What to do With a Day in Tel Aviv
Enjoy starting the day with a relaxing breakfast by the sea, at the newly restored Tel-Aviv Port, which is now celebrating its 70th year. It is located at the meeting point between the Yarkon River and the sea- creating a beautiful view of the river flowing into the sea. In honor of the 70-year festivities, the city provides free, guided tours of the port and surrounding areas on Saturday mornings. For reservations call 03-681-6289.
After breakfast, you can take advantage of the cool morning weather at the Yarkon Park. Reminiscent of a miniature version of New York’s Central Park, you will find vast stretches of green lawns and gardens, an artificial lake with rental boats, bicycle paths, and an amphitheater for shows and concerts. Children can enjoy a train ride around the park and the playgrounds, featuring large wooden climbing frames. The park also features the Zapari Bird Park and the Meimadion Water Park.
Once you have finished in the park, you can escape the late morning and afternoon heat in one of the many museums or galleries in Tel-Aviv. We particularly recommend the Jewish Diaspora Museum.
The Jewish Diaspora Museum, (Beith Hatefusoth, the Nahum Goldmann Museum of the Jewish Diaspora) is situated on the University of Tel- Aviv campus. The museum was designed to relate the story and history of the Jewish people throughout the last 2,500 years, from their expulsion from Israel until the present. The museum thematically relates Jewish history in the Diaspora by examining different aspects of Jewish life, such as culture, family life, community life, the return to Zion, and many others. One of the highlights of the museum is a huge database of more than 2,100,000 genealogies of Jewish families from all over the world. Visitors can conduct a search for their family name, and can also register their own family trees.
The museum is located at Klausner Street, Gate 2, Ramat Aviv. Tel: (03) 646-2020
If you happen to be in Tel-Aviv on a Tuesday or Friday, you should head over to the Nachalat Binyamin area after the museum. It is situated at Nachalat Binyamin St. and the corner of Allenby Rd. Both Nachalat Binyamin and the Shuk HaKarmel will give you a glimpse of the color and flavor of Tel-Aviv. The Shuk is a large open market with lots of fresh produce and bargains, and the vendors have the loud, slightly outrageous character that one only finds in Israel.
Nachalat Binyamin is the textile center of Tel-Aviv, which hosts an artisan’s fair twice a week. The street is packed with artists and vendors, selling handicrafts, jewelry, artwork and Judaica. There are street performers, musicians, fortune-tellers and portrait artists. You can catch a light bite to eat at one of the caf?s, and will certainly enjoy the vibrant, jubilant atmosphere of the fair.
The market is open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10:00 to 17:00.
You should then continue on to the Neve Tzedek area, which was the first Jewish neighborhood to be built outside of Jaffa, at the beginning of 1887. This area of Tel-Aviv is lovely and quiet, featuring narrow, winding roads and unique architecture that has been beautifully restored. Over the years, Neve Tzedek has traditionally been the home of many famous artists and writers, including the Hebrew Nobel Literature prizewinning author, Shai Agnon, who resided in the neighborhood from 1909 to 1912.
There are a number of interesting art galleries in the area, including The Rokach House, located at 26 Simon Rokach St., the Nachum Gutman Museum, found at 21 Rokach St., and the Chlouche Gallery , located at 32 Shlush St . On Shabazi St. and the surrounding area there are many beautiful shops and boutiques, and if you have worked up an appetite from all of the legwork, there are plenty of excellent caf?s to choose from.
A nice way to end your tour of Neve Tzedek is to visit the Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theatre, located at 6 Yehieli St. It is one of Tel Aviv’s most prominent theatrical and cultural centers, and is the home of the famous Bat-Sheva dance group. The center is surrounded by lovely gardens and features a beautiful piazza. You can call them beforehand (Tel: 03-510-5656) to find out the schedule of events, which is comprised of a wide range of performances and festivals, featuring many different styles of dance and music, suitable for children and adults.
If you don’t find an evening performance at the Suzanne Dellal center that appeals to you, you can head over to the Tayelet (promenade) along the beach, which comes to life after sunset. The Tayelet is packed with restaurants, bars and caf?s, each with a different personality and feel. You can find live dancing and music at the London Caf?, Jazz at Metzada, and live rock music and beer in the late hours at Mike’s Place. There are lots of restaurants to choose from as well.