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Israel : Tel Aviv - July 2010

Country Code: Dial ++972 for Israel

Ideally placed in more ways than one, the rooms of Hotel De La Mer Feng Shui Hotel (2 Nes Tziona Street, tel. (0)3 510 0011, delamer.co.il, rooms from €112/ NIS 525) are laid out following the principals of feng shui. A few minutes’ walk from the bustle of Carmel Market and the beach, the hotel’s calming ambience makes it the perfect retreat from the heat of the day.

Getting around

Ben Gurion International Airport is 20km south-east of Tel Aviv.

Train: There’s a train station outside the terminal. The journey to the city centre takes 20 minutes and a single ticket costs €2/NIS 12.
Taxi: A taxi from the airport to the city centre takes about 20 minutes and should cost no more than €17-21/ NIS 100-120.
Tourist information: The main office is at 46 Herbert Samuel Street (tel. (0)3 516 6188, visit-tlv.co.il).

JAFFA PORT AND THE JAFFA FLEA MARKET

The recently refurbished Jaffa Port and the gradually gentrifying flea market radiate edgy urban chic. Located just minutes apart by foot, they offer several appealing shopping, culture and eating options.

Sleep soundly – The Andromeda Hill Hotel (3 Louis Pasteur Street, tel. (0)3 683 8448, andromeda.co.il, studios from €150 per night, minimum stay four nights) offers luxury accommodation from studio to multi-bedroom flats, including penthouses.

Culture vultures – The area’s former fish-packing warehouses have been converted into prestigious art galleries that exhibit works by both established and up-and-coming Israeli artists. Do try to see a performance at the Nalaga’at Center (‘Do touch’, Retsif Haaliya Hashniya, Jaffa Port, tel. (0)3 633 0808). The complex houses a theatre troupe of deaf-blind actors. Café Kapish is staffed by deaf waiters and at the BlackOut restaurant diners are served in pitch darkness by blind waiters.

Must eat – The Container (Jaffa Port, tel. (0)3 683 6321) features a menu of appetisers, pasta, seafood and beer in a casual, stylish setting with a pleasing view of anchored fishing boats bobbing in the port.

Must drink – At Shafa Bar (2 Rabbi Nachman Street), urban hipsters sit at communal tables set out on the cobbled street and listen to Arab and Hebrew pop as they chat over beer and tapas.

Shop til you drop – Several chic new boutiques have opened up in the Jaffa flea market. Sharon Brunsher (13 Amihad Street) designs sensual casualwear in all-natural fabrics and a minimalist palette; One Bedroom (12 Yehuda Margoza Street) exhibits an eclectic range of objects for the home alongside European designer clothes; and Sonia (5 Rabbi Pinchas Street) is a whimsical space filled with rescued and restored objects from the 1950s.

BIALIK STREET AND CARMEL MARKET

Beautifully restored to celebrate Tel Aviv’s centennial year, Bialik Street is a microcosm of Tel Aviv history. The cul-de-sac is named after Israel’s seminal poet, HN Bialik, who built his house there in the 1920s.

Culture vultures – The Felicja Blumental Music Centre and Library (26 Bialik Street) is located in a distinctive orange building; it hosts classical music concerts in its intimate auditorium. The former Home of Reuven Rubin (14 Bialik Street), one of Israel’s most renowned artists, is also now a museum. Dominating the cul-de-sac with its pillars and rococo carvings is the city’s first municipal building, now a museum. Bialik House (22 Bialik Street), with its distinctive Moorish details, is best visited in the morning, before the school groups arrive.

Must eat – Cafe Bialik (2 Bialik Street, tel. (0)3 620 0832) is a charming and popular place to idle for hours over a light meal or coffee. For a more substantial meal, cross Allenby Street, turn left and enter the Yemenite Quarter at Najara Street. There you’ll find Pappa’s Italian (12 Hillel Hazaken Street, corner of Najara Street, (0)3 510 7373), which serves the best casual Italian food in Tel Aviv. Pappa’s long wooden bar is also a popular drinking spot.

Shop til you drop – If you’ve stopped at Pappa’s for lunch any day but Saturday, take the opportunity to visit the nearby Carmel Market, a sprawling outdoor market that winds down almost to the seafront. Fruit, vegetables, spices, clothes, dishes – all are sold from outdoor stands by experienced merchants who shout out their prices and wares in loud chants. Here and there you’ll find Russian delicatessens that specialise in pork charcuterie and various delicacies imported from the old country.



Compiled by Lisa Goldman

Previous issues for Tel Aviv
 
   
Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy,
please confirm event/venue details in advance.

 

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