Tel Aviv has many downtime diversions for business travellers, including the winding alleyways of Neve Tzedek and the prominent German Bauhaus architecture. By Nota Tarnopolsky.
Go to Charles Clore Beach, in south Tel Aviv, on Sunday when the locals are back at work – even for a quick dip between meetings. Sunday is also your best bet for shopping so head to Shabazi Street in Neve Tzedek, a 10-minute walk from the beach. Among the designer boutiques is Anita, an artisanal ice-cream parlour with a tiny shopfront and more than 150 flavours to choose from.
Meander through the alleyways of Neve Tzedek, one of Tel Aviv’s oldest neighbourhoods, finally stopping at the Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre. It’s home to the world-renowned Batsheva contemporary dance company and presents a packed schedule of performances throughout the summer season.
Tel Aviv Museum of Art focuses on contemporary art, led by a group of edgy curators who want it to be a place that challenges thought. Upcoming exhibitions include Modern Times: Masterpieces from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which displays inimitable works from 19th- and 20th-century masters such as Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, Matisse, Monet and Kandinsky.
Lost in the past
Jaffa, Tel Aviv’s southernmost neighbourhood, was variously conquered by an Egyptian pharaoh, Alexander the Great, the Romans, the Crusaders, Napoleon and the Turks so this ancient port has seen many thousands of years of turbulent history. It’s best not to take a map. Instead, lose yourself in the intricate maze of historic mosques, synagogues and churches interwoven with contemporary artists’ studios, galleries, theatres, cafés, markets and restaurants.
Tour the UNESCO World Heritage-listed White City, a collection of some 4000 Modernist buildings constructed in Tel Aviv between the 1930s and ’50s. The German Bauhaus architecture and design movement converged with the ethos of Israel’s founding and these white houses emerged from the sands.