Feel the ocean breeze at Jaffa Port, find unique treasures at Jaffa Flea Market, see the White City on Dizengoff Street and take in the sights and smells of Levinsky Market.
Jaffa Flea Market
The Jaffa Flea Market, known as Shuk Hapishpishim in Hebrew, has been operating for more than 100 years. Next to Jaffa Clock Tower, the market features unique items for tourists and locals alike. Persian tiles, jewelry, Arabic pottery, and old photo albums sit in alleyways, walkways and verandas creating a balance of old and new Jaffa. Restaurants and coffee shops line the streets for people watching. A local nonprofit holds local artist festivals at the market which benefits at risk local youth.
The market started near Jaffa Port to offer food and items to travelers, however, Jews were banned from Jaffa and Tel Aviv under the Ottoman Empire. During this time, Jaffa became a trading center, with its main export being Jaffa Oranges. After the British Mandate, Jews returned to the cities which eventually united and the market was revitalized.
Named after Tel Aviv’s first mayor, Meir Dizengoff, Dizengoff Street is one of the city’s iconic streets. It has played an essential role in Tel Aviv’s history since its construction in the 1920s with the original development of Tel Aviv’s urban planning. The street features Bauhaus Buildings which gave Tel Aviv the nickname the White City. In 1979 the film Dizengoff 99 showcased life on the street and how it has changed; it’s become an Israeli cult classic. The street boasts upscale shops, designer stores, coffee shops, restaurants and a large number of bridal boutiques. It also houses the landmark Dizengoff Square built in 1934 with its famous Fire and Water fountain and Dizengoff Center shopping mall with over 400 stores and bridges connecting stores on either side of the street.
Established in the 1930s by Greek immigrants, the Levinsky Market is the spice hub of Tel Aviv. Its maze of burlap sacks from Greece to China showcases the vibrant flavors and cultures of Israel’s immigrants. Covering five blocks, guided tours are available at the Market to try Turkish cheeses, Greek olives, Ouzo, salted fish, pastries and more.
Jaffa Port is an ancient port on the Mediterranean Sea with cobbled stone lanes and buildings reminiscent of Old Jerusalem. It serves as a fishing harbor and tourist destination with hangars converted in to art galleries, a Farmer’s Market, and fresh seafood. The ancient water break made up of stones called Andromeda Rocks can be seen submerged in the sea and from high up in the port area, one can see St. Peter’s Church.
For over 7,000 years Jaffa Port has been an active harbor for immigrants, armies and traders predating all three major religions. It is the site where Jonah is believed to have set off in his famous Biblical story of Jonah and the Whale. During WWI, British troops defeated the Ottoman Empire and incorporated Jaffa in the British Mandate. In 1947, fighting broke out among Arabs in Jaffa and Jews in Tel Aviv until the two cities were united in 1950.