Visiting the Queen Victoria Market, in Melbourne, Australia, is like visiting a huge, outdoor mall that focuses on artisans who are the best in their profession. Browse art, try different foods, and even take home a bottle of wine. The market has been around for over 140 years, opening in March of 1878.
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It has gone through many changes in that time, having been a cemetery, as well as a fruit, vegetable, and livestock market.
Queen Victoria Market is a mecca for foodies, with a huge selection of different shops and stalls that have merchandise for every taste. The shops and stalls are broken into two different categories. Many of the vendors also offer organic selections as well.
Food and Beverage-
· Beer, Wine and Liquor- Four wine makers sell their collections at the market. Flowerdale, ReWine, Swords Wines, and Yarrambat Natural all call the market home, offering a selection of their sangrias, meads, rosé and more! Each winery is unique in their offerings and local to the area, so visitors who want more should also visit them in person on site.
· Breads, Cakes, and Pastries- One of the most popular sections, there are many local artisans offering their breads, cakes, and pastries for sale. Don’t miss The Bread Box, Baker D. Chirico, and more and take home a fresh baked item from the market.
· Delicatessen- For visitors who want more of a meal while shopping at the market, there are nearly 20 different delicatessens to stop at and enjoy something more substantial. From the traditional Queen Vic Deli to The Epicurean (for those more adventurous), there is something to satisfy every visitor.
Merchandise and Services-
· Artists and Designers- Pick up a painting, sculpture, or even caricatures of the whole family, which is a fun way to remember the visit!
· Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories- With shoes, jewelry, and clothing from the practical to the flashy, guests will enjoy trying on and shopping from the huge variety of vendors in this category.
· Florists, Gardens, and Nurseries- From beautiful roses to prickly cacti, visitors who like to check out the greenery will enjoy the special offerings from local vendors who are at the top of their game.
· Gifts and Stationary- Looking for that special gift? Look no further than the gift and stationary vendors, offering gifts for every age range and taste level.
This is just a small selection of the many unique and exciting vendors at the market! The market is open daily during the day and also offers a night market. Check the website for hours and a full list of all of the vendors at the market.
The market also offers tours that are specifically catered to students. There is a primary school tour that lasts an hour and a secondary school tour that lasts 90 minutes. Both tours must be reserved ahead of time, and they each focus on age appropriate history related to the market like food, provenance, etc. There is a small cost per student for each tour (slightly more for the secondary school tour due to the increased time needed for the tour guide.
Refer to the market website for additional information including curriculum, chaperone information, and parking as well as to reserve time and space ahead of time. Teachers may also call and speak with staff ahead of the field trip for additional information as well, and to help plan their lessons around what their students may see while at the market. A field trip is a great way to get students out of the classroom while still learning.
Visitors who are looking for a more special experience when visiting the market should look into taking one of the specialty tours offered.
The most popular tour is the foodie tour, which allows guests two hours with a tour guide and takes them through the market, pointing out the best of the best. It can be booked ahead of time on the website. Gift cards can also be purchased ahead of time.
Another option is the tour focusing on the Queen Vic and the story of its history. Recently turning 140 years old, the Queen Vic market has gone through many different phases and changes and this one hour tour introduces people to the cultural importance of the market. There is no cost, but reservations must be made ahead of time to guarantee space.
In addition to the tours, the market also offers different seasonal festivals like the Sustainable Living Festival and classes focusing on different aspects of the market and its goods, like food waste workshops. Check the website out for additional information about cost and time.
Queen Victoria Market, Queen Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia, Phone: +61-3-93-20-58-22