A day at Hayarkon Park
The summer days of sand come and go, but the park is here to stay. Although beach season attracts tourists and locals to the Mediterranean coastline like bees to honey, the colder weather tends to scare them off. Hayarkon park, however, is magnificent in its own colorful way year round. Wake up early, hit up Sarona market to pack a picnic of delectable speciality snacks and perhaps a bottle of Israeli wine, then head over to Tel Aviv’s Central Park. From zoos and bird safaris to waterslides, paddle boats and every activity in between, Hayarkon Park is a family’s dream!
Four new art exhibitions to get your February Israeli culture fix
Congratulations! You successfully managed to hit up all four of January's newest Israeli art exhibitions as per our suggestions. It’s time to keep that streak going with another full dose of International and Israeli art appreciation. This hodgepodge of galleries and museums in Israel have curated incredibly unique new exhibitions for your enjoyment. From tributes to legendary musicians in Ramat Aviv to slightly creepy doll showcases and a deconstruction of portraiture in Jaffa, we’ve got the goods on the must-see winter exhibitions. Tackle the February fab four before we come out with a brand new batch in March.
The ultimate Jaffa area guide
With so much hustle and bustle going on in its White City neighbor, sometimes people forget the beautiful gem of Israeli culture that exists on the southern port. From attractions that backtrack through years of ancient Israeli history to the most hopping bars and clubs for dancing in Jaffa, Tel Aviv’s older sister knows where it’s at. The sheer range of attractions in Old Jaffa is startling, from mosques and churches to ancient clock towers, wishing bridges, sculptures, yoga classes, museums, Israeli art galleries, trendy restaurants and the list of things to do in this new-old city is never ending. Throw in an impressive spread of authentic Jaffa street food establishments and a precious flea market and you’ve got enough things to do in Israel for a lifetime.
Rothschild Allenby Market opens its doors
A new trend started in 2015, with the opening of the Sarona Market, where Tel Aviv welcomed its modern-day Israeli market renaissance and a new perspective at how much food culture can change overnight. Suddenly, dining at endless street food eateries by local chefs became popular, hard-to-find ingredients became readily available and places opened on weekends—yes, even on Shabbat! Now, fresh produce and exciting culinary offerings are available all the time. Shuk Tsafon, North Tel Aviv’s intimate market, opened last year, and the newest shuk on the block is the Rothschild Allenby market, sprawling over 1, 250 meters and housing 32 shops and eateries. Situated on one of the most walkable streets in the city in the middle of everything with offices and businesses a-plenty, the newest shuk treats Telavivians and city visitors to food from around the world with everything from South African curries to ramen. There are lots of little seating areas, an area for evolving pop-ups and events and a spacious sidewalk café with ready-made food to go. This eatery-busy market has so much on the menu. Here are some of our picks.
The top five Israeli dance companies
The Israeli dance scene has made impressive contributions to Israeli culture for decades now. For nearly thirty years, Israel’s most preeminent contemporary choreographer and Gaga guru, Ohad Naharin, has transformed Neve Tzedek’s Suzanne Dellal Center into a dancing dreamland, while kibbutzim companies and Jerusalem’s Vertigo continue to surprise their audiences. From modern performances on the periphery to traditional dancing in Jaffa, these five dance companies go above and beyond the Israeli art form, paving their way towards international fame. Get your culture junky fix this month.
Art & culture across the country
The best museums in Israel
While it's a challenge to round up the top museums in Israel, we accept the task. Ranging from reigning establishments like the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, to more experimental museums like the Design Museum Holon, which features top Israeli fashion, these institutions are among the top Israel attractions. They offer inspiring encounters with art, history, science and culture. Feeling artsy? Let us also point you to some of the best Israeli art galleries for some additional inspiration.
Israeli culture: ten performing arts centres worth a ticket
While London and New York gave birth to broadway musicals, the Jerusalem and Cameri theatres are up-and-coming. While Italian opera and symphony scene is ‘magnifico’, the Israel Philharmonic is absolutely breathtaking. And nothing compares to the batsheva dance company. All this to say, that although Israel has been associated with ancient history for many years, the Israeli culture scene is a contemporary breath of fresh air, growing by the second. These top ten performing arts centres are perfect compliments to the impressive galleries and museums scattered across the country. Find the hottest upcoming events here. We urge you to try and check all ten off your bucket list.
The best Israeli art galleries
When it comes to contemporary design, Israelis do two things very well: fashion and art. From photography and sculpture to painting and multimedia works, Israeli art galleries are rife with burgeoning talents and veteran artists, championing both local and international names. For even more art exhibits and specialized lectures on modern-day muses, spend a day at one of Israel's museums or even go to Ein Hod, a unique artists' village in northern Israel, and one of the country's top attractions.
Five alternative performing arts centres in Tel Aviv that contribute to Israeli culture
When asked where to find theatre in the nonstop city, Tel Avivians and tourists alike will often answer ‘Suzanne Dellal Centre’ or ‘Habima’ without thinking twice. While it is true that these performing arts centres are grand and boast internationally acclaimed names to match, they mask the beauty that comes from Tel Aviv’s more alternative performance spaces. There’s no denying that a Thursday night out in the city that never sleeps is a must, but sometimes a romantic dinner for two around Sarona and an indie theatre performance at Tzavta provides for a nice change of pace – and much less of a friday morning post-drunk munch hangover. Check out what’s on this month for updates on what to see where. Also, don’t forget to hop over to Jaffa for more alternative performances.
