Interesting Facts About Queen Victoria Market
- Queen Victoria Market is the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere
- The Market was officially opened on 20 March 1878 and has been running for more than 137 years
- The Market is built on the site of the original Melbourne General Cemetery
- The complex occupies two city blocks, hosts more than 600 traders and attracts over 130,000 visitors per week
- The Market sells everything from fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish to live rabbits and bargain clothes
- The Market is open five days a week and also hosts a Night Market
- The Queen Victoria Market continues to thrive as one of Melbourne’s last remaining traditional working markets
Queen Victoria Market History
Melbourne’s main fresh produce and general goods market has a strange history, occupying the site of the original Melbourne General Cemetery, the city’s biggest cemetery from 1838-1920. In 1877, the idea of converting part of the original cemetery into a marketplace for fruits and vegetables was considered a practical one. At the time, it involved the relocation of only three graves. However, the choice created controversy which did not settle down for some time, as the market’s popularity made it necessary to acquire further portions of the cemetery. In 1917, an act of Parliament granted the removal of 10,000 remains. Identifiable graves were disinterred but some 9,000 corpses remain buried under what is now the carpark. They include the bodies of the first people executed in the city, Aboriginal resistance fighters Robert Smallboy and Jack Napoleon Tunninerpareway.
The market began with the construction of the Wholesale Meat Market in 1878. In 1884, the Meat Market and Elizabeth Street shop facades were built. Further extensions continued to be built until 1936. Today the complex occupying 7 hectares (17 acres) attracts 130,000 visitors per week. Its decorative, high-vaulted ceilings and open sides add to its ornate atmosphere. About 1,000 stalls sell fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, meat, cheese, organic food and souvenirs and clothing.
Queen Victoria Market Stalls
The Queen Victoria Market is home to the best and freshest produce in Melbourne. Saturdays are hectic, with thousands of Melburnians stocking up on fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish. Clothing and knick-knack stalls dominate on Sundays.
Built in 1927, the beautiful art-deco Dairy Hall is a gourmet foodie’s dream and it’s here you’ll find the famous boreks, bratwurst and countless other mouth-watering goods to tempt your tastebuds. Among the 37 outlets are delicatessens, bakeries and patisseries, a boutique beer and wine shop, confectionaries and a specialist tea and coffee merchant.
Whether you’re after top-quality gourmet sausages, free-range or organic meats (the Market is home to Victoria’s first certified organic butcher), or bracingly fresh seafood – you’ll find it in the Meat Hall. A stately and fully enclosed building, the Meat Hall has 37 outlets selling the freshest available meat, fish and poultry.
Queen Victoria Market offers the largest selection of organic produce in Melbourne. Situated near the corner of Therry and Queen Streets, I Shed has three certified organic fresh fruit and vegetable outlets and includes organic dry goods.
Fruit & Vegetables
Find some of Melbourne’s best and freshest seasonal fruit and vegetables sprawled over four sheds or refuel with a freshly made juice or smoothie. There is also an incredible array of exotic spices and dried herbs, dried fruit and nuts, and an eco-friendly stall stocking the best Australian wines.
Vic Market Place Food Hall
For those wanting to soak up the atmosphere over a meal or light snack, Vic Market Place is the place to be. Vic Market Place is home to the delicious and exotic flavours of the Middle East and India, as well as Australia, Italy and Asia. Choose from any number of dishes, prepared using the finest Market ingredients.
General Merchandise Stalls
The Market’s famous sheds are pure shopping heaven. There is a huge range of clothing and footwear, cosmetics, leather goods, jewellery, handicrafts and homewares, authentic Australian artefacts, souvenirs and much, much more – all at unbeatable prices.
The Market has 500 General Merchandise outlets including:
60 Art and Craft
45 Homewares, Furniture and Outdoors
40 Souvenirs, Gifts, Books and Music
21 Health, Beauty and Wellbeing
15 Technical and Eletrical
15 Toys and Games
10 Luggage and Travel Goods
5 Hardware and Automotive
2 Pet Accessories
Orirignally constructed in 1878, this row of shops comprises an eclectic blend of vibrant cafes and vendors selling covetable homewares, clothes, souvenirs and more.
