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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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The Jaffa Clock Tower is one of the seven clock towers built in Israel during the Ottoman period and stands three-stories high, topped with a multi-gabled roof. The other clock towers were built in Safed, Acre, Nazareth, Haifa, Nablus and Jerusalem and all, except for the one in Jerusalem, stand until this day. The Jaffa Clock Tower is one of Jaffa's landmarks and is located on Yeffet Street at the northern entrance of Jaffa, near to the Flea Market.
The tower is made of limestone, incorporates four clocks and a plaque commemorating those who fell in the battle for the town in the 1948 war. It was built by a Turkish Sultan, to commemorate the silver jubilee of his reign and the Arab and Jewish residents of the city contributed towards the building. The Clock Tower was built between 1900 and 1903 and apart from the seven clock towers built around Israel, close to a hundred similar clock towers were built throughout the Ottoman Empire at this time due to the celebration of the Sultan.
In 1965 the Jaffa Clock Tower was renovated, colorful mosaic windows that described the history of Jaffa were added and new clocks were installed.
The Jaffa Clock Tower is the starting point of most tours around Jaffa. In fact, there is a free tour of Jaffa, given by the municipality, every Wednesday that starts out from the Clock Tower at 9:30a.m. There is no need to sign up in advance, just show up on the day.

The Nahum Goldmann Museum of the Jewish Diaspora is an incredible showcase of the Jewish experience from the Destruction of the First Temple, over two millennia ago, up until the present day. The museum relays the information in an interactive, audio-visual way making it a perfect family day out.
The museum uses six themes to explore the Jewish experience; family, community, faith, culture, the Jewish people among the nations and the return to the land of Israel. Artifacts have no place in this museum; rather, models, dioramas, films and presentations are the means used to tell the Jewish story of the exile.
attractions that deserve a special mention are the Fehrer Jewish Music Centre, where one can listen to Jewish music in all it's variations from all over the world, the Douglas E Goldman Jewish Genealogy Centre where one can register one's family tree to be preserved for future generations and the Visual Documentation Centre, that holds the largest photo-documentation of Jewish life in the world.
One may tour independently, join a seminar or even ask for one's family genealogy to be researched. One may as well take advantage of being on the Tel aviv University grounds and take a stroll around campus too. It is possible pick up something light to eat at the café in the student centre.

HaTachana, Hebrew for "the station" refers to the old Tel aviv railway station, located between Jaffa and the renovated neighborhood of Neve tzedek. HaTachana complex is a magical place where history, modernity and commercialism seamlessly fuse, creating a lovely day out complete with excellent cafés, unique boutiques and two weekly markets.
From the end of the nineteenth century until the establishment of the State, the railway station served as the final stop on the Jaffa-Jerusalem line. The site decayed after the railway closed until 2005, when the Tel Aviv municipality took it over and began to renovate. The shops and cafés that grace the complex's sixteen different buildings today were created so as to fund the project. In 2010, HaTachana was officially re-opened as a stylish pedestrian-only area that successfully pays tribute to the rich history of the place while simultaneously embracing the always-changing character of the city.
Cafés currently open in HaTachana include Café Tachana, located in the original station building, offering a variety of light breakfast foods, Café Greg, a well-known coffee-shop chain that offers drinks and snacks, Vaniglia for delicious, freshly-made ice-cream, Shushka Shvili, famous for their 100+ beers from around the world and tapas plates, with a magnificent rooftop-view of Jaffa and Italika B'Tachana that specializes in southern Italian food.
Speciality stores worth popping in to include the one-of-a-kind souvenir store Made in TLV that offers the best of Tel Aviv creativity in souvenirs that are simply fantastically atypical, Ahava, where you can purchase some of the world-famous natural Dead Sea Products, that have powerful effects on the skin and Gaya, a store that offers intriguing puzzles and games, many invented and hand-crafted on Moshav Hagor.
Thursday nights at HaTachana see the "Unique" trades fair being hosted with the best of Israeli talent in art, design and concepts displaying their goods against a background of live music. The "Unique" market is on from 7:00 PM 'til 12:00 AM and a number of hours later makes way for the "Orbanic" (urban organic) organic fruit and vegetable market that takes place on Fridays between 8:00 AM and 2:00 PM. The "Orbanic" market displays eco-friendly produces for the house and personal care.

