I will call the city as Jafa during the blog. İsraelis say Jafa, the rest of the World says Jaffa. Most of Turks say Haifa with a misunderstanding but Hafia is another city at the northern part of Israel. Jafa is one of the oldest city of the World and also it is a port city. The city remained under the reign of the Ottoman Empire between 1515-1918.
- CITY TAG – JAFFA
- Where: 3.5km North-west of Tel Aviv, a port town, Israel.
- Time Zone: GMT +2
- Language: Official language is Hebrew but you wil hear Arabic and Engilish also when you look around at the city.
- Currency: New Israel Shekel, ILS
- Religion: Judaism
AS YOU MOVE FROM ONE CITY TO ANOTHER IN ISRAEL, YOU FEEL AS IF YOU HAVE CHANGED COUNTRIES
Every city, every town of Israel is as different as night and day from each other. I was thinking that the coastal line should be similar but they are also so different from each others. Tel Aviv is also on the shore, even Yafa is affiliated to Tel Aviv. The original name of the area is Tel Aviv-Yafa. You arrive at Jaffa after a 15-minute drive from the city center of Tel Aviv. Only 3.5 km. Tel Aviv and Jaffa are very close but they are also so different with each others.
HOW DO I GET JAFFA?
It is 1800 km between Istanbul and Jaffa. There are a handful of people to try to go by car, but my advice is to go to Tel Aviv in 1 hours and 40 minutes by plane. You can rent a car from Tel Aviv or use buses. It is only 3.5km between Tel Aviv city center and Jaffa, actually walkable. But I remind you that the entire continent is like desert and Israel is only 31 latitude away from the equator. So it’s good to rent a car.
WHAT CAN I DO IN JAFFA?
TAKE A BREATHE…
When i think about Jafa, i would like to breathe everytime. Vast and navy Mediterranean and the iodine scent that comes to alive in my mind. So, i keep taking a deep breathe evert time Yafa passed my mind.
As I breathe, I involuntarily close my eyes, as if I’m in Jaffa again in my mind. I breathe again on the Mediterranean coast. I have been at different places on the shore of the Mediterranean many times, but the air of Jaffa is very different. You know the idioms like the air of some places is very good, the water is so blesses for people… The Yafa is exactly match to these idioms.
I only feel the same relief in the air only at two places, firts one was Malaga,Spain and the second one was Yafa. It is as if there is a dry heat and zephry* which coming from the sea refreshes & relief the person. (It means a summer breeze coming from the sea and commenly from the West and we called it as Meltem in Turkish, like my name.)
WHAT SHOULD I EAT IN JAFFA?
You will find my new blog about İsraeli Kitchen on 13Feb2020 here.But now, you can find out what you can eat in Jaffa, below.
Walk along the coastal line and sit a fish restaurant you liked. Most of them are already run by Greeks or Greek origins. So if you like which one’s music more, sit there.
Jaffa is better than Greece as service sector. The culture of the Middle East reveals itself in terms of both the variety and the content of the appetizers served. Service quality is much higher than anywhere in Europe.
They are serving starters / meze with the little small plates likewise Rakı concept, in Turkey. I will not praise the starters very much, you can eat similar ones in many places, but the fishes are amazing. You should eat fish, definitely.
Jaffa is a very small area, you can spend 2 hours or 5 hours, up to you. Lets assumed that you had breakfast at your hotel and then you came to Jaffa. (Of course you can stay at Jaffa but Tel Aviv city center is better to stay). Let me tell you a route; you can walk on the coast and hang out at the beach with a cold brew coffee or bira or you can surf.
PLACES TO VISIT IN JAFFA
If you think what can i see in Jaffa if it is so much small. You can see a cannon from the time of the Ottoman Empire, St. Peter’s Church (a small sweet church), a turquoise-colored minaret that probably remained from an old mosque from the Ottoman Empire and a market place, flea market. In addition, there are very nice small streets with beautiful graffiti on the walls and coffee shops which we now call the 2nd generation, small bars, pubs. You should definitely visit these streets and see.
I AM WATCHING PEOPLE WITHOUT NOTICED
Wherever I go, I love to sit somewhere and watch the environment. A building, statue, art… etc to be seen nearby. I will look at them, people, speeches, marches, gestures and gestures, if any. I like watching people, sneak… People change the conditions where you are. Think about the places you don’t like, the most important reason was that you don’t like the people. Somewhere has people who rough, quarrelsome, dirty…, you don’t like the place too. But laughing, having fun, chatting… just watching people change your weather.
SHOPPING: WHAT TO BUY FROM YAFFA?
There are so many kinds of souvenirs you can find everywhere, but I have a suggestion for you. Here local people dry the algae in the Mediterranean and turn them into strings. They make jewelry such as necklaces, bracelets… by knitting these ropes and adding semiprecious stones (quartz, turquoise, opal… etc) between them. They are not very expensive, I recommend you to buy them if you are interested.
SHOULD I GO TO JAFFA?I have to say afterwards, but definitely you should go. For example, I have no curiosity that I will go to Tel Avivagain in Israel but I prefer spend my time in Jaffa again.