From jewelry to antique menorahs, boutiques and markets offer everything for the traveling shopper. And if you’re looking for variety, you won’t only find Israeli crafts but an array of items from medieval Italy, Eastern Europe and Russia.
Markets and Malls
The Old City markets are the ideal place for Jerusalem shopping. These stock excellent quality chess and nativity sets made from olive wood, hand-carved camels, boxes and Christmas decorations. They also sell beautiful hand blown glassware from Hebron, inlaid works from Syria and Egypt and mother-of-pearl accessories from Jordan. Take a close look at the Bedouin style jewels and rugs. Their creativity is manifested in unique designs. The weaving is made with wool and sometimes from camel or goat hair. It’s one of the last surviving handicrafts.
Mahane Yehuda Market is another excellent place for Jerusalem shopping. It’s more than a buying experience. You’ll get to observe the excitement with which the city’s population prepares for the Sabbath. You can buy fresh produce as well as some clothing items and gifts.
The Malha Shopping Mall is said to be the largest in the Middle East. It features three floors of fabulous Jerusalem shopping. They have groceries, clothing, carpets and a varied food court. There are also a number of upscale eateries. Visit the Judaica shops that feature beautiful candle holders, menorahs, embroidered table cloths and amulets like the Hamsa (Hand of Fatima).
If you like glass, Nekker Glass Company is the place for Jerusalem shopping. Having revived this ancient art, the master craftsman replicates designs from 2000 years ago. They carry a collection of old patinas in an array of colors as well as museum quality reproductions.
Jewelry lovers will find that there’s no place like Ophir for Jerusalem shopping. Every piece is made by the owner and focuses on styles of Victorian and Edwardian eras. They have a display of antique and semi-antique accessories.
However, if you’re in the market for unusual items, Old City Press Art Gallery is an excellent destination for Jerusalem shopping. Travelers can purchase jewelry and other artifacts that use Roman glass. They also showcase contemporary Judaica paintings and sculpture.
Aside from the markets, the Shop of Maazen Kaysi has the most impressive number of Bedouin weavings and carpets. They also sell Kilims from Central Asia as well as Roumanian peasant style blouses. You’ll enjoy browsing through the crowded but interesting shelves. It’s one of the most frequented venues for Jerusalem shopping.
For new and used books in several languages, Sefer v’ Sefel is perfect for Jerusalem shopping. The owners are very friendly so don’t be shocked if you’re invited to have a cup of coffee while you browse.
And of course, tourists love to bring home a trinket or two. Ali Baba Souvenir Shop has a wide selection of quality goods. You will however, have to be very patient. Not everything is well organized in the store but you can find camels, crucifixes, olive oil soap and carved olive wood.