The Jaffa Flea Market ("Shuk HaPishPishim" in Hebrew) is one of the main attractions in the Old jaffa city. Any visitor looking for antiques, second-hand treasures, bargains or simply a fantastic experience must make sure to visit the Flea Market. It is situated not far from the Clock Tower and provides the full market experience- the sounds of the haggling, the smells of the produce, the interaction with the merchants and the exciting atmosphere of the give-and-take between buyer and seller.
The Jaffa Flea Market is made up of three areas- on the main street are the antique furniture, carpets and oriental ornaments shops, on the two, covered alleys one can find clothing, jewelry and souvenirs and the open market is where the second-hand goods are.
The Jaffa Flea Market has come a long way from it's beginnings- the name "Flea Market" is due to the fact that the second-hand clothes that used to be sold there would literally be crawling with fleas. Thankfully, today one can get the authentic yet cleaner "Flea Market Experience" alongside the hippy restaurants, cafés and art galleries that have sprung up in the wake of the area's development and successful attraction of a younger crowd. In the summer, the Flea Market is open on Thursday nights, with live music creating a great atmosphere.
You  can buy almost anything at the Flea Market; toys, clothing, jewelry, Judaica, Persian tiles, shoes, old records, and the list goes on. The prices depend on your haggling abilities but one thing is for sure- the Jaffa Flea Market makes for a fantastically entertaining day out, allowing the visitor to enjoy the feel of an old Middle Eastern market and possibly walking away with some smashing bargains.

A popular tourist location, the Old jaffa Port was once the place where Jewish immigrants passed through when resettling the land before the establishment of the State. Today, the port is a delightful, buzzing location that is home to artist studios, boutiques, art galleries, Judaica stores and restaurants, which all line the narrow alley-ways of the Old Jaffa Port which are quirkily named after Zodiac signs. Local fishermen continue the centuries-old tradition as they frequent the Old Jaffa Port to this day.
Archaeological evidence proves that Jaffa has served as a port city for a few thousand years. In fact, it is believed by historians that Jaffa port, located south of Tel aviv, is the only port in the entire world that has been inhabited in an uninterrupted fashion from the moment it existed. The Bible relates that Lebanese cedars were brought into the Holy Land via Jaffa in the time of King Solomon for the purpose of building the first Temple. Additionally, when Jonah famously fled from before G-d, he did so from none other than the Jaffa port.
The Old Jaffa Port is home to a marina and visitors can set sail in the footsteps of many hundreds before them. There are daily trips to view the stunning Tel Aviv-Jaffa horizon from the sea. Additionally, one can climb from the port to the top of the Old Jaffa Hill where one can find the Franciscan Church of St. Peter, where it is claimed that Napoleon stayed after the city was captured.

The Old Tel aviv Port is a dynamic social hotspot with an array of restaurants, shops and bars along the length of a 14,000 square meter deck that was shaped after the Tel Aviv sand dunes. The Port is witness to new restaurants opening often, exciting events and of course a stunning view of the Yarkon River.
The Arab riots of 1936 effectively paralyzed the Jaffa port, which was, up until then, the singular passageway for goods entering and exiting Israel. The Tel Aviv Port was built as a result between 1936 and 1938 and served as a crucial gateway for the Hebrew colony of the time. 1948 saw the first ship of Jewish immigrants arriving in the Tel Aviv Port under the blue and white flag of the new State. When the Ashdod Port opened in 1965, the Tel Aviv Port was shut down and for the following twenty years the port was miserably quiet. In the eighties, the port was shaken out of its slumber to become a thriving center of nightlife, water sports and leisure. Today, the port is no longer functioning but remains a busy, young and hip hang-out at all times of day and night.
The area stretching from the southern bank of the Yarkon River to three-hundred yards south of the water line is home to countless eateries, entertainment venues and nightlife. For the hungry among us, Gilly's restaurant offers top-notch gourmet breakfasts, Shalvata is a great place for a coffee and there are too many other options to even be listed…

