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The Top 4 Art and Crafts Markets in Melbourne

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by Sean Goedecke (subscribe)
Sean Goedecke is a freelance writer trying to visit every cafe in Australia. If you enjoy his articles, it can't hurt to click the 'like' link at the bottom or subscribe.
Published January 13th 2012
Rose Street Artist's Market

Melbourne's a city that loves its art. From the graffiti-covered lanes that give cultured old men heart tremors, to the expensive galleries that give them palpitations of a different kind, there's something artistic here for everybody. If you want to take some art home with you - and you're not an artist yourself - you're best off going to an arts and crafts market, where you can pick up fine art for a fraction of the price.

Fine art is all well and good, though, but what about the hipsters? Never let it be said that Melbourne neglects its skinny-jeans-wearing arts and crafts lovers. Rose Street Artist's Market on (you guessed it) 60 Rose St, Fitzroy, is a hidden gem.

Rose Street Artist's Market
Also like a gem, it's colourful.

It's held outside on Saturday and Sunday every week of the year, with up to forty artists and designers in attendance each time. Both established artisans and emerging talents are on display, and a gourmet cafe along with live entertainment is available for those who simply prefer to watch. Claims of pretension aside, this might just be the best open-air market in Melbourne.

The Arts Centre Sunday Market

When you think 'arts and crafts', what comes into your mind? The Arts Centre, of course, Melbourne's most popular venue for fine art. Anything within those hallowed walls bears the stamp of true greatness - approval from art critics and rich patrons - and over the years, many amazing exhibitions and shows have been held inside.

Arts Centre Market
Also, food.

Just outside is the Arts Centre Sunday Market, where tourists flock to buy charming pictures of the Melbourne skyline and trinkets for their family back home. It's held every week from 10am to 4pm, both near the Arts Centre main entrance and in the sheltered area below, next to the Yarra River. If the rain is pouring down, this will one of the few arts and crafts markets open for business - so don't miss out.

Camberwell Sunday Market

Every Sunday, the Rotary club of Balwyn holds a trash-and-treasure market in the car park at the corner of Burke and Riversdale roads. The goods on offer are strictly second-hand or made by the seller, giving this market a special air of authenticity.

Rotary logo
What's more authentic than a shadowy international association?

It's perfect for vintage clothes and books, and if you look hard enough you can find all manner of odds and ends. The Camberwell Sunday Market is like a gigantic, multi-person garage sale - and, like a garage sale, there will be many things there that you won't be interested in. Just comb through at a leisurely pace, maybe taking a break for coffee on Burke Road. Whether you find anything or not, it's a very interesting morning.

Charles St Artists Market

At 27 Weston St, Brunswick, the Charles St Artists Market is more than just a series of stalls. It's a self-proclaimed carnival, a market that verges on street party, and it's got the live music and art to make that happen.

Charles St Artist Market
We're talking seriously vibrant here.

There's a real focus on emerging and local talent - if you live nearby, that might just mean you - so this is a great place to see things you won't see anywhere else. The Sporting Club is right next to everything, so market-goers can head over for a drink and some pub food. Keep an eye on their website for other developments - this is a place to watch.

Know an art and crafts market that's a real hidden gem? Share it in the comments below - we'd love to hear from you.
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Why? Because art shouldn't break the bank.
When: On the weekends.
Where: All around Melbourne.
Cost: Free to look at, but prices vary.
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