The best markets in Canberra

Handmade Markets in Canberra - flower stall holder

The Handmade Markets, one of Canberra’s most recommended markets. Photo: Handmade Markets Canberra.

Canberra’s local markets showcase the best the region has to offer, including arts, crafts, clothing, jewellery, second-hand treasures, and loads of other items sourced or handmade with love.

A great market has heaps of variety and you’re sure to uncover a unique item for yourself or as a gift.

In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing a fascinating market, and share where to find the best in Canberra.

Special note: COVID-19 has meant some markets aren’t being held, or as regularly or in the same way as previously. This could be temporary or longer term. It’s best to contact each market’s website or social media pages for up-to-date details.

What makes a great market?

A great market is one with a vibrant personality and lots of buzz. It has a variety of interesting stallholders and, in addition to unique shopping, often offer food and live entertainment, including for kids. They’re also conveniently located with plenty of parking.

It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a market.

  • Great vibe. Markets should be fun and have a great vibe. They’re lively places to enjoy exploring and even meet new friends.
  • Super stallholders. You’ll want a market with interesting stallholders who love selling their wares. This includes stallholders willing to chat about what they have on offer.
  • Amazing variety. The best markets have amazing variety, with something for everyone.
  • Conveniently located. You’ll want a market that is close or easy to get to, whether you’re walking, driving or taking public transport. If travelling by car, you’ll likely favour markets with plenty of (free) parking.
  • Lots of extras. Great markets offer much more than stallholders. They often have food trucks, coffee carts, wine and beer, live entertainment and more. These extras add to the lively atmosphere of a market.

The best markets in Canberra

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

Haig Park Village Markets

Haig Park Village Markets are open every Sunday 9am to 2pm, rain, hail or shine (and including public holiday long weekends). These vibrant markets feature an evolving collaboration of farmers, bakers, artisans and talented people, seeking to share their crafted specialties. The markets are lively. They’re community drive. They’re a destination.

On Google, Jaimee Wilson wrote, “The markets are extremely well run and had a great variety of stalls. A great way to spend your Sunday morning supporting local.”

Canberra Fashion Market

The Canberra Fashion Market (formerly known as Fash ‘n’ Treasure) is known for new and pre-loved fashion, including designer labels. A wide range of fashion, shoes, bags, jewellery, accessories, beauty products and home products are for sale. Explore quality styles–corporate, vintage, elegant, casual, sports and everything in between. These markets have been around for 20 years, and with good reason.

Wendy Johnson wrote on Facebook, “Always fun to explore these markets and uncover a great piece at a great price.”

Hartley Hall Markets

Held on the first Sunday of the month at the Hall Showgrounds, around 20 minutes from the city, the Hartley Hall Markets offer more than 300 stalls of home-made and home-grown food, local fruits and veggies, baked goods, pottery, clothing, toys, gifts, crafts and more. The markets have a rural feel with plenty of shady trees and live music.

On Google, Tonia Bergmanis wrote, “Love the Hartley Hall Markets! Lots of beautiful plant stalls and clever people selling their own products.”

Canberra Christmas Market

Celebrate Christmas with a visit to Canberra’s unique Christmas Market at Exhibition Park. Experience the spirit of the festive season with handmade and other gifts, seasonal specialties and food. This two-day market has more than 100 stalls and promises a relaxed Christmas atmosphere which makes finding that unique gift a pleasurable experience for the whole family.

Carolyn Clark wrote on Facebook, “We will be so happy to be at this market.”

Trash & Treasure Market

A fascinating market and a great place to shop (and sell). Held Sunday mornings from 7am to 12.30pm in the Jamison Centre carpark, Bowman Street. Find fresh fruit and vegetables, plants, baked goods and more. Marketgoers discover that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

Maria Ollman wrote on Google, “These Markets have been running for more than 30 years … you can find pre-loved treasures as well as fresh food, homegrown fruit, vegetables, plants and honey.”

