You can’t catch the full flavor of a city from the seat of a bus, so lace up your walking shoes and take a guided stroll through Israel’s beautiful White City.
The best way to discover the many charms of Tel Aviv-Yafo (Jaffa) is walking it.
Boasting 20 square miles (52 square kilometers) of flat terrain and glorious weather nearly year-round, Tel Aviv is tailor-made for walking tours. No wonder so many are offered daily. The municipality alone sponsors 20 paid walking tours and four free walking tours.
Try one of these tours for English-speakers next time you’re in the White City (to find out how Tel Aviv got that nickname, see the first item). Most tours require booking in advance.
1. From Old Tel Aviv to the White City
In 2003, UNESCO designated Tel Aviv a World Cultural Heritage site due to its abundance of white rounded buildings constructed in the 1930s Bauhaus (International) style. These are what give Tel Aviv its nickname “The White City.”
The municipality offers a free Bauhaus architecture tour every Saturday morning at 11, starting at 46 Rothschild Boulevard at the corner of Shadal Street. See the website or call +972 (0)3-516-6188.
The Bauhaus Center on 99 Dizengoff Street gives guided walking tours of Bauhaus architecture Friday mornings at 10 (₪60) and also offers a self-guided audio tour and private tours in Hebrew, English, Russian, German, French and Italian. firstname.lastname@example.org, +972(0)3-522-0249
2. Tarbush tours
A choice of 11 two-hour walking tours led by comedians, actors and guides highlight the humorous side of history in some of the city’s most historic and colorful areas: Neve Tzedek, Florentin, Old Jaffa, Achuzat Bayit (Rothschild), Levinsky Market, Yemenite Quarter, American Colony, Sarona, Bialik Street, Tel Aviv Port and Hatachana (restored old Ottoman train station). Suitable for groups, families and individuals, each tour includes at least 12 stops, and is accompanied by a cart with fresh-squeezed orange juice and other refreshments.
Tarbush also offers multi-ethnic tasting tours and theme tours exploring topics such as music, street art, architecture and social issues as you walk.
Actor and tasting tours are available in English and Hebrew; theme tours in English, Hebrew, German, Spanish, Russian, French and more. email@example.com, +972 (0)3-510-6076, 972 (0)52-289-9713
3. Tel Aviv Startup Tour
Explore the focal point of global entrepreneurship and innovation, Rothschild Boulevard. The municipality-run tour (for groups only!) includes the Herz Lilienblum Museum of Banking and Tel Aviv Nostalgia; Independence Hall, the co-working space for high-tech entrepreneurs in the municipal library; and a startup company. Contact Hilla Drechler, firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Nightlife Tour of the Nonstop City
Every Tuesday at 8pm, a city-sponsored walking tour departs from the corner of Rothschild Boulevard at Herzl Street. The route passes through Rothschild Boulevard and Nahalat Binyamin, soaking in the nighttime atmosphere that characterizes the local restaurants, bars and coffee shops in this area. One free drink is included in the cost of ₪60 per person (plus entry to various bars). +972 (0)3-516-6188, email@example.com
5. StreetWise Hebrew Tours
Linguist Guy Sharett is famous for his Florentin Graffiti Tour, which introduces participants to Hebrew language and Israeli history and culture through a close look at the neighborhood’s abundant street art. (Another Florentin urban art walking tour is offered by Alternative Tel Aviv, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sharett also leads several other walking tours: Wake Up And Smell The Zaatar: Levinsky Spice Market Tour, Historic Trumpeldor Cemetery Tour and Maritime Hebrew at the Jaffa Port. +972 (0)54-662-3314, Guy@StreetWiseHebrew.com
6. Old Jaffa
Every Wednesday morning at 10, a city-run tour meets at the historic Jaffa Clock Tower (Marzuk and Azar streets) and continues through the Jaffa Flea Market, archaeological sites, Crest Garden (Gan Hapisga), and the renovated alleys and buildings of historic Old Jaffa. Free, but tips are expected. +972 (0)3-516-6188, email@example.com
7. TLVEG Tours
TLVEG Tours explore the burgeoning plant-based cuisine of Tel Aviv. Photo via FacebookTLVEG Tours explore the burgeoning plant-based cuisine of Tel Aviv. Photo via Facebook
Every Monday and Wed at 12:30 and 6:30pm, approximately 3.5-hour vegan tasting tours begin at Zakaim (20 Simtat Beit HaSho’eva, near Levinsky Market) and hit at least five different vegan eateries; the route varies each time. For ₪190, you get a free aperitif chaser and tastings at each stop, including black coffee and dessert. Reserve in advance: firstname.lastname@example.org, +972 (0)52-645-8779
Friday mornings at 11, free tours of Sarona — the restored Templer colony at the heart of Tel Aviv– step off from 34 Eliezer Kaplan Street at the corner of David Elazar Street. The 90-minute to two-hour tour explores the history and heritage of the site as well as its current incarnation as a shopping and dining compound, with discount coupons included. Pre-registration is not required. +972 (0)3-516-6188
9. Delicious Israel
Inbal Baum, left, with a client on an Eat Tel Aviv Tour. Photo: courtesyInbal Baum, left, with a client on an Eat Tel Aviv Tour. Photo: courtesy
Inbal Baum offers a tempting menu of culinary walking tours.
The longer options areEat Tel Aviv (4-5 hours, meeting point at Jaffa Port ending at Carmel Market, “exploring the history and development of the city’s diverse neighborhoods through the lens of food”); and Levinsky Market (2.5 hours, encom passing the stalls selling fresh spices, dried fruits, store-roasted coffees, olive oils and deli goods).
Shorter (1-2 hours) and evening options include Jaffa, Carmel Market, Street Food Hop, Hummus Crawl and Wine/Cocktail Tour.
email@example.com, +972 (0)52-569-9499
10. Be Part of the Heart Pub Crawl
Starting at the Little Tel Aviv Hostel, 51 Yehuda Halevi Street, this night time drinking adventure runs every Thursday and Saturday at 9.30pm. Participants (21 or older) buy a bracelet for ₪80 (₪70 if you pay by 3pm) and receive a beer and chaser before heading out to sample at least four choice bars/clubs along a variable walking route (free shot at each stop). firstname.lastname@example.org, +972 (0)52-645-8779