The Namal in Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv Port, is a unique and charming destination situated in the northern portion of the Tel Aviv municipality. The port is home to several shops, hangars where exhibitions and music shows take place, outdoor markets, nightlife, restaurants, and pubs. All this and the port offers and attractive venue for many businesses in the area.
Beyond the commercial qualities the Namal Tel Aviv offers, many of the most trendy and affluent politicians, and cultural icons of Israel call the Namal Home with its luxurious apartments and residences.
The Namal consists of a massive wooden promenade that spans 14,000 sq.m. It mimics the rolling dunes of the beach with its waving design and invites families and tourists as well as locals during the day. When the sun goes down, bars and clubs invite the revelry that Tel Aviv’s nightlife is known for.
In the past, Tel Aviv relied on the port in Jaffa for all water-oriented commerce, shipping, and storage. Following the general strike of Arab port workers from 1936-1939, it was decided an alternative port had to be erected. The port was created by Otzar Mif’alei Yam in 1036 and began at a very small scale. The Port was officially inaugurated by officials in 1938, but enjoyed only 2 years at full operational capacity before the outbreak of WWII. The British Navy then took over operation of the Port until the end of the war. The port failed to reach its former operational success due to a lack of shipping activity. The ebb and flow from closure and limited functioning continued until the port formally closed in 1965.
Operations from the port then shifted to the port in Ashdod to the south. As a result, the Namal Tel Aviv fell into disuse. Day-to-day traffic focused largely on tile and plumbing supply markets, while night attracted prostitution and drug activity.
In an effort to revitalize the area, architect Orna Angel was commissioned by the Port area owners, the Marine Trust Company. The area was completely reconstructed leading up to 2002. New contracts for landscaping were organized in 2003 and the area was open to the public in 2008. Today, the area enjoys traffic from more than 4.3 million visitors annually.
The outdoor market at the Namal offers locals and visitors a chance to peruse the stalls full of locally grown produce, crafts and catch of the day from fisherman calling the city and its surrounding regions home. You can find every reason to make it out to this unique market of Tel Aviv that has just about everything you can hope for when out for grocery shopping and supporting local business. Children love the merry-go-round located in the center of the promenade, as well.
Outdoor gym, promenade and live events. Throughout the year you can find Tel Avivians and tourists making use of the many childrens’ parks and outdoor gym equipment, both staples of Israeli culture. Fitness and outdoor sports are a huge part of modern Israeli society and you will find examples of both throughout the country. Those examples found in the Namal are of particular interest and offer a host of features you won’t find at parks anywhere else in the country. The green bike rentals and sprawling paths throughout the city are well frequented as well. The Namal connects directly with park HaYarkon, the largest park in Tel Aviv.
When it comes to the shops that can be found at the Namal, many of the most popular outlets in the country and from abroad have established stores along the promenade. Castro, Blue Bird, Asics, and Adidas are only some of the big-name brands you can find there. Many smaller boutiques are situated throughout the area as well, adding a healthy mix of corporate branding and local charm for anyone looking to buy clothing, electronics, crafts and more.
The kitchen Market in Namal Tel Aviv is perhaps the most well-known restaurant in the area. It offers fresh and often locally-sourced ingredients in its seafood-focused cuisine that is a fusion of Mediterranean and European style.
The White Pergola is another eatery that always draws a crowd. This up-scale grill focuses on fresh seafood and meats with a comfortable atmosphere on the Namal.
Benny the fisherman is a much more approachable venue for families and those looking for less pricey, yet high-quality eats. Fresh fish of just about every variety the Mediterranean has to offer can be found here along with an assortment of middle eastern sides that come standard with every meal will cement this restaurant in your memory as a true Israeli experience.
When the sun goes down the clubs begin pumping out the music as well as libations. Bars, clubs, and live shows at Hangar 10 have helped make the Namal one of the most popular nightlife attractions of the city. Everything from electronic music and pop hits to heavy metal and jazz can be found pouring from the Namal throughout the year.
Get more out of your next tour of Tel Aviv with a trip to the Namal thanks to all the best spots and shops detailed by Tel Aviv Insider.