Today we are going to visit Jaffa Flea Market. It offers a mix of shops, cafes and fantastic atmosphere. Let’s begin!
- This post focuses on Jaffa Flea Market, if you would like to see other attractions in Jaffa, then check out Guide To Attractions In Old Jaffa.
- Shuk Hapishpeshim means Flea Market in Hebrew.
Eat Shop Love
In the second part of the title, I added “Eat Shop Love,” which is a paraphrase to Gilbert’s best-selling memoir “Eat Pray Love.” In many aspects, Jaffa Flea Market reminds Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey, just all in one place. Instead of flying to Italy, you can eat and enjoy life in numerous cafes and restaurants. And though there are many holy places in Israel (saves the trip to India 😉 ), I do not feel spirituality there. Thus, I replaced that word to shop. And there are many different types of shops there (from junk to boutiques). And many people fall in love with this area and visit it repeatedly.
Jaffa Flea Market is located close to the Jaffa Clock Tower. And here is the first important tip. Just before the tower inside an alley on the left, there is a public toilet.
While standing next to the restroom, you will see people that gathered next to the tower (in the arc). Many tours start at the clock tower.
More about The Clock Tower and other attractions in Jaffa can be found in Guide To Attractions In Old Jaffa post.
Map of the area:
More specifically, the Flea market is located on Olei Zion, Yehuda Margoza, Beit Eshel streets and the alleyways connecting them. And if you are interested in coffee shops then head to the nearby Rabbi Pinhas and Ami’ad streets (and the alleys connecting them).
Sunday to Thursday – 9:00 – 17:00.
Fridays 9:00 – 14:00.
Saturday – closed.
Opening Hours During Festival & Holidays
Sometimes, during festivals and holidays, the Flea Market will be open in the evening as well. For example, last August, on every Thursday the market was open from 20:00 till 24:00. There were street performers, musicians, and even shows by a street theater.
In any case, I would suggest rechecking the official website before a visit.
When To Visit
I visited the Flea Market several times, and it was always Friday morning. Friday morning was not selected by coincidence. Many Israeli do not work on this day. Moreover, many make it as the shopping day, and it is the busiest time in the market. Furthermore, On Fridays, there will be portable stands where artists show their creations and people will be selling second-hand stuff. So, on the one hand, it will be the busiest on Friday, on the other, you will see the widest variety.
Jaffa Flea Market At Night
You might think that since the market is closed in the evening, then this area is deserted in the evening. On the contrary, many people hang out at restaurants and coffee shops on Rabbi Pinhas and nearby streets. There are a cool vibe and tasty food. A good companion and you are set.
First of all, I should mention that finding parking in this area is not an easy task. Thus, if you can consider reaching by foot or public transport. If you decide to take the car, here are several suggestions.
There are several free parking lots in the Jaffa area. If you come till 9:00 then you can park here. Between 9:00 and 10:00 you can look for parking here. And after 10:00 you can try here. Moreover, check out the parking info at Guide To Attractions In Old Jaffa post.
Garage in Jaffa :
Just next to Jaffa’s picturesque Old City and ancient Clock Tower, is a treasure trove of antiques, handmade and secondhand items over at the Jaffa Flea Market. Literally “the Flea Market,” this port-side neighborhood of alleyways, covered walkways, and outdoor verandas has been operating for more than 100 years across the same sprawling streets. Open six days a week, from Sunday through Friday, from morning through early evening hours. It is where to go for finding those unique, one-of-a-kind items from long ago. This marketplace is filled daily with tourists and locals alike, all seeking the perfect (bargained for) purchase that captures the charm and magic of this unique market. Recently some trendy furniture and clothing shops have cropped up alongside vendors selling traditional Arabic pottery and ceramic items. Restaurants and coffee shops line the streets for weary shoppers to refresh and watch the crowds go by.
Note: unless stated otherwise, all quotes were taken from the official site.
While browsing the official site, I saw that they offer tours. If you would like to dive in further into history and hear the stories of shop owners, then I would suggest joining a tour. Since I have not joined one of those tours yet, I can not share my experience.
You can find additional information here.
Restaurants And Food Stalls
There are several clusters of Restaurants And Food Stalls in this area. One of them is at Jaffa port, and the other is in and around the flea market. And in this section, we will cover some of the places.
Before going to the market, we decided to grab something to eat. If you continue straight on Yefet street, you will reach Abulafia bakery. When standing next to Abulafia, you will see the clock tower.
