11 Best Souvenirs from Israel to Remember Your Trip By

Israel is conveniently located to produce some of the best food and wine, as well as being one of the most spiritual places in the world. This makes souvenir shopping challenging as there’s so much you’ll want to take away with you. But I’ve narrowed down a list of the best souvenirs to buy in Israel to make it a little easier to decide.

Israel Tel Aviv

Israel, the Holy Land to Jews, Christians, and Muslims, offers a captivating mix of people, landscapes, landmarks and things to do. It’s a state with a controversial history, and one that many people flock to for holidays or religious pilgrimage. But no matter what reason you’re there, you’ll no doubt want to take a piece of it back home with you.

From Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to the Negev Desert to The Dead Sea, Israel has so many interesting cities and environments. This has made it the perfect place for cultivating all sorts of amazing spices and ingredients that are found in Israeli cuisine. It’s also known for therapeutic qualities, where the Dead Sea’s high salinity levels (34% compared to the typical ocean’s 3.5%) is found in lots of cosmetics and remedies.

And of course you’ll come across lots of historical artefacts and local traditions and customs that make for great activities – as well as souvenirs like ceramics and crafts.

A trip to Israel is more than just another trip abroad; it’s like travelling through different cultures, histories and religions all in one go. That’s why finding a way to remember your holiday there can be difficult, as there are so many things you could buy to take home. But here are the best souvenirs to buy in Israel that capture everything there is on offer there.

What souvenirs can you buy from Israel?

From food and wine to skincare products you can’t find anywhere else, these are the best Israel souvenirs to pick up on your travels.

1. Israeli wine

The climate of Israel means that the grape growth is very productive and has led to traditions of wine-making in the country which date back thousands of years. That’s why Israeli wine can be found across the world. However, it’s much more special if you actually buy a bottle there and bring it back rather than heading to your local wine shop at home. They produce brilliant varieties of reds, whites and roses so all tastes are catered for.

Israeli wine

If you are conscious of saving space in your luggage (and aren’t we all!) you could also opt for traditional corkscrews, wines toppers and even a wine glass from the region.

2. Olive oil from Israel

For the foodies and skin-care conscious, you’ll be happy to hear that Israel produces some of the finest olive oil in the world. It’s used all over their food, from fresh salads to dipping bread into. Plus some is cultivated in the Negev Desert, which just makes it even more unique.

Israeli olive oil

You can also use olive oil for nourishing the skin – it’s known for its great moisturising properties. This makes it one of the best souvenirs to buy from Israel, as it’s useful for everything. Just make sure it doesn’t spill in the luggage on the way home.

For particularly religious folks or even history lovers, choose olive oil grown and sourced in Galilee, then you can say you are enjoying the same olive oil as from biblical times.

3. Dead Sea skincare

Located in the Jordan Rift Valley, the famous Dead Sea is one of the most beloved tourist attractions in the region. The buoyancy of the Dead Sea (which is actually a lake) is far greater than other bodies of water due to it having one of the highest salt concentrations of any body of water in the world!

The salt concentration is so high that it prevents most aquatic life from thriving, hence the name ‘Dead’ Sea.

However, this means that you can float effortlessly – which is an amazing experience! But you can also take some of the benefits home with you! The mineral-rich mud has many health benefits and rejuvenating skincare properties.

people bathing in the Dead Sea, Israel, Palestinian Territories

You can take a touch of luxury with back home with you so you (and your skin) remember your trip to Israel. There’s lots to choose from, such as mud masks and exfoliating bath salts from the Dead Sea.

4. Judaica (historical items from Israel)

The Holy Land is the perfect place to buy all the beautiful traditional items needed for Jewish ceremonies. Mezuzahs, which affix to a doorpost and hold specific text from the Torah, are widely available, as are stunning menorahs which would be the perfect souvenir from Israel once Hanukkah comes around.

Judaica historical Jewish items are typical and the best souvenirs to buy in Israel

Hand-crafted candle holders are a heart-warming reminder of the traditions of the Jewish people which will continue to bring warmth to your house and heart when back from your travels. The best place to pick up such items is in the Old City of Jerusalem.

5. Olive wood carvings

The most impressive artisan-carved religious items are produced in Israel, made from their native and most celebrated olive wood. Ranging from religious crosses and figurines to the most venerated and gorgeous hand-made nativity scenes you will ever see, these glorious olive wood carvings are definitely one of the best souvenirs to buy from Israel. Not only are they beautiful but they celebrate the nation’s history, culture and traditions. 

Olive wood carvings from Palestine and Israeli region

Olive wood carvings aren’t just for religious followers though. If you would like to celebrate the magnificence of the artisan talents Israel has to offer, then more contemporary items are available too such as salad bowls, chopping boards and utensils.

This will certainly help you power through those cold nights back at home when preparing dinner, helping to transport you back to the Holy Land and infuse you dinner with happy memories.

6. Culinary delights

To go with your olive wood carved kitchen homeware, why not bring back some of the plethora of culinary delights Israel has to offer? You can also find some of the best food experiences in Tel Aviv and the rest of the country, meaning a food-based souvenir is a great idea!

za'atar is one of the local spices that make for the best souvenirs to buy in Israel

For anyone with a sweet tooth, dates must be the number one choice to bring back with you. Grown locally and embodying the wonderful sunshine of the region, they are as good, if not better, than any sweet treat I have ever had. They are available in a variety of forms from fresh to dried, from honeys to spreads, making them portable and easy to pack in that bulging return suitcase! 

