Built in 1840 and later renovated in 1999, Victoria Market is a great example of blending the old and new Seychellois way of life. It’s always been great place to buy local fruit, vegetables, spices and fish; a good sign of this is that it’s always busy with Seychellois doing their food shopping.
Today you can expect a large dash of colour thrown into the mix, with a wide range of stalls aimed at tourists with all kinds of souvenirs such as sarongs, flavoured oils as well as some local art work.
The smell of fish is definitely something that can not be denied while walking around the market. It’s pretty impressive to see the huge array of fish on offer in the market. If you’re after fresh fish, this is certainly the place to come to buy it, for the sheer variety alone. If you ask, they will even fillet it for you, to save you a messy job. If fish is not your thing, however, it is certainly still worth a walk around. You can also avoid the fish stalls entirely if you like.
The market is a fantastic place to go to learn about local food and culture. Seychellois love to share their knowledge of locally grown fruit and vegetables and the best way to cook all the different types of fish. It really is somewhere special to go for an education in Seychellois Creole cooking.
When to go
The market is open between 4am-5pm, Monday to Saturday. Stocks of fish, fruit and vegetables obviously dwindle throughout the day so it’s better to visit earlier if you’re visiting to shop for food. Of course, the earlier the better for the freshness of the fish too. It’s busiest on a Saturday so keep this in mind if you’re looking to avoid crowds. Expect to spend between 20 minutes to an hour and a half here; partly depending on how long you can stomach the smell of fish and how much you stop, talk and learn from the locals.
Parking in Victoria can be a bit of a nightmare, the best bet is to leave the car behind and either get a bus or a taxi in. Tour operators and some hotels will also offer trips there. If you have to take the car, the easiest place to park is down by the Chaka Brothers shop where there is a big car park.