From the buff professional to the breathless amateur, there are few better places to start your run than Tel Aviv’s promenade. Running almost the whole length of the city, the boardwalk offers a clear path to run along Tel Aviv’s world famous beach.
Start (or end) at the Tel Aviv Port in the north and then head south along Herbert Samuel St. toward Jaffa. There’s also plenty of options for a good juice at either end.
Jaffa – Tel Aviv’s cooler older sister – has recently had its own port and boardwalk revamped, offering a good continuation or alternative to Tel Aviv’s. Start at Manta Ray beach, and head south along the winding promenade that snakes as it enters into the port and then opens to large park afterwards. Keep running until you hit the Peres Peace Centre, then sit down and enjoy the view.
If you’re looking for more of an uphill run, then try your luck inside Jaffa’s old port and winding old city streets. Start at the famous Clock Tower, run to the top of Andromeda Hill and then let yourself get lost within the Netiv HaMazalot; a set of twelve alleys for each of the twelve zodiac signs. You can end at the outskirts of the new port where you can grab something small to eat and enjoy the intoxicating sea breeze.
Get lost in the city’s winding roads by jogging through the Yemenites Quarter (the Kerem, or vineyard) and Carmel Market (the shouk) when it’s closed, a great urban running route in southern Tel Aviv, not far from the so-called Jerusalem Beach – a cruel Tel Aviv joke at the expense of its landlocked rival.
Not suitable during the day, but only before and after the shouk closes, run down the shuttered market, then turn right and let yourself get lost in the kerem’s winding streets. With countless options to crisscross between, it’s a great way discover secret spots. And of course, it too puts you not to far from the beach.
Tel Aviv’s iconic Bima Square, home to Israel’s national theatre and the beginning of no less than three prominent boulevards, is the dead center of Tel Aviv. Start there and head west to the beach, down Ben Zion Blvd. and then Bugrashov Street. Together, the two form a massive downward ramp that lets you head straight for London Park which overlooks the sea. During the evening it’s a nice run towards the setting sun, and if you’re looking for a challenge, try running it upwards, from the beach up back to Bima Square.
Neve Tzedek is small and beautiful, known more for its style than its sport-friendly streets, but the neighbourhood offers two great running routes
Start at the Meir Shalom Building – once Tel Aviv’s only department store – and run down along what was Tel Aviv’s first main street – Shabazi. Though slightly cramped during the day, it offers a beautiful view of the city’s first neighbourhood and ends in the Old Train Station and adjacent park that now offers an outdoor sport and training facility.
If you want a longer route, then mid-way through Shabazi turn left on Pines Street, head down in the direction of Jaffa Street but turn right just before you hit the Chelouche Bridge, then follow the neighbourhood’s perimeter until you reach the end of Shabazi, where you can turn back right and head in the direction you started, or go left to the park and public workout centre outside the Old Train Station.
At the south eastern tip of Tel Aviv lies one of its best kept secrets – Park HaHorshot. Home to Tel Aviv’s biggest active church – the Russian Orthodox Church – this new green lung might be in Tel Aviv, but it feels like something out of a European capital, with tall trees giving a massive canopy and ample open spaces. The large park offers dozens of small scenic routes as well as a Botanical Garden. You can get there buy jogging the length of Herzl Street or just save your energies for this beautiful little forest.
Tel Aviv’s Park Hayarkon straddles the city’s lesser known waterway – the Yarkon River. Though not suitable for swimming, the river and park offer a pastoral route favoured by cyclists and runners alike. While the beach offers the south-north axis, this runs sends you along from west to east. Start at Tel Aviv’s former powerplant – Reading – and run eastward till you hit the park and keep going until you reach the Bird Head Bridge, where you can rest and watch the rowers.