20 Feb 2018
Whether you’re looking for a simple trinket, a gift for that special someone back home, or an armload of fresh food, browse through the list below to discover the best that Melbourne has to offer. We’ve traversed the suburbs to bring you a collection of our favourites which are all accessible by public transport. Most encourage you to bring your own bags, and given that you’ll be dealing with local, small businesses, we’d suggest having some cash on you.
The Abbotsford Convent is home to multiple markets each month, with Saturdays in their beautiful grounds regularly playing host to events such as vegan markets, collector markets and local grower markets. One more regular resident in the Convent is the Slow Food Farmers’ Market [1.5 Heliers Street Abbotsford]. If you’re in Melbourne on the fourth Saturday of each month (8am to 1pm), join more than 60 local growers and food producers and connect directly with the Victorians who have created the food on display. Fresh fruit and vegetables are a must, but sumptuous meat and poultry, cheese, eggs and mouth-watering deli treats are yours for the taking.
Train: South Morang or Hurstbridge lines to Victoria Park Station, then Bus 200 or 207 to Clarke Street / Johnston Street (then walk 370 metres)
Relatively new on the Coburg scene, Batman Market [14-22 Gaffney Street, Coburg] has sprung up in what was once one of Melbourne’s largest textile manufacturers. As the area has become more popular with Gen Y’ers looking for a local hangout, the success of Batman Market lives in its diversity and willingness to embrace not only high-quality food, crafts and entertainment, but engage with the local residents. That sense of camaraderie – not to mention the prospect of a bargain – makes a trip to Batman Market a must if you’re looking for a unique Saturday market experience.
Tram: Route 19 to stop 37, Gaffney Street / Sydney Road (then walk 120 metres)
Train: Upfield line to Batman Station
The name says it all; Sundays in the gorgeous suburb of Camberwell hum to the sound of arguably Melbourne’s most-loved suburban market. For more than 40 years the market has transformed an otherwise-unassuming car park into a haven for bargain-hunters, treasure seekers and local makers and designers. Vintage clothing, vinyl records and quirky trinkets are some of the reasons why people come from all over Melbourne to spend a morning (6.30am to 12.30pm every Sunday) in Camberwell, although the chance to meet some of the city’s most eclectic stallholders is what makes the Camberwell Sunday Market [Market Place, Camberwell] such a memorable visit experience.
Tram: Route 72 to stop 62, Camberwell Shopping Centre
Train: Belgrave, Lilydale or Alamein lines to Camberwell (then walk 350 metres)
If you own one of the only remaining Drive-in Theatres in Melbourne, what do you do with all that real estate when the sun is up? Well, you spend every Sunday (8am to 2pm weather permitting) welcoming more than 200 stalls onto the premises to sell new and second-hand goods, antiques and crafts. Visitors pay the princely sum of $1 to enter Coburg Trash and Treasure [Village Drive In, 155 Newlands Road Coburg], so even if you leave with nothing but a good story to tell your friends about your adventure in the north, it will be a bargain. Bring plenty of change and shopping bags, and if you want to show you’re no slouch then arrive early for the best discoveries.
Train: South Morang line to Reservoir, then Bus 561 to 105 Newlands Road (then walk 230 metres)
With more than 200 traders, Dandenong Market [corner Clow and Cleeland Streets, Dandenong] is one of the largest fresh food markets in all of Greater Melbourne. Founded 150 years ago, it has stood the test of time as the suburb has grown around it. With more than 150 nationalities represented in its traders, the market reflects the multicultural nature of Melbourne’s population. Spend a Tuesday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday wandering the aisles of The Pantry (think nuts, spices, chocolate), grab a bite in Market Square, then pick up a trinket, t shirt or toy from the area known simply as The Bazaar.
Train: Cranbourne or Pakenham lines to Dandenong, then Bus 811 to Dandenong Market / Cleeland Street
Welcome to the home of some of Melbourne’s friendliest faces. With more than 120 years of history in its walls, Prahran Market [163 Commercial Road, South Yarra] has been the place where generations of families and friends have met up, shopped, chatted and enjoyed each other’s company. Open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it’s a market that’s as relevant now as it has ever been. Always-hip, always-happening, and always buzzing with a vibrancy that you can only find in a fresh food market, you’ll never find traders at Prahran Market skimping on quality. Catch some live music on Sunday afternoons as well, 12pm to 3pm.
