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Tags - tel aviv
If you had only 48 Hours to travel to Tel Aviv, it is barely enough time but well worth it. Lonely Planet travel guide for 2011 has listed Tel Aviv as the third top city in the world to visit revealing what Israelis and sophisticated travelers have known all along: Tel Aviv is a worthy stop when traveling the Holy Land.
Often overshadowed by Jerusalem as a holy destination for tourists, the city of Tel Aviv holds its own with a plethora of sites for Jews and Christians who may want to visit the shore-side city, not to mention great restaurants, shopping and temperate weather most of the year.
Tel Aviv was listed by Lonely Planet right behind New York and Tangier, Morocco. The city has received many positive ratings this year. National Geographic Magazine named Tel Aviv as one of the world’s top 10 beach cities and Leisure Magazine voted Tel Aviv the third best city in Africa and the Middle East.
If you want to see a lot in a small amount of time, the wide streets and temperate weather make biking a great transportation option in Tel Aviv and nearby Jaffa. The terrain is flat and the cities are compact making it biker friendly. You can rent a bicycle at many places on Bograshov, Allenby and Jerusalem streets or try: O-fan, 197 Ben Yehuda Street (03.544.2292).
With a Bible Museum and sites of interest relevant to the history of the Jewish state, there is more to Tel Aviv than fun and sun. Here is what Travelujah recommends if you have 48 hours to spend in Tel Aviv:
TEL AVIV MUSEUMS
The Eretz Israel Museum focuses on the history and culture of the land of Israel with exhibitions on archaeology, ethnography, folklore, Judaica, cultural history, crafts and art. Learn about the history of pottery and ceramics in the region, see a reconstructed oil press and take in the on-site archaeological hill, Tell Qasile. Pottery shards from the first temple period with Hebrew inscriptions and the remains of an ancient port city built by the Philistines in the 12th century BC were found there.
Hours: Sunday-Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Address: 2 Haim Levanon St., Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv 69975
Independence Hall is the historic building Israel was declared a state in May 1948. The building was a private residence in the early 1900s but at the behest of its owner was donated to the young city of Tel Aviv and transformed into a museum. The building was expanded and renovated and in 1936 became the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The renovated Independence Hall opened to the public in 1978. Today the hall contains original documents of the creation of Israel, the names of those who attended the 1948 ceremony, invitations, recording and broadcasting equipment, memos and more. Visitors can listen to the original recording of the ceremony and view a 16-minute film describing the events of the period and the history of the building.
Hours: Sunday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Address: 16 Rothschild Blvd.
Phone: 03.510.6426, 03.517.3942
The Bible Museum is not easy to find on the third floor of the Municipality Building on Rothschild Boulevard. But a treasure awaits those who seek. With two sections, “The Bible in Art” and “The Bible in Print,” visitors are privy to paintings, sculptures, and ceramics that feature the Bible, commentaries on the Bible and Apocrypha, history books, geography and archaeology books, as well as books on biblical criticism, and more. There is a model of the Temple, plants and flowers of the Bible, examples of temple priests’ garb and archaeological artifacts. Lectures and Bible studies by local and foreign experts are given.
Hours: Sunday through Friday: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.
Address: Dizengoff House, 16 Rotchild Blvd.
Beit Hatfutsot (Diaspora Museum) specializes in the history of the Jewish People from the exile of the tribes to the forming of the State of Israel. Visit the exhibitions, join a seminar or even ask for your family genealogy to be researched.
Hours: Sunday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Address: Klausner Street. Tel Aviv University Campus
The Palmach Museum is a unique museum concept: a museum that is all experiential with no displays. Visitors join a group of young army recruits in the elite Palmach unit founded before the establishment of Israel and since disbanded, through the story of the Palmach beginning with the unit’s formation until the end of the War of Independence. The actors take visitors on a journey punctuated by films, three-dimensional decor and documentary. Visits to the museum must be pre-arranged.
TEL AVIV NEIGHBORHOODS
Neve Tzedek was the first neighborhood built in Tel Aviv in 1887 and is considered today one of the most beautiful areas in the city with restaurants, galleries and designer shops. The Suzzane Dellal Center, Tel Aviv's official dance center and home of the famous Bat Sheva dance group, is located here. Check for the shows available when you are in Israel: http://www.suzannedellal.org.il. Visit shops on Shabazi Street for designer stores, children's clothes, art, pottery and other boutiques.
The Shenken Street area of Tel Aviv, with its Bauhaus buildings, local bars, restaurants and shops, is centered on Shenkin Street and has become one of the city’s trendiest areas. Besides boutiques, cafes and restaurants small gardens where locals gather to play chess dot the area.
