The 7 Best Markets in Canberra

Canberra is home to a number of fantastic markets
Canberra is home to a number of fantastic markets | © Linda Xu / Unsplash
Lucy Ridge

Canberrans love to shop and eat, so it’s only natural that this Australian city is packed full of great markets. Canberra is located close to bountiful farmlands and the south coast, and it has also fostered a supportive culture of arts and creativity. Whether you’re looking for fresh, local produce, handmade jewellery or a street-food-festival atmosphere, there’s a market in Canberra for you.

Canberra Region Farmers’ Market

This Saturday market is run by the Rotary club and is packed full of local farmers, producers, makers and bakers. Try the local goat cheese, handmade dumplings, or an orange-juice slushie. Stallholder fees are put back into the community through Rotary grants and programs, and during the recent bushfire crisis, when some stallholders lost property and buildings, the community banded together to raise almost $20,000. Once you’ve done your shopping, relax with a coffee on the grass outside and say hello to some of the dogs and dog walkers that pass by.

Southside Farmers’ Market

The Sunday equivalent of the Canberra Region market, this market is a favourite of Southsiders and anyone in Canberra who likes to sleep in on Saturdays. Held in the outdoor area of a high school, Southside Farmers’ Market has heaps of wonderful fresh produce. While some stallholders double up between the Canberra Region Farmers’ Market and that in Southside, there are still plenty of unique stalls that are worth visiting here. Very family-friendly, the market often has live music in the courtyard.

Old Bus Depot Markets

These markets are a Canberra icon. The retro industrial sheds house stalls selling everything from fine art, fruit and vegetables to knitwear and ice cream. The food stalls are particularly good and visitors should make sure not to miss the empanadas. Check the website to find out if the market is running one of its different themed days: the designer Sunday is a favourite for those looking for a piece of eye-catching jewellery or a show-stopping hat. Take the time to visit the nearby glassworks and watch some glassblowing in action, or finish your morning with a coffee on the Kingston foreshore.

The Forage

This unique market is all about the food. Lots of stalls from Canberra’s favourite restaurants, bars, and street food vendors are all set up in one place for the ultimate mash-up meal. Start with Merimbula oysters, followed by an Asian Tiger Bao, a Grease Monkey burger, and some Gelato Messina ice cream for dessert. Wash it all down like a local with a Capital Brewing beer or a Contentious Character wine. What we’re really saying is, wear your stretchy pants.

Love Local Markets

These markets were created by the team at Pialligo Estate with community in mind and have a strong focus on local producers. Relative newcomers to the Canberra scene, they are set to get bigger and better with an ever-growing list of stallholders. There is a mix of art, food, wine and homewares, as well as the onsite Farm Shop Café, which creates dishes with produce from the market garden and the award-winning Pialligo Estate smokehouse products.

Handmade Markets

Handmade Markets are held quarterly and focus on gifts, homewares, fashion and food. As there are over 270 stalls, it’s worth setting aside a solid couple of hours to make sure you see everything on offer. Everything sold here is Australian-made, and most of the stalls are staffed by people who make the products they’re selling. It’s a great opportunity to hear the story behind the recycled fabric for that vintage-style dress, or to learn about the process of handmaking chocolates. Now in their 12th year of operation, the handmade markets are a highlight for the craftspeople and shoppers of Canberra and the surrounding area.

Hall Market

The village of Hall is barely a 15-minute drive from Canberra’s CBD and is home to a market in the picturesque showgrounds on the first Sunday of every month. The market started in 1987 with 36 stalls and has grown to include over 200 stallholders, with a number of the original stalls still going strong. With a focus on home-grown and handmade products, the market has retained its rural charm. The open-air market also has live music and is disability-accessible. The gold-coin entry goes to Hartley Lifecare, a local disability services provider.

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