In Tel Aviv you can really feel and see the different neighborhoods like Old Jaffa, Neva Tzedek, City Center and Old Port area. With the bike it’s easy to drive through the areas, stop and have a coffee or lunch, walk and shop and continue your journey to the next neighborhood. See below four routes and the main look and feel of that area. Our hotel was close to the beach and the city center at the corner of Yarkon and Bograshov, a perfect base.
Route 1: Old Jaffa/Yafo – Flee Market – Old Jaffa Port
Our first day we cycled to Old Jaffa, we parked our bike close to the monument the Clock Tower. From there we walked to the Flee Market area. Here you can shop for old and new souvenirs. I bought some Artesian ceramics pieces (indeed on the first day already, I could not help it haha). But I thought it was handy to decorate my food on it for my Food blogs.
My sister liked the second handed part of the market more than me. So for every person you can find a matching shop to spend your money. We strolled along many cute streets with well decorated shops and restaurants. We visited some boutique shops, unfortunately with boutique prices. I think most of them were overpriced, but if you like a unique dress you are definitely original back home!
We stopped at a colorful looking juice bar for a healthy vitamin shot. The bench next to it we could rest in the shade in the warm weather. The name of the juice bar is Thailand Beach at Rabbi Pinchas 11 Jaffa (see picture below), worth a visit! There are so many nice looking places to have drink or eat, that you want to stop everywhere and eat and drink all day. Pick and choose what you find appealing and what you can handle within your budget.
After this part we walked uphill to get to the Old Jaffa Park, here you could have an impressive and famous view over the city of Tel Aviv. This part could be a little touristy; a couple of groups with guides stop here to tell about the history of the Old city. We did not do a tour, but you can choose to do so.
Next was the Old Town, we were strolling through the high and thick walls with small and narrow paths. It was much cooler than in the previous parts of town. In this part of town you can find all many creative and jewelry shops. It is a very nice part of town to take some time to wondering around and feel the history.
Via small stairs we ended down in the Old Harbor, which was not looking old at all. It was well renovated with cool and trendy apartments overlooking the harbor with fishing boats and the blue sea.
By this time we got very hungry and we received a valuable recommendation to have lunch at “The Old Man and the Sea”. (See blog Food & Restaurants in Tel Aviv) Satisfied and happy with the tasty food we walked via the main street at the sea around the Old City back to our bikes near the Clock Tower.
This route is an easy circle where we saw the main highlights of this part of Tel Aviv. After this we needed some serious beach time so we cycled back to Frishmans Beach!! See here the blog on Beach life in Tel Aviv.
Route 2: Carmel Market > Neve Tzedek > Rothschild Boulevard
We cycled from our hotel via the main road to the known Carmel Market. It was a Friday and we were told that this is the busiest day of the week, just before Sabbath. In our case also the warmest day (heat wave passing Tel Aviv), so not the perfect conditions, but we liked it at lot anyways.
The smell of all the exotic herbs and the colors of all the fresh and dried fruit and vegetables made us happy. I always go to local markets when I am on holidays, perfect way to see the local lifestyle and people.
We tasted some local sesame tart, made with tahini which is a sesame paste and we bought dates, and herbs for hummus and falafel. See more in Food & Restaurants in Tel Aviv or for the recipe for hummus. We love pomegranate juice, the fruit is full of vitamins and minerals, we found a vendor in the market where they sold them, for around 35 ILS each for the biggest size cup.
Besides the food you can also find clothing, shoes, towels, electrical parts, make up and other souvenirs. After spending our time and money here, we cycled to the next neighborhood of Neve Tzedek.
This part of Tel Aviv had a good vibe, was quiet, colorful trees and flowers in the small streets. This area is one of the oldest places in Tel Aviv. You can see that the more rich and wealthy people moved here in the past. In the cozy streets you can find luxury and well renovated houses and villas with unique boutiques, galleries, vintage and other craft shops. There are enough trendy restaurants, coffee shops and bars. For everybody is a matching place to enjoy and spend some time and money.
