A Walk in The Old City of Jaffa (Self Guided), Tel Aviv

The old city of Jaffa is part of the modern city of Tel Aviv. For centuries, Jaffa was the only port in the region. In the 20th century, it was incorporated into Tel Aviv, as it is today. The old port of Jaffa is the historical legacy of the young and vibrant city of Tel Aviv. Take this tour through the tiny roads and alleys with old houses and open street markets to discover one of the pearls of the Middle East.
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A Walk in The Old City of Jaffa Map

Guide Name: A Walk in The Old City of Jaffa
Guide Location: Israel » Tel Aviv (See other walking tours in Tel Aviv)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Author: max
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Jaffa Clock Tower
  • Archaeological Museum in Jaffa
  • Saint Nicholas Monastery
  • Saint Peter's Church
  • Ilana Goor Museum
  • Ramses II's Gate Garden
  • Tirosh Amphitheater
1
Jaffa Clock Tower

1) Jaffa Clock Tower (must see)

Built in 1901 in honor of the 25th year of the rule of Turkish sultan Abdul Hamid II, Jaffa Clock Tower is one of the most fascinating tourist attractions in Tel Aviv. A wealthy Jew in Jaffa, Yosef Moyal conceptualized this tower located at Clock Square in Yefet Street.

There is an interesting story behind the clock tower. It is said that irritated with the way people visited his shop asking him for the time, Yosef Moyal constructed the clock tower and installed a bell that would toll every hour. The bell was however removed as the ring volume was overshadowing the nearby mosque’s Moazen calls.

Jaffa Clock Tower features bars that detail the history of this city. There are a total of four clocks in the tower, two of which show time in Israel and the other two in Europe. In the year 2001, as a part of the renovation plan of the entire square, the Clock Tower was also renovated. As a part of this venture, a small turret in Russian style was added to the top of the tower.

Why You Should Visit:
It stands in a vibrant, busy area. It is ancient and authentic. It tells you the time.
Not very impressive compared to Big Ben, but not bad compared to other towers.
2
Archaeological Museum in Jaffa

2) Archaeological Museum in Jaffa

The Archeological Museum in Jaffa is located in the Old Turkish Seraglio to the Southwest of the Great Mosque. The complex of ancient buildings was the home of the Ottoman Governor after its construction in the eighteenth century.

Through ages, the buildings in this complex were used as Mosque, post office and local prison. It was in the nineteenth century that it was shifted to the Saraya building in the clock tower. When Israel gained independence, this complex was declared an archeological site to be preserved. It was converted to an archeological museum in the 1970s.

Architecturally and historically, this museum is very unique. Late Dr. Kapaln founded the museum in 1960s. He was one of the early archeologists of Israel. Here you can find a display of an extensive collection of archeological findings starting from the Neolithic age portraying details of the nation, its people and prominent historical events.

Some of the items you can find here include hoarding vessels, working tools, icons, oil lamps, ornaments and wares. You can also find articles from a 50 to 60 AD Jewish house and ancient Jewish cemetery tombstones. The Archeological Museum of Jaffa is a place every tourist must visit to learn about the ways of the ancient Jews who lived in this region.
3
Saint Nicholas Monastery

3) Saint Nicholas Monastery

Saint Nicholas Monastery is an Armenian monastery in the old city of Jaffa. It is not a functioning monastery anymore, but is still under the jurisdiction of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem. This fortified construction was built in medieval times to protect monks from danger. It is a large complex with an Armenian church and living quarters inside. In 2008, local authorities and the Armenian Patriarchate approved a plan to renovate the complex.
4
Saint Peter's Church

4) Saint Peter's Church

Saint Peter’s Church in Old Jaffa was constructed between 1888 and 1894. This church dedicated to St. Peter was built by Frederik II and was restored by the King of France St. Luis during the second half of XIII century.

At the entrance of the Friary, you can find a statue of St. Luis. One of the major paintings in the church is the work of Talarrn, the Catalonian artist. This painting depicts St. Peter on the roof of Simon the tanner’s home.

The steeple of St. Peter’s Church has played its role as a beacon for tired travelers in search of the holy land. It overlooks a charming fishing hamlet. The church stands out amidst the surrounding stone buildings with its rich brick façade.

As you enter the church, you will be impressed by the grandeur of its interior with the colorful stained glass windows, vaulted ceilings and marble walls. There is a huge painting on the altar depicting Peter’s visitation by an angel. Mass is held at this church every day in several languages.

On your next holiday to this city, enjoy visiting St. Peter’s Church. Be a part of the lively congregation of locals at the mass.
5
Ilana Goor Museum

5) Ilana Goor Museum (must see)

If you are planning on a visit to Jaffa Port, do not miss a tour of the famous Ilana Goor Museum. This museum has the character and warmth of a home and rightly so as it was originally a private home.

It was in the year 1995 that the IGM was opened to the public. Since then, it has attracted at least 200,000 visitors from around the world. The building itself was constructed 250 years ago to welcome Jewish pilgrims who disembarked at Jaffa Port on their journey to the holy city of Jerusalem.

In a bid to restore the building to its former glory and to bring in that calming atmosphere, Ilana spent years working on the graceful arches and the huge golden rock walls. One look at the museum and you know that she has indeed succeeded in her endeavor.

Exquisitely merging the traditional atmosphere of this city with the vibrantly energetic modern art, Ilana Goor Museum offers a unique experience for visitors. The building is an embodiment of refined splendor. Its architecture is impressive and the artwork is carefully positioned all over with thoughtful precision. The best part of Ilana Goor Museum is the amazing view of the ocean from almost every single window.

Why You Should Visit:
The museum is in a good location in Jaffa, near many good boutique shops and galleries.
The collection is eclectic with things both old & new; focus is on sculpture, wood carving, and metalware.
Since the house is old (and high) there are lots of rooms to explore.
The balconies offer great views and there are comfortable seats.

Tip:
If you bring a small group you can buy the family pass and it is cheaper than buying individual tickets.

Opening Hours:
Sun-Fri: 10am-4pm; Saturdays & holidays: 10am-5pm; Holiday eves: 10am-2pm
6
Ramses II's Gate Garden

6) Ramses II's Gate Garden

This amazing site is located in the park area of Jaffa. Ramses II’s Garden has been restored from the archaeological site. A reconstructed gateway from the time of the Egyptian ruler Ramses II (1400-1200 BC) remains along with many artifacts of various invaders to the area.
7
Tirosh Amphitheater

7) Tirosh Amphitheater

Tirosh Amphitheater was included in the reconstruction plans of Jaffa. The number of seats in the ancient amphitheater increased by 1,000, offering more room and comfort for its audience.

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