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Markets & Shopping

Israel has economic ties with almost all nations in the world and manufactures a wide variety of products.

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General Information


Israel has economic ties with almost all nations in the world and manufactures a wide variety of products. There are countless opportunities for shopping in Israel in the shopping centers that have sprung up in the past few decades - including the Malkha Mall, the largest in the Middle East - as well as in the colorful markets, annual bazaars, street malls, and shops in the large cities - all of which offer attractive imported and locally-made items.




Tel Aviv


Tel Aviv has entire streets with shops devoted to one particular item: spices, bridal gowns, clothing, fabrics, furniture, original gift items, fashion accessories, and galleries. In addition to these special streets such as Dizengoff, Shenkin, Herzl, Nakhlat Binyamin, and Levinsky, there are bi-weekly art fairs on Nakhlat Binyamin in the city center, bazaars with designer clothes and crafts in the exhibition grounds and around the port area, and an annual food fair called “Ta’am ha-Ir" (Taste of the City) where one can sample a variety of foods that are available in restaurants throughout the country.


The Old City is the focus of attraction in Jerusalem with its Oriental and local atmosphere, where one can purchase artifacts, ornaments made of wood, seashells, leather and straw, blown glass, and traditional clothing. The annual art fair, “Khutsot ha-Yotzer” offers both prestigious works of art and folk crafts created by Israeli artists. There are farmers’ markets in the German Colony and in the moshavim surrounding the city. The historical, renovated city center is filled with coffee shops and stores that sell gifts and souvenirs.




Haifa has large, new shopping centers, of which the largest and most unique is “Kastra”, which has the largest mural in the world. Ben Gurion Boulevard, a renovated street below the Bahai Gardens, has stores with Templer style merchandise. The “City Center” mall is located in the heart of the German Colony.



Rural Cottage Industries


Members of moshavim and kibbutzim have recently opened numerous small businesses throughout the country. Signs along the roads advertise these cottage industries, and they are worth investigating. Many offer home-made foods, dairy products and cheeses, arts and crafts, and other unusual items that are not sold in the cities.




Eilat, the tourist and vacation city located at the southernmost point in Israel, not only offers tourist items and souvenirs, but imported electrical appliances and clothing as well.




Purchases in Eilat are significantly less expensive since they are exempt from VAT. There are also tax-free shops in Ben Gurion Airport and at the border crossing point at Taba.


Businesses that operate under government supervision and listed with the Ministry of Tourism display the Ministry of Tourism logo and offer a variety of items such as jewelry and diamonds, carpets, women’s fashions, leather goods, artwork, ceramics, and embroidery. 

Business Hours

Most stores are open from Sunday to Thursday between 9:00 in the morning and 7:00 in the evening. Stores that close for a break between 2:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon have a sign with their hours posted on the door. In some cities, stores are closed on Tuesday afternoons.

Stores close at midday on Friday and open again on Sunday morning. Stores close in mid afternoon on the eve of Jewish holidays and remain closed throughout the holiday. Shopping centers that do not cater to the religious population are open on Saturdays and others open on Saturday night or holiday nights to accommodate moviegoers. Coffee houses and restaurants that do not serve kosher food usually remain open on Saturdays.
Moslem-owned businesses usually close on Fridays, which is the Sabbath day for the Moslem community, and Christian-owned businesses are closed on Sundays.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

VAT of 18% is added to all sales and services and is included in the price. Tourists are exempt from VAT payments for the following services: Lodging in hotels, youth hostels, field schools, campgrounds and accompanying services, organized tours, care rentals (with or without a driver-guide), flights provided by local airlines, cruises, meals provided by tour operators during organized tours, meals served in hotel restaurants which are included in the price of the hotel, hospitalization, participation in conventions of 50 tourists or more, rights for use of exhibition areas, and accompanying services.
All purchases and services in the city of Eilat are exempt from VAT.

VAT Refund

VAT refund stamp The following are all the conditions which must be fulfilled in order to receive the V.A.T. refund upon departing from Israel. Please make sure that all the following conditions are fulfilled.
  • Non-Israeli citizens are entitled to receive a V.A.T. refund if they do not hold an Israeli passport and if they are visiting Israel as a tourist as per the visa stamped in their foreign passport. If it is preferred not to have your passport stamped on your entry to Israel, please keep the form handed to you when entering Israel for inspection at the V.A.T. refund counter.
  • The goods must have been purchased in a store included in the V.A.T. refund program and the purchase amount in one tax invoice including V.A.T. must exceed ILS. 400.
  • The goods were purchased for personal use only and in a quantity which is not commercial.
  • The goods are for export from the State of Israel.
  • The goods are not food, drink or tobacco products.
  • In order to obtain the V.A.T. refund, the goods should be packed in a closed bag together with the special invoice for the purpose of V.A.T. refund and presented to the official at the 'MILGAM' counter.

 Sites & Attractions

System of underground tunnels constituting a continuous chain of history from the times...
Monastery of the Order of the Sisters of Zion on Via Dolorosa in the Old City. Part of ...
Large, well-lit cave in the wall of the Old City, which was a quarry in the days of the...
The winery was established in 1998 and it produces around 10,000 bottles annually. The ...
Avshalom’s Shrine. An ornate monument from the first century BCE, said to be the tomb o...
Memorial established on the Jordanian military post, with a permanent exhibition on the...


Small, two-star hotel offers 16 double-occupancy rooms, three single rooms and two fami...
The Prima Music is an exceptionally designed, concept hotel situated under picturesque ...
Luxury hotel offering both suites and family rooms, all facing the sea or the swimming-...
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