Top five things to do at Israel’s markets

Everyone loves visiting Israel’s colorful markets, but what do you do when you get there? ISRAEL21c gives you five great suggestions.

Rows of halvah on market stand in Israel. Image via Shutterstock.com

Rows of halvah on market stand in Israel. Image via Shutterstock.com

TASTE

Israel’s produce markets will make you drool. From the tastiest fruits and vegetables, to every flavor of halva, to fresh baked goods and delicious cheeses, your senses will be assaulted on a walk through the stalls.

Vegetables at Sderot market. Image via Shutterstock.com

Vegetables at Sderot market. Image via Shutterstock.com

The fresh juice stands pack a major wow with the endless variety of squeezed goodness. Culinary tourism is a trend the world over and Israeli gourmands and growers will surely capture your taste buds. Take a day to feast at the market.

CRAFTS

Tel Aviv has been dubbed one of the country’s most creative places but there are artists and craftspeople north and south. Every city and town has a crafts fair and all of them are worth checking out. The best-known exposition is the bi-weekly Nachalat Binyamin Arts and Crafts Fair which takes place every Tuesday and Friday along the pedestrian street in Tel Aviv. Or, head over to Dizengoff Square every Thursday from 4-11pm for the Fashionably Late display of creations of young Israeli industrial, graphic, fashion and plastic designers. Every Tuesday and Friday, the square is filled with artists and antique vendors.

The oriental market in Old Jerusalem offers a variety of Middle Eastern products and souvenirs. Image via Shutterstock.com

The oriental market in Old Jerusalem offers a variety of Middle Eastern products and souvenirs. Image via Shutterstock.com

In Jerusalem, check out the Bezalel arts and crafts street fair which serves up creativity, charm and friendliness every Friday between 10am and 4pm.

There’s also a crafts market in the German Colony neighborhood of the city on Emek Refaim.

PEOPLE WATCH

Everyone goes to the market. Some of the characters you’ll meet will be the highlight of your day, if not week. Every market in Israel is a world of its own. The locals who shop and those who sell bring a distinctive flavor to the area. In Mahane Yehuda market, don’t miss the Etrog Man.

HAGGLE

The price is significant but not as important as the art of haggling. Haggling is a cultural Middle Eastern negotiation between a seller and buyer. It’s super important to remember that this is not a sport for the fun of it — only haggle if you intend on purchasing whatever product you’re haggling over. To make sure you’re doing it right, first ask the seller for his best price. Then try to knock it down to half. Don’t be mean when bargaining, this is meant to be fun!

SHOOT

Photography fans are sure to have fun at the country’s markets. Hook up with an organized photography tour around the markets or go alone. The colors, architecture, people, foods, clothing, and endless wares offer up the “next best shot” wherever you point your lens.

About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. She has jumped out of a plane, ducked rockets and been attacked by a baboon all in the name of a good story. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.