Things to Do in Tel Aviv
About 2,000 years ago, Israel’s beautiful fishing port of Caesarea was a Roman capital, dedicated to Caesar Augustus. Today, it is one of the country’s most popular tourist sites, with archaeological ruins, beautiful beaches and an impressive Roman theater.
Caesarea was built by Herod the Great over 12 years, from 25-13 BC, and was one of the grandest cities in the area with a deep sea harbor, aqueduct, hippodrome and amphitheater, which is still utilized today. The site holds concerts and other performances, while the hippodrome, although still identifiable, is now a banana field. It is smaller than the Circus Maximus in Rome but still held 20,000 spectators for chariot races at one point.
Caesarea’s harbor is an engineering marvel with both an inner and outer area. It was constructed using hydraulic concrete to create breakwaters. Caesarea Aqueduct Beach, on the other hand, is considered one of the best beaches in Israel. As its name suggests, there is an ancient aqueduct marking its edge.
If you are interested in museums, Philanthropist Harry Recanti founded the city’s Ralli Museum, which includes galleries that focus on Latin American and Sephardic Jewish artwork. The city even boasts an underwater museum, where visitors can dive through ancient ruins.
Perched 210 feet (64 meters) over the Mediterranean Sea in northwestern Israel, the Rosh Hanikra kibbutz is part of the Achziv Natural Reserve. The area is known for its interesting geological formations—namely sea caves and limestone grottoes made over millennia by the sea washing over rocks and creating tunnels and caverns in the cliffside.
Known to Hebrew speakers as Akko and Arabic speakers as Akka, the historic coastal city of Acre has been recognized with UNESCO World Heritage status for its atmospheric charms. Inhabited for well over 3,000 years, the Old City delivers medieval Crusader buildings, Ottoman-era walls, Baha’i Gardens, and a tangle of ancient streets with bags of personality.
Tel Aviv’s original neighborhood, Neve Tzedek (also written Neve Tsedek) was the first Jewish settlement outside the ancient port of Jaffa when it was created in 1887. After a period of decline, it’s now roared back to life as a bohemian district replete with boutiques, galleries, craft stores, and cafés, all focused around its epicenter, Shabazi Street.
Tel Aviv’s Museum of the Jewish People (Beit Hatfutsot) tells the ongoing 4,000-year story of the Jewish people from the past into the future. The permanent collection includes exhibits on trailblazers and heroes of Jewish history, Israel’s War of Independence and the past and present of synagogues.
At the heart of it all is the Core Exhibition — a story through the eras of Jewish life and history through a collection of dioramas, murals, models, film and multi-media displays on topics like family life, community, martyrdom, faith, culture and the interaction between the Jewish people and their host environments throughout the world.
Once one of Tel Aviv’s coolest streets, Shenkin Street (also spelled Sheinkin Street) is now a vibrant thoroughfare, home to an ever-changing array of stores, boutiques, and eateries. Although it’s moved on from its hippie, counter-cultural heyday, it’s still worth a wander while en route from nearby Carmel Market or Nachlat Binyamin.
The Palmach, an underground arm of the Haganah (a Jewish paramilitary force that predates the Israel Defense Forces), was founded in 1941 to secure a Zionist settlement in what was then Palestine. Today the innovative Palmach Museum transports visitors back in time with multimedia experiences, a photo gallery, archival library, and memorial.
Nalaga’at (Nalagaat Center) is a groundbreaking institution in Tel Aviv that’s transformed the lives of deaf and blind people. It’s home to a theater where deaf-blind actors perform award-winning shows, a café where hearing-impaired staff encourage guests to communicate in sign language, a restaurant where guests dine in the dark, and a wealth of workshops.
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