Israel is a unique country with a rich culture, attracting tourists with its many historical attractions. Local souvenirs are also unique. They are no meaningless and unnecessary trinkets. This is the main distinguishing feature of most things that can be brought from Israel.
We have collected tips for you that will greatly facilitate gift shopping in Israel.
Israeli stores accept dollars. But if you buy in shekel, Israel’s local currency you will get better rates!
T-shirts, magnets, key chains, cups and the like are standard souvenirs sold everywhere: in shopping centers, small shops, markets.
Approximate prices for traditional souvenirs (in shekels):
- T-shirts with the emblem “Star of David”, with the inscription “Jerusalem” or “Israel” – from 60;
- magnets in the form of small icons, with the depicted sights – from 8;
- trinkets – from 5.
Items from religious paraphernalia
Israel for believers is the Holy Land of the Promised, and religious people will certainly find here many valuable relics. This is equally true for Christians, as well as for those who profess Judaism and Islam.
Minor (menorah) and Hanukkah are candlesticks, the oldest symbols of Judaism.
Minora is designed for 7 candles, it serves as a symbol of Divine protection and Miracle.
Chanukah is for 8 candles – by the number of days in Hanukkah. In the center of Hanukkah there is another nest for a candle, from which it is customary to light 8 others.
Candlesticks are made of metal, and the nests for candles are usually ceramic or glass. The price depends on what metal was used to make the candlestick. The most inexpensive products can be purchased for 40 shekels ($ 10).
Travelers who have visited the Holy Land give advice to buy such candle holders not in souvenir shops, but in religious shops. There they are a little cheaper.
Talit is a rectangular cloak that is used in Judaism as a robe for prayer. The size is standard (1 mx 1.5 m), and the fabric can be different: cotton, linen, silk, wool.
Such a robe is worth $ 16.
The icon from Israel for believers is not a souvenir, but a deeply revered shrine. In stores at churches they sell consecrated Christian icons, prices for which start from $ 3.
In addition to the well-known icons, there is one very special one that can be brought from Israel to Russia. It is called the Holy Family and has special veneration among Israeli Christians. The image of the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus Christ and husband Joseph the Betrothed is intended to serve as a reminder of the inviolability of the marriage bond and protect the family hearth, bless for advice and love.
Kipa is a small round cap worn by Jewish men. The choice of bales is huge: sewn from material, knitted from threads, with or without religious ornament.
Such a hat can be brought as a souvenir from Israel to a familiar man.
Prices are approximately the following (in shekels):
- simple bales – from 5;
- models with a beautiful complex ornament – from 15.
Most pilgrims try to bring candles from the Holy Land. At the same time, it is important that they pass the rite of sanctification, that is, the burning of the Holy Fire. Such advice would be appropriate here: directly in Jerusalem, buy a torch of 33 candles and conduct a ceremony with him.
The cheapest bunch of 33 paraffin candles costs 4 shekels ($ 1), of wax candles – about 19-31 shekels ($ 5-8).
Oil – olive oil or any other oil with added incense, which has undergone the process of consecration. People believe that oil gives health, fills with energy.
Fir trees are sold in small bottles, prices in shekels start from 35.
What can be brought from Israel as a gift to almost every person is a product with the Star of David – an ancient symbol of the Jewish people in the form of a six-pointed star.
The most popular product is a chain with a pendant in the shape of the Star of David. The cost of such a souvenir is determined by the value of the metal from which it is made. Simple and cheapest pendants (5-10 shekels) are offered everywhere.
Hamsa (Hand of the Lord) – an ancient talisman, designed to protect from the evil eye, used in Judaism and Islam.
Hamsa has the appearance of a downward facing palm, and it is absolutely symmetrical, since the little finger replaces the other thumb. In the center of the palm is the image of the eye.
Hamsa can be brought as an amulet for a home or a car, or you can buy a small keychain for $ 2-3. The amulet is also sold in the form of jewelry: a simple bracelet or pendant will cost from $ 0.5, silver and gold jewelry, of course, more expensive.
If such an amulet is needed as a gift to the child, listen to this advice: bring a keychain or pendant made of bright colorful rubber. Each souvenir shop offers such products specifically for children.
Another item that causes constant interest in almost everyone who visits Israel is cosmetics produced here. Lipsticks and shades of unique shades, effective anti-aging creams, pleasant scrubs, medicinal serums, shampoos of various types are a huge choice, and it is up to you to decide which cosmetics to bring from Israel for yourself or as a gift.
Israeli cosmetics has a number of characteristic features. Of course, this is excellent quality and high efficiency, which are provided by a unique natural composition. Almost all types of cosmetic products contain water, salt or mud from the Dead Sea, as well as an extensive complex of various vitamins. Natural ingredients and the lack of flavorings are the reason that the appearance and smell of products are often not very pleasant. A short shelf life (on average from 6 months to 1 year) is attributed by many to disadvantages, although this can be considered an advantage: after all, this indicates the naturalness and lack of preservatives.
Given all the above about Israeli cosmetics, you can safely give such advice: a jar of shampoo or healing mud can be a very good gift from Israel.
Well-known brands are: Barbara Wolf, Dead Sea Premier, Sea of life, Ahava, Gigi, Golden Age, Egomania, Anna Lotan, Biolab, Angelic, Danya Cosmetics, Mineral Beauty System, Fresh Look and Sea of SPA.
