Nahalat Binyamin is a pedestrian street running parallel to Shuk HaCarmel, the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv. Nahalat Binyamin is lined with Bauhaus and art-deco buildings with picturesque balconies, flower boxes, and decorative architectural elements. Housed within these beautiful buildings are unique one-off stores and cafes. The street itself does not run straight up and down but has gentle turns, a few trees, and public benches. Although the street alone is worth visiting for the café culture and architectural beautiful the real attraction which draws in crowds is the Nahalat Binyamin Arts and Crafts Fair.
The street comes to life on Tuesdays and Fridays when it hosts an outdoor arts and craft market. The fair was established in 1988 and is the oldest and largest market of this kind in Israel. With over 200 artists presenting their creations at the market, there is a committee that approves each artist in order to maintain a high standard of work. Another of the committee’s criteria for acceptance is that the artists must have made the product themselves and the artist must be the person selling the goods behind the stall during the fair.
The items include crafted jewelry, ornaments, trinkets, hand-made dolls and toys, ceramics, handbags, photographs, wire crafts, art made from recycled items, silver items, glassware, wood carvings, home-made soap, embroidery, paper sculptures, stained glass, dried flowers, leatherwork, paintings, artistically designed household items and much more. The market attracts visitors with street performers and live musical performances.
This is one of the largest and best arts and crafts fairs in Israel. The market was first opened in 1988 and is home to 200 artists who sell their goods to the 10,000 visitors who come to Nahalat Binyamin each week. Here you can find original handmade items which are perfect for the home or for souvenirs.
Twice a week artists set up stalls along the pedestrian walkway of Nahalat Binyamin and sell a wide range of items. You can get ceramics, toys, paintings, mobiles, jewelry, photographs, Judaica, flowers, ornaments, light fittings, and accessories. Some of the original crafts include wire crafts, polymer clay, decorative items made from recycled goods, handbags, illustrated cork plates, hand-painted stained glass, wooden jewelry, sculptured dolls, sandblast items, recycled paper crafts, puppets, and mind games.
What makes this market unique is that the people manning the stalls are the artists themselves. Visitors to the market are supporting local artists by buying here and they get to interact with the artists and talk about the arts and crafts. Everything on sale is handmade and one-of-a-kind.
The atmosphere on market day is incredible. Crowds walk up and down Nahalat Binyamin browsing through the crafts. People relax at the sidewalk cafes enjoying a meal or drink. There are live musical performances and often street entertainers to add to the atmosphere and you may even encounter fortune-tellers.
Where: Nahalat Binyamin is off Allenby Street adjacent to Carmel Market in Tel Aviv.
When: The Arts and Crafts Fair is open Tuesdays and Fridays 10 am-6 pm and in July and August until 7 pm. In winter the fair operates Tuesdays 10 am-5 pm and Fridays 10 am-4:30 pm.
There is plenty of parking close to Carmel Market and Nachalat Benyamin if you approach from the bottom end of the market closest to the sea. There is a large public car park where you pay by the hour at Ahuzat HaHof Carmel-Kalisher Street, corner of HaCarmel Street. Alternatively, there are buses that stop at the top of the market along Allenby Street.
The nearest ATM machines are at Allenby Street 65 (Bank Hapoalim) and Allenby 76 (Bank Discount). Public toilets can be found at the upper end of the market on Allenby Street in the pedestrian underpass.