Highlighting Gordon Street
Image by Michelle Strickland under Creative Commons License.

Israel, Tel Aviv Guide (A): Highlighting Gordon Street

The heart of Tel Aviv’s art scene is Gordon Street. Many commercial and private galleries are located here and it is a great place to explore. This walking tour incorporates not only galleries, but other interesting shops and sites that are a bit off the tourist track in the area around Dizengoff and Gordon Streets in Tel Aviv.
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Walk Route

Guide Name: Highlighting Gordon Street
Guide Location: Israel » Tel Aviv
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 2.0 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 km
Author: Michelle Strickland
Author Bio: Michelle Strickland is passionate about traveling and likes nothing better than the excitement and adventure of discovering a new place. Originally from Melbourne Australia, Michelle has spent the last four years living in The Netherlands, Israel and Malaysia.
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Dizengoff Square and Fountain
  • Bauhaus building
  • Bauhaus Centre
  • Sabich
  • Arbitmans design store
  • Tamara Yoghurt
  • Design 26 Gallery
  • Shen Art Gallery
  • Gordon beach
  • Gordo beach front café
1
Dizengoff Square and Fountain

1) Dizengoff Square and Fountain

At the intersections of Dizengoff, Pinkas and Reines streets lies the much maligned Dizenegoff Square. The square originally built in 1934 as parkland with a fountain surrounded by a roundabout was transformed into the raised concrete blob you see today in an attempt to alleviate the areas worsening traffic problems.

In the centre of the square sits the multi-colored “fire and water” fountain created by artist Yaakov Agam in 1986. The fountain used to come to life once an hour with a fire and water show where the outer shell of the fountain spun around, water squirted into the sky, flames shot into the air all accompanied by classical music. These days the fountain and the square are looking a bit dilapidated and there are talks within council of it being revitalized and possibly reverted back to its original roundabout format.
Image by Ori lubin under Creative Commons License.
2
Bauhaus building

2) Bauhaus building

Close by to Dizengoff square are some examples of recently restored Bauhaus buildings. West of the square on the corner of Pinkas and Dizengoff street is a beautifully renovated example. Notice the white façade, rounded balcony and flat roof features typical of the Bauhaus architectural style. Bauhaus style buildings are also categorized by being functional without unnecessary decorative elements, having a smooth veneer and clean horizontal lines. Often the buildings were constructed with the ground floor being raised by supporting columns. This enabled the sea breeze to cool under the building as well as providing some extra garden space. Nowadays the area underneath the building is often used as a car park.

As the city’s population grew rapidly in the 1930’s, Bauhaus architecture flourished in Tel Aviv primarily due to having former German Bauhaus students working locally as architects.

In 2003 Tel Aviv was declared a UNESCO world heritage site due to having the worlds largest concentration of buildings designed in the Bauhaus style. The city is often referred to as “The White City”, a name given to it in honor of having over 4000 Bauhaus style buildings.

During the rest of your walk keep your eyes peeled for many more examples of renovated and rundown examples of Bauhaus architecture.
Image by Robert Brands under Creative Commons License.
3
Bauhaus Centre

3) Bauhaus Centre

A great place to learn more about Bauhaus architecture is at the Bauhaus Center on Dizengoff Street, which is in fact the next stop on this walking tour. Here you can learn about the Bauhaus movement and check out the current exhibition on offer.

The center is also overloaded with a large variety of art, books, postcards and souvenirs available for purchase. Other great places to buy souvenirs are on Ben Yehuda Street and the craft market held every Tuesday and Friday on Nahalat Binyamin Street.
Image by Itzuvit under Creative Commons License.
4
Sabich

4) Sabich

Feeling a bit peckish? We’ll if you are there is a great little local eatery just around the corner from the Bauhaus center. Munch away on a sabich or a felafel at these ever popular co-joined take away shops located on the corner of Frishman and Dizengoff Street. Don’t be put off by the long queue, as it is certainly an indication of just how damn good eating this is.

A Sabich is a pita filled to the brim with deliciousness including fried eggplant, a crushed hardboiled egg, a bit of mashed up potato, salad, parsley and of course the mandatory hummus and tahini.
Image by Michelle Strickland under Creative Commons License.
5
Arbitmans design store

5) Arbitmans design store

As you head towards the next stop on this walking tour feel free to take a detour and stop at one or more of the galleries you will be passing along the way. Gordon Street is the epicenter of commercial galleries in Tel Aviv.

