A wise elder traveler once told me, that to really get to know the people of a certain country. You have to observe and be immersed in the everyday rustics.
And one of the best ways to do that, he said, is to visit and observe their markets, where the common folks drop all pretense and try to procure what they need in as little cost as possible.
Being a member of the bourgeoisie, I couldn’t agree more.
Coming from a family that never really suffered, but didn’t splurged either, I have been exposed to the need to get value for your money. You have to fight for what you think you deserve for the cost you are paying. On the contrary, vendors are out to get as much profit with as little effort and expense possible.
This everyday struggle makes for colorful haggling and lively discussions in the great markets of the world. No wonder, the market places are a common tourist area no matter where you go.
The same is quite true with Ha-Carmel Market in the heart of Tel Aviv, Israel.
Even before my plane took off to Israel, my interest has already been piqued by this market. All the major travel sites such as TripAdvisor, Fyodors, and Virtual Tourist have good things to say about Ha Carmel and they weren’t wrong.
Located along Allenby avenue and stretching up to Nahalat Binyamin street, Ha Carmel markets is one of the most colorful and lively spots in this gorgeous city.
At the market’s facade, several stalls are selling humus and falafel ( the staple food here) and some Yemenite dish. So try to have a meal here to get a good feel of the place.
In Ha Carmel, you can buy the freshest fruits from Europe and from Kibbutz farms. You can buy some and have them blended into fruit milkshake.
Spices that have come from as far as Turkey and India, also find their way to this market. Sweets and candies, sold in pounds and kilos are available as well.
Strolling along the alleys, I saw vendors selling dates, olives, prunes and other Middle Eastern fruits. Stalls selling vegetables such as beans, chick peas are endless (a lot of Israelis are vegetarians).
There were also kitchen items available and several clothing stalls.
Vendors vie for customers by yelling louder than one another, adding to the liveliness of the area.
The smell of the freshly picked fruits and vegetables will also overwhelm you.
Indeed, visiting Ha Carmel will give you a sensory overload and you can’t help but love it.
But just like any other market, some vendors are in a foul mood and won’t let you haggle. Some, also try to sell their wares at a higher price. Also, while Tel Aviv is quite a safe place, you should always be wary against pick-pockets.
All in all, you should definitely consider a visit to this market if you’re visiting Tel Aviv. It could a be a fun-filled hour.