February 25th 2015
If you want the true Middle-Eastern shopping experience, head over to the Jaffa Flea Market (“Shuk HaPishpishim” in Hebrew) for the widest variety of one-of-a-kind items that you just won’t find in a shopping mall or a chain store.
The best way to enjoy the Jaffa Flea Market is without a list but with a lot of curiosity. Open six days a week from morning until early evening, this is an extremely compelling spot to spend the day, exploring antique furniture, jewelry, hookahs with all the accessories, a wide variety of knickknacks, copper, brass, old Persian tiles, Judaica, old family-photo albums, used jeans, vintage European fashions and clothing from India. It’s a riot of color, smell, texture and taste.
When something catches your eye, you could pay the asking price, but the Jaffa Flea Market provides great opportunities to try your hand at a little Middle Eastern bargaining. It seems that no one pays full price here. Save a few shekels on that antique tin box and spend it at one of the trendy cafés that are interspersed between the older shops.
Some of the more off-beat things you can buy at the Jaffa Flea Market include a WWI British army uniform and helmet, Swiss-style sausages, a shot of vodka infused with a Persian lemon herb, life-size cartoon characters and musical bearded men made of clay.
Parking close to the market can be challenging. It’s best to take public transportation or to park nearby and take a cab to the port. And bring bottled water with you, since it’s hard to find among the vendors. Don’t miss the side streets! If you need information, there’s an official Old Jaffa tourism office at the Clock Tower.
The Jaffa Flea Market is located just past the ancient Clock Tower and the Old City of Jaffa. It’s a wild combination of alleys, covered sidewalks and outdoor areas. For a change of pace, step into one of the art galleries or the newer boutiques that specialize in furniture or new clothing. Take a break from bargaining with a walk along the newly refurbished Jaffa Port, or the sprawling green promenade park that runs along the coast towards the south.