The Handmade Markets

The Handmade Market offers some of the country’s best Australian made, handmade products and produce. With a wide range of unique designs, souvenirs, fashion, jewellery, and artisan wares, this is one of the best creative markets in the region. Visitors spend hours exploring hundreds of stalls. The Handmade Market also holds an extra-special Christmas market.

As Lenny Pelling wrote on Google, “Love this market to bits! I’m a maker but also a shopper and Handmade has proved excellent for both. So many fabulous stallholders and so beautifully organised.”

The Markets Wanniassa

The Markets Wanniassa offer an extensive range of products. This family run collective of handmade, homemade and Australian innovative products is showcased under one roof. The markets support local artists who create artwork, jewellery, soaps, candles, baby products and much more.

Kara Tedman wrote on Google, “I’m a huge fan of supporting small and local businesses so this is a perfect outlet … you never know what kinds of cool things you can find here.”

Canberra Kids Market

This is the place to find new, handmade and pre-loved clothing, toys, books, games, accessories and equipment for babies, toddlers and young ones. The Canberra Kids Market has plenty of stalls to explore and great bargains to be had. Quality treasures for 0 to 12-year-old girls and boys, including designer labels and popular brands. A huge number of stallholders pop up at every market and market goers save big on their buys.

Three Sixty Fashion Markets

The Three Sixty Fashion Market is a niche Canberra market dedicated to sustainable fashion. Stallholders primarily sell recycled and pre-loved fashion for style-savvy shoppers, including vintage, retro and big designer names. Discover fashion, including shoes, accessories, jewellery and handbags, that deserve a loving second home. The market is about a circular economy and supporting the environment.

On Facebook, Simone Eldridge wrote, “Great day, fab venue, excellent array of quality goodies. Lots of fun stallholders.”

If you’re looking for more information on other types of markets or fun things to do in Canberra, you might like our articles on the best food markets, the best tours, the best escape rooms and the best playgrounds Canberra has to offer.

Your experience with markets in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Have you had experience with any of the markets listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a great market?
Great markets have oodles of stallholders selling a wide range of items that suit what you’re looking for. A special vibe is a must, as are add-ons like food, coffee and even entertainment. Other factors like location can also be important.
Do you have to pay to get into markets?
Some markets are free. Some charge a small amount to enter. Others take coin donations and give the money they raise to a charity of their choice.
Do all markets have food and drink?
Most markets these days have food and drink. Some even have large, special areas devoted to this. Others have coffee and food vans.
What type of items can I expect at a market?
Each market is unique. Some sell new items of high quality. Some specialise in handmade and others specialise in pre-loved items, such as fashion. A few markets specialise. This might include kids markets or Christmas markets. It’s best to check market websites or social media to see what’s on offer.
Are markets still running with COVID-19?
Some markets have temporarily closed due to COVID restrictions. Others, like the Handmade Markets, have gone virtual until it’s OK to open again. It’s best to check market websites or social media to see what arrangements are in place.

What's Your Opinion?

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5 Responses to The best markets in Canberra
Alexandra Craig Alexandra Craig 1:52 pm 05 Nov 15

The Handmade Market 100%

However it’ll be tough to ‘test’ it this week as the next market isn’t on for another couple of weeks I think.

    Charlotte Harper Charlotte Harper 2:36 pm 05 Nov 15

    True. Let’s split this into two Best Ofs, this first one for fresh produce markets and a later one for arts, crafts markets etc. That’ll give Gabrielle time to visit more of the contenders for the second.

Genie Genie 1:47 pm 04 Nov 15

I agree with Zan, you can’t compare a lot of the markets against each other. The Farmers Markets (both Northside and Southside) are vastly different to say the Handmade Markets. You’re comparing arts & crafts to fruits & veggies.

Over the last 10 years I have frequented many, many markets as a stallholder, organiser and shopper and would provide the following guides.

