Queen Victoria Market: Winter & Summer Night market!

queen victoria (night) market


The Queen Victoria Market (QVM) is over seven hectares / 17 acres (so it's big!), making it the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere with approximately 10 million people visiting per year.

It's night market is one of the most popular things to do in Melbourne (as seen from it's almost 10,000 reviews online (below). So let's look at why you might want to visit.

"Normal" market vs. Summer & Winter night market:

Firstly, there's some often some confusion that we need to clarify. The Night Market and the "normal" market are both at QVM, but they are quite different experiences. Many people aren't aware these are different things.

Both are FREE entry. However the "normal" Queen Victoria Market is more like a large super-market with a huge range of fresh produce and items similar to Aldi/Woolworths/Coles that runs on: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday. While the night market is more like festival / big event.

The night market:

  • has live music and entertainment (live bands, DJs/music and street performers)

  • has more "street food": food trucks and food stalls (making it more of a "food hall" experience).

  • only runs once a week on Wednesday night (and is in the evenings: 5pm-10pm)

  • serves alcohol (like cocktails)

In this guide, we are only looking at the Winter/Summer Night Market.

[Highlight #1]: Delicious street food and food trucks!:

The Winter / Summer Night market has the most diverse food options I've ever seen in Melbourne and is the most exciting part of the experience. The food trucks and stalls are all different. The experience is similar to visiting a festival with food stalls and food trucks with hundreds of people walking around and exploring.

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Raclette food stall (French)

Some food options include: Texan smoked meats, French Raclette, Colombian empanadas, African, Dutch poffertjes, jam donuts (they are quite good as they're incredibly soft and fresh), Greek, Italian pasta and there's a lot more.

Here's another example of the food stalls & food trucks:

Food Hall vs. Food Court:
This combination of unique / artisan (and ussually independently operated) food truck / stalls is often call known as a "food hall". A "food court" sounds similar but is ussualy a group of chain restuarants (like Mcdonalds, KFC etc) within a larger indoor shopping centre.

There's a few interesting drinks places too - some serve alcohol too.

[Highlight #2]: Music & Live entertainment

The live music is pretty special. But I find the music isn't always my taste (it's targetted at families with children for instance.) However there's some really unique music / bands that get people up dancing.

Music schedule (example):

(note: this is just an example of "What's on" section of the summer night market website - so it will be old when you read this.)

[Highlight #3]: Unique souvenirs and gifts:

There's quite a few different shops around that sell unique items and clothing.

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Handmade Jewelry store

[Highlight #4]: Enjoy a sunset (with food and friends):

On clear nights, you can catch a beautiful sunset as parts of the market are outdoors and the market operates during sunset hours (both during winter and summer - when the sunset times vary from around 5pm to 9pm):

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Food & music at the QVM

Historical significance:

The market is listed on both the Victorian Heritage Register and the National Heritage List.

The QVM opened in 1878 and is the last remaining major market in the CBD. Other markets include: Prahran Market and South Melbourne Market.

Map / address:

Map of the Queen Victoria Market
Location: Google Maps

Is it good attending solo / by yourself?:

The night market doesn't have a lot of structured opportunities to meet new people (like a langauge exchange does, for instance). However, if you like visiting places alone it's also quite nice to explore. Personally, I like visiting the night market a small group of friends that want to explore, take photos and share some food & drinks together.

When does it run?

The market runs weekly on a Wednesday night for a limited time during Summer & Winter. For instance, the Summer Night Market ran (each Wednesday) this year from: 22 November – 13 March.

Official websites:

Their official websites are below:


(However, it looks like both domain names point to the same website.)