Jaffa, Israel

So sadly this is my final post from my trip through Jordan, Israel and Turkey. And what a fantastic place to end it off with – the quaint little port town of Jaffa.

Jaffa, located in the southern-most part of Tel Aviv, was once its own quite town, but has now become almost a suburb of Tel Aviv due to the urban sprawl. Although it is only about a 45 minute walk from the centre of Tel Aviv (and a lovely walk too, along the beachside promenade), it still retains its old world charm. Jaffa is very small and can easily be explored in half a day. Stroll through the cobblestone streets, see the men fishing at the port, enjoy a lovely lunch in one of the many cafes and restaurants, or take a seat by the seaside and take in the sunset…

We stumbled across great area in Jaffa, just behind the flea markets, near Nahman Street. Here we found a handful of streets, sprinkled with bars, cafes, restaurants and boutique stores (I wish I had more time so I could have gone back and made a few purchases). We spent the afternoon relaxing with a few drinks in hand, until the sun went down over Jaffa.IMG_6950 Untitled-3 IMG_6962 IMG_6966 IMG_6973 IMG_6976 Untitled-4 IMG_6988 IMG_6989 Untitled-5 Untitled-6 IMG_7004 IMG_7022 IMG_7034 IMG_7044 IMG_7046 Untitled-7 IMG_7054 IMG_7055 Untitled-8 IMG_7063 IMG_7064 IMG_7067 IMG_7068 IMG_7069 IMG_7074 IMG_7078 IMG_7081 IMG_7085 IMG_7089 IMG_7093 IMG_7101


Getting There:
You can get to Jaffa from central Tel Aviv by taking a leisurely stroll along the beachside promenade, heading south. This takes about 45 minutes to an hour. Alternatively, just jump into a taxi.

To do:
Check out the food markets (a very up-market market) near the port – there is some amazing food to be had here and the atmosphere is great, although a little noisy with the many weekend day-trippers trying to get some lunch. If you are after a more chilled out atmosphere away from the tourists and with the locals, find these streets behind the flea market, sit down in one of the many outdoor bars and cafes and listen to some tunes whilst enjoying the sea breeze


Tel Aviv, Israel

I have to admit, Israel was never on my priority travel list. Actually, I never really thought about going to Israel. But when one of my closest friends met a lovely Israeli girl and decided to have their wedding in Tel Aviv, I couldn’t really say no to attending the wedding and visiting this amazing city.

Many people may have mixed feelings about Israel and their geopolitical position, but I was pleasantly surprised by this metropolitan, seaside city. I had a very laid back, Mediterranean atmosphere – the people were friendly, the weather was pleasant, the nightlife was great and all the food to die for. Throughout my entire trip, I didn’t eat as well as I did in Israel. Everywhere you went the food was great.

Tel Aviv may not be on everyone’s bucket list, but I do recommend stopping over for at least a few days as part of any trip through the Middle East.

Top things to do in Tel Aviv:

  • Shopping is definitely up there. The prices are cheaper than Europe and the fashion more unique. For those shopaholics, head to Dizengoff Street. The shops are open until about 10pm, so there is no need to rush
  • Take a walk along the beachside promenade, stretching form Jaffa in the south to Tel Aviv Port in the north. Allow a few hours to complete this leisurely.
  • Food markets. We found a fantastic market located HaCarmel. For fresh fruit, vegetables, pastries, cheeses, sweets, bread – you name it, you can find it at Carmel Markets. Look for the guy selling falafel burgers about half way down the strip of stalls – you can’t miss him, he continually shouts our ‘Falafel! Falafel!’ at the top of his voice. For 7 shekels, you’ll have an amazing falafel experience, and a cheap lunch.
  • Tel Aviv night life. The city centre is full of cafes, bars and clubs which are buzzing every night of the week. Tag along with some locals and I’m sure you’ll have a great time.

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Getting there:
There are numerous flights into Tel Aviv international airport. Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, you are now given a separate credit card sized visa, rather than a stamp in your passport, so that you can travel without problems throughout the Middle East, as many countries previously did not allow you to enter with an Israeli stamp in your passport. Also be prepared to answer a number of questions when arriving into Tel Aviv airport. From the airport, you can either take a taxi into the city, or the train, which is a much cheaper option.

Stay anywhere along the beachside (if you plan to spend your days relaxing on the beach), or near Dizengoff Street (which is near all the shops, restaurants and nightlife). The city is reasonably small, so it is easy to walk around, or just take a taxi.

There are great restaurants everywhere. Tel Aviv Port is great for breakfast and lunch (the cafes here to amazing breakfasts), and for dinner, Dizengoff Street is your best bet.