As you walk down Tel Aviv’s high-traffic Allenby Street towards the beach, between the prominent intersections with King George and Ben Yehuda there is a relatively narrow street on your right. A lovely café on the corner, aptly named Café Bialik, marks the beginning of Bialik Street. Although unostentatious and seemingly just like any other quiet side-street weaving through the bustling city, Bialik Street is home to some of Tel Aviv’s quintessential history and architecture.
What to See
The houses on Bialik Street are some of the oldest in the city; the architectural style at the time was ‘eclectic,’ and the new Jewish immigrants decided to add their own touches to the classic arches and columns that defined this trend. In the following decade, the Bauhaus influence from Germany spread to Tel Aviv, and buildings sprung up that exemplified simplicity and practicality. Clean lines and pure, white façades epitomize the Bauhaus style, but in Tel Aviv, the Mediterranean culture is hinted at in the architecture, with balconies and small windows as prominent adjustments. Strolling down Bialik Street, you can see both of these distinct architectural styles side by side in an intriguing harmony.
What to Do
As you reach the end of the road, you come upon a square and find yourself face-to-face with the old City Hall, a beautiful building flanked by palm trees which is now the Museum of History of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. To your right you’ll see the unique Bialik House, which has also been turned into a museum, and on your left is the small Bauhaus Foundation Museum, a one-of-a-kind, one-room furniture exhibition. The orange building standing directly beside the old City Hall is the Felicja Blumental Music Center and Library, where you can attend a concert or browse the library collections.
If you haven’t been overwhelmed by the amount of things to do on this short street, or if museums and architecture just really aren’t your thing, you can continue on down the stairs past the old City Hall, walk the short distance down Tsvi Brock Street (turning into Bar Kochva), and quickly find yourself on Bograshov, a central street that connects you to Dizengoff Center if you turn right. If, however, you’ve had enough of Dizengoff, you can take a left and discover a lively road filled with charming cafés, delicious restaurants, and novel shops.
What to Eat
Feeling hungry? You’ve got some difficult choices ahead of you. Popular picks include Moon, where you can fill up on exquisite sushi (albeit at a hefty price), Thai House (reservations suggested), and Peking Duck House. There is an assortment of other great eateries, including Ha’pizza and Shu Sha for mouth-watering burgers and a relaxed atmosphere.
If you can spare the room, head to Kurtosh, an amazing Hungarian bakery where the chimney bread is handed to you hot and ready to melt in your mouth. After delicately tearing off sections of dough that separate effortlessly, like ribbons being pulled apart, and savoring the delectable sweetness, you will be left immensely satisfied and yet craving more of this heavenly treat. Continue down Bograshov and you’ll soon reach the beach, where you can spend the rest of your day digesting your meal and bathing in the warm sunlight, relishing the best view in Tel Aviv: the hypnotizing waves of the Mediterranean.