Tourist Tip #2: Tel Aviv's Carmel Market

From fruit and veg to cheap souvenirs, Carmel Market offers everything you didn't even know you needed (and probably don't).

Yasmin Kaye
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Yasmin Kaye

Tel Aviv’s biggest and most famous market can be hectic, noisy, smelly and dirty. Despite all this, it's worth checking out the staggering selection of spices, fruit and vegetables, and all manner of souvenirs and trinkets you didn't even know you needed (and probably don't).

The market begins at the intersection between Allenby St. and Nachalat Binyamin St., with the upper section being devoted to the likes of cheap T-shirts and boxer shorts featuring the Israeli flag.

The middle of the market has an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, and the shops lining the sides offer a variety of products, from Asian foods to specialty cheeses.

Carmel Market is open Sunday to Friday from around 7am until it gets dark, and on Fridays until around 14:00 – 15:00. It's best popping by in the mornings to avoid the crowds, or towards the end of the day – although don't leave it too late as you'll be forced to navigate the piles of rubbish thrown out by stallholders as they pack up their wares. Unless you’re a fan of the smell of meat in the midday heat, it's also best to avoid the butchers' shops in the side alleyways.

Dried fruit on sale at Carmel Market.Credit: Ofer Vaknin
Tel Aviv's Carmel Market can be hectic, noisy, smelly and dirty. Credit: Ofer Vaknin
Moussi Fenstetter, a fishmonger at the Carmel Market.Credit: Nir Kafri

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