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Explore the Old City of Jaffa

Jaffa is perched on cliff tops at the southern end of the Tel Aviv shoreline; it is the oldest part of the duel city “Tel Aviv-Jaffa” and an ancient port. “Old” Jaffa refers to the buildings, labyrinth of cobbled lanes and old port constructed with the characteristic white stones similar to the Old City of Jaffa
, Written by The Yourway Team
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For thousands of years Old Jaffa was the gateway to the Holy land; the port where pilgrims, invaders and immigrants landed. It is also where those famous oranges with the “Jaffa” stamp were exported from.  Old Jaffa has been somewhat gentrified and today the narrow lanes are lined with trendy restaurants, unique artists’ studios and art galleries. The city has a unique demography with Muslims, Christians and Jews sharing the city. 

Old Jaffa has several excellent eateries including Doctor Shakshuka serving a traditional Israeli breakfast of baked eggs in a tomato, peppers, garlic and onion sauce. Try Jaffa restaurants like Kalamata, Yamit and Casa Nova. Seafood in Jaffa is particularly good. My personal favorite is Aladin’s Cave, perched on the upper cliff with brilliant views over the sea and Tel Aviv. Abulafia is a Jaffa bakery which has gained national fame. It is located on the main street of Jaffa and stays open 24/7 serving freshly baked pastries, bread, sambusac, borek and pita.

Exploring Jaffa

1. HaPisga Garden
From Jaffa you have sweeping views back across the sea towards the coastline of Tel Aviv. The best place to get great views is from HaPisga Garden. In this tranquil park there is a picturesque bridge where locals like to come to watch the sunset. The park has three Biblically inspired sculptures – Jacob’s Dream, the Fall of Jericho and the Sacrifice of Isaac. At the foot of the park is an amphitheatre where summer musicals are performed in a program called “The Nights in Jaffa.”

2. Jaffa Visitors Center and Jaffa Tales
Start your exploration of Jaffa at the Old Jaffa Visitor’s Center where you can pick up maps, rent audio-guides and find out about the latest happenings and special events in Old Jaffa. This is also where you can buy tickets to Jaffa Tales. This attraction is below ground in the excavated surroundings of ancient Jaffa. The site is brought alive by a virtual performance as visitors walk across a floating bridge and ancient characters are brought alive through animation. The attraction takes you through 5,000 years of Old Jaffa history.

3. Jaffa Port
The Old Jaffa Port can be reached by following the network of cobbled lanes down towards the water. Here you will find fishing boats docked and several interesting stores and restaurants. The waterfront has been renovated and a large hanger turned into a shopping complex while there is also a center run by visually and hearing impaired. 

Picture: Jaffa Port

4. Jaffa Clock Tower
Standing in the middle of Jaffa’s main street is a history clock tower built in 1906 in honor of Sultan Abdul Hamid II.  

5. Jaffa Flea Market
The Jaffa Flea Market is one of the most authentic markets you will visit in Israel; the vendors display their goods hanging from every beam and draped over every surface in Yefet Street. You can step across carpets which are spread out over the sidewalk from carpet stores and pick-up cheap clothing, accessories, jewelry, furniture, antiques, second-hand goods and even the kitchen sink! This is a great place to see interesting local color and find unique souvenirs. 

Picture: Flea Market Jaffa

6. Zodiac Alleys
In Kedima Square there is a fountain with stone sculptures featuring the zodiac signs and from here you can find the alley ways which lead down towards the port. Each alley is named after one of the zodiac signs and the buildings flanking the cobbled lanes house art galleries, studios and private homes. 

Picture: Jaffa Alleys



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