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Suggestions for couple with no car for Tel Aviv sights

Princeton, New...
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Suggestions for couple with no car for Tel Aviv sights

I'd love some input on what places to see, and activities in Tel Aviv. We will have 2-3 days, but no transportation/car, so we would love places within walking distance from Hayarkon Street in Tel Aviv where we will be staying.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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1. Re: Suggestions for couple with no car for Tel Aviv sights

You can see a lot -- Tel Aviv has an excellent bus system as well, and cabs within the city are inexpensive. I will copy my Tel Aviv suggestions from my free, noncommercial guide to Israel travel that I send to folks on request (by e-mail at Labatt@fuse.net). Here is what I wrote in that:

• Old Jaffa. This 5,000-year-old city is now a part of the combined municipality of Tel Aviv Yafo, and you can see the old Arab city jutting into the Mediterranean looking south from Tel Aviv. Jaffa has many artists’ shops, narrow streets, and lots of character. I’m not much of a shopper on Israel trips, but Jaffa is a good place for shopping. In any event, it’s a wonderful place to explore. The view north of the Tel Aviv skyline is gorgeous, both day and night. There are free walking tours of Jaffa every Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m.; meet at the Ministry of Information Center at Mazouk and Azar Streets under the arches near the old Clock Tower at the entrance to Jaffa. It is a good overview of the ancient city; while there is no charge, plan to tip the guide ₪40 or so.

• Strolling the streets of Tel Aviv. While Dizengoff Street has lost much of its luster as the “main street” of Israel, I still find it and Dizengoff Square a fun place to stroll and people watch. You’ll get a flavor of the mix of Israeli life. A trendier area is Sheinkin Street, Tel Aviv’s yuppie district. You can also wander down to Ha-Carmel Market, where you’ll really see “street-Israel.” It’s a great place to watch people and drink in the sights, sounds, and smells. The Nahalat Binyamin neighborhood offers arts and crafts markets on Tuesdays and Fridays. I also love walking through that neighborhood and nearby Neve Tzekek; these are among Tel Aviv’s first neighborhoods, and the restorations have made this a great place to stroll, people watch, and take a drink or coffee. The Rubin Museum at 14 Bialik Street features the amazing paintings of Reuben Rubin, one of Israel’s greatest artists. Tel. (03) 525-5961. Open Shabbat 11:00-2:00, but closed on Sundays, which is unusual.

• Touring Tel Aviv with Yona Wiseman. On my most recent visit to Israel, I discovered Yona Wiseman, a truly wonderful tour guide to help you explore Tel Aviv and Jaffa. She made her way to Israel from her native South Africa. We spent a day with her exploring Old Jaffa and the districts discussed above, learning how this amazing city evolved in just over a hundred years from settlements built on sand dunes by just 66 families in 1909. I have seldom enjoyed someone’s company as I did Yona’s, and my friends loved her as well; she is a delight! You can contact Yona at (03) 516-3387 or (050) 326-7277; e-mail yonawise@013.net.il; www.yonawise.net. Touring with her is a treat not to be missed! While Yona specializes in Tel Aviv walking tours, she is licensed to tour anywhere in the country as well. Another guide who tours all over Israel but has a special passion for this thriving, modern city is David Wexler, david@davidsland.com; www.davidsland.com; cell 054-330-0941. I have met David and find him knowledgeable and pleasant to be with.

• At the outset of the Tel Aviv section, I called Tel Aviv “The White City,” and it takes this name from the Bauhaus and International architecture style that this city preserves more than any other in the world, leading to its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This style, popular among European émigré planners and architects in the 1930s when much of the city was built, features horizontal designs, angular and curving lines, and white stucco surfaces, somewhat reminiscent of the Art Deco style in Miami Beach. What were once run down and dowdy neighborhoods have been restored spectacularly in places, and you can walk through them and enjoy some amazing buildings. The best streets to see it are Ahad Ha’am and Rothschild. The Bauhaus Center at 99 Dizengoff Street, (03) 522-0249, www.bauhaus-center.com, offers audio or guided walking tours of the Bauhaus district if you want a more detailed look.2-3-5220249 info@bauhaus-center.com.

• Bet Ha t’fusot, the Nahum Goldmann Museum of the Diaspora on the campus of Tel Aviv University. If you are interested in Jewish history in the Diaspora (exile), this is a must. It is one of the most interesting museums I have ever been in, not based on artifacts but on re-creations of Jewish live in exile throughout the world. The university is in the northern section of the city, either a bus, cab, or car ride from your hotel. Tel. (03) 745-7808; see also www.bh.org.il for more information and visiting hours.

• If you are interested in Zionist history and the rebirth of the State of Israel, stop in Ben-Gurion House at 17 Ben-Gurion Boulevard, tel. (03) 511-1010. This was the home of David and Paula Ben-Gurion when he became Israel’s first prime minister. This simple house contains more than 20,000 books in five languages, a testament to the breadth of this man’s mind. Also check out Independence Hall at 16 Rothschild Boulevard, tel. (03) 517-3942. This is the hall in which David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the country’s independence on May 14, 1948 as the armies of five surrounding Arab countries prepared to invade and crush the fledgling state. Some days the museum closes as early as 2:00 p.m., so plan ahead. Also near Tel Aviv University, you can visit the Palmach Museum, which tells the history of this important, pre-State militia affiliated with the leftist Labor Zionist movement. Note: advance reservations are required. Tours are in Hebrew, but with English-language audio units provided. Like Bet Ha-t’fusot, this is not a museum of artifacts but of visual and auditory recreations of the experiences of one Palmach unit. While over-the-top at times, I found it a powerful tribute to this force that played such a strong role in the creation of Israel—with an enormous casualty rate. It is located at 10 Lebanon Street, tel. (03) 643-6393. See www.palmach.org.il; click the icon for English. For a look at that period from the right-wing side of the Israeli ideological divide, you can stop at the Etzel Museum on the seaside promenade north of Jaffa, 38 King George Street, (03) 528-4001, or the Jabotinsky Institute at the same address, tel. (03) 528-6523; www.jabotinsky.org.

