Tel Aviv began its history in Jaffa (Yafo) – the ancient 3,000-year-old adjoining city that lies to its southwest. The current Old City of Jaffa was built during the Ottoman Empire and its stone houses and narrow alleyways now house the picturesque artists’ quarter and tourist center.
Among the main attractions of Old Jaffa are Gan HaPisga – the Summit Garden with its restaurants, galleries, shops with Judaica, and unique atmosphere, the seaside promenade and walls of the old city, the visitors’ center in the old courtyard, and the fishing port.
There are also several important Christian sites in Old Jaffa such as the Church of Saint Peter, which dates back to the 17th century, the house of Simon the Tanner where Peter had his vision of the non-kosher animals, and the tomb of Tabitha, whose righteous deeds enabled Peter to raise her from the dead. Around Jaffa there is the Ottoman clock tower, a vibrant flea market that is always worth visiting.
The neighborhood of Neveh Tsedek is a neighborhood located in southwestern Tel Aviv. It was the first Jewish neighborhood to be built outside the old city of the ancient port of Jaffa in 1887. This neighborhood was renovated in the 1980s and today it is a picturesque and charming neighborhood where many of the original houses are still standing.
Neve Tzedek has become one of Tel Aviv’s latest fashionable and expensive districts, with a village-like atmosphere.
Tel Aviv has more than 20 museums, the most important of which are the Land of Israel (HaAretz) Museum and the Tel Aviv Art Museum. Other Tel Aviv museums include the Museum of the Diaspora, the Israel Defense Forces History Museum, the Etzel Museum, the Haganah Museum, the Palmach Museum, The Lekhi Museum, and the Nachum Guttman Museum.
Hatachana Compound (The Station)
This beautiful compound was a train station on the Jaffa-Jerusalem line, located between the sea shore and the Neveh Zedek neighborhood and operated from 1892 to 1948. This was the first railway line between Little Asia and Egypt. In present day, the station complex went through development and rejuvenation to become one of the city’s most delightful places. With restaurants, coffee shops and bars, along with concept, fashion and design stores, this is a place definitely worth a visit.
Tel Aviv Beaches
It is no surprise that National Geographic rated Tel Aviv as the 9th best beach city worldwide. Tel Aviv’s entire west side faces the Mediterranean Sea. The city boasts 14 kilometers – 9 miles – of some of the best beaches in the world with clean wide stretches of sand and stunning views of the sea, white sails and surfers.
Tel Aviv Port
70 years after its establishment, Tel Aviv’s Port became the city’s premier entertainment center, with dance clubs, cafes and restaurants at the water’s edge and great shops featuring the work of Israeli designers.
Sarona is a newly renovated complex in the heart of Tel Aviv, originally a German Templar Colony, the site sits at the heart of what is a new central business district of the city, with offices and apartments surrounding the beautifully landscaped complex, in which 33 original Templar buildings dating up to more than 140 years, have been painstakingly restored, and today house boutique stores, artist galleries, quaint cafes, and some of the city’s hottest restaurants and bars.
Tel Aviv’s Markets
There are colorful and bustling markets such as the flea market in Jaffa, the Carmel market, the HaTikva Market, and Levinsky market. They are the best show in town, and they’re bustling all day long. A Middle Eastern mélange of tastes, scents, sounds, colors – and lots of people.