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Tel Aviv Things to do & Attractions

For those wanting to visit "the sites" in Tel aviv, there is no shortage of attractions and things to do waiting to be explored in this energetic, cultural city. Shopping opportunities, historical sites, dive centers and archaeological locations make for days upon days of enjoyment in this buzzing metropolis.

Those looking to explore Tel Aviv with a bit of retail therapy, Hatachana is the perfect fusion of history, as the old railway station of Tel Aviv, and modernity, with the renovation that turned it into one of most enjoyable shopping centers in Tel Aviv. Shenkin Street offers a completely different shopping experience, with a positively bohemian feel to the street that is chock-full of shops, be they designer boutiques, jewelry stores, global brand shoe stores and far eastern clothing, to name just a few.

Those interested in a glimpse into the life of some of the people Tel Aviv is famous for, can visit Bialik House, the residence of the Israeli national poet, Haim Nahman Bialik which contains books, letters and works that Bialik received from Israel's finest artists, as well as personal items, his personal library and a children's room based on the well-known nursery rhymes that he wrote.  The Yitzchak Rabin Centre is also well worth a visit, which is dedicated to the history of society and democracy in Israel, Yitzchak Rabin's life and the legacy he left behind.

The Na Laga'at Centre, with it's truly special artistic experiences for the general public, presented by deaf and blind people, offers a unique opportunity for visitors to understand a fraction of what it means to live in this world without the senses of sight and hearing.
We have only touched upon some attractions in this city, there is so much more to see and do; the list is endless…
 

 


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Had enough of the city? Want a unique holiday experience? Look no further, Dive Tel aviv is a Tel Aviv company that specializes in private dives, private scuba diving instruction, underwater shoots (photo and video) and custom dives. All dives are done in small groups so as to provide maximum enjoyment, safety and quality.
If you're short on time, worry not! You can learn to dive in one of their private diving courses which take only five days! And for those who are certified in Open Water dives, you can earn your Advanced Diver status in a matter of two days. Certified divers can enjoy guided dives in a number of spectacular dive sites including Gordon Caves, Bird Head Canyon and the Sea Wolf Wreck.
For visitors with only a day to spare, there are magnificent sunrise and sunset dives which will provide an unforgettable experience. The instructors at the company know the best nooks and crannies that Tel Aviv has to offer.
Discover the magic of the underwater world with the experienced staff at Dive Tel Aviv. For more information email info@divetelaviv.com, phone +972-54-6627044
 




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The Mann Auditorium is located in the HaBima Square at the intersection of Rothschild Boulevard, Hen Boulevard, Dizengoff Street and Ben Zion Boulevard. It is one of the most sophisticated cultural facilities in the world and has hosted countless world-famous musicians and orchestras on its stage. The Auditorium hosts concerts and major cultural events.
The Mann Auditorium was opened in 1957 by the city of Tel aviv and the State of Israel after a trying four years of construction. The Auditorium is named after the chief benefactor, Frederic R. Mann of Philadelphia. The Auditorium was built, first and foremost, as the home for the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra and was built accordingly, with impressive acoustic conditions.
Alongside the Mann Auditorium is the Habima Theatre and the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art, so when visiting the HaBima Square, one can have a truly well-rounded cultural experience and visit all three of the city's main cultural venues.
There are a wide variety of performances on throughout the year and the central location of the Auditorium makes it a pleasure to get to. When visiting Tel Aviv, be sure to visit this fantastic cultural focal site.

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For all those Israeli history buffs out there, the Hagana Museum in Tel aviv is a place that must not be missed. The Museum is located on 23 Rothschild Boulevard and is beside the home of Eliyahu Golomb who was one of the founders of the Hagana, the pre-State Jewish military force that later evolved into the Israel Defense Force-the army of the State of Israel- in 1948.
The Hagana was established in 1920 and operated under the auspices of the Worker's Union (known as Histadrut in Hebrew) for the next decade. After the Arab riots at the end of the twenties, the Hagana became the official, secret military wing of the Zionist Jewish Agency and the National Jewish Committee of Palestine.
The Hagana was commanded by six public figures that were selected from across the political spectrum. The Hagana viewed  their main goal as providing security for the Jewish citizens and their property against the prevalent Arab violence.
The Hagana museum presents the history of the Israeli military from the time of the farm-field watchmen at the end of the nineteenth century, the creation of the Hagana in 1920, the Hagana's defense against the Arab uprisings in the twenties and thirties through to the Hagana' fight against the British in the 1948 War of Independence.
The first floor of the Hagana Museum is actually a biographical display of Eliyahu Golomb's life. The upper floors presents documents, photographs, multimedia presentations and actual objects from the period that all bring to life the thrilling story of the Hagana. The third floor is dedicated to showing visitors how the members of the Hagana would hide arms in farm machinery and how they would manufacture grenades and guns in Kibbutz workshops. In fact, there's  a homemade grenade with the letters USA stamped on it so if the Hagana member was caught with it on him, the British wouldn't suspect that it had been made locally. The joke is that the letters USA are the first letters of three Yiddish words meaning "our piece of work"!
Although the majority of the explanatory captions in the four-storey museum are in Hebrew, there are English-speaking interpreters who are more than happy to help.
 




