Souvenir Shopping Part 1, Jerusalem

It would be a pity to leave Jerusalem without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Jerusalem, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Souvenir Shopping Part 1 Map

Guide Name: Souvenir Shopping Part 1
Guide Location: Israel » Jerusalem (See other walking tours in Jerusalem)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km
Author: Daniel
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Michal Negrin

1) Michal Negrin

What to buy here: Michal Negrin Jewelry.

Israeli Designer Michal Negrin has been creating unique designs in jewelry, fashion, and home décor for over twenty years. Her products are vintage-inspired and each branch of her stores is a unique fantasy world.

Negrin began by designing her own imaginary world and found that other people identified with her warm, feminine style. Her many products are distinct and romantic, including gift items such as a jewelry box, a business card box, table clock, picture frame, key chain, door sign, and angel doll. There is also a set of Michal Negrin stationary ($9.00) and a journal ($20.00).

Her jewelry combines materials such as brass, lace, and leather, with glass beads and Swarovski crystals for a romantic look. Stud flower earrings cost from $15.00 to $34.00, hanging earrings from $44.00 to $68.00, necklaces $68.00 to $345.00, rings $35.00.

There are two branches of Michal Negrin in Jerusalem, one in Mamilla, small but well-stocked. The other is at the Malha Mall further away from the center.
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Gaya Games Jerusalem

2) Gaya Games Jerusalem

What to buy here: Puzzles and games.

Backgammon (sheshbesh) is one of the world’s oldest board games, believed to have been developed by the Egyptians 5000 years ago. A game of strategy, it is played on a wooden board with 30 wooden tokens. A decorated backgammon set can be purchased for about $100 in the Old City.

An official Hebrew version of the popular board game Monopoly was released in the 1960’s, with properties in Tel Aviv being the priciest. The game has been updated, adding credit cards and updating the prices of properties to reflect reality. Players can buy tourist attractions like the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

There is a Hebrew version of Scrabble called ShabetzNa, but all organized competition in Scrabble in Israel is in English. There is even an Israeli Scrabble Players Association.

If you like puzzles, visit a store called Gaya (http://www.gaya-game.com), located at 7 Yoel Moshe Solomon Street, in the Nahalat Shiva area. It is open Sundays to Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Saturday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Since 1996 Gaya has been producing hand-made puzzles and games in natural wood, either stained or painted with non-toxic colors. The store has over 700 puzzles to choose from.

In addition to browsing, you can try your hand at some of the puzzles in the store. The company’s motto is “We mixed a cup of strategy, a dose of intuition, a spoon full of bluff and a pinch of luck.”

Prices range from $5.50 for a puzzle on a keychain to family games for $22.00 to $44.00. One popular gift item is a little bottle of Red Label or Absolut with a wooden puzzle you need to solve in order to open the bottle.
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CADIM Ceramic Art Gallery

3) CADIM Ceramic Art Gallery

CADIM Ceramic Art Gallery displays the works of famous Israeli artists.

What to buy here: Israeli Ceramics.

Nahalat Shiva is a trendy street of galleries, cafes, and restaurants, a few blocks from the Midrachov. On Yoel Salomon Street there are three ceramic cooperative shops, presenting the work of forty of Israel’s most talented ceramicists. The range of styles and techniques is broad, reflecting the cultural heritage of the artists.

Cadim is located at 4 Moshe Solomon Street. Founded in 1987, it displays the work of 15 artists, who also manage and staff the store. The goal of the Cadim potters is “to exhibit and sell their work directly to the public, thereby creating contact between customer and artist.”

All artists live in or near Jerusalem and their styles are distinctive. Russian-born Leonid Gosin takes his inspiration from nature and the poetry of daily life. Nitsan Stern is influenced by Japanese aesthetics and Israeli scenery. Rani Gilat tries to achieve “simplicity and pureness of the shape” in porcelain. Argentinian born Edith Adi hand builds her pottery and uses various printing techniques.

