Florentin is a neighborhood in the south of Tel Aviv, very close to Jaffa.
Florentin is considered nowadays as a young, hipster neighborhood. a lot of young people now live there, filling the place with colors and modern vibes.
It’s a very interesting neighborhood in Tel Aviv, showing another side of the city, in contrast to the business, touristic side that’s very often associated with the city.
The neighborhood is old and feels a bit tired and isn’t cared for, but at the same time, the atmosphere here is special.
It’s real and unapologetic. It’s not fancy like other parts in Tel Aviv and isn’t always so beautiful, but if you just wander around you may notice a different kind of beauty.
You will encounter a lot of young people trying to find their place, living the way they see fit and trying to go against what they were taught, which maybe wasn’t right for them.
You will see colorful streets with lots of amazing graffiti, interesting architecture and different styles of people.
You will find people from all walks of life, most of them young but there are still a few from the older generation, that originated from all over the world, with different styles, clothes, looks and lifestyles.
There are a lot of cafes and themed restaurants, as well as a living night scene with bars, pubs and nightclubs.
Welcome to Florentin:)
Origins of the Florentin neighborhood
The neighborhood was found in 1927, by Greek Jews that came from Thessaloniki, in a wide field area. The constructor, Solomon Florentin, decided to honor his family name and named the neighborhood after it.
The origin of the name is from Florence, Italy. The Jews were expelled from Spain at the end of the 15th century and scattered through Europe and north Africa, when some families ended up in Florence.
Later on, they moved to Thessaloniki and kept the name from Florence.
During the early years, a lot of Jews from different places in the world settled at the neighborhood, making its population diverse, which is one of the known traits of the place until today.
The neighborhood was a part of Jaffa but after disagreements with the council and the 1936-39 arab revolt, the citizens started their own committee that took care of the neighborhood.
In the 1940’s, Britain’s most wanted man in Israel and leader of a radical armed movement called Lehi, Avraham (Yair) Shtern, lived in the neighborhood.
After the occupation of Jaffa in the 1948 war, the neighborhood became part of Tel Aviv.
During the 1960’s a lot of residents left the neighborhood, while industrial and trade areas were built.
The neighborhood considered relatively poor and not successful, until, at the beginning of the 1990’s, Tel Aviv’s council decided to renew the neighborhood.
a lot of renovations were made since then and due to the relatively low apartments’ prices and rents, a lot of young people moved to the neighborhood, giving the place young and modern vibes.
Now, there are a lot of cafes, galleries, arts, design shops, nightlife and leisure places in the neighborhood, making it one of the centers for young and modern hipster culture in Israel.
Interesting spots and attractions
Florentin is a very interesting neighborhood and actually, just from strolling around the streets you can experience the special vibes, the people and the atmosphere.
Here’s a list of a few interesting places that if you’re already there, you might check some of them:
The Lehi Museum
a museum that’s located in the house of Avraham (Yair) Shtern, the commander of the Lehi organization, that was considered the most extreme of the Jewish armed forces before the establishment of Israel and the foundation of the IDF.
Tel Aviv Florentin Art
Florentin is a very open minded neighborhood and as such, a lot of artists find a welcoming place there.
the streets are filled with graffiti. You can take a graffiti tour in the neighborhood or just wander around on your own. The art is everywhere, you just have to look.
Also, there are a lot of galleries in the neighborhood. They are running by local owners, showing modern Israeli art and the way they see reality.
Few of the are:
- Under 1000 (Abarbanel st. 60) – a small art gallery with a constantly changing collection, offering various artists to show their work.
- Michaelson Applied Art Gallery (Avraham Stern st. 4) – a very special Gallery with unique vibes. The art is very interesting, colorful and present. Also, the owner is very knowledgeable about the art scene in Florentin.
- Contemporary Art Space (Florentin st. 45) – a contemporary art gallery with very interesting, local exhibitions.
- Azul Gallery (Abulafya st. 6) – An art gallery that’s focused on the everyday life in the neighborhood and Tel Aviv and also shows some interesting, modern works.
Tel Aviv Levinsky Market
One of the most famous markets in Tel Aviv, that’s working since the 1930’s and was build together with the neighborhood (though it’s not exactly in the neighborhood, but a part of the market stretches to the outer streets of it).
You can find here almost every cuisine that you want: Persian, Eastern European, Greek, Turkish and more…
You’ll also find restaurants themed around the different cuisines types of the market, a lot of spices shops and dried fruit.
It’s a relatively quiet area, compared to other markets like The Carmel market.
Tel Aviv Florentin Architecture
The architecture in Florentin is noticeable right from the start. There are many renovated buildings with a modern look, together with old style places that remained over the years.
a lot of the buildings are unique, each one has a different shape, color, style and etc.. Again, just strolling around can be very interesting and you’ll find some hidden gems.
As a neighborhood with mixed cultures that came from a lot of places in the world, the food here is very diverse and colorful.
You can find here almost everything, Middle Eastern, Eastern European, fast food, Asian, vegan, desserts, cafes, healthy and of course – hummus and falafel.
Aside the famous Levinsky market, that can be a whole culinary experience in itself, Florentin is filled with restaurants and stalls with different kinds of cuisines, as well as local. It’s definitely a big part of the culture. Each cafe is designed in a unique and special way (actually, an architectural experience of the cafes is as interesting as that of the other buildings), giving the customer a relaxing vibe and most of them are very artsy as well.
You can learn a lot from the food in Florentin about the people and their culture. Read more about Tel Aviv food here.
If you’re close to the area, do not miss the nightlife scene! You can find a lot of bars and restaurants here, hosting from time to time live shows of local musicians.
The nightlife in Florentin is a bit different from the rest of the city. You can find here a lot of small, authentic places with a very good atmosphere and people.
Also, there are some nightclubs playing specific genres of music (techno, metal, 80’s etc…) so you may look for a few events in Facebook and try to find something that you like!
Florentin is an interesting neighborhood. It may seem a bit uncared and weird at first, but there’s magic in its streets. The people, their art and lifestyles can really suck you in and give you a nice experience that you’ll remember.