The Mahane Yehuda open-air market in Jerusalem has over the years grown to be an authentic and popular attraction for both visitors from abroad and Israelis alike. Its location is very close to the city center it is a mosaic of everything Jerusalem has to offer. Many Holy land tours include making some time to visit this wonderful market.
Known to Jerusalemites simply as “The Shuk”, Mahane Yehuda is Israel’s most expansive and bustling arrangement of alleys and vending stalls and has become more accessible and more comprehensively known than ever before.
A unique feature of Mahane Yehuda Market is the fact that Espresso bars, photography galleries and fashion boutiques compete for space with butchers, electrical appliance repair stalls and vegetable vendors as well as a place where it is possible to find Kurdish immigrants peddling coffee beans from Kenya and hippies from the USA squeezing juice for Armenian monks.
Throughout the year special events take place at Mahane Yehuda perhaps the most exciting highlight being the Balabasta festival which occurs throughout the summer on Monday nights. This festival transforms the Shuk into a lively carnival with special attractions and events that include workshops, live music and performances, a variety of food contests and giveaways, video art, origami exhibits, dancers and a lot more. During the Balabasta festival, the Shuk stalls, cafes and pubs extend their opening hours late into the night.