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AHAVA Visitor Center

This touristy spot offers discounted prices on most AHAVA products, all made with Dead Sea minerals. The Visitors Center, near the Dead Sea, also houses a factory and has rotating attractions. If you want to buy AHAVA products, do it here on your way to the Dead Sea.

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Bilal Abu-Khalaf

While much of the Old City is filled with tourist traps and cheap souvenirs, Bilal Abu-Khalaf’s eponymous shop has enough authenticity for the entire city. A third-generation fabric salesman, Abu-Khalaf gets his intricate textiles (some designs take months to produce even a few yards) from India and Palestine and used to have a special permit to travel to Syria to shop at Damascus and Aleppo. He dresses Orthodox Jews, Muslims and Catholic priests, and consults with Hollywood costume designers as well as Jerusalem’s elite.

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Elia Photo Service

It’s hard to say which is more beautiful: the story behind how this photography shop came to be, or the thousands of stunning black-and-white photographs on sale. Elia Kahvedjian, born in 1910, lost his entire immediate family of ten in the Armenian genocide, as well as the majority of his extended family. He died in 1999, but his memory and eye for beauty lives on in this shop run by his son, Eli. After stumbling upon thousands of negatives in his father’s attic in 1987 (which Elia claimed were the products of a fruitless hobby), Eli dedicated his life to preserving and printing his father’s works. Not only have the images served as a source of remembrance for Elia’s family and artwork for visitors, but his photographs provide a history of Jerusalem and Palestine; he captured the architecture of the cities in the 1920’s-30’s, and documented many historical moments, like when the German Graf Zeppelin blimp floated over Jerusalem in 1931. Eli sells and will autograph a copy of his photography book, Jerusalem Through My Father’s Eyes, and a selection of images are available for purchase online.

Editors' Picks
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Jerusalem Pottery

Armenian pottery stores are abundant in the Old City, all of which hawk similar-looking products, but Jerusalem Pottery in the Muslim Quarter is the best. Simple but intricate, the colorful designs have been a family tradition since 1922, when Megherdich Karashian was brought from Turkey to Jerusalem to repair the tiles covering the Dome of the Rock. His two sons now run the shop, where they sell beautiful handmade tiles, bowls and dishes. Take note of the ceramic street signs throughout the Old City—Jerusalem Pottery made those as well.

Editors' Picks
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Machane Yehuda

This bustling outdoor marketplace, also known as the shuk, is a foodie haven as well as an authentic depiction of life in Jerusalem. While parts of the Old City are tailored for tourists, the Machane Yehuda is filled with both locals and visitors. An afternoon spent sampling olives, halva and the city’s best rugelach is a great way to interact with the merchants and see a new side of Jerusalem. Food tours and cooking classes can be arranged through their website, or you can contact Indagare for an unforgettable tour with a prominent local chef.

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The First Station

In operation from 1892-1998, the Jerusalem Railway Station was then abandoned and neglected until its reopening in 2013. The historic building, now referred to as the HaTakhana HaRishona, or First Station, now serves an entirely different purpose. Home to food stalls and restaurants as well as shops and art displays, the newly minted cultural center hosts lively events and offers a good representation of the carefree side of Jerusalem.

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Indagare employees walking up stiars

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