The Salamanca Market, a street market located in Salamanca Place close to Battery Point, has been part of Hobart’s Saturday line-up since it began with 12 stalls in 1972. The area was used in the past as a warehouse and storage area, but the historic, convict-built sandstone buildings are now a picturesque backdrop for the busy market, which hosts more than 300 stalls. Visitors come to enjoy the atmosphere of the markets, shop for fresh local Tasmanian produce, sample the local artisan foods and to hunt for unique art and craft.
- Fresh Produce – The Salamanca Market hosts a large number of local farmers and distributors of all shapes and sizes who bring the best of their fresh Tasmanian produce to sell. You can experience the many tastes of Tasmania at the Salamanca Market through the wide range of fruits and vegetables on offer. The selection includes mainstream and organic produce, along with locally-produced jams, spreads and chutneys. Prices and produce vary throughout the year, but even visitors not planning on cooking can easily pick up delicious fruit for a day of snacking.
- Arts & Crafts – In the last decade or so, Salamanca Place has developed a reputation as an artist’s haven. Many of the surrounding warehouses have been converted into galleries and that artistic talent has spread to the Salamanca Market. You can find a large number of unique gifts handmade by Salamanca Market stallholders. These include clothing, toys, interior decorations and unusual souvenirs, many of which are exclusive to the market. It is worthwhile shopping for the perfect buy, as there is a wide range across hundreds of individual stalls.
- Eating At The Market – There is no need for you to have breakfast before heading to the Salamanca Market, as there is an immense range of food options. From French crepes to German bratwurst and just about everything in between, the large number of market stalls serve up countless edible goodies. In addition to this, the surrounding historic warehouses are home to an ever growing number of cafes, restaurants and bars, making it easy for you to enjoy a variety of atmospheres and tastes.
The Salamanca Market is free to enter and explore, with no purchases required. The only costs you will encounter are in getting to the markets, which is explained in detail in the Transport section below.
- Buskers – If you want to have a look at Hobart’s up-and-coming entertainers, the Salamanca Market is an ideal place to start. The busy market is a mecca for buskers who impress crowds with their talents. Sit and enjoy the performances at various spots around the marke, and don’t forget to leave a tip or even buy a CD of your favourite artist’s work.
- Best Time To Arrive – The Salamanca Market is the place to be on a Saturday morning in Hobart, but when you arrive depends on you. Arrival before noon is recommended, as it takes a significant amount of time to visit every stall. Arrival early in the morning is also a must to get the best of the fresh Tasmanian produce on offer. That being said, discounts on fresh produce are substantial in the 40 minutes before 3pm, when the market closes.
- Money At The Market – Although many of the vendors at the Salamanca Market are now accepting EFTPOS and debit cards, some of the smaller stalls are still cash only. It is smart to bring the cash you need with you, because although there are ATMs on site, the lines for them can be long.
- Nearby – The Salamanca Market is located close to other Hobart CBD attractions including the Maritime Museum of Tasmania, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and the Tasmanian Tourist and Visitors Information Centre. Further from the city, but within reach, are the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens and the Cascade Brewery.
- Car: Salamanca Place is located a few minutes’ drive from the city. However, as the Salamanca Market can be visited by around 20,000 people every Saturday, driving is not recommended. If you must drive, park in the city and walk to the market.
- Bus: The free Hobart Hopper shuttle bus connects the Hobart city centre with Salamanca stopping at various inner city spots including the Salamanca Market. The bus is free and runs every 10 minutes on a loop.
- Tour: There are a number of inner city sightseeing tours that include the Salamanca Market including the 2-day Tasmania Super Saver: Hobart Sightseeing Coach Tram and Port Arthur Tour. However, the tour will only stop at the markets if you book over the weekend, when the market is running.
- Walk: It is possible to walk from Hobart city centre to the Salamanca Market. The walk takes around 10 to 15 minutes and travels via Murray Street.
The idea to host a community market at Salamanca Place was first suggested by the National Council of Tasmanian Women to Alderman Clemente in 1971. He took the idea to the Hobart City Council and they agreed to a trial market. The first market ran with around 12 stalls on the 22 January, 1972.
During the first years of its life, the Salamanca Market was a summer market only, but its immense popularity led to the establishment of a winter market as well. Around the same time, the stallholders formed an informal Stallholders Association, which was officially established in 1987, by which point the market consisted of around 150 stalls.
By 1992, estimates suggest between 10,000 and 12,000 people visited the market every week. Later that same year, the market was extended, increasing the potential space for casual stallholders. Over the next decade the market’s hours were increased and extended yet again at a later time.
By 2010, the Salamanca Market had become the centre of Hobart’s Saturday mornings, with around 300 stalls and between 25,000 and 40,000 visitors dropping by every week.
- During the last 20 years the forces behind the Salamanca Market have tried to launch a Sunday market, hoping to spread the crowds and increase the stallholders profit. However, the trial markets didn’t attract many visitors and the stallholders protested so much that the idea was eventually scrapped.