Fremantle Markets

Perth, Western Australia

A historic market in the part of Western Australia the European colonists first settled on, Fremantle Markets is today a great place to buy artisan goods and taste delicious food from around the world.

Fremantle Markets
- © givemehell

An Overview of Fremantle Markets

Fremantle Markets was built between 1898-1902 to house a wholesale food and produce market. It is made up of limestone and brick buildings of the Federation Romanesque style and has a high iron roof supported by columns of jarrah wood. On its Henderson St and Market St sides, grand stone entrances welcome shoppers inside.

Today it boasts over 150 shops selling everything from handmade butterfly clips to high quality iris photos; retro signs to new age gifts; honeycomb to vinyl records to pop art to boomerangs and beyond. At peak times some of Perth's best buskers can be heard bringing all this to life with music.

And in the yard outside the fun continues with a wide range of street food outlets serving dishes from Tibet, Bali, Germany, Brazil, Greece, Vietnam, China and France, as well as more local fare.

Fremantle Markets
- © Andrea Castelli

Fremantle Markets Through the Years

The buildings remained the home of the wholesale market until 1850s when this moved to Perth Metropolitan Markets on Wellington St. The original verandahs were then torn down and the place converted into a packing and distribution centre.

In the early 1970s it fell out of use and for a few years was left vacant. It was later restored using grants and reopened on 31 October 1975, a market once more but this time with a bar!

The fruit and veg area was damaged by fire in 1992 and a new hall had to built. This hall was so successful it won a commendation from the Royal Australian Institute of Architects and Fremantle Markets was entered into the Heritage Register.

Fremantle Markets
- © Bram Souffreau

What is the 'Fremantle' of Fremantle Markets

Fremantle is a port city at the mouth of the Swan River and an area of metropolitan Perth. It has been home to the indigenous Noongar people for thousands of years and in their tongue is known as Walyalup.

It was first visited by Europeans in 1600, when Dutch explorers arrived on its shores. In 1829 it became the first place settled on by British colonists; an outpost for the future Swan River Colony.

It is named after Captain Charles Fremantle, the English naval officer that claimed the Western Australian coast as British territory.

In the early days of the Swan River Colony it became a housing place for convict workers who, having been shipped there, were forced to build their own confines in the shape of the notorious Fremantle Prison.

During the Western Australian goldrush it became an important trade port. Its harbour was deepened to aid it in this purpose. This contributed to it becoming the largest submarine base in the Southern Hemisphere during WWII.

More recently the area has gained a reputation for its lively art and culinary scene. As a result it is now rapidly being gentrified and, some say, loosing its unique charm.

Fremantle Markets
- © David Davies

Visiting Fremantle Markets

The market opens Friday-Sunday as well as on most public holidays. The hall operates between 9am-6pm and the yard between 8am-6pm.

It is a short walk from Queen St after Adelaide bus stop and can be reached via buses 107, 111, 148, 159, 160, 502, 548, 910, 915, 999. It is also a 15 min walk from the Rottnest B Shed Ferry Terminal.

Fremantle Markets
- © Pascal Subtil

Interested in finding more places like this? Try one of our CityDays Urban Exploration Games- untangle cryptic clues as a team, as you are taken on a journey to the most unique, unusual and bizarre corners of Perth and beyond!

Want to discover more great markets around the world? Check out our articles on NYC's Greenpoint Terminal Market, London's Mercato Mayfair and Manchester's Mackie Mayor.


What you need to know

Fremantle Markets
South Terrace &, Henderson St, Fremantle WA 6160, Australia
Tips before you visit