Carmel Market, Tel Aviv – Visitor’s Guide


Carmel Market, Tel Aviv

Carmel Market guide starts with basics (map, parking, opening hours), and then we will visit the market. Let’s begin!

On One Foot

Carmel Market is probably the most famous marketplace in Tel Aviv. Similarly to other markets (like Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem), it changed in recent years. Bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and chef-owned food stalls appeared. Travel firms started to offer Market tours. And today, it is a mix of the old market and a tourist destination.

Map

The Carmel Market is spread along several streets in Tel Aviv. The main one is the HaCarmel Street. And you can find additional stores in the nearby streets, like Yom Tov Street.

Map of the area:

Directions

If you are walking to the Carmel Market then you can set the navigation app to HaCarmel Street 1, or Allenby Street 60, Tel Aviv.

In case you are using public transport, then a variety of busses reaches this area. Here is already a preset link to Moovit. Just enter your starting point, and you will get the updated directions.

And if you are driving then you will need to find parking.

Parking

There are several paid parking lots in the area. The closes one is HaCarmel Parking, and its entrance is at HaCarmel Street 16. But it is frequently full. Thus we usually park a little bit further at Yosef Levi Street 2. It is next to the Hassan Bek Mosque and the David Intercontinental hotel.

Hassan Bek Mosque and the David Intercontinental hotel
Hassan Bek Mosque and the David Intercontinental hotel

Though there are many paid car parking lots in this area, I would recommend arriving either early (up to 9:00-9:30) or later in the afternoon, since the car lots are filled quickly.

Opening Hours

There are many stores, stalls, and restaurants in the market and its surroundings. Each of them has its opening hours. Thus if you are interested in a specific place, check its opening hours. And the hours I am going to list now, are the common ones when most stores are open.

Sunday – Thursday: 8:00 – 20:00 (18:00 during the winter).
Friday: 08:00 – 16:00 (14:00 during the winter).
Saturday and Jewish holidays – closed.

Restrooms

You can find toilets at 25 Daniel Street, Tel Aviv. And of course, there are restrooms in all restaurants.

Carmel Market, Tel Aviv
Carmel Market, Tel Aviv

History of the Carmel Market

In the early 1920s, the nearby neighborhood called Kerem HaTeimanim, literally ‘the vineyard of the Yemenites,’ started its marketplace, which was called “HaKerem,” the vineyard. With the help of Zionist leader, Arthur Rupin, a group of Russian immigrants began to turn the small neighborhood into a bustling commercial center. Noticing its potential and impact, the Tel Aviv municipality, with Meir Dizengoff at its helm, encouraged its growth and permanence further by changing its name officially to Shuk HaCarmel, or the Carmel Market, renaming the road HaCarmel Street and allowing for permanent buildings and renovations within the allocated space.

With its growing success, local Arab farmers opened a competing market nearby, which became a source of tension among the local populations in downtown Tel Aviv Yaffo for decades, with incidents of violence between Arabs and Jews continuing well into the 1930s and even during Israel’s War of Independence. Arab snipers shot at Jews shopping in the Carmel Shuk from the nearby Hassan Bey Mosque, one of the most well-known Arab mosques in the area, and still standing between the oceanfront and the marketplace.

During Israel’s austerity period of the 1950s, the Carmel Shuk rose to great prominence as the best and most direct source of local, fresh produce. Efforts by the municipality to move the market to a more central location in the city failed in the 1960s and 1970s with locals preferring the market’s intimate and authentic neighborhood charm. And as terrorist attacks tore through the heart of Israeli public life in the 1990s and early 2000s, the open market place suffered a downturn in visitors.

But in recent years, as the interest in local produce, outdoor experiential shopping, and blue-and-white purchases increased, as did the number of visitors and vendors to the Shuk. Thanks to a recent renovation, the Carmel Shuk of today is home to a range of culinary treats that, together with covered walkways and shaded coffee stalls, welcomes leading chefs from Israel and abroad to its abundant sights, sounds, and flavors.

Source: official site

Strolling At Carmel Market

After covering all basics, let’s walk through the Carmel Market.

Fruit stall at Carmel Market
Fruit stall at Carmel Market
The Druze corner
The Druze corner
Sweets stand at the market
Sweets stand at the market

In Israeli markets, halva is a widespread threat. It is usually nut-butter based halva with sesame butter or paste (tahini), and sugar or honey as primary ingredients.

