When you are planning a trip to Israel, you do not want to forget about souvenirs. There are quite a few different things to buy in Israel, whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim related religious souvenirs or typically Mediterranean or Middle Eastern souvenirs. What to buy in Israel is going to depend on your interests and whether you want something to display at home, or perhaps something edible that you can share with your friends and family after your visit to the Holy Land.
What to Buy in Israel
The Eliat stone derives its name from the city of Eliat, where it was once mined. It is the national stone of Israel and is sometimes referred to as the King Solomon stone. The stones make beautiful jewelry and make great gifts from Jerusalem. Whether you have one set in a ring or earrings, there are plenty of shops in Israel to buy Eliat stone jewellry.
Dead Sea Salt and Mud
The Dead Sea is well known for its high concentration of mineral rich waters and the healing properties that come with it. Whether it is salt, soaps, lotions or Dead Sea mud, this is one of the things to buy from Israel for anyone who wants to improve their skin, treat acne, and treat psoriasis. Even if these claims are not true, after covering yourself in the mineral-rich mud and bathing in the Dead Sea my skin felt great for days. The Dead Sea also makes a great place for instagrammable photos in Israel and Jordan.
Hebrew Name Necklaces
If you are wondering what to buy in Israel for someone who likes jewelry, a hebrew name necklace makes a unique souvenir. After listening to the language and seeing it on signs all over Israel, a hebrew name necklace will bring fond memories of your time in the Holy Land.
Christian Holy Land Jewelry
Whether you are looking for a traditional cross necklace or beautiful rings or cross earrings, buying a piece of Christian fashion in the Holy Land is a popular choice. If you are Christian and want to know what to buy in Israel, a stunning piece of jewellery is a great option. If you are not yet headed to the Holy Land, you can pick up some nice jewelry here.
Olive Wood Carvings
The olive tree is native to the Holy Land where it has been planted an cultivated for thousands of years. The olive branch has been seen as a symbol of peace and goodwill. The Bible makes many references to olives and olive oil and the olive branch. Wondering why you should buy something made from Olive Wood without damaging these important trees. Well, most olive wood carvings are made from the pruning of the olive trees, which is an essential process for healthier growth of the tree.
Armenian Pottery is famous around the world for its striking bold colors, and hand-painted designs. Armenian pottery is known for its high quality designs, whether traditional Christian scenes or ornate hamsa creations. Whether you are looking for a mosaic or a beautifully painted piece, you will find plenty of shops in Jerusalem and all over Israel that sell Armenian pottery.
Kippah Jewish Souvenirs
A Kippah is a brimless hat, often made of cloth that is worn by jewish men and boys to cover their head. Some will wear it all the time, and some will just wear it during prayer. It signifies that God is above them and is a way to always honor him.
You will see Hanukkah Menorahs all over Israel and they make a great Israeli souvenir to bring back from your trip! They come in all shapes and sizes and some are just decorative while others can actually be used.
A Note on Taking Religious Items to Jordan or Other Muslim Countries: If you are visiting Jordan after Israel, I do NOT suggest that you bring any Jewish religious items to Jordan. Whether it is a menorah, a star of David or even a small Israeli flag, they are often confiscated by Jordan customs and you are required to return them back to the Israel side and surrender them (Jordan customs refuses to take possession of them). It can make for a big headache when crossing the border, especially the border crossing at King Hussein Bridge where you are bussed from one crossing to another.
When visiting Israel, there are so many amazing foods to try! One of my favorites is halva! They have so many flavors in the local markets, you might need to sample more than one! Israeli Halva is made from sesame seeds and you will not find better tasting anywhere else.
Another popular thing to try is all of the breads! What they call a “bagel” a long sesame seed covered bread is delicious! Dates and other dried fruits are very popular and fruits and juices are prolific around the local markets in places like Jerusalem.
When you are in the land of milk and honey, honey is one of the things you should buy in Israel. It is produced in local farms and kibbutz and goes great on a toasted bagel. Ensure you place it in your checked luggage when you fly out of Israel due to liquid rules on airplanes.
Israeli Zaatar (or Zatar) spice is made up for sumac, oregano, toasted sesame seeds, thyme and salt. it is commonly stirred into olive oil and baked on bread. It is hard to miss and you will find it at breakfast buffets, in markets, and sprinkled all over a variety of foods. You can buy it at any market to bring home from Israel. You can also find this spice more and more at home, but I have never found anything remotely close to what you can find in the Middle East.
Dates have been a staple food in the Middle East for thousands of years. The Middle East and North Africa are the main producers of dates. Mejool dates are a large, succulent date and are cultivated in Israel (and other nearby countries). Dates are mentioned in the Bible and the Quran. These are one of the popular edible souvenirs from Israel to bring home and make a great gift or something to share with friends and family.
Israeli Wine is gaining popularity worldwide and you can find over 200 boutique wineries throughout Israel. Both wine magazines and travel magazines are recommending Israel’s wines as some of the best around.
With lands filled with Olive trees, it makes sense to bring home some of that flavorful olive oil from Israel.
All over Israel, you can find fresh squeeze pomegranate juices. You can also bring some pomegranate items home with you to share with your friends and family.
Where to Buy?
If you are looking for some places to buy things from Israel, in Jerusalem, check out Ben Yehuda Street.
In Tel Aviv, Nahalat Binyamin Crafts is open Tuesdays and Friday, and museum shops offer lots of unique Israeli souvenirs and gifts as well
Further Israel Travel Planning
Do not let your travel planning end here, check out some more resources for planning the perfect trip to Israel.
Books to Read on Israel
Click on the books below to read more about each one
Save on Air BNB
If you are planning on booking an Air BNB during your trip to Israel (or anywhere for that matter), use this link to save on your booking.
Planning a Visit to Jordan as well?
If you are also planning a trip to Jordan, check out What to Buy in Jordan. I also have a comprehensive post on choosing the right Jordan tour for your trip as well as popular posts on how to get around. One of the most popular is how to get from Amman to Jerusalem.
Travel Insurance for the Middle East
There are a few other things to think about when it comes to travel. The first thing is travel insurance. Whether it is an emergency room visit for something as simple as strep throat, or an emergency appendix surgery, or an unfortunate moped incident things do go wrong when people travel every day.
I highly suggest travel insurance and a good policy. I personally never travel without it, and I even checked into my policy about care for my children if I am ever in an accident or hospitalized. There are just too many things to think about.
You can find out more information and buy your travel insurance here.