Tourism in Israel is not directly linked to shopping.
However, it is difficult to resist some acquisitions,
especially when the cultural differences between Brazil
and that country are so great. Religious souvenirs
(bottled water from Rio do Jordão is sold there),
souvenirs and handicrafts are among the products most
sought after by travelers. However, it is possible to go
beyond the most common goods at fairs and shops in
Israel offers some local products that
are unlikely to be found in Brazil. One of the most
famous is the cosmetics line based on minerals present
in the Dead Sea. Water, with medicinal healing
properties, is a component of cutting-edge beauty
products. Also very popular in Israel is the line of
cometics for hair and skin based on argan oil. Despite
its Moroccan origin, it is in Israel that many products
are manufactured, including those of the famous brand
Moroccanoil, found at lower prices than in the USA.
Among the gastronomic delicacies that deserve to go
in the suitcase, in addition to the infinity of spices,
are olive oils and wines. Both are found in abundance
and in very high quality thanks to the dry climate. For
jewelry lovers, Israel shows itself as a paradise,
especially for those looking for pieces designed with
diamonds or with the incredible mixture of green and
blue of the Eilat stone. If you are interested in retro style items, just visit
InternetAges where you can find vintage home accessories.
The best way to see traditional local products and
still guarantee a good bargain is to visit one of the
many street markets. The stalls are divided between
typical Chinese products (from those found in all
countries with only the name of the different city) to
religious articles, especially Christian and Jewish.
Among the most famous fairs and markets are
Carmel (mix of gastronomy, clothes and
souvenirs) and Shuk HaNamal (gourmet market in the old
port), both in Tel Aviv; the Shuk HaPishpushim
(flea market) in Jaffa; Mahane Yuda (gastronomic
products) and the Arab Souk (Old Town market that sells
everything), both in Jerusalem. If you see a market on
the next street, be sure to enter. They keep the best
For those looking to buy clothes and electronics, the
country offers many large malls along the same lines as
Brazilians. Electronics prices are cheaper than in
Brazil, but more expensive than in the United States.
The same is true with clothing products. The store
options are very familiar, since most are known
internationally. Yet Israel surprises with local brands
and charming and exclusive design products. Among the
good shopping options in Tel Aviv are Azrieli,
the most refined mall, with more than 200 stores and
many options for cafes and restaurants; and Dizengoff
Center, Israel's first mall, with more than 400 stores
and a huge variety of brands. In Jerusalem, the
highlight is the modern Mamila. The mall operates in a
beautiful open space.
In addition to the large shopping malls, other points
concentrate interesting shopping options, combined with
a good restaurant and a wonderful view. In the old port
of Tel Aviv, where today there is a large leisure area,
you will find several shops and restaurants on the edge
of the Mediterranean. The historic city of Jaff offers
art galleries and design shops that operate amid old
buildings and attract many hip visitors. The mix of
history and shopping can also be found at the former
HaTachana train station
and in Sarona, the former Templar
village, both in Tel Aviv.
It is worth remembering that in Israel most stores
and malls close during Shabbat (from Friday, from 2pm to
Saturday evening). Only Arab establishments remain open.
The normal opening hours are from 9am to 7pm.
VAT (Value Added Tax) in Israel is 17%. Purchases
over US $ 50, made in foreign currency and in stores
registered by the Ministry of Tourism, give tourists the
right to a 5% discount + VAT refund at Ben Gurion
airport. The process is simple, however, to get the tax
refund, you must arrive at the airport well in advance.
In order to receive the refund, it will be necessary to
present the goods packed in transparent plastic and the
purchase invoice at the service counter (search the
airport for information about its exact location). The
amount, if approved, will be refunded on the spot and in
HaTachana Old Train Station
The old train line that connected Jaffa to Jerusalem
no longer receives wagons full of cargo. Inaugurated in
1892, the route replaced transportation that until then
was still done by camels. There were more than fifty
years of intense work, even when in 1948, on the eve of
the War of Independence, the line was deactivated.
