Israel’s top shopping malls, districts, stores, best buys & tips.
Get some intensive retail therapy.
Israelis love to shop. They love the thrill of getting a discount, of finding a bargain, exchanging gifts, negotiating and finalizing a price. When Israelis say they are going to do ‘KNIYOT’ (Eng: shopping) shopping) that means they are going to do their regular weekly or monthly shopping. When Israelis say they are going to do ‘SHOPPING’ – שופימג – and they use the English term – it means they are going to spend some serious money. When you do SHOPPING you are usually buying clothes, furniture, appliances, perfume and other luxury and high-ticket items. You can do KNIYOT at the shuk, the supermarket, the makolet (convenience store on the corner) or on the sidewalk. SHOPPING is done in a shopping center, at a mall or at the “Duty-free” at Ben-Gurion Airport. If you are traveling abroad, make sure you have half of your holiday budget easily accessible for a whirlwind SHOPPING spree at the Duty-free, before your flight. Credit (kredit), installments (tashloomim), discount (hanacha), 3 for one hundred (shalosh b may’a) and bargain (mivtzah) are some of the most important Hebrew words and phrases you will ever need to learn. It can be easily summed up: in Hebrew a good deed is a “mitzvah”, a bargain is a “mivtzah”. It’s clear, no matter which way you look at it, it is a mitzvah to to get a mivtzah!
In this article we are present a selection of top rated shopping malls that Israel’s larger cities have to offer as well as shopping streets and districts like Shuk HaCarmel in Tel Aviv, other open-air markets, the Druze villages, kibbutzim, supermarkets, department stores and more.
The best of Jerusalem’s shopping Malls
An average of 35,000 people/day visit Jerusalem’s most popular mall, the Malha Mall or the Jerusalem Mall as it is commonly called. In addition to the 250 shops that cater to Jerusalem’s unique requirements, you will also find a synagogue on the premises.
The Mamilla Mall is a street lined with shops, it is closed to vehicles and has a shady public walk or promenade. Outdoor cafes and some of Israel’s finest clothes and jewelry can be found here.
Tel Aviv malls have a lot to offer
In the affluent Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Aviv, on Einstein Street, is one of Israel’s most successful shopping malls. Approximately 140 stores, on 2 floors, attract about 24,000 shoppers to the mall every single day. The embassies of Norway, Finland, and Croatia are situated in the adjacent office complex.
The Azrieli Mall is part of a 3 tower complex in Tel Aviv. Conveniently situated next to the HaShalom train station, interchange and Ayalon Highway, it is about 1km from Tel Aviv’s central bus station. The shopping mall has 3 floors of shops, 30 restaurants and fast food stalls and a hotel – the Crowne Plaza.
Kikar HaMedina is not a mall, it is a shopping plaza, The plaza is circular in shape, and the shops form its circumference. Situated in the northern part of Tel Aviv, it is the place to go for luxurious designer shops, exclusive boutiques and high-end jewelry stores.
Lots of specialty stores, a Friday food market and even a gallery that hosts international exhibitions. Also a huge public, underground bomb shelter and plenty of parking located in the heart of Tel Aviv.
Haifa’s best shopping malls
Located in the Neve Sha’anan neighborhood on Simcha Golan St, it is the largest shopping mall in northern Israel and has numerous exclusive stores, brand stores like Billabong, Nike and Crocs, boutiques, shoe shops, a supermarket and other specialized stores: luggage, lingerie, sport shops and jewelers
Located at the southern entrance to Haifa next to the Haifa Mall and opposite the Convention Center. It has a unique architectural design around a central dome. The aim of the center is to combine art, entertainment and shopping. Castra offers you an eclectic range of stores.
Located at the southern entrance to Haifa opposite MATAM next to the Castra Mall and opposite the Convention Center. The mall has a large selection of stores with reasonably priced merchandise. The Hof HaCarmel central bus station and train stations are in close proximity.