As far as nightlife is concerned, the biggest club is unarguably TLV with a flexible schedule that includes occasional parties, with an emphasis on house and trance music. Whisky-a-go-go is a red-hot bar known to draw famous Israeli personalities and features a lounge, dance bar and dining place. Shablol, a jazz club, offers a very different kind of experience, with live performances every night.
Fairs and festivals often spice up the area such as the Antique Fair that takes place, weather-permitting, on Saturdays between 10:00 AM and 8:00 PM. Strains of Jazz can be heard as Jazz concerts take place after 12:00 AM. Summer months see a wide variety of events so it's worthwhile checking what's on before heading down.  A breathtaking event is the pluralistic Kabbalat Shabbat that takes every other Friday evening place during the summer months. Come and mingle with hundreds of Israelis who have arrived to welcome with songs, poems and music the Shabbat day.

Shlomo Lahat, mayor of Tel aviv between 1974 and 1993, presented this beach to the then mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Koleck and since then the beach has been known as the Jerusalem Beach. The beach is popular with both locals and visitors with many teenagers, families and sport players frequenting the beach with it's fish restaurant, playground and volleyball courts. The beach is open all year round with lifeguard services available during the winter. Hof Yerushalayim is the name of the beach eatery and it features seating on the sand.

The Ilana Goor Museum is located in a building in the city of Jaffa that, 250 years ago, served as a hostel for Jewish pilgrims who were on their way to Jerusalem. The world-renowned artist, Ilana Goor, took it upon herself to restore this magnificent building to it's former beauty, preserving the beauty of the architecture of the building's era and simultaneously injecting the place with the vibrancy of the modern art that has gained her world-wide fame.
Ilana Goor was born in Tiberias, Israel to a family of doctors, many of whom were artists. She never studied art formally, developing her style along with her technique and resulting in powerful, emotion-filled works. Ilana has statues that are displayed in public places all around Israel as well as in private collections. She has presented exhibitions world-wide, currently has her work displayed in sixteen designer showrooms in the United States and sells her jewelry, clothing and furniture collections all over the world.
The museum presents a wide selection of Ilana's works as well as those of other Israeli and international  artists. The museum is the embodiment of everything that Ilana believes in- the fusion of old with new, the combination of rural and industrial, the mixing of organic an geometrical; all effortlessly and in perfect unification.
The Ilana Goor Museum has an usually homey feeling about it and when one learns that the Museum is, in fact, part of Ilana Goor's house, this comes as no surprise. The stunning art pieces; sculptures, jewelry, furniture, paintings and more, are thoughtfully placed around the magnificent building and the incredible view of the sea, visible through every window, simply adds to the invigorating breath of fresh-air that is the Ilana Goor Museum.
There is a rooftop café on the premises with a breath-taking view of the Mediterranean Sea, as well as a gift shop.

Park HaYarkon is the unofficial yet universal name for Ganei Yehoshua (Yehoshua Gardens) which was named after Yehoshua Rabinovitch, Tel aviv's mayor between 1969 and 1974. Park HaYarkon is so-called due to the Yarkon River (the longest coastal waterway in Israel) that runs through the park. Park HaYarkon is an urban park that is located in Tel Aviv that is visited by approximately sixteen million people annually. Rokach Boulevard can be found on the northern side and Bavli on the south.
Park HaYarkon is often fondly referred to as the "Central Park" of Tel Aviv. In the busy metropolitan city of Tel Aviv, the park offers a kind of retreat for local residents and visitors. The park is filled with people exercising, playing and spending quality time together in natural surroundings. Weekends see the park buzzing with visitors as, seemingly, all of Israel gravitate towards the green oasis that is Park HaYarkon.

