Tel Aviv Sightseeing on foot: Where Should You Start?
There’s nothing like walking the streets of a city to really get a feel for it - the people, the architecture, the green spaces, the culture, and the food scene. And if you’re visiting Israel, and looking for an urban experience where you can skip buses, taxis, and even bikes in favor of your feet, look no further than Tel Aviv.
The magical alleys of Jaffa
This lively, modern city ticks all the boxes for walking - it’s flat (unlike hilly Jerusalem), it’s pretty compact (you can walk from Park Hayarkon in the north to the Old Jaffa port in under two hours) and it’s full of fantastic neighborhoods, each with their distinct vibe and charm. Here are our three suggested itineraries for you - basic, intermediate, and complete.
1. Tel Aviv Sightseeing on Foot: Basic Route
Start at the Beit Ha’ir - the Museum of the History of Tel Aviv. It’s a great way to learn about how the city, from its humble beginnings in 1910 to the modern metropolis it’s become.
It’s a beautiful building on Bialik Street - close to the Carmel Market, considered one of the best markets in Tel Aviv - that’s been recently renovated and today is a real cultural hub, with plenty of good exhibitions to see.
One of Carmel Market's vegetable stands
Step outside and across the street to Bialik House - home to one of Israel’s greatest poets, Haim Nahman Bialik, who lived there (you can see many of his books inside).
A pioneer of poetry in both the Hebrew and Yiddish languages, the house was designed in the Bauhaus style and has a lovely interior.
Bialik Square in Tel Aviv
A moment’s walk away, still on Bialik Street, stop at the Rubin Museum. Born in Romania to a poor orthodox Jewish family, Ruben studied in Paris before emigrating to British Mandate Palestine in 1923 and subsequently became an accomplished painter, drawing on biblical themes and Holy Land landscapes.
The studio where he painted has been preserved and is fascinating to look at and the museum periodically puts on special workshops for children.
One of Rubin's wonderful creations (Image source: the official Rubin Museum website)
By now, you’re probably ready for lunch, so head over to Nahalat Binyamin - every Tuesday and Friday it hosts a wonderful Arts and Crafts fair where everything sold is made by hand by local artists. Stop for a bite and a coffee at one of the many cafes and restaurants that line its streets.
Then, join a Tel Aviv graffiti tour to see for yourself the raw talent of Israel;’s young artists, on the walls of surrounding buildings.
2. Tel Aviv Sightseeing on Foot: Intermediate Route
Follow all of the above steps, until you get to lunch - But instead of Nahalat Binyamin, head over to the Yemenite Quarter for lunch - it’s a charming neighborhood, full of tiny streets, small houses, and plenty of great eateries including Cafe Yom Tov and Shlomo and Doron’s hummus restaurant.
Nakhlat Binyamin street art
Afterwards, head south for about 15-20 minutes and you’ll soon reach Neve Tzedek. It’s one of the city’s most popular areas for tourists and when you wander around you’ll see why - renovated buildings, gorgeous tree-lined back streets, and lots of upmarket boutiques, jewelry stores, and cafes on the main drag, Shazabi Street.
Treat yourself to some gelato at Anita, wander past the Suzanne Dellal Modern Dance Center, and then end your walking day by heading over to Rothschild Boulevard. One of the city’s most fashionable and exclusive streets, it’s the perfect place to stroll, enjoy Bauhaus architecture or simply sit with a coffee and engage in some people watching.
Suzanne Dallal Center in Tel Aviv
And if you’re hungry now and ready for an early dinner, there are so many top restaurants in Tel Aviv (both around Rothschild Boulevard and beyond) that you will be spoilt for choice.
3. Tel Aviv Sightseeing on Foot: The Complete Route
For those who have both curiosity and stamina, this one’s for you since not only do you get the above, but also the chance to explore a picturesque and ancient city (which, in case you didn’t know, is actually joined up with Tel Aviv, to make one singular municipality.
In the afternoon, follow the steps of our ‘basic’ walking tour but in the morning, begin in the beautiful and historic city of Jaffa, a magical place that really has a flavor all of its own.
St. Peter's Church in Jaffa
Start at the famous Clock Tower (built in Ottoman times) on Yefet Street and then walk five minutes towards the famous Jaffa Flea Market. Once you’ve enjoyed some browsing and coffee, head towards the Mediterranean, via Abrasha Park. Not only will it offer you some stunning panoramic views, but it’s also home to the beautiful Catholic church of St. Peter’s (with an interior that resembles a European cathedral!)
Pause at the Wishing Bridge (with all of its zodiac signs) then stroll over to the famous Biblical statue ‘The Gate of Faith’ - made of Galilee stone, which depicts famous events from the Hebrew Bible. Head on to the famous ‘suspended Orange Tree’ and look out to the sea, to Andromeda’s rock.
The Suspended Orange Tree (Image source: vivali CC BY 3.0)
Then take a wander around the nearby Artist’s Quarter and pop into some of the studios, to meet the people behind the jewelry, paintings, and sculptures on offer - beautiful as gifts and perfect as souvenirs from Israel to take home!
From there, you can walk all the way along the beach, via the Carmel Market, and arrive for your afternoon at Bialik Street.
For sure, it’s easy to follow any of these walking tour instructions but if you really want the inside story (the history, the culture, the food, the people) then why not consider taking a guided Tel Aviv tour? It’s an ideal way to get the most out of your time and with the services of someone who knows Tel Aviv and Jaffa well, and can answer all your questions (and step in, should you need translations from Hebrew to English!) you’ll see and experience an enormous amount in one day.
Tel Aviv is much more than just lovely beaches!
If you’re traveling to Israel and want to make the most of your time in the country, we also offer a wide range of day trips, like guided tours in Jerusalem, trips to the Dead Sea, Masada voyages, and much, much more.
Feel free to contact us by email or phone for more information and if you’re curious about Israel, take a look at our blog which takes a deep dive into all things related to our country.