By Rosie Stevens
September 11, 2020 | 5 minute read
If there’s one thing our nation’s capital does well (alongside coffee, brunch, and ultra-drivable roads), it’s a weekend market. Canberra’s offering of fresh produce, handmade delights, delicious food stalls and much more at their unrivalled selection of markets is well worth checking out—whether you’re a local looking for a weekend activity or a visitor on the hunt for the best the city has to offer.
2020 has, needless to say, thrown many things out of sync — markets included. Some are still running while others are postponed until further notice, so be sure to check directly with the organiser before planning a trip. Here are my top picks for unmissable markets in Canberra, from the big-name suspects to the lesser-known gems.
A Canberran institution of sorts, the Handmade Markets are held quarterly at Exhibition Park and showcase the very best of established and emerging local designers. The market is the brainchild of two women who wanted to create a space to brandish Canberra’s wealth of design talent—and they’ve certainly made good on their vision.
Nationally acclaimed, the Handmade Markets are brimming with one-of-a-kind homewares, jewellery, clothing, cosmetics and more. Now boasting over 250 local and interstate stallholders and attendance numbers topping 30,000, this bright, bustling and busy market is an essential visit for every market lover; offering the perfect opportunity to purchase unique, artisanal goods and support Australian small businesses while you’re at it. What’s not to love?
Due to the COVID climate, the physical markets are on hold. Instead, the online markets are connecting the valued handmade community with the best Australian makers. Check out upcoming dates here.
Taking place every Saturday morning at Exhibition Park, the Capital Region Farmers Market are the ideal place to grab your morning coffee (and a fresh, flaky pastry to accompany as it’s the weekend after all!) whilst loading up on the freshest produce in town.
With over 130 listed stallholders from Canberra and its surrounding areas, the market serves up diverse, seasonal produce straight from the growers, farmers and makers themselves. Whether it’s a week’s worth of greens, a kilo of roasted macadamia nuts, gourmet dog treats or artisanal jams and chutneys you’re after, you’ll find it all here.
Social distancing is being enforced at the markets, and you can also order direct from some stallholders here. Held at Exhibition Park, Canberra every Saturday morning, 7.00 am - 11.30 am
Southside Farmers Market
Easily one of the better-known markets in Canberra, the Old Bus Depot Markets are well worth a weekend wander — taking place each Sunday in Kingston. Showcasing talented performers delivering live entertainment while you browse the stalls, these markets are a mecca of handicrafts, clothing, art and photography, homewares, collectibles and a whole lot more.
The market also boasts its very own multicultural mini food-hall that's well worth a visit in its own right—with cuisines ranging from French to Laotian to Ethiopian and everything in between. We can practically smell the aromas from here.
These markets are currently closed, check back here for updates and browse the range of stallholders here. Normally held at the Old Bus Depot, Kingston every Sunday, 10.00 am - 4.00 pm
Serving up an impressive selection of regional, seasonal and local produce including an impressive organic and biodynamic range, the Southside Farmers Markets are a haven for foodies. Taking place every Sunday morning, it's the place where you can get to know more about the food you’re eating from local growers and makers. The sense of community that hums throughout these markets underpins the stallholders commitment and passion for providing quality produce—which is why Canberran’s return week in, week out!
The Southside farmers Markets are adhering to the current social distancing requirements and remain open. Held at 2 Launceston Street, Phillip every Sunday, 8.30 am - 11 am
The Three Sixty Fashion Market
More of a local secret than a big-name market, Hartley Hall’s offering have been running strong since 1987, with some of the original stallholders still going. There’s live music, children’s entertainment and an eclectic range of stalls boasting everything from gourmet meats, cheeses and delectable baked goods to clothing, homewares and accessories.
There is a gold coin donation required upon entry to the markets, with all proceeds going towards Hartley Lifecare; the worthy local charity that organises and operates the monthly markets. The September markets are cancelled due to COVID restrictions, but keep your eyes peeled here for updates on the October ones and beyond. These markets are held at the Hall Showground, Victoria Street, Hall first Sunday of the month (excluding January) 10.00 am - 3.00 pm
The Three Sixty Fashion Market sells new and recycled fashion for style-savvy shoppers. You'll discover quality garments of all sizes and styles; plus shoes, handbags, accessories and more. Stallholders sell vintage, retro and pre-loved fashion that deserves a loving second home.
The Market is committed to a circular economy, providing ethical choices and ecological sustainability alongside an abundance of style and fun. Fashion lovers, this one’s for you!
The July markets were cancelled due to COVID restrictions, however the organisers say they’re confident that the November 8 market will be able to go ahead. Check back here for further updates! Normally held in the Fitters’ Workshop, Kingston Powerhouse Precinct.
Okay okay, we KNOW it’s been a hectic year and that Christmas is perhaps the furthest thing from your mind right now, but these annual markets are a godsend for all-things Christmassy, so they’re well-worth putting on your radar. Covering Christmas gifts, foods, treats, stocking fillers and unique present ideas, this one-stop shop of all-things festive takes place at Exhibition Park in early December. Held at Exhibition Park, Canberra, the dates are to be confirmed.
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