There are a great  number of activities on  offer in Park HaYarkon:
• There is a miniature golf course at the north bank of the Yarkon River that provides wholesome family fun
• In the large sports centre (called Sportec) in the western side of the park, there are basketball and rollerblade courts, football fields and even a wall climbing facility that provides all the equipment needed (50 NIS a climb)
• The eastern side of the park has many open spaces and activity areas that are suitable for the entire family, such as picnic areas, pony riding, a bird park (entrance fee 47 NIS), a tropical garden, pedal boat rental (70NIS per hour) , kayak and small motor boat rentals (150 NIS per hour)and bike rental.
• The Rock Garden in Park HaYarkon is one of the largest of its kind in the world and is an astonishing reflection of the geological diversity in Israel.
• Annual events take place in the park, such as the City Taste Festival and performances by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the New Israeli Opera.
• Search for animal life alongside the Yarkon River- despite being famously polluted, there are an abundance of insects and animals living in the area.
If you're looking for a relaxed, enjoyable day out in Tel Aviv and are craving some greenery, be sure to head down to Park HaYarkon.

In 1987 the city made Nachalat Binyamin into a pedestrian mall by closing off the three streets that make up the neighborhood to vehicles and the largest arts-and-crafts fair in Israel was born.
The neighborhood was created by an association of tradesmen, clerks and shopkeepers who wanted to create a neighborhood similar to the city's first district, Ahuzat Bayit. In those days, Nachalat Binyamin Street, the central street of the neighborhood, was the longest road in the city. The first dwellers were craftsmen who were looking for affordable housing.  In the early twentieth century a small number of houses were built and the neighborhood joined up with the city of Tel aviv so that the neighborhood could fully develop.
Every Tuesday and Friday the street comes to life with a festival of arts, crafts and performances. Over two-hundred artists set up their stalls on a regular basis and offer unique, handmade wares to pedestrians who wander the three-pronged streets of the neighborhood. The merchandise ranges from jewelry to glass ornaments, from Judaica items to purses, from stuffed animals to ceramic pots, and much, much more. All products are sold by the artists themselves which makes for an interesting experience, allowing the potential buyers to hear first-hand about the product and to find the most suitable one for them.
For the less shopping-inclined, the open-air bazaar that is Nachalat Binyamin makes for a pleasant stroll, with fine restaurants, quaint cafes, breath-taking street performances and beautiful live music. Nachalat Binyamin is simply a must for those visiting Tel Aviv who are looking to buy one-of-a-kind gifts for family and friends or just looking for an entertaining day out.
Hours: The pedestrian mall at Nachalat Binyamin is open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, in June until 6:00 PM and in the months of July and August until 7:00 PM. In the case of heavy rain or winds the pedestrian mall isn't open.

Tayelet is Hebrew for "promenade" and the Tel aviv Tayelet runs for two kilometers all the way from Jaffa in the south to Hatzok Beach in the north. The walkway is designed in a unique fluid, swirly design that is visible from planes that come in to land at Ben Gurion Airport and is situated on the corner of Herbert Samuel Boulevard in Tel Aviv, by the Yarkon River.
The Tayelet is often busy at all times of day, from early-morning runners to late-night revelers in peak summer season. Weekends and summer days see buskers, portrait artists and jewelry sellers trying to persuade passer-bys to part with their shekels. In the summer, street performances are common, adding a magical touch to the site. The view of the sea is enchanting at all times of the year and people from all walks of life can be found marveling at it's beauty throughout the day.
For the bikers among us, the Tayelet provides a perfect opportunity to avoid the fumes of the city and to take in the lovely view that sets the scene for the journey from one end of the city to the other.

