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Old Yafo
Sister City of Tel Aviv

 

Old Yafo or Jaffa Israel is not an independent city. It is part of the big metropolis called Tel Aviv-Yafo. Here we are going to talk about this ancient city of many names as Joppe or Joppa in the Bible, Yaffa in Arabic and Jaffa in English.

Seating next to and being part of Tel Aviv is the Old City that goes back thousands of years. Archaeological evidence shows that Jaffa was inhabited some 7,500 years BCE. The harbor has been used since the Bronze Age.




Walk from Tel Aviv to Old Yafo via the Tayelet

Walk from Tel Aviv to Old Yafo via the Tayelet


Yafo became an important and successful city

Jaffa Israel developed into a successful city with many factories producing an array of products like candy, soap, olive oil, leather, and wine among others. Printing of books was a serious enterprise then.

In the middle of the 19th century the population of Yafo was about 5000 of them 1000 Christians, 800 Jews and the rest Muslims.

In those years the orange growing was in the hands of Arabs using old fashioned methods. The Jews brought in modern equipment and developed the famous Jaffa Oranges industry famous worldwide.

At the beginning of the 20th century the population of Yafo kept growing substantially. This is when a group of Jews left Yafo for the northern dunes and founded what today is Tel Aviv in 1909. Other suburbs around Tel Aviv were founded almost at the same time.




Old Yafo

Enjoy the narrow alleys of Yafo with galleries and restaurants

Enjoy the narrow alleys of Yafo with galleries and restaurants


After Israel Independence

The first years of Independence and the war that erupted, saw lots of problems and fighting in Yafo that slowly calmed down and in 1950 the city was united with Tel Aviv on the north and became until today a unity called Tel Aviv-Yafo.

Now Yafo has a heterogeneous population of Jews, Christian and Muslims living together in harmony. Parts of Old Yafo have been renovated turning the city into a prominent tourist attraction.

 


Old Jaffa Museum

The Museum is located in an old Ottoman building built in the 18th century. The place, the old Ottoman House is named Ancient Saraya. It started as a museum in the 1960’s by the late Dr. Kaplan one of the archaeologists of the Jewish State that excavated in Jaffa.




Yafo Flea Market

The Flea Market called in Hebrew Shuk Hapishpishim is a nice experience. The busiest day is on Friday. This is when the merchants take out their good to the streets for everyone to see. If you want to fee a real local, go to Humus al Haboker to enjoy a breakfast of humus, so early in the day. Or perhaps have some Café Hafuch (Cappuccino) in one of the sidewalk cafes.

The famous Yafo Clock standing at the entrance of the city

The famous Yafo Clock standing at the entrance of the city


  • Old Jaffa walk around the narrow streets of Old Jaffa and visit Jaffa’s visitor’s center. If you feel artistic visit one of many galleries of art featuring local and international pieces of art.

  • Church of St Peter is off Kedumim Square. Outside the church a visitor’s center shows the history of the city.

  • Summit Park is an archaeological dig revealing a fortress build by Pharaoh Ramses II. Remember this is the one who got all the 10 plagues for not “letting my people go”.

  • Wishing Bridge contains the 12 horoscope signs. Legend says that if you touch one of the signs and ask for a wish while looking at the sea, it will be fulfilled. Also take advantage of the photo settings with views of St peter Church, the Tel Aviv skyline and the sea.

  • Old Harbor area like in Namal Tel Aviv they are working on a Tayelet of Boardwalk. There a few fish restaurants and cafes.   

  • Jaffa Clock Tower stands in the middle of Yefet Street on the north of Jaffa. It is the most prominent landmark of Yafo, since I can remember. In Hebrew it is simply called Hashaon (the clock).


Don't miss the Wishing Bridge when visiting Old Yafo

Don't miss the Wishing Bridge when visiting Old Yafo


Popular during weekends

Today, Yafo, Jaffa or however you want to call it is a thriving city very popular among Israelis especially on weekends, meaning Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. People from all around the area come here to have a good meal or just walk around and have a great time.

Needless to say, that Yafo is also a great tourist attraction at a walking distance from Tel Aviv hotels area. From the Tel Aviv Hotels start walking on the beach sidewalk and you’ll get to Yafo.


Amazing view of Old Yafo from the beach of Tel Aviv

Amazing view of Old Yafo from the beach of Tel Aviv



For more information visit Israel Official Tourism Website


images credits for old yafo

old yafo by denis matison
yafo alleys by judith garin
old jaffa museum by bukvoed
flea market by avishai teicher
yafo clock by leighklotz
bridge by nacasma
tayelet by okatah

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