The Queen Victoria Market is a huge open air market in Melbourne’s central business district (CBD). It’s a major landmark and the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere.
Locals call it the Queen Vic Market or the Vic Market. It has a colourful history. Before it was a market, the site was part of the Old Melbourne Cemetery. Between 1837 and 1854, an estimated 10,000 early settlers were buried on the site. In 1917, 914 bodies were exhumed and re-buried in other cemeteries around Melbourne. Around 9,000 bodies still remain buried below the car park of the Market. Can you believe that? Most Melburnians don’t know that.
The CBD once had three major markets. Two of them, the Eastern Market and Western Market, both of which opened before the Queen Victoria, closed in the 1960s. The Queen Vic Market is the only surviving 19th century market.
The Queen Victoria Market offers a variety of fruit and vegetables, meat, poultry and seafood, gourmet and delicatessen foods. It also has a large non-food related market where you can find clothing, shoes, jewellery and handmade arts and crafts. Melburnians do shop there, especially if they live in and around the CBD, but there are other markets in Melbourne plus the supermarket chains Coles and Woolworths. So, if you don’t live near the city, you might not shop there.
The Vic Market is a major tourist destination. You’ll find all sorts of Australian souvenirs here. And it’s a very, very busy place.
The market is also known for the hot doughnut van, which has operated for over half a century. These are jam doughnuts covered in sugar.
For more information about the Queen Vic Market, including hours, stall lists, and what’s on, please visit the website here.