It was many years before the old station was
restored. Today HaTachana Old Train Station combines the
history of Israel with the modern development of Jaffa
and Tel Aviv. The place still shows the air of
yesteryear. The well-preserved buildings reproduce the
years that the station was active. The scenery is so
beautiful that it even serves as a backdrop for albums
of couples in love. To remember the past, the station
offers an interactive wagon, where 3D videos tell the
story of the place and even simulate the movements of
Today the station works only as a leisure area. The
wide open space receives artists who perform for the
public. In the buildings there are excellent restaurant
options, as well as design, clothing and cosmetics
stores. The tour is worth not only for the beauty of the
season, but also for a good wine at nightfall.
At the other end of the line, in Jerusalem, the
station that received the Hatachana trains was also
restored. The First Station works in
the same way and is also excellent option to relax and
enjoy a wonderful dinner in Jerusalem.
The modernity of the Mamilla Mall (despite the reuse
of 19th century facades) is at odds with the historic
environment of Jerusalem. However, it is among the
favorite shopping malls of Jews living in the city. The
atmosphere is all open, with wide corridors and stores
well known among Brazilians. Some of the names found
there are: Mango, Zara, American Eagle, Nautica, Gap,
MAC, Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas and Nike. There you can
also find several jewelry stores, it is worth mentioning
that the Jews are excellent in dealing with diamonds.
The mall's corridors are filled with street
performers performing outdoors. The apparent informality
is not reflected in the prices of stores, which offer
products at very high prices. Still, it's a great ride
to get away from history immersion a little.
Arab Market in the Old City of Jerusalem
Don't worry about looking for him. When you least
expect it, the Arab Market in the Old City of Jerusalem
(Arab Souk) will shine in front of you. Also known as
Souk Khan Ez-Zheit, this market runs through most of the
streets in the Arab Quarter and is often confused with
the routes taken by pilgrims. Between one station and
another on the Via Sacra, you will surely pass by shops
that sell everything.
Prices are very similar between stores, but as Arabs
love to negotiate, it does not cost to claim a discount.
The place is especially interesting to buy all kinds of
decorative objects and souvenirs that make reference to
the Holy Land. It is possible to find from the most
traditional spices to T-shirts that satirize famous
characters in Israel.
Be sure to enjoy all the delights that are sold along
the way. The face of the establishments may not be the
best, but the food is divine!
Old Jaffa and Jaffa Port
The ancient city of Jaffa (known as Old Jaffa),
founded 3,000 years ago, is out of touch with modern and
bustling Tel Aviv. Despite having existed for 30
centuries, today what you see in Jaffa are the buildings
of the Ottoman period. The alleys and houses built in
stone give a charming atmosphere to the city that
shelters － between excavations and historical
discoveries － studios of artists and designers,
delicious restaurants and some excellent shops. It is a
place to stroll calmly and enjoy every corner and hidden
From the top of Old Jaffa it is possible to have a
beautiful view of Tel Aviv. Today the most modern center
of Israel, the city actually originated in a small
neighborhood founded in Old Jaffa. The two together
form, since 1950, the metropolis officially called Tel
Aviv-Yafo. The Port of Jaffa was once the largest and
most important in Israel. Today disabled, it serves as a
location for funky restaurants that offer, in addition
to good food, a beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea.
Old Jaffa is also important in the Christian
tradition. The place would have been founded by Jafé,
son of Noah. Furthermore, according to biblical
writings, the city would have been the stage for the
resurrection of Tabitha by Peter at Simon's house. Today
it is possible to visit the Church of St. Peter in Old
Jaffa, Simão's House and some archaeological discoveries
in Kedumim Square.
Tel Aviv Harbor
The old Port of Tel Aviv (Namal), bathed by the
Mediterranean Sea, offers a delicious and relaxing
environment for a stroll, especially in the late
afternoon. The large deck along the sea allows for a
great walk, with a beautiful view. In addition to the
landscape being attractive, the place also offers good
restaurants and bars, trendy shops and a delicious
For the liveliest, the Port of Tel Aviv offers
various activities, such as concerts and artistic
performances outdoors, especially during the summer and
also on Fridays. The nightlife in the port is also
lively. There are some of the most famous nightclubs and
environments with live music.
To see the complete schedule for the period you are
in the city, see the schedule on the official website.