The hokey pink and pastel stucco exterior hides the Victoria Street Market’s flurry of color, chaos and activity. Affectionately called The Vic, the two-story building is essentially an indoor flea and farmer’s market with more than 150 lively retail and wholesale vendors. Kitchen utensils, pots, luggage, clothes, wholesale products from China and carved trinkets spill into the building’s second-floor walkways, while butchers, fishmongers and fruit and vegetable vendors set up shop on the first level.
In the mix visitors will find many merchants hawking silken saris and incense, spices from fragrant and colorful barrels, plus Indian handicrafts… not your usual South African market fare. The city’s multicultural tapestry—including the largest population of Indians outside of Asia—is reflected in both the market’s vendors and shoppers, and The Vic has long been a shopping hub of the Indian community. Bring your bargaining skills for some unique souvenir finds.
The Victoria Street Market building, on the corner of Queen and Victoria streets, is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Some stalls, run by observant Muslims, close early on Fridays. Several guided city walking tours incorporate the nearby Warwick Junction Market—focusing on African traditional herbs and medicines—in addition to The Vic.