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Eating Cheap at the Queen Victoria Market

Also known as Queen Vic and the Vic Market, the Queen Victoria Market has a lot to offer. A stones throw away from Melbourne’s CBD, you will find this delightful shopping extravaganza that could keep you amused for hours. The markets are a huge tourist attraction, for those visiting the city of Melbourne, but they are also a place for locals to do their weekly shopping.

Google tells me that the Queen Victoria Market is the largest open-air market within the Southern Hemisphere, which is a pretty impressive feet with it being so close to the CBD. It’s definitely one of the biggest markets I have ever visited, with the exception of a few Asian markets.

The market is vibrant, colourful and a great place for us to do our grocery shopping. We bought our weekly food shop, almost entirely, at the market this week and it cost us $17.55 (£10.80) each. This included chicken, mince, amaaaazing sausages and a heap of fruit and vegetables. The market also has a busy dairy hall, food trucks and stalls for clothes, jewellery, souvenirs and crafts.

My favourite trip to the Queen Victoria Market has to be when we strolled across the city on a warm Wednesday night for the Summer Market. This market takes place every Wednesday (5pm to 10pm) from November to late March. At QVM’s night market the stalls that you see during the day are taken away and replaced with food trucks galore, from paella and churros to Pimms and beer, the night market has it all! We even got to see a flash mob while we sat and ate our food. 

Opening hours

  • The market is closed Monday and Wednesday (with the exception of the Wednesday night market during the summer)
  • The fresh produce market is open from 6am-2pm on a Tuesday and Thursday, 6am-5pm on a Friday, 6am-3pm on a Saturday and 9am-4pm on a Sunday
  • Speciality shopping (crafts, clothing and souvenirs) are open from 8am-2pm on a Tuesday and Thursday, 8am-3pm on a Friday and Saturday and 9am-4pm on a Sunday.
  • On public holidays the market is often closed so check: for the most up to date information on trading hours.

Why shop here?

The answer is simple. Produce is fresh and mostly local or Australian.

You know that soul destroying feeling when you go to a supermarket and take part in trolley wars, while looking at ridiculously priced big brands? Well, QVM takes all that away. It’s a busy place, yet the atmosphere is friendly and fun. The market itself reeks with history and local produce.

What are the downsides?

At the weekend the market does get busy so be prepared to deal with the crowds. For me, this just adds to the atmosphere however if you don’t like dealing with crowds try going during the week when the market is quieter. Also, plastic bags are handed out at an alarming rate! QVM’s website suggests that they have been attempting to phase out plastic bags since 2010, however, everyone is picking up small plastic bags so the vegetables they pick can be easily weighed at each stall. If you are coming to do your food shopping here try to remember to bring your own bags!

Overall the Queen Victoria Market is a great place to do your shopping and a must see tourist attraction for those visiting Melbourne. Take a look at the above video to get a feel for the atmosphere and the price of food at the market!

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