Shopping in Jerusalem has always been a favourite pastime for locals and visitors alike. It may seem an impossible feat to add in a day of shopping to your busy tour schedule, but you will be more than pleased with all the selection of goods available to you if you do. One of the must-do shopping attractions is the Arab Souk market that takes place in the Old City. It takes place in both the Christian and Muslim Quarters of the Old City and is home to everything from Mid-Eastern designed jewellery to simple tourist trinkets.
The marketplace has been present in Jerusalem since the early Ottoman Empire and as such shopping is deemed an important part of Israeli daily life. Many Europeans also love to visit Jerusalem both for its history and also the amazing shopping deals to be had. One of the items you will get a good deal on in Israel is on jewellery. Beautiful, ancient-looking rings and earrings that have been handcrafted sell for just a fraction of the cost that you might find elsewhere or at home. Whatever the price it is important to learn how to haggle when in Jerusalem. The price may seem low but once you add up all the gifts and personal items that you have chosen, half your budget could be gone. It is also important to remember that the merchants expect for you to haggle. Unlike western countries where prices are fixed, Israel prices are set high by individual merchants with the expectation that you will try to bargain for a lower price.
Haggling can be a stressful process for some, especially those that come from places where haggling makes one look uncouth and ill-mannered. Most merchants probably feel that if you do not haggle, then paying the higher price is your own fault. Haggling is best done with a smile on your face rather than an abrasive attitude. Merchants can also be a bit pushy at times, especially in the city center where they see hundreds of tourists each day. The good and bad about shopping at Arab Souk is that many of the products sold are exactly the same as products in neighboring stalls. Sometimes it means that you don’t really find that something special that you are looking for, but that you can always find a better rice just a few stalls down.
If you are looking for more upscale goods, then you might try the Malcha Mall. The Malcha Mall has a number of Israeli fashion designer shops as well as many western department chains. Some of the western chains include places popular in America such as Office Depot and Toys R Us. There is also a Home Center, Mango and SuperPharm. One of the best things about the Malcha Mall is the large kosher food market where you can find any number goods suitable for your traditional Jewish feast or to find a healthy snack.
The other nice thing about visiting Malcha Mall is that you will always be able to find what you are looking for. The mall has everything from optometrists to hairdressers not to mention hundreds of shops containing clothing and accessories. The Malcha Mall is located near several hotels in Jerusalem so it should not be very difficult to get to. Parking at the mall is free, but those without a car will also find travelling to the mall quite convenient. The mall is located along several different bus lines as well as Jerusalem’s very own train station. If all else fails, just take taxi, which are available at very reasonable prices. The Malcha Mall is also a great place to go to grab a bite to eat as you and your loved ones will be able to choose form a wide variety of choices.
Lek Boonlert is an editor and content reviewer at DirectRooms and is responsible for all Hotels in Jerusalem content.