Located at the Check-post at the northern entrance to Haifa, this is the entertainment center of the north. Previously known as Lev Hamifratz, the mall has a bright orange exterior and you can’t miss it. From beers and burgers, perfume and pancakes, you can get it all at the Cinemall. The Merkazit HaMifratz bus, train and Metronit stations are a 200m walk away.
Merkaz Horev is located in the Ahuzza neighborhood. For a quiet neighborhood shopping experience, the center has 3 floors of shops, banks, quiet cafes, a good supermarket and a Maccabi medical center.
The City Mall is in the heart of the German Colony. Lots of outlet stores where you can pick up some real bargains. It is a quiet mall mainly catering to the needs of the people who work in the area. The Mall has a stone facade and this blends in perfectly with the architecture of the neighborhood.
Only a couple of shopping Malls in Raanana
Renanim Mall is in the industrial area and is the main shopping mall in Raanana.
Across the way from “The Raanana Park” is a small suburban shopping mall – The Park Mall
Favorite shopping districts – not to be missed
Get into the spirit of Tel Aviv at Shuk HaCarmel, Shenkin & Nahalat Binyamin
The Shuk HaCarmel fruit and vegetable market in Tel Aviv is also famous for its clothing stalls. People come from all over the country to find bargains. Designer knock-off’s: shirts, shoes, bags and belts, it is all there. Bargaining is a must and you should be able to knock at least 10 per-cent off the original price.
Shenkin Street in Tel Aviv buzzes. Israel’s trendiest shopping district. A street of designer clothing stores; retro and funky, record stores, cafes and restaurants, furniture and jewelry, this is the place to see and be seen. Close to Shuk HaCarmel and Nahalat Binyamin craft market, Shenkin is not to be missed.
The Nahalat Binyamin craft market is open in Tel Aviv in summer, on Tuesdays from 10:00 – 18:00 and on Fridays from 10:00 – 16:00. During the winter it is open on Tuesdays from 10:00 – 17:00 and Fridays from 10:00 – 16:30 The are about 200 vendors selling top quality hand-made, arts and craft items.
Shopping Districts in Haifa
Horev Street in the Ahuzza neighborhood, specializes in fashion boutiques, bridal stores and numerous pubs and restaurants. The Horev Mall is also located in this street.
The name “Check-post” goes back to the time of the British Mandate when it was a check-point for all traffic coming from the north at that time. The Check-post is an industrial area and home to an abundance of stores and showrooms for furniture, tiles, sanitary fittings, home construction and repair.
Ben Gurion Blvd. is in the heart of the “German Colony” – named after the German Templars that settled here in Haifa and in Palestine as well, in the 19th century in the belief that by them living in the Holy Land, it would hasten the second coming of Christ. The boulevard is the center of Haifa nightlife and has many restaurants offering a wide variety of cuisine. A photo opportunity is the view of the Bahai Terraces and the Bahai Temple all the way from the boulevard to the Central Carmel.
Hanassi Boulevard, the main street in the Central Carmel neighborhood, has plenty of pavement cafes which gives it a very European atmosphere. There are a variety of stores along Hanassi including pharmacies, clothing, sweet shops and florists. There is a small shopping center at the Haifa Auditorium and one adjacent to the Dan Panorama hotel.
Herzl and Hehalutz Streets are in the heart of the Hadar neighborhood. Go by bus or by sherut (try the new TikTak service). Parking in the Hadar is almost non-existent. A myriad of shops, banks and falafel stands, inexpensive kitchenware and items from the “Dollar Shop” – plenty of inexpensive clothing too
Shopping Districts in Raanana
Ahuza Street is the hub of shopping in Raanana. The street, also the main entrance to Raanana is flanked by a wide selection of stores – from designer to “dollar shops” as well as a large selection of eateries – coffee shops, restaurants and supermarkets.
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The Shuk (Market) & Other Shopping Experiences
The Druze Villages – Daliat-El-Carmel and Usifiya are about 10km outside of Haifa, past the Haifa University. A street market with typical middle-eastern wares. Curios and bric-a-brac can be bought here.