Sights and attractions
A tourist’s guide to Akko: where to eat, explore and sleep
Nestled on Israel's northern coast, Akko is an up-and-coming port city rich with Jewish history, sights and fantastic food. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Israeli treasure is a unique cross between east and west, modern and ancient Israel, beauty and ruins. Its rich history is palpable in its alleyways, underground passages and picturesque architecture, whose character reflects the legacy left behind by the Greeks, Romans, Crusaders and Arabs. But what has transformed this hidden gem from a pit stop to a destination is its recent emergence as a culinary force in the north, with some of the best hummus on the eastern Mediterranean (some say it’s better than the Jaffa street food offerings) and some of the best seafood restaurants in Israel.
Must-see churches in Israel
Israel is home to an array of monumental churches scattered around the country. Here are ten highlights from this important Holy Land attraction, including landmark Jerusalem churches, like the Holy Sepulchre and the Church of the Nativity, St. Gabriel’s Church and the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth and others in the north especially worth a visit. Most of these churches in Israel are filled to the brim with visitors during peak holiday months for Christmas and Easter, but their architectural beauty and prolific ancient history make them worthwhile places to visit at any time of the year.
The Old City Jerusalem: must-see sites
Though the Wailing Wall and the Kotel tunnels are vital stops when in the Holy Land, you don’t need to be religious to appreciate the splendor that the Old City Jerusalem has to offer. It’s one of the world’s greatest and most historically rich sites filled with artifacts and museums. While it might seem daunting to cram so much history into one visit – not to mention shopping and foodie destinations – it’s perfectly feasible with our guide that rounds up all of the Jerusalem must-see sites (no matter your religion) that you’d be mad to miss.
The Golan Heights must-see sites
The Golan Heights is one of the most popular destination spots in Israel – and for good reason. Take a break from the nonstop pace of Tel Aviv and enjoy tranquil parks, gardens, museums, galleries, vineyards and so much more as you explore the many sites scattered throughout the Golan Heights. Wine lover? Make it an overnight stay because the area’s vineyards are some of the best in Israel.
Ten free things to do in Tel Aviv
In today’s capitalist world, we've become accustomed to the notion that nothing is really free. Well, we are here to challenge this concept. Here are our top things to do in Tel Aviv that are completely and utterly free of charge. Take a walk in the enchanting Yarkon Park and feed the animals in the animal corner, dip in the Mediterranean sea and play some beach volleyball at the sandy courts on Gordon Beach, or head over to the Tel Aviv port for a beautiful sunset stroll. For more attractions (not all free though) visit our top Tel Aviv attractions or go big with our long list of things to do in Israel.
Family-friendly things to do in Israel
Jerusalem Ropes Course
The Jerusalem Ropes Course features a rope ladder, snappling, swings, an acrobatic rope walk, and an 80 meter Omega (zip line). It is the perfect team-building activity that uses both physical and mental abilities to conquer the challenges. The daring tasks provided will leave guests with a sense of accomplishment and confidence. Perfect for all ages, from preschoolers to adults, it’s fun for the whole family! Consider having a birthday or Bar/Bat Mitzvah party here for a truly special day. Smaller groups can request to be included with another group, so everyone can participate in the fun!
Kfar Blum - Jordan River
If you’re seeking a more adventurous water activity to pass the time, the Kfar Blum wet river experience and attraction centre in the Galilee has just the thing. From high-speed “kayaking” (rafting) down fast-flowing waters to lazing down the Hatzbani stream, Kfar Blum guarantees fun for the entire family. For an additional adrenaline rush, don’t miss their "Top-Rope" adventure park. The site also offers campground accommodations for a reasonable price.
The Eretz Israel Museum is more than a series of exhibits exploring the history and culture of Israel. Inside the multidisciplinary museum sits a magical place that is literally “out of this world.” At the Planetarium you can sneak a peek at the stars the same way that Galileo did through his telescope. Watch a riveting presentation about the mysterious galaxies that exist all the while spinning in revolving seats or learn about Israel’s first ever astronaut, Ilan Ramon, and view real time pictures of outer space provided by NASA. The Planetarium is a great place to bring your children and also expand your adult minds to the boundless worlds of science. English presentations are available by reservation.
Holon Children's Museum
Purpose-built for kids, this museum offers a range of activities for kids aged 2-12. Unlike conventional museums, children are encouraged to touch all of the displays, and even play a role in the exhibits. Not-to-be-missed are the famous 'Dialogue in the Dark' and 'Invitation to Silence' exhibits, two experiences that provide emotional and telling insight into the worlds of blind and deaf people.
New York has Central Park, London has Hyde Park, and Tel Aviv has it’s very own Hayarkon Park. The popular green lung (also known as Ganei Yehoshua Park) is nestled in the north of the city with the Yarkon River running through it. Swathes of joggers, cyclists, dog walkers and young mothers taking a stroll, pack the park every day, making it come alive with its own unique personality. Pitch a spot on the grass and spend the day basking in the sun while watching the beautiful people of Tel Aviv go by – something we definitely recommend. But if you’re up for something a little more adventurous, this urban park has plenty on offer for nature lovers right through to extreme sports enthusiasts. Tucked away in the eastern part of the park lies one its biggest surprises – a Rock Garden hosting over 3,500 species of plants, including a massive area dedicated solely to cacti, interspersed among different rock formations. Just across from the Rock Garden is a five-acre Tropical Garden full of palm trees, orchids and vines as well as a lake full of fish. Not far away, also on the east side of the park, is a bird safari known as Tsipari, set in lush gardens with a beautiful mini-lake, as well as a petting zoo, a bird sanctuary, and a large soft play area for kids complete with a climbing apparatus.