Tel Aviv is a crazy city and visiting it usually yields countless good memories, from food to music, there’s no reason you can’t take some of the city back home with you. Here’s a guide to the best places to buy cool souvenirs to remember your trip.
Carmel Market, first stand to your right
Nothing says “I’ve been to Israel” more than Israeli themed t-shirts. Army emblazoned skullcap? Western Wall poster? Jesus magnet? The first stand in the Carmel Market has you covered, the place to go for funny touristy gifts, where you’re sure to find something that will make a cynical friend laugh or your grandma pleased to put on her fridge.
Old Jaffa Train Station
For classier gifts, check out the Old Jaffa Train Station (in Hebrew, Hatachana, literally the station) complex for the best Israeli design and gift shops. Small but diverse, the complex offers a nice mix of history and shopping for style-minded travelers.
Nothing says Tel Aviv more than Bauhaus architecture. Also known as the “international style”, the prevalence of the architectural style in Tel Aviv earned it UNESCO recognition as the White City. Near the Dizengoff Square’s Hotel Cinema, one of the most prominent examples of the Bauhaus style, the Bauhaus center offers books and postcards showcasing the functional yet pristine design movement, perfect for your arty friends.
Bauhaus Center Dizengoff St 77, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel, +972 3 522 0249
The Levinsky Market
Your best place to score exotic spices and other dried local food goods to take back some of the local flavors with you. Head to Cafe Levinsky to pick up the Markolet map of the area’s best shops and cafes, or just to ask for recommendations on the best spice stores. Make sure to pick up some “Soan Papdi” (locally called “Indian halva”) at Habshush spices, this rare delicacy is probably the best and only chickpea and cardamom-based sweet you’ll ever try.
Cafe Levinsky, Levinsky 41, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel, +972 58 448 8480
Jaffa’s Flea Market
From amazing antiques to rare fabrics and intriguing second-hand objects, Jaffa’s Flea Market is a great place to find something truly special to take home. Expansive and extremely diverse, enjoy the market for what it is: an amalgam of local cultures, ranging from Russian Orthodox monks to native Jaffians, the market has a representation of all Jaffa’s cultures.
Nahlat Binyamin’s Artisan Market
Showcasing the quirkiest of Tel Aviv’s artists and designers, the Nahalat Binyamin Artisan Market offers great handmade trinkets and jewelry. With local designers showcasing everything from bags to brain-bending toys, you must swing by. It’s open every Tuesday and Friday, right next door to the Carmel Market and a few minutes from the beach. Grab a beer at the HaMinzar bar afterwards, like the locals do, or try some hummus with meat at the Hummus Caful (Double Hummus). The stores behind the different stalls are also a great place to buy local fabrics.
Nahalat Binyamin 20-4, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel, +972 3 516 2037
The Photohouse (Zalmania)
One of Tel Aviv’s oldest photography stores, the Zalmania this artifact of days gone bye has reinvented itself, embracing the hipster chic to offer some of the coolest photographs and postcards the city has seen.
So for a slice of Tel Aviv’s history head to this gem, there’s even a movie about the place.
The Photohouse, Tchernikhovski St 5, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel +972 3 517 7916
For everything else, head to Tel Aviv’s main mall: Dizengoff Center. The “Center” as it is locally called, offers all the benefits of a regular mall, so from small gifts, books, posters, local music and clothing it’s your safest bet.
Dizengoff Center, Dizengoff St 50, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel, +972 3 621 2400