Australia // Melbourne and around //

Queen Victoria Market

Opened in the 1870s, Queen Victoria Market remains one of the best-loved of Melbourne’s institutions. Its collection of huge, open-sided sheds and high-roofed decorative halls is fronted along Victoria Street by restored shops, with their original wrought-iron canopies. The market is a boisterous, down-to-earth affair where you can buy practically anything from new and secondhand clothes to fresh fish. Stallholders and shoppers seem just as diverse as the goods on offer: Vietnamese, Italian and Greek greengrocers pile their colourful produce high and vie for your attention, while the huge variety of deliciously smelly cheeses effortlessly draws customers to the old-fashioned deli hall. Saturday morning marks a weekly social ritual as Melbourne’s foodies turn out for their groceries, while Sunday is for clothing and shoe shopping. The guided Foodies Dream Tour takes in all the culinary delights of the market, while the action-packed Night Markets have music stages, bars and over 200 stalls providing on-site cuisine from around the world as well as clothing, jewellery and other crafty goods. The market also runs regular day, evening and weekend cooking classes.