On any trip to Tel Aviv, you will most likely travel down Allenby Street at some point. But it is worth stopping and getting to know this vibrant thoroughfare a little better. Allenby stretches for 2.5km from HaAliya Street in the southeast to Tel Aviv’s beachfront in the northwest. The street intersects famous Tel Aviv arteries like Rothschild Boulevard and King George Street. The action never stops on Allenby. Whether it is the constant traffic, cafes, and markets during the day, or Allenby’s pubs and clubs that come alive at night.
In 1909 a group of Jewish families left the protection of Jaffa’s walls to establish a new settlement along the shore. They called their new city Ahuzat Bayit, which later became Tel Aviv. In 1911, a route called The Big Street was established through the settlement. A few years later in 1914, it was paved with concrete. After World War I the street was given its current name in honor of British General Edmund Allenby.
The General had played an important role in ousting the Ottomans from Palestine in 1918. Make-shift buildings were built along the street, and camel caravans traveled along Allenby delivering building supplies to construction sites throughout Tel Aviv. Although it was originally a busy and popular street at the heart of the new city, Allenby became run down in the 1970s-80s when the more affluent families moved to Tel Aviv’s northern suburbs.
In the 1990s the municipality made efforts to clean up Allenby. Many of the historic buildings were restored, but the efforts were never completed. Today about a third of the street’s historic structures are still hidden beneath grime and graffiti.
On Allenby Street, you can find an eclectic mix of stores selling cheap clothing, high-end designer garments, ball gowns, shoes, and accessories. You’ll also find souvenirs, jewelry stores, and a wide selection of sidewalk cafes, and restaurants. There are historic and modern buildings along the street, including Eclectic Style, Colonial, Classical buildings, and UNESCO-listed Bauhaus buildings. Parts of Allenby are neglected while others have been renovated and preserved.
Opera Tower - At the northern end of Allenby Street is an impressive modern convention center. This site was home to the first Israeli Parliament and the original Israeli Opera. Both have since found new homes.
11 Allenby Street - This is one of 50 beautifully restored buildings on Allenby. The Eclectic Style building was designed by Alexander Levi and built in 1925.
Magen David Square - Six streets pass through this intersection which forms the heart of Allenby and is considered by many to be the center of the city. From here you can reach Carmel Market, Nahalat Binyamin Street, Sheinkin Street, and King George Street.
Nahalat Binyamin Street - A pedestrian street lined with restored historic buildings in pastel colors. Here you can enjoy the Nahalat Binyamin Arts and Crafts Market held on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Sheinkin Street - This street has long been considered one of Tel Aviv’s trendiest bohemian streets where chic sidewalk cafes are frequented by the city’s up-and-coming artists, musicians, and hipsters! You’ll find some unique one-off clothing stores along Sheinkin.
Carmel Street - Just off Magen David Square is Tel Aviv’s most famous market - Carmel Market. The bustling market has stalls selling fresh produce, clothing, and household items. It has also earned a reputation for some of the city’s best eateries.
The Great Synagogue - at 110 Allenby you’ll find Tel Aviv’s iconic synagogue built in 1926, it’s stained glass windows are replicas from synagogues destroyed in the Holocaust.
Lederberg House - At the intersection of Allenby and Rothschild Blvd., you’ll find a fascinating building constructed in 1925. Note the ceramic murals on the exterior walls depicting Jewish pioneers working the land, Jerusalem, and a biblical quote: “Again I will rebuild thee and thou shalt be rebuilt” (Jeremiah 31:4). The murals were created by artist Ze’ev Raban of the Bezalel Academy of Arts.