Tel Aviv and Jaffa (Yafo in Hebrew) together form a large urban area. But the part of Tel Aviv–Jaffa visitors focus on is the downtown seafront section, extending east only to the thoroughfare of Ibn Givrol Street. This is a 6km (3 3/4-mile) long strip at least 1km ( 2/3 mile) wide, but only certain sections are of interest to visitors—the rest of the turf is residential or industrial.
Main Arteries & Streets
Tel Aviv’s big streets mostly run north and south, roughly parallel to the sea. Herbert Samuel Boulevard is right along the beach. It starts near the Dan Hotel and runs south to Jaffa, with a promenade running alongside it—great for strolling and jogging.
Ha-Yarkon Street is a half-block inland, and runs from the northern tip of Tel Aviv down to the border with Jaffa; it is dotted with hotels of all sizes and prices. At the northern tip of Ha-Yarkon, you’ll find the Old Tel Aviv Port, filled with trendy cafes, pubs, and restaurants, many overlooking the sea. Ben-Yehuda Street is the next block inland. The streets between Ha-Yarkon and Ben-Yehuda from the Dan Hotel southward are thick with good restaurants and small hotels. Northern Ben-Yehuda is home to more exclusive design and clothing shops.
At its southern end, Ben-Yehuda curves into Allenby Street, which continues southwest. Allenby is an old-fashioned low-budget shopping drag. Off Allenby you’ll find the Carmel Market, Tel Aviv’s roaring outdoor labyrinth where fabulous fruits and vegetables (as well as a million other things) are sold. The Nahalat Binyamin network of pedestrian streets, filled with shops, eateries, and a busy Tuesday and Friday crafts fair, is right off Allenby next to the Carmel Market; farther south is the offbeat Neve Tzedek neighborhood.
Perpendicular to Allenby, inland from the Carmel Market, is King George Street, lined with bakeries, cafes, and small shops connecting to the next big north-south thoroughfare, Dizengoff Street. Here you’ll find the big Dizengoff Tower Shopping Mall at Dizengoff and King George streets, plus lots of fast-food places up to and north of Dizengoff Square, which is really a raised circle.
Ibn Givrol is the most inland of the major north-south streets. Its northern end is close to the Golda Meir/Tel Aviv Center for Performing Arts and the Tel Aviv Art Museum. Farther south, Ibn Givrol is close to the Mann Auditorium and the Tel Aviv Cinémathèque. It’s lined with lots of places to eat and dine.
Getting Connected in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is one of the most Web-connected places on earth. The city is in the process of turning the entire beach and downtown center into a free Wi-Fi hotspot. Cafes today have as many customers typing away on iPhones, tablets, and laptops as they do simply sipping coffee!