Goods are sold at studio prices, ranging from $10.00 for little clay jars to $200.00 for large pieces with 18K gold designs. Hamsas and pins with printed designs and gold sell for $10.00.

Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday from 9am to 9pm, Friday from 10am to 2.30pm.
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Ahava Centre

4) Ahava Centre

What to buy here: Ahava Salt Sea Products.

Ahava, which means love, is a company that produces a broad range of therapeutic skin-care products from the Dead Sea or Yam Hamelah (Salt Sea), as it is called in Hebrew. An hour’s drive south of Jerusalem, the Dead Sea is 1,388 feet below sea level, the lowest place on earth. Over eight times saltier than the ocean, it has been a health resort since the time of King David, due to the rich mineral content of its water, salt, and mud.

Several other companies produce cosmetics from Dead Sea salt and mud. Some are reputable and others are simply cashing in on the popularity of Ahava’s products. Ahava was the first company to create cosmetics based on the Dead Sea, over twenty years ago, and they have maintained high quality. There is a broad range of products for men and women, for rejuvenation, cleansing, and detoxifying. There are mineral botanic soaps, Dead Sea mud, hypo-allergic products, and sun care creams.

Creams run from about $35.00 to $75.00, and a set of creams in a case makes a lovely gift. There’s one with hand cream, foot cream, and body cream for $35.00. All products are brought fresh from the factory weekly. The store is open from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. in winter) Sunday to Thursday and Friday from 8:00 to 3:00.
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Steimatsky

5) Steimatsky

What to buy here: Books on Jerusalem.

The Jewish people are often referred to “the people of the book”, and Israelis are avid readers. During the annual Hebrew Book Week, an estimated 45% of the population visits book fairs held in venues throughout the country. A book makes a wonderful gift.

Steimatsky is the country’s oldest and largest bookstore chain. Founded in 1925, the first store was on Jaffa Road in Jerusalem. Steimatsky now has over 160 branches all over Israel. The tiny branch on the Midrachov, at 7 Ben Yehuda Street, has a broad selection of books in English. It is open from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. in winter) Sunday to Thursday, and Friday from 8:00 to 3:00.

The obliging store manager recommended the following two coffee table books for gifts.

Skyline Jerusalem ($40.00) by Duby Tal and Moni Haramati is a book of stunning aerial photographs of Jerusalem. This is one of the books often given by Israel’s Prime Minister to visiting world leaders. Modern Jerusalem is shown in juxtaposition to the ancient city, and various architectural styles and historical periods are illustrated.

Jerusalem: Places and History ($21.00), by journalist Roberto Copello. This book of aerial photos and maps depicts the religious sites of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, presenting a generous amount of historical detail about the city’s heritage.

Other books suitable for gifts are translations of short stories and works of fiction by popular Israeli writers such as Meir Shalev, David Grossman, Amos Oz, and Etgar Keret.
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King David’s Treasure

6) King David’s Treasure

What to buy here: Kakadu Artisan works.

Kakadu Artisans Workshop was founded in 1990 by a Jerusalem couple, Reut and Aharon Shahar. Reut is an artist, musician, and environmental sculptor. She and Aharon, a carpenter and designer, developed techniques for hand-painting images on wood, producing aesthetic, functional, and durable products. The company’s slogan is “Art for the Heart”. Today Kakadu is a well-known Israeli brand name and its factory produces brightly colored items such as wall hangings, placemats, trays, lazy susans, and vases. Designs are taken from nature, with elements such as leaves, stylized birds, geometric shapes, and caricatures of people. Colors are bright yet earthy.

The Kakadu factory is in the vicinity of Jerusalem, and workshops are held for tourists, where they can learn the process, explore the colors, and decorate their own souvenirs to take home. For details see http://kakadu.co.il/.

