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The Centre


Allenby street is one of the noisiest and sleaziest area in Tel Aviv and is something like the border for south Tel Aviv. On the positive side it runs almost all the way to the bus station and so you find shop selling cheap clothes, food and electrical stuff. There are also some great second hand book shops along here with books in English and other languages.

Nearer the beach there’s also all that remains of the Tel Aviv tourist industry with the money exchange places, tourist bars and strip clubs. Here is about the only time in Tel Aviv that you might get treated like a dumb tourist and it’s best to just avoid this ugly area when you can.


Shenkin Street is the chic, fashionable place of choice for the very young and beautiful. It’s full of little cafes where everyone poses in their new clothes and play the girl-boy game. There are so many sexy teenage girls here that all you can think of is Nabakov’s Lolita.

So it’s funny when you come down here on the busiest day of the week, Friday afternoon before Shabbat starts at sunset. Whilst everyone parades up and down the funkier religious are here in force, hiring a balcony to sing devotional songs to the hottest rabbis of the moment and hand out leaflets to all the hipsters.

It’s actually a very good plan as many of the Israelis here are coming back from India and, with a head full of LSD flashbacks, Judaism is a safe spiritual home for them to fall back on.


This is the major mall in the centre of Tel Aviv and is where you find the cell phone companies, the designer stores and the cinemas. It’s loud on the street and then a mall like any other on the inside.

There are buskers on the street outside Diezengoff centre, usually middle aged East Europeans who moved to Israel after the fall of the Berlin wall. Some of them are virtuoso violinists and now play their waltzes to the indifferent roar of the passing buses.