Hall Markets – First Sunday of each month, Hall Showgrounds
An all-time favourite market of mine, I have been a stall holder on and off for more than a decade now. I love the local crafted products, fresh food and always come home with homemade treats for my puppy. Everything is really affordable and the whole event supports Hartley Life Care.

Handmade Markets – Quarterly, EPIC
I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of the Handmade Markets but if I’m free I usually make an effort to go for a wander. While this is a grand market getting bigger and bigger with each event, I have noticed of late that products are becoming too expensive for the average income earner. I was however highly impressed by the food hall at the most recent market.
Definitely fits the tag of Canberra’s Upmarket

Northside Farmers Market – 730-1130am Saturdays, EPIC
As a Northsider I have only ever frequented the EPIC Farmers Markets and if you don’t like crowds, this isn’t the market for you. Always packed no matter what time of the morning you attend but the quality of goods does not disappoint. While prices have skyrocketed recently and are more in line with supermarket prices, the produce is much fresher and the money is going into the farmers pocket. I buy very little processed goods these days and can easily do a week’s grocery shop at the farmers markets, get some bones for the puppy and even grab some plants/herbs for the garden or flowers to brighten up the home.

Bus Depot Markets – Sundays, Bus Depot Kingston.
I have to admit it’s been a few months since I have last attended these markets, I got a little bored with rarely seeing new stallholders and having to wait in long queues for a meal. I’m very interested to revisit and check out their new food halls.

Westside Acton Park Markets – Sundays, Westside Acton Park
This market has a lot of potential but I just don’t think it’s reached it as yet; I’m loving seeing this market grow and grow into something fabulous. Stall holders vary from recycled goods/clothes, handmade products and new products. There are regular stall holders there each week while most of the others rotate and attend sporadically. The permanent food stalls are the highlight of each visit.

Trash & Treasure – Jamison and Woden, every Sunday
I’m not one for buying second hand goods, but the thing I love about these markets is you never know what bargain you’re going to find.

Native Plant Market – 1st Saturday of each month, Heritage Nursery Yarralumla
One for garden lovers! The Heritage Nursery opens up a space for local plant growers once a month to sell their natives. It’s on this Saturday and you can pick up some seedlings for only a few $$ each. Most of the plants are seedlings, but as a garden newbie, talking to these growers is quite informative.

I haven’t attended the following markets for a while but they are very similar to Hall Markets.
Gold Creek Markets – 3rd Sunday of each month, Ginninderra Village
Tuggeranong Homestead – 2nd Sunday of each month, Tuggeranong Homestead
Tuggeranong Hyperdome Markets – 2nd and Last Saturday of each month, between Target and the Good Guys

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 1:00 pm 04 Nov 15

Hate to say it, but like Floriade, I think the Old Bus Depot Markets are terribly overrated.

Not sure what keeps bringing people back. I went to OBDM for some “cheap” food last weekend and after seeing my $14 return a small plate of not entirely appealing food it merely confirmed my opinions. Confirmation bias, perhaps, but I really did want my mind to be changed.

Sadly, it wasn’t.

There’s countless better food options in Kingston on the weekends. I am sorry I missed the Forage a few weeks back though, I expect that would have been a better experience than the usual fare.

Zan Zan 10:44 am 04 Nov 15

Well you cannot compare say Epic Markets with Old Bus Depot markets as they are very different. Equally you cannot compare Jamieson Trash and Treasure with say Fyshwick markets either. It is like comparing a bicycle to a motorcycle, a car to a tank. They are all different and sell different things.

I love the Epic markets are they remind me of the cosmopolitan Queen Victoria Markets in Melbourne just near the city. I do not go often as I live on the other side though. I do go to the Southside Farmers Market, Trash & Treasure Woden (not as good as it used to be). Most Sundays I go to the Old Bus Depot markets for lunch (cheap eats and great foods) and to look around and it is where I buy most of my presents for birthday and Christmas.

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