After a couple of hours wondering around in the streets, we ate a fabulous Acai Frozen Yogurt that was stuffed with several toppings of our choice. Go to Anita Yogurt on 40. Shabazi St, Neve Tsedek. We normally skipped a whole lunch; this was because it was so warm that we did not feel like a whole meal. This Yogurt alternative was enough to make it till dinner time.
Time to move on! Get our bikes and drove all the Rothschild Boulevard. This street is in the middle of the White City. Why White City? You already guessed it; the majority of the buildings in this area are white!! In the 1920-1930 the German immigrants came to Tel Aviv and created the world’s largest collection of Bauhaus style buildings. The last two decades the buildings have been renovated, with good results, and you still see that they put a lot of money in renovating other buildings too.
The bicycle lane is in the middle of Rothschild Boulevard, so it is safe and comfortable road to cycle (or walk). On both sides of the streets beautiful buildings with entertainment as well. You don’t have to worry that you don’t find a cool place to eat or drink here in Tel Aviv!! After some photo stops, drinking water stops and traffic stops, we finished these neighborhoods circle back to the hotel. And we finished the day with a jump in the well-deserved cooling sea water!!
Route 3: City Center & Dizengoff road
Our hotel was located in the City Center, so we walked in the afternoon and evening looking for restaurant to have dinner. You will find enough choice for everyone. In these neighborhoods you find a lot of hotels and cool apartments. They are renovating and building everywhere, prices are high and rare. When we were there they even are renovating the the fountain at Dizengoff Square. Dizengoff Street is one of Tel Aviv’s most iconic streets. They say it is the “Champs-Élysées of Tel Aviv”. You can find shopping malls, restaurants, cafés, boutique stores and many design shops. See the recommendations for restaurants in the “Food and Restaurants in Tel Aviv” blog.
Route 4: Sarona > Yarkon River Park > Old Tel Aviv Port area
Today we had a long cycle tour ahead of us. First stop is the poplar Sarona hot spot. This complex has a rich history and is nowadays the heart of the business district in Tel Aviv. Originally 140 years ago a German Templar Colony created 33 buildings here. These buildings are now the flagship stores for some of the well-known brands like G-Star & Tommy Hilfiger. The area looks really well maintained including a pond with beautiful flowers and fish.
The tall buildings on the side house apartments and businesses. In the food court that is situated in the one of the new buildings on the side, you can find the best products and restaurants. The food court is all inside with air-conditioning which is convenient for shopping. Unfortunately, we just finished our breakfast so we were not that hungry, but I bought some fresh dates for our bike journey.
Next point of interest is the Yarkon River Park, but before we made a stop at the area where the Tel Aviv Museum of Art is located together with the Opera House, Beit Ariela Library and Cameri Theatre. This cultural place is set up in a wide and open way and feels a bit clinical, maybe because it’s all white again. We haven’t visited any of the museum buildings, but we cycled aside all of them. After this impressive area we cycled to a less impressive part of Tel Aviv. We passed some tall apartment complexes next to a busy street called Namir Road. We followed this road on the sidewalk untill we passed the Yarkon River.
This was a quiet, tranquil and green park with a lot of sport accommodations. There we could really feel the breeze from the sea, which was so comfortable. At the end of the river is the Old Tel Aviv Port area.
Here you can find restaurants and clothing stores, with a view at the blue water of the harbor. In the harbor you can find many restaurants with differnt types of food styles to choose from; local, Italian or Asian. This area is set up widely and looks industrial, but that is what you expect in a harbor right?
After this great effort we made today, quite some kilometers on our bikes in the sun, we went to the beach. We wanted to go to a different beach this time; we had the Hilton beach in our mind. We passed from the Harbor south a small area of a “dogs” beach. On this beach dogs were aloud, but that did not appeal to us. We cycled further to the next beach, but this was a small beach (in front of the Hilton), but compared to our “own” Frishman and Gordon beach, so we decided to go back to “our” beach. We finished this long, divers and green route today with a cocktail on the beach!