One advantage of Israel's sunny skies nine months of the year is the plethora of outdoor shopping and specialty markets vending everything from local souvenirs to Middle Eastern antiques, foodie delicacies and handmade goods by local craftsmen. The Israeli market (or 'shuk') is a fabulous way to spend your day, among other top attractions you’d be mad to miss. From the Carmel market to Mahane Yehuda, we've mapped out a host of places to shop 'til you drop…with the sun on your back. If you find yourself with a post-haggling adrenaline rush, release that energy at one of Israel's many festivals happening nearby.
Shop 'til you drop at these Israeli markets
An intoxicating fusion of colors, scents and sounds, Mahane Yehuda is Jerusalem’s biggest and oldest market. The stalls here sell everything from fresh produce to clothing and in recent years, Mahane Yehuda has also become a yuppie hub with designer boutiques and top chef restaurants.
Specializing in fresh produce and clothes, Carmel Market is Tel Aviv’s largest and busiest market. With dozens of stalls selling fresh meat, fish, fruit and vegetables and the likes, you can take in all the sights, sounds and smells the Carmel Market has to offer while hunting for the cheapest bargain. The market is especially busy on Fridays, so be sure to get there early for your Shabbat fixings.
Poor quality bric-a-brac lies alongside vintage treasures and antique furniture in Jaffa’s flea market. Of all the places to work your haggling skills, this is it. Even just wandering among the clothes stalls, traipsing around secondhand stores or grabbing some authentic street food is enough to make for a blissful day.
Sarona Compound, a 140-year-old former Templar colony, is the first culinary center of its kind in Israel. An 8,700-square-meter market houses dozens of specialty food shops from all around the world. Inside the market, you’ll find everything imaginable from Dutch cheese to waffle towers and even Asian buns. Just outside the indoor market, dozens of clothing, book and shoe stores line its lanes, interspersed with lily ponds and grassy areas to relax.
The flea market in Haifa's Lower City is a gem for vintage lovers and collectors, but a recent facelift has opened the area to the wider public. On weekdays, the market is quiet, operating solely during morning hours, but it comes to life on Saturdays and Sundays selling everything from old enamel utensils and used sneakers to ornaments and cut class.
A new trend started in 2015, with the opening of the Sarona Market, where Tel Aviv welcomed its modern-day Israeli market renaissance and a new perspective at how much food culture can change overnight. Shuk Tsafon, North Tel Aviv’s intimate market, opened last year, and the newest shuk on the block is the Rothschild Allenby Market, sprawling over 1, 250 meters and housing 32 shops and eateries. Situated on one of the most walkable streets in the city in the middle of everything with offices and businesses a-plenty, the newest shuk treats Telavivians and city visitors to food from around the world with everything from South African curries to ramen. There are lots of little seating areas, an area for evolving pop-ups and events and a spacious sidewalk café with ready-made food to go.
The Nazareth Market is a great place to rub shoulders with locals and experience the unique Middle Eastern market culture. Smell the spices, taste local cuisine, and shop for the perfect piece of exotic clothing or souvenir. Just a minute away from the Church of Annunciation, the market is a perfect spot to stop for lunch while touring Nazareth. Explore the various alleys and see what each stall has to offer. You never know what treasures you’ll find!
Talpiot Market is housed in the historic Hadar HaCarmel building, built in the late 1930s. The fruit and vegetable market offers the best of Israeli produce, and is a pleasing experience for all of the senses. Here you can find farm-to-table produce, spices, fresh baked goods, and much more, all at a fair price. It has a long tradition of serving new immigrants, the city’s large religious community, as well as residents of more established neighborhoods. At Haifa’s main shuk you can also grab a great falafel or other local cuisine in a city famed for its coexistence.
The Greek Market takes its name from its creators. Built by the Greek Orthodox monastery of Jaffa in the late 19th century, the area just east of the iconic Clock Square has been taken over by the Greek community. Shops line the alleyways, while wide openings allow for comfortable seating. Every friday, artisans and artists swarm the compound selling crafts, flowers, antiques, and vintage keepsakes. Weave through the magical old streets of this charming area and you may even catch a live music performance.
A symbol of coexistence between Arab and Jewish residents, this small, yet colorful market in the heart of the Wadi Nisnas neighborhood has been a sensory celebration for decades. It’s flooded with bakeries, delis, coffee shops, fresh seafood, falafel stands, restaurants, fruits and vegetables..