Cultural Walk in Tel Aviv Downtown (Self Guided), Tel Aviv

This young and vibrant city has a large number of museums dedicated to the history of the Jewish people and the modern cultural mainstream. It also has establishments dedicated to local cultures and traditions. Use this tour guide to find more about the culture of the Middle East.
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Cultural Walk in Tel Aviv Downtown Map

Guide Name: Cultural Walk in Tel Aviv Downtown
Guide Location: Israel » Tel Aviv (See other walking tours in Tel Aviv)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
Author: max
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Nachum Gutman Museum of Art
  • Rubin Museum House
  • Bet Bialik House
  • Leonard Bernstein Square
  • Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center (TAPAC)
  • Tel Aviv Museum of Art
1
Nachum Gutman Museum of Art

1) Nachum Gutman Museum of Art (must see)

It was in May 1998 that the Gutman Museum of Art was opened to the public by Ezer Weizman, Israeli President. This museum is located in Neve Zedek at the reconstructed Writer’s House. Most of the collections at this museum were donated by Prof. Menachem Gutman, son of a noted artist Nahum Gutman.

The museum features interesting works of art including gouache, oil and watercolor. You can also find thousands of illustrations and drawings. There are two floors in this building and all artworks are displayed on both the floors.

Gutman Museum of Art skillfully portrays Gutman as an illustrator, painter, children’s author, and sculptor. The historical building that houses the museum was constructed in 1887 by the Schulman family.

The building was reconstructed in 1992 by the Tel Aviv Foundation and the Doron Foundation. The Southern wing is renovated in contemporary style by Ronny Zeibert who kept all historical aspects intact in the Northern wing.

This museum stands as an ideal meeting platform between young, aspiring Israeli artists and Gutman. Here you can enjoy the artistic splendor that reflects the essence of Israeli art and culture. This cross-cultural meeting place is a must-visit spot on your vacation to Tel Aviv.

Why You Should Visit:
Definitely worth an hour to discover Gutman's fantastical whimsy in his drawings, paintings and stories. In addition to the permanent exhibition, there are also contemporary exhibits on view.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Thu: 10am-4pm; Fri: 10am-2pm; Sat: 10am-3pm
2
Rubin Museum House

2) Rubin Museum House (must see)

One of the most famous artist house/museums in the world is in Tel Aviv. Rubin Museum House was the residence of painter Reuven Rubin. It was from here that he worked from 1946 to 1974. He lived in this house located on 14 Bialik Street with his family. This ancient house was constructed in 1930 and was inaugurated as a museum and opened to the general public in 1983.

Rubin was one of the great artists of his time recognized for his talent worldwide. He was born in Romania and came to study at the Bezalel Academy of Art in Israel in the early twentieth century. Though this museum predominantly displays Rubin’s creations, you can also sometimes find works of other artists.

At the attic of this house, a documentary of Rubin is screened. In the basement, you can find a children’s play area that opens out to the backyard. At the exhibit area, the main gallery which is at street level, you can find a selection of Rubin’s paintings displayed. These paintings are replaced periodically when guest exhibitions are held.

The second floor of the building has another gallery attached to a reading room and library. Rubin's studio is preserved exactly as it used to be during his lifetime on the third floor. On this floor, you can also find sketches; documents and biographical display of photographs that help you understand the essence of who Rubin was.

Why You Should Visit:
To enjoy a gorgeous profusion of post-impressionism and naive style wrought around the establishment of the state of Israel.
Staff is extremely helpful; the audio guide is excellent.

Opening Hours:
Mon, Wed-Fri: 10am-3pm; Tue: 10am-8pm; Sat: 11am-2pm
3
Bet Bialik House

3) Bet Bialik House (must see)

Haim Nachman Bialik was a great Hebrew poet and painter who resided in the Bet Bialik House till his death in 1934. This house is now a famous museum in Tel Aviv. Haim Bialik was a great inspiration for the younger Hebrew poets.

