How to spend a leisure day in Tel Aviv
Many Israel package tours include some free time in Tel Aviv, a magical city with a unique blend of attractions both historic and ultra-modern. You’ll have no problem finding things to do if you have a day at leisure in Tel Aviv.
Explore Tel Aviv Neighborhoods
Tel Aviv has some diverse neighborhoods each with their own unique character. Among the most interesting Tel Aviv neighborhoods there is Florentin, a hipster hangout with a bo-ho feel in Southern Tel Aviv. The former commercial area has transformed into a trendy destination with quirky bars and ethnic restaurants. The place has a shabby-chic feel with many independent small stores selling everything from art and tie-dye clothing to designer sweets and hand-made jewelry. This is the neighborhood where you can sit for hours in a café people-watching.
Another top Tel Aviv neighborhood is Neve Tzedek, originally the first Jewish neighborhood built outside of Jaffa. Today the small homes, courtyards and narrow lanes have been restored and converted into boutique stores, art galleries, chic cafes, eateries and one-off stores. The neighborhood has a small village feel and most buildings are dripping with gorgeous bougainvillea or flower boxes.
Visit Old Jaffa and Jaffa Port
Jaffa is now a part of the city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa; it is the oldest part of the city at the southern end of Tel Aviv’s beachfront promenade. The ancient city of Jaffa is built on a cliff overlooking the Old Port of Jaffa and the sea beyond. Jaffa is associated with the Biblical characters of Jonah and St. Peter. As you enter Jaffa the first sight that meets you is the Jaffa Clock Tower that dates back to the early 20th-century Ottoman era. On the inland side of the main road, you’ll find a labyrinth of market lanes and trendy restaurants and bars. On the right-hand side is the Old Port. Narrow lanes, each named after the signs of the zodiac lead down to the water. The lanes of Old Jaffa are lined with art galleries, small stores, and eateries. You can visit the Jaffa Museum to learn more about the city’s history.
Tel Aviv Museums
You could spend several days visiting the wonderful museums of Tel Aviv. If you are an art-lover then your best choice would be the Tel Aviv Museum of Art where contemporary and modern art is displayed in a spectacular venue that includes a unique modern building, the main building and the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion. Here you can see works by some of the greatest artists of all time including Chagall, Reuven Rubin, Klimt, Kandinsky, Van Gogh, Miro, Roy Lichtenstein and work by Israeli artists such as Nahum Gutman.
Other Tel Aviv museums worth checking out include the Eretz Israel Museum focused on Israel’s heritage, land and culture and the Museum of Jewish People focused on Jewish communities around the world and their traditions.
Tel Aviv Free Attractions
You won’t have to spend much money on your free day in Tel Aviv; just wandering the streets can be enough to keep you busy for hours. On a walk, through Tel Aviv you can enjoy the Bauhaus architecture which has earned Tel Aviv UNESCO statue as the “White City.” You can easily walk to the best Tel Aviv beaches which are located minutes from the city center. The wide sandy beaches line the beachfront promenade the length of Tel Aviv. Another great way to spend your time is at the Tel Aviv Port. This former port has been gentrified and converted to a wonderful outdoor attraction for the whole family. The many markets in the city include Carmen Market and the markets of Jaffa where you could wend away hours taking in the sights and sounds. Take a walk through any of Tel Aviv’s neighborhoods to see Tel Aviv street art by local and international artists. Many of the street artists in Tel Aviv use their art to bring attention to social issues or the human condition.