While in Israel, many tourists make their way down to Jaffa at the southern end of Tel Aviv. And once in Jaffa they head towards the “Old City” as well they should. The area between the famous clock tower and the port is full of history, architectural delights, artist galleries and most of all great stories to hear. But if you don’t cross over Yefet street you’re really missing out.
Between Yefet St. and Sderot Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Boulevard) is one of the most interesting and fun places to spend a good few hours wandering around. Locals call the area “Shuk Hapishpeshim” But since that is almost impossible for any non-native Hebrew speaker to say with any confidence just call it what it is – The Flea-Market.
Most of the area was built during the Turkish Ottoman days before WWI. What started out as some small shops selling basic wares and food to pilgrims in the early 20th century has blossomed into what today is one of the most eclectic places in the country. There are many stores and stalls that sell a complete hodgepodge of items which you would not be able to find anywhere else. And even if you’re not in the market for a 200-year-old couch, a 50-year-old brass candelabra or a 1920’s dress- who cares! It’s just fun to walk around and see everything.
And lately the market has become home to quite a few upscale boutiques and eateries. Designer jewelry and clothes can be found among all the antiques. And when you just want to sit down and take it all in there are plenty of places to go and have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. So let me take you to both sides of Yefet street and introduce you to all of Jaffa.