Every few weeks we ask one of our clued-up local contributors a bunch of questions about their city, from fun facts and practicalities to what to see and what to skip. This time around we quizzed Danniel about Rehovoth, a coastal city about 20 kilometres south of Tel Aviv, Israel. If you’re hungry for insider insights into other destinations, you can keep an eye out for new Through the Eyes of a Local posts here, or follow us on Facebook for updates.
When is the best time to visit your city? The best time to visit Rehovoth is in the Spring (late February to late April) when the citrus trees are in bloom; their smell will fill your heart with warmth and love.
What are three things every visitor should see or experience?
1. Walk through the fields in the eastern part of Rehovoth (east of the bypass), from the abandoned tower to the last surviving big citrus plantation. Only do this during winter or spring when it’s relatively chilly and the fields are lush and green. In summer everything is dry and there’ll be flies everywhere.
2. Eat great hummus at Badra.
3. Attend a concert at Beyth-ha’Am, the recently renovated culture centre built at the end of the 19th century.
What’s your favourite hidden gem? Either the fields I mentioned above, or Gibton Village because it’s green, peaceful and you can still feel the agricultural atmosphere of the city’s first century (1890–1990).
Photo credit: Danniel Qeletti
What’s the biggest tourist trap? The biggest tourist traps in Rehovoth include nearly all of the pubs and cafés located near Qiryath-haMada’ (Scientific Town) and by the railway station at the northern edge of the city. The places next to the station are outrageously expensive and the pubs nearby are pretty lousy.
Where can I enjoy amazing views? The fields I mentioned above, from late November to mid-April.
What’s a fun way to impress someone in Rehovoth? When I want to impress someone, I take them to Cafe Joe, which is one of the best café-restaurants in the city.
I want to try authentic local cuisine. Where should I go and what should I order? The above-mentioned Badra is again a good call. Order hummus with ful, tahini, a few falafel balls and a salad. It’s all very filling, so only take a small portion of each or you won’t be able to finish your meal!
Photo credit: Badra
What should I take home as a souvenir? Take home a red sandstone from the land of citrus plants and fields.
What’s the best way to get around in Rehovoth? On foot. Rehovoth isn’t very big, only about 6 kilometres at the most from edge to edge, and all the truly cool stuff is concentrated in the centre and the northern part of the city. If you get tired, you can take a bus (though you might have to wait quite a while) or even order a taxi.
What’s your favourite breakfast/brunch spot? Cafe Joe is my favourite.
Photo credit: Bagel Shmagel
Tell an interesting fact about your city! Rehovoth was originally founded as a wine-growing region in around 1900. You can visit the remains of an old winery and see for yourself.
If I want to get out of the city for a day, where should I go? If you want to escape the city for a day, Palmahim Beach is a great place for a day trip.
Can you suggest some places for families with kids? If you have kids, visit the “Mini Italia” Ice-Cream Parlor.
Photo credit: Mini Italia
Where to go for cheap drinks? You’ll find cheap drinks at Hamara.
What are some great local nightlife spots? None of the above, I’m afraid, but Herzl Bar-Cafe` does come pretty close.
What’s the event of the year in Rehovoth? The #1 event in my city is the Living Statues Festival that takes place in early July.
Opening photo credit: dizengoff-trading.com