Postcard from Israel – Haifa flea market

Definitely not on the standard list of tourist destinations in Israel, and less well-known than its counterpart in Yaffo (Jaffa), the flea market in down-town Haifa is well worth a visit whether you’re buying or just browsing. The market is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and of course it is best to get there as early as possible – with well-honed haggling skills! 

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  1. Great photos Hadar. Duvidl has taken a fancy to the Turkish saz, Greek bouzouki and the Neapolitan mandolin (the bowl-backed one) in the second photo from the bottom. Do you think shipment to England could be easily arranged?

  2. Time was I got all my clothes (at least the ones I liked and didn’t have forced on me by my elders and betters) at the Haifa flea market. I used to get the Carmelit underground down and then walk the rest of the way. They had really great stuff back then, big baggy ‘zalman’ khaki shorts which I was partial to not least because they shocked my mother so much, Rumanian blouses, those black Arab dresses with the embroidery, you name it. A lot of the clothes still had numbers embroidered or stuck on from the kibbutz laundries!

    I spent many happy hours wandering around there. So I was excited to see that this post was going to be about Haifa flea market. But it seems to be completely different.

    The place I remember was in a really derelict run down Arab area of Haifa. It was in an enclosed area specifically set aside by the municipality as “Shuk Rochlim”, there was even a little sign over the entrance saying as much. I loved that sign. I loved the whole place. Unlike the Jaffa flea market, which I regarded even then as pretty commercialised, this was the real thing, even more so because it was all so pathetic and basic, and the vendors were obviously so very very poor. Once, when I was about fifteen, I got lice from trying on a hat. I’m not crazy about trying on hats ever since then, even in regular stores.

    You went in through the entrance, under the little sign, and there was a big space in the middle with people selling really awful junk on the ground. Then there was a sort of alleyway going round the enclosure with tiny stores filled with stuff that was a bit better. This is where I usually found what I wanted.

    The photos above seem to show a far more affluent looking market than in my day, with stalls full of stuff people would actually want to buy, along an ordinary street, not an enclosed area at all. There is even a bit of greenery, goodness me! But things do change in thirty years. Is the enclosure with the sign still there?

  3. I love flea markets it was like going fishing most of the time you would catch zip but occasionally if you were in the right time and the right place you can find real treasure amongst the tat