Port of Jaffa

Beautiful sunsets, impressive architecture, artisan shops, and world-class cuisine, in the Port of Jaffa, one of the oldest ports in the whole world, showing the multicultural side of Jaffa.
Jaffa port

History and culture in Jaffa Port

With a rich history that goes way back, influence of diverse cultures through the years, and a vibrant food and nightlife scene in the present, the Port of Jaffa is a unique site to visit. Featuring a charming atmosphere, great food options, unique cultural experiences, and stunning sea views, the Jaffa Port is truly one of the must-see sites of the Tel Aviv area.

The Port of Jaffa, located in the western part of the old city of Jaffa, is one of the most beautiful and fascinating sites to visit in the historic city. With a rich history and several great things to do in the area, the Jaffa Port is certainly a great visit for foodies, sea lovers, and art lovers. Here’s everything you should know about visiting this wonderful place in the city, for the ultimate Jaffa experience.

The Story of the Port of Jaffa

The Port of Jaffa is one of the oldest ports in the world, as it was built 4,000 years ago when it served the Phoenicians and Egyptians in their trades in the region. From those early times, the Jaffa Port was operating almost nonstop until 1799, when the Port was completely destroyed by Napoleon, and was only rebuilt much later by the Ottomans.

With the beginning of the Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel, the Jaffa Port was the major gateway for Jews to the Land of Israel. Many of the immigrants of the first, second, third, and fourth immigration waves of Jewish people to Israel, from the end of the 1800s to 1928, got here through the Port. Since the port of Jaffa is a shallow water port, the ships anchored west of the coastal rocks and the immigrants were taken from the ships to the shore in boats.

Since the establishment of the Haifa Port in 1933, Jaffa Port has begun losing its importance as a trade center, and in 1965, with the opening of the Ashdod Port, it was completely shut down as a trading port. With the closure of the Port of Jaffa as a shipping port, it became a major fishing port.

Today, the Jaffa Port mostly serves as a historical and touristic site. You can find several attractions here, such as guided tours in the old city, group cruises, restaurants and bars, a fish market established in collaboration with the Old Fishermen’s Committee, permanent and changing art galleries, an urban maritime education center, and the Jaffa Sea Scouts tribe, located near the northern entrance to the port.

Jaffa port

Best things to do in the Port of Jaffa

Wander around the Jaffa Port alleys

The beautiful Jaffa Port is a great place to just wander around in. The best way to experience this place is to just walk around the great old alleys, visit the boutique artisan shops and galleries, and enjoy the port’s unique atmosphere. Pro tip: make sure to be here for sunset, to enjoy the magnificent colorful skies, and stay until dark, for an impressive view of the Tel Aviv city lights.

Try the great multicultural cuisine

The Port of Jaffa features a multitude of great dining options, with mostly international cuisine, including Japanese and Italian restaurants, along with the popular seafood restaurant “The Fisherman’s restaurant“. Dining here in the evening, with the great sea breeze, the delicious food options, and the vibrant atmosphere of the Port, is a great experience to remember, and one of the best ways to experience this wonderful site.

Visit NaLaga’at Center

The Nalaga’at Center is a cultural and creative arts center and the only one of its kind in the world. The center is a leading and innovative model of integration of people with disabilities in society and provides a platform for an equal meeting and interaction between deaf people, blind people, deaf-blind people, and the general public. The Nalaga’at center is divided into two major parts:

Na Laga’at Theater – a one-of-a-kind theater that gives the audience a powerful artistic and social experience. Here, you will get to see incredible shows and plays, made and acted by creative, independent, and joyful deaf, blind, and deaf-blind actors.

Blackout restaurant – a high-quality chef’s restaurant, where you eat in complete darkness. The dishes here are served by blind/visually impaired waiters, and The combination of the delicious dishes, the complete darkness and creative ways to get over it, and the meeting with the waiters and their life stories, creates an unforgettable inspiring experience.

Whether you’re interested in the Blackout Restaurant or the theatre, a visit to Nalaga’at is certainly one of the most unique experiences you can ever get, and an incredible opportunity to learn more about the life of people with disabilities.

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