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Kikar Magen David is translated to mean "Star of David Square" and refers  to a central public square in the city of Tel aviv. Over the past couple hundred years and especially since the State of Israel was established in 1948 and adopted it as it's flag, the Star of David has become synonymous with Judaism. I hear you ask why this symbol was chosen as the name of a central square in Tel Aviv though. In actual fact, this square is the intersection of six different areas and as the Star of David also has six points, the square was cleverly called Kikar Magen David.
Kikar Magen David is a popular tourist hot-spot and a mingling place for local Israelis and world-travelers. The square is not only an intersection of streets and areas, it is also an intersection of cultures as on one side one will find historical buildings and on the other fashion paradise. The six streets and areas that intersect here are King George, Shenkin, Allenby, Nachalat Binyamin, HaCarmel and the Carmel Market.
King George is a busy commercial centre, Shenkin is the one-and-only stop needed for fashion-crazy shopaholics, Allenby is both historical as well as being a hub of nightlife, Nachalat Binyamin's claim to fame is it's twice-weekly outdoor arts and crafts fair and HaCarmel Street is home to Tel Aviv's biggest marketplace, Carmel Market and makes for an exciting and fascinating visit. To be honest, Kikar Magen David is a fantastic starting point for a full day of touring and shopping in the heart of Tel Aviv!
 




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The American Colony is a neighborhood in Southern Tel aviv that was founded in the nineteenth century by American Evangelical Christians who sailed from Jonesport, Maine to Jaffa. It is sometimes referred to as the German Colony due to the fact that the original founders later sold the neighborhood to German Templars.
The neighborhood is strikingly different from any other area in Tel Aviv due to the wooden homes with gabled roofs. The houses were built by the group that arrived from Maine with wood they had bought with them and this explains the positively New England feel of the houses.
The Maine Friendship House sits in the heart of the American Colony, next to the 100-year-old Immanuel Church, at 10 Auerbach Street. The House was built in 1866 by the same group of American Christians who had immigrated to Israel out of the belief that it is their role to prepare the land for the Jews to return and therefore hastening the coming of the Christian Messiah. The house was restored in 2002 by Jean and Reed Holmes.
 




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Gan Meir is Hebrew for "Meir Park" and is named after Tel aviv's first mayor, Meir Dizengoff. The park is located between King George Street and Tchernichovsky Street in the centre of Tel Aviv. When you've had enough of the  hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv and need to up your green intake and even visit a small lake, pay a visit to Gan Meir.
Gan Meir is a very popular public park that has been open since 1944 and ever since has been enjoyed by people of all ages, as well as their canine companions, who are looking for a break from the urban jungle of Tel Aviv. The beautiful lake is covered with a number of varieties of water lilies and is a balm to the soul in today's fast-paced world. As it happens, Gan Meir was designed to be a miniature model of Israel and the lake represents the Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee.
If you're peckish, you can grab something to eat at one of the many fast food shops in the area around the park, or even from somewhere in the nearby Dizengoff Centre, and eat it al fresco in the peaceful surroundings of Gan Meir.
 




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Gan HaHashmal, a once declining Tel aviv neighborhood, has been transformed into one of the hippest, desirable locations for fresh, new designers. The neighborhood was named after Israel's first central power plants which was opened in the early twenties. The neighborhood blossomed in the pre-State years, only to fall into decline in the seventies following the closing down of the very power plant that is its namesake. Come the twenty-first century and this neighborhood, located between Allenby, Yehuda Halevy, Barzilai and Hahashmal streets, awakened and became the hot-spot for Tel Avivian fashion designers.
The designers call themselves Collective Gan HaHashmal and pool marketing resources and information. The group are responsible for cultural events held throughout the year in the area such as live music, dancing, yoga, art exhibitions and, of course, shopping. Gan HaHashmal now boasts a couple dozen designer boutiques, quaint cafés, an organic Hummus eatery, restaurants and nighttime entertainment venues.
Some recommended favorites:
• Frau Blau is a wacky women's clothing store that successfully fuses radiant colors, playful patterns and femininity with a positively vintage edge.
• Daddy Gil's Organic Hummus is the perfect place for lunch- fresh Hummus accompanied by just-baked Pittas make for a classically Middle-Eastern treat.
• The Levontin 7 bar is the place to go for a lively night out, with a wide variety of musical performances.
• Eva Teffner, owned by Or Cohen, is an intriguing costume jewelry store that specializes in recycled pieces.
The streets of Gan Hahashmal buzz with shoppers in the day and revelers at night and is simply a must-see for fashion-loving visitors.
 




