Jaffa – an ancient port city overlooking the brilliant Tel Aviv skyline – is a must-see destination for anyone visiting the White City. Located on the Mediterranean coast, Jaffa boasts plenty of things to do, like vibrant culture, excellent sea views, and great history. There’s something here to appeal to everyone’s taste.
From art galleries and historical sites to famous eateries and exciting nightlife spots, here are some of the best activities in Jaffa that will greatly enhance your trip.
1) Discover Old Jaffa
Whether you’re a history buff or not, Old Jaffa is an absolute must-visit. It is the oldest part of the city and home to many historical sites such as St. Peter’s Church and the Citadel of Jaffa, which are estimated to be over 3,000 years old. Take a walk around the narrow cobblestone alleyways and explore its incredible past, admiring the Clock Tower, flea market, and the old port. You can even take a private night tour to see these brilliant sights and more, including the HaPisga Garden and wishing bridge.
2) Shop at the Jaffa Flea Market
Speaking of Old Jaffa, the flea market – also known as Shuk Hapishpishim – is unmissable for those seeking a unique souvenir or gift. This famous bazaar has been around since the 19th century and is full of remarkable finds from all over the world. Be sure to haggle with the vendors if you want a good deal and an authentic experience. Strolling through this market will create a sense of wonder and awe as you marvel at the brilliant pieces. Browse through antique furniture, handmade jewelry, and vintage clothes.
3) Take a Boat Ride from Jaffa Port
A great way to take in the stunning coastline of Jaffa is to go on a boat ride from Jaffa port, which connects to the Mediterranean Sea and the Yarkon River. According to Biblical history, this port is where Jonah set off before being swallowed by a whale and surviving. The views from the sea are simply breathtaking and you’ll be able to spot the Tel Aviv beachfront as well as local wildlife, like coastal birds, sea turtles, and on the rare occasion, even seals. If you’re not a sailor at heart, you can also take in the port with our unique sunset walking tour.
4) Try Shakshuka and Other Local Foods
Jaffa has plenty of restaurants and cafes to explore for foodies. One of the most popular dishes in Israel is Shakshuka – an egg dish cooked in a tomato sauce with spices like cumin and paprika. You can find it in many restaurants, but for the best experience, head to the famed Doctor Shakshuka.
Other local favorites include Silvia Cafe, known for its coffee and tea against the backdrop of the waterfront, and Yaffa Knafeh, famous for the Middle Eastern dessert knafeh. These are just some of the many incredible eateries in Jaffa, but there are always new restaurants and cafes popping up around the city, so be on the lookout!
5) Relax at a Jaffa Hotel
Some of the most luxurious hotels are found in Jaffa, Tel Aviv. One of the most well-known – aptly named ‘The Jaffa’ – is a charming space with stunning vistas of the Mediterranean Sea and Old City. Spend an afternoon lounging by their rooftop pool or taking a stroll through their lush gardens before indulging in a meal at their onsite restaurant.
The Margosa Hotel is another great option for visitors looking for a more intimate and peaceful stay, but there’s a range of great selections to choose from. For guidance, check out our curated list of hotels in Jaffa to find the perfect accommodation for you.
6) Explore Jaffa’s Eclectic Art Scene
Jaffa is home to a great collection of art galleries, making it the perfect place for art lovers to explore. The most popular gallery in town is the Jaffa Art Gallery, which houses contemporary Israeli art from established and emerging artists. Check out other phenomenal local galleries such as Alon Segev Gallery, Yair Art Gallery, and Beit Hinuch Street.
If you’re captivated by art in any form, consider roaming the streets and soaking in the vibrant street-tagging culture. Better yet, take our graffiti walking tour, complete with insight into Tel Avivan artists and international icons who’ve left their mark on the White City.
7) Wander Through Neve Tzedek
Neve Tzedek is a picturesque, historic neighborhood established in 1887 as the first Jewish neighborhood right outside of Old Jaffa. It’s currently filled with cafes, restaurants, boutique shops, and galleries, making it the best place to stroll around, people-watch, try some artisanal pastries, and enjoy the enchanting ambiance.
You can discover this neighborhood as part of a larger Jaffa and Tel Aviv tour or just see Jaffa and Neve Tzedek on their own with this tour. However you end up visiting this charming location, it will prove to be unforgettable.
8) Have a Picnic at Jaffa Hill Park
Jaffa Hill Park (HaPisga Park) is the perfect spot to take a break and enjoy some of the most stunning views of Tel Aviv. Enjoy your lunch or afternoon snack surrounded by the park’s lush landscaping, fountains, and outdoor seating, making it a great picnic spot. It also provides a great getaway from the busy city while offering incredible views of the Tel Aviv skyline in the distance. Jaffa Hill Park is the perfect highlight on our Saturday walking tour, adding some relaxation to your adventurous itinerary.
Have a Jaf-fabulous Time with Tourist Israel!
Jaffa is a city of wonders, from its ancient walkways and historical sites to art galleries and eateries. Whether you’re looking for a cultural experience or just want to enjoy the local atmosphere, there are plenty of things to do in Jaffa that will make your trip memorable.
The Neve Tzedek neighborhood is just waiting to be discovered as are the old port and fantastic art scene. This vibrant city has something for everyone, so why not make the most of your experience with Tourist Israel? Our tours, hotel guides, and informative blogs are sure to make your trip to Jaffa, Tel Aviv the best it could possibly be.