Glebe Markets at Christmas | Courtesy of Glebe Markets
When you hear Christmas markets, you think snowy European town squares, steamy mugs of mulled wine, candied nuts and gingerbread cookies. Good luck finding any of that in Australia, but the 30-degree temperatures and summer sunshine that accompany an Aussie Christmas doesn’t deter Sydney from throwing its own interpretation of a Christmas market — and here are eight of the best.
The Rocks Markets
The historic winding streets of Playfair Street and Jack Mundey Place are filled with market stalls every weekend 12 months a year, but there’s a festive spring in their step each December, when they transform into Christmas markets on Friday nights. Pop in after work to fill your Santa sack with pressies from the variety of gourmet food stalls and local knick-knack designers.
A godsend for Sydneysiders who leave their Christmas shopping until the very last moment, this market is held on the last Friday night before December 25, providing 160 stalls loaded with fresh seasonal produce and gourmet gifts ready to be picked up just in time for Santa’s arrival. Visit the converted train sheds in inner-city Eveleigh to secure ham, seafood, cherries, cheese and plum pudding at its absolute freshest before the big day.
This independent art and design fair attracts huge crowds because it only rolls into Sydney twice a year — and one of those occasions falls just before Christmas, this year Friday December 8 to Sunday December 10. In fact, the following has become so large that Finders Keepers is upgrading to a larger venue this Christmas: the Cutaway in Barangaroo, which will be filled with hundreds of cutting-edge designers offering more present ideas than Santa could fit on his sleigh.
Another market for arty-farty types to stock up on all the gifts they need ahead of the festive season. Between Friday November 24 and Sunday November 26, the Royal Hall of Industries in Moore Park brims with 200 designers displaying their wares, finger-licking food and drink stands, workshops and kids activities.
If you want your Christmas shopping budget to make a positive impact on something other than your credit card bill, buy some pressies at the Blak Markets — a micro-business hub for Indigenous Australians that helps the economic development of the country’s most disadvantaged group. Twenty-five stallholders will bring their bush foods, arts and crafts, skin products and accessories to Barangaroo on Sunday December 3.
Blak Markets at Barangaroo | Courtesy of the Blak Markets
Christmas Fare at the Hyde Park Barracks
The 200-year-old Hyde Park Barracks were originally lodgings for convicts and immigrants, then the home of local courts, and they’re now a museum… plus, for one night each December, a Christmas Market. Create your own gourmet gift hamper with the fresh produce and hand-made treats dished up by a selection of 50 local artisans, then have a drink while enjoying some live entertainment, too.
Christmas Fare at the Hyde Park Barracks | Courtesy of Sydney Living Museums
It might not strictly be a Christmas Market, but Sydney’s premier markets are a great place to pick up a stocking-stuffer. The lawns of Glebe Public School are a hub of activity every Saturday with trendy crowds hunting a bargain at one of the 200 stalls overflowing with second-hand clothes and books, locally designed jewellery and handicrafts, as well as food stalls and live music.
Chatswood Christmas Market | Courtesy of Willoughby Council
The Chatswood Mall buzzes with shoppers at any time of year, let alone when the Christmas Market sets up for two weeks each December. More than 30,000 people are expected to visit the market every day between Saturday December 9 to Friday December 22 (excluding Wednesday December 13), enjoying live music, scrumptious street food and quality arts and crafts.