The St Kilda Esplanade Market has been popular with locals and tourists alike since 1970. Well haunted by travellers from around the world, it’s an ideal place to pick up that unique Australian gift. No kangaroo testicles here.
Whether you eat first or later, make sure you get here early as it the warmer months it becomes very crowded.There can be up to 200 artists and craftspeople that brave the fickle Melbourne weather, along the well-known Esplanade. This is an open-air gallery by the sea with so much more to offer than just the market.
You can see that everything is handmade, homemade. I encourage you to speak to the stallholders as they are passionate about their wares and often have a good story to tell. They’ll often even take orders if you want something in particular.
You name it, you can pretty much find it here. Of course there are a lot of souvenirs but there is jewellery, candles, doggy wares, leather goods, t-shirts, terrariums, artwork and more. Best part is that you’re unlikely to find these items in a large department store – so they are quite special.
Want a belt? The stallholder will happily size you and if you need a few extra holes, it can be done in a flash.
I do love the work of Fabre Designs. I’ve bought a few pieces off her over the years at a variety of different markets. They are unique, one-of-a-kind and stunning.
These bracelets are gorgeous and if there isn’t one that fits you, order what you want and come back the following week and pick it up.
Tourists love this stuff. It makes me cringe a little but they seem to do a good trade and are consistently back week after week.
It’s not a market without soaps and candles. These smell absolutely delicious and are reasonably priced.
Flowers in a tea-cup anyone? This is a lovely gift instead of just straight flowers because the receiver still has the tea-cup to use later. Very sweet. You don’t have to worry about seeing the same stalls every week or month as they are added to the market on a regular basis to keep it interesting.
One former Esplanade market artist is Academy Award winning director and animator, Adam Elliot. Adam sold his hand-painted t-shirts here for five years before embarking on his celebrated film career, and in 2003 won an Oscar for his short film “Harvie Krumpet”.
Coffee? There are food stalls at the north end of the Esplanade but this coffee stall is right near Luna Park at the start of the south end.
As always I’d recommend you bring your own bag or trolley along so plastic bags don’t have to be used.
STALLHOLDERS: If you’d like to have a stall at the market, you can find more information here.
OPENING HOURS: 10am to 4pm (May to October) and 10am to 5pm (November to April). Operates the every Sunday come rain, hail or shine.
LOCATION: Upper Esplanade between Cavell and Fitzroy Streets, beside Luna Park in St. Kilda
PARKING: What more can I say, it’s St Kilda so parking can be challenging. If you park up around the Novotel you’ll find unlimited parking but at over $5 an hour can hit the back pocket. Inspectors are vigilant so make sure you get back to your car on time.
TRANSPORT: There is a tram stop nearby. Only 15 minutes from the City on No. 16 or 96. For more information, click here.
- TRAMS 86 (travel to Smith St), 96 (travel down Nicholson St) and 112 (down Brunswick St)
- BUSES 200, 201, 203, 205 and 207 with stops at Johnston Street
- BUSES 250, 251 and 253 with closest stop at Rathdowne and Elgin Streets.
ATM: There is a portable ATM! Yep, Looks something like a changing room for a magician but there is a portable ATM. However, there are plenty of ATM’s in Fitzroy Street and Acland Street. Also try to bring smaller notes. We all know that the ATM’s dispense $50’s and stall holders are prepared for that but when so many people turn up with larger notes it becomes problematic for them.
ENTRANCE FEE: No fee.
DOGS: Permitted on a leash and under the owners control.
FOOD: You are in one of the great places in Melbourne for eateries and in particular – cakes. Wander up to Fitzroy Street or down to Acland Street to find something special.
TOILET FACILITIES: There are toilet facilities onsite. Follow the signs. There is also a McDonald’s about 200m away.
Website – St. Kilda Esplanade Market
On Facebook – St Kilda Esplanade Market
On Instagram – Esplanade Market or #esplanademarket @esplanademarket
Twitter – The Esplanade Market or #esplanademarket @esplanademarket
Now it’s your turn. Share your stories of the St. Kilda Esplanade Market. Likes, dislikes, bargains you’ve bought and people you’ve met. Leave a comment below.