The Green City: 7 Best parks in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is nicknamed ‘the White City’ (in honor of its fantastic Bauhaus architecture) and the ‘Non-Stop City’ (famous for its pulsating nightlife), but it’s also a place that boasts some beautiful parks and gardens, all ideal for when you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Israel’s most lively city.
So where should you go when you’ve lounged on pristine white beaches, taken a food tour of the Carmel Market, spent a day wandering the ancient streets and exploring the flea market in Old Jaffa, and partied until the sun came up? Well, here are what we think are seven of Tel Aviv’s best parks and gardens, all with their charms…and perfect for exploring, when you’re ready to seek out some greenery.
1.Park Hayarkon (Ganei Yehoshua)
Gloriously lush and tranquil, the Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv has to take first spot on our list, because it ticks every box and then some. Stretching 3.5 km, it’s Tel Aviv’s largest green space and the perfect place to escape when urban chaos feels a little overwhelming.
Golden Jackals at Hayarkon Park; don't worry, they won't bite!
Through Park Hayarkon runs the eponymous river, along which you’ll see runners, walkers, and school children (it has many play areas, both for toddlers and young adults). On a beautiful spring afternoon, there’s nothing better than renting a rowing boat or a bike (the park is flat, so easy to cycle around).
It’s also home to beautiful tropical gardens, where you can wander along wooden walkways, lined with palm trees, surrounded by rainforest species (a veritable plant museum) and all kinds of birdlife. Kids can enjoy the petting zoo and Hayarkon Park also boasts one of Israel’s largest water parks, which is the perfect family-friendly activity in Israel on a hot summer’s day.
Finally, at the top end of the park, there’s the Namal - Tel Aviv’s port- which has a fantastic boardwalk, shops, and eateries and is a fine place to enjoy Mediterranean views
2. Sarona Gardens
On the edge of the business district, you’ll find Sarona, a neighborhood that dates back to the 19th century when it was settled by German Templars. Today, the entire area has been renovated, with old houses beautifully restored, and turned into boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. But it’s not just a great place for shopping and eating- Sarona also boasts beautifully landscaped gardens.
Sarona Gardens (Image: Visit Tel Aviv official website)
They’re a beautiful place to sit and admire the urban views (glittering glass skyscrapers at every turn) and a real ‘oasis’ in the city. Like Independence Park, Sarona is also an excellent picnic spot, since the area’s a culinary hot-spot - pick up some local bread, cheese, olives, and local fruits and enjoy a lazy lunch, next to the pond.
3.Independence Park (Gan Haatzmaut)
Next door to the Hilton hotel, overlooking the Mediterranean and uninterrupted views of the white sandy beach lies Independence Park (‘Gan Haatzmaut’ in Hebrew) and it’s a beautiful place to enjoy views of the city since from this hill you can see to Jaffa!
Moreover, in our opinion, Independence Park is one of the best picnic spots in Tel Aviv- at the entrance, it has a shady area with wooden benches and tables, as well as a well-equipped children’s playground and fitness station. It’s ideal for yoga lovers, running fanatics, dog walkers, and those who want to relax with a book.
In good weather, it’s always crowded, particularly popular with families celebrating birthdays on Shabbat (Saturdays) and- on Israel’s annual Independence Day- packed to overflowing with locals barbequing (a national tradition)
4. Abrasha Park (Gan HaPisga)
At the top of a hill in Old Jaffa, with stand-out views of the Mediterranean and Tel Aviv in the distance, lies the small but pretty Abrasha Park. On the grounds itself, you’ll find the famous Wishing Bridge (decorated with all twelve signs of the zodiac) as well as the celebrated ‘Gate of Faith’ statue (sculpted by Daniel Kafri, and depicting three famous scenes from the Hebrew bible).
Close by is the Franciscan Church of St, Peter (with impressive interiors that will remind you of European cathedrals), and the charming Artists Quarter where you can wander narrow, winding alleyways and stumble upon studios of local jewelers, painters, and ceramicists. Below the park is the Jaffa port, perfect for strolling, watching fishermen reel in their catches, and grabbing a bite at one of the many cafes and restaurants there.
5.Gan Meir (Meir Park)
This beautiful little park, slap bang in the middle of Tel Aviv, is another oasis of green in the city. Next to the famous King George Street, and just a few minutes walk from the vibrant Dizengoff Street it has beautiful areas to sit, a lovely pond (where, if you’re lucky, you‘ll spy some turtles), ping pong tables, a children’s playground and even a dog park (always full of locals and their four-legged friends).
Gan Meir is also home to a Gay Centre, which is an invaluable resource for the city’s LGBTQ community. Inside is a cute little cafe where you can grab coffee and pastries; outside, there are tables where you can enjoy green views. There’s even a public library on wheels- perfect for picking up a book and getting lost in some printed matter whilst city life goes on all around you.
6. Charles Clore Park
This beachside park, in the south of Tel Aviv, is a fine place to come and enjoy greenery with sand and sea thrown in for good measure. Named after a British Jewish philanthropist, Charles Clore Park was opened in the mid-1970s and is a popular spot for locals, families, and picnic lovers, because of its lovely views of the water.
Charles Clore Park has fantastic playground facilities (perfect for those with young kids) which include a rope pyramid and water fountain (ideal for scorching hot summer days). There’s also a sculpture garden (look out for the local pieces, especially by artist Ilana Good (who has a museum of her own nearby) and the Etzel Museum (the Etzel or ‘Irgun’ was an underground organization established in 1931, which fought for the establishment of the State of Israel).
7. Tel Aviv University Botanical Garden
Calling all botanists, greenhouse aficionados, and succulent lovers - the Tel Aviv Botanical Garden awaits you. Situated in the leafy green suburb of Ramat Aviv (just a short bus ride or 15-minute taxi journey from the city center), this six-acre area has more than 3,800 plant species, combining native flora, Middle Eastern specimens, and plants from around the world.
Set up in 1972 as a university research and education center (which specializes in the conservation of rare and endangered species), although there is an admission fee, and tours must be coordinated in advance, anyone interested in ecology should visit. Close by is the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, which has some excellent collections and is full of treasures - a good place to bring kids if you want to teach them about biodiversity!
If you’d like to know more about the guided tours in Tel Aviv and the organized tours of Israel (from Jerusalem and the Galilee to the Dead Sea and the Golan Heights), feel free to contact us by phone or email. In the meantime, to read more about our amazing country- its food, history, culture, art, and people- take a look at our blog.