From handmade jewellery and homemade culinary masterpieces, to international fashion designs and unique local products –there’s nowhere quite like Melbourne to pick up a stylish Christmas gift or two. And throughout December, the cultural capital of Australia will be celebrating the season in style with its eclectic array of festival markets, inspired by the city’s numerous cultural influences.
Scattered throughout Melbourne, these intricate pop-up markets offer some of the most diverse shopping available in Australia. With the year drawing to an end, book a room at the comfortable and convenient PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport hotel and enjoy a unique Christmas shopping experience, with our guide to the Melbourne markets you shouldn’t miss.
The Big Design Market
Image by Susan Fitzgerald
5 to 7 December 2014, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
Back again for 2014, the Big Design Market is the biggest market of its kind in Australia. This event brings together 225 designers from Australia and New Zealand, making it the ideal place to do some Christmas shopping for the artistic types in your life. Once you’ve selected your perfect piece, add your personalised stamp to it by making your own Christmas wrapping paper onsite.
Children can enjoy free activities all day in the dedicated kids’ activities area, while you can take a break from your shopping in the lush surroundings of nearby Carlton Gardens. These World Heritage-listed gardens are impeccably presented, and an afternoon stroll through the Victorian landscape is a Christmas present in itself.
Hawthorn Craft Market – Christmas Twilight Market
Copyright: Magdalena Kucova
19 December, The Parkview Room, 340 Camberwell Road, Camberwell
Established in 1979, the Hawthorn Craft Market has grown to be famous for the quality of the handcrafted items on sale. A true “maker’s” market, it’s the perfect place to find an utterly unique Christmas gift.
The Hawthorn Craft Market is held on the first Sunday of every month, with a special festive Twilight Market to be held on the Friday before Christmas. From candles and cosmetics, to plants, homewares and everything in between, this is the place to pick up those stocking fillers and last minute gifts. And while you’re searching for that perfect handcrafted piece, be sure to treat yourself to some of the delicious gourmet food on offer.
Queen Victoria Market’s Night Market
Wednesday nights, 5 November 2014 to 25 March 2015, Corner of Victoria St and Elizabeth St, Melbourne
The iconic Queen Victoria Market is a must-see for anyone on a trip to Melbourne, and is open on Wednesday nights during the summer months. The markets boast an incredible variety of foods, an extensive fashion range, live music, art, and bars, making it a great place to do your Christmas shopping and enjoy an evening of entertainment at the same time. Immerse yourself in the cosmopolitan feel of the inner-city, and find that festive hidden gem.
The Queen Victoria Market isn’t the only location open in the evenings during the summer though. Night-time shoppers should also check out St Kilda Twilight Market, open on Thursday nights during summer, as well as Coburg Night Markets, opening every Friday night.
Blenders Lane Artists Market
Wednesday nights, 12 November 2014 to 25 February 2015, 110 Franklin St, Melbourne
Melbourne is a city famous for its hidden treasures. Tucked away in a laneway not far from Queen Victoria Market, you’ll find one of Melbourne’s finest artists’ markets. Every Wednesday, some of the city’s most talented local creatives congregate in a narrow alley, surrounded by murals of graffiti, and celebrate all things art. Lose yourself in the culture of inner-city life, in the stories of the local artists, and in the sounds of some of the most passionate musicians the city has to offer.
Running from November to February, this is the perfect opportunity to find unique, one-off pieces of art. After this authentic Melbourne experience, you’ll feel like one of the locals in no time.
Chinatown’s Pop-up Night Market
19 December 2014, Heffernan Lane, Melbourne
For those looking to delve into the city’s culture and diversity, be sure to head over to Hawthorne Lane, a little piece of China lost in the side streets of Melbourne. Immerse yourself in the aroma of eastern foods including satay sauces, sizzling biryani and delicious dumplings. And while you’re sampling some of China’s best traditional street foods, make sure you check out the trinkets and treasures of the markets and side stalls, scattered throughout with glowing Mirabella lanterns.
Chinatown’s Pop-up Night Market comes alive on the third Friday of every month, meaning you’ll be able to find that last-minute festive treat just in time for Christmas.
What’s your favourite festive market in Melbourne? Let us know in the comments section below.