Melbourne markets – a great way of spending your afternoon in the city



Joanna Horanin

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Last updated at 16/06/2024, 05:00

Hi, I'm Joanna, the author of The Blond Travels. In the worlds of Thailand and Portugal, I feel like a fish in water - and it's no coincidence! I've been exploring Thailand for over a decade, and I've settled in Portugal for 6 years now. My mission is to support Dreamers - just like you - in discovering these fascinating countries and helping those in love with them find their own place on Earth, preferably for good! Let's uncover these unique corners of the world together.

Markets can tell you a lot about the society. From looking at the sellers you can tell what majorities (if any) live in the area, what the locals like to eat, what kinds of clothes they wear, how they behave and what they like to eat.
I always try to visit a market wherever I am. I aim for the less known places, less touristy spots, where I can observe the people and get a feel of the city.
There are countless market places in Melbourne. Each with its unique feel and atmosphere. There are food markets in suburbia, crafts markets in a bush, or on the beach, where you can pick up a bracelet, a handmade top, 
or a colourful boomerang, made by a local artist. 

I had a real dilemma while figuring out which market to go to. Should I go to the Rose Market, with arts and crafts, or maybe to the Camberwell Market, where I could possibly buy some second hand clothes? There were other places as well. It was hard to decide, but I finally settled on these three.

Queen Victoria Market

This 130 year old market is one of the many tourist attractions in the city. You can buy anything you want here: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, fresh bread, coffee, but also hair clips, leather jackets, all sorts of home decorations, and tacky souvenirs.
The part with fresh produce is the most entertaining. The sellers shout out their prices and praise the goods they sell. Some of them have only a couple of onions, or carrots (for $1 each), some have shelves and tables full of colourful foods. They all display it proudly, counting on good earnings.

Vegetable stall at Queen Victoria Market

St Andrews Market

Located in the lower hills, to the north east of Melbourne, this hippy market draws crowds every Saturday. An exciting aspect of it is that the stalls are spread around a small area in the bush.
Here you can buy food as well as handmade goods. I found the jewellery especially beautiful, some made out of leftover plastic, or metal.
There were some great, original home decorations, too.
Those of you, who are more into the hippy philosophy can chill out in a tent, drinking decaf latte.

The ‘chill out tent’ at the St Andrews Market

The atmosphere is enriched by various street performers.

Not sure what this instrument is called, but the sound was just great!

A large majority of the sellers at the market are still long haired, dressed in flowery garments, which they most often produce themselves. From time to time you can smell something illegal coming from the nearby hill…

St Kilda Sunday Market

I chose this market because Sunday was my last day, it was hot and I wanted to spend a whole afternoon at the beach, where the market is located.
The stalls are at the upper level, overlooking the whole beach. Here, the goods are more expensive, there are no second hands and the bargains are not really bargains. It is still great to walk around, especially because the path will lead you to the famous Luna Park.

Tents at the St Kilda Market