Jerusalem

Jerusalem offers distinctive gifts from modern jewelry to traditional crafts to religious icons. The top shopping spots are the Downtown area, the Old City, and the Mamilla outdoor mall. The Hutzot Hayotzer artists' collective just outside the Old City walls is another popular and particularly beautiful spot, where during the August Arts and Crafts Festival you can visit the studios of resident artists and enjoy open-air music performances at night.

Prices are generally fixed in the Center City and the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, although you can sometimes negotiate for significant discounts on expensive art and jewelry. However, bargaining is common practice in the Old City's colorful Arab bazaar, or souk (pronounced "shook" in Hebrew—rhymes with "book"); it's fascinating but can be a trap for the unwary.

Young fashion designers, often graduates of Jerusalem's Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, have opened a stream of shops and boutiques. They’re scattered throughout the city. Several galleries representing Israeli artists are close to the hotels on King David Street.

Stores generally open by 8:30 am or 9 am, and some close between 1 pm and 4 pm. A few still close on Tuesday afternoon, a traditional but less and less observed half day. Jewish-owned stores (that is, all of West Jerusalem and the Old City's Jewish Quarter) close on Friday afternoon by 2 pm or 3 pm, depending on the season and the kind of store (food and souvenir shops tend to stay open later), and reopen on Sunday morning. Some stores geared to the tourist trade, particularly Downtown, reopen on Saturday night after the Jewish Sabbath ends, especially in summer. Arab-owned stores in the Old City and East Jerusalem are busiest on Saturday and quietest on Sunday, when many (but not all) Christian storekeepers close for the day.

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  • 1. Bilal Abu Khalaf

    Christian Quarter | Textiles/Sewing

    The family of Bilal Abu Khalaf has been trading in fine fabrics for Jerusalem's elite for three generations. The shop is an Aladdin's cave of...Read More

  • 2. Charlotte

    Center City | Crafts

    This 80-year-old shop carries colorful ceramics, weavings, painted silks, and jewelry. ...Read More

  • 3. Designers in the City

    Center City | Other Specialty Store

    More than 20 Israeli jewelry designers, leather workers, clothing makers, and ceramics artists have studios here, where you can watch them work...Read More

  • 4. Sabon Shel Paam

    German Colony | Perfume/Cosmetics

    Sabon—Hebrew for soap—sells its aromatic herb-infused soaps, creams, and lotions all around the world. The ritual hand washing in the shop is...Read More

  • 5. Sandrouni

    Christian Quarter | Ceramics/Glassware

    This shop just inside the New Gate stocks intricately hand-painted ceramic tiles in any shape or size, from small decorative tiles to elaborate...Read More

  • 6. Souk

    Muslim Quarter | Market

    Jerusalem's main market is the souk in the Old City, spread over a warren of intersecting streets. This is where much of Arab Jerusalem shops...Read More

  • 7. A.B.C.

    Center City | Souvenirs

    A.B.C. is a homegrown label selling well-made gifts and accessories for the home. Their wooden boxes and apothecary bottles wrapped in bamboo...Read More

  • 8. Adi Kilav

    Center City | Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

    This shop sells striking handmade leather shoes that you definitely won't find back home. Adi Kilav's classic lines reflect his training in...Read More

  • 9. Ahava Center

    Center City | Perfume/Cosmetics

    The store stocks all the company's products using minerals from the Dead Sea, but at less attractive prices than elsewhere. ...Read More

  • 10. Arts and Crafts Lane

    Center City | Neighborhoods

    Outside Jaffa Gate, Hutzot Hayotzer is home to goldsmiths and silversmiths specializing in jewelry, fine art, and Judaica, generally done in...Read More

  • 11. Barbara Shaw

    German Colony | Crafts

    Australian immigrant Barbara Shaw has put her colorful, contemporary stamp on a selection of household gifts, from crisp dish towels and whimsical...Read More

  • 12. Bezalel Arts Fair

    Center City | Market

    Every Friday, local artists and craftspeople hawk handmade jewelry and bags, whimsical puppets, hefty wooden cutting boards, and other pieces...Read More

  • 13. Blue and White Art Gallery

    Jewish Quarter | Art Galleries

    Udi Merioz, the artist and owner of this gallery, does "soft painting," a special appliqué technique that uses synthetic fibers on canvas. The...Read More

  • 14. Cadim

    Center City | Ceramics/Glassware

    A decidedly contemporary selection of ceramics is on view at this shop showcasing the works of 15 artists. ...Read More

  • 15. Cardo

    Jewish Quarter | Neighborhoods

    In the Old City's Jewish Quarter, the Cardo began life as the main thoroughfare of Byzantine Jerusalem. It was a commercial street during the...Read More

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  • 16. Dan Alsberg

    Center City | Jewelry & Watches

    Jeweler Dan Alsberg has crafted outstanding modern gold and silver pieces for more than 40 years. ...Read More

  • 17. Daniella Lehavi

    Center City | Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

    Local designer Daniella Lehavi makes distinctive, well-crafted leather bags, shoes, and accessories. ...Read More

  • 18. Danny Azoulay

    Center City | Crafts

    These delicate items in fine porcelain are all hand-painted in rich shades of blue, red, and gold. Traditional Jewish ritual objects include...Read More

  • 19. Darian Armenian Ceramics

    Center City | Ceramics/Glassware

    Arman Darian's exacting painting can be seen in prestigious buildings around Israel and the world. Besides ceramic pieces with Jewish themes...Read More

  • 20. Elia Photo Service

    Christian Quarter | Other Specialty Store

    Kevork Kahvedjian's collection of 3,500 photographic prints of Jerusalem and the Holy Land dating back to 1860 provides a window into a vanished...Read More

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