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A Walk Along the Seashore (Self Guided), Tel Aviv

In warm weather, there is no better way to enjoy yourself than right next to the water, especially in Tel Aviv. Composed of 13 official beaches, all very well looked after and equipped with various facilities, with many luxury hotels in the background, Tel Aviv's coastal strip spans for over a dozen kilometers and is booming with events and happenings. To see what cultural and historical delights await you on the Mediterranean beachfront of Tel Aviv, follow this self-guided walk and explore.
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A Walk Along the Seashore Map

Guide Name: A Walk Along the Seashore
Guide Location: Israel » Tel Aviv (See other walking tours in Tel Aviv)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 Km or 2.9 Miles
Author: max
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Tel Aviv Marina
  • Gordon Beach
  • Frishman Beach
  • London Square
  • Opera Tower
  • Etzel Museum
  • Old Jaffa Port
1
Tel Aviv Marina

1) Tel Aviv Marina (must see)

In the northern part of Tel Aviv's promenade, overlooking the Mediterranean shore, lies the first and the largest marina in Israel. A notable attraction for those looking for a great coastline vista, this modern place is very well organized and makes one feel like walking on a wooden deck at a yacht exhibition. The marina can hold up to 400 yachts at a time and many proud owners stay right here on their boats.

Other than the boats there are many other points of interest to be found, such as a diving center, a sailing school, a pool, shops and more. South of Hilton hotel, at 181 Hyarkon Street, there is a remarkable piece of architecture, lovingly referred to by the locals as the “Crazy House”, built in 1989 by the French architect Leon Guneyva and featuring a combination of Oriental and Art Nuovo styles.

An ideal place for a stroll, be it in the early morning or late afternoon, the marina is always lively, but never too crowded, and is just as comfortable – even on a hot day – with its charmingly breezy environment. The abundance of good restaurants and bars, complete with the magnificent sunsets (particularly stunning with the yachts in the backdrop), create a romantic appeal. Good food with a great view, what else can you possibly ask for! Alternatively, you can pass the time away watching the leisurely crowd – jogging, cycling, walking with strollers, playing paddle ball, volleyball, or paddle surfing at the beach.

Why You Should Visit:
Ideal place to walk over and have a dinner in one of the restaurants or simply to enjoy the beach view and the man-made breakwater that offers respite from the party of Tel Aviv's coastline.
Beautiful clean beaches and sunsets. Nice coffee shops and playground for kids. Great place for gelato!
2
Gordon Beach

2) Gordon Beach

South of Atarim Square starts the Gordon Beach, one of Tel Aviv's busiest and most popular beaches, as well as one of its widest. This beach is distinctive by the large strips of white sand running alongside the modern promenade, breakwaters and innumerable umbrellas. Centrally located opposite the Sheraton Hotel, Gordon offers everything one can possibly ask for of a city beach, including a paid parking nearby.

It also has myriad of bars and restaurants serving huge portions of classics, like Israeli breakfast, fresh fish, sandwiches and a huge array of salads. Plus, this is a good place for matkot (Israeli paddle ball game), surfing, meditation and many other activities. Each summer the beach becomes a mecca for tourists seeking to take advantage of its fitness area, a lovely saltwater swimming pool surrounded by lawns to lounge on, beach volleyball courts, a children's playground and plenty of water-sports providers ensuring no shortage of entertainment.

Gordon Beach is known for the ideal conditions for stand-up paddling, surfing and windsurfing. But if you want things a bit more relaxed, you can lie down in the shade under one of its pavilions or park yourself in one of the beach-chairs and enjoy the Mediterranean view culminated by a picturesque sunset. Folk dancing happens here every Saturday at 8 pm, and Pilates classes are offered on Sundays and Wednesdays at 7-7:45 pm. After sundown, various outdoor beach bars provide sun-burnt partiers with some after-hours fun with DJs, drinks and dancing. And if you seek a reprieve from the city clamor opposite the waves combined with a fine dining experience, consider Gordo Cafe offering a selection of good food and drinks.
3
Frishman Beach

3) Frishman Beach

Commonly referred to as the "French beach", Frishman Beach has indeed been flooded lately by the influx of French speakers attracted by the tourist-friendly location. The nearby highway, hotels and the leisurely crowd make this beach a bit noisy, which may seem as a deterrent to some, while the others enjoy its sophisticated urban setting – clean dressing rooms and WCs, fresh water showers, and a tepid bath to swim in, not to mention cafes coming up to the waterline and offering a culinary experience along with swimming. The abundance of beach chairs, tables and umbrellas rented for a small fee via vending machines (cards accepted), complete with sufficient parking space and public transportation at hand, also add to the appeal. Topping it all off are a playground for kids, fine sand and warm water (occasional waves to play in, but nothing hectic), making it a true paradise for families.

