Souvenir Shopping Part 2, Jerusalem (Self Guided)

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.
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Souvenir Shopping Part 2 Map

Guide Name: Souvenir Shopping Part 2
Guide Location: Israel » Jerusalem (See other walking tours in Jerusalem)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Author: Daniel
Baidun Antiquities

1) Baidun Antiquities

What to buy here: Clay Oil Lamp.

Many stores in Jerusalem sell antiquities, but beware of fakes. Make sure to only purchase antiquities in a store that displays a certificate stating it is authorized by the Israel Antiquities Authority.

A clay oil lamp is a historically meaningful gift. These tear-drop-shaped vessels were filled with olive oil through a large hole in the top, and a wick was inserted in a smaller hole at the front of the nozzle. Some oil lamps have a handle at the back, others have several wick holes. Each region and historical period has distinctive shapes and patterns, such as the simple Herodian lamp; the Byzantine lamp decorated with a palm branch pattern; the Askelon lamp, a three-wick lamp decorated with little circles; and the Jerusalem lamp with a cross above the wick hole.

Oil lamps and other antiquities can be purchased in a number of stores in the Old City, for example Baidun Antiquities, 28 Via Dolorosa ( The store is open Saturday to Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Friday 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Baidun family has been collecting and selling antiquities for three generations. The store has a unique collection of rare artifacts from all over the Middle East and from the many civilizations that have dwelt in this region. Numerous thank you letters from prominent world figures such as former US president Bill Clinton grace the store’s wall.

The priciest item is a Roman marble sculpture of Venus, the goddess of love for $35,000. But for less you can acquire a Roman glass perfume bottle, a Roman fibula or toga ring, a first century bronze arrowhead, or a century Bronze Roman sheep’s bell. An authentic oil lamp can be purchased for $150 to $200.

Another gift idea is a bronze Greek or Roman coin ($50 to $200) or an Imperial Roman silver coin ($200). A pendant with a coin, Roman glass, or silver design is about $100
Jerusalem Pottery

2) Jerusalem Pottery

In this shop you can buy different types of traditionally decorated plates and tiles. The shop was founded by the famous Karakashian family. They created unique decorative tiles for both the interior and the exterior of your home.

What to buy here: Armenian Pottery.

Armenian pottery is a distinctive kind of ceramics, with traditional glazes from metallic oxides and graceful, hand-painted designs. The colors are bright yet earthy, the dominant color being cobalt blue. The peacock, symbolizing long life, is a popular design.

This type of ceramics was developed by Armenian artists living in Turkey in the 18th century. In 1919 the British government invited Armenian craftsmen to repair the ceramic tiles on the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem. Among them were craftsmen from the Karakashian family, who came to Jerusalem and remained there, opening a shop called Jerusalem Pottery, at 15 Via Dolorosa. ( The shop is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

Today Jerusalem is the only place in the world where this type of ceramics is still being produced. But beware of cheap, fragile copies of Armenian pottery, which are mass-produced in factories in Hebron. Authentic Armenian pottery of the Karakashian Brothers is unique and each piece is hand- painted and hand-signed.

Note that the dishes can be used for serving only and must not be micro-waved or heated in the oven.

There are plates, bowls, mugs, and platters, wooden trays with embedded tiles, all brightly colored, with floral designs, Persian-style hares, or deer. Prices range from $19.00 for a plate to $93.00 for a wooden tray with embedded decorated tiles. A custom-made name-plate is $25.00.
Qaissi @ Arab bazaar

3) Qaissi @ Arab bazaar

What to buy here: Bedouin woven rugs and cushions .

Bedouin woven rugs and cushions make authentic gifts. In Arabic, farmers are referred to as Fellahin, while the Bedouins are those who migrate with their flocks, furnishing their goatskin tents with rugs and cushions.

It is the women who create the rugs, working together to spin, dye, and weave the wool on simple, ground looms. Traditionally a 25 meter length of rug is woven, then cut into pieces and sewn together to form a wider rug. Each region has its own traditional designs. Bedouin rugs are usually woven from 90% sheep’s wool and 10% camel wool. Colors range from white and beige to bright colors.

A bride’s dowry is tied to a traditional rug with a white stripe in the middle, then secured on a horse or camel for the ceremonial trip to her husband’s tent.

Red is the dominant color of most rugs, and some have triangular designs or strips. The rugs are sturdy and last a long time. A typical red patterned rug from Hebron is about 160 x 1 meter and costs about $175.00

Genuine Bedouin rugs can be purchased at Qaissi, at 107 Christian Street, open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. In the front of the shop foreign rugs are displayed, but let Qaissi take you into the back room where he keeps the Bedouin rugs, which range in price from $150 to hundreds of dollars. From floor to ceiling are rolled up rugs of every size and pattern. You can also purchase striped cushions, or cushion covers, which are easier to transport.