Enjoy your visit!

Douglas Duckett

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2. Re: Suggestions for couple with no car for Tel Aviv sights

No need to limit yourselves to sites within walking distance. Tel Aviv is a big city and the sites are spread out. You could walk to some fairly quickly, yet others would take an hour. HaYarkon St goes aling the coast from north to south, so depending on your exact location a walk could be far. In addition to the excellent bus service there are also an abundance of taxis.



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3. Re: Suggestions for couple with no car for Tel Aviv sights

To complement Douglas' excellent suggestions:

Look at the City of Tel-Aviv tourism web site; it has a lot of information and gives the addresses and hours of the tourist information offices:


Note these two pages:

1. The city offers five free walking tours every week:


2. and has a discount package for attractions, restaurants, stores, etc:


There is also a lot of information in the monthy "Time Out" magazine, Tel-Aviv edition:


One of the highlights in Tel-Aviv is the old "Bauhaus" neighbourhood, centered mainly along Rothschild Blvd. The city offers a free tour every Saturday morning (see above) but if that day is not convenient you have two choices:

1. A guided tour or audioguides offered by the Bauhaus Center on Dizengoff St:


2. A self-guided tour:


Click on [Tourism] and print out the brochure for each street.

The second major attraction in Tel-Aviv is the old city of Jaffa. The main sites to see are:

- the old port

- the Old City, above the port (churches, artist studios, etc). There is a Visitors Center in the main square.

- the clock tower square (Yefet Street), to the east of the Old City

- the flea market, on the east side of Yefet Street.

This web site gives a good summary:


The major museums in Tel-Aviv are:

- Jewish Diaspora Museum:


- Palmach Museum (must be booked in advance):


- Rabin Center:


- Eretz Israel Museum:


- Tel-Aviv Museum of Art:


There are many more smaller museums (e.g. Independence Hall, Ben-Gurion House, Rubin Art Museum, etc). You can see a list here:



There are three big outdoor markets in Tel-Aviv:

- Jaffa Flea Market (see above) - daily, except Saturday.

- Nachlat-Binyamin Arts&Crafts Fair - every Tuesday and Friday.


- Carmel Market (food, clothing, housewares, etc) - daily, except Saturday.


Entertainment and restaurants:

There are two sites that have been developed as entertainment areas with many restaurants, pubs, clubs, etc:

-Tel-Aviv port, in north Tel-Aviv (not to be confused with the Jaffa Port):


- HaTahana (the restored Old Turkish train station) in Neve Zedek:


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4. Re: Suggestions for couple with no car for Tel Aviv sights

Just so you know: A car in Tel Aviv is a liability, esp for a short-term stay. Parking is scarce and pricey. You are better off relying on public transport.

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5. Re: Suggestions for couple with no car for Tel Aviv sights

We constantly and consistently advise people NOT to have a car in Tel Aviv so you are in the same position as everyone else. I recently took the Dan Circle Bus. While hop on hop off I recommend you just ride it for its' full trip. 1.5-2 hours, depending upon traffic and how long it stops to let people on and off. This gives an excellent overview and you get an idea of where you want to go back to. It also gives you mental images of what you are looking for when you do go back!

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6. Re: Suggestions for couple with no car for Tel Aviv sights

Added to TOP QUESTIONS under "exploring Tel Aviv".

troy mi
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7. Re: Suggestions for couple with no car for Tel Aviv sights

I stay near where Bograshov crosses Hayarkron and from there (depending on weather) it is a nice walk south (see Mr. Labatt's "strolling the streets" list) and from there to Old Jaffa. It is also walkable going north to the Port area for dinner. Cabs back to your hotel from both destinations are abundant

Tel Aviv, Israel
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8. Re: Suggestions for couple with no car for Tel Aviv sights

Here are 18 suggestions: israel21c.org/travel/…

Ottawa, Canada
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9. Re: Suggestions for couple with no car for Tel Aviv sights

The visitors centre in Jaffa gives a good overview of the history and has many artifacts on display. It is located under the central square. Nearby, just off to the side is Ben Zion Silver, which has a display showing the arrival of Yemanite Jews to Israel. Artists are working out in the open so you can watch them while being served very, very strong sweet coffee. The attached shop/gallery is not inexpensive but it is lovely to see the traditional practises in modern style. The Ilana Goor Museum is very unusual. The building itself has a great history and Ilana Goor showcases both her work and that of artists from around the world.

Tel Aviv has so many small art galleries- an art lovers heaven. Public art is also big in Tel Aviv including music and dance. Israeli dancing takes place weekly on the promenade by Gordon Beach. Anyone can join in or just watch the fun. The Eretz Israel museums is a series of pavilions spread out over a fairly large area. It has some fascinating exhibits but if you are already going to the Israel museum, you might find that one or the other is enough. Check out http://www.nalagaat.org.il/home for something really different.

Tel Aviv, Israel
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10. Re: Suggestions for couple with no car for Tel Aviv sights

Car is absolutely unrecommended in Tel Aviv.

You can walk along Bograshov str. and Ben Zion Blvd. to the HaBima Square (1.3 kilometers est.) and from HaBima Square the walk to most of the main places in Tel Aviv is pretty short - Rothschild Blvd. and Neve Tzedek, Dizengoff str., Ibn Gabirol str. and etc.