Kakadu’s products are sold in stores such as King David’s Treasure, at 14 Ben Yehuda Street on the Midrachov, which also sells a range of souvenirs. A decorated wooden tray costs $35.00 to $70.00, a set of six coasters is $20.00, and a hamsa is $23.00. The store is open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. in winter) Sunday to Thursday and Friday from 9:00 to 3:00.
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Art, Judaica, Jewelry

7) Art, Judaica, Jewelry

What to buy here: The hamsa or hand symbol protects against the evil eye. It is sold just about everywhere, in a variety of materials from wood to ceramics to copper. Artist Chaim Peretz creates unusual hamsas in stained glass, bronze, and sterling silver, some with embedded gemstones. Prices range from $15.00 to $90.00.

The hamsa, explains Peretz, is a symbol of power and hanging a hamsa has a positive influence on the energy in the house. The color blue is particularly effective against the evil eye and negative thoughts.

Peretz’s stained glass fish hamsa of blue and orange glass and sterling silver ($20.00) is decorated with a silver fish. Peretz refers to Genesis 1:28, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth…” noting that hanging a fish hamsa in your home blesses you with many children.

The small eye hamsa ($26.00) of blue, purple, and green glass with sterling silver protects your home against the evil eye, while the large eye hamsa (also $26.00) provides increased protection.

Peretz’s studio is not far from the Mahane Yehuda market, in the refurbished Nahlaot neighborhood, at 2 Rabby Arye, a narrow lane off Shomron St. The sign in front of the store says “Art, Judaica, Jewelry” and hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily except Friday, when it closes at 1:00 p.m. Peretz recommends phoning first (054-7281593) to make sure he is in. His website is http://israelvisit.co.il/ChaimP-SG/hamsa.htm.
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Pereg/Rak Shemen Zeit (Only Olive Oil)

8) Pereg/Rak Shemen Zeit (Only Olive Oil)

What to buy here: Olive oil is a staple of the Israeli diet and is used liberally for both cooking and salads. Produced from the Syrian and Barnea varieties, it has a much stronger flavor than Italian oil. Beware of bargain olive oil, as it is often diluted with cheaper kinds of oil.

A soft white cheese called labani is traditionally served with olive oil poured over it and a spice mixture called za’atar (consisting of ground hyssop, sumac, sesame seeds, and salt) sprinkled on top. The mixture is scooped up with pita bread.

Za’atar can be purchased at any spice shop in the Mahane Yehuda market, such Pereg at 79 Eitz Hahaim St. (Tree of Life Street) (http://www.pereg-spices.com). Pereg recently opened a second store in the Mahane Yehuda market, appropriately named Rak Shemen Zeit (Only Olive Oil).

The Pereg olives are hand-picked and cold-pressed. Prices range from $3.50 for a 100 ml bottle to $70.00 for a 5 liter can. The shop is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily, except Friday when it closes at 3:00 p.m.

Walking Tours in Jerusalem, Israel

Create Your Own Walk in Jerusalem

Create Your Own Walk in Jerusalem

Creating your own self-guided walk in Jerusalem is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Kids Self-Guided Tour of Jerusalem

Kids Self-Guided Tour of Jerusalem

Jerusalem is also a city of much fun. Both your children and you will enjoy the unique and unforgettable experiences that you can have in the Bible lands historical museum, the youth wing of the Israel Museum, and Jerusalem's fascinating playgrounds. This self-guided tour will lead you to the most visited children's attractions of Jerusalem.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.0 km
Following Steps of Jesus Walking Tour in Jerusalem

Following Steps of Jesus Walking Tour in Jerusalem

Jerusalem was considered for centuries to be the center of the universe. The most famous figure in the history of mankind, Jesus Christ, fulfilled his divine mission in this city. This self-guided tour will retrace the steps of Jesus to show you some of the holiest places in the world.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 km
Landmarks of Jerusalem Walking Tour

Landmarks of Jerusalem Walking Tour

Jerusalem, capital of Israel, is a stage of history for the entire universe, so to speak. Its religious and historical landmarks attract more tourists than any other city in the world. This self-guided tour will lead you through its most visited landmarks:

