BELT IN: Belt it Out
Now here’s an interesting souvenir to take back after a visit to Israel: a custom-made leather belt. It’s not that expensive, it doesn’t take up room in your suitcase, and it doesn’t sit around gathering dust when you get home, like the olive-wood camels and sardine tins of Holy Land Air that are so popular with tourists.
On King George Street in downtown Jerusalem is a little shop where they make leather belts for you as you wait. You can’t miss it. Outside, like a cigar store Indian, stands the statue of a man decked out in belts, and the store itself has a big English sign that says “Belt In.” Now that I think about it, it’s probably a play on words for “built in”!
A belt for keeping your jeans up will set you back about 90 shekels (about $20) depending on the width of the belt and the kind of buckle you choose. A row of stitching costs another 5 shekels.
I’m sure there are other belt shops in the world, but you won’t see one like this, which advertises itself with a quote from the Bible. A wooden plaque on the storefront reads: “And they sewed together fig leaves and made themselves belts” (Genesis 3:7).
The word in the Bible for the article of clothing devised by Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness is “hagorot.” Traditional translations of the Bible use the word “girdles” or “loincloths,” but in modern Hebrew, “hagorot” are belts!Related to:
- Family Travel
- Historical Travel
- School Holidays
Vic's Armenian Art Studio: Wood and Ceramics
This shop is located not too far from the Jaffa Gate of the Old Walled City of Jerusalem. They ship their items to wherever you live, if you can't take it with you. There's usually one of the artists (it's a family business) in the gallery at any given time, painting. It's a small shop with a rich diversity of interesting artisanry and gift items.
What to buy: Their specialty is in ceramics - I brought back some beautiful, creative pieces and have them hanging on the wall at home. I also bought a small wood table with a ceramic tiled top...together, the tiles form the old city of Jerusalem. It's beautiful and I ALWAYS receive compliments for it from visitors.
What to pay: The prices are reasonable here. Don't expect to negotiate the prices too much. These are artistic pieces and the owner takes a lot of pride in his business - it shows.
G Kouz: Hand Blown Glass from Hebron
George has been running his little shop in the middle of the Christian Quarter for several years, and in my opinion, he has the best selection of delicate Hebron, mouth-blown glass and Jerusalem hand-painted crystal in all of the walled city.
What to buy: The glassware is absolutely gorgeous. George carries everything from champagne and wine glasses to regular drinking glasses and tea sets. The details are beautiful, the items are obviously hand made, and the prices are terrific.
Whenever you go to these little shops inside the Old Walled City, you can get the feeling of being hustled. You're sure to get more than your money's worth at George's store.
George also sells coins and stamps, for the serious collector.
I got all my Hebron glassware here...I gave some as gifts and kept a set for myself. It's some of the best purchases I've made in Israel.
What to pay: I can't remember what I paid, but I know it was under what I probably would have paid elsewhere and George made sure I was happy with what I bought. He's a reliable shopowner and a knowledgeable buyer. You can definitely have some fun bargaining with him!
Mahne Yehuda market: Mahne Yehuda market
Mahne Yehuda market (in hebrew it is Shook Mahne yehuda) is a famous market in Jerusalem and one of the most in Israel.
This is a big open market with many stores (meat , fruits , vegetables , bakery and more).
The place is very colorful and is known as place for Beitar jerusalem's fan (and right winged people).
What to buy: You can find a lot of good things : fruits , vegetables , places to eat , spices , meat , toys and many many more.
Various: Small Streets Abound With Shops
As we walked the crowded streets to visit the Holy Sepulcher Church we passed many shops and stalls selling a huge variety of clothing, leather goods etc. All looked good quality and I am sure you need to bargain to get the right price.
As we were on a one day group tour and had no time to shop.
What to buy: Womens, men's and childrens clothing, leather goods and shoes, souvenirs etc etc. The local breads looked appertising.
What to pay: Bargain hard.Related to:
- Women's Travel
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Mamilla shopping district: Pedestrian-only shopping street
Mamilla was an early neighborhood constructed outside Jerusalem's Old City west from the Jaffa Gate.
Mamilla was originally established in the late 19th century as a mixed Jewish-Arab central business district. After 1967, the government approved an urban renewal project for Mamilla. Land was apportioned to residential and commercial zones, including hotels and office space, in what was to become one of the longest and most costly development plans in the history of modern Jerusalem. Most of the plan is finally realized with the opening of its major mall and entertainment components.
Pedestrian-only Mamilla shopping mall has been touted as a luxury destination.
Avtimos market in Muristan: Souvenirs from the Holy Land
he Muristan is a complex of streets and shops in the Christian Quarter of the Old City. The site was the location of the first hospital of the Knights of St. John (Hospitallers), also known as the Knights of Malta.
It includes the Avtimos market close to the German Church of the Redeemer. A grand fountain was designed in the center of the market, honoring the Sultan Abed al-Hamid II (1876–1909) reign of 25 years. It was constructed in 1903 in the newly designed market.
