Jerusalem is a very interesting place to go shopping. The city has a variety of stores from markets and bazaars to high-end boutiques and modern malls. There are still many family-owned stores in areas of Jerusalem featuring specific merchandise like women’s clothing, electronics, or home goods. Those store owners taking pride in being specialists in selling that particular type of item. But, Jerusalem also has a variety of shopping centers and malls where there are endless store options. One of the most fun places to go shopping is at the bazaars in the Old City. Items are a bit overpriced, but they make really good souvenirs.
Here are some of the best places to go shopping in Jerusalem:
Machane Yehuda Market
The Machane Yehuda Market is often called “the shuk” and is Jerusalem’s most famous market. There are more than 250 venders who sell everything from fresh produce to pet supplies. The market is open every day but Friday evening and Saturday. The busiest day is Friday, when all the locals are there picking up their food for Shabbat dinner. The market also has a number of restaurants and chill bars worth checking out.
Like all cities, Jerusalem has a big mall housing most major Israeli brands. This mall is one of the largest in the Middle East, with a wide selection of 260 stores, and is located outside of the downtown part of West Jerusalem near Yad Vashem and the Israel Museum.
The First Station is an outdoor mall located on the site of the old train station in Jerusalem. This has become a very popular spot for locals and tourists and many festivals are also held here. First station features a number of shops, kiosks, restaurants, and daily activities for children. It is worth walking around the area, even if only to do some window shopping and people watching.
The Old City Bazaar
In the Old City, there are a small number of shopping bazaars. Most are very touristy and some overpriced. The Bazaar in the Arab Quarter is perhaps the coolest though, with an authentic Arabian feel uncommon in the west. Prices tend to be negotiable, so don’t be afraid to bargain. If you decide to take a tour of Jerusalem, you will have the opportunity to shop here.
Yafo Road is the longest and oldest street in Jerusalem. Beginning at the Machane Yehuda Market and continuing east until the Old City, there are dozens of shops and stores along the street. Many of these stores are family-owned and specialize in specific merchandise. But, there are also chain stores that offer a variety of options. Because the Jerusalem Light Rail runs along Yafo Road, it is easy to go between stores without getting tired of walking.
Located just outside the Old City, the Mamilla Mall area is the place to go if you want top-end designer labels. This is definitely Jerusalem’s most exclusive shopping area, but is an interesting place for a stroll no matter what your budget. There are also a number of restaurants within the mall area, some of which offer an amazing view of the Old City.
They call it Jerusalem’s Sheinkin Street, and it isn’t far off. Emek Refaim is similar in that it is home to some of Jerusalem’s most chic boutiques, as well as trendy cafes and restaurants. The buildings on the street are from the Templar period, which makes this area of South Jerusalem all the more interesting.
The Farmers Market
In the German Colony, in the courtyard of Ginot Ha’ir, the Farmers Market has a selection of stalls selling art, antiques, and fashion accessories every Friday. The market also carries fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, healthy baked goods, as well as organic olives and jams.