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Of all the Melbourne markets, the Queen Victoria Market is the most entertaining. In addition to the traditional trading Queen Victoria Market hours, there are special event Queen Vic Market days and nights that are highly entertaining. Visiting the QVM – whether during the day, night or on a weekend – is a must-do in Melbourne, Australia!
Queen Vic Market Melbourne
The buzzing halls of the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne have all the ingredients – meat, fish, produce, prepared food, clothing and gadgets – of a thriving metropolitan market. But, while some markets like these become geared toward tourists, there is no doubt that this is where urban locals do their shopping as well. And, while shopping is still the focus of the market, special food events attract hungry crowds, too.
Queen Victoria Market History
The Queen Victoria Market has a long history in Melbourne. The QVM officially opened in 1878, but markets took place on the same site prior to the official opening. Although the market has seen numerous changes and renovations since its existence, it remains one of the best-preserved 19th century markets in Melbourne.
Today, the Queen Victoria Market has indoor and outdoor booths taking up more than two city blocks – and we covered every aisle. Kris, who normally isn’t nearly as enamored with markets as I am, was quite entertained at the Queen Victoria Market. So much so that we made multiple visits in order to partake in the market’s special events.
The QVM is one of the top attractions in the city. For more tips on what to do in Melbourne, use our guide to the Best Things To Do in Melbourne, Australia!
Queen Vic Market Open Days
The Queen Vic Market times vary by day of the week. Only certain sections of the market are open for special events. The regular Queen Victoria Market days of operation are Tuesday (6am-2pm), Thursday (6am-2pm), Friday (6am-5pm) and Saturday (6am-3pm). The Queen Victoria Market Sunday hours are from 9am until 4pm.
The normal QVM market functions are closed on Mondays and Wednesdays – but are open for special events, like the Queen Vic Night Market on Wednesdays. The Queen Vic markets are also closed on most holidays.
Queen Vic Market Address
The iconic entrance to the Queen Victoria Market shops is at the southwest corner of Elizabeth and Victoria Streets. However, the majority of the Queen Victoria Market stalls are bounded by Queen Street, Victoria Street, Peel Street and the QVM car park (which is bordered by Franklin Street to the south).
Use this link to Google Maps for the Queen Victoria Market Address and Location.
Queen Victoria Market Events
QVM ranks as one of the best markets in Melbourne – and it’s not just for the shopping opportunities! During special events at Queen Victoria Market visitors are able to partake in a range of programs, tours and entertainment.
We were so enthralled by the QV Market events that in addition to visiting the regular market during the day, we also went to the Winter Night Market and Euro Union Sunday Market.
Below, we highlight the best shopping and events of the Melbourne Queen Vic Market.
Queen Victoria Market – Day
During the day, the Queen Vic Market stalls are open for business and bustling! The massive market can feel overwhelming, but it is all extremely organized and easy to get around.
Specialty Shopping and General Merchandise
We entered the Queen Victoria Market in the general merchandise section and started our exploration through the seemingly endless aisles of clothing, purses and kitschy souvenirs. The individual booths spread out like a grid in the warehouse-like setting.
Scarves, jerseys, socks, stuffed kangaroos, sweaters and painted boomerangs are all for sale. But, wait, there’s more! We also passed by tables of jewelry, racks of coats, entire booths filled with kitchen utensils, rows of shoes and a variety of hats.
Queen Victoria Market Doughnuts
We finally broke free from the maze of goods onto Queen Street, but before we entered the produce section, we made a stop at the American Doughnut Kitchen bus. A sign in the windshield, “Hot Doughnuts Now Ready” indicates that they are open, but the long line to the driver side window is the true signal.
They advertise “5 for $6.50,” but each doughnut costs $1.30, regardless of how many are purchased. One bite told the story of the queue; the warm cherry-filled, sugar-covered nugget was probably the best doughnut I’ve had in years!
