The city of Tel Aviv-Yafo is only 52 km (20 sq.mi.) – not very big, especially when you consider how many different distinctive neighborhoods this area includes. Indeed, each neighborhood has its own special character and charm.
City Center – the heart and soul of TLV
The City Center neighborhood is not only physically in the middle of Tel Aviv; it is also at the heart of its shopping, cultural and culinary scene. Gindi TLV is located at the epicenter of this central neighborhood. The area includes such popular destinations as Rothschild Blvd., Dizengoff Blvd., the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv Cinematheque, Habima Theater, City Hall area, Sarona complex and more. In the past ten years, the streets surrounding Gindi TLV have been transformed into a mecca for Israel’s foodies, with dozens of gourmet restaurants serving every type of cuisine imaginable – from authentic Mediterranean fine dining to outstanding Asian, Italian and other fare. This neighborhood is also favored by shoppers, who flock to the TLV Fashion Mall, with its huge selection of boutiques and clothing chains, as well as to the nearby Sarona Market, a wonderful culinary haven which rivals some of the world’s best known food markets.
Neve Tzedek – like a secret garden
With its charming, quaint atmosphere, the historical neighborhood of Neve Tzedek, south of the City Center, feels like a secret garden surrounded by a bustling city. It was the first neighborhood to house Jewish settlers outside of Jaffa in 1887 and is older than the rest of Tel Aviv. Many of its buildings are historical houses that were renovated, but there are also Bauhaus-style buildings and modern luxury developments. Neve Tzedek’s narrow streets are lined with trendy boutiques, galleries, cafes and restaurants. In recent years, this upscale, expensive neighborhood had assumed a distinctly French atmosphere and it is home to a large community of French olim who have established French bakeries, French fashion boutiques and even a French school.
Florentin – trendy and artsy
Today, the neighborhood of Florentin in south Tel Aviv is one of the trendiest in the city, but not too long ago this was an unappealing industrial area. Compared to the rest of the city, housing prices are still moderate, and the area is home to a young, bohemian crowd that includes plenty of artists. There are many trendy restaurants, bars and nightclubs in Florentin. One of the neighborhood’s landmark features is the plentiful street art, which has engendered popular “graffiti tours” led by local tour guides. The area is still in the midst of a gentrification process and run-down areas are being converted into upscale residences.
The Old North – Tel Aviv of yore
Northern Tel Aviv, and especially the ‘Old North’ neighborhood, is favored by people looking for more tranquility than can usually be found in the Center. Old-timers consider this area one of the city’s preferred residential districts because of its lovely, tree-lined streets and proximity to good schools and parks. Residents include more older people and families and fewer young singles than other parts of the city.
Flea Market – traditional charm meets contemporary chic
It has always been fun to visit the Flea Market (Shuk HaPishpeshim) in Jaffa, with its colorful stalls full of traditional crafts and household items. But in recent years, the area surrounding the Flea Market has been revamped, and the numerous cafes, boutiques and art studios attract as many visitors as the Flea Market itself. At night, the area turns into one of Tel Aviv’s nightlife hot spots, with trendy bars and eateries. Not surprisingly, this neighborhood’s facelift includes upscale residential projects as well. Savvy investors are building architectural gems that are being snapped up by Israelis and foreigners eager to live in this lovely neighborhood that is close to Old Jaffa and the beach.