The great thing about marketplaces, or souks, in Tel Aviv is the superior quality and good value of the produce on offer. The markets here provide visitors with a chance to experience the colours, atmosphere and delicious foods this amazing city has to offer.
Souks have been an intrinsic part of Middle Eastern culture for centuries. They have not only been providing residents with fresh, seasonal produce, but they have also been a place to interact with different communities and cultures. Nearly every major city in Israel has a central souk, with the largest and most famous being Machne Yehuda in Jerusalem and Shuk HaCarmel (Carmel Market) in Tel Aviv. Most are open daily from Sunday to Friday.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
At dusk, before Shabbat, the market turns into a nightlife hotspot as music blares and restaurant tables are dragged out on to the street – the atmosphere is electric. Cafés such as Pu’aa make the most of their location from the plates on which food is served, which are all market finds and are also available for sale.
About a minute’s walk from Jaffa’s famous clock tower at the entrance to Old Jaffa is the Greek Market. Named after the nearby Greek Orthodox monastery that oversaw its foundation in the 19th century, it’s enjoying a renaissance of sorts. It’s an outdoor market that specialises in antiques and vintage clothes. Friday at lunchtime and on Tuesday nights, musicians come out with their bouzoukis and lyres to busk.
Also on Fridays, artists and craftspeople take over the squares and lanes of the small plaza to sell their wares, some of which are made on the spot. Enjoy a coffee or lunch at one of the market’s many bars and restaurants that spill out onto the streets. As the sun goes down, fairy lights strung from trees and lamp posts add to the magical Mediterranean atmosphere.
Organised in a rather haphazard way, fruit sellers set up next to tables laden with mezuzahs, music or milkshakes. It’s important to note that some vendors have earned the ‘buyer beware’ label (it’s likely those adidas trainers are fake). The shuk runs on either side of a narrow street, running south from the junction of King George, Allenby and Shenkin streets. The market is small and compact, but there’s more to it than the main strip. Don’t wander in a straight line but zigzag through intersecting streets to taste and smell everything from bourekas to empanadas. Look out for the increasing number of chefs organising pop-up restaurants alongside stalls selling prepared foods.
This market brims with atmosphere as well as aromas: canvas bags of nutmeg, dates and pistachios spill over onto the street. Open every day and just a 10-minute walk from the New Central Bus Station, Levinsky Spice Market is also a great place to eat and drink. Sit and relax with a coffee from Café Atlas or make a quick stop at Yom Tov Deli for some Turkish snacks.
Prices tend to be higher than those at other street markets, but it’s the best place to find organic produce, including meats, cheese, rainbow carrots and purple potatoes. Many of the stalls around the market sell prepared dishes, with the Kitchen Market providing a more formal eating space. Weekends at the market are the busiest, especially during the morning hours.
From paintings, photography and picture frames to jewellery, new and repurposed ceramics, glassware and Judaica, vendors sell their own items, so prospective buyers can talk to them about their craft and inspiration. Street performers add to the lively atmosphere.
The city’s restored German Templar Colony reopened in 2015 as the Sarona complex, a food and retail emporium. Sarona is more of a food hall than a market, but it offers international cuisines and some of Tel Aviv’s best food experiences. Savoury offerings include hummus from an outpost of the Jaffa legend, Abu Hassan, cheese from the haute cheesemonger Basher Fromagerie (this cheese shop actually originated in the Machne Yehuda Market in Jerusalem) and ramen from Israeli chef Yisrael Aharoni’s Hiro restaurant.
There are also some very popular pubs and coffee spots. Sarona doesn’t have the same lively atmosphere as Tel Aviv’s outdoor markets, but it’s a lovely new addition in a historic setting.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.