Jaffa Old City and Port
A short walk south along the coast from downtown Tel Aviv brings you to the old Arab port town of Jaffa, with its preserved acropolis remains and well-restored stone architecture. Much of the original bazaar area is now home to restaurants and artisan boutiques. It's particularly lively in the evening when the old town throngs with diners. The flea market here is the major attraction for visitors, full of the hubbub of a genuine souk, while St. Peter's Monastery and the Old Port area itself are also not to be missed. Compared to the big-city hustle of Tel Aviv, Jaffa is a wonderfully tranquil place for a stroll that, despite serious gentrification, still retains its old-fashioned charm.
Tel Aviv Beaches
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Tel Aviv is defined by its coastal position. The beaches attract tourists and locals alike. On weekends, Tel Aviv's strips of sand are crowded with sun-worshippers, posers and people just chilling out. The most popular sandy stretches are centrally-located Gordon Beach, Frishman Beach, and Banana Beach where you'll find excellent facilities such as fresh-water showers, sun loungers and sunshades for rent. The Tayelet (paved boardwalk) that runs along the beach between central Tel Aviv and Jaffa is prime evening promenading territory and is lined with plenty of cafés and restaurants allowing an easy entire day at the beach.
Tel Aviv Museum of Art
A leading light in Israel's contemporary art scene, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art contains works by Degas, Monet, Van Gogh, Henry Moore, Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and the world's largest collection of work by Israeli artists. A particular highlight is the collection of Alois Breyer early 20th-century prints and architectural renderings of Ukrainian wooden synagogues, all of which were destroyed during World War II. The ultra-modern building, with its sophisticated architecture, houses and highlights the artworks perfectly. As well as the permanent collection, the museum hosts regular temporary exhibits and other events.
New York has Central Park, London has Hyde Park, and Tel Aviv has it’s very own Hayarkon Park. The popular green lung (also known as Ganei Yehoshua Park) is nestled in the north of the city with the Yarkon River running through it. Swathes of joggers, cyclists, dog walkers and young mothers taking a stroll, pack the park every day, making it come alive with its own unique personality. Pitch a spot on the grass and spend the day basking in the sun while watching the beautiful people of Tel Aviv go by – something we definitely recommend.
Tel Aviv is world-famous for its unique collection of Bauhaus architecture. Brought to Israel by German Jews and embraced by local designers, most of the UNESCO-recognised ‘White City’ homes are in central Tel Aviv. Take a walking tour of Tel Aviv’s architectural landmarks and seek out the stunning Pagoda building and historic Bialik Square, where you can see Tel Aviv’s first town hall as well as the homes of Chaim Bialik, its national poet, and Reuven Rubin, one of its most famous painters.
Tel Aviv Port
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In 2001 the Tel Aviv Port, known locally by its Hebrew name Namal Tel Aviv, was completely revamped to the tune of NIS 100 million, becoming one of the biggest attractions in Tel Aviv. The wooden wave-shaped deck is replete with stores, cafes, bars and leisure centers. Even if you don’t fancy dining, shopping or drinking, just walking around to soak up the atmosphere and ocean spray is well worth the time.
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One of Tel Aviv’s oldest neighbourhoods, Neve Tzedek is now a trendy hub of fashion stores and cultural institutions. Grab a cone at Anita – one of the city’s best ice-cream shops – and get lost in the picturesque streets of the area, stopping off at art galleries along the way. Dallal is a great place to have lunch. Take a private tour with a local guide to experience a different side of the neighbourhood. Visit quaint HaTachana market shops, chow down on traditional Israeli foods, soak up the history of Tel Aviv and nearby Jaffa, and wander around Neve Tzedek landmarks.
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Residents flock to the hill in Independence Park to enjoy the most scenic and romantic sunset spot in Tel Aviv. Located next to the Hilton Hotel in the north of the city, the hill overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and is the perfect place to complete a day of exploring. Bring some wine and chill out on the grass while enjoying the live music (usually on weekends).
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One of Tel Aviv's most atmospheric neighbourhoods, the Yemenite Quarter is full of meandering alleyways lined by old-style architecture that has withstood the area's gentrification. It was first settled by Yemenite Jews in the early 20th century, and the original feel of the closely-packed streets is still very much alive. The neighborhood backs onto Carmel Market - busy, colorful, full of fresh produce, and Tel Aviv's answer to Jerusalem's famous Mahane Yehuda Market. If you're hungry in Tel Aviv and want a cheap meal, this is the place to head.
Carmel Market (Shuk HaCarmel)
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Sandwiched between Allenby Street to the north and HaKovshim Park to the south, the buzzing Carmel Market is the largest open-air marketplace in the city. Here, crowds converge on stalls that sell everything from colorful spices to knock-off sunglasses. This is a great place to stop for picnic supplies before heading to the beach.
Within a few minutes of exploration, you'll be engulfed by the hustle and bustle of Carmel. Various vendors try to serenade you with songs of pricing and claims about their merchandise. Previous visitors say that shopping here can be a bit of a stimulation overload, but the experience is definitely a net positive.
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As the very first street built in the city, Rothschild Boulevard occupies a central place in the history of Tel Aviv and is home to numerous architectural landmarks. Start at the southern end, on the corner of Herzl Street, to find Tel Aviv’s first coffee kiosk built in 1910 (now operated by Espresso Bar). Head northwards, and admire Levin (or Heseg) House at number 46, a beautiful building with a tumultuous history built in the 1920s in the Eclectic Style. Then check out Engel House, at number 84, which is among the most important Bauhaus landmarks in Tel Aviv. Why? It was the first to be built on stilts – now a hallmark of many Bauhaus buildings in the city and a great example of the unique adaptations made by the design school’s graduates here. After exploring by day, experience a different side of Rothschild Boulevard on a guided pub crawl, where you’ll get to enjoy the nightlife, meet other travellers and residents and enjoy drinks along the way.