The Bedouin Market is held every Thursday in Beer Sheva Lots of interesting bric-a-brac and authentic Bedouin food can be bought her. Don’t forget – try to bargain!
Shuk Ramleh-Lod, as its name suggests, originated in the municipal area of Ramla and Lod in the general vicinity of Ben Gurion International Airport. Today the market, which sells mainly clothing, soft furnishings, household wares and some traditional Middle-Eastern food, is held every day in a different location across Israel.
Mahane Yehuda Shuk in Jerusalem
There is no market in Israel that quite compares to Mahane Yehuda in Jerusalem. Established in the early 1900’s, there are more than 250 vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables; baked goods; fish, meat, cheeses; nuts, seeds, spices; wines and liquors; clothing and shoes; housewares, textiles and Judaica.
In the Hadar neighborhood: with numerous individual stalls. There is the outdoor market as well as the basement of the Talpiot Building on Sirkin Street. The product selection is similar to other Israeli markets. Friday afternoon shopping at Talpiot is the best time for bargains.
Other Open-Air Markets
Experience the local vibe, enjoy the tastes and tap into the culture in each of Israel’s markets; Nahalat Benyamin in Tel Aviv on Tuesdays and Fridays, sells hand made, artistic and craft items. The Arab market in Jerusalem, Haifa’s new Turkish Market are just some of the many and most popular.
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Moshavim & Kibbutzim
Members of moshavim and kibbutzim operate numerous small businesses throughout the country. Signs along the roads advertise cottage industries and they are worth investigating. Many offer home-made foods, arts and crafts, and other unusual items that are not sold in the cities. Many kibbutzim manufacture special items; furniture, shoes, clothing etc. One example is Kibbutz Yotvata on the way to Eilat which has a restaurant where they sell their well known dairy product’s. Another example and international brand – Teva Naot sandals from Kibbutz Naot Mordechai.
Warehouses, Hyper-stores, Supermarkets & Department Stores
Shufersal, Victory, Osher Ad, Mega/You and Rami Levi are just some of the larger supermarket chains in Israel that have hyper-stores. These supermarkets are kosher. Rami Levi and Osher Ad cater to the Orthodox Jewish religious communities. There are also supermarkets like Tiv-Taam that carry a large variety of non-kosher items and imported products. The supermarket online shopping experience is worth checking out.
The Mashbir is Israel’s largest department store and has 35 branches across the country – 31 department stores and 4 concept stores. Up-market clothing, sportswear, leather goods, shoes, a large cosmetic counter, electrical appliances and good quality household and kitchenware can all be purchased in the store.
Like America’s Home Depot, Home Center is a large hardware store catering to the D.I.Y enthusiast. Household appliances, soft furnishings, inexpensive and flat-pack furniture also camping equipment and garden supplies and other household items are part of their product range.
Like its name suggests, Office Depot stocks stationery supplies. Stationery, office furniture, cameras, computers and peripherals. Just before school starts in September, they carry a huge range of the trendiest school supplies. Branches in the main centers and on some university campuses.
Rosie from Columbia –> Miami –> Israel had this to say
When I first came to Israel I found shopping very challenging until, after a lot of complaining, a kind, Israeli co-worker took me to the supermarket and explained things to me. She explained how the logic in product grouping and placement differed. She had lived in the USA for 2 years and was familiar with stores there. Cuts of meat are different in Israel and that takes some getting used to (a few expensive and tough mistakes), frozen goods are cheaper than fresh and there is a much smaller range of canned goods here in Israel. I found it hard to find the ingredients for my recipes from home. I kept buying imported goods because I could not read the labels or because I was familiar with the brand from home. That kind of shopping became very expensive. I am happy to say that so much has improved since then. Most products now have some English information but cooking and general instructions are still, for the most part, written in Hebrew. I find it so much easier now that supermarket staff mostly speak some English. I am getting used to it and I am learning to enjoy local foods and flavors too.