While the days of lugging half a pig to marketplace to exchange for a bag of flour (which sounds like a pretty dud swap) are thankfully long gone, the bustling marketplace remains an important part of the weekend lives of Sydneysiders. Whether it’s farmer-fresh organics, handcrafted trinkets or third-hand clothes, Sydney’s market stalls are an industry unto themselves. Modern conveniences, like credit card facilities and espresso bars, haven’t diminished their charm or popularity.
As the sustainability movement encourages people to buy local, know their food source and recycle goods and gifts, it seems the perfect time to look at Sydney’s market scene – the perennial favourites and best newcomers. So, give the shopping malls a miss this summer and hit the marketplace, where the coffee’s better, the smiles are bigger and the goods come pre-loved or homemade.
Launched in the early 90s within the grounds of Rozelle Public School, this flea market has changed very little over the past two decades. Wonderfully musty bric-a-brac, excellent vintage clothes and other antiquities such as old tools and kitchenware, are some of the reasons Rozelle are called the stylists’ markets. But if it’s twee and crafty you’re after, head to Balmain Markets just down the road.
Rozelle Markets, every Saturday and Sunday 9am–4pm
Carraigeworks Farmers Markets
As part of the Carriageworks redevelopment site, Carriageworks Farmers Markets is housed in what was once the Blacksmith’s Workshop – a huge, undercover space with polished concrete floors and distressed brickwork. It seems a fitting venue for the regular inner city types who pack out the markets each weekend. The Farmers’ Market comprises a tantalising selection of local, New South Wales-based farmers and specialised food producers, who bring their fresh and delicious produce each Saturday. The first Sunday of every month is home to the Artisan Markets, where emerging designers showcase their wares and talents to an ever-adoring community.
The Farmers’ Markets, every Saturday 8am–1pm
Artisans Markets, first Sunday of every month 10am–3pm
One of Sydney’s oldest open-air markets, Paddington Markets is still regarded as a fashion market first and foremost. And fittingly so, if you consider its surrounds, nestled deep within Sydney’s most famous shopping strip. With emerging designers the core stallholders, the past 40 years has seen the launch of an impressive alumni of designers, who seemingly always graduate to their own boutique on Oxford Street.
Paddington Markets, every Saturday from 10am
For a little slice of Byron Bay right in the heart of Sydney, follow the patchouli scent along Glebe Point Road until you reach the markets. To many minds, this is the way markets should be; life-affirming books for the aimless, healing crystals for the broken-hearted and all the right logo tees for the young and impressionable. Throw in some beautifully crafted jewellery, vegetarian food and the ubiquitous chai tent and you’ve got it made.
Glebe Markets, every Saturday 10am–4pm
Fortunately, the well-clad ladies of the lower North Shore like to update their wardrobes with tidal regularity and we – should we be smart enough to visit Kirribilli on a Sunday – can reap the benefits. It’s out with the old at Kirribilli Markets, where 120 stalls sell mainly vintage and second-hand clothes, but there’s some lovely bric-a-brac thrown in.
General Market, one Saturday every month 8.30am–3pm
Art, Design and Fashion Market one Sunday every month 8.30am - 4.30pm
Check the market website for exact dates.
So, give the shopping malls a miss this summer and hit the marketplace, where the coffee’s better, the smiles are bigger and the goods come pre-loved or homemade.