Since I was a child, I have always wanted to travel to Australia, one of the largest countries in the southern hemisphere. In fact, it is a continent on its own right.
After years of dreaming and hoping, that dream finally became a reality when I embarked on a nearly three-week adventure in the land down under. I spent most of my time in the mega-city of Sydney.
But I also made sure that I would visit Melbourne, the most populous city in the state of Victoria.
Melbourne, according to locals is one of the most relaxed and beautiful cities in the country.
Anything that you will ever need is in this city, and the hustle and bustle of city life are less apparent or pronounced here since the city center is much smaller compared to Sydney.
For four days, I walked around the city and visited many of the city’s famous landmarks.
The landmark most recommended by locals is the Queen Victoria Market, one of the oldest public markets in the world, operating since the 19th century. The market was named after Queen Victoria who ruled the British Empire from 1837 to 1901. The market itself traces its origins to 1878.
At seven hectares (17 acres), it is also the biggest open air market in the southern hemisphere.
When I heard that it is one of the oldest public markets in the world, I was expecting a dilapilated building, littered with insects and pests.
What welcomed me is two blocks of organized wet and dry market, so clean, I can’t help but feel impressed.
There are two main entrances to the market. The entrance located along La. Trobe St, is the dry section of the market where you can purchase Australian souvenirs, Ugg boots, shirts, belts, bags and other novelty items.
You can also find a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, straight from the many local farms, in this dry section of “Queen Vic” as locals charmingly call it. The fruits look so luscious that I couldn’t help but purchase a kilo of grapes, and blackberries.
The Elizabeth St. entrance gives you access to the wet section of the market. Admittedly, I was expecting this part to be a bit messy but again, I was proven wrong. It is one of the cleanest and most organized wet markets I’ve been to.
You can buy fish, shells, pork, beef, kangaroo and emuu meat here. (Note: beef prices are lower because of its abundance in the country).
Without any exaggeration, Queen Victoria Market plays a very important role in the lives of both locals and tourists.
Australia is one of the most expensive countries in the world. A full meal averages 15 to 30 Australian dollars, which is a lot by any standards.
Locals rely on the produce sold in this market for affordable raw materials and ingredients. At the same time, backpackers also frequent this market in search for the cheapest available meal.
Queen Victoria Market is open five days a week and they have a special Wednesday night market.
Considered a valuable Melbourne landmark, Queen Victoria Market is indeed a must-see destination for anyone visiting Melbourne.