Victoria’s seven best Christmas markets

Big design market

Wendy Hargreaves

Posted November 26, 2019

Get into the festive spirit with our guide to Victoria's merriest Christmas markets.

Stumped for Christmas present ideas? Keen to avoid the silly season shopping crush? Christmas gift hunting doesn’t have to be a joyless sprint from shop to shop in search of socks, soap and scented candles. 

Stress-free present buying is easy. Just spend a few relaxed hours pottering around one or more of Victoria’s charming Christmas markets, and chat with local artists and designers about their clever, unique creations, all made with sustainability at their core.

Seven of the best Christmas markets in Victoria

The Victorian Christmas Gift Fair  

7-8 December, 10am-4pm, Drill Hall, 26 Therry Street, Melbourne 

Melbourne’s stunning art deco Drill Hall will be taken over by designers and makers for one inspirational weekend.  Discover ethical, hard-to-find treasures under one roof, including sustainable fashion for men, women and children, as well as gifts for the whole family by small brands you won’t find in big retail. Think bags, jewellery, beauty products and luxe homewares. 

The location is also hard to beat, across the road from the tasty goodness of the Queen Victoria Market’s Deli Hall for your edible Christmas supplies.  

Castlemaine Twighlight Market 

20 December, 4-8pm, Western Reserve, corner of Wheeler and Forest streets, Castlemaine

Castlemaine’s best artists, designers and food producers are joining forces for the ultimate festive market on the Friday night before Christmas. Browse for presents and festive dinner ingredients in a chilled-out, family-friendly space, with more than 100 makers from the Castlemaine Artists Market, the Castlemaine Farmers Market and the Young Makers Market. 

Expect unique art, prints, ceramics, handcrafted leather goods, silver jewellery, designer clothing, cards and homewares, along with everything you need for a festive spread, from Christmas ham and other meats to seasonal fruit and vegetables, olives, flowers, cheese, wine, eggs and more. 

And once you’ve finished shopping, grab a local beer or wine, or a top-notch organic fair-trade coffee, and enjoy the live band performances. Kids’ activities will keep the little shoppers busy, too. 

French Christmas Market

7-8 December, 10am-5pm. Alliance Francaise de Melbourne, 51 Grey Street, St Kilda

Give your holiday season a French twist at Alliance Francaise de Melbourne’s annual Christmas Market, taking over the organisation’s St Kilda mansion for a whole weekend.  This is the perfect place to buy a present for the Francophile in your life. Expect a huge range of French homewares, jewellery, artisan goods, food, wine and pre-loved books.  

Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy Melbourne’s annual Marche de Noel, with cabaret dancers, theatre productions, workshops and demonstrations, along with plenty of activities for kids. And let’s not forget the main game – excellent food and wine.  (Plus: How to eat like a Parisian in Victoria)

Castlemaine Twilight Market

Entertainment at Castlemaine Twilight Market

Torquay Cowrie Market

15 December, 10am to 3pm, Torquay Esplanade 

The Surf Coast Arts Collective’s crafty little market transforms Torquay’s beautiful Esplanade into a Christmas mecca for one-off gifts and eco-friendly products by local artists and crafters. 

Market organisers make sure all items for sale are home-grown, hand-made and environmentally sustainable (so remember to bring a bag along, as it’s a plastic bag-free event). 

Make a weekend of it and shop at your leisure knowing you're checked in for the weekend at RACV Torquay Resort. Members save 25 per cent on accommodation.

Big Design Market

6-8 December, from 10am, Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson Street, Carlton

Melbourne’s big mamma of arty shopping events, the Big Design Market is perfectly timed at the start of silly season shopping antics. 

More than 250 designers will take over the Royal Exhibition Buildings over three days, with creative workshops for crafty types, plus kids’ activities to keep them entertained while you shop.  

Expect unique homewares, lifestyle, fashion, jewellery, stationery and kids’ products, with a big focus on ethical production, sustainability, quality, originality and good design. 

The Big Design Market will also feature some exciting new Australian designers, such as Orbitkey, Silo, Stay Tray, BeetBox, Funky Monkey Bars, Tactica, Cutlery Carriage and Rolla Bottle.  

And let’s not forget the food stalls, cocktail bars, craft beer and local wines. 

Hanging plants at Castlemaine Twilight Market

Hanging plants at Castlemaine Twilight Market

Nicholas Building Christmas Makers' Market

12 December, 5-8pm, Nicholas Building, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne (levels 2 and 3)

Melbourne’s iconic Nicholas Building is a vertical village of creative studios and boutiques, with one of the city’s most concentrated communities of designers, artists, jewellers, painters, illustrators, engravers, fashion designers, milliners, illustrators and printmakers. 

The annual Christmas Makers’ Market not only offers a rare glimpse into the creative world of Nicholas Building tenants, it also offers unique gifts direct from the makers. 

Visitors will also enjoy live performances by local artists, and tasty food and drinks. 

Piccadilly Christmas Market

8 December, 9.30am-3pm, Deakin University Waterfront Campus, 1 Gheringhap Street, Geelong

Unique jewellery, hand-made clothing and homewares are just some of the original Christmas present ideas at Piccadilly Christmas Market. 

Browse more than 100 stalls, talk to local artists and designers, or kick back with a lunch from the licensed cafe and listen to the live entertainment.