Opera Square, Tel Aviv
Plan Your Visit
- Open Times: 24/7
- Prices: Free
- Average Visit Duration: 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Popular Times: Stop here for lunch, or stroll through the Square at sundown to catch the sunset across one of the best beaches of Tel Aviv. Pro Tip: Israeli summer can be tough and there isn’t any shade, so avoid being in the square at the hottest time of day, which is about 14:00.
- Special Events: In past years, the Tel Aviv Pride Parade in June has set off from Opera Square.
- Relevant Tours: This Square can be included in private Tel Aviv tours.
The best reason for stopping in Opera Square is because it is between the seafront and the city, perfectly situated close to top attractions and even a short walk from Jaffa.
The Opera Square
The Square lies at the western end of Allenby Street(home to Carmel Market), so it is perfect to either start or finish a walk through the city at Opera Square. Pro Tip: You might hear Opera Square referred to as Herbert Samuel Square (because of the adjacent hotel), Casino Square, or Knesset Square.
The Square has undergone renovations in the past few years and today is a stunning pedestrian area framed by tall palm trees and designed with flowing patterns on the paving, cycle paths, and a contemporary pond and fountain. The space faces onto the seafront promenade and the beach beyond.
What is There at Opera Square?
- Benches and seating
- Expansive paved spaces
- Cafes, Restaurants, and Stores
- A fountain and pond Pro Tip: Come back at night when the fountain is lit up.
- Cycle path
- Direct access to the promenade and beach across a small street
What there isn’t at Opera Square is opera! Although the name has survived from the original Opera House that stood here, the Israel National Opera Company now performs at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center (19 Sha’ul HaMelech Avenue).
Today the Opera Tower is called the Opera Herbert Samuel Hotel, and it is one of the most luxurious hotels in the city. This is one of the most interesting buildings along Tel Aviv’s seafront. The modernist structure stands on the site of the old Opera House. The facade arches are a homage to the historical Tel Aviv Opera House.
The Opera Square Fountain (Image source: Yehudit Garinkol CC BY 2.5)
Before the Opera House, this was the site of the Kesem Cinema built in British Mandate Palestine in 1945. Shortly after that when the State of Israel was declared it became the seat of the Provisional State Council and the newly elected Israeli parliament. By 1950 parliament had moved to Jerusalem, and the building was bought by the municipality and used as the Tel Aviv City Council offices.
In 1958, the Opera Friends Circle bought the building and it became the Opera House, which had a rich cultural life until being demolished in 1993 and replaced by the Opera Tower we see today.
Pro Tip: Did you know that Placido Domingo spent three years training here in the early 1960s?