The center of Tel Aviv is an expansive, lively part of the city—and is also the part that seems to be evolving most rapidly. Several renovation projects are underway, including the expansion of Ibn Gvirol Street, the rebuilding of the Gordon Street public swimming pool and the preservation of Sarona, a former German agricultural colony that is due to get a makeover as a cultural and entertainment complex in the coming years.
Central Tel Aviv is home to a large number of the city’s major cultural institutions, including the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Cameri Theatre, the New Israel Opera and the cinematheque, which is located just near Ha’arba’a Street—the site of a number of the finest restaurants in town.
The center also contains some smaller historic gems that shed light on people and places that played integral roles in Israeli and Jewish society. There are museums and monuments dedicated to former Prime Ministers David Ben-Gurion and Yitzhak Rabin, to Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky and eminent Yiddish author Shalom Aleichem.
In addition to its historic and cultural elements, the center also boasts newer landmarks that represent Tel Aviv’s blossoming as a business destination in recent years. The Azrieli Center, for example, has forever changed Tel Aviv’s skyline with its circular, square and triangular skyscrapers. Azrieli’s towers were, for a brief period, the tallest in Israel and in the Middle East—until they were surpassed by the Moshe Aviv Tower in Ramat Gan and by Dubai’s recent construction boom.
The center area also contains several squares—Rabin Square, Dizengoff Square and Masaryk Square (although only one of them is actually square-shaped)—plus three boulevards, three shopping malls and the marina. This stretch of Tel Aviv’s boardwalk also lays claim to some of the city’s most popular beaches, such as those around Frishman and Gordon Streets.
Some of the area’s main thoroughfares, including the sprawling Ibn Gvirol Street, Dizengoff Street and Ben-Gurion Boulevard, are lined with cafes and restaurants, and are ideal places to relax, window-shop or go for a stroll. In fact, from the early 1950s through mid-1970s, central Dizengoff was considered one of the most stylish places to gather with friends at a cafe or go shopping. It is also where some of Israel’s most famous poets, authors and journalists have camped out to write at their favorite joints.
Merging the old with the new, Tel Aviv’s center offers visitors plenty of opportunities to soak up the city’s simultaneously fast-paced and laid-back urban vibe.
To the complete list of tourist sites and attractions