Jerusalem’s Old City – Markets & Craftsmen Tour
Experience Middle Eastern culture in its purest form as you peruse the shop and restaurant-lined alleyways of the Old City, haggle with the local merchants and purchase a few rare and treasured souvenirs.
Visit the unique beauty of Armenian ceramics; these are traditionally decorated in a floral blue/green design, which makes them very popular among tourists and Israelis. At Jerusalem Artisan, you can purchase a wide range of ceramics including crockery engraved with Hebrew texts, mirrors and teacups. All items in the shop are decorated with a distinctive Armenia pattern.
Elia Photo Service:
Browse through the dramatic historic of the old city via the original black & white photos of the Old City and other sites in Jerusalem from the pre 1967 era, shot by the well-known Armenian photographer Elia Kahvedjian. His grandson runs this shop.
The first Halva Kingdom store opened in 1947 in the Old City. The process includes importing sesame seeds from Ethiopia, millstone grinding of the seeds, and mixing the blend with sugar until the sweet and mouthwatering snack is formed.
This irresistible stall is hard to miss thanks to its crown-shaped sign, huge wheels of halva and the friendly attendant offering little taste-samples of the flaky nougat.
Bilal Fabric Store:
Bilal Abu Kalaf imports rare fabrics from Damascus and sells them to followers of 100 gates, priests, bishops, Muslim & religious scholars. Additionally, he also trades with senior public figures and Israeli fashion designers
Armenian ceramic secrets:
Inside the Armenian Quarter, the smallest and oldest of the four quarters of the Old City, there is a traditional workshop with a magnificent history. We will encounter an ancient building and meet George Sandroni, the workshop manager. George recounts that Jerusalem’s affair with Armenian ceramics began in the early 1920s when the British who occupied Israel at the time, sought to renovate the Temple Mount tiles, calling on members of three Armenian families living in Turkey immigrate to Jerusalem and do the renovation.
One of these three families was the Sandroni family, who settled in the small district of the Old City and established the ceramic crafts industry in Jerusalem.
- Tour duration: 2½–3 hours
- There is an option for food tasting on this tour