A Guide To The Unmissable Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv

Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel

There is something truly special about Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv. It’s got a certain vibe to it, maybe it’s the flavours of the food, essence of the Jaffa Flea Market, the different cultures that live here, or the lingering scent of Jaffa oranges that used to be shipped from here. With every visiting to Israel, I am drawn to visiting Old Jaffa Port, exploring and discovering a new area within it each time. It’s like a mini city in Israel, there is shopping, there are bars with plenty of lively atmospheres, the restaurants take you on a culinary journey that you don’t want to return from, there are galleries and museums to explore.

Jaffa Port is a labyrinth of charming alleyways that take you on a mysterious discovery and each corner leads to cute little galleries, there are little balconies waiting to be Instagrammed. Beautifully detailed doors with amazing designs that almost tell the history of Old Jaffa Port as it’s a melting pot of all the different cultures and ethnic groups that come and gone on the Israeli Port. When you are in Jaffa it doesn’t even feel like you are in Tel Aviv so with that in mind I below is a guide to all there is to find in Jaffa and why you need to visit Jaffa Port when you visit Israel, whether you are exploring Tel Aviv or running off to explore Jerusalem.

 

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Things To See And Do In Old Jaffa Port – Tel Aviv

 

Old Jaffa Port dates back to Biblical times but has very much been modernised and is host many sights that you can easily spend a day or two exploring and enjoying surroundings and there would still be a corner yet to discover. Besides the many sights contained in this corner of Tel Aviv, Old Jaffa offers what may just be the best viewpoints in the city of the coastline. You need to head to HaPisga Garden, HaPisga means summit in Hebrew this little garden is slightly raised and located at the top of Old Jaffa. Other places to see include:

The Clock Tower – The beautiful clock tower can be found right at the northern entrance of Jaffa and In the middle of Yefet Street. The Clock Tower, one of seven built in honor of Sultan Abdul Hamid II during the Ottoman Period. The tower was erected in 1903, and in 1965 mosaics depicting the history of the city were added. Within the Clock Tower Plaza are the ‘Kishle’ and the ‘Saraya,’ the old Ottoman police station and government house.

 

Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel

HaPisga Gardens - Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel

Wearing: Asos Dress (linked below) | Asos Straw Bag | H&M Mesh Top(old) | BCBG Max Azria Studded Sandals

 

 

 

St Peter’s Church – I mentioned that Jaffa Port dates back to Biblical times, well St Peters Church, this beautiful church that I am surprised I only managed to capture properly on video but you can see part of it in the pictures with the Wishing Bridge below, is named after St Peter the Apostle in the New Testament.

“The New Testament records several of the deeds of St Peter the Apostle which took place in Jaffa: the raising of Tabitha; his stay at the house of Simon the Tanner; the vision of the sheet let down from heaven. It was from here that he journeyed up the coast to Caesaria to tell about Jesus at the request of the Roman centurion, Cornelius, whose household became the first converts from paganism to be welcomed into the Church.~”

House of Simon the Tanner is also a short walk from this church. Whether you are religious or not just to experience seeing sights and places that date back so far and the significance and meaning to people’s way of life in terms of religion and beliefs is just amazing! Also amazing is the factor that right next to St Peter’s Church is the Embassy to the Vatican!

 

The Wishing Bridge - Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel The Zodiac Bridge in Jaffa - Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel

 

The Zodiac Bridge – The Wishing Bridge is also known as the Zodiac Bridge. It features a beautiful stone mosaic depicting the 12 astrological signs and according to local legend, visitors should stand on the bridge at sunset, if they touch their astrological sign and make a wish, it is supposed to come true.

Other places – Abrasha Park which is surrounded by several gardens, Jaffa outdoor amphitheater.

 

The Clock Tower in Jaffa - Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel    HaPisga Garden Jaffa - Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel

 

Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel

Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv IsraelOld Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel Steps Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel  HaPisga Gardens View Point - Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel    Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel

Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel

 

Jaffa Flea Market

You cannot visit the Old City of Jaffa and not explore the treasure trove that is Jaffa Flea Market. You will find all manner of goods here from, handmade handbags, antiques, Arabic pottery and ceramic items, souvenirs, clothing, furniture and everything in between. In between all of that the smells and flavours from cafes and restaurants nearby mean that it’s not long before you are torn away from the bargain hunting and the tourist crowds lining the market and into a cafe to sample some hummus filled delicacy. There are also a couple of tours offered in Jaffa.

 

Jaffa Flea Market Hours:

  • Wednesday and Thursday  – 9am–5pm
  • Friday – 9am–2pm
  • Saturday – Closed
  • Sunday, Monday, Tuesday – 9am–5pm

 

Clock Tower Yefet Street - Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel

Jaffa Flea Market - Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv IsraelOld Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel

Jaffa Port Beach - Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel

Jaffa Port Restaurants

 

The melting pot of many cultures makes for beautiful flavours of gastronomic propositions. Of course, when you visit Jaffa Port you have to sample the food here. With each visit, I sample something new on every visit. On my first trip to Israel, I made sure not to leave without heading over to Yefet Street and sample kebabs with a good helping of hummus. Tasting shakshuka (eggs cooked into tomato sauced) then on my visit last November I made sure to check out another gem I have been meaning to try for a while; The Old Man and the Sea. You sit right by the Port with the fresh fragrance of the Mediterranean Sea lingering as use dine to freshly caught seafood matched with fresh and fragrant salads. You also cannot visit Jaffa Port and not check out the famous Abu Hassan Humus for its famed hummus that causes people to queue from morning until the hummus runs out.

