The best markets in Canberra

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Fresh fruit and vegetables

Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets, one of Canberra’s most recommended markets. Photo: Ben Calvert.

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.

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.

Hartley Hall Markets

The Hartley Hall Markets, organised by Hartley Lifecare, are one of Australia’s largest home-made and home-grown goods markets. Entry is by a gold coin donation with all proceeds supporting Hartley Lifecare’s important disability programs and services.

The markets have a rural theme and are held at the picturesque Hall Village Showground, just 10 kilometres north of Canberra. With a friendly atmosphere and great bargains to be found, Hartley Hall Markets’ stallholders sell quality fresh produce, baked goods, plants, furniture, clothing, pottery, jewellery, children’s toys, crafts, unique gifts, and more. Barbeques, canteens, live music and other entertainment make visiting fun for families and friends.

Held the first Sunday of every month, the Hartley Hall Markets run from 10 am to 3 pm. Plus, at the end of the year they host a special Christmas Market.

On Google, Jess Perkins wrote, “Great variety of stalls, with art, craft, food and coffee. Loved some of the handmade gifts and clothing available, as well as some craft and arts.”

Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets

At Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets, a Canberra institution, stallholders sell fresh produce, including fruit and vegetables, meats, seafood, delicatessen items and bakery products. Specialty stores include an Asian grocery and boutique bottle shop. The markets have a lively atmosphere and delicious places to grab a bite to eat. Parking is free.

Natalie Lineham wrote on Google, “Great local market to purchase FRESH fruit and vegetables as well as a range of deli products, specialist food products, seafood and, of course, wine.”

Old Bus Depot Markets

Set within an old industrial building, the Old Bus Depot Markets has been going strong since 1992. With a large number of stallholders, these markets have something for everyone. Stallholders sell clothes, jewellery, hand-crafted wares, artwork, photography, plants, and delicious food. Many items are handmade or handcrafted.

Victoria Taylor wrote on Google, “I’ve been going to these markets religiously for the past five years and every Sunday I find something new … I never get tired of seeing the same stalls. The atmosphere is amazing …”

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.

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.”

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.

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The Farmers Market at EPIC on Saturday mornings is one of the best in Canberra! It should be on this list. The produce from the farmers is first class, and the busy, outdoor market vibe is uplifting and makes you feel alive and part of a local community. It kept going through covid with safety precautions in place thanks to the dedication of stallholders, customers and the volunteers who run it. In the middle of winter, staying warm with a pie in one hand and a coffee in the other, moseying through this loud chatty market past the busker playing guitar, inhaling all those different aromas from the produce and the flowers and plants for sale, Canberra feels like a beautiful mountain town.

Alexandra Craig1:52 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 Harper2:36 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.

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 Caulfield1:00 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.

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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