There are both inexpensive cosmetic products, and “elite”. On the coast, any such product is more expensive, and in duty-free, although cheaper, the range is much worse. Estimated minimum prices:
- cream – $ 2;
- scrub with salt – $ 16-17;
- salt of the Dead Sea – $ 8-9;
- mask for the scalp – $ 2;
- mud of the Dead Sea – $ 2.5-10.
Professional cosmetologists give mixed advice: purchase any cosmetics in pharmacies or stores opened at factories (Ahava and Sea of life). This will protect against the purchase of non-genuine goods.
Popular Israeli jewelry
Jewelry created in Israel is in constant demand among fans of everything beautiful and valuable.
And now, advice to wealthy tourists what to bring from Israel. Of course, diamonds or jewelry with them! Although this country does not engage in diamond mining, diamonds are more affordable here than in Russia or European countries.
This is explained by the fact that the famous Diamond Exchange is located in Tel Aviv! The stones themselves or products with them (together with the corresponding passports) can be profitably purchased at the offices of the Diamond Exchange in any major city.
Valuable advice from experienced tourists: during the next tour to Israel, a boring thing with a diamond can be returned and another product obtained (of course, with a surcharge).
Malachite, chrysocolla, turquoise – these minerals are very beautiful, but their combination is simply fantastic. And the Eilat stone, which is also called the stone of Solomon, is precisely the natural combination of these gems.
Jewelers combine it with silver or Israeli lemon gold, creating beautiful rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, cufflinks, tie holders.
At a factory in Eilat (address: Israel, Eilat, 88000, Eilat, Haarava St. 1), processed Eilat stone is offered at $ 2 per 1 gram. For $ 30 you can buy a small pendant, the ring will cost at least $ 75.
The stone was mined near the Eilat Gulf in the Red Sea, now the development of the deposit has stopped due to depletion of reserves. Therefore, the advice of jewelers to buy gizmos with Eilat stone is quite understandable, because they become really unique!
Antiques and ceramics
Fans of antiques will definitely consider that it is necessary to bring some ancient little thing as a souvenir from Israel. You need to purchase antiques only in those stores that have the appropriate license.
Please note that under Israeli law it is forbidden to export antiques made before 1700. Such items can only be removed with written permission from the Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem. In this case, you will have to pay an export duty in the amount of 10% of the price of the product. Management is not responsible for the authenticity of things!
By the way, not only antique ceramics deserve attention – as a good souvenir you can bring home painted Armenian dishes. In order not to take fake goods – and there are a lot of merchants in any market – experienced tourists give advice on going to the Armenian quarter in Jerusalem. In many workshops, true craftsmen offer not only to purchase unique painted dishes, but also to look at the process of its creation.
One of the best gifts from a trip to a foreign country has always been considered food. The following are tips on what to bring edible from Israel, because there really is plenty to choose from.
Dates here are large (even huge), fleshy and very juicy. Of the 9 varieties that are cultivated here, the “Madzhhol” and “Deglet Nur” are considered the best. Fresh dates in packs are packed in 0.5 kg packages, ranging from 22 to 60 shekels.
If you want to surprise with your gift even more – bring dates with nuts inside. With such a filling, the price will be higher – from 90 shekels, but the taste is worth the additional cost.
To put it simply, hummus is mashed peas, in which it is added: olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, sesame paste. On the fan, but to eat for yourself and bring comrades is definitely worth it! Israelis make sandwiches with hummus, eat chips and nuts with it.
Having spent only 10 shekels ($ 2.7), you can buy a good edible gift – hummus in a jar with a volume of 0.5 liters or more.
Do not miss the important tip: hummus is a perishable product, so you need to buy it just before the flight. Moreover, it is sold everywhere, and at the airport.
You can bring home a sweet gift – natural honey: apple, citrus, eucalyptus, or the most popular date.
Honey is sold in specialized retail outlets and markets. If you make a purchase on the market, then, on the advice of experienced tourists, only on Carmel in Tel Aviv – they only offer genuine honey, not sugar syrup.
For 10 shekels you can take a jar of honey with a volume of 300 g – enough for a good souvenir.
Honey is considered a liquid product and must not be carried in carry-on baggage.
If you have not decided yet what to bring to Israel as a present to your dear people, think about coffee that has a refined taste and aroma thanks to the cardamom added to it.
Coffee with this spice is in every large store, and in the markets of Mahane (Jerusalem) and Carmel (Tel Aviv). Prices are about $ 16-18 per pack.
You need to choose such a gift very carefully: the pack should be airtight and only green, it should have a logo with a cardamom leaf on it.
Israeli wines are characterized by a too astringent taste, however, such a drink belongs to the category of universal and very good gifts.
There are more than 150 wineries of various sizes in the country. The following wine brands are valued all over the world: Yatir Wineri, Flam Wineri, Sas Wineri, Barkan.
The greatest demand among tourists is pomegranate wine Rimon – the only one in the world for the production of which only pomegranate is used.
Following the advice of experienced travelers, you need to look for wines directly at the winery – there the prices are lower than the store ones. Estimated cost of the bottle (in the currency of Israel):
- Wine of King David’s (King David’s wine) – from 50.
- Currant wine – about 65.
- Rimon (pomegranate) – from 100.
When planning to bring such a gift, you need to consider: according to Israeli law, it is allowed to export alcoholic beverages in the amount of not more than 2 liters per person.
A few useful tips in addition to all of the above:
- When buying gifts and souvenirs, keep checks. If the purchase is worth more than $ 100, it is possible to return VAT. But for food, VAT is not refundable.
- When planning what to bring from Israel and where to buy it, keep in mind that on Shabbat (Saturday) almost all outlets are closed.