4) Sunbula

What to buy here: Traditional Palestinian Embroidery.

Traditional Palestinian women wear long dresses with densely embroidered bodices. Village women used to gather in groups at the end of the day, to gossip and embroider together. A lot of effort was put into preparing clothing for their daughters’ dowries. With modernization this tradition is in danger of being lost, but in recent years a number of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) have reintroduced tatreez, the art of embroidery, as an income-generating activity for Palestinian women.

There are two main types of embroidery—cross-stitch (fallahi) and couching (tahriri).

In cross-stitch a piece of loosely woven canvas is basted to the cloth (usually a dark color like black) and dense rows of X’s are embroidered on it, using different colors of thread, with red as the basic color. Then the threads of the canvas are pulled out, exposing the design on the dark background. Each region has its own recognizable designs, combining geometric patterns (triangles, stars, and squares) with motifs from nature, such as the moon of Bethlehem, Damask rose, serpent, bird, and cypress tree.

A black velvet coin purse with a cross-stitch embroidered design sells for $12.00.

In couching a string is basted to the cloth and fastened in place with tiny stitches. Couching developed in the Bethlehem area, and gold and silver cord are often used, twisted into delicate floral and geometric patterns.

A zipped Bethlehem evening bag, fully embroidered on both sides with couching stitch costs $52.00.

A17 x 17 inch embroidered cushion cover costs $100.00.

Sunbula, founded in 1996, is a Jerusalem-based NGO whose motto is “Empowering Palestinian artisans by promoting traditional handicrafts. “ Sunbula works with 18 craft-producing organizations, employing over 2000 artisans. All products are made by hand, helping to preserve Palestinian craft traditions.

Crafts are sold online ( and at two shops in Jerusalem. One of these is the House of Palestinian Crafts, 7 Nablus Rd., in a renovated traditional stone house in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, north of the Old City. It is open Monday to Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and by appointment (02-6721707). A second store is at 1 David Remez Street, is open Tuesday to Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and by appointment.

Additional crafts sold by Sunbula are patchwork, weaving, olive wood carving, mother-of-pearl carving, olive oil soap, ceramics, and basketry.
Set Gifts

5) Set Gifts

What to buy here: Metalace.

A unique art form called Metalace ( was developed by Israeli artist and industrial designer Talila Abraham.

Inspired by traditional lace fabrics and embroidery designs, Abraham found a way to recreate their effect in metal, using advanced metal processing technologies, yet adding a personal touch to each piece, by shaping and finishing it manually. The resulting items, mainly in stainless steel, are sturdy and durable, yet delicate and lacy, traditional yet modern. “In the transition from the ‘language’ and texture of textile fabric to the stiffness of stainless steel, we create an art form that marries the old and the new.” says Abraham, who designs and creates each piece individually.

A 14” X 14” platter is based on 19th century Belgian lace. A square, fluted serving dish is reminiscent of Palestinian embroidery. Flower vases have contemporary floral designs and glass inserts, and a golden color brass bowl is patterned after 19th century Romanian lace. There are also delicate, lacy picture frames of various sizes. Prices range from $108.00 to $250.00.

A shop called Set Gifts features Metalace products in its display window. It has a branch at 34 Emek Rafaim and one in Mamilla. In addition, Set Gifts sells products by fifty Israeli artists and crafts people.

Hours: Sunday - Thursday: 9:00 to 21:00; Friday: 9:00 to 14:30

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.
Art Galleries of Jerusalem Walking Tour

Art Galleries of Jerusalem Walking Tour

Jerusalem is considered sacred by the three great monotheistic religions of the world. There are art galleries that reflect the influence of these religions on the artists of Jerusalem. This self-guided tour will lead you to the most visited art galleries of Jerusalem.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 km
Mount Scopus and Surroundings Walking Tour

Mount Scopus and Surroundings Walking Tour

Jerusalem is surrounded by hills. Mount Scopus, in the northeast of the city, offers the most splendid view of the Old City of Jerusalem. Its most visited landmarks are Ammunition Hill, a memorial of a great battle, the Hebrew University campus, with its botanical garden and amphitheater, a military cemetery and a few others. This self-guided tour will lead you to the following Mount Scopus...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 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
Latrun at the Outskirt of Jerusalem Self-Guided Tour

Latrun at the Outskirt of Jerusalem Self-Guided Tour

Latrun is a hilltop on the road to Jerusalem. It has must see attractions such as "mini Israel", monasteries and the historical Emmaus. This self-guided tour will lead you to these historical, archaeological and cultural monuments:

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 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...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 1

Souvenir Shopping Part 1

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.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 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.