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Where can one go in Tel aviv to meet the likes of the national poet Haim Nahman Bialik, the illustrious public servant Shimon Rokach and the second Prime Minister of Israel, Moshe Sharet, to name just a few? These figures are no longer among the living I hear you say. Correct, but their final resting places are all located in the Trumpeldor Cemetery, a historic cemetery that is commonly known as the "Old Cemetery" and is located on Trumpeldor Street, southwest of Dizengoff Circle.
The cemetery was founded in 1902, is twelve dunams large and contains about 5,000 graves. The cemetery was originally built due to the cholera epidemic that hit Jaffa at the beginning of the twentieth century. The casualties of the epidemic were the first to be buried there and were followed by senior city members. In 1932 a new graveyard was built near the Nachalat Yitzchak neighborhood due to lack of room in the Old Cemetery and ever since then burials were no longer carried out in the Old Cemetery, apart from those of important figures or people who had purchased their lot a long time previously.
Although a visit to a cemetery probably won't head many people's lists, a tour around the Old Cemetery is an opportunity to meet, albeit posthumously, some of the leading figures in Israel from recent generations.
 




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The Luna Park in Tel aviv is an amusement park that opened in the early 1970s. Don't let the age of the place put you off; Luna Park still does its job well, offering a large number of attractions from the Ferris Wheel that has been turning for a good number of years to the frightening Anaconda- the roller coaster ride full of loops and sharp descents. Make sure to pay a visit to the startling Black Mumba ride too that drops visitors suddenly from a height of 65 meters. Then there's the Top Spin that spins you at 360 degrees; water slides; a pirate ship and other adventurous attractions to get that adrenalin pumping through your body. There are also rides that are suitable for younger children such as carousels, bumper cars and more.




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The Safari Park in Ramat Gan offers a fun day out for the family with 250 acres of animal life. A unique aspect of the Safari Park is that many of the animals roam around freely providing a refreshing experience of viewing the animals from up close without metal bars coming between you and the animals. The Safari Park is successful in breeding animals that it exports from all over the world! Another aspect of the Safari that is worth mentioning is the hospital it contains for injured wild animals- the Safari park really tries to do it's part when it comes to morality.

Visitors must remain in closed vehicles when on the eight-kilometer trail but a shorter walking trail can be taken. Among the animals that are found in the Safari Park are lions, elephants, ostriches, rhinos, giraffes, gazelles, zebras and much, much more. The Safari Park also contains a monkey enclosure and aviary and reptile centre.




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The Azrieli Centre is the biggest commercial centre in the entire Middle East and is made up of three buildings; one cylindrical, one a square cuboid, and one a triangular prism. On the forty-ninth floor of the cylindrical building is the highest observatory in the Middle East. The spectacular view stretches from Ashkelon in the south to Hadera in the north and on clear days one can see Jerusalem in the east!
Entrance to the Azrieli Observatory is via the third floor of the Azrieli mall which is situated in the cylindrical building and at the entrance admission is paid (20 NIS for adults). There is a speedy elevator to take visitors up to the forty-ninth floor and once there, one can rent telescopes and audio equipment to enhance the experience.
There is a restaurant on the forty-ninth floor called "2C" where one can enjoy phenomenal views of Tel aviv while dining. The restaurant is known for it's Kosher Mediterranean gourmet dishes that can be enjoyed from the highest perspective of Tel Aviv possible! For reservations call (03) 6081990.
In addition, there is  a souvenir shop, a 3D film about Tel Aviv in the early days and temporary art exhibits on the same forty-ninth floor.

 




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Ze'ev Jabotinsky was a Zionist leader and the founder of the Revisionist Movement and Betar. He was a writer, poet, publicist and translator who left behind a legacy as a visionary and inspirational leader who passionately fought for the establishment of the Jewish State and the return of the Jewish people.
The Jabotinsky Museum is located on the second floor of the Jabotinsky Institute and is dedicated to telling Jabotinsky's life story. Jabotinsky was the leader of the Etzel movement, which was the pre-State paramilitary force that fought against both the Arabs and British and there are also changing exhibitions on the lower floor of Museum that deal with different aspects of the movement's history.
 The exhibitions at the Museum are exciting with both audio and visual material, as well as items from the time period. The two current exhibitions on display are "Ze'ev Jabotinsky- A Historical Life Span" and "The National Sport- the Af-Al-Pi Illegal Immigration".
Extensive educational activities are available at the Jabotinsky Institute, such as video and DVD films on Etzel's history, afternoon activities on Zionism and Israel for new immigrants from FSU and Ethiopia and lectures and seminars that are open to the public.
Be sure to pop in to the Jabotinsky Institute when passing through Tel aviv to learn more about this captivating character, the Etzel movement and the time period that he lived in.
 




