Top things to do and see in Yafo

Updated: Dec 13, 2018

Part of Tel Aviv city, Jaffa is one of Israel’s top tourist destinations. It’s the world’s oldest port city, about 4000 years old and its narrow streets definitely take you back in time. Wander through the narrow stone streets and lose track of time! Learn about the city's history, eat Israel’s best hummus, explore the famous artistic flea market and discover some of Tel Aviv’s best boutiques and art galleries.

Tel Aviv and Jaffa are part of the same municipality, but are two opposites; Tel Aviv is a new, bustling high-tech city, while Jaffa takes you back in time.

#Jaffa is one of Israel’s most versatile cities. Firstly because, Jews, Muslims and Christians live side by side here. Jaffa is home to fishermen, hipsters, upper class internationals, artists, students, etc. This beautiful versatility really stands out when you walk through the colorful streets of Jaffa.

If you’re visiting #telaviv, I can really recommend you walk along the boardwalk until you reach Jaffa. It’s one of the most beautiful and iconic walks! It takes about half an hour up to an hour, depending on where you stay in Tel Aviv. If you’re not into walking, take bus 10 which runs down Ben Yehuda through the Shuk HaCarmel, straight down into Jaffa.

Wander around the harbor

When in Jaffa, you can’t miss out on (supposedly) the world’s oldest harbor. There are boat tours available that take you along the coast, but they can be pricey, depending on season and demand. Mostly I can recommend you walk around, watch the fishermen’s boats and most importantly: eat in one of its fish restaurants! The large port hangar is home to The Old Man and the Sea, an Arabic fish restaurant that is one of Israel’s most famous restaurants. For a fixed price (99-129 shekels) you get lemonade, homemade pita bread, countless small salad dishes, a main course (their grilled fish is the best I’ve ever had) and Arabic sweets as dessert. As soon as you sit down, the waiter starts filling up the table with all their delicious small salads like grilled eggplant salad, spicy matbucha (tomato salad), hummus, falafel, etc etc. It really is an experience every tourist should have at least once when in Israel! Don’t try to eat everything, because they will just refill what is finished haha ;)

Shuk Hapishpeshim

Another must see in Jaffa is Shuk HaPishpushim, the famous flea market. It’s scattered throughout different streets just east of the clocktower (the center of Jaffa) and it’s easy to get lost there! There are little alleys and streets with everything second hand that you can possibly think off, but also upscale boutiques and designer furniture stores. Scattered throughout the market are countless restaurants and cafes, of which Cafe Puaa is my favorite. It’s a cute neighborhood cafe and restaurant on Rabbi Johanan 8 with very tasty and affordable dishes.

Best hummus in Israel

Although I’ve named a few restaurants in this blog already, I cannot write about Jaffa and not include a separate section about food! Because Jaffa is such an old town and a melting pot of cultures, there are countless AMAZING places to eat. If you want to properly eat like a local, visit Israel’s best hummus restaurant: Abu Hassan. It opened in the 70's and is an institution in Israel, where hummus is one of the most eaten dishes. There is no website, but it’s located in the Ha-Dolfin street 1 and is open daily from 8 to 3 PM. There is so much more to see and do in Jaffa then I named here, that’s why I’m working on a complete traveler’s guide to Jaffa, with hotels & hostel recommendations and a map with walking routes!


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