Melbourne is home to many fascinating shopping opportunities, and its markets are not to be missed. In the city proper, as well as in nearby communities, crafts, produce and sundries are available at a host of scheduled and permanent markets. Read on for a guide to Melbourneís markets.

Weekly Shopping

If youíre looking for weekly shopping experiences, a good place to start is the Arts Centre Melbourne Sunday Market. Conveniently located near accommodation and transportation in the heart of Melbourne, this market is a lovely Sunday morning excursion. The market showcases local artists and craftspeople, and shoppers can find all manner of handmade goods, ranging from display art to delicacies. About 80 vendors take part every week. The market is located across the bridge from Flinders Street Station. Another weekly market is the Fed Square Book Market, where book dealers, authors, and illustrators gather to the great enjoyment of the cityís readers. Used and new books can be found here on a variety of subjects. This market takes place every Saturday mid-morning in The Atrium at Fed Square. Finally, the Bank Street Market pops up every month on the third Sunday. This marketís vendors congregate to offer antiques and vintage items, as well as handmade products and second-hand goods. The Bank Street Market is held at the South Melbourne Commons.

In the Suburbs

Moving out of city centre, the suburbs of Melbourne host plenty of markets as well. The Caribbean Gardens and Market complex, open since 1965, boasts a capacity of more than 1,000 stalls with vendors selling everything from technology to baby clothes to fresh produce. Once you tire of shopping, you can take your kids on the amusement park rides or wander through the attached gardens. The complex is open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, with rides operating only on Sundays during the school year.

Makerís Markets

Also in the suburbs, shoppers looking for handicrafts should explore some of the makerís markets on offer. If itís raining on the third Saturday of the month, itís still a good bet visiting the Ivanhoe Makerís Market, which is mostly indoors. This market hosts about 30 vendors each month. They sell ceramics, jewelry and wood craft among other handmade items. It is held at the Livingstone Community Centre in Ivanhoe. Another makerís market is the Williamstown Craft Market, held outdoors at the Commonwealth Reserve in Williamstown on the third Sunday of every month. This market nearly counts as a country fair, with live music, food vendors, and dozens of stalls selling handmade and homegrown wares. A third makerís market that deserves to be showcased is the Yarraville Markets, held every second Saturday at the Masonic Hall in Yarraville. This market features keepsakes, ceramics, novelty items, jewelry and more. Itís lovely to be able to buy so many items made right here in Victoria, but sometimes shoppers crave something exotic. For that, go to the Dandenong Market, which is held on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at the corner of Clow and Cleeland streets in Dandenong. This cultural melting pot of a market provides imported goods and exotic and domestic produce. Select a few treasures from the stalls offering jewelry or fashion and then tuck in to some of the food for sale. A fantastic dayís outing for a shopper with curious taste buds, you can sample sushi, kebabs and Mauritian food, among other things. Then take home fruit, baked goods, cheeses, meats or seafood from some of the produce and grocery vendors.

For the Little Ones

Budget-minded families will appreciate another one of Melbourneís regularly scheduled markets, the Baby and Kids Market Berwick. Parents of quickly growing youngsters can catch great bargains on lightly used second-hand clothing and toys and pint-sized furniture. This market is only held once a season, so itís important to check dates in the newspaper or online before setting out. When it is on, itís held at the Berwick Leisure Centre.

Queen Victoria Market

Of course, no discussion of Melbourne markets can leave out the Queen Victoria Market, running since 1878. This sprawling market sells produce, arts and crafts, and even clothing and shoes. Itís located at Queen and Franklin Streets and is open every day except Mondays and Wednesdays.

About the Author: Alise Anderson is a lifelong resident of Melbourne. She loves delving into the cityís market heritage by visiting weekend events and supporting local artisans.