5 Tel Aviv neighborhoods you won’t want to miss
The first city to be founded by Zionists, Tel Aviv is a fascinating combination of historical and contemporary metropolis. But not every area of town is the same. To gain a true sense of Tel Aviv's character, you need to make sure your Israel itinerary includes visits to these five neighborhoods of the Big Orange.
1. Ports and Fleas in Old Jaffa
The Old City of Jaffa is technically a neighborhood of the Tel Aviv municipality. Dating back to biblical times and even earlier, the narrow alleyways and stone buildings here are somewhat reminiscent of Jerusalem’s Old City. Many artists live and work in the neighborhood, making it an excellent place to purchase souvenirs for family and friends at home. Don’t forget to visit the Old Jaffa Port and the Jaffa Flea Market, where anything and everything is for sale.
2. The First New Bohemians
Neve Zedek was the first Jewish neighborhood built outside the walls of ancient Jaffa. The houses feature what were then trendy architectural elements from the Art Nouveau and Bauhaus schools of architecture as well as “luxuries” such as indoor plumbing. At the beginning of the 20th century, the neighborhood started being inhabited by artists and writers, including Nobel prize laureate Shmuel Yosef Agnon and artist Nachum Gutman. The historical homes have been preserved and renovated, but the neighborhood has regained its role as a cultural center.
3. Residences and Crops of the Templers
Sarona was a German Templer colony established in 1871 as the first modern agricultural settlement in the region. The small settlement persevered despite hardship until WWII, when the British deported the Templars because of their support for Nazi Germany. Beginning in 2003, the municipality of Tel Aviv has been renovating the buildings, creating a beautiful historic enclave in the center of the bustling city.
4. Graffiti, Lofts and Nightlife
Florentin is Tel Aviv’s SoHo, with industrial buildings converted into lofts and young designers and clothing boutiques crowding the streets. If you’re looking for a fun and hip place to spend an evening, head over to Florentin for the exciting nightlife. If you visit during the day, note the colorful and creative graffiti lining the walls of the old buildings.
5. Streamlined Curves for World Heritage
Tel Aviv’s White City has been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, due to its large number of Bauhaus-style buildings. Built in a style reminiscent of German and Austrian cities, the neighborhood features wide boulevards, tree-lined streets and beautiful light buildings. Sit at a sidewalk café and soak up the atmosphere or visit the many art galleries and boutiques in the neighborhood.
All the Locales
Tel Aviv's character continues to surprise lovers of the city, often for years following their first arrivals. Take the time to explore its many neighborhoods to really get a feel for the history and thriving pulse of Israel's urban hub.