Alternatively, spice up your life when back at home with some of Israel’s most fragrant tastes and textures via their herbs and spices. Za’atar is one I would recommend to add a savoury spice to your home cooking and Sumac, the deep red and tangy (some may even say sour) spice, which is very popular throughout the middle east.

Za’atar is used a lot with olive oil for dipping bread into, and sumac is found in salads like fattoush.

7. Spiritual reminders from Israel

With Israel housing many sites of religious and spiritual significance, buying something to remind you of this could make for an amazing souvenir.

shofar are typical in Israel

In locations such as Jerusalem and Bethlehem, you can find vials of holy water from the Jordan River or small containers of holy soil from sacred sites, allowing you to bring back a piece of the Holy Land with you. Hand-made prayer shawls, shofars and beautiful rosary beads are also available and would be a delightful, delicate and dignified way to celebrate Israel.

8. Armenian ceramics

There is a rich culture of ceramic making in Israel. The Armenian quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem has been a centre of culture and ceramics for centuries. The ceramics are known for their vibrant colours, floral motifs, geometric patterns and for honouring the heritage of the Armenian people.

Armenian ceramics are colourful and ornate

There are artisans making ceramics today who have had the skills passed down to them through their ancestors. Many of them have workshops in Jerusalem which make the most excellently crafted one of a kind pieces which is the perfect souvenir for any art lovers.

9. Diamonds from Israel

If diamonds are a girl’s best friend then the news that one of largest diamond exchanges in the world is situated just outside Tel Aviv should be music to your ears! Did you know that Israel is reported to export $7 billion dollars worth of diamonds a year?

Israel is known across the world for its exceptional diamond cutting and polishing skills and is now considered to produce some of the finest in the world. It might be one of the more expensive souvenirs from Israel, but it definitely makes for a good gift (even for yourself).

10. Handmade jewellery

If you are looking for a unique piece of jewellery, and one that celebrates the history and culture of the region, then you could opt for a handmade piece from one of the many artisan metalsmiths. Israeli jewellery draws inspiration from a wide range of cultural influences, such as Jewish, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and North African traditions, which intertwine to create distinctive pieces.

Eilat stone from Eliat in Israel

You could even go one step further and purchase jewellery that features the Eilat stone. The Eilat stone is the national stone of Israel. It is so named due to it first being mined in the southernmost city of Eilat. It’s turquoise in colour and whilst not deemed a precious stone, it is increasingly rare and therefore a top souvenir of Israel.

11. Textiles from Israel

Textiles like cloths, cushion covers and bedding are an excellent option to decorate your home to remind you of your time in Israel. Local artisans continue to practice techniques such as weaving, embroidery, and dyeing, preserving the cultural heritage of the country.

You might find it difficult to shove a whole woven rug in your luggage (without looking like you’re packing a dead body at least), but some smaller textiles make for the best souvenirs to buy in Israel.

Best souvenirs to buy in Israel

My list of Israel’s best souvenirs covers lots of things the nation is famous for producing, including wine, skincare, olive oil, textiles and more. It’s always nice to have something to look back on that shows the neighbourhoods or areas you’ve visited, so having a souvenir that represents local regions and different landscapes of Israel is great to look back on.

Exploring Israel 2015

You can bring home a piece of the Dead Sea’s magic, a touch of history and beauty with olive wood carvings, and even those dates that stole your heart (and taste buds).

Quicklist of souvenirs from Israel

  1. Israeli wines and utensils
  2. Olive oil
  3. Dead sea skincare
  4. Judaica
  5. Olive wood
  6. Culinary delights
  7. Spiritual reminders
  8. Armenian ceramics
  9. Diamonds
  10. Handmade jewellery
  11. Textiles

What is Israel famous for gifts?

You can find all sorts of gift ideas and souvenirs in Israel. These include skincare products crafted from the mineral-rich mud and salts of the Dead Sea. The region’s olive trees not only provide high-quality olive oil but also are the source of beautiful wooden crafts, from kitchenware to rosaries.

Judaica is another sought-after category, presenting items that resonate with Jewish traditions, such as menorahs, mezuzahs, shofars, and kippahs. Additionally, local artisans in Israel are known for crafting exquisite jewellery, often imbibed with biblical or traditional Jewish motifs. Alternatively, local wine is always a good idea!

What are cheap things to buy in Israel?

Israel might be perceived as an expensive travel destination, but it offers a variety of budget-friendly souvenirs. Try buying items such as local snacks or spices, such as za’atar and sumac. For a more traditional touch, there are souvenir keychains and magnets that often carry symbols like the Star of David or picturesque depictions of Jerusalem’s skyline.

What food souvenirs can you buy in Israel?

The Israeli culinary scene is diverse and vibrant, offering a range of food items that lots of visitors love to take back as souvenirs. Olive oil is one of the most popular, especially from the renowned olive-growing regions. Other food souvenirs from Israel include Tahini, the creamy sesame seed paste, and za’atar, the aromatic spice blend, and Medjool dates.

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