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“All the Souks are not the same”
Review of Souk

Souk
Ranked #86 of 310 things to do in Jerusalem
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed September 26, 2013

I had a few weeks off and not much to do, and I decided to make a first visit to Israel. There was not really much in the way of planning here but all holy sites were on the list. It was a Jewish holiday and the last week or so was in Jerusalem - which may have been a bit longer than I needed.

So there was a bit of over-shopping.

Mamilla is beautiful, artsy and trendy. Many of the stores you would see in the USA or Germany (countries I have lived in). The souks have much more touristy crap with some fine jewelry and antiques mixed in. All the prices seemed to be negotiable at all of them.

I do have a favorite: wedged close between The Church of the Holy Sepulcher and The Western Wall is a row of souks called David Street. At #89 was one called Garden of Eden, where they have both fine Roman Glass and jewelry, and, also some touristy crap mixed in...which makes the place PERFECT. If you buy one nice thing (all the Roman Glass was way-cool and had a certificate of authenticity with it) naturally your bargaining power to get him to throw in a few touristy things is way better. I bought my name written in Hebrew, but I could have had Arabic or English too. The proprietor was named Moe, and, since he and I both came from New York City in two minutes we chatted up a bit, and, it was really low pressure (the others mostly don't let you leave until you buy something). I bought lots of small cheap things (colored sand in a bottle for example) got a decent price, and on my last day went in and got the good stuff...my name in gold, in Hebrew...for about 100 Shekels cheaper than anywhere else in the Souks- and believe me, I shopped around before hand.

1  Thank Fluglotse1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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20 - 24 of 62 reviews

Reviewed June 27, 2012

If you wonder around the Old City of Jerusalem you will stumble on many of hte sprawling Souks that do not seem to have boundaries. From the map there is Souk el-Dabbagha, Souk Khan al-Zeit, and a central souk starting corner of St Mark's Road and Khabad Street. Plus just outside the old city is a vibrant market place, well worth the visit for a coffee and the exhiliration of being in this part of the world!

8  Thank DRMB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2012

This is the Arab market which (I believe) has been continuously in use since the Middle Ages, although small parts of it have been restored in an archaeological/museum spirit by the Israeli Department of Antiquities. It has a little of everything: small local shops selling ordinary packaged foods for the local Arabs, exotic oriental spice shops for same, restaurants and tiny eateries of almost every description, shops selling garbagy souvenirs for badly educated tourists, shops selling same for religious tourists of every description, shops selling same for hyper-nationalist tourists of some kind of Jewish persuasion, anything you could want or imagine, or anything which might annoy you.

Just looking at the architecture above and around you as you walk from one place to another is fascinating. Last time I was here, in August, I walked through the souk figuring on finding someplace to pray and someplace to eat. Before doing either, I somehow found myself buying dried marigold leaves - the best saffron substitute for those times when good Spanish saffron becomes too expensive - in a tiny shop run by an Arab teenager.

Speaking of which, I am one of those ultra-Orthodox Jews whom the newspapers (when they have nothing else to write about) sometimes like to portray as the arch-enemies of the Arabs. My own experience has been that with good intentions and a smile, almost everyone can get along just fine with almost everyone.

Even the large-scale restorations by the Israeli Department of Antiquities have been done well, and with no obvious political bias.

A walk through the souk reminds one once again that there's no place on Earth like Jerusalem.

9  Thank Monobasis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 6 days ago
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Thank Dominique W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2017
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Thank 67Travelman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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