Tram: Route 72 to stop 30, Prahran Market / Commercial Road
Train: Sandringham line to Prahran Station (then walk 500 metres)
The sprawling suburb of Preston, in Melbourne’s north, is changing. Young families and trendy types priced out of Northcote and Thornbury rub shoulders with elderly Italian, Chinese and Maori folks, and no matter the stereotype, at Preston Market [corner Cramer and Mary Streets, Preston. Wednesday–Sunday 8am to 3pm, ‘til 6pm on Friday-Saturday] there’s a place for everyone. The market itself has changed over the past two years as well, so you’re as likely to find artisan coffee and handmade jewellery as you are wine sold by the litre and $12 family-sized pizzas. A great deli, excellent meat and fish traders and its central location makes it a fun day out.
Tram: Route 11 to stop 42, Cramer Street / Gilbert Road (then walk one kilometre)
Train: South Morang line to Preston Station
Sundays are made for enjoying yourself, and there’s arguably nowhere better to do just that than at the St Kilda Esplanade Market [The Esplanade, St Kilda]. From local artisans selling their wares – think more than 170 painters, jewellery makers, designers, and candlemakers – to delicious food trucks inspired by flavours of the world, an hour or two spent at the St Kilda Esplanade Market is a great way to spend a Sunday morning or afternoon. What’s more, you can look wistfully out to sea across the ever-popular St Kilda Beach and Port Phillip Bay, and to your south, the ever-popular historic Luna Park and Palais Theatre.
Tram: Route 3a, 16 or 96 to stop 136, The Esplanade
In the heart of Fitzroy lies one of the gems of the inner north, where designers, jewellers, authors and painters congregate each Saturday and Sunday (11am to 5pm). On a quiet side street between Brunswick and Nicholson Streets, it’s the perfect chance to uncover an artistic delight. It’s surprising how many stalls they can fit in a relatively small car park and tin shed, and while that might not seem the most flattering description, Rose Street Artists’ Market [60 Rose Street, Fitzroy] reflects not so much its locale but its friendly, passionate and oft-quirky people. Plus, you can pick up a great cactus or two.
Tram: Route 96 to stop 16, Rose Street / Nicholson Street or number 11 to stop 17, Leicester Street / Brunswick Street (then walk 200 metres)
Open from 8am to 4pm every Wednesday, Friday (‘til 5pm), Saturday and Sunday, the South Melbourne Market [corner Coventry and Cecil Streets, South Melbourne] is as close to a boutique market as you’ll find in Melbourne, while still being able to purchase your weekly fruit and veg. South Melbourne is one of the most desirable suburbs, just a couple of kilometres from the heart of the city centre. The deli is as good as any in Greater Melbourne if you’re after lunch on the go; alternatively take a seat in one of the many restaurants and cafes that line the market’s northeast corner.
Tram: Route 96 to stop 127, South Melbourne / Ferrars Street
Queen Vic [Queen Street, Melbourne], as it’s lovingly-referred to by locals, is as much a visitor attraction as it is a lifeblood to many Melburnians, who rely on it for their weekly shop. With rows of fresh, wholesome fruit and vegetables, and more melt-in-your-mouth meat and fish than you could ever hope to eat in a lifetime, it’s a great place to stock up on essentials. Purchase your own weight in cheese, meats and bread in the deli before searching the sheds for that perfect memento of your time in Melbourne. Partake in a jam donut or Bratwurst sausage, and you’re in heaven. Open Tuesdays and Thursdays 6am to 2pm, Fridays 6am to 5pm, Saturday 6am to 3pm and Sunday 9am to 4pm.
Tram: Route 19, 57 or 59 to stop 7, Queen Victoria Market / Elizabeth Street
Train: City Loop to Flagstaff Station (then walk 500 metres)
Need some help getting from A to B so you can discover Melbourne?
Just pop your starting point and where you want to go into the PTV Journey Planner, as well as your ideal departure or arrival time.
The Planner will find the easiest way for you to get where you want to go, plus give you easy-to-follow instructions on how to get there.
For more information, visit ptv.vic.gov.au