Turkish delight
Turkish delight
Different types of Halva
Different types of Halva
Cheese store at Carmel Market
Cheese store at Carmel Market

Honey based sweets, like Baklava and Kanafeh, are popular as well.

Carmel Market

And of course olives and pickles:

Carmel Market

At the beginning of Ha-Carmel Street, almost all stands are food and utensils related. And towards its end (closer to Allenby Street), there are clothes, gadgets, and flowers.

Flowers at Carmel Market
Flowers at Carmel Market
Cherry tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes

In the photo above, you can see cherry tomatoes of three colors. And though many say that Israel “invented” cherry tomatoes, this is not the case. The cherry tomatoes have been cultivated since at least the early 1800s and probably originated in Peru and Northern Chile.

Israeli researchers made significant modifications to the cherry tomato. For example, they adjusted it to the Israeli climate. Thus the cherry tomato was not created by Israel, but it was improved.

Behind Carmel Market
Behind Carmel Market

After walking around and seeing all the food, you are probably becoming hungry. And you are lucky since, in recent years, many authentic restaurants with homemade food were opened. Let’s look at some of them.

Restaurants and Food Stalls

As you walk along HaCarmel Street, you will see different food stalls and restaurants. For example, Bar Ochel at HaCarmel 38.

Bar Ochel at Carmel Market
Bar Ochel
Bar Ochel
Bar Ochel

At HaCarmel 11, there is a place that looks like a synagogue. But it is actually a Hummus place.

Hummus Magen David at Carmel Market
Hummus Magen David at Carmel Market

There are also many stalls that offer small snacks.

Snacks at the market
Snacks at the market

As I mentioned above, there are many restaurants in this area. But since the quality of restaurants changes over time, I usually do not list the best ones. Instead, I would recommend to open Google maps or another app and see the current rating.

Nevertheless, I will mention my favorite place. It is Hamitbahon at Rabbi Akiva Street 18.

Moussaka at Hamitbahon
Moussaka at Hamitbahon

Here is a typical restaurant in between vegetable stands:

Carmel Market

When To Visit The Carmel Market?

The answer to this question is the usual one: “It depends.” Here are the points to consider.

  • If you are want to visit the nearby Nachlat Binyamin Market, then visit Carmel Market when Nachlat Binyamin Market is open, in other words, Tuesday or Friday.
  • And if you are looking to buy fresh produce at lower prices, then visit towards the end of the day.
  • In case you want to eat at the market, then visit during lunch or dinner time.

Nearby Attractions

Here are several nearby attractions that you can reach by foot:

Where To Stay

Kerem HaTeimanim is one of the most popular neighborhoods among tourists. The Yemenite Quarter is close to the sea, the Carmel Market, Old Jaffa, and many other points of interest. And here is a link to booking.com, where you can see the available properties (hotels, hostels, and apartments) in the Yemenite Quarter.

Summary

Carmel Market is popular both among locals and tourists. You can purchase produce, taste the past and (maybe) the future, and take plenty of photos. Thus I would suggest incorporating this market into your itinerary and combine it with nearby POI.

If you love markets, then check out Markets In Tel Aviv And Jaffa. And for additional points of interest nearby, see Tel Aviv-Yafo.

Have you ever been to the Carmel Market? Tell us in the comments below.

That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!

Stay Tuned!

   

Additional Resources

Here are several resources that I created to help travelers: And if you have any questions then check out Useful Information For Tourists To Israel.  
Did not find what you were looking for? Email me at [email protected], and I will do my best to answer your questions.

2 thoughts on “Carmel Market, Tel Aviv – Visitor’s Guide

  1. I lived in the Keren HaTemanim near the shuk in 1979, when I first made Aliyah, and it was a LOT different! When my husband and I were there a few years ago we took a “foodie” tour and a cooking class- it was wonderful, delicious fun!

    1. Yes, Keren HaTemanim changed a lot in recent years. Especially after Airbnb became popular. Today it is a very touristic neighborhood. Calcalist even called it “Keren Hatayarim” (link to their article in Hebrew: https://www.calcalist.co.il/local/articles/0,7340,L-3759677,00.html).

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