Experience Old Jaffa

May 20th 2012

Home to one of the oldest ports in the world, historic Jaffa, just south of Tel Aviv, is a colorful place to spend a day. Find some gems at the lively flea market, marvel at the beauty of the Mediterranean from the start of the Jaffa Promenade, wander the cobblestoned artists’ quarter around the port, and check out current archeological excavations at the Kikar Kedumim Visitor Center.

Shoppers of all kinds will love the colorful Jaffa Flea Market (called Shuk HaPishpeshim in Hebrew). Open every day Sunday through Friday, the flea market is a treasure hunter’s dream, with relics from Israel’s early history, antique Judaica items, beautiful furniture, vintage housewares and, of course, its fair share of junk. The nearby covered section boasts wonderful souvenirs, jewelry, new and vintage clothing shops and more. Trendy restaurants, cafes and bars are nestled within the old streets surrounding the market, so you can rest your feet and fill your belly when you’re all shopped out.

When you’ve had your fill at the flea market, head over to the cobblestoned area by the Old Jaffa Port. Although it no longer functions as a port, in its heyday all Jewish immigrants to Israel came through the Jaffa Port. Today it is a favorite spot for local fishermen and serves as a home to hip cafes, cute boutiques, inspiring galleries and artists’ studios. Walk up into pedestrian Old Jaffa and explore the quaint area. At the top, enjoy the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and all of Tel Aviv.

While wandering through Old Jaffa, you will likely come across the underground Kikar Kedumim Visitor’s Center, which displays archeological findings from the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras. Located in Old Jaffa’s central plaza, the area was excavated in the 1940s and 50s. Today there are shops, restaurants and galleries, with free concerts and events in the summertime.

On a beautiful sunny day, there is no better way to enjoy the beauty of Tel Aviv than a stroll along the 14-kilometer Jaffa Promenade, which starts, obviously, in Jaffa. Grab a spot on a bench and enjoy the rolling waves of the Mediterranean, walk to downtown Tel Aviv, or rent a bike from one of the many Tel-O-Fun municipal bike rental locations (these are the green bikes you will notice around the city). If you like long walks on the beach, then the Jaffa Promenade is for you, and is the perfect way to top off a satisfying day wandering Jaffa.