israel-and-palestine-day-1:-tel-aviv-and-old-jaffa

Israel and Palestine day 1: Tel Aviv and Old Jaffa

I arrived at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport in the early afternoon, booking a round trip flight with Alitalia airlines.

The custom formalities to enter Israel took place rather quickly with just a few questions about the purpose of my visit and if I were traveling alone or accompanied.

Israel stay permitIsrael stay permit

Israel do not stamp passports upon entry nor exit, but issue landing slips lasting 3 months instead.

I rented a car at Budget rental car sited at the same airport and I headed through the chaotic traffic of the city to Sea Land Apartments where I stood for 1 night.

During the afternoon I walked along the Tel Aviv promenade with its endless beach and came up to Old Jaffa (Yafo).

Here is the itinerary:

Tel Aviv - Jaffa itineraryTel Aviv – Jaffa itinerary

The Carmel Market, or Shuk HaCarmel, the most famous of all Tel Aviv’s marketplaces is a must to see during your stay, it extends the length of HaCarmel Street, from Magen David Square to the end of Carmalit, and across the nearby streets of the Keren HaTeimanim neighborhood and Nahalan Binyamin pedestrian mall.

Most of the stalls are open from 8am until the early hours of the night. But pay attention: on Friday the market closes in the early afternoon, earlier in winter, and is closed on Saturday for Shabbat.

Tel Aviv and Jaffa - Carmel MarketTel Aviv and Jaffa – Carmel Market

Old Jaffa is a magical place to get lost in the beautiful streets and small shops that dot the entire neighborhood; it is the southern and oldest part of Tel Aviv, and it is an ancient port city famous for its association with biblical and mythological stories.

Tel Aviv - Old JaffaTel Aviv – Old Jaffa
Tel Aviv - Old JaffaTel Aviv – Old Jaffa

Here are some sights and museums I suggest you to visit:

  • The Clock Square with its distinctive clocktower built in 1906 in honor of Sultan Abdul Hamid II.
  • The Saraya (governor’s palace) built in the 1890s.
  • The Andromeda rock: the rock to which beautiful Andromeda was chained accordingly to Greek mythology.
  • Jaffa Hill, the center of archaeological finds, including restored Egyptian gates.
  • The Jaffa Lighthouse, an inactive lighthouse located in the old port.
  • The Jaffa Museum of Antiquities located in an 18th-century Ottoman building constructed on the remains of a Crusader fortress.
  • The Libyan Synagogue (Beit Zunana) built by a Jewish landlord, Zunana, in the 18th century and became a museum in 1995, following a troubled history.
  • The Wishing Bridge.
Tel Aviv - Jaffa HillTel Aviv – Jaffa Hill
Tel Aviv - Jaffa HillTel Aviv – Jaffa Hill

In order to enjoy a little bit of the  famous night life of this “Mediterranean Miami” I decided to taste a typical Israelian dish in one of the modern and fancy bar/restaurant you can find along the beachside promenade. I ended up ordering a Sabich: a delicious and tasty pita stuffed with fried eggplant, hard boiled eggs, humus, tahini and salad (soon the recipe in the recipe “palates” session of the blog).

Tel Aviv promenade - nightlifeTel Aviv promenade – nightlife

The next day will be long and intense, I will leave early to Caesarea coming up to the Tiberias region with two amazing stops in the lower Galilee region.

See you soon with the itinerary of my second day in Israel and Palestine!

For more details about places, prices and planning, contact me:

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