The beach is not too crowded on weekdays, but is truly a hot spot on weekends. Most good restaurants here are usually packed between 7 and 9 pm, especially on a Saturday night. Late in the evening, after a large meal, it might be a good idea to walk off the food at the nearby promenade. Otherwise, on the way home, feel free to stop by Cafe Mersand, on the corner of Ben Yehuda Street, for a sip of arak. This Austro-Hungarian cafe has been around for over half a century and has seen among regulars some local celebrities.
4
London Square

4) London Square

Each street and square in Tel Aviv has a name with a great deal of historical background. London Square is no exception. Inaugurated in 1942 by Yehuda Rokach, the then mayor of Tel Aviv, it carries the name of London in honor of the British capital whose residents stood bravely against the Nazis bombing their city during the Blitz.

Remarkably, during that same period, boats full of Jewish refugees fleeing the war in Europe to the promised land were tracked by the British authorities in a bid to stop “Jewish immigration to Palestine”. Commemorating those days and the heroic Jews, who risked their lives while anxious to slip through the British naval blockade in order to settle down in Israel and build the Zionist dream, is a local memorial presented in the shape of a boat.
5
Opera Tower

5) Opera Tower

The Opera Tower is a fashionable edifice that has been turning most heads on the Tel Aviv-Jaffa boardwalk since the 1990s. Designed in 1993 as a purpose-built shopping center with residential apartments above, the Opera Tower stands 82 meters tall, has 23 floors, and is crowned with a big pool on the rooftop.

Its unique style, reminiscent of the Post-Modern architecture of the United States, created a massive change to the Tel Aviv boardwalk back in the day. The edifice stands in the place previously occupied by the old Opera House, operational between 1958 and 1982, that lent its name to the local square – Opera Tower Square.

In keeping with the opera theme, the exterior of the building features pointy arches, while its colonnade at the entrance is clad in gray marble slabs, reflecting the spirit of Post-Modernism. The shape of the residential part of the building is modeled on the letter 'R' and its floor area gradually decreases with the lower floors.

Nowadays, the building houses an exquisite boutique hotel.
6
Etzel Museum

6) Etzel Museum

No tourist in Tel Aviv, interested in history, should fail to visit the Etzel Museum offering in-depth information on one of Israel's most prominent military organizations – Etzel. Renowned for its role in the country's struggle for independence alongside two other similar military groups – Lechi and Hagana, Etzel fought for the rights of Jewish settlers before the state of Israel and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) were established. It was a secretive organization that gained status as a part of the newly formed army of Israel in 1947.

At this museum, you can take a short but informative tour that will tell you all about Etzel's exploits, and particularly about its campaigns that helped liberate Jaffa. The building is well designed – made of glass, in a rectangular shape – and is constructed over the ruins of an Ottoman building.
Well organized exhibits and informative tour make the museum very popular among tourists visiting Tel Aviv. Etzel museum is located close to the Alma Beach, just off Charles Clore Park.
7
Old Jaffa Port

7) Old Jaffa Port (must see)

A key strategic port in the Eastern Mediterranean until recently, the Jaffa Port holds a very special place in the history of Tel Aviv, as it is here that you can find the city's origins. Actively used for over 7,000 years, the Jaffa Port is mentioned in various ancient works, including the Hebrew Bible (as the spot from where Jonah set off) and various works describing Jewish history and the First Jewish Revolt against Rome. It was used by Egyptians, Ethiopians (Andromeda was chained to a rock here), Philistines, the Jewish nation (King Solomon, Jonah, Peter), Babylon, Alexander the Great, the Ottoman/French/British empires, and Modern Israel.

The recently renovated port area comprises restaurants (try the cash-only FISH AND CHIPS for fresh fish, calamari or shrimp fried on the spot; Mon-Sat: 9am–9pm), galleries, decorated warehouses, and a few shops also, but it's mainly the fresh sea breeze that makes the port and promenade very inviting – especially at sunset when everything is painted orange; a marvelous sight for locals and tourists alike.

Tip:
Use the promenades – extending both north and south – for nice walks and for views over the old town walls and shoreline (the better views are probably from the top looking down).

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