Saturday, January 14, 2017

Ramla's Market

Markets and bazaars are not what they used to be, and yet, they attract lots of people through their variety of items, good deals, colorful atmosphere, and fun.

The market of Ramla town is considered
 one of the oldest, most authentic, and cheapest markets in Israel. 

the place hasn't always been sheltered

Ramla, a central little town near Tel-Aviv, characterized by a mixed population of jews, arabs, christians, karaites - has quite a few historical and religious sites (see my post on the White Tower, for instance). It also has a museum with a hoard of real gold coins, attractions such as the Pool of Arches (where one can sail in a little boat below ground), and a grave of a british soldier ,named...Harry Potter.

Yet, the fame of Ramla comes from its market-  located in the town's Old City, in the area between  the central bus station ,the big Mosque, the museum, and the President's garden.

                                      the Great Mosque

the President's garden

If you're looking for some fine spices, ethnic food, hummus eateries, fresh fruit and vegetables, dried fruit,  nuts, household items, clothing, arab style antiques  - this market is the place.

apples, lemons, onions, potatoes, tomatoes

ripe bannanas

avocado, tomatoes, potatoes



dried fruit, nuts, almonds, spices


shoes'  shop

household items

Many come here for a culinary experience to sample some turkish bourekas, tunisian sandwich, or "wipe" some hummus off the plate in a 'hole in the wall' type of eatery ('hole in the wall' - not my original expression , I borrowed it from somewhere, but I like it; it's almost accurate). Several bakeries provide bread, pita, rolls, and pastry to those many customers who're shopping around .

"hole in the wall" eatery of tunisian sandwiches

eatery providing various ethnic dishes


What caught my eye, even more than the displayed merchandise, were people standing in line, reading  texts, talking on the phone, or having a friendly chat in the middle of the main market street. See photos below:

reading (?) while in line to buy products

on the phone, what else

muslim girls  chatting near a juice selling stall

I went there on Wednesday. It was a very sunny, warm day. In fact, the sun was beating mercilessly (the nights are still freezing). The sun's hitting combined with the vendors' shoutings made me feel dizzy at times.

strong sun

On Wednesdays there are actually two markets - the usual, daily market along Jabotinsky street , and in addition, at a short distance,  an open market which is a mixture of cheap clothing/ household items, and a flea market. The latter, a sort of enclave, is not easy" to navigate"; the surface is not flat, and one walks up and down on earth, sand and pebbles.

cheap clothing

household items on the ground

muslim women with shopping bags

flea market       (I like  the woman's braid)


It was a tiring day, but nevertheless one of good experience in shopping and social diversity. Markets are still an important meeting point of the rich and the poor, the young and the old, the religios and the secular ,the natives and the newcomers - all looking for a bargain.


  1. I do love a market, especially when I'm on holiday. I love to see what local people can buy, especially the fruit and vegetables, which always seem much more interesting than what's on offer in the restaurants.

  2. Hi Z,

    I'm sure everyone likes a market.It's not only a place where goods are sold, exchanged,evaluated and priced - but also a wonderful place of human interaction.

  3. Duta, "hole in the wall" places are usually very charming, good eats, and owned by family members or one person, not chains. They are my favorite places to eat because they provide a cozy atmosphere, and they generally welcome you with a friendly nature. This market place in Israel sounds great with many vegetables and interesting things to buy. The bakeries with the bread and pastries sound wonderful. I'd love to try those Turkish bourekas. We have a BIG market place in our town, and people from all over California come to spend the day there.

    Have a pleasant and relaxing weekend, Duta.


  4. Red Rose Alley,

    Oh, those turkish(cheese) bourekas; they are a "disaster" for people like me who try to maintain normal weight. One just can't have only one boureka.
    In America everything is big, so I guess the markets are big too.

  5. Lots of markets here in France, but we produce too much of our produce for me to go shopping in them!

  6. Vera,

    If you're not a local, you'll usually wish to explore the environment which, in this case, offers a nice garden, a museum, a mosque, a church and other sites of interest - not only commercial and food items. So, it's worth visiting the market.

  7. Hello Duta. What a great post. I am fond of markets, especially when I'm on holiday. I love to see locals and buy traditional things too.

  8. The Reader's tale,

    Thank you. I have yet to see someone who doesn't like them. We all like markets. A visit to the market charges us with good energy and positive feelings.

  9. The first market is so flourishing, plenty of food! The second is ok like a normal market.....glad there are markets for good food!

  10. I always love looking at your pictures and the ones of the fruits and vegetables were amazing. The size of those carrots in the plastic containers!! Wow! You would only need one to make a soup.

    I bet you did have a great day, thank you for sharing it with us!

  11. Kim@stuff,

    The first has plenty of ..everything, but of course, nutrition comes first. The additional wednesday market focuses on clothing, houseware, and bric-a-brac only. No food.

  12. Alice,

    Thank you.
    Me, I keep away from big, oversized legumes and fruit as their size might indicate genetically engineered products.

  13. You have amazung travels! I love this spot!!!!
    (ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

  14. Jenn Jilks,

    I love the spot too, but only once in a while. I have all that I need, and relatively cheap, nearer to home. Nevertheless, it's not only the merchandise that attracts but the whole market experience with its sights, smells and sounds.

  15. I love markets. We have more garage/rummage sales in the states than we do markets, but we seem to be catching on. I think they are such fun places to socialize.


  16. Bee Lady,

    Indeed, garage sales seem to take over in many places; still the market - the open or semi-open market will not vanish, especially not in the warmer countries and in those countries with a long 'market' tradition.

  17. I loved reading through this Duta, mainly because the market has a feel of the heart of the people. It sounds like a lively place, busy, unique with so many different people. I love these kinds of places from the vendors to the people shopping. We have one an hour away from me that is Mennonite run and people come from everywhere. It's a wonderful experience going there. Glad you went and enjoyed.

  18. Nikki(Sarah),

    No doubt, markets are a warm, joyful experience. The variety of goods and of vendors, the rich colors and smells attract people like magnet. And the old Ramla market 'does it' to me.

  19. I enjoy markets, and I love your last paragraph! What a great overview/summary of a marketplace. We have a 200 yr old open air farmer's market in our town, with booths of all kinds, not just fruits and veggies, everything form live chickens to trinkets.

  20. Linda O'Connel,

    Thanks for mentioning my last paragraph as a good summary of a marketplace. I guess the 200yr old market in your town is quite a place to visit and enjoy.

  21. I love those big olive piles. Thanks for the market tour. Our outdoor markets are seasonally on hold.

  22. Sharon Wagner,

    I like them too; 3-colors: green, black, purple - with and without pitts. Olives and olive oil are very popular in Mediterranean and Middle-eastern kitchens.

  23. I'm still in awe of the opportunities to experience different places and cultures on your blog.

  24. Jenn Jilks,

    Thank you for your kind words.

  25. Krystal//village,

    Indeed, shopping in the open air , with crowds of people and a multitude of smells and colors, can definitely give you a perfect kind of day.

  26. Wonderful photos, Duta, of Ramla market, its diversity in goods and cultural flair. So much to see and taste and enjoy. We have similar markets here, too, with the most beautiful fresh produce, clothing, shoes, housewares, etc. I always enjoy checking out the textile stall and have bought material in the past to sew curtains.

    Thanks for sharing and happy weekend,

  27. Poppy,

    Indeed, Crete has similar, if not better markets than this one. Last year, I visited Heraklion and surroundings, and I enjoyed 'market' shopping.
    Enjoy your curtains!