Experience Israel like a local at the Jaffa Flea Market

October 11th 2014

Jaffa Flea MarketThere’s nothing as satisfying as experiencing Israel like a local. Take some time away from touring Israel to shop in one of the most colorful and interesting markets in the country.

At the Jaffa Flea Market you’ll find every type of product you can dream up. From clothing to Judaica, tiles and jewelry, there is virtually nothing you can’t find here. Not everything sold in the market is high quality, though; be on the lookout for junk and useless items. Also, remember that this is a Middle Eastern shuk, so bargaining is expected and appreciated.

Founded in the early twentieth century, the Jaffa Flea Market has recently become trendy, with artists’ studios, cafes and antiques lining the sidewalks. If you’re interested in antiques, visit the “Palestine the Land of Israel” shop, which sells items from before 1948, including suitcases, military gear and kitchenware. For kitschy antiques, visit Taos, where colorful plastic statues vie for space with planters and life-size cartoon characters.

Alma Studio is the place to go for original high-quality jewelry. The designer travels widely and brings that inspiration to her beaded creations. For whimsy home décor, visit Sofi, where you can purchase pillows, slippers, cups, plates, baskets and more. You can pick up some inexpensive knock-offs of high-end knick-knacks at Niso’s Decorative Goods.

If you want a quick snack while you are wandering around, Santo’s Juices offers ripe, sweet, seasonal fruit and vegetable juices, squeezed and blended on the spot. You can also sit down, rest your feet and put your bags down to enjoy a full meal. From trendy cafes to falafel joints to gourmet restaurants, there is no shortage of food options in the flea market.

Before you leave, make sure you get a look at the Jaffa clock tower, built to commemorate the silver jubilee of the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Abd al-Hamid II. It is one of seven clock towers constructed by the Ottomans during their rule over Israel, and is situated in a traffic circle right outside the market.