Petah Tikva (פתח־תקוה) is an Israeli city that lies a few kilometers east of Tel Aviv. It does not have many entertainment venues or tourist attractions, but some visitors will find what they seek. Petah Tikva has a number of points of interest for those into early Zionist history.
Founded in 1878, Petach Tikva means "opening of hope" and was one of Israel's first agricultural settlements. It has grown into one of Israel's largest cities and now has some of the best medical facilities in the Middle East (including Schneider, the best and biggest children's hospital in the region). Medical tourism to Petah Tikva is popular, especially from the former Soviet Union.
The road to Tel Aviv is often jammed. Buses from Tel Aviv: #50 and #51 from Central Bus Station, #82 and #66 from the Carmel Market Terminal, and #49 from Tel Aviv University. Share taxis run along routes 51 and 66 and enter Petah Tikva from the Jabotinsky road (via Ramat Gan and Bnei Brak) on a 24/7 basis.
- There is a small petting zoo.
- There is a small museum for human anatomy with a mini annex for "modern art".
If you like the sounds, smells, colors and atmosphere of a tumultuous city market, then the Petah Tikva City Market (Shuk Petah Tikva) is worth a visit. It is located in the city center and has every imaginable food and vegetable grown this part of the world. Look for figs, passion fruit and other exotic items, all fresh, colorful and tasty, 6 days a week, except Saturday.
On the eastern side of the city is the Afek Park (commonly called Antipatris) with an ancient medieval crusaders fortress still standing. One mile north is a "Baptist village" where the Yarkon river starts and has some hiking trails around. The Israel Baseball League plays there.
For other trails around you can contact the Yarkon Field School ("Beit Sefer Sadeh Yarkon", Tel. 03-9301112) which is in charge of the trail marking of this region.
The main shopping area in Petah Tikva is located in the center of the city, in the rectangle between HaBaron Hirsch and Stampfer Streets; Haim Ozer Street; HaHistadrut Street; and Rothschild Street.
There are two shopping malls (Ovnat and Sirkin), and several open retail areas (Yakhin Center and two in the Segula Industrial Zone).
Like elsewhere in Israel, restaurants that serve kosher food should have a Kashrut certificate issued by the chief Rabbi of the city. If you are seeking authentic Jewish cuisine that has been prepared in accordance with the Kashrut laws, you should seek out an appropriately certified eatery.
- Paprika, a chain located in more than one place in Petah Tikva, open 24/7. An Israeli improved version of an American Diner with international food.
- Uzbekistan, Slor Street (next to the City's fresh produce market). An authentic folkloristic gastro-experience (non-kosher; menus available in Russian too). Try fillet mignon on a skewer with Kavkaz-mountain spices for 15 Shekels.
- Pizza USA, in front of the city hall on the Chaim Ozer (חיים עוזר) St. is a modest local pizza place which has become, through the years, a kind of famous local institute, because of the unique and delicious taste and texture of its pizzas.
- Shawarma There are many great stands at the center of the town, and they are all great tasting, so if you ever visit Petah Tikva, you should visit one of the kiosks and enjoy the taste of Israel.
Most of the pubs and bars in Petah Tikva are located in the Segula and Ramat Siv industrial zones. Petah Tikva has a popular local brewery with an attached pub called Jem's, but it is closed on Shabbat. Other establishments include Infinity (bar) and HaTzrif (club) in Segula.
There is an HI Hostel & guest house hidden away at Yad Labanim park.