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Suqs and Bazaars

Tour Category: 
Culture Tours of Jerusalem

Estimated time 3 – 4 Hours

Jerusalem is the city of trade, handicrafts, and souvenirs.  Hence, its markets have occupied the central axes, with shops and stores numbering in the thousands.  Throughout the ages, it has traded in various goods and commodities. Most of its markets are covered with barrel vaults, giving a special flavor of enjoyment to shopping.


Trail’s Character and Stations



This trail focuses on traditional and contemporary economic and commercial life in the Old City of Jerusalem, highlighting architectural monuments related to commercial activities, such as the Khans and the Bazaars, as well as describing the current effects of occupation on the city’s markets and industries. It is an enjoyable trail, but requires perseverance and tolerance, given that most Suqs are narrow alleys that are crowded with peddler stands and frequented by many small carts. It is difficult to plan this walk for large groups or children, as they may scatter if the call for shopping takes over their better judgment. Despite these precautions, Suqs exhibit daily social activity, portraying memories, historical flavors, oriental variety, and an uniqueness rarely found in other places. One cannot but mention Jerusalem’s famous sesame bread (Ka’ak bsumsum), Zalatimo’s sweet pastry (Mutabbaq), Ja’far’s cheese pastry (Knafeh), al-‘Amad’s dense sweet confection, halva (Halaweh), Abu Shukri’s hummus, coffee and tea in Suq al-Qattanin, lounging in al-Dabbagha and Aftimos Suq, and the spices of Suq al-Attarin. It is recommended to start the trail at the northern end of Suq Khan al-Zait and conclude it at Suq al-Qattanin near al-Aqsa Mosque. In other words, this trail is concentrated in the heart and center of the Old City.


The trail requires 3 – 4 hours, depending on the pace of sightseers. Its stations are:


1- Suq Khan al-Zait

2- Suq Aftimos and Al-Dabbagha

3- The Bazaar and Suwaikat al-Husur (Straw Mats)

4- The Three Suqs’ Roofs

5- Suqs of Lahhamin (Butchers), ‘Attarin (Spice traders) and Khawajat (well-off people and foreigners)

6- Khan al-Sultan

7- Suq Al-Qattanin