The Eretz Israel Museum is multidisciplinary museum in the Ramat Aviv neighborhood of Tel aviv. The Museum opened in 1953 and is made up of numerous pavilions that surround an excavation site that is still being worked on in the heart of the museum grounds. Each pavilion is dedicated to a different subject and come together to provide an extensive study of the history and culture of the land of Israel.
There are permanent and temporary exhibitions in fields such as archaeology, Judaica, cultural history, traditional crafts and local identity. There are also reconstructed instillations that work such as wine presses, oil presses and a flour mill, allowing visitors to experience times gone by in the land. There is also a state-of-the-art planetarium on site with twice-daily shows. The Eretz Israel Museum shop has unique Israeli-made products for sale.

The Tel aviv Museum of Art was established in 1932, before the establishment of the State of Israel, in the building that was the home of Meir Dizengoff, Tel Aviv's first mayor and in 1971 moved to it's current location on King Saul Avenue. The Museum is home to an extensive collection of both classical and contemporary art, with a clear emphasis on Israeli art, a sculpture garden and youth wing.
The Museum is situated in the cultural centre of the city- the Golda Meir Cultural and Art Center, where it sits alongside the Israeli Opera and Musical Theatre. The Tel Aviv Museum of Art is a hub of activity for the local arts scene and aside from it's collections, presents music, dance and film performances, as well as lectures on philosophy and art. There is also a fully-computerized art library on site that serves thousands of students, scholars and curators every year. The Museum is, without a doubt, the most comprehensive reference centre in the Middle East.
The Museum's permanent collection displays some of the leading artists from the first half of the twentieth century, as well as many of the major movements of modern art; Fauvism, German Expressionism, Cubism and Futurism, to name just a few. French art, such as Impressionists and the School of Paris, alongside key works of Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro's Surrealist creations are all displayed in the Museum.
The temporary exhibitions of individual artist's work and group shows around a common theme are a huge attraction at the Museum, offering a glimpse into the dynamic and vibrant Israeli world of art.
The Museum is also home to a small cinema- the Tel Aviv Museum Cinema- that screens foreign films which are usually highly-praised by the critics. Be sure to check that the film has English subtitles.
The Museum offers guided tours in English every Wednesday at 11:30.

Neve tzedek ("Oasis of Justice") located south of the Yemenite Quarter, was the first Jewish neighborhood built outside of Jaffa, founded in 1883 by the Chelouche family and officially established in 1887. This once slummy area is now a highly charming, character-filled area that is filled with restaurants, boutiques and cafés that offer top-end food, fashion, jewelry, ceramics and more. Neve Tzedek is a cultural and culinary delight that is found next to the southern Tel aviv beach.
Famous Israeli figures such as Nobel Prize Laureate, Sha"I Agnon, writer Haim Brenner and artist Nahum Gutman resided in the early Neve Tzedek before it started to disintegrate due to neglect. In the eighties, the neighborhood began to re-awaken, setting the stage for the stylish, yuppie, much-desired residence that is has become.
Neve Tzedek is home to the Suzanne Dellal Center (6 Yehieli St.), established by the Dellal family as a center for Israeli dance, made famous by the BatSheva Dance Company and BatSheva Ensemble. It was largely due to the Dellal family's bold move that Neve Tzedek was re-born in the eighties. Today, one of the most important theatrical and cultural centers in Israel, it is worth checking if there will be performances on when you visit:
The Rokach house, located at 36 Simon Rokach St., is famously one of the first houses in Neve Tzedek and was restored in the late eighties by Lea Majaro Mintz, none other than the granddaughter of the original owner.
If one is interested in viewing the very first house built in Neve Tzedek, one can visit the Chelouche House which was built by the very man who founded the neighbourhood in 1887, Aharon Chelouche. Since 2003, the residence is an art gallery that displays temporary exhibitions. One can stand on the roof of the nineteenth-century feel house for a stunning view of the neighbourhood. The house is situated on 32 Shlush St. and is open Monday through Wednesday from 10:00 AM 'til 5:00 PM, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10:00 AM 'til 8:00 PM and Fridays from 10:00 AM 'til 2:00 PM.
The Nahum Gutman Museum is located on Rochach St. and displays the works of the Tel Avivian artist, Nahum Gutman, who successfully captured the spirit and essence of early Tel Aviv. His works take one back on a magical journey and allow one a glimpse into the old world.
If all the sight-seeing makes one peckish, there is an abundance of eateries in the area; the Suzanna Cafe, with its lovely terrace, is located close to the Suzanne Dellal Center, the Michelle bar offers breakfast menus early on in the day and there is frequently live entertainment in the evenings, the vegetarian Nina cafe is a delightful organic culinary experience and Bellini offers Italian cuisine with beautiful views.
Neve Tzedek is a mere two minutes from the luxurious Dan Panorama and David Intercontinental hotels making it an ideal start to a day for those staying there. Alternatively, buses 44 and 46 get one directly there. Bus 25 takes one to Monifiori St., a ten minute walk from Neve Tzedek and Bus 4 gets to the intersection of Allenby and Echad Ha'Am, from where one can also walk to Neve Tzedek.

