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There’s a lot of sightseeing to squeeze into one day in Tel Aviv, so Forbes Travel Guide’s editors recommend first figuring out how you largely want to get around the city. If you’re traveling with an Israeli or someone who knows a little Hebrew, a sheirut is a fun and adventurous way to get around town like a local. These communal minivan taxis travel pre-determined routes, usually along major thoroughfares, and as people board and disembark they hand money back and forth to each other to pay the driver. If not, Tel Aviv is a perfect walking city, with its relatively narrow layout never straying too far from the beach.
A nice jumping-off point for the day is the wide promenade along Rothschild Boulevard where you’ll find Independence Hall, the building where the Statehood of Israel was declared in 1948. (It’s now a museum and historical monument). After your visit, grab a coffee and light snack at artsy-bohemian Café 12 just a few doors down.
If the hipster-alternative scene is your thing, from Café 12 take a short walk over to the Neve Tzedek neighborhood, where the small network of streets is ideal for wandering and window shopping. Aside from some very cute wine bars, the area is also the epicenter of Tel Aviv’s substantial gelato craze, with some establishments offering well over 30 flavors of frozen yogurt, ice cream and sorbet. (Anita on Shabazi Street is a community favorite.) Neve Tzedek is also home to the world-famous Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre, an arts and theater hub of southern Tel Aviv marked by its water fountains and sprawling courtyards.
Next make your way to the old city of Jaffa, where the winding streets, named for the signs of the Zodiac, hide many craft and curio shops selling Judaica and other original and artistic wares. Make sure to stop at the Shuk Hapishpeshim (literally “flea market”) to browse everything from retro furniture to handmade wooden tchotchkes.
A truly remarkable pit stop on the way back to your hotel is the Nalagaat Center, which houses a theater, restaurant and café all operated by deaf and/or blind locals. The Nalagaat Deaf-Blind Acting Ensemble delivers a truly unique, interactive theatrical experience focused on the notion of communication. Throughout the course of their show “Not By Bread Alone,” the performers “tell” their stories while baking bread, which the audience is then welcome to enjoy onstage with the cast.
There are also two good options for snacks or dinner at the Nalagaat Center. Café Kapish, which has a small menu of alcoholic drinks, juices and desserts, is run exclusively by a deaf and hearing-impaired staff, while the excellent BlackOut restaurant joins the ranks of similar establishments in Paris, Berlin and New York where blind waiters serve diners in a pitch-black atmosphere.