Discover the highlights of... Tel Aviv

| January 13, 2011

Cox & Kings’ Product Support Executive Alix King was recently in Israel, spending 7 nights at the Carlton Tel Aviv. With so much to see and do in the city she highlights the three areas she was most impressed with.

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From the end of the 19th century until 1948, the Jaffa-Jerusalem train route stopped at Tel Aviv’s old railway station, known as HaTachana in Hebrew. Sixty-two years on, after 5 years of conservation and redevelopment work, Tel Aviv’s historic train station officially re-opened to the public. Today however, it is not a functioning railway station but an open-air cultural centre filled with European style piazzas, quaint outdoor eateries, art exhibitions, live music and shops selling beautifully crafted local and international goods. I would recommend visiting HaTachana on a Friday (as I did) as the area has a great weekend vibe and to me it felt very similar to walking around Covent Garden in London.

Tel Aviv Port
Another area of Tel Aviv that has undergone a massive transformation in recent years, to become one of Israel's most striking and popular shopping and leisure centres, is the Tel Aviv Port. As I walked along the modern boardwalk with its impressive array of fashion houses, restaurants and cafes, it was hard to believe that just 7 years ago this area was a derelict urban wasteland.

HaCarmel Market with Zir Nuk
As I wandered through Tel Aviv’s largest food and vegetable market, where vendors were hollering all around that their merchandise was “the best price in the market”, little did I realise the attention we were about to attract. Accompanying our group on a tour of the market was Nir Zuk, a senior Israeli chef, food columnist for the newspaper ‘ Yediot Aharonot’, author of many cookbooks and host of many cooking programs on Israeli television. In UK terms it was like being guided around London’s Borough Markets by Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsey (and we even had a camera crew following us around too!). The tour was extremely informative, as Nir showed us different fruits, herbs and vegetables and explained how to incorporate them into different dishes. We also sampled some local delicacies including cheese, fish, sweets and falafel.

I would definitely recommend visiting the markets on a Friday or Saturday to enjoy the hustle and bustle of local Tel Avivian’s going about their weekly shopping. The atmosphere is friendly and casual and there are many different smells and colours to absorb. I would steer clear of the butcher’s area if possible and as a tourist if you do wish to buy anything, be prepared to pay more than a local would, but as the market prices are relatively low anyway it is probably still cheaper to shop here than anywhere else.

Cox & Kings offers luxury short breaks to Tel Aviv. 5 Days/ 4 nights costs from £995 per person, including flights & transfers.


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