Tel Aviv Travel Guide, Israel
Tel Aviv-jaffa Travel Guide: General Information
Tel Aviv-jaffa, the financial capital of Israel, plays an important part in the global economic system. This commercial/economic importance, however, does not belittle the city’s significance as an international tourism destination. Quite like Amman, Damascus, Jerusalem and other ancient Levant cities, Tel Aviv-jaffa (especially the Jaffa-port area) has a rich history that was traced back to the Bronze Age (and even earlier). If we stop talking about the city’s glorious past and speak of today, present-day Tel Aviv-jaffa emerges as a lively, thriving city that promises vacationers a lot of excitement and fun – you can enjoy the city’s pulsating nightlife (in fact, Tel Aviv along with Beirut is the nightlife-hub of the Middle East), do some sightseeing, visit the city’s golden Mediterranean beaches, go on shopping sprees or gorge on the fantastic local cuisine. The city also boasts of a cultural scenario.
This Tel Aviv-jaffa Travel Guide introduces you to this global city, presenting a little bit the city’s architecture, the people and their culture, its economy and infrastructure so that you have an idea about what awaits you in this city.
Tel Aviv-jaffa Travel Guide: Statistics
Area: 51.8 sq km
Currency: Shekel (ILS or NIS)
Language(s): Hebrew, Arabic, Amharic, English, French, Russian, and hosts of other languages
Tel Aviv-jaffa Travel Guide: City Planning And Architecture
Tel Aviv-jaffa is divided into two parts – Jaffa, the ancient port city and Tel Aviv, the cosmopolitan commercial city that grew up on the outskirts of Jaffa about a century ago. Rothschild Boulevard is the most urbane and well-planned thoroughfares of Tel-Aviv.
Jaffa is full of buildings and structures like the Clock Tower, Hassan Bek Mosque, Immanuel Church, Mahmoudiya Mosque and Sabil Abu Nabbut that represent medieval/Ottoman architecture. Tel Aviv, on the other hand, has structures of various architectural styles – Art Deco, Classical, Eclectic, Modernist, etc. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the White City (close to the city center), for instance, is a group of more than 4000 residential/public buildings inspired by Bauhaus (a modern architectural style). Among other modernist structures are Tel Aviv’s many skyscrapers like the Azreili Center, First International Bank Tower, Neve Tzedek Tower, Shalom Meir Tower and Tel Aviv Towers. (Tel Aviv’s new neighborhoods also have a number of high-rises). Tel Aviv also has a number of classy-looking not-so-high buildings like the Ben Gurion House Museum, Bialik House, Eclectic-style Twin House, Habima Theater, Ohel Theater and The Pagoda House. There are also a number of parks in the city like Ariel Sharon Park, Charles Clore Park, Hayarkon Park, Independence Park and Meir Park.
Tel Aviv-jaffa Travel Guide: Economy And Infrastructure
Tel Aviv-jaffa is the economic hub of Israel; the city’s various economic activities create about one-sixth of all jobs in Israel and contribute to about 20% of the GDP. Tel Aviv’s economy is dominated by the services sector (banking, finance, insurance, tourism, etc.). Since the late 1990s, the city has also made advancements as a center of scientific and technical research activities. The city is not only the site of the nation’s lone Stock Exchange, most banks, finance/insurance/high-tech firms operating in Israel are headquartered in the city. Industrial activities such as construction, chemical and food processing, clothing and textile manufacturing, production of electrical appliances, etc. also contribute to the economy. Diamond-processing is also a key economic activity.
Tel Aviv-jaffa has the best transportation infrastructure in the whole of Israel. The city not only lies at the intersection of national road network, but is also served by railways and the air-route. The city’s bus services are essentially reliable; commuter-taxis are also available. A system of suburban trains connects the city’s four railway stations to the neighboring cities. Tel Aviv-jaffa is not far away from the Ben Gurion International Airport (only 15 kilometers) but it also has a domestic airport, Sde Dov. Ashdod is the nearby port.
Tel Aviv-jaffa Travel Guide: People And Culture
Tel Aviv-jaffa is a multicultural city where people speak different languages, follow different religious faiths and customs. Jews form about 92% of the city’s populace, but the city also has Arabs (predominantly Muslims, as also Christian-Arabs). In spite of the religious allegiances of its populace, the city has a more or less secular-picture.
The Tel-Avivans are as much known for their cultural pursuits as for their clubbing/partying ways and you will find them frequenting cultural venues/events like museums, theaters and performances with equal enthusiasm as in visiting nightclubs and bars. A very liberal city, Tel Aviv-jaffa welcomes people of all sexual-preferences – lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders and is hence known as the ‘Gay Capital of the Middle East’.
The city has quite a sporting-culture, with basketball and football being the chief sports followed here.
Now that this Tel Aviv-jaffa Travel Guide has unfolded before you the picture of a global city that has earned the reputation as ‘a city that never sleeps’, you should not be in two minds about paying a visit to the city.
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