It is certainly no coincidence that the Hebrew name for Jaffa- "Yafo"- is said to originate from the Hebrew word "yofi" meaning beauty. The charming Old jaffa, situated south-west of the city of Jaffa, remains one of the few places that is relatively untouched; preserving the ancient beauty that makes Old Jaffa the unique location that it is. Old Jaffa boasts one of the oldest ports in the world, a variety of restaurants, a flea market and a simply unique experience.
Jaffa was the city that Jewish immigrants flocked through before the State was established and shortly after Israel was re-born in 1948, poverty-stricken Jewish families settled the city. In the sixties, the Israeli government took steps to develop Old Jaffa and to try and restore and honor the once-glorious city. Since then, Old Jaffa has been a popular tourist attraction, with people arriving to soak up the rugged beauty that it offers.
A selection of the delights that Old Jaffa has to offer:
•The legendary 24-hour Abulafia bakery that is located on the main street of Jaffa, Yeffeth Street and has been around, with good reason, since 1879. The Abulafia bakery produces mouth-watering delights that are created by Muslims, Christians and Jews, who work side-by-side in a hopeful picture of co-existence.
•The Clock Square was built in the Ottoman period in honor of Sultan Abed al-Hamid II's twenty-fifth anniversary and is the center-point of Jaffa, surrounded by markets.
•The Libyan Synagogue, known as Beit Zunana, purchased by Zunana in the eighteenth century, metamorphosed from Synagogue to hostel to soap factory. With the establishment of the State in 1948, once again became a Synagogue for Libyan immigrants and in 1995 became a museum.
•Jaffa's Hill is a center for archaeological excavations of ancient cities with the oldest being the restored ancient Egyptian gates that are dated at a fantastic  3,500 years!
•Abu-Hasan offers authentic Arab Hummus which is served fresh from the morning, which according to Arab tradition is the best time to eat it. Hummus is a staple in Israel and it must be said that if you are not used to the chickpea concoction, it may be best eaten as a mid-day lunch as opposed to a morning meal!
•The famous Flea Market is open every day with Friday being the busiest day by far.  It is a lovely place to wander through  on late mornings in the week or if you are looking for the more authentic, hectic experience when the stock is displayed in the street then Fridays is the day for you.
•The Old Jaffa Port is an ancient, yet very much active port that is home to a variety of stores, art galleries, restaurants and marina. Day trips that allow you to take in the stunning Tel aviv-Jaffa horizon from the sea set sail from the marina.

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