Compared to other major cities, Tel Aviv is so small that if you’re traveling to Israel, a complete tour of the city can be done in a day or two.
And in all probability, you will not miss passing by one of the most famous TA thoroughfares – Rehov Allenby.
The street was one of my major hangouts (along with other cool spots like the beach, Jaffa Hills, and the Old port).
Here, I did stuff of all sorts – shopping, people ogling, Shawarma chomping, and Fuji film buying.
At times, I just loitered around and turned witness to any going-on, relevant or insignificant.
And being the eager soul that I am, Allenby never failed to satisfy my curiosity with all the new things that it seemingly offers always.
Fridays was Allenby day. It was my afternoon’s final stop, after perhaps enjoying a noodle chow at Dizengoff’s food fest, or doing some quick afternoon marketing at Shuk HaCarmel.
I always decided to stay after Shabbat has long started, even as I noticed many others rushing to bus stops in order to hitch the day’s last autobus ride. It meant that I had no other option but to walk my way home. I promenaded the sidewalks, streets, and inner streets along with others who decided to walk as well or missed their ride altogether.
Any other day of the week, Allenby boasts of vibrancy, as manifested by thick traffic, as well as the sweet cacophony from activities of all sorts.
What Tel Aviv’s Allenby offers
Walk along Allenby and you’ll chance on just about everything – used book shops, clothing boutiques (Castro, Paolo Garage, and Mayer), shoe stores (Togo), camera and film sellers (Fotofilm), falafel and shwarma kiosks, money exchange booths, Superpharm, tshirt printing/transfer on shops, and many others.
Best of all – along the stretch are many falafel and shwarma kiosks, welcoming and always ready to fill me with delicious meat-and-vegetable salad filled pita treats for as low as 20 Nis.
What I also love about this street is that it connects two of my favorite places in the city – Tachana Merkazit and all its blatant boisterousness, and Ben Yehuda and the seeming tranquility and orderliness that it offers. Also, it intersects many other fascinating streets and boulevards such as Rothschild and Yehuda Halevi.
Unique street shows
A strategic spot at the rehov, that area fronting the entrance of Carmel market, is a venue for many regular artsy performances. I chanced upon few of these acts and was impressed with the shabbily dressed man and his glass acrobatic, ball-juggling act. Indeed, a feat extraordinaire.
Another was that of the half-man, half-tree creature that moved his branches and made googly, crazy eyes but only when coins were thrown onto his “coffer” on the ground.
You can also find souvenir shops (Judaica) along the street albeit many more similar establishments that allow for varied and less pricey options are found at the adjacent Ben Yehuda.
Opera Tower – must-visit when traveling to Israel
The corner of the street and Herbert Samuel leads everyone to the beach and the famous mall and apartment, Opera Tower. Tower Records can be found at the building’s ground floor.
A major city landmark, the site of the tower used to be where the original Tel Aviv Opera House was located. After the Opera, there’s nowhere else to go next but at the beach, right? Beach restaurants such as SoFrishman are just nearby.
Major autobus thoroughfare
Autobuses of most numbers pass in and out of this street, whether almost the whole length or just partially. Autobus 25 takes you through Ibn Gvirol and farther to the Tel Aviv University, numbers 10 and 18 go to Bat Yam, number 10 passes through the Rehov to the New Central bus station (Tachana Merkazit).
Arrival of buses at designated stops is generally prompt, although I noticed that intervals vary among them. For instance, 25 seems to pass by every 30 minutes while autobus 10 arrives every 20 minutes or even earlier. Just make sure that you wait for your bus at the right stop.
Finally, describing this city street is not complete without mentioning go-go disco bars and clubs, which are frequented by both local and expats. Inviting as these Allenby clubs are, I didn’t have the chance to enjoy a drink or two. Sorry for me, since I do appreciate a chilled can of beer, and wouldn’t mind at all walking tad drunk and silly along the street of Allenby.