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Jaffa

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Asia > Middle East > Israel > Israeli Coastal Plain > Tel Aviv > Tel Aviv/Jaffa
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Jaffa (Yafo in Hebrew, Yaffa in Arabic, archaically Joppa), now absorbed into the Israeli coastal metropolis as a southern suburb of Tel Aviv, represents the most ancient city centre and port within the Tel Aviv region. Before the foundation of the new Jewish city of Tel Aviv in 1908 in the sand hills north of Jaffa, Jaffa was the main settlement for Arabs, Jews and the various waves of occupiers (Turks, British, etc...) alike. Today, it is the main concentration of Arab population in the Tel Aviv area. Like other nearby areas, it is beginning to undergo gentrification from downtown Tel Aviv.

Get in[edit]

Jaffa clock tower

By foot[edit]

Walk south from central Tel Aviv along the beach promenade, until you reach the clock tower at the northern outskirts of Jaffa.

By bus[edit]

Numerous bus routes go here from central Tel Aviv.

Get around[edit]

Map of Tel Aviv/Jaffa

The interesting sites in Jaffa are very close together, and walking is the best way to get between them.

  • 1 Wheel Bee Bike RentalHahalfanim 7 (Corner of Yeffet 12. 100m south of the clock tower),  +972 3-6838080. Wheel Bee offers various kinds of bikes for rent, electric & regular, for all ages.

See[edit]

  • 1 Jaffa Clock TowerRaziel 25. A local landmark, built in 1903.
  • 2 Old Jaffa & port (יפו העתיקה) (south-west of the Yarkon street),  +972 3-603-7700, +972 3-603-7686, e-mail: . Jaffa is a must see for any visitor to Tel Aviv. This is the reputed point where Jonah boarded a ship and was later swallowed by a big fish. It is also one of the oldest ports in the world, which used to be the biggest seaport in Israel. Today the port itself and the area close to it have become a renovated district. Some of the most interesting places in the city are found in this small area, for example, St. Peter's Catholic Church, a Franciscan church, built in the 19th century on the remains of Crusaders' fortress, which serves also as a hostel. It is told that Napoleon stayed in that church while it was a hostel. The port also holds various shops, restaurants and events. See the Jaffa port website.
  • 3 Old Jaffa Museum. This complex, built in the 13th century, was the Ottoman government headquarters in Jaffa. Right now the building is used for art exhibitions.
  • 4 Ramesses Gate. Archaeological remains from the 16th century BCE which can be freely viewed. However, they are hard to appreciate without a tour guide.
  • 5 Zodiac alleys. a network of restored alleys, full of art galleries, which lead to the Jaffa seaport. The alleys are named after the signs of the zodiac.
  • 6 Andromeda's rock. The rock in Jaffa harbor which, according to Greek myth, Andromeda was tied to before being rescued by Perseus.
  • 7 Wishing Bridge. The myth says if you touch your zodiac sign and face the sea, your wish will come true.
  • 8 al-Bahr Sea Mosque. Built in 1675, this is the oldest surviving mosque in Jaffa. Due to its proximity to the sea, it is still used by fishermen and sailors, as it has been for centuries. Al-Bahr Mosque on Wikipedia

Do[edit]

Tourists flock to Jaffa mainly to wander around and enjoy the picturesque views and the local food joints and hunt for bargains in the shops and markets. If you would like to understand the history and significance of particular places in Jaffa better, a guided tour may be a good idea. There are many on offer, and per Wikivoyage policies, we do not recommend any in particular.

Buy[edit]

  • 1 Flea Market and Bazaar. An outdoor market where you can buy almost anything for low prices. Especially good for antiques.

Eat[edit]

  • 1 Abouelafia and Sons (100m south of the clock tower). 24/7. The most famous bakery in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, if not in the entire country. Mounds of pastries and confectioneries.... the best! Israelis drive for miles to visit this bakery.
  • 2 Aladin. In the heart of Old Yafo.
  • 3 Ali Karavan Abu Hassan (Abu Hassan), 14 Shivtey Yisrael Street (Corner of Yehuda Ha'Yamit and Ha'Dolphin),  +972 3-6828355. Sunday-Friday, 7:45-14:45 or until the hummus runs out. Famous for its hummus, massabaha (coarsely textured hummus with whole chick peas), and ful (cooked spicy fava beans). Many Israelis claim it to be the best Hummus in Israel.
  • 4 Cordelia14 Hazorfim +972 3-5184668fax: +972 3-5183418, e-mail: . Near the flea market and the busy clock square, there is a plaza full of surprises, waiting for you. Chef Nir Zook offers an outstanding combination of culinary experience and personal hospitality to everyone.
  • 5 Rak Basar19 Salame +972 3-6813590. 12:00 till last customer. A great meat & wine place. The meat is selected personally by the customer and is cooked to perfection and the wine is unlimited. The entire meal is quite cheap, considering the quality.
  • 6 Itzik Hagadol3 Raziel (north-east of the clock tower),  +972 3 6830033. You get the table filled with an amazing number of salad dishes. Then you get a great steak, kebab or meat on skewers. NIS 200 steaks, 2 skewers with meat NIS 80. Salads NIS 28 with a meal..
  • 7 Goldman +972 036822111. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner with a view of the beach end old Jaffa.

Drink[edit]

  • Leo 5Mazal Dagim Street. Located beneath the Ilana Goor Museum on the top of the hill, this bar is a great place to hang out. The owner is most generous and boasts a wide array of rock and roll memorabilia. You'll probably be able to hear the bar before you see it.
  • Jaffa BarYefet 30. Belongs to Nir Zook, the famous Israeli chef and located in his "plaza" near Cordelia and Noa. IT's a place for the older crowd with great food.
  • Saloona17 Tirza St.. 21:00-Last Customer Leaves. A local neighborhood bar with an art orientation. Often art of local artists is presented on the walls.
  • ShmoneEilat 8. A very beautiful place located in an old Jaffa style building, it's kind of a private membership club with many older richer people that the usual hangout.

Sleep[edit]

  • 1 Old Jaffa HostelAmiad 13 St. +972 3 682-2370fax: +972 3 682-3328, e-mail: . Check-out: 12:00. In the heart of the flea market, the Old Jaffa Hostel is a funky-bohemian type place in all the right ways; eclectic decor in the rooms, chirping birds in the hallways, rooftop patio and kitchen with a view of Tel Aviv and free coffee, tea and cookies in the morning. An excellent choice, very good location, and a great value -- but not a party hostel. Single NIS 180, dorm NIS 50.

Go next[edit]

This district travel guide to Jaffa is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.
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