Abulafia bakery was founded in 1879 and it is one of the oldest businesses in Israel. It is also among the only bakeries that are open 24 hours a day.
After making an order, they heat it in a brick oven, and several minutes later we were ready to go.
At one of our visit to Jaffa, my wife wanted to eat Bourekas. Friends recommended us to visit Olei Zion 17 in Tel Aviv-Yafo, there you can find Leon Bakery. Leon Bakery specializes in handmade Balkan pastries from filo dough without margarine. And indeed, this was one of the healthier Bourekas that I ate.
The immigration from Bulgaria in 1948 brought grandmother Julie and her family. To make a decent living in the new state of Israel, granny began to work in the hand of Bulgarian filo dough. She was the first and only one to do so at the time.
In the mornings, Grandma Jolie turned the beds upside down and stretched the dough. The residents of this area created an echo and demand that caused residents from all over the country to go up to Jaffa and purchase the traditional dough. To speed up the process, Grandma Jolie had put down wicks under special wooden tables she had built and recruited her child Leon, who worked as her right hand.
When he finished his studies, Leon decided to expand his heritage and opened a shop in Jaffa, where he developed technological changes. In the 80’s Leon’s son, Avi joined the family business followed by Eli the second son and together developed quality products, home and varied taste all over the country.
In 2004, Leon died and left behind the secrets of the profession he received from his mother and are preserved by his sons. These days, a dynasty of dough art continues to develop according to the spirit of the times, in a narrow and Bulgarian alley in Jaffa.
Source: official site
Tash & Tasha
If you love Georgian food then Tash & Tasha at Beit Eshel 31 is the place for you.
I took the photo above when we recently ate at their new food stall, that was opened near the restaurant.
And of course, this section would not be complete without mentioning Abu Hassan Restaurant. This small authentic restaurant, at Shivtai Israel street, offers some of the best falafel and hummus in Israel.
Another popular place is Shaffa Bar at 2-3 Nakhman street. Their menu is very diverse, and you can find breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. If you are lucky, then there will be live bands.
The Old Man and the Sea, at Jaffa port (85 Kedem street) specializes in seafood and is another favorite restaurant.
A good meal is not complete without a great dessert. And there is an abundance of places. Here we are eating ice cream at Golda.
At Jaffa Flea Market
From Abulafia Bakery it is a two-minute walk to the Jaffa Flea Market. Many streets next to the market were affected by the market. Thus in this area, you can find many interior design stores.
Origin Of The Name
Where did the Flea Market get its name from? The French named it after those pesky little parasites (wingless bloodsucker) that infested mattresses and upholstery of old furniture brought out for sale.
The sign above the entrance to the Jaffa flea market contains the parasites in the middle.
Inside the original part of the Jaffa flea market, you can find many jewelry and clothes stores.
Hamsa in Arabic means five. The five fingers, which is a universal sign of protection. It is interesting that this ancient amulet (traced to ancient Mesopotamia) made its way into Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions.
Pomegranate and carrot juices are popular in Israel.
You can even buy a phonograph.
And there are records in a nearby store.
When you get tired of shopping, you can always get a snack.
Or juice up.
A wall covered with posters inside a jewelry store:
Types Of Stores
There are several types of stores in this area. Flea Market type shops, where you can find second-hand furniture and electronics, like this one:
There is also an area with stands. People bring their old stuff and sell it:
And there are art boutiques.
Or like this gallery with metal wire works.
Everything a person needs within several meters: put a chair on a carpet and look at paintings while drinking juice 🙂
There are also modern designer stores with mass production items.
And there are handmade items as well.
As you can see, there is everything for everybody.
And towards the end of this post, I want to mention the Perfume Shop. It is a unique shop in Israel. In Zielinski and Rozen Parfumerie they create original perfumes for customers, with no two scents alike. Neat concept.
Some people love flea markets, and others hate them. But, since Jaffa flea market offers a wide variety of stores, including boutiques and art galleries, even the later can enjoy spending several hours there.
As I mentioned at the beginning, we visited on a Friday morning. It is the busiest time, with the widest variety. Thus, I would recommend coming on a Friday morning. And during events and festivals, you can visit during the evening. But if you do not like crowds, then you can visit at another time.
Have you ever been to Jaffa Flea Market? Tell us in the comments below.
That’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed this visit to the Jaffa flea market and I will see you in future travels!
For additional points of interest nearby see Tel Aviv-Yafo page.