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  >  Bez kategorii   >  Tel Aviv – an idea for a long weekend!

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.

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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.

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Frisbee’s in fashion as always

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Sunset is coming…

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Clean, comfortable… we assess the maintenance of beaches at A+!

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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!

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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.).

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The beaches are west-facing … The sun sinking in the sea often offers a spectacular show.

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People party and have fun at the beaches until late at night.

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Chill-out in water which is referred to by the locals as the soup due to its extraordinarily high temperature…

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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.

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Powyżej: Relax…

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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.

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Historic streets of the old part of Jaffa.

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In contrast to Tel Aviv, this place feels cozier and more familiar.

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Local feel…

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The place feels sleepy sometimes…

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And exotic as well…

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Look into side streets… In Jaffa you can still feel a blast from the past.

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Manufacturing workshops work full steam ahead.

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Day 2 – Buy whatever you want at Carmel Bazaar and go for a walk in Yemenite Quarter

I love colorful and noisy bazaars full of local specialties and exotic smells. Therefore, it’s hard for me to be impartial while talking about them. Carmel Bazaar is one of those places which we visited repeatedly during our trip to Tel Aviv. We went there not only to buy something but also to simply sit on the curb and look at people doing their shopping. Similarly to other such places, at Carmel Bazaar you may buy almost anything. However, due to hot climate, the local choice of sweet and juicy fruit is very wide. Even if you don’t plan to do any shopping, it’s a pleasure to walk among colourful stalls. Apart from fruit and vegetables, you’ll find there a nice bakery and a hummus bar, which we wrote about here: https://www.odprawieni.pl/glodny-w-izraelu/  We recommend tasting freshly squeezed pomegranate juice at the bazaar even though you can buy it for a much more attractive price in Jaffa. The bazaar is located right next to Yemenite Quarter where you can meet black Jews from Ethiopia or other African countries. Lose yourself in that neighbourhood…. it’s exoticism within exoticism!

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Carmel Bazaar – this place always teems with life!

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It’s very colorful, like every other Middle Eastern bazaar.

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Aromatically…

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Miscellaneously …

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… i egzotycznie…

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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…

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The Yemenite Quarter.

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Nice streets of the Yemenite Quarter.

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Street art in Florentine.

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Day 3 – You absolutely must see Florentine and Neve Tzedek neighbourhoods.

It’s colourful, hipster, and fashionable; many artists and all sorts of freaks idle about the streets, the place looks a total state. You’ll either love it or hate it. Welcome to Brooklyn of Tel Aviv, the neighbourhood of Florentine. I had read in a guidebook that if you go to Florentine, you do so at your own responsibility and risk so we absolutely couldn’t miss it! The neighbourhood was named after a Greek Jew David Florentin who bought a large piece of land to help Greek Jews emigrating to Tel Aviv. It’s said that Florentine looks like a replica of a Jewish neighourhood in Thessaloniki in Greece.
 

STREET ART AND ARTISTIC VIBE

 
There are service outlets on the ground floors of tenement houses often run by occupants of the flats above. Real estates in Florentine used to be the cheapest in all Tel Aviv so they attracted the poorest craftsmen and artists who didn’t care for luxury. The neighburhood became fashionable with time, workshops were turned into hipster bars and Florentine became populated by local musicians, actors and other artists. Florentine’s streets are full of colourful graffiti – street art rules here! There is no shortage of various pubs, bars, stores of local designers, bakeries or convenience stores. You’ll see here also a lot of garbage and dilapidating tenement houses but that only adds character to the area. Night life is allegedly also very vibrant here but that seem to be a norm in Tel Aviv, regardless of neighbourhood. You may take a walk here from Jaffa. We don’t recommend visiting Florentine during Sabbath when all the stores and pubs are closed and the streets are empty.
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Florentine – here the same area is shared by hipsters and the poorer part of the society.
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Street art rules…
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Some people claim that Florentine at times resembles Havana with its characteristic architecture …
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Some people claim that Florentine at times resembles Havana with its characteristic architecture …
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There’s the vibe…
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One of the main streets of Florentine.
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Neve Tzedek is a must-see in Tel Aviv. This charming neighbourhood is considered a germ of the city as it was the first settlement established outside the walls of the old Jaffa.  Exclusive villas and mansion blocks alternate with old characteristic architecture.  There are countless pubs, restaurants, galleries, jewelry shops and fashion boutiques. Neve Tzedek district is also the location of the world-famous Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre with a very pleasant courtyard where you can peep at or eavesdrop on artists in action. Neve Tzedek currently aspires to the position of the most fashionable neighbourhood in the city. Many extremely well-off Israelis live here despite exorbitant prices of real estates. Since the district isn’t really that big in terms of space area, you can devote no more than a few hours for your visit there. It starts near the bazaar in the direction of Jaffa and it almost borders on Florentine. The best way to get there is to get on any bus which stops at the bus station or the bazaar.

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Artystistic, colourful, with amazing vibe, and slightly lazy Neve Tzedek.

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In contrast to Florentine, here everything is well-maintained and immaculately groomed.

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Courtyard of The Suzanne Dellal Centre.

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Szkoła Suzanne Dellal.

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Neve Tzedek.

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Don’t forget to look at the facades of the buildings … you don’t want to miss such gems.

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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!

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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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