Places to visit in Tel Aviv: Ha Tachana

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Ha Tachana, "The Station" in Hebrew, is actually Tel Aviv's old railway station, that is not in use anymore and has been restored to a nice entertainment complex, full of coffee shops, stores and restaurants. This complex is very busy especially during weekends and holidays, but it is well worth a visit any time of the week, due to the station's interesting history and because it really is a very pretty place too! This station was actually not only the first railway station in the Middle East when it was first built, but also the last stop on the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway line for a long time, and was originally built in 1891, well before the Jewish state was founded.It is also located very close to Neve Tzedek, the first Jewish neighbourhood to be built outside of the old city of Jaffa. So if you are planning to visit Neve Tzedek (something we highly recommend!), a visit to Ha Tachana can easily be combined with that. The train station has actually not been in use since the state of Israel was founded in 1948, and it took until 2005 before the city of Tel Aviv decided to do something useful with this charming old sight, so they renovated the area for five years, what you see when you visit Ha Tachana today was only opened to the public in 2010. So while Ha Tachana has a really long and impressive history, it's fairly new as a tourist attraction, but we think it's one that's here to stay. It's a very charming place to do some shopping, or to have a bite or a drink, even though none of the restaurants we've visited stand out very much (so for gourmet food, you might want to head somewhere else. But who eats gourmet food every day, anyway?). But the area is constantly developing, new stores are added and so on, so we're guessing we haven't really seen the "final" Ha Tachana yet. This is a really good sight to visit with kids as well, especially during weekends and holidays when there are kid friendly shows and events quite often. Ha Tachana has a website as well, where you can read some more about this complex, as well as find a list of the stores and restaurants you'll find there, and information about the different events being held here on a regular basis. (So if you don't really care when you are going to Ha Tachana, you might want to check the website in order to see if you can go when there is something out of the ordinary going on) Ha Tachana is open every day, including on Shabbat, but some of the stores close earlier on Friday. Everything is open from the morning on Saturdays, though.

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