After a little research, I discovered a self-guided tour down Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv. I have visited Rothschild before. It is a gorgeous walk down the center promenade with so many trees that it feels as though you’re walking under a leafy canopy created to shade you from the intense rays of a Tel Aviv sun. But this street has more than just pretty buildings and ritzy cafes.
I’ve re-written the directions for the tour so they give Tel Aviv travelers an idea of what to do, where and how.
Start the day at the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion, part of The Tel Aviv Museum of Art, (11 Tarsat Avenue, between Dizengoff St and Ben Zion Blvd, Tel Aviv). There are temporary art exhibits set up here in a building designed by Israeli modern architects Dov Karmi and Zeev and Yaacov Rechter.
- After enjoying the what the pavilion has to offer, head over to the Yaacov Garden and climb up to see two of Tel Aviv’s oldest sycamores. Keep your fingers crossed, there are usually some local musicians rehearsing for an upcoming show, or some artists painting the life they see unfolding and developing in Tel Aviv.
- As you leave the pavilion, you’ll need to turn right onto Dizengoff Street, and to the left, down the street. Hamidrasha Gallery of Art (34 Dizengoff St, between Shmaryahu Levin St and King George St, Tel Aviv). It is an art gallery of the Midrahsha Art School, which shows exhibitions by artists from different generations, who are not necessarily graduates of the school.
- The next stop on the tour is Chelouche Gallery (5 Chisin St, on the corner of Dizengoff st). You must continue down Dizengoff Street and keep an eye out for a small street on the left: Chisin Street. The gallery is hidden in the basement in one of the buildings on the left. Visitors can see the work of Miki Kratsman, Yadid Rubin and Guy Goldstein, among many others.
- The next stop is not a gallery, currently, although it once was for a short period in 2006. Walk on Chisin Street away from where you came from and then take a shortcut through a small garden that will take you back onto Tarsat Avenue. The small deserted house has been empty for the last four years, and many before that, because of a family fight. There are many who still hope that a permanent gallery can be housed there.
- At this point, you’ll need a snack and a coffee to keep you going, even a full lunch, perhaps. Once on Tarsat Avenue, turn right to Sderot Ben Zion. There are many places here to choose from, but I’ll try Café Nechama Va’Hetzi (144 Echad Ha’am Street, in Kikar Ha’Bima). While you enjoy the passersby, perhaps write a poem or sketch a scene, reflecting on your morning of art.
- Next, turn left to Echad Ha’am street – and walk down heading in the direction of the midtown gallery scene.
- Gallery 39 for Contemporary Art (39 Nachmani St, almost on the corner of Yehuda Halevi st): to get here, turn left on Nachmani Street and go two blocks down to Gallery 39. The gallery is relatively new and features young talent such as: Olaf Kühnemann, Eran Shakin, Arik Miranda, Asnat Austerlitz and Danny Yahav-Brown.
- Just across the street is the shop of Sarit Shani-Hai, the sister of the artist Gil Shani, makes unique items for children, including things for the room, dolls and mobiles.
- The next gallery to check out is the Julie M. Gallery for Contemporary Art (10 Bezalel Jaffe St, between Echad Ha’am St and Rothschild Blvd). It is located almost on the corner of Echad Ha’am street.
- Noga Gallery of Contemporary Art (60 E’had Ha’am St, between Bezalel Jaffe st and Ben Zakai St) shows many accomplished artists like: Keren Cytter, Orit Raff, Itamar Jobani, Roi Kuper and Ori Gersht.
- At Yavne, turn left and walk to Rothschild Boulevard, arguably the prettiest street in all of Tel Aviv. If you don’t take the Bauhaus Tour offered by the Bauhaus Museum on Dizengoff Avenue, then take careful notice of the beautiful buildings, built in the Bauhaus style around the 30’s and 40’s.
- The Sommer Contemporary Art Gallery (13 Rothschild Blvd, Between Nachalat Binyain st and Herzel st), is Tel Aviv’s most international gallery and is home to some of Israel’s most successful artists like: Yael Bartana, Rona Yefman, Yehudit Sasportas, Sharon Ya’ari, Adi Nes and many more.
- At this point, you’ll need dinner and you’ll merely need to continue down the avenue to find a suitable dining location. If you’ve never treated yourself, I recommend the Max Brenner Chocolate Bar (45 Rothschild Avenue), and anyone of the desserts there will leave you fully satisfied. On a cold night, the Italian Hot Chocolate is precisely what you should order. I know, having chosen the Mexican hot chocolate, I was quite jealous of my dinner mate who’d cleverly selected the Italian.
I imagine this tour will satisfy an entire days worth of adventure, discovery and art in one of Tel Aviv’s loveliest areas.