The Yarkon Park is a haven in Tel Aviv with gardens, ponds, trees and a huge playground on 1,000 acres of green lawns running along the Yarkon River. Biking/running trails follow the river through the park. The park itself is full of activities for the whole family including a petting zoo, a climbing wall, mini golf, bike rentals and pony rides. Another fun activity is to rent a motor boat (150 shekels per hour) or a pedal boat (70 shekels per hour) for a cruise on the Yarkon River.
Just south of Tel Aviv in Jaffa, the American Colony neighborhood was established by 35 American families in the 1800s. Adjacent to Neve Tzedek, the American Colony is currently being restored back to its historic roots. Here you may stay at Beit Immanuel Christian Guesthouse and visit the heritage center or local Messianic community there. The Maine Friendship House museum, a home built in 1866 in Maine and brought to Israel by sea, is open to visitors by appointment. Phone: 03.681.9225.
TEL AVIV WALKING TOURS
The Bauhaus Center conducts tours of Israel’s World Heritage Sites in cooperation with the Israel National Commission for UNESCO with riveting walking tours of Tel Aviv’s prominent Bauhaus buildings (international style) built during the 1930s and 1940s. Special tours may be booked for groups. Individuals are invited to join our regularly scheduled general tours which are two hours and held every Friday at 10 a.m. (contact the center beforehand to confirm). The tours are conducted in Hebrew, English and German.
RELIGION IN TEL AVIV
Every Friday during the summer, Beit Tefila offers a musical welcome to the Sabbath at the beautiful Tel Aviv Port. Services are based on the traditional text with traditional and modern hymns. The services take place at the southern edge of the boardwalk near Metzitzim Beach. Details regarding services and times can be found at their web site: http://www.btfila.org.
TEL AVIV SHOPPING
The Azrielli Center is a mall topped off with an observatory on its roof with views of Tel Aviv from the highest perspective available located on the 49th floor of Israel’s tallest building. The observatory offers a 3D movie on Tel Aviv, an audio guide describing major landmarks, a gift shop, restaurant and temporary art exhibitions.
Hours: all week; Winter 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Summer 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Address: 132 Petah Tikva Rd.
Dizengoff Street is known for it designer shops and throngs of pedestrians strolling the famous street to window shop. From wedding dresses to normal clothes, you can find a variety in style and price range. Some Israeli designers with shops here include: Tovalé (220 Dizengoff St.); Gertrude (225 Dizengoff St.); Catomenta (173 Dizengoff St.); and Kalla (184 Dizengoff St.).
The Dizengoff Center, different from but located on Dizengoff Street, has two cinemas, many shops, food stands and art exhibits and events. Soho is a design center displaying exhibitions from around the world and containing the largest shop in Israel for designer products. A roof-top swimming pool and gym is open 24 hours.
Dizengoff Center, Corner of Dizengoff and King George Street
Fashion Designers Bazaar offers the latest designs of the leading fashion designers in Israel with slightly reduced prices only on Fridays, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Dizengoff Center, Corner of Dizengoff and King George Street
TEL AVIV MARKETS
Carmel Market near the corner of King George and Allenby streets is worth a visit especially for its different kinds of bread and pastries, fresh produce, fish, cheese, flowers and clothing.
Nachalat Binyamin Market, is open on Tuesdays and Fridays and is known for crafts, pottery and street performances. The market offers jewelry, painted ceramics, special toys, lampshades, Judaica and a pleasant stroll through its narrow alleys.
The Flea Market in Jaffa is known for antique and modern furniture, second-hand clothes and shoes and household utensils.
NEAR TEL AVIV
Jaffa is one of the oldest settlements along the Mediterranean and maintains its ancient feel especially compared to neighboring Tel Aviv. In the Bible, Jaffa was significant in Peter’s life. Here he raised Tabitha from the dead as recounted in Acts 9. And here, when he prayed on the roof of Simon the Tanner’s house, he had a vision of a sheet filled with animals being lowered from heaven (Acts 9:43-10:23), signaling to him to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles.
The Old City of Jaffa, with the Old Port, markets, restaurants and St. Peter’s church, is delightful. Numerous galleries line the cobble stone alleys of Old Jaffa. The port is one of the most ancient, yet still active, ports in the world. St. Peter’s Church is the center of the ancient portion of Jaffa. A Franciscan church, St. Peter’s holds daily mass in several languages. The church was built in 1654 over a medieval fortress but was destroyed in the late 18th century then rebuilt in 1894. A room at the church supposedly hosted Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799.
The city of Holon, south of Tel Aviv, is host to the Children’s Museum where you can feel what it’s like to be blink. Dialogue in the Darkness, for people of all ages, is a sensory exhibit that allows visitors to walk around, order from a bar and board a boat in darkness. Reserve a week in advance to participate in the tour.