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 km
Jerusalem Jaffa Road Walking Tour

Jerusalem Jaffa Road Walking Tour

Jaffa Road is the oldest and longest street in Jerusalem. There are many museums, shops, restaurants, and art galleries that line this street. The famous Jerusalem pedestrian malls are all located on the intersections of this street. This self-guided tour will lead you through the most visited landmarks on this street:

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 km
Religious Buildings of Jerusalem Walking Tour

Religious Buildings of Jerusalem Walking Tour

Jerusalem is considered to be one of the most holy places on this planet. Temples, cathedrals and churches are packed closely together in this ancient town. This self-guided tour will take you through some of the most historical religious buildings in Jerusalem.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 km
Old City Orientation Walk

Old City Orientation Walk

The Old City of Jerusalem, the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981, is a home to a number of sites of great religious importance, such as the Temple Mount and Western Wall for Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians and the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims. Walking here is an experience not to be missed. Take this orientation walk to see the key sights of Jerusalem's Old City.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


16 Uniquely Israel Things to Buy in Jerusalem

16 Uniquely Israel Things to Buy in Jerusalem

Modern day Jerusalem is a mosaic of neighborhoods, reflecting different historical periods, cultures, and religions. The influx of repatriates in recent years has made the cultural and artisanal scene of the city even more colourful and diverse. To find your way through Jerusalem's intricate...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Jerusalem for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Jerusalem has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes


To save yourself time and money visiting Jerusalem's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the Jerusalem City Pass by Ticketbar, Jerusalem City Pass by Musement, or Jerusalem City Pass by Viator.

A city pass combines all Jerusalem's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows user to skip lines at major attractions, thus saving precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels


Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Jerusalem hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: Leonardo Plaza Hotel Jerusalem, The David Citadel Hotel, Prima Kings Hotel.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Jerusalem, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours


We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Jerusalem typically costs somewhere between US$10+ and US$90 per person:

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour of Jerusalem – this usually lasts around 2 hours and allows visitors to get a real sense of the city. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise could have done by walking.

- Provoke your contemplating eternal matters on a mixed (coach and walking) tour of Jerusalem, the city where the ancient and religious are intertwined more than anywhere else in the world. With the help of an expert guide try and perceive the profound meaning and context behind the holy Christian and Jewish sites of Old and New Jerusalem.

- Visit the places that once saw Jesus Christ in flesh, feel the tales of the Bible become real on a walking tour of Jerusalem led by a knowledgeable local guide. Walk the stones of Via Dolorosa in the footsteps of the Messiah to his crucifixion and learn more about that pivotal day in human history.

- Explore the city of three religions through the eyes of Jewish, Christian and Muslim worshipers on a 4-hour guided walk of Old Jerusalem to the holy places and landmarks revered in Islam, Judaism and Christianity, and learn about the religious beliefs associated with them.

- Tantalize your taste buds with the scents and sights of exotic delicacies fit to arouse anyone's appetite on a 3-hour guided tour of Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem’s biggest outdoor market! Explore the city's favorite marketplace in its variety.

- Descend into the unknown, at least until recently, deep beneath the ground to explore the ancient roots of Jerusalem on a 1.5-hour guided tour through the centuries-old tunnel dating back to the times of the Second Temple. Get a chance to touch and hear about some truly incredible artifacts found here, and more.

Day Trips


If you have a full or half day to spare whilst in Jerusalem, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Bethlehem and Jericho, Masada and the Dead Sea, Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee, or the West Bank. For as little as as circa US$100 to US$125 per person you will get a chance to experience first-hand the ancient and Biblical treasures, discover fascinating religious history, see the fabled Biblical and Nativity sites, scenes of the New Testament stories including places where Jesus performed miracles, plus explore legendary ruins, and so much more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight from your hotel or a designated place in Jerusalem, and transported either by a comfortable air-conditioned coach, minibus or a private vehicle to the destination of your choice and back again.