Markets and Fairs in Jerusalem

Markets and Fairs in Jerusalem

autor iconBy Deena Levenstein

Shopping in Jerusalem’s markets is undoubtedly one of the highlights of a trip to Jerusalem. Two out of the four top markets in the city, Bezalel Fair and the Farmer's Market, only take place on a Friday. Whereas the Old City markets are open all week and Mahane Yehuda is open all week apart from Shabbat. Mahane Yehuda is best explored on any day apart from Friday, when crowds of people descend on the market to do their last-minute shopping for Shabbat. The First Station also has special markets from time to time.

The Old City

In addition to a range of souvenirs on offer, from gaudy to charming, the Old City also offers fine local handicrafts and other exceptional regional products of interest like antiques, religious articles, Armenian ceramics, textiles, rugs, jewelry, olive-wood objects, ancient household articles, coins, copper, brassware, Hebron glassware and cosmetics.

It is not advisable to visit the Old City’s markets alone and to always be alert.

The Old City: Muslim Quarter

Enter the Muslim Quarter from Damascus Gate, and head down El Wad. If you turn off onto the Via Dolorosa, you will find an array of shops selling everything from water pipes to plastic crucifixes.

Or, continue down El Wad Road toward the Cotton Merchants’ Market, an atmospheric row of around 50 shops with almost no natural light and lamps lighting the way. The Cotton Merchant’s Market sells a variety of goods, such as dried fruit, cheap clothing and plenty of souvenirs.

Then, head toward the Central Shuk three parallel covered streets between David Street and Chain Street. This market not only sells the usual fare but is a bit more untamed and exotic with a section called the Butchers Market.

The Old City: Christian Quarter

The Muristan, a complex of streets and shops in the Christian Quarter of the Old City with a long history, houses a vibrant marketplace as well as the Church of the Redeemer. Many people come to browse through the colorful wares on display in the shop windows and sip coffee or freshly squeezed fruit juice in the outdoor cafes.

Mahane Yehuda Market

With the freshest fruit, vegetables and local delicacies and its colourful mix of people, Mahane Yehuda market, known as the shuk, is a unique, sensory experience. In recent years, the shuk has been gentrified and you will now also find designer and boutique stores, and trendy restaurants and bars. The shuk consists of both an open-air and closed section and extends over a large area bounded by Jaffa Road and Agrippas Street. Although there are paid parking options, it is most often worth using public transport. The light rail and many buses arrive at the market. Read more >>

Address: Between Jaffa and Agrippas Road

Bezalel Art Fair

The vibrant Bezalel Arts Fair takes place every Friday (weather dependant) with around 150 stalls selling arts and crafts and hand-made goods. You’ll want to round off the experience with a cup of coffee in one of the trendy coffee shops in the area. Read more >>

Address: Bezalel and Shatz Streets, City Center

More fairs and markets in Jerusalem >>