- Type: Sightseeing, Neighborhood/Area
- Time to Spend: Half Day to Full Day
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This ancient city located just south of Tel Aviv can trace its roots back to the Bible. Jaffa is said to have been named for Noah's son, Japhet, who constructed the beautiful city walls and winding corridors after the Flood. And it is from here that Jonah embarked on his adventure with the whale. This once thriving port has played host to the Roman and Ottoman civilizations. Steeping the area even further in lore, Apostle Peter performed miracles here, and later Richard the Lionheart and Napoleon both laid claim to it. Jaffa is also the city from where the founders of Tel Aviv originated.
Today, walking through Jaffa is like strolling through history. Except now, these ancient buildings house art galleries and cafés. Throughout the city, narrow alleyways funnel you past jewelry-makers and fruit vendors into the primary square, where a thriving flea market sells everything from antiques to regional snacks. According to one TripAdvisor user, "Walking through the small alleys in old Jaffa, I honestly felt like I had been taken back a few centuries, to a time when everything was simpler."
Jaffa is located about two miles south of downtown Tel Aviv and is easy to reach by bike, bus, or taxi. You can visit Jaffa at any time, day or night. While you don't have to pay to wander, you may want to have some shekels on hand should something in the market or the galleries strike your fancy. To learn more about Jaffa, visit the Israel Tourism Board's website.