Jaffa’s Hidden Treasures


Infused with Europe's old-world scent and a frantic mix of the two: The Levantine culture. Tel Aviv's current metropolis is quite different from Tel Aviv's historic harbour city, Jaffa.

Multiethnic Muslims, Christians and Jews make up the vibrant community of Jaffa, the world's oldest seaport. Recently, Natalie Portman and Claire Danes have been seen in the city, a historic Napoleonic stronghold.

The gritty city of Jaffa, once a port and a site of pilgrimage, retains remnants of its colonial history, including historic shops and places of worship. There isn't much to learn about why Jaffa is such a special site to visit in Israel, and why it should be on the list of every traveller.

Put Mayumana through her paces.

Mayumana is based in Jaffa. Mayumana is back in Jaffa, where it belongs.

Israeli dance and theatre ensemble Mayumana provides a one-of-a-kind experience. Comedy and Israeli arrogance are woven throughout the mix. It takes just a few minutes to travel to Mayumana's headquarters, which is situated between the Old City of Jaffa and the Old Port. As the group has developed since its start in 1996, it now includes international performers that tour alongside the Israeli core, playing in front of five million people in more than 70 different countries across the world since then. The greatest way to appreciate an artist's work is to see them perform in Jaffa.

The best hummus in Israel

There are many claims in the city of Jaffa about the quality of hummus produced by Abu Hassan's children and grandchildren. When you've had enough food, you may refuel your body at two of the three Abu Hassan restaurants in Jaffa. Three restaurants provide vegetarian and meat options, but the most popular dish is full of tahini-and-hummus-topped masabaha, Arabic for mashed chickpeas. This is the Arabic equivalent of a typical American breakfast. Pita bread, lemon and hot pepper sauces, and non-alcoholic malt beer will make you feel like a local as you eat and drink like a local.

An educational and entertaining supper

One-of-a-kind back-to-back dining and entertainment experience is provided by the Nalaga'at Theater and the BlackOut restaurant. The Nalaga'at group include a number of artists who are either physically or mentally disabled, enabling them to share their experiences with the audience. Dining options are available at the BlackOut restaurant, where meals are served by blind waiters, before or after the show. Bartenders at the bar may be ordered drinks between dinner and the show since they are deaf.

The old port has been restored

The Old Port of Jaffa, as it is presently called, was constructed in the past five years. The harbor's historic warehouse buildings have been turned into a thriving cultural hub, housing everything from art galleries, organic coffee shops, and booksellers to some of the region's finest nightclubs. While the old salty dogs still labour on their nets and boats throughout the day, you can still go on a fish dinner-disco cruise with them. Find the ancient rock of Andromeda while you're at sea, or get kayaking lessons at a local shop.