Israel’s east is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, so you’ll find plenty of gorgeous beaches there. Of course, Tel Aviv is the first coastal city that comes to mind. Haifa is another coastal city that, at the same time, is situated on the foot and slopes of Mount Carmel.
Another Israeli coastal city you should consider is Netanya, which also happens to be sandwiched between Tel Aviv and Haifa. Located in Israel’s Central District, Netanya is 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) north of Tel Aviv and 56 kilometers (34.8 miles) south of Haifa.
Netanya, which means “God’s gift,” indeed blesses the Land of Israel with many beautiful beaches. Popular ones include Poleg Beach, Sironit Beach, and Argaman Beach. Whether you want to hit the beach, shop up a storm, get a dose of culture and history, or try out local restaurants, food stalls, or watering holes, there are loads to do here in Netanya. Unfortunately, we can only list a few things here, but these are guaranteed to bring the best experiences and memories from your stay in Netanya.
Have fun in Poleg Beach
Poleg Beach is probably the most popular beach in Netanya for several reasons. Located on Netanya’s southernmost coast, Poleg Beach brings a lively atmosphere, catering to those who’d like to do the usual beach and water activities. Its vibe of the golden sun is tailored with the blue Mediterranean Sea. Go to the north of the beach for motorized water sports or to the south for surfing. Play beach volleyball or grab a couple of paddles for a game of matkot. Conditions in Poleg Beach offer a decent shore break, making it ideal for kite surfing. Sunbathe, rest on a lounge chair under the shade while sipping a cool and refreshing beverage, or hit the nearby gym. Several restaurants dot the area, offering a variety of meals and drinks from snacks to gourmet foods.
Explore Independence Square
Netanya’s Independence Square is open 24/7, so you can explore it anytime you wish. The center of the square’s attraction is its fountain. By day, be impressed by the flat spur of water. You can even jump in the waters to cool off under the scorching Israeli sun. Children are also seen playing in the fountain. And by night, the fountain turns into a magical sight as it displays an array of colorful lights. You cannot miss this opportunity by taking a selfie, with the fountain as a fantastic backdrop.
Visit the Victory Monument
Whether you love history or not, this low-note monument deserves your attention. It’s not just for the location, although it’s also a factor, as it stands between the sea, the modern hotels, and a memorial dedicated to the fallen IDF soldiers. It’s pretty rare that Israel – or any different country for that matter – builds a monument dedicated to the fallen Soviet soldiers of World War II. This two-winged effigy is dedicated to the victory of the Red Army soldiers over Nazi Germany during the war. It also has a special note in the connection between the Jews and the Soviet army, the Holocaust, and revival in present-day Israel. The Victory Monument is about a seven-minute drive away from Netanya’s city center.
Discover Netanya’s beginnings at the Well House Museum
Netanya was founded on February 18, 1929. If you are keen in digging into the city’s early history, the Well House (Beit Habe’er) Museum is the place. The museum is housed in a 1928 building, a remnant of Pardes Hagdud (Battalion’s Orchard) farm. It probably gets its name from the restored water well, which is still in order and pumping water. The museum displays a collection of photographs depicting the city’s beginnings, launches periodic exhibits, and screens short films about the pioneering families, most of whom were illegal Jewish immigrants fleeing from Nazi Germany.
The Well House Museum is located at the end of Weizmann Street and the corner of Sokolov Street. Get to discover more of this museum in future articles.
See the space at Planetanya
If you’re visiting Netanya with children, be sure to include Planetanya on your itinerary. It’s a planetarium that’s specifically geared for kids (in our opinion). It’s an excellent place for the young ones to learn all they need to know about the solar system and space. The museum features well-thought-out displays and exhibitions, offering a chance for the children to become more imaginative: holographic displays, building things, and even origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. There are also workshops for both children and adults, which are usually scheduled on a regular basis. You can also spot a lovely Japanese garden, a mini-science park, and an area (with theater seats) for star-gazing and dreaming of the planets from afar.
Get in touch with nature at Alexander Stream Hof Bet Yanai National Park
If you want to free yourself from the urban stress and fatigue, there’s no harm escaping to Alexander Stream Hof Bet Yanai National Park. The Alexander Stream is one of the most important and beautiful rivers in the Sharon plain. The clear turquoise waters are well stocked with fish, and the meadows display a showy spared of colorful wildflowers. There’s also an ancient stone building that gives you the feeling that you’ve made an eventful discovery. This is truly one of the hidden gems in Israel.
Don’t miss the antique and collectors weekly market
If collecting antiques and other interesting knickknacks is your thing, include a visit to an antique and collectors weekly market to your Netanya itinerary. The market is located on Krauza Street, which is also lined with several shops and cafés. You can find almost all sorts of items there at reasonable prices – clothes, jewelry, shoes, and even light fittings. It’s also a good opportunity to practice your haggling skills. There are plenty of places to sit and just enjoy the live music and the bustling atmosphere.
Shop, eat, or cool your heels at Ir Yamim Mall
Ir Yamin Mall is probably the most preeminent mall in Netanya. Located on Beni Berman Street, Ir Yamin Mall is a three-story shopping hub offering an array of stores from high-fashion shops to electronics to restaurants and casual eateries. Like any other mall, Netanya has a supermarket for all your necessities.
Where to eat and drink in Netanya?
Like any other urbanized place, Netanya offers many dining options – restaurants, cafés, and bars, as well as street food. The famous Max Brenner chocolate restaurant chain, which has a branch on Rehov Giborey Israel Street, is a sweet spot for the chocoholics. Rosemarine is an