In Israel, shopping at the open-air markets is quite the experience, whether it’s antiques, organic food, locally made jewelry or artisanal cheese, visitors are yearning. The colorfulness, the liveliness, the atmosphere…clients are going to want to hopscotch through all of Israel’s markets.
In Tel Aviv, an array of markets beckons the uninitiated to partake in a one-of-a-kind experience. A detour to the Tel Aviv Port Antiques Fair and Organic Market, with the Mediterranean as the backdrop, is a must. It’s filled to the brim with books, old records, toys and really, all types of charming gems that travelers will want to feast their eyes on, if not take home. Of course, the “organic” bit means there are lots of fresh product: coffee, olive oils, hand-made pasta and the like, and lots of taste-testing to be had. In Jaffa, in narrow alleys not far from the Jaffa Old Clock Tower, the bazaar-style Jaffa Flea Market is full of knick-knacks, both treasures and junk, and is ideal for travelers looking to buy something unique to take back home. In Tel Aviv’s biggest open-air market, Carmel Market, there’s everything from socks to a large range of fruits and vegetables to stalls full of exotic spices, colorful candy, and traditional pastries.
Jerusalem, too, knows how to put on a dynamic market scene, with its well-known souk that sprawls across the Christian and Muslim quarters in the Old City. Here, it’s all about the stunning architecture and the history, and although there are lots of touristy items, insiders say to look beyond the facade and there just might be a treasure or two to uncover. Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda Market, meanwhile, offers nonstop bustle with vendors calling out their prices, as well as a bevy of cafes and restaurants. Also in Jerusalem, the Bezalal Arts Fair offers a more creative spin as it sells local crafts, wood, glassware, and even clothing created by local designers.