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Yitzhak Rabin was twice Prime Minister of Israel, Defense Minister and Commander in Chief during the Six Day War. On the 4th of November 1995, in his second term of office as Prime Minister, Rabin was assassinated at the end of a Peace Rally he attended in Tel aviv by a fellow Israeli who radically opposed his political views. The murder shook the nation and left it questioning how such a disaster could take place in a democratic country.
The rally that Rabin attended on the night he was killed was held in Kings Of Israel Square in Tel Aviv, the largest public city square in Tel Aviv. After Rabin died, the square was renamed Rabin Square and ever since then has been the site  of political rallies, demonstrations and  exhibitions. The Yitzhak Rabin Monument was also built in the north-easterly corner of the square where Rabin was shot.  A small legacy wall for Rabin makes up part of the memorial and a small amount of the graffiti drawn on nearby walls by mourning young people after the murder still remains to this day.
The square is located south of the City Hall on Ibn Gabirol and at the top of the stairs leading  to the City Hall entrance is engraved in Hebrew, Arabic and English Rabin's last speech from the rally. Every Friday, even now, over a decade later, a small group who call themselves "the peace guards" gather at this spot at noon to pay respect to the much-missed leader.
On the northern side of the square there is another memorial sculpture- that of Israeli artist Yigal Tumerkin- in memory of the Holocaust victims. The monument is an inverted pyramid fashioned from rusty metal and glass.
The Yitzhak Rabin Monument is a must-see for any visitor; it serves as a sad reminder of the event that effectively changed Israeli history and the peace process.
 




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The Independence Hall Museum is where the members of the National Council, who were members of the Jewish settlements and the Zionist movement, gathered on the momentous Friday 5th of Iyar 5708, 14th of May, 1948 to sign the Scroll of Independence. On this day, David Ben Gurion, the Chairman of the Zionist Movement, proclaimed the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel and the Jewish people saw the miraculous return to their homeland after a long exile of two millennia.
The Museum was actually originally the house of Meir and Zina Dizengoff, who acquired the plot of land on which they built the house in a lottery in 1909. The lottery was for plots of land in the new Jewish neighborhood of Ahuzat Bayit, that was later re-named Tel aviv. Meir Dizengoff later became the first mayor of Tel Aviv. After his wife died in 1930, Meir Dizengoff donated his house to Tel Aviv who  opened the Tel Aviv Museum of Art there in 1932. In 1948, the declaration of the State of Israel took place in the museum's hall. The Museum of Art changed location in 1971 and the renovated Independence Hall opened to the public in 1978.
Today, the Dizengoff House serves as a Biblical Museum and a section of the house serves as a Museum of Zionism. The Independence Hall is preserved as it was on that historical day that the State of Israel was declared. Most of the exhibits in the hall are original, some have been reconstructed in an attempt to take visitors back in time to that incredible event. The names of those present at the ceremony are displayed, and the portrait of Herzl, along with the two long Israeli flags that hung on the wall, still do so today. Visitors can also hear an original recording of the ceremony and see a sixteen-minute film describing the events of the period and the history of the place.
 




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The Rokach House Museum is located in the picturesque Neve tzedek neighborhood and was one of the first houses built in Neve Tzedek. Shimon Rokach was an illustrious public servant and was behind the construction of Neve Tzedek, which was the first neighborhood built outside of Jaffa's walls and the starting point for the buzzing Tel aviv metropolis of today. Rokach was dedicated to improving the living conditions and welfare of the Jewish new immigrants.
The Rokach House was designed by an Austrian architect and was visited by people from all over the country on account of it's unusual dome. It was one of the first ten houses built in Neve Tzedek and today serves as a historic site and museum. Neve Tzedek has seen some very hard years before it became the hippy neighborhood it is today, and at one point in the eighties the Rokach House was even slated for demolition. Rokach's granddaughter, Lea Majaro-Mintz, an artist and pioneer of restoration projects in Tel Aviv, took legal action that resulted in the private restoration of her grand-father's house.
The Rokach House Museum today operates as a private museum, displaying Majaro-Mintz's works, as well as serving as a venue for unique cultural events, such as concerts and Hebrew lectures. Space is limited so  one should reserve places and keep in mind that credit cards aren't accepted.
Majaro-Mintz's most famous sculptures are those of the female figure, featured not as sexual or beautiful, but rather as tired creatures who have to juggle careers and child-rearing in the modern world. The exhibits of Majaro-Mintz are accompanied by Hebrew explanations.
As well as the sculptures, there is furniture, household goods, clothing and photographs from the early days of Tel Aviv, as well as a short film that is available in English on the history of the neighborhood.
 


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