In the era of cheap flights, a weekend city break to Israel became affordable for common mortals. Those of you who are wondering what to see there and how to plan a few days in that city may find here a proposition of a 4-day-long trip to Tel Aviv.
Day 1 – Pure idleness on golden beaches and a walk through Jaffa in the afternoon.
We are not very fond of lounging in the sun for hours but the beaches in Tel Aviv are indeed a huge attraction. A dozen or so kilometers of wide and really well-organized and well-run beaches are truly tempting… The section of the coast from Jaffa’s Old City to the port located in the north encompasses 10 beaches bearing graceful names of hotels situated nearby. Each beach even more gorgeous than the last, full of bars with unfortunately quite expensive food or beverages.
Frisbee’s in fashion as always
Sunset is coming…
Clean, comfortable… we assess the maintenance of beaches at A+!
During a weekday there’s a lot of space… if you don’t like crowds (and who does?), you must go there in the middle of the week. In conclusion weekends are terrible!
Matkot – a traditional Israeli beach game which has totally dominated the beaches in Tel Aviv. It’s literally impossible to find here a single person who doesn’t play matkot!
What’s most important, beaches are totally free, public, with showers and zones for children. It’s just awesome! We liked most the Banana Beach and Jerusalem Beach (with beautiful azure-blue waters and quite high waves!). These public beaches seem to be a sanctuary for the locals, they simply adore the place! For some reason we had assumed that the beaches would be bursting at the seams during holidays. A nice surprise here: during weekdays until 3-4 p.m. the beaches are almost empty, one meets a single person from time to time … with a book or a radio. After 4 p.m. however, madness begins. It looks as if people were coming to the beaches straight from work to spend relaxing afternoon there. They bring everything with them, from food and hectolitres of water and beer, to all sorts of equipment for outdoor activities (kites, paddles etc.).
The beaches are west-facing … The sun sinking in the sea often offers a spectacular show.
People party and have fun at the beaches until late at night.
Chill-out in water which is referred to by the locals as the soup due to its extraordinarily high temperature…
The airport in Tel Aviv is located close to the city and its landing strip runs perpendicularly to water. As a result, planes fly low over the beaches and their users.
I was surprised, but that’s true – the city isn’t really tourist-oriented, or at least it doesn’t feel that way! I would rather say that it looks familiar and beautiful! Don’t expect that a visit to the beach in July or August, when the temperatures reach well over thirty degrees, will refresh you. The water in the sea will be equally hot! And remember –when you go to the beach, take drinking water with you as the prices of water in the vicinity of beaches hit absolute records.
Panorama of the city near Jaffa.
When you get tired of the blissful relaxation on the beach, go to the place where it all started, that is, to Jaffa. The outskirts of the old port is actually where in 1909 Tel Aviv came into existence, and in 1950 Jaffa and Tel Aviv have already become one city. Jaffa has its own charm with its multiple market stands, bars and galleries. The centre of Jaffa is occupied by a famous flea market open during the week. You may find there anything, from Chinese junk to all sorts of unique gems –we highly recommend visiting it. Jaffa is worth seeing both during a day and at night. During the day you can wander around small stores and see the most important monuments such as the Mahmoudiya Mosque or HaPisga Garden with a small arena theatre offering a great view of Tel Aviv. When you leave the garden, head for the Wishing Bridge and touch your zodiac sign on the railing (and maybe have your wish come true). But also go to Jaffa at night to feel the atmosphere of its pubs and taste the wonderful seafood.
Historic streets of the old part of Jaffa.
In contrast to Tel Aviv, this place feels cozier and more familiar.
The place feels sleepy sometimes…
And exotic as well…
Look into side streets… In Jaffa you can still feel a blast from the past.
Manufacturing workshops work full steam ahead.
Day 2 – Buy whatever you want at Carmel Bazaar and go for a walk in Yemenite Quarter
Carmel Bazaar – this place always teems with life!
It’s very colorful, like every other Middle Eastern bazaar.
… i egzotycznie…
Once a week an artistic bazaar is held next to Carmel Bazaar…what comes down to artists from Israel selling there their works of art. An interesting place…
The Yemenite Quarter.
Nice streets of the Yemenite Quarter.
Street art in Florentine.
Day 3 – You absolutely must see Florentine and Neve Tzedek neighbourhoods.
STREET ART AND ARTISTIC VIBE
Artystistic, colourful, with amazing vibe, and slightly lazy Neve Tzedek.
In contrast to Florentine, here everything is well-maintained and immaculately groomed.
Courtyard of The Suzanne Dellal Centre.
Szkoła Suzanne Dellal.
Don’t forget to look at the facades of the buildings … you don’t want to miss such gems.
Day 4 – Visit The Azrieli Towers and see the panorama of the city.
The three towers dominating the city offer probably the best view of the impressive panorama of Tel Aviv. It’s also a great way to say “goodbye” to the city before leaving it. This is especially so, since in close vicinity of the towers there is a railway station where you can get on a train going in the direction of the airport! It takes a good hour to get to the towers from the beach so we suggest you better find some convenient bus line (there are many). The observatory and restaurant are located on the 49th floor of the tallest skyscraper in Israel. During winter time it’s open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and in summer from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (on Fridays till 6:00 p.m.). The entrance to the observatory is in the round building from the side of the shopping mall. The observatory is a venue of many private events so if you are able to call beforehand and find out about it s availability, do it (03 608-1179)! Go there to see the sunset!
Monumental Azrieli Towers.
Everyone who has visited Tel Aviv feels different about it. One thing is certain – this city is worth visiting!
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