A shopping tour of JerusalemWhile Jerusalem isn't known as a top-draw destination for shopping, the city does boast an active crafts community, as well as numerous places for purchasing knickknacks, boutique fashion items, Judaica, apparel and attire with internationally known labels.
While Jerusalem isn't known as a top-draw destination for shopping, the city does boast an active crafts community, as well as numerous places for purchasing knickknacks, boutique fashion items, Judaica, apparel and attire with internationally known labels.
From fragrant Middle Eastern spices to towels with Justin Beiber's name emblazoned in Hebrew to gold-plated Menorahs to Dead Sea mineral lotions, there is something for every budget, and you'll be hard-pressed not to find something for yourself or that special someone at home.
Jerusalem's largest and most popular shopping destination is the Malcha Mall, home to over 250 purveyors of fashion, footwear, cosmetics and electronics. Highlights include popular European fashion stores such as H&M, Zara and Mango - as well the country's largest kosher food court.
For foodies, there is no better location than 100-year-old Machane Yehuda, western Jerusalem's outdoor market, where you can find locally produced olives, halva, olive oil, spices, breads, wines, cheeses and other fine delicacies. In recent years, Machane Yehuda has become a hot destination, thanks to a slew of renovation enhancements and an influx of upscale boutiques, galleries and espresso bars. The shuk teems with activity on Fridays, but daylight hours on any weekday are always good times to be there.
Head crosstown through the alleyways of Nachlaot to the "Little Bezalel" pedestrian mall, which includes several thriving local fashion boutiques. The area where the old Bezalel Academy was founded has been closed off to motor traffic, with the area between the top of Shatz St., and the section of Ben Yehuda St. spanning King George and Bezalel having become home to the craft booth and performance art fun of the weekly Friday Bezalel Fair. During the week, hipsters and bohemians frequent coffee shops, art galleries, book stores and stores where creative apparel is designed and sewn.
On Ben Yehuda St. and the surrounding pedestrian mall, you'll find dozens of gift shops, offering the ubiquitous Hebrew Coca-Cola shirts, gallery-quality Judaica and commemorative knickknacks and tchotchkes. Here, buskers regale and teens practice capoeira alongside businessmen coming out of heated meetings and twenty-somethings waking up in time for a pre-nightlife breakfast. At the bottom of the pedestrian mall, where Rivlin St. meets Hillel, "The Pit," or "Cat Square" forms a miniature Middle Eastern bazaar, with earrings, tapestries and water pipes for sale.
Vying to be the Fifth Avenue of Jerusalem, the Alrov Mamilla Avenue is both an arcade of luxury and accessibility running the gamut from the high end (Rolex, North Face) to the more reasonable (The Gap, Crocs). Cafes line the street, as do sculpture exhibits.
Mamilla leads right to the Old City and the bustling Arab Souk, where bargaining is encouraged. Here you'll find everything from tapestries and backgammon sets to olivewood carvings and Armenian-style ceramics. The further into the market you venture, the better deal you're likely to find.
Another Old City shopping destination is The Cardo. Once the mercantile heart of Jerusalem during the Roman occupation of Jerusalem, it is now home to high-end Judaica shops and galleries on the Jewish Quarter end, which leads into the Muslim Quarter in the direction of Damascus Gate's bustle on the other.
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