Victoria Street Shops
You’ll fall in love with these quaint specialty shops, each beautifully restored, offering a gorgeous range of boutique items and quirky, one-of-a-kind finds.
Elizabeth Street Shops
From the fanciful delights of Ambiance to gorgeous cafes, these shops were built in 1884 and have been classified as Historic Buildings.
String Bean Alley
(open Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
Discover this laneway of shipping containers housing artisan wares, local design and specialty coffee.
Queen Victoria Night Market
In addition to the day market held at the Queen Victoria Market five days a week, there’s also a Night Market held in Winter and Summer.
Summer Night Market
The award-winning Summer Night Market attracts more than 25,000 people on Wednesday evenings in summer. The lively Night Market showcases some of Melbourne’s finest artisans, as well as hawker-style global food and some of Melbourne’s best live music and entertainment acts.
Open every Wednesday night from November to March
Queen St, 5pm-10pm
Winter Night Market
The Winter Night Market is a whimsical wonderland where you can enjoy the sound of crackling fires and the smells of deliciously warming soul food, while shopping for goods from some of the region’s best designers and artisans.
Open every Wednesday night from June to August
Queen St, 5pm-10pm
Queen Victoria Market Tours
Food lovers from all over world will love the Queen Victoria Market tours. During each of the tours, you will take in the life, sounds, stories and the tastes of the iconic seven hectare open-air market. Knowledgeable guides will lead you on a journey through the historic market, while you taste your way around the halls and stalls of glorious, seemingly endless food.
Learn about the historic market, discover Melbourne’s evolving food and coffee culture, and pick up hints on selecting the best seasonal produce. Choose from one of our unique Queen Victoria Market tours below.
Queen Victoria Market Opening Hours
Queen Victoria Market is open five days a week. It is closed on Mondays, Wednesdays and public holidays.
Fresh produce Specialty shopping
Tuesday – 6am-2pm 8am-2pm
Thursday – 6am-2pm 8am-2pm
Friday – 6am-6pm 8am-3pm
Saturday – 6am-3pm 8am-3pm
Sunday – 9am-4pm 9am-4pm
String Bean Alley is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Queen Victoria Market Address
513 Elizabeth Street (Cnr Elizabeth & Victoria Streets)
How to get to Queen Victoria Market?
Located at the north-western edge of Melbourne central business district, Queen Victoria Market is bounded by Peel, Franklin, Victoria and Elizabeth Streets. The Market is a short stroll from the City centre and can be easily reached via train, tram and the Melbourne Visitor Shuttle bus.
By train: Alight at the Elizabeth Street exit of either the Melbourne Central or Flagstaff Station and walk north along Elizabeth or William Street, respectively.
By tram: Catch any tram travelling north along William Street or Elizabeth Street and get off at Queen Victoria Market stop. Tram No. 19, 55, 57, 59.
Melbourne Visitor Shuttle: Stop 8 on this popular, half-hourly service which operates daily from 9:30am to 4:30pm (excluding Christmas Day). On Labour Day and Anzac Day the service operates from 1pm to 4:30pm.
Queen Victoria Market Parking
Queen Victoria Market has its own paid car park located south of the market. Enter via Franklin or Queen Streets.
FREE parking for early Market shoppers – Enter and exit the Market Carpark between 6am – 10am Sunday to Friday or 6am – 8am on Saturday and don’t pay a cent.
Monday – Friday: 6am-7pm
Free parking near Queen Victoria Market can be hard to find particularly during the warm summer months. If you’re looking for free parking, consider browsing the side streets north of Victoria Street.
Queen Victoria Market Map
Did you enjoy this article? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. If you have any questions or additions to our Queen Victoria Market page, please add them too.