Israel Travel Guide: The Be'er Sheva Shuk (Be'er Sheva Bedouin Market)
The Beer Sheva market or shuk is an unusual and very interesting half day outing for tourists coming from any of the cities in the south of Israel. If you are staying at the Dead Sea (Ein Bokek or Ein Gedi), Dimona, Arad or Beer Sheva itself you will find a trip to the Beer Sheva Shuk a uniquely Middle Eastern experience.
The Beer Sheva shuk used to be called the Camel market and as little as 15 years ago you could still find Bedouin men bringing their animals to sell at the shuk. There also used to be many more Bedouin selling "interesting" kinds of tobacco and spices. These days you can still find the traditionally dressed Bedouin selling and buying in the Beer Sheva market but not as many as in the past. The Beer Sheva shuk is an excellent place to get a glimpse of the mixed cultures in Israel and to take some fantastic and exotic photos. Many vendors who cannot afford a stand spread their goods on the ground in front of them.
When to visit the Beer Sheva Market (Shuk)The Beer Sheva shuk takes place once a week on a Thursday, like any market it is always better to come early. Although the stalls at the Beer Sheva market are not the kind that would run out of bargains it is always better to see the market in the morning. Alternatively you can go at the end of the day and catch prices that have been slashed for an end of day sale. The problem with visiting the shuk at the end of the day is that some items will be finished and the fresh produce that is left will not be the best.
What to buy at the Beer Sheva Market (Shuk)
Among the food stalls are fresh olive and pickles as well as mounds of spices, some of which you may not have heard of. You can also buy a kind of stone (probably salt rock) which is burned to rid you of the evil eye! There is also the usual market selection of fruits, vegetables. Venture to the edges of the market to find Bedouin ladies in their traditional clothes sitting on the ground selling spices and other items.
Prices are really cheaper in the market what ever it is you are buying. We compared tableware, clothing, shoes and food, all were cheaper than the average Israeli high street.
How to get to the Beer Sheva Shuk
You can find the Beer Sheva Shuk on Derech Habron, Beer Sheva which is the road leading out of the city towards Eilat. The shuk is in a car park and is out in the open without any covered area.