To get a feel of a real Middle Eastern character there is nothing better than a tour in one of Israel’s traditional markets or shuks. Perhaps one of the most atmospheric is the Jaffa shuk in Jaffa which is right next to Tel Aviv. The Jaffa flea market consists of several parts. There is a long street where each storefront spills onto the sidewalk selling antiques, some genuine and some genuine junk.
Here many avid antique collectors scourge the second-hand furniture stores, Persian carpet stores, and bric-a-brac stores which sell mainly old things rather than antique things. One street over there is a covered bazaar, a narrow row of vendors sell from hole-in-the-wall stores an assortment of clothing, old and new, jewelry, and second-hand goods.
The clothes and other items for sale hang above your head and on every available stretch of wall. Outside in the open air, the Jaffa market continues with household goods, DIY equipment, ceramics, toys, musical instruments, and even the kitchen sink. You will also find local places to eat in this area which is safe to walk about in even if you are on your own.
Join this tour led by a local tour guide, who knows all the ins and outs of the Jaffa flea market. The market was established in the early 1900s when Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire. At the time Jaffa was a major port, and the Turkish set up the market to supply merchants and pilgrims with all they needed.
Since Jaffa and Tel Aviv were joined under a central municipality, the market area has been renovated and restored. Only a few years ago Jaffa Market was best known for selling secondhand goods and junk. It was a rather run-down, neglected area. Now its historic buildings and quaint alleyways have become attractions for people from all walks of life. Trendy art galleries, artists’ studios, and small bars now occupy many of the historic buildings.
On this tour of the Jaffa flea market, your guide will show you the covered walkways, traditional and modern stores, plus the eateries that have become famous for their authentic cuisine. Even Chef Jamie Oliver visited Jaffa flea market’s restaurants on his visit to Israel! Stop at the famous Abulafia Bakery where they sell mouthwatering pastries day and night.
See Faruk BaShuk, a popular restaurant in a magic corner of the market with outdoor seating in a picturesque setting. You’ll get to taste some of the shuk’s finest delicacies. Your guide will tell you about the market’s transformation from shabby to chic and show you places where you can still see a glimpse of the old market.
Discover vendors with goods piled high, stalls dripping with chains and brass lamps, Persian carpets spread over the streets, and piles of secondhand clothing. When the tour ends, you’ll probably want to linger in the shuk, to dig up some hidden treasures or sample more of the market’s delicious treats.