Big Girl, Middle East: Tel Aviv Markets

There is such a thing as a Tel Aviv Markets scene! Let’s be honest: a busy city isn’t complete without proper markets. Also, I love going shopping – and haggling! – in these places. Nothing like a locals’ market to sample their culture (and make some awesome discoveries).

I went and visited a few during my stay in TLV… Here is my report on my experience in 3 of the most typical Tel Avivian spots.

♥ Jaffa Flea Market (Shuk HaPishpeshim)

Though Jaffa was a distinct city for a while, it’s now part of the Tel Aviv-Yafo agglomeration. This is the quintessential market experience in town! You can EASILY spend a full day there, especially if you take a break from the midday sun and heat to eat in the many restaurants around the market. At the Jaffa Flea Market, you can easily turn a day out into a night out to enjoy a drink and/or a good meal. Go more than once, especially in the flea market section, as sellers and merchandise change every day!

tel aviv markets sunburn
Beware of the midday sun… and of unevenly applied sunscreen.

♥ I recommend: BeerBazaar. (7, Olei Zion Street – Sunday-Thursday: 11am-2am, Friday: 10am-4pm, Saturday: opens at sundown until very late) This small spot with a nice staff and offers a range of 100 Israeli craft beers to their customers. (Also try their free seasoned popcorn.) Taste their cranberry lemonade (watch out: there is alcohol in it!), kick back and enjoy some people-watching from under their awning. (Otherwise, you might burn. Really.)

Fast Facts

What: A flea market, a market hall with dozens of stalls, and many restaurants and bars to rest after shopping! From knock-offs Ray-Bans to paintings to jewelry and clothes, without forgetting souvenirs, this is “THE” market to visit if you only visit one market in the Tel Aviv area.

When: Sunday-Friday, 9am-5 pm (closes earlier on Fridays for Shabbat)

Where: find the corner of Olei Zion Street & Ami’ad Street (look for La Goffre waffle place). Go in one direction (North-West) on Olei Zion St. and you will run into the flea market (a bunch of tables with local selling used goods – and, let’s be honest, some junk). Head the other way (South-East) on Olei Zion St. and you will find a “covered” market hall for new items and even more stalls to shop from!

I found some awesome salwar – “Aladdin” – pants and a cute tunic in that market hall. Don’t worry about finding the stalls with plus sizes; the sellers will spot you. If you hear a callout in the likes of “Big sizes for you!”, chances are, you’re in the right spot! (There aren’t so many stalls with plus sizes anyway.)

tel aviv markets jaffa market BeerBazaar
Having a cranberry lemonade at BeerBazaar…

Nahalat Binyamin Artist Market

Twice a week, artists from all corners of Israel come and personally sell their work at this pedestrian mall. Each artists is selected by a committee and is the biggest and oldest of its kind in the country.

I recommend: Make it a 2 for 1 market day; this market is perfect stop on your way to/from Carmel Market (see below). 

Fast Facts

What: Artist street market running twice a week.  You will find there jewelry, art, deco items and much more.

Every Tuesday & Friday, all day (ends around 5-6 PM)

intersection of Nahalat Binyamin St & Rambam St (close to Carmel Market – see below) – Website

tel aviv markets

Carmel Market (Shuk HaCarmel)

Load up on fresh fruits, sweets and pastries! There is a handful of restaurants and bars around the market if you’re thirsty and/or hungry.  You can also find many stalls selling fresh-made lemonade and fruit slushies to sip on.

Don’t be like me: I forgot my bag of loukoums in another stall, after I bought something else. #Sad

I recommend: Pasta Basta – 60, Allenby Street – for quick eat of warm, “customized” pastas.

Fast Facts

What: The biggest of its kind in Tel Aviv. Fruits & vegetables, electronics, souvenirs, pastries…

When: Sunday to Friday, from early to 7 PM (closes earlier on Fridays for Shabbat)

Where: Carmel (or HaCarmel) Street, between Allenby Street and Magen David Square

Do you usually visit flea markets, bazaars and similar places when you travel?

Are you a fierce negociator, a crafty haggler?

Share your experiences in the comments!

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