Jerusalem Souvenirs on a Shoestring

Travel Tips — By Judy Lash Balint on November 28, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Jerusalem with its many ethnic groups is known for a variety of handicrafts that could make nice bargain souvenirs.

Armenian pottery

So, what are some recommended Cheap Finds ? You won’t have to break the bank to take home a nice piece of Armenian pottery or anything made out of olive wood that is native to the region.

Olive wood carving of the Western Wall

There are spices to be had in Jerusalem that are rare and expensive in western countries but reasonably priced (if not cheap) in the Old City markets–saffron is a nice treat for your foodie friends.

If you’ve memorized your friends’ color schemes, you could pick up some beautiful embroidered Arab handiwork cushion covers that are easy to pack and a bargain compared to hand-embroidery abroad.

Israeli jewelery has an international reputation and if you’re into Michal Negrin, prices here are about 35 per cent cheaper than outside Israel.  On the more traditional side, some reasonably priced Eilat stone pieces can be found on the tourist-track Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall.

Don’t even look at some of the junk that’s displayed on the bargain racks of some of the souvenir shops on the same Ben Yehuda mall–no, you really don’t want to be carting a 4 foot long curly shofar (ram’s horn) through security!

Dead Sea products are a mixed bag–they’re certainly cheaper in Israel than abroad, and cheaper on the streets of Jerusalem than at the Duty Free at the airport–but be sure you’re getting the real thing–make sure the contents do include Dead Sea minerals before you plonk down your shekels.

Dead Sea Moisturizing Cream

Some of the nicer Armenian pottery that you’ll find in the Armenian Quarter is something that will last.

Museum shops are a great place to find unique Israeli gift items.  The Israel Museum has some great prices and deals on toys, Judaica, art calendars and the like.

Meah Shearim neighborhood is the best place to pick up bargain Judaica items such as challa covers, nice kiddush cups and mezuzah covers.  Don’t forget to cover -up for your trip to this ultra-Orthodox neighborhood.

Tags: Armenian pottery, bargain souvenirs, deals, Eilat stone, embroidery, good deals Jerusalem, Jerusalem souvenirs, Meah Shearim, Michal Negrin