Most tourists who visit the ancient city of Jaffa remain on the top of the cliffs where the Old City is built out of beautiful stone. There are many interesting attractions in the Old City of Jaffa plus a church, great fish restaurants and quaint lanes with specialty stores. However if you follow those meandering lanes downwards you will find yourself coming out on the water’s edge of the actual port. The Jaffa Port underwent a complete facelift in 2012 when it was cleaned up and new businesses moved into the revamped hanger that stands near the water. The dream was to create a food market similar to the ones at Tel Aviv Port and the Serona complex however the market didn’t really get off the ground. The port failed to become a top destination and is still a hidden gem to most!
As you immerge from the lane which leads down to the port you will be just a few meters from the water. A jetty juts out into the water where you can get brilliant views of the Tel Aviv coast. Local boys like to show off their acrobatic skills jumping off fishing boats into the water and couples often come down here to get their pre-wedding photos taken. After you’ve enjoyed the waterside you can continue exploring the businesses along the water’s edge.
The NaLagat (Please Touch) Center is run by and for the hearing and visually impaired. The center has a theatre where you can see performances by hearing impaired actors about their challenges. There is also a restaurant called Black Out in the center where the diners sit in the dark and are served by visually impaired waiters. The center holds workshops and activities to teach about how handicapped people experience the world.
In the large modern hanger alongside the NaLagat Center there are a number of businesses, an ice-cream shop and fine dining restaurants. The best thing to eat if you dine here is fish; specialty fish restaurants use fish which was probably caught in the waters you see from the windows. There are also several art galleries where local artists display their creations. There are several retail outlets including the Women’s Courtyard at The Port where Israeli designer clothing is sold at outlet prices. On Fridays in the summer from 10am to 5pm there is free live entertainment; market stalls; family activities and yoga lessons all free or for a small fee. The “Almina” Theatre presents children’s theatre productions for a small fee and offers workshop activities for kids after the show.