The Best Historical Walking Tour of Tel Aviv

January 28, 2017

The Best Walking Tour of Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv, a fascinating, young city of the Middle East, is a little over a hundred years old. For tourists, who love history, one of the best ways to learn about the city is by taking a walking tour of Sandeman Tours. This tour costs € 17 for adults and € 16 for students and lasts about 2,5-3 hours. The tour begins at the Jaffa Clock Tower on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2pm. The charming English guide, Samuel has a deep knowledge about the history of the city and shares interesting stories about the dreamers who arrived to the city throughout the 20th century to establish this new Jewish city. He mixes historical facts with some personal stories of immigrants of his family. Tel Aviv Walking Tour

Jaffa Clock Tower - Tel Aviv Walking Tour

Jaffa Clock Tower – Tel Aviv Walking Tour

The tour started at the Jaffa clock tower, where Samuel spoke about the origins of the clock and the touched upon the history of the 4000 year old city. He told about the Gate of Zion in Jaffa, that connects the city to the Gate of Jaffa in Jerusalem. After Jaffa, the group walked along the beach of the Mediterranean Sea to reach The American Colony. We reached an old American wooden house and heard the story of one of the first dreamers, Reverend McAdams, who arrived to the holy land in 1868 from Maine, with a group of people to welcome the arrival of the next messiah to the World, but returned to America soon after, because of the dire weather conditions.

The American Colony - Tel Aviv Walking Tour

The American Colony – Tel Aviv Walking Tour

The next stop was at the German Colony, where we could observe German style houses built in the end of the 19th century, by the first German immigrants who came to the Holy Land. In this part of town, we saw houses that looked unusual for the region. These were tall houses, built in German style for snowy Winters and not for hot Middle-Eastern weather. Tel Aviv Walking Tour

The German Colony - Tel Aviv Walking Tour

The German Colony – Tel Aviv Walking Tour

The next stop was at Neve Tzedek, where our guide spoke about the birth of the Zionist movement in the end of 19th century and how this initiated the Jewish immigration to the Holy Land. Jaffa became too small for the in-flowing Jewish population and the city started expanding South. At this point, Neve Tzedek was founded as the first Jewish city outside of Jaffa. Soon after, two schools were established and also a theater. This was the time, when the official language of the country was chosen to be Hebrew. Until 1888, Hebrew was only used in religious scripts and ceremonies. After 1880ies, many immigrants from Yemen arrived to the area, however, they were discriminated by the European Jews in Neve Tzedek and they moved outside of the town, further expanding the neighborhood of Neve Tzedek. Our guide also pointed out a house where the grandfather of his wife lived, when he first arrived to Neve Tzedek. Tel Aviv Walking Tour

Mini Tel Aviv

Mini Tel Aviv

The next stop of the tour was on the upscale Rotschild Boulevard. Here our guide was talking about the foundation of Tel Aviv in 1909 and the rapid development of the city. By 1940 150,000 people lived here. Tel Aviv meant “Old New Land” and got its name from the book of Theodore Herzl, the father of Zionism. The tour stopped at the Shalom Meir Tower, where there was a photo exhibit about the history of Tel Aviv on the ground floor. We saw the miniature version of Tel Aviv as well as part of the exhibit. The Shalom Meir Tower was at one point the tallest building of the Middle-East, when it was built in 1965. As we were walking down Rotschild Boulevard, we learned about the different architectural styles of the city. In the 20ies, the city was built in eclectic style and later Bauhaus architecture became popular.

Eclectic Architecture in Central Tel Aviv

Eclectic Architecture in Central Tel Aviv

Our guide explained the characteristics of the Bauhaus Architecture and how it brought the community together within the building.

Bauhaus Architecture of Tel Aviv

Bauhaus Architecture of Tel Aviv

We also learned that Tel Aviv, also known as the White City, was a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During our walk we also found out about the foundation of Israel and we walked by the building where the declaration of Israel was signed. The tour took us through the beautiful Rotschild Boulevard and ended by the Habima Theatre, the National Theatre, where Samuel explained us about the history of the building and the significance of the art in front of the it.

Habima in Tel Aviv

Habima in Tel Aviv

I can highly recommend the tour to visitors, who want to get to know the history of this fascinating city in a few hours. It is well worth the € 17, as the guide is knowledgeable and entertaining and he provides many interesting facts about the city.

 The same tour company organizes free walking tours every day at 11am and 2pm in Jaffa and also in Jerusalem. I took both of these tours and they were a great way to learn about these cities. You are only expected to tip your guide after the tour.

Disclosure:I participated in the above tour free of charge for the purpose of this article. The article reflects my unbiased opinion about the tour and I will not recommend something to my readers that I did not enjoy.

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The Best Walking Tour of Tel Aviv

The Best Walking Tour of Tel Aviv

 

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About Barbara

Barbara is a London based luxury travel and lifestyle blogger. She started traveling through Paris, London, New York, Milan, Tokyo at the age of 17 to conquer the World as a model. Ever since, she has visited 67 countries. She writes about the most exclusive jet-set destinations such as Cannes, Venice Film Festivals, Monaco Grand Prix, Oscar Parties in LA, Fashion Weeks in Milan or Paris as well as yacht parties in St-Tropez, Miami Art Basel, Biennale in Venice, Frieze in London or the Royal Wedding in Monaco.

  • Leslie Walker

    I love great walking tours that really help you dig deeper into what’s in front of you. The photos you included are so beautiful it makes we want to visit soon! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Barb

      Thank you! Yes, it s a great city. I hope you will visit it soon.

  • I love Sandemans Tours! I’m so glad you had such an excellent experience with them in Tel Aviv. I’d not really considered the historical side, but I’d definitely want to visit now to find out more – thanks for sharing all this info, it’s so interesting (also didn’t know it was a UNESCO World Heritage Site).

    • Barb

      Yes, it is a fascinating city and the tour company did a good job at telling us all about it.

  • Vrithi Chandramani

    Tel Aviv looks wonderful. This post is super informative. Thanks for the recommendations.

    • Barb

      I m glad you liked it. Yes, it is a great city. I would recommend you to visit it.

  • Leigh Swansborough

    Great post! Tel Aviv is on my list of places to visit. Wonderful pics btw!

    • Barb

      Thanks! I am sure you will enjoy it very much!

  • Tel Aviv looks pretty amazing! I wish to go there! Loved your amazing photos :)(

    • Barb

      Thanks! Yes, it is a cool city. I loved it too.

  • Jodi-Ann Masters

    Interesting post, very informative! I love walking tours, i find they are one of the best ways for tourists to really get to know a city. Thanks for sharing, lovely pictures.

    • Barb

      Thanks! Yes, walking tours are a great way to get to know the city.

  • Riley Schnepf

    Seems like a place with such rich culture and history. Love the pictures too. Great post 🙂

    • Barb

      Thank you! I m glad you enjoyed it.

  • Michelle Bell

    Super informative and lovely photos! Thanks for sharing and thank you for making it easy to read and pleasing to the eye

    • Barb

      I m glad you liked it. Thanks!

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