Best Jerusalem Shopping and Markets
Jan 15 , 2011
From runway looks to one-of-a-kind, spend the day perusing the city for gifts and souvenirs. Find out where to go for the best Jerusalem shopping and markets.
While Jerusalem is first and foremost known for its history and religious attractions, nothing demonstrates a city’s modern culture than shopping. Aside from restaurants, markets are the best place to get a taste of a place's true culture, and you'll get to explore what it means to live in Jerusalem without the help of a tour guide. Here are some of the best shopping and markets in Jerusalem:
To jump into the thick of things, head to Machane Yehuda, which is just ten minutes from the city center. Machane Yehuda, which the locals simply refer to as The Market, is as authentic as they come. Countless vendors sell an endless array of goods, including locally produced artisan crafts, clothing, and fresh fish and produce. Food is the center feature here, and there is a dazzling array of spices, coffees, and fruit. The street food here is particularly enticing, and almost all of it is kosher.
For antiques, we recommend Gilai Collectibles, which specializes in goods from the 18th and 19th centuries. Shoppers will find all kinds of things here, and the collections of antiquated scientific instruments and maps of Jerusalem are especially interesting. The owner is a real character, and you should make a point of seeing his cane collection - it's one of the biggest in Israel.
If you're starved for a taste of Western civilization, head straight to Malcha Mall. This mega-mall is home to Western and regional brands, and there are more than 200 restaurants across three stories of fluorescent-lit shopping excellence.
The cheapest place to find gifts when shopping in Jerusalem is at the Arab Souk, located in the Old City area. The souk is a living historical treasure, as it has stood in roughly the same spot since the Ottoman Empire. You'll find all kinds of traditional and modern clothing, as well as gift items and famous culinary vendors like Jaffar's Sweets. Feel free to haggle, and don't bother with overzealous merchants.
Finally, we recommend Alrov Manilla Avenue for those seeking a luxury retail experience. Here you'll find rejuvenated historic buildings, high-end fashion labels, an outdoor theater, and many restaurants. Those accustomed to Fifth Avenue in New York City will feel right at home.
Jerusalem shopping is a nice break, as well as a cultural experience in itself. Jerusalem markets are an extension of the city's character and charm, giving you a sense of what it is like to live in this historic city.
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