What to see in Israel | Mahane Yehuda Market
Jerusalem’s Oldest and Largest Outdoor Market
If you are a market person, a visit to Mahane Yehuda is a must. The lively atmosphere is filled with the scent of fresh falafel and the sound of more than 250 haggling merchants, selling everything from aromatic spices to souvenirs. You can do all your shopping here whether it’s for Israeli cheese, halva, pastries, fresh and dried fruits, and gifts. Just about anything you can think of.
It is especially nice to come to the market just before a Jewish holiday such as Passover or Rosh Hashanah. The hustle and bustle of this vibrant marketplace is electrifying. You can feel the holiday is in the air. It is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon moving from food stall to food stall, noshing your way through the market.
The market dates to the Ottoman period. An empty lot, it was developed by local peasants who brought produce to sell in this central location. Slowly the open grounds were turned into an organized market. The peasants took it upon themselves to build their own shops and storage facilities. Over the years, the market expanded and continued to develop. Today, it is a bustling marketplace and a neighbourhood that intertwines food, drinks, music, and shopping. It has also become a yuppie hub with designer boutiques and top chef restaurants. Mahane Yehuda simply represents the heart of Jerusalem, integrating the old and new.
No matter when you visit, the market is crowded. Be prepared for extremely heavy crowds on Fridays when Jerusalem residents are stocking up for the Sabbath. The market is open from Sunday morning through Friday afternoon. It’s free to explore. Come and lose yourself to all the colours, scents, and sounds of the Mahane Yehuda Market.
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