen Victoria Market

Top choice in Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia: April 12, 2018: Customers buy pastries and other food goods from a stall in Queen Victoria Market.

©jax10289/Shutterstock

With more than 600 traders, 'Vic Market' is a large open-air market brimming with food, shopping and cultural experiences. Early mornings are best for fresh produce, taste-testing or dodging the booming cries of stall holders. Lunch hour sees shoppers queuing for street food and flower stalls, serenaded by a rotating cast of buskers.

The deli hall, lined with stalls selling everything from Australian cheeses, to Polish sausages and kangaroo biltong, has some Art Deco era flourishes.

Clothing and knick-knack stalls dominate on Sunday; they're big on variety, but don’t come looking for style (if you’re in the market for sheepskin moccasins or cheap T-shirts, this is the place).

Various tours are run by the market including heritage, cultural and food tours; check the official website for details.

Queen Victoria Market night market

In summer – and again in winter – there’s a hawker-style Night Market on a Wednesday after hours (5pm to 10pm) with pop-up bars, outdoor seating, live music and DJs, plus local makers selling boutique wares.

Queen Victoria Night Market Melbourne Australia
The hawker-style night market attracts thousands of visitors to sample cuisine from around the world. © P_Wei / Getty Images

History

The market has been here for more than 130 years; before that, from 1837 to 1854, it was the old Melbourne Cemetery. Remarkably, around 9000 bodies remain buried here, from underneath Shed F to the car park leading to Franklin St. There's a small memorial on the corner of Queen and Therry Streets.

Redevelopment and parking

Note that an ongoing redevelopment program to preserve various market buildings is being rolled out in various phases, so you might find construction work on in sections when you visit.

Parking can be an issue, but most people use the many public transport options and bicycle parking is also available.