Lev Ha’ir encompasses the very heart of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed White City of Tel Aviv. Walk down the streets of this neighbourhood towards some of the most iconic landmarks of the “City that never stops.” The Shuk HaCarmel market is one of the main tourist (and local highlights) but so are the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and a wealth of other stops on the Rothschild Boulevard. Put on your best walking shoes and explore Lev Ha’ir.
The moniker “cultural hub of Tel Aviv” is a no-brainer in this neighbourhood. Everything clusters around the pulsing Sderot Rothschild here – including all the White City and UNESCO-listed landmarks that house some of the best museums and art galleries of the land. Don’t miss the Bauhaus Centre, the Chelouche Gallery for Contemporary Art, and all the White City attractions that make this part of the city a premium tourist attraction year-round.
Neve Tzedek is where Tel Aviv comes to life. For starters, consider all its delightful narrow streets leading to cultural gems like the Suzanne Dellal Centre, artisan eateries for foodie enthusiasts, and fantastic high-rises, some yet to capture in print by mainstream magazines and travel guides.
Neve Tzedek is a cradle of history: it is the first Jewish neighbourhood outside ancient Jaffa. Today, the quarter is defined by a set of artsy boutiques, shops, and cafes. It is as old as Tel Aviv itself. Look for iconic landmarks such as HaTachana and the Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theatre. Go shopping on Shabazi Street and look around for the incredible architectural details that make this neighbourhood so special.
Ajami is quiet, hip, romantic, and oh-so-scenic! It’s Jaffa’s wide eyes open to the wonder of the sea. The slender silhouettes of the palm trees against the blue of the skies are picturesque postcards from the Middle East. The buildings are as old as time; some have cracks resonate a “once upon a time,” others have been restored to their former palatial glory. For fans of architecture, a walk around this neighbourhood can be a very rewarding experience.
If you happen to be in Ajami, see the Maronite Church and the Al-Ajami Mosque. Then take a walk along the coast in the Midron Yaffo Park for striking views of the Mediterranean or come with a picnic blanket at night to relax under the starry skies.
Jaffa is a Tel Aviv neighbourhood with an ancient port, a rich history and a past enveloped in legend and myth. Much of the Old City has been restored and is today a popular tourist attraction. Many tourists come to stroll down its streets, to shop at the flea market, and to visit top cultural and architectural landmarks such as the Ilana Goor Museum, or the Gallery of Original Ethiopian Art and the Farkash Gallery. Many artists call Jaffa their home. As you stroll down the streets, you will find countless galleries and artists’ studios. For spellbinding views of the sea and the other side of Tel Aviv, head up to the Peak Garden. The verdant Park HaHorshot is another charming destination in the historical side of Jaffa.
In the port of Jaffa, eat at “The Old Man and the Sea” a famous seafood restaurant named for Ernest Hemingway’s novel published in 1952. The restaurant serves a fantastic spread of fresh salads prepared daily in house – they have 23 different types on the menu. Soak in the atmosphere and have a glass of lemonade. If you are still hungry, try a fish or meat main.
This neighbourhood is famous for street art galore and a lively underground nightclub bar scene. Go for a graffiti art tour to get a sense of the local bohemian lifestyle. Look for street art signed by Dede, a popular artist who lives in this neighbourhood. After a tour, if you are hungry, sit down at a café or in a vegan restaurant to enjoy a bite to eat while people watching. Go shopping for spices at Shuk Levinsky, or head to the Lehi Museum to learn about the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel – Lehi and their leader Avraham (“Yair”) Stern. There are several art galleries you should not miss in Florentin.
The Yemenite Garden (Kerem HaTeimanim) is worth seeing if you want to experience authentic Yemenite Jewish food and to see another facet of the city, one that contrasts with the modernised nearby Neve Tzedek neighbourhood. Take your time to stroll down its streets and to observe the original architecture of the Yemenite homes. This is a religious area, so, if you plan to visit on a Saturday most business will be closed in observance of the Shabbat.
Sarona is another fascinating neighbourhood of Tel Aviv. It was originally a German Templer colony, and today is a modern shopping district, with interesting architecture, museums, and the famous Sarona Food Mall. After extensive renovation works, which preserved historical buildings like the Old Lämmle House, the Immanuel Steller House, the Gemeindehaus, and the Glenk House, among others, the area was renamed Ganei Sarona (Sarona Gardens). If you are in the neighbourhood, visit Tel Aviv Cinematheque, which often houses exhibitions of photography in its lobby. The Israel Cinema Center adjacent to the cinematheque is another must-see landmark here.
Wherever you go in Tel Aviv, you will notice that each neighbourhood has its unique character and enough to see and do to keep you occupied for weeks. These are some of the most popular neighbourhoods, but you should also consider Tel Baruch for a lazy day at the beach and luxurious architecture and well-landscaped public parks. Tzahala is another affluent neighbourhood with beautiful homes and lush vegetation. Park Tzameret has a large concentration of high-rise buildings, notably the two Yoo Towers. So, take your time to discover every facet of this young, vibrant metropolis.