Tel Aviv's markets are the best show in town, and they're bustling all day long. A Middle Eastern mélange of tastes, scents, sounds, colors – and lots of people. Friday is the busiest day when most Israelis do their shopping until the afternoon. Closed Saturdays.
Tel Aviv's most famous market is the Carmel Market, which mostly sells fruit and vegetables, but also candy, clothing, toys, cellphone accessories, kitchen gadgets, and other goods. It is located in central Tel Aviv not far from the beach. The Levinsky Market, not far to the south, is the best place to buy spices, dried fruits, and different kinds of legume. A more upscale option is the Sarona Market, which has a variety of luxury foods and restaurants in picturesque surroundings. Finally, HaTikva Market in the southeast of the city is reputed to be the most "authentic" market, keeping its atmosphere as the other markets have gentrified somewhat.
If you are interested in furniture, antiques, or arts and crafts, there are markets for this too. At the Jaffa flea market, stretching over a number of streets in the old Jaffa district, you can find almost anything, but it is best for antiques. The Nachalat Binyamin arts and crafts market and Dizengoff antiques and secondhand market in Central Tel Aviv are equally good, but are only open two days a week.
As malls are good places to catch some air-conditioning during hot Israeli summers, they have quickly become a preferable place of entertainment for the locals. The variety is usually mid-range, mainstream, with both international and local brands.
In central Tel Aviv, Azrieli Center is the busiest mall. This area is also home toDizengoff Center, the first mall built in Israel, as well as Gan Ha'ir, which is next to Rabin Square.
North Tel Aviv is the most upscale part of the city, and unsurprisingly the Ramat Aviv mall is also upscale.
The New Central Bus Station, designed as a combined bus station and mall, has large numbers of stores which now cater to a lower-class crowd, particularly migrants and workers from Third World countries. There are also a large number of vacant stores.
The air-conditioned malls threaten to destroy the concept of shopping streets, but many of the more special ones still survive, particularly in the city center.
Dizengoff Street is popular with the shoppers, as the street is peppered with numerous specialty shops, cafes, and restaurants, as well as the sprawling Dizengoff Center Mall.
Shenkin Street is known for its trendy cafes as well as designer clothing shops.
Second-hand clothing shops are getting very popular in Tel Aviv and you'll find them scattered all over the city.
Books and music
The country's widespread Steimatzky and Zomet Sfarim chains are a good source for current books. Almost every shop has at least a selection in English. Allenby St. has a number of second hand bookshops, most sell (and buy) English books. For music, check out Tower Records shop in the opera tower, on the corner of Alenby and Herbert Samuel. For the more alternative crowd, Krembo Records in Shenkin Street and Third Ear on King George Street will satisfy your needs.
Art, crafts, jewelry, Judaica
Gordon Street is famous for its art galleries. Ben-Yehuda Street has several JudaicaJewelerysouvenirs shops. You can buy jewelry from Michal Negrin, a world-famous Israeli designer, in her shops at the Azriely mall and on Sheinkin st. The prices are much better than abroad. For more original crafts and Judaica, try the Nahlat Binyamin craft market mentioned above.
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