Victor Bazaar: Shops for Russian speaking people
Everybody knows that there are a lot of Russian speaking people in Israel. In Russia there is a well-known song by Vladimir Visotsky with such words “Israeli population is a quarter Russian”. That’s why I wasn’t surprised to see many advertisements on Russian in Jerusalem and all over Israel, such as this advertisement:
Victor Bazaar. We are speaking Russian.
Jewels, brilliants, gold, silver, antiques, Russian icons, all kinds of souvenirs.
Narghila Pipes Abound in the Old Walled City
What to buy: If you go to Jordan, I think the Narghila pipes are nicer there. However, chances are your trip to Israel will keep you busy in Israel.
That being the case, do have some fun haggling with the vendors in the Christian and Muslim Quarters where the majority of the narghila pipes are sold. They all kind of look alike but if you're lucky you may find that special one that touches your heart....David did. He ended up paying something like $30 for a LARGE size pipe which I consider to be a pretty good deal.
It pays (literally) to hit the shops around the end of the day, when the vendors are eager to make a sale and usually won't let one slip through their hands even if it means lowering their prices beyond what they thought they'd have to do in order to get the business.
And because most tourists go for the pipes, they really jack up the prices. Rest assured that you can find a large one for a good price because if the one vendor isn't willing to play, he knows the guy a few stalls down, will.
What to pay: Anywhere from $15 for a small sized pipe to $50 for a really large pipe
Elia Photo Service: Framed Photography Art of Old Jerusalem
What to buy: Whether or not you consider yourself to be a good photographer, there is a small photography shop in the Christian Quarter where you'll find the most beautiful, evocative photos of the Old Walled City and surrounding area...some dating back to the early 1930's.
The shop is run by Kevork Kahvedjian (I believe he's Armenian) and he's the photographer in question. Besides being able to purchase individual prints, Mr. Kahvedjian has several books with his exceptional prints - you can peruse his books and get a real historical perspective on this magical city.
Some shots that stand out in my mind are of some bedouin women, street scenes inside Jerusalem, and one that I bought on one of my previous trips, "Damascus Gate" which shows two children on donkeys entering the Old City through the Gate of Damascus. One of the children is looking back at the photographer and somehow that moment is stunning.
I think this is a TERRIFIC place to make a few memorable purchases that aren't hokey, tacky souvernirs that collect dust after a year or two; in fact, I have two prints hanging in my home and people always comment on them.
Armenian crafts and art: Armenian crafts and art
Armenian crafts and art is a famous thing in Jerusalem and a lot of people love to buy those crafts.
Beside the things that you can buy like plates , vases you can also see the armenian art on buildings in jerusalem.
What to buy: Plates , Vases
What to pay: Depends on the thing you want to buy and of course the locationRelated to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Arts and Culture
Spices Muakat: Beautyful Spices
There is a realtively new shop on Salah ed Din Street which is beautyfully decorated and has a great selection on spices. If you don't want to get lost in the Old City, looking for the spices you would like to bring home to impress your friends and family, this is the place to go.
Even the israeli Haaretz had a report on it:
A taste of the Muslim Quarter
By Michal Palti
"Muakat, an orderly, meticulously run spice shop opened on Salah a-Din about a year ago. Every imaginable spice, from lavender to saffron, is displayed on wooden shelves - one will not find sacks of spices resting on the floor in this establishment. Prices range from a few to hundreds of shekels per 100 grams, and the service is excellent"
What to buy: Spices, spices, spices...!
What to pay: range from a few to hundreds of shekels per 100 grams.Related to:
- Food and Dining
MAMILLA new shopping street: MAMILLA new shopping street
MAMILLA's shopping street is newly openned and is a beautifull antic style open air mall that leads to the old city and offers a wondefull view and best shopping in town (clothing, jewellery);
Mamilla (Hebrew: îîéìàý) was an early neighbourhood constructed outside Jerusalem's Old City west from the Jaffa Gate, and now refers to the $400 million commercial and housing district developed in selected parts of the area.
Mamilla was originally established in the late 19th century as a mixed Jewish-Arab central business district. Between the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the 1967 Six-Day War, it was located along the armistice line between the Israeli and Jordanian-held sector of the city. It went into decline after many of its buildings were destroyed by Jordanian shelling. After 1967, the government decided to demolish what remained and rebuild it. Land was apportioned to residential and commercial zones, including hotels and office space, in what was to become one of the longest and most costly development plans in the history of modern Jerusalem. Most of the plan was finally realized by the summer of 2007 with the opening of its major mall and entertainment components.
What to buy: clothing jewellery everything
ATMs: Where to find ATMs
14 Hillel St. Jerusalem
Jerusalem, 0 ISR
Sheich-Jarach, Hashikun Bldg, Jerusalem (Ministry of Housing)
Jerusalem, 0 ISR
Binian 2 Hakirya Jerusalem
Jerusalem, 0 ISR
80 Yirmiyahu St. Jerusalem
Jerusalem, 94467 ISR
What to buy: here you can get the cash you need BEFORE you start to get shopping-crazy ;-)
What to pay: the usual banking fees
Souvenirs and handcrafts
For shopping for souvenirs and handcrafts the old city market is the right place. In most places all the items are similar but prices can be very different, so check it out and don’t forget to barging. The more items you buy the more discounts you should get.
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