Fruit and Vegetables at QVM
Our sugar high matched the buzzing energy of the produce section. Fruits are displayed in colorful bursts. Vendors shout out deals. Vegetables are weighed on old-fashioned scales. Shoppers fill their bags.
It was difficult to be a tourist here; locals were shopping and vendors were selling, so it was not easy to find a place to stop and take a photo. I took note of the inexpensive prices of apples and pears and realized I pay double to triple the amount at our local supermarket.
Meat and Fish Hall
We moved into the meat and seafood hall, which was smaller than I thought it would be – but nonetheless interesting. The thick slabs of meat and whole fresh fish were displayed on trays and kept in cooled glass cases – similar to a grocery store setting and unlike other, perhaps less regulated, markets we’ve visited. We quickly passed through and moved into the adjacent hall.
Dairy Produce Hall
The Deli Hall – or Dairy Produce Hall – has tantalizing displays of local cheeses, cured meats and chocolate treats. The scent of freshly baked borek and savory sausages fills the room. We sampled a delicious, creamy blue cheese, but for lunch we couldn’t resist trying the fragrant lamb borek, followed by a decadent chocolate brownie bar, of course.
Queen Victoria Market – Night Market
The Queen Victoria Winter Night Market was completely different than what I was expecting. Unlike the traditional daytime market, the QVM night event is all about feasting and entertainment. Set outdoors under the sheds, food vendors were situated in a large ring around the perimeter of the hall. At the Queen Vic Night Markets, chefs man the stalls and cook an eclectic array of aromatic dishes, while a live band entertains the crowds.
Queen Vic Market: Night Event
The Queen Victoria Market Night Market is a weekly event that takes place throughout the year – either as the Queen Vic Summer or Queen Vic Winter night Market. The hours of the QVM Melbourne Wednesday Night Market are 5pm until 10pm.
What To Eat at Queen Victoria Market Night Market
The food stalls at the Queen Victoria Night Market offer tempting international fare. The smoke and scents mingled together teasing our taste buds and encouraging us to get a little bit of everything. We tried roti canai from Mamak, mostly for the artful way the chefs spread the dough thin and cracked an egg over the top before folding it up and tossing it on the grill. One bite and we realized it was more than art.
With so many choices – hot soup in a bread bowl, ramen burgers, grilled seafood and sizzling meat – it was difficult to commit to one choice for dinner, but the skewers of chicken satay at Poppy’s Thai Tuk Tuk won out. With our bellies full, we strolled through the art and craft stalls and listened to the live music. On the perimeter of the shed fire pits were blazing to add a bit of warmth, but a glass of mulled wine could also do the trick.
Queen Victoria Market – Weekend
In addition to the Queen Victoria Market at night, there are additional special programs on weekends. From book fairs to festivals to workshops, the QV Market is especially fun to visit on weekends.
Queen Victoria Market Sunday
Our Melbourne visit coincided with a special event at QVM: the Euro Union Sunday Market – which included a mix of elements from the day and night QVM markets. The regular day market was operating, but on Queen Street, between the merchandise and produce (where the American Doughnut bus sits), there was a pop-up Queen Victoria Market Food Court.
A handful of food stalls were cranking out European street food – and it was delicious! Pizza, kebabs, paella, sausages and crepes were among the offerings. There was a small beer garden serving local brews and a performer was strumming Spanish tunes. The QV Market Melbourne was the perfect way to idle away an afternoon.
Queen Victoria Market Tour
While we love exploring places on our own, sometimes it is better with a guide. Queen Victoria Market tours are an excellent way to discover the best of the QVM – with a little help from a local!
Queen Victoria Market Foodie Tour
The QVM Ultimate Foodie Tour is the official tour at the market. The 2-hour tour is led by a local guide who shares insight into the history of the market. Participants get to sample local delicacies (like grilled kangaroo) and sip regional wine. The small-group tours are limited to just 12 people per tour – Reserve Your Space Now!
We Want To Know: Have you visited the Melbourne Queen Victoria Market? What was your experience like? Tell us about it in the comments!
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