Chapel Street Bazaar
217-223 Chapel Street, Prahran
A vintage institution where you can rummage through a huge space of organised chaos and discover treasures at every turn. Expect to find retro gems and funky fashion from the 1920s onwards, antique collectibles like dolls and figurines, cameras and record players, and memorabilia such as rare movie posters and vinyl.
OPENING HOURS: 10am-6pm daily
MUST-BUYS: Sterling silver jewellery from A$50 (S$59); vintage sunglasses from A$55; designer wool jackets from A$40; full-length sequinned dresses from A$75; vintage evening bags from A$35; retro scarves from A$4; 1960s shift dresses from A$45; old movie posters from A$10; working gramophones from A$295.
GETTING THERE: Take a train on the Sandringham line to Prahran Station, then walk to the bazaar via Greville Street. Trams 78 and 79 also travel the length of Chapel Street.
DO THIS AFTER: Explore iconic Chapel Street with its stylish boutiques and countless cafes and restaurants.
Camberwell Sunday Market
Station Street, Camberwell
At this large, open-air carpark, get your hands on vintage clothing, crockery and crystal, furniture, books and bric-a-brac from 370 makeshift stalls set up in cars and vans. Get there early for the good stuff.
OPENING HOURS: Sun, 7am-12:30pm
MUST-BUYS: Pre-loved clothing: think Levi’s 501s for A$15, leather jackets starting at A$25, knee-high leather boots from A$10, items from Country Road, Willow and Kookai for A$5, and even beautiful vintage kimonos for A$5!
GETTING THERE: From the CBD, take tram 75 towards East Burwood, tram 70 towards Wattle Park, or tram 72 towards Camberwell. Alight at Camberwell junction and walk to the market behind the shops on Burke Road. Or catch a train on the Lilydale, Belgrave or Alamein line to Camberwell Station.
DO THIS AFTER: Stop for lunch at one of the nearby cafes, like Denmark Hill Kafe (689 Burke Road).
Queen Victoria Market
513 Elizabeth Street (corner of Elizabeth Street and Victoria Street)
Australia’s largest open-air market has been in operation since the late 1800s. It’s a bustling historic landmark spread across two city blocks, and it boasts more than 600 retailers. The space consists of a mix of enormous industrial sheds as well as enclosed deli and fresh-produce sections.
OPENING HOURS: Tue & Thu, 8am- 2pm; Fri, 8am-4pm; Sat 8am-3pm; Sun 9am-4pm. Wednesday Night Market: 5-10pm (July 9 to Aug 26, Nov 5 to March 25)
MUST-BUYS: Seasonal fruit and artisanal cheeses; souvenirs such as rainsticks (A$8), boomerangs and T-shirts (A$5 each); Aboriginal art from A$10-A$40; Ugg boots from A$79; woollen jackets from A$59; new leather jackets from A$100.
GETTING THERE: Take a train to Melbourne Central Station or Flagstaff Station, or take any tram heading north along Elizabeth Street or William Street, and alight at the corner of Franklin Street or Victoria Street.
DO THIS AFTER: Head back to town and hit the shops on Bourke Street for more retail therapy.
South Melbourne Market
322-326 Coventry Street, South Melbourne
One of the city’s most popular markets, it has more than 100 stalls selling everything from fresh produce and ethnic food to unique gifts at So:me Space, which offers fashion and homeware items made by local designers.
OPENING HOURS: Wed, 8am-4pm; Fri, 8am-5pm; Sat & Sun, 8am-4pm
MUST-BUYS: Freshly shucked A$1 Tasmanian oyster shots; A$1.80 “dim sim” – Melbourne’s gargantuan version of dim sum; huge punnets of juicy strawberries for A$4; gourmet lemon or garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil from A$18; Aussie wine starting from just A$7 a bottle; organic honey from A$6.50; handcrafted soap from A$2 and fresh sourdough bread from A$6. Get a neck and shoulder massage for A$15 once you’re done shopping.
GETTING THERE: From the CBD, take tram 96 from Bourke Street and alight at South Melbourne, or take tram 112 from Collins Street and alight at the corner of York Street. The market occupies the block between Cecil, Coventry and York Streets.
DO THIS AFTER: Enjoy amazing coffee at the neighbourhood cafes and browse through speciality shops like Chef’s Hat (131 Cecil Street).
Rose Street Artists’ Market
60 Rose Street, Fitzroy
Tucked between converted warehouses amid graffiti-adorned lanes, the quaint Rose Street Artists’ Market is fast becoming Melbourne’s home of indie art and design. Split between an outdoor area and enclosed spaces, it features art, photography, fashion, jewellery and accessories handcrafted by emerging Melbournian artists and designers.
OPENING HOURS: Sat-Sun, 11am-5pm
MUST-BUYS: Industrial-style necklaces from A$90; arty coin pouches from A$10; bottle-top silver rings from A$85; designer baby bibs from A$8; vintage postage-stamp necklaces from A$20; photo-art clocks from A$65.
GETTING THERE: From the CBD, take tram 96 from Bourke Street and alight at Rose Street, or tram 112 from Collins Street and alight at Leicester Street.
DO THIS AFTER: Explore the eclectic neighbourhood and its weird and wonderful shops, like Ishka (302 Nicholson Street).
163-185 Commercial Road, South Yarra
Melbourne’s oldest food market is a mecca of quality edibles. Think of it as a produce wonderland, where you can browse through old-fashioned deli shops, fresh fruit and vegetable stalls and gourmet stores, as well as have a meal at the cafe-lined open-air courtyard.
OPENING HOURS: Tue & Sat, 7am-5pm; Thur & Fri, 7am-6pm; Sun, 10am-3pm.
MUST-BUYS: A combo of four cheeses and dips for A$10 – perfect for snacking on in your hotel room (add fruit, deli meats and fresh bread to make it a proper meal); a great cup of joe from Market Lane Coffee; Tasmanian Manuka Honey from A$24.95; Coriole Shiraz Red Wine Vinegar from A$13.95.
GETTING THERE: From the CBD, take tram 72 from Swanston Street towards Camberwell and alight near Chapel Street; or from Flinders Station, take a Sandringham line train to Prahran Station.
DO THIS AFTER: Explore Greville Street, with its many cafes, bars, restaurants, bookshops as well as clothing and music shops.
This article was originally published in Simply Her July 2014.