A charming atmosphere, great cuisine, and impressive architecture, in the historical port city of Jaffa, one of the most popular cities in Israel.
Jaffa Clock Tower, Jaffa

Jaffa: a perfect mix of old and new.

As one of the oldest port cities in the world, with a history that goes back 4,000 years, Jaffa is a unique, historical city, with fascinating stories and numerous beautiful buildings, old and new. Featuring a popular market, a great beach, and some of the best food you’ll have in Israel, Jaffa is the ultimate day trip from Tel Aviv.
Jaffa Beach. Jaffa
Jaffa old city, Jaffa, Central Israel
Mahmoudiya Mosque, Jaffa

Located just southwest of Tel Aviv, Jaffa is a diverse and unique city, with a special vibe and rich history. With many sites to visit and things to do, it is one of the most beloved cities in Israel, and for good reason. Here’s everything you should know for the ultimate Jaffa experience.

The History of Jaffa

Jaffa is one of the oldest cities in the world and in the Middle East in particular. It is mentioned in many historic sources, from Egyptian papyri, through Greek mythology, in Jewish writings such as the book of Jonah the prophet, to Christianity. There are not many cities in the world that were conquered, destroyed, and rebuilt as many times as Jaffa.

The founding of the city is attributed to Yeffet, Noah’s son. Ancient documents and excavations taught the researchers that the Jaffa Port was built 4,000 years ago, at first serving the Phoenician and Egyptian sailors in their sea voyages.

Even though it has gone through so many changes, Jaffa did not stop being a central and important port city for thousands of years. So many peoples lived in it at different times, from the Phoenicians, through the Romans, the Mamluks during the rule of Baybars, through Napoleon who brutally massacred its inhabitants, and the Ottomans headed by Muhammad Abu Nabbut, who are the ones who built the old city of Jaffa that we see today.

Today, thousands of years after it arose, it is vibrant, full of life, and never ceases to renew itself. With a great mix of cultures, including Christian, Muslim, and Jewish residents, and a mix of old and new architecture, Jaffa draws thousands of visitors every day.

Best sites to visit in Jaffa

Jaffa Promenade

Often unknown to visitors, is the fact that the Tel Aviv Promenade goes through Jaffa as well. Here, it passes through the Jaffa port, the small Hamidron Park at the edge of the Ajami neighborhood, and ends at Givat Aliya beach. If you walk here from north to south, at the beginning of the trip, you will be able to view the old city overlooking the sea, in what looks like a postcard with a sweet view. Later, you will see colorful fishing boats in the harbor, a green slope with play facilities between Ajami and the sea, and at the end, you can bathe in one of the beautiful beaches of the city, which, like Jaffa as a whole, are places where people of all religions and cultures enjoy the sand and the water side by side.

The Mosaic House

An amazing Jaffa treasure, the Mosaic House Museum displays the work of artist Yossi Lugasi, who has been creating mosaics in his apartment in Jaffa for decades. Here, every wall, every balcony, and every corner that was once free is covered with mosaic works that will leave you speechless at the effort, precision, and patience invested here. The displays include portraits of prime ministers and presidents of Israel, singers and cultural heroes, biblical characters, rabbis, and even a model that simulates how Israel looks from the Hubble space telescope. Not only are the figures almost identical to the original, they even express human emotions.

St. Peter’s Church

The bell tower of St. Peter’s Church towers over the houses of Old Jaffa and has become an integral part of the city’s iconic skyline. Countless visitors to the heart of Old Jaffa, pass by the great church but only a few go inside. Here, you may be surprised to discover the kind of splendor found in baroque churches in Italy. Inside the church, you’ll see colorful glass windows, statues, and icons that fill the impressive space, which has a vaulted ceiling above it. In the church, there are works of art with scenes from the life of Peter, one of Jesus’ 12 apostles.

Jaffa Flea Market

The Flea Market is a vibrant, colorful, and special part of Jaffa, and is the most popular part of the city. Here you can find good coffee, pastries, freshly squeezed orange or pomegranate juice, vintage shops, home items, colorful alleys, and wonderful photo-shooting spots. It is also the best place to enjoy the beloved cuisine of Jaffa, including Knafeh, Malabi, and much more. In the nighttime, several bars operate here, giving the market a completely different energy.

Jaffa Clock Tower

The clock tower was built in 1901 in the center of Jaffa’s main square and is the city’s symbol.
The clock tower in Jaffa is one of seven clock towers built in the Land of Israel and a hundred clock towers built throughout the Ottoman Empire on the 25th anniversary of the rule of the Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid II. The towers were built as part of the modern reforms led by the Sultan, with the aim to lead a life according to precise and Western timetables in the empire.

The local tradition says that the tower was built upon the request of Yosef Moyal, the richest of the Jews in Jaffa, who asked to build the clock tower to save the hassles that would bother him from passers-by who would enter his shop to find out the time on their way to the train station.



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