The Bet Bialik House is a major tourist attraction also due to its unique architecture that combines the best of Mideast and international styles. As you enter the museum, you will first be given a tour of the poet’s library, dining room and writing room. The most interesting aspect is that all these rooms are preserved as they were when he lived there.

The library contains all 94 books written by Bialik apart from their translations in 28 languages. The museum also displays his letters, photographs, paintings and articles on diverse subjects. Guides here speak only in Yiddish or Hebrew. You can, however, find a brochure of the museum in English.

Bialik’s collection of paintings displayed at this museum showcases life during the pre-Israel period. Bet Bialik House holds a special place in the hearts of Israelis who flock here to pay homage to the incredibly gifted artist. If you are planning a trip to Tel Aviv, be sure to visit this museum where admission is free for all.

Why You Should Visit:
Charming place, great for those people who want to see something quite a bit different from large 'typical' museums.

Tip:
This is on the same block as the Reuven Rubin museum which is also is a small museum/home showcasing his artwork.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Thu: 9am-5pm; Fri-Sat: 10am-2pm
4
Leonard Bernstein Square

4) Leonard Bernstein Square

Leonard Bernstein Square is a unique place in Tel Aviv. Located here are the three main cultural sanctuaries of Jewish culture in Tel Aviv. The first one is Habima National Theater, one of the first Hebrew language theaters. The second is the Frederic R. Mann Cultural Center, home to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The last one is the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion, which hosts many famous art exhibitions.
5
Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center (TAPAC)

5) Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center (TAPAC) (must see)

One of the focal points of artistic and cultural events in Tel Aviv is the Performing Arts Center (TAPAC). This center was designed by the late architect Ya’akov Rechter as the residence of the Israeli Opera. It was opened in October 1994 to the public. The stage is very spacious and the center is equipped with state-of-art facilities. Excellent acoustics and the latest sound and light systems set an appropriate stage for ballets, operas and musical events. The building’s architectural concept is based on ideological aspects, according to architect Ya’akov Rechter. Innovation and creativity were foundations on which the Performing Arts Center was designed. TAPAC is very impressive and expertly combines a stunning presence with the informal character of Tel Aviv. Visually this building blends with the surrounding ones including the Library, the Museum and the residential buildings on Leonardo da Vinci Street. What gives it a strong public presence are the majestic fly tower and the grand entrance gates. The unique architectural design of TAPAC attracts many tourists from around the world.

Why You Should Visit:
If only to take a look at the crazy architecture inside the center!
Otherwise – good location, good acoustics, good view from all rows.
6
Tel Aviv Museum of Art

6) Tel Aviv Museum of Art (must see)

If you wish to understand the very essence of Israeli culture, what better way than through its art? One of the best places where you can find a rich collection of modern and contemporary art of Israel is the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

This museum was founded in the year 1932 and has since housed the largest collections of Israeli art apart from being a major cultural hub. The museum also holds temporary exhibitions in fields such as painting, prints and drawings, sculpture, video, photography, design and architecture. More than 500,000 visitors flock to this museum every year.

Tel Aviv Museum of Art is a part of an impressive architectural complex. It is also a part of the Golda Meir Cultural and Art Center, home to the Cameri Theatre and Israeli Opera and one of the major cultural centers of Tel Aviv.

Apart from its extensive art collections, the museum presents dance and music performances and lecture series on philosophy and art. It has an art library and documentation center that is fully computerized. At least 15,000 students, curators and scholars come here every year to learn about Israeli art.

At the library which is a comprehensive reference center, you can find the latest Israeli art, contemporary art, design and architecture, photography and modern art exhibition catalogs and major art journals.

Why You Should Visit:
Although the new wing is the most architecturally interesting, the old part should not be missed as it features works by some of the great masters of European art such as Chagall, Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso etc., plus some more contemporary art and installations.

Tip:
Visit it on a Saturday since it is one of the few places open this day.

Opening Hours:
Mon, Wed, Sat: 10am-6pm; Tue, Thu: 10am-9pm; Fri: 10am-2pm

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