Jerusalem

Jerusalem offers distinctive gifts from modern jewelry to traditional crafts to religious icons. The top shopping spots are the Downtown area, the Old City, and the Mamilla outdoor mall. The Hutzot Hayotzer artists' collective just outside the Old City walls is another popular and particularly beautiful spot, where during the August Arts and Crafts Festival you can visit the studios of resident artists and enjoy open-air music performances at night.

Prices are generally fixed in the Center City and the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, although you can sometimes negotiate for significant discounts on expensive art and jewelry. However, bargaining is common practice in the Old City's colorful Arab bazaar, or souk (pronounced "shook" in Hebrew—rhymes with "book"); it's fascinating but can be a trap for the unwary.

Young fashion designers, often graduates of Jerusalem's Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, have opened a stream of shops and boutiques. They’re scattered throughout the city. Several galleries representing Israeli artists are close to the hotels on King David Street.

Stores generally open by 8:30 am or 9 am, and some close between 1 pm and 4 pm. A few still close on Tuesday afternoon, a traditional but less and less observed half day. Jewish-owned stores (that is, all of West Jerusalem and the Old City's Jewish Quarter) close on Friday afternoon by 2 pm or 3 pm, depending on the season and the kind of store (food and souvenir shops tend to stay open later), and reopen on Sunday morning. Some stores geared to the tourist trade, particularly Downtown, reopen on Saturday night after the Jewish Sabbath ends, especially in summer. Arab-owned stores in the Old City and East Jerusalem are busiest on Saturday and quietest on Sunday, when many (but not all) Christian storekeepers close for the day.

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  • 1. Sandrouni

    Christian Quarter | Ceramics/Glassware

    This shop just inside the New Gate stocks intricately hand-painted ceramic tiles in any shape or size, from small decorative tiles to elaborate...Read More

  • 2. Cadim

    Center City | Ceramics/Glassware

    A decidedly contemporary selection of ceramics is on view at this shop showcasing the works of 15 artists. ...Read More

  • 3. Darian Armenian Ceramics

    Center City | Ceramics/Glassware

    Arman Darian's exacting painting can be seen in prestigious buildings around Israel and the world. Besides ceramic pieces with Jewish themes...Read More

  • 4. Guild of Ceramicists

    Center City | Ceramics/Glassware

    This shop beckons with its delightfully colorful tiled steps. The functional and ornamental pottery is made by a dozen Israeli artists, and...Read More

  • 5. Hagop Antreassian's

    Armenian Quarter | Ceramics/Glassware

    The standouts in Armenian Hagop Antreassian's studio are his wonderful large bowls. They won't fit in your carry-ons, but the owner is happy...Read More

  • 6. Jerusalem Pottery

    Muslim Quarter | Ceramics/Glassware

    Through a tiny passageway opposite the sixth Station of the Cross is the store of two fine local artisans, Stefan Karakashian and his son Hagop...Read More

  • 7. Shemonah Beyachad

    Center City | Ceramics/Glassware

    Roughly translated as "Eight All Together," this cooperative shop shows and sells original ceramics, often in surprisingly light, airy forms. ...Read More

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