Jaffa (Yafo in Hebrew, Yaffa in Arabic, archaically Joppa) is the oldest part of Tel Aviv-Yafo, located south of the Tel Aviv city center.
Jaffa is the most ancient city centre and port within the Tel Aviv region. Before the new Jewish city of Tel Aviv was founded in 1908 in the sand dunes north of Jaffa, Jaffa was the main settlement for Arabs, Jews and the various waves of occupiers (Turks, British, etc...) alike. Today, Jaffa is a southern suburb of Tel Aviv, and 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.
Walk south from central Tel Aviv along the beach promenade, until you reach the clock tower at the northern outskirts of Jaffa.
Numerous bus routes go here from central Tel Aviv.
The interesting sites in Jaffa are very close together, and walking is the best way to get between them.
- 1 Jaffa Clock Tower, Raziel 25. A local landmark, built in 1903.
- 2 Old Jaffa & port (יפו העתיקה) (south-west of the Yarkon street), ☎ , , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. One of the oldest ports in the world, and formerly the biggest seaport in Israel. This is the reputed point where Jonah boarded a ship and was later swallowed by a big fish. Today the port itself and the area close to it have become a quaint, interesting renovated district. The port holds various shops, restaurants and events. See websites for Jaffa port and Old Jaffa.
- 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.
- 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 said that Napoleon stayed in that church while it was a hostel.
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.
- 1 Givat HaAliyah beach. The quietest of Tel Aviv's beaches, and the only one you where are likely to find free parking nearby.
- 2 Bloomfield Stadium. Home to Tel Aviv's three football (soccer) clubs - Maccabi Tel Aviv, Hapoel Tel Aviv [dead link], and Bnei Yehuda.
- 3 Nalaga’at Theater. A theatrical performance performed entirely by deaf-blind people (with dual disability). Includes elements of circus arts and sign language, as well as regular theater.
- 4 Wheel Bee Bike Rental, Hahalfanim 7 (Corner of Yeffet 12. 100m south of the clock tower), ☎ . Wheel Bee offers various kinds of bikes for rent, electric & regular, for all ages.
- 1 Flea Market and Bazaar. An outdoor market where you can buy almost anything for low prices. Especially good for antiques.
- 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), ☎ . 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 Blackout, ☎ . At this restaurant you eat a meal entirely in the dark, simulating the experience of blind people. Part of the Nalaga’at Center which works with blind and deaf people (see "Do" section above). Prior reservations are needed.
- 5 [formerly dead link]Cordelia, 14 Hazorfim, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. 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.
- 6 Rak Basar, 19 Salame, ☎ . 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.
- 7 Itzik Hagadol, 3 Raziel (north-east of the clock tower), ☎ . You get the table filled with an amazing number of salad dishes. Then you get a great steak, kebab or meat on skewers. ₪200 steaks, 2 skewers with meat ₪80. Salads ₪28 with a meal..
- 1 Shmone, Eilat 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.
- 2 Saloona (קפליקס בית קליה), 17 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.
- Leo 5, Mazal 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.
- 1 Old Jaffa Hostel, Amiad 13 St., ☎ , fax: . Check-out: 12:00. Rated 4.1 out of 5. 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. Member of ILH. Single ₪180, dorm ₪80.