Hours: Sunday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and holiday eves until 2:30 p.m., Saturdays and holidays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Address: 1 Mifratz Shlomo St., Peres Park, Holon, Israel
Also in Holon is the Design Museum, the country’s first museum dedicated solely to design. The building itself is a design phenomenon with red and orange steel forming a ribbon that encompasses the interior. The museum, which opened in 2010, has won the Conde Nast Traveller Innovation and Design Award.
Hours: Monday, Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ; Tuesday, Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Address: Pinhas Eilon St. 8
Test drive an electric car at Better Place – The Shai Agassi Electric Car Park in Herziliya. The visitor center includes an interactive information center and a short driving course, where people can test drive the company’s electric vehicles. Visitors are treated to a short film propagating the merits of electric cars. Following the film, visitors are invited to test drive a car.
In Rehovot visit the Ayalon Institute, a clandestine ammunition factory from the 1940s that only became known to the public in 1975 and was turned into museum in 1987. The factory was established when it became clear to Jews in Palestine that they were going to need weapons to defend themselves against Arab armies when British troops withdrew in 1948. The Ayalon Institute had been hidden under the guise of a kibbutz for many years. The kibbutz buildings, disguised as a laundry center and a bakery, concealed the weapons factory and testing areas. Prior reservations are necessary.
Hours: Sunday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (last tour is at 3 p.m., Friday and holiday eves until 2 p.m.; Saturday and Holiday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Phone: 08.940.6552, 08.930.0585
By Nicole Jansezian, Travelujah
Nicole Jansezian writes for Travelujah.com, the only Christian social network focused on travel to the Holy Land. Travelujah is a vibrant online community offering high quality Christian content, user and expert blogs, travel tours and planning services for people interested in connecting with or traveling to the Holy Land.
Israel put itself on the fashion map once again with its very own Tel Aviv Fashion Week, luring leading fashion designers and journalists from around the world, reviving the show after 30 years of not hosting it in the coastal city.
For one week, the international spotlight on Israel focused on its cultural and touristic qualities as the event featured 18 shows by foreign and local designers at Tel Aviv's trendy Hatahana neighborhood by the old railway station. The festivities opened at the residence of the Italian ambassador with a cocktail reception honoring Italian designer Roberto Cavalli who showed his 2012 summer collection during Tel Aviv's Fashion Week, an encore performance having been originally staged in Milan, Tel Aviv's sister city.
"Israel is in my heart," Cavalli said at a news conference. "I'm hoping that Tel Aviv fashion week will show the world the Israel that I love. It's a beautiful city full of life with people full of life who enjoy fashion and culture just like Europeans, Americans, the Japanese. I'm happy I could support this new venture by showing in Tel Aviv."
Summer 2012 collections put together by Israeli designers like Sasson Kedem, Mira Zwillinger, Dorin Frankfurt, Galit Levy, Gideon Oberson, Shai Shalom, and Alon Livne were displayed along with student lines.
“Who knows, fashion could turn out to be a better ambassador than the country's politicians - not hard,” wrote fashion reporter Lisa Armstrong of the British newspaper, The Telegraph. “It may seem far fetched or idealistic, but when someone's enthusing about an H&M outfit, or sharing their views on what makes the perfect bag, you have the start of a common language.”
The Fashion Wire Daily reported that the collections “featured an eclectic blend of design concepts, fabrics, and color palettes, from the delicate lace and intricately beaded confections of evening and bridal gown designer Galit Levi; to 'street couture' reminiscent of 'Desperately Seeking Susan'-era Madonna by Sugar Daddy; to a bold interpretation of the flapper-meets-rocker aesthetic, coupled with graphic patterns with a decidedly surrealist influence by Yosef Peretz; to a black and gold spectacle of Middle-Eastern inspired garb by Dorit Bar Or, whose Pas Pour Toi show culminated with a perfectly timed belly dance performance set to Sarit Hadad's 'Do You Love Me.'"
Italian fashion gurus from Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, the Italian Fashion Chamber, worked with Israelis in the industry to help plan Fashion Week.
In line with the ministry’s new focus on lifestyle and niche tourism, the Ministry of Tourism was a major partner in the venture and brought 60 leading international fashion and lifestyle journalists to Israel to cover fashion week and tour the country to see how what is portrayed about Israel on the news back home isn't all it seems.
“Fashion Week gives us a chance to show the other side of Israel, which we would like the world to recognize,” said Silvan Shalom, minister for the development of the Negev and the Galilee, at the opening reception.
From now, the industry plans to host two Tel Aviv Fashion Weeks each year – one spring/summer and the other fall/winter. The next one could be as soon as April 2012.
"I feel that fashion today... is international because all of you read the same magazines, we watch the same movies and fashion is there. From there you get an idea what to buy," Cavalli said
Photos: Avi Valdman