Rehovot is an academic city with a population of 138,000. It is home to the Weizmann Institute of Science, one of the world's premier research institutions, and to Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment of The Hebrew University.
Rehovot was founded in 1890 as one of the first modern Zionist settlements. The original location is now in central Rehovot, around the junction of Herzl (north-south) and Binyamin (east-west) streets. A number of historic sites are located here. Herzl Street remains Rehovot's main road to this day, full of shops and restaurants (pizza, falafel, schwarma, Yemenite).
Just to the west of the old city is Rehovot's shopping mall (also the central bus station), which also hosts weekly food festivals during the summer. The local fruits and vegetables market is just outside of the mall on Bilu street.
Further north, Herzl Street reaches the city's two academic institutes, as well as a rapidly developing hi-tech industrial park, where you can find many restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs. This is just north of the Weizmann Institute, across the train tracks. Rehovot's train station is located here too.
The easiest and fastest way is the train. The train connects Rehovot with Ashkelon, Ashdod and Yavne in the south, and with Lod and Tel Aviv in the north. A normal train ride to Tel Aviv lasts about 25 minutes. There are connections to other major destinations in Lod and Tel Aviv stations. Remember that trains do not operate on the Jewish Sabbath (from Friday afternoon till Saturday evening).
- 1 Rehovot train station.
There are various bus services connecting Rehovot to other major cities in the area. Rehovot's central bus station can be accessed directly from the shopping mall. Most bus lines have additional pick up stations along Herzl street.
Rehovot is a small town. Practically every place is reachable by foot, although some places will require the use of a car.
Egged operates 11 internal bus lines (lines 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 24א). Some lines are infrequent and line 19 is a one way line that operated at nights only.
- 1 Ayalon Institute, David Pikes 1. A secret underground bullet factory which operated from 1945-1948 when British authorities did not allow Jews to own weapons. The ammunition produced here was then used in Israel's 1948 War of Independence. Now it is a museum. You need an advance reservation to visit. Highly recommended by visitors.
- 2 Minkov Citrus Orchard Museum. In past decades, Jaffa oranges were one of Israel's main exports, and they were grown in the coastal plain, including in Rehovot. At this site, the first citrus orchard in Rehovot was founded in 1904. This museum tells the story of citrus growing in Rehovot and Israel as a whole.
- 3 Ohel Sarah synagogue, Binyamin 45. The first synagogue in Rehovot, built in 1904 at the top of a hill. A beautiful building, worth seeing from the outside.
- 4 Smilansky Garden. A small park, more of a botanical garden, with a wide assortment of labeled herbs and trees in a cozy setting.
- 5 Josephson House. The first house in Rehovot, built 1890.
- 6 Gan HaMeginim (Airplane Park). A park in memory of soldiers from Rehovot who have died. In the southeast is a Mystère fighter-bomber plane from the IDF. It is mounted in memory of a pilot flying a similar plane, who had a mechanical failure while crossing Rehovot on a test flight, but stayed in the plane to ensure it crashed in unpopulated areas, at the cost of his life. In the northeast of the park is a memorial to fallen soldiers. In the south is building which contains an indoor memorial. Even if the building is closed, it's worth looking through the front door to see the sun shining through the interesting stained glass on the other side. There are also a few old artillery pieces scattered throughout the park.
- 1 Clore Garden of Science (On the Weizmann Institute grounds). A science museum. Note that the outdoor exhibits (which is the majority, though there are also many indoor exhibits) are closed from 1-4pm in the summer due to heat. Signs are in both Hebrew and English.
- 2 Weizmann house (At the eastern end of the Weizmann Institute grounds). Former house of Chaim Weizmann, Israel's first president. Now a museum. Closed for renovations from 2016-2017.
- Weizmann Institute pool (On the Weizmann Institute grounds). There is a huge pool with ice cream shops, and a big hill of grass surrounding the pool so you can rest. To go there you have to sign up for a membership for how much days you want to be a member, which costs some money.
- 1 Rehovot mall. A shopping mall with hundreds of stores. The city's central bus station is also within the mall complex.
In the northern hi-tech industrial park of the city, you will be able to find several restaurants, such as:
- Black Burger - a fancy meat restaurant.
- Arcaffe - an international bar-cafe foodchain.
- Cezar - a french-style elegant restaurant.
- New York Bagles - a decorated bar.
- Papardella - Italian restaurant.
- Hamburg - another meat restaurant, pretty similar to Black Burger.
- Caffe-Caffe - a famous israeli bar-cafe foodchain.
There are also many fastfood branches in the shopping mall, such as McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Sbarro, etc. This mall also contains a KFC which is famous for making WORST chicken in the world.
A number of establishments lie on Herzl Street, in the vicinity of the Weizmann Institute. Among them you can find:
- La Morse - an Irish pub with a wide variety of Belgian ales on tap, frequented by a mix of young locals and Weizmann Institute students and scientists. The music played is typically alternative rock, classic rock, and blues.
- Cafe Ma - a slightly more high brow bistro-bar, which also has an extensive and high quality food menu.
- Vinona Wine Bar - directly opposite of the Weizmann Institute. Offers a fine selection of wines, and a small selection of good food in a pleasant, calming atmosphere.
- Herzl - a two-floor cafe with a relaxed atmosphere.
In the northern hi-tech industrial park of the city:
- Dublin - an Irish pub.
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