Jaffa Port – The Old and the New

Dror Bederman

Dror Bederman

Tour Designer and Expert Tour Guide in Israel.

The renewed Jaffa port, once the main port in Israel until the British Mandate, the port that welcomed the first and second Aliyah to Israel in Style and grace, and is mentioned in the Bible, now serves mainly fishermen boats, small ships, a new entertainment center and changing art exhibitions.

Enjoy the old and the new

The port is connected to the southern side of the Tel Aviv Promenade and on the other side, you can find the new Jaffa Promenade. If you go down the road leading to the port, passing the southern entrance to the port, you will come to a big parking lot.

After a short walk from the parking lot, you will see the big hangars of the port (warehouse 2 and 3), their large spaces storing changing art exhibitions at “The Theater gallery” or serving as event halls. If you follow the southern side of these hangars, along the rim of the port, you will see the small docks where the old fishermen boats are dangling softly on the blue sea. 

Note that the entrance to the small docks is usually closed for the public so if you wish to take a short cruise, you can do that during the weekends on the small passenger ships located at the northern side of the port near docs 7 and 8, offering a paid tour.

If you see a huge building, several storages high, you have found warehouse 1. On the outside of the building, with a sea view, you can find some good fish restaurants, some veteran, the others fairly new. But, when you go through the middle entrance, you enter into a vibrant, colorful and exotic food market reminding the style of the covered markets in Europe.

What’s in the food market

The food market offers you almost any kind of food you fency. From a bakery and Knafe (honey cake), to hummus, lamb and veal homemade sausages, a Deli Bar serving sandwiches full of thin meat slices, Chef Tapas, Beer, juice Stand and more.  Note that on the weekends and during the holidays, you may have trouble finding an empty chair.

You can also find there some bigger restaurants, a vegetable and fruit shop,

Amongst the food stands there are also a vegetable and fruit shop, oils, cosmetics and nuts as well as gourmet chocolate.

Try out your senses

If you go out through the back of warehouse 1, you will find the unique “Please Touch” center – a Blind and Deaf Theater with a coffee shop where the waiters are deaf and communicate in sign language, as well as the “black out” restaurant, where you dine in the dark, using mainly your sense of taste and your sense of touch.  

Don’t miss out on the experience.

Take a walk on the wild side

After you have experienced the smells, the tastes and the art offered by the port, if you climb the stairs from the north side, leading to the alleys of the old city you can enjoy a short walk at the Hapisga Garden that is overlooking Tel Aviv.

Alternatively, if you turn south again, you can enjoy the light sea breeze walking along the green Jaffa promenade while your children are enjoying themselves at the near by playground.

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