So take yourself to Jaffa Port on an empty stomach and start from Yefet Street and start if breakfast with shakshuka and work yourself down the street and head south, once you have explored the markets stop by for lunch at Abu Hassan Humus further down Yefet Street. Explore the labyrinth of Jaffa and finish your dining experience at the Old Man and The Sea for a light seafood dinner or salad. If you are staying nearby, even better you can sample the nightlife in Jaffa where many of the bars and restaurants have live music as well.

 

Last but not least is Aladdin Restaurant, with the amazing little balcony and perfect sea views. The views alone are just a treat before you even get to the food. The place to be just before sunset!

Aladin Restaurant Jaffa - Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel

Aladin Restaurant Jaffa - Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel Aladin Restaurant Jaffa - Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel  The Old Man and The Sea Restaurant Jaffa - Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel The Old Man and Sea Restaurant Jaffa - Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel

Aladin Restaurant Jaffa - Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel Sunset in Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel

Flea Market in Jaffa - Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel

 

Jaffa port Art Galleries and Museums

 

Ilana Goor Museum

The building served as a hostel for Jewish pilgrims who were on their way to Jerusalem some 250 years ago. It was restored by The world-renowned artist, Ilana Goor. The museum presents a wide selection of Ilana’s works as well as those by other Israeli and international artists. On display are stunning art pieces; sculptures, jewelry, furniture, paintings and more. All thoughtfully placed around the magnificent building with an incredible view of the sea. The Ilana Goor Museum has a homey feeling about it and when people learn that the Museum is, in fact, part of Ilana Goor’s house, it comes as no surprise. The best part of the museum is the rooftop café with a breath-taking view of the Mediterranean Sea. You will also find a gift shop in the Museum.

 

Jaffa Art Salon

Located within the historic port is another gem. The Jaffa Art Salon Gallery was established in 2010, as a contemporary art gallery, unique for its purpose to exhibit and expose Palestinian art from artists from different parts of Israel and the Palestinian authority. At the beginning of 2012, the Salon decided to broaden its artistic activity and exhibit young Israeli artists, both Jewish and Arabic as a way of showing that to show that art knows no political divides. I had taken pictures of the Salon on a previous visit on my phone but unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find them. You will just have to take my word for it and make sure you stop by and check this place out.

 

Ilana Goor Museum - Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel

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 Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel

 

 

Jaffa Port Beaches With Biblical History On Its Shores

 

In my last post, I share with you the Top 10 Beaches of Tel Aviv with tips on which to check out and where to stay if you are into watersports, beach bumming or if you are taking your little mini-mes to splash around with you. One of those beaches I mentioned can be found in Jaffa the other one that was missed off that list is Ajami Beach which sits on the south side of the Old City. Compared to all the other beaches in Tel Aviv this one is a lot quieter and allows you a little respite from the busy tourist areas and beaches in Tel Aviv, especially during the summer months. The stairs featured below lead down to the Ajami neighbourhood, a predominantly Arab neighborhood in Tel Aviv-Jaffa.

 

The neighborhood was named after Ibrahim al-Ajami, one of prophet Muhammad’s companions. According to a tradition, he was buried in the south of the neighborhood. This is also where you will find the Maronic Church. The Maronites are Arabic speaking Christians who evolved in the Northern part of Syria and the center of Lebanon and belong to the Catholic Church stream. The church in Jaffa was built in 1904 by Iscander Awed, a Maronite merchant who worked as Thomas Cock’s agent and built a large part of Raziel St. In the church are Maronite monks from Lebanon. Right next to the Maronite church lays another church – Saida El Bisra named after the angel who told Mary of Jesus’ upcoming birth. It was built in 1928 and next to it is a bell tower remains of an even older church. I love how much this tiny place has so much history and its this mix of people from all walks of life that make Jaffa Port what it is. You could be lounging on Ajami beach enjoying the ever-present Middle Eastern sunshine with views of the Mediterranean views in front of you and history of Biblical proportions right at your fingertips behind you.

 

The Best Beaches of Tel Aviv - From Jaffa Beach To Gordon and Hilton Beach The Best Beaches of Tel Aviv - From Jaffa Beach To Gordon and Hilton Beach  Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel

 

How To Get To Jaffa

It’s fairly easy to get to the Jaffa Port. You can certainly walk along the promenades along the coastline passing all the beaches and arrive at the Old City, there are taxis, buses which will easily drop you off on the main streets within the Old City to start off your exploring. Like I mentioned in my last post, download the Gett app as it makes using taxis a lot easier as you can request a taxi in much the same way you use Uber in London or any other city. Also, download Moovit when using buses as it helps you check what buses you need to get around and which bus top to find your bus in addition to telling you and counting down how many stops before you get off as the bus is moving.

 

Where To Stay

There are plenty of beautiful rentals in  Jaffa Port. Our stay in November we were in Florentine a short walk from Jaffa and a must visit if you are after sampling Tel Aviv’s nightlife with the hip and cool kids in cool cafes, bars and restaurant. It has sort of a London Shoreditch vibe to it. Our stay in on the recent visit 2 weeks ago we were in the center but not too far from the beaches Jaffa. The are many stunning apartment rentals in Jaffa. Check out The Market Hotel –  A boutique hotel or Margosa Hotel. For apartment rentals Sea N Rent’s apartment, which also has other sister apartments in the area under the Sea N Rent brand and comes complete with sea views or Casa Nova’s luxury apartment in Jaffa Port with a beautiful deck and sea views. More on where to stay in Jaffa click here.

 

 Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel - Apartments to rent  Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel - Apartments to rent  Old Jaffa Port In Tel Aviv Israel - Apartments to rent

 

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1 Comment

  1. April 7, 2018 / 2:38 pm

    Great guide and gorgeous photos! I’m hoping to get to Israel within the next year or so. Jaffa Port is now on my list! Thanks for the insight!

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