Don’t expect an actual port! Tel Aviv Port was a functioning port until the 1960s, but today it is a fantastic public space for dining, clubbing, entertainment, shopping, and recreation. It’s the perfect place to enjoy Tel Aviv’s vibrant atmosphere and Israel’s sunny weather. Tel Aviv Port (or Namal Tel Aviv in Hebrew) sits at the northern end of the Tel Aviv beachfront promenade. The port’s outdoor area has bamboo decking, creating a wide boardwalk with open spaces. You can walk or cycle seamlessly from HaYarkon Park to the Tel Aviv Port, and on to the promenade that takes you all the way to Jaffa. Whether it’s night or day, you’ll find something to see and do at Tel Aviv Port.
For hundreds of years, Jaffa Port was the main sea access point to the Holy Land. Then in the 1930s, during the British Mandate, there was an Arab uprising in Jaffa, and an alternative port was needed. A new port was constructed in Tel Aviv, which for a brief time, was the largest and most important port in the country. The port was closed to civilian use during the Second World War and again during the Israeli War of Independence in 1947-8. But it did welcome masses of new immigrants and handle commercial shipping for several years. As technology progressed, and containerized shipping became the norm, Tel Aviv Port was no longer big enough. A new port opened in Ashdod, and the Tel Aviv and Jaffa ports became redundant. For years, Tel Aviv Port’s large hangers stood empty, and the area was neglected.
In the early 2000s, the original developers of the port rehabilitated and repurposed the site, as a place of leisure and entertainment. The entire port was given an overhaul, and the infrastructure was improved. Old port hangers were converted into trendy stores, nightclubs, restaurants, event venues, and cafes. And the outside area was landscaped and gentrified.
The port’s 14,000m² boardwalk looks out to sea. There are areas where the bamboo decking undulates, mirroring the waves. A cut-out area in the boardwalk is filled with sand for kids to play in, like a mini-beach. Several mechanical kid’s rides and a carousel offer more entertainment for little ones. You can see people doing yoga, cycling, skating, jogging, and exercising on the port boardwalk. You can even rent a bike at the port and cycle down the promenade. The waterfront area of the port is lined with restaurants and cafes with outdoor seating. Trendy fashion stores and big-brand outlet stores stay open until 10 pm, and the port restaurants operate day and night. Hanger 12 holds the Tel Aviv farmers’ market, and on the upper level, a gourmet restaurant.
Friday is the most popular day at Tel Aviv Port. On Fridays, there is an outdoor organic fresh produce market, buskers, and free yoga class on the boardwalk. At night, Tel Aviv Port turns into a hive of clubs and bars. It is the venue for all-night parties and special events. Whether you visit Namal Tel Aviv day or night, to eat, go fishing, jog or people-watch, you will always find something interesting happening at the port.