The Saturday Salamanca Market has become synonymous with the Hobart shopping experience, attracting tens of thousands of visitors (and locals) each year. Browse, shop, eat – there are more than 250 stalls displaying everything from arts and crafts to local liquors, vintage clothes to gemstones, books and antiques to organic produce, and savoury snacks to go.
It lives up to the hype as a top shopping experience, but it would be wrong to let it overshadow everything else Hobart has to offer. The colonial buildings of adjacent Salamanca Place, and behind them Salamanca Square, are a treasure trove of galleries and boutiques, both quirky and mainstream. You will find dozens of high-street shops in the CBD, including on the Elizabeth Street Mall, and on Collins, Murray and Liverpool Streets.
Our top picks
The Cat and Fiddle Arcade
49-51 Murray Street
This major shopping centre has its roots firmly in early Hobart history, taking its name from the Cat and Fiddle Tavern that used to operate in what is now Elizabeth Lane. Established shortly after white settlement, the pub was at the heart of a less than salubrious area. Times change. The current arcade is home to around 70 specialty shops and considers itself the “Style Capital” of Hobart. Look out for the clock and its hourly chime.
166 Liverpool Street
At the other end of the scale is this single shop with a growing reputation for stylish homewares and accessories, much handmade locally, some in-house. They call it a “treasure trove of handmade goodness”. The friendly staff are happy to advise, and know where to get custom-made collectables if you have an idea in mind.
Shop like a local
The Island Central Markets may be a few minutes’ drive from the CBD and Sullivans Cove, but they have more than one advantage over the Salamanca Markets: first, they can sell fresh fish and meat; second, they are open Thursday to Sunday. This place is just the spot for a one-stop shop if you are self-catering. You’ll find fruit, vegies, and deli lines Thursday to Sunday, as well as arts and crafts, toys and more Friday to Sunday. 54-56 Gormanston Road, Moonah.
Keeping with the market theme, the artisan food action moves back into the CBD on Sundays from 8.30am at the Farm Gate Market along Bathurst Street between Elizabeth and Murray. Think Tasmanian cheeses, breads, seafood, rare-breed beef – and lots of delicious take-away food stalls.