Jaffa, or as the locals call it Yafo, is an ancient port city located at the south end of Tel Aviv. It is believed to be one of the oldest cities in the world, and has a history that is quite lengthy, quite brutal, quite beautiful and well learning about. I recommend highly the book “City of Oranges a Modern History of the Arabs and Jews in Jaffa” by Adam Lebor. Modern Jaffa is one of the thriving cities in Israel where Jews, Christians and Muslims live together. A tourist destination, with an amazing amount of culture, its really a place that can suck you in for days, with its tight walkways and long corridors. Built on the cliffs and spreading down the south hills, the city has some of the best sea views in all of Israel. The city has been renovated over the years and there are still plans to continue the renovation process that include a long term port renovation which looks like it will make it a place with even more tourist draw than it has now with a long promenade stretching as far south as Bat Yam. The city is colorful and artsy, with many galleries, music events, food events and historical landmarks. The food and culture in Jaffa are vast but with a mainly Arab& Middle Eastern Influences. The rest aunts range from little falafel stands to five stargourmet places. They typically serve lots of fresh seafood, grilled meats , falafels, humus ( Abu-Hassan Restaurant has the best!), and many more wonderful delicacies, including the infamous meze plates (many small plates)……at many of the places the first thing that happens when you sit down is they COVER your table with loads of little small plates of salads and sauces…..accompanied by fresh baked pita and flat breads…..then they come and ask what you would like for dinner!!!
Some of the great places that you need to visit while in Jaffa are the flea market, a BIG must. With all kinds of antique furniture and bric a brac stuff, second hand clothes and arts and crafts alike. On Thursday nights in the summer they open it up at night with live music, street performers and it is an excellent and entertaining time to be had in Jaffa. Summit Hill and the artists quarters are more must dos! Summit Hill which lies in the northernmost part of Jaffa has some incredible views and offers beautiful Mediterranean gardens, and winding stairs that lead to the artists quarters which are basically little shops in caves, with local artists make and sell anything from silver and gold jewelry, lots of ceramics, and paintings and even toys for kids. You wont miss the Great Mosque , Mahamudyyeh Mosque, especially if you are around for 4 o’clock prayers…..is a beautifully old mosque located right on the coast with a tower the rises high above the city which is seen from the north cost of Tel Aviv.
By far the most recommended thing to do in Jaffa is take in a sunset with a great meal at any of the restaurants that have a great sea & sunset view, there is something very magical about the experience and no matter how many times I travel to Israel for work this is always one of my must do things even if I am alone!
§ Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.