Israel — Shopping and Leisure
The modern city of Tel Aviv is Israel’s shopping hub for its plethora of young, fresh designer boutiques offering everything from top European-style fashion, purses and shoes to home wares and jewelry. Israel is poised to be the next major fashion hub and therefore, whatever you buy, it’ll get you noticed at home. Malls are plentiful, set in city centers, as well as the suburbs, with three of the favorites being Ramat Aviv Mall on Einstein Street, Azrieli Center on Begin Highway and the Dizengoff Center on a street of the same name. Don’t mind the Israeli soldiers standing guard at all the doors and entry points; they’re only there to protect you and ensure it’s perfectly safe.
Besides a plethora of religious souvenirs, Jerusalem’s markets in the Old City hold many attractive gifts and craft items to remind you of your trip. Artwork, antiquities, jewelry, olive wood carvings, woven baskets and leather goods, as well as exotic spices and fabrics are spread out in the Arab Souk, and bargaining is essential, time-consuming and fun. Israel’s most popular takeaways are bath and body products from the dead sea, with AHAVA being one of the favorite brands. For funky gifts and jewelry, try Emek Refai’m market and for upscale shopping for art, Judaica and antiques, King David Street is the place to go.
The Red Sea resort of Eilat is a duty-free zone, giving a head start to shopaholics looking for souvenirs of their visit to Israel or the latest cool trends. Most shops are centered in and around the Ocean Mall and along the promenade at the daily bazaar with its stalls of clothes, shoes and handicrafts. The largest mall in town is Mull Ya Ham on the north shore, packed with fashion boutiques, eateries and coffee shops.