Wow – the legendary Carmel Market in Tel Aviv is heading for a makeover!

Carmel marketWe love the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv, one of Tel Aviv’s true must-sees and a great place to get a real taste of the real Israel!

The atmosphere and market stall holders are the highlights, and coupled with the amazingly fresh produce on sale, the Carmel Market really will give you one heck of an experience (as our Stephanie found out!).

But there is the ugly, stomach churning side to the market too, the one most tourists don’t often see on a quick stroll through the main market lane. We’re talking about the meat market alleyways, where animal parts spill out out on to the floor and you often have to dodge the chicken feet amid slippery blood-lined alleys. And then there’s the overbearing heat on a hot, summer’s day, which together with a packed market on a Friday morning is quite often more torturous than just an “experience”.

So we were happy to hear last week’s news that the Tel Aviv Municipality and the market traders have come to an agreement that allows the renewal of the area, including hotels, businesses and a huge underground car park. The market will stay of course, and become covered while being renovated at the same time.

Will it change the spirit and atmosphere of one of Israel’s greatest markets? We hope not.

Will it lose its Tel Avivness in search of some trendy modernization? We don’t think so.

It won’t be the same again of course, but progress is progress, and when you look at some of the projects in Tel Aviv that have gone for some renewal and modernization – including Tel Aviv Port and more recently HaTachana, the Old Station complex – then making the Carmel Market area even more inviting and modern can’t be such a terrible thing.

Renovations are planned to start in 2014.

Hopefully the scrunch of chicken feet underfoot will soon be just a distant memory…

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