Palestinian National Authority — Shopping and Leisure
Shopping in the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) is not the most popular activity in the region. However, tourists will still be able to find some good options in some of the larger cities. Bethlehem, Ramallah, and Hebron have interesting shopping opportunities, although all are slightly different. If tourists can get in and around safely, Gaza City is home to a great shopping mall. Even though there is no official currency used in the PNA, most locals use the Israeli shekels or the US dollar. The main fare is Holy Land souvenirs rather than internationally-renowned fashion brands.
There are a number of shopping districts in the city of Bethlehem. The Moravian Historic district is generally regarded as the premier place for shopping. However, the Southside Arts district and 4 Blocks International District also boast a plethora of shops and markets to keep shopaholics entertained. Art, antiques, jewelry, clothing, and home furnishings are the most popular items within Bethlehem.
The commercial center of the PNA is Ramallah, and, as such, tourists will be able to enjoy some shopping while in the city. Plaza Shopping Center is a market place that boasts the best products in town when it comes to clothing, shoes, and accessories. Unfortunately, in places outside the Plaza Shopping Center, fake products are common. To alleviate this issue, it is best to take a local person or tour guide with you. The city is home to a diverse range of items, including clothes, accessories, and souvenir-type goods.
The Old City of Hebron doesn’t contain flashy shopping malls and modern gadgets. Instead, two products make this city famous for shopping. The first is glass and ceramic items, which can be found in the Hebron Glass and Ceramics Factory; a range of plates, glasses, and ornaments can be found for cheap here. In addition to glass, Hebron is also renowned for its kafiyas. These are well-made checkered scarves that many people believe are among the world’s most beautiful.
Despite the dangers of traveling in Gaza City, intrepid tourists can spend a day at the Gaza Mall. This is as close to the western world as travelers are likely to get when visiting the PNA. The mall is located in the Rimal district of Gaza City, and boasts a significant number of stores selling fashion items and food. The Gaza Mall is usually packed with locals, especially during the hot summer months.