You may feel as though you are about to enter someones home as you wander down the narrow pathway leading off Gordon Street. Welcome to Arbitmans design store, a store unlike all others. The store is brimming with high quality designs from local and international designers including lamps, sofas, bags, jewelry, cushions, wall stickers, vases and prints.

Benny Arbitmans, the man behind the store has created a work of art in its own right through the impeccably presented and styled arrangement of eclectic art and designer pieces that fit in seamlessly within the art gallery district of Tel Aviv.

Enjoy yourself as you wander and browse through the collection and marvel at the work that has gone into designing such a unique space. Perhaps you might be tempted to take a piece of Arbitmans home with you.
Image by Michelle Strickland under Creative Commons License.
6
Tamara Yoghurt

6) Tamara Yoghurt

Head over to Tamara Yoghurt for a well earned rest stop. If yoghurt is not your thing; how about an ice cream at a nearby ice cream shop north along Ben Yehuda Street (there are a couple to choose from)?

Choose the size of yoghurt you want and order at the counter. You then have the enviable task of picking your toppings from a bay marie style setup which includes a variety of fresh fruit, chocolate pieces and nuts. Don’t be shy, you are only limited on the number of toppings by what will fit into the container! Then kick back and chillax on the novelty swings, I bet it’s been years since you’ve done this.

For the record I like my yoghurt to be topped with strawberries, kiwi fruit, oreos, chocolate flakes smothered with hot chocolate sauce. Yum yum yum.
Image by Michelle Strickland under Creative Commons License.
7
Design 26 Gallery

7) Design 26 Gallery

The work by artist Michel Levy incorporates a collage of photographs and computer digital effects to create his brightly colored prints. Scenes of Tel Aviv and Israeli and Jewish iconic images feature heavily in his work.

You may be fortunate to meet the artist who is often found working in the showroom.

The building a couple of doors down on the corner of Mapu and Ben Yehuda streets is another beautiful example of Bauhaus architecture. You may have noticed that this building appears in some of the work that you have just been looking at.
Image by Laura Shelton under Creative Commons License.
8
Shen Art Gallery

8) Shen Art Gallery

Shen Art is both a studio and gallery for artists Stéphane Zerbib and Nadia Schoenzwytt. If the artists are in house you are more than welcome to talk to them and learn more about the works on display, in fact the artists themselves encourage it.

Stéphane creates mixed media prints, inspired by Pop Art are on themes such as Bauhaus, portraits of famous people, floral and pop. In 2009 he created a series of prints titled "Bauhaus 100% Tel Aviv" as part of the Tel Aviv 100 years birthday celebrations.

Nadia is a sculptor who creates pieces using clay and wax that are eventually cast in bronze or in aluminum cement. Her artworks often display the human body in a form of movement.

Note that it is possible to have custom prints made, ask Stéphane for more information.
Image by Michelle Strickland under Creative Commons License.
9
Gordon beach

9) Gordon beach

Head towards the beach at the end of Gordon Street and near the Renaissance Hotel, here you can choose to hire a beach chair or just stretch out and sink your feet into the soft white sand as you soak up the suns rays. If you have your swimmers with you how about you take a dip in the ocean? The temperature of the water is pleasant from the months of April to November.

Listen out for the distinctive sound of Israeli beach tennis. This popular Israeli game is played with wooden bats and a hard rubber ball that is hit back and forth between two players.

During the summer months, a group of men often gather near the shoreline of Gordon Beach in the late afternoon for a friendly but competitive game of beach football. Great eye candy.

Just north of the Renaissance Hotel are some beach volleyball courts. Marvel at the skill of playing volleyball using only your feet! The courts come alive in the late afternoon of the summer months and on weekends.

The area of the boardwalk in front of the Renaissance Hotel plays host to local folk dancers who gather here to dance every Saturday morning.
Image by Benjamin Linh VU under Creative Commons License.
10
Gordo beach front café

10) Gordo beach front café

With a cocktail in hand, sit back, put your feet up and watch the beach life of Tel Aviv play out in front of you at Gordo beach cafe. If you have timed it right you may be lucky enough to see a spectacular sunset over the Mediterranean Sea. Tell yourself, this is the life and yes I feel great.

If you stomach has finally digested the Sabich from earlier on and you are starting to think about food again we’ll you have plenty of options close by. If you like seafood, my recommendations are Barbunia (163 Ben Yehuda Street) or Goocha (on the corner of Ben Gurion and Dizengoff streets). Both of these venues do excellent seafood at very reasonable prices. Otherwise follow the boardwalk north along the beach until you get to the Tel Aviv Port area where there are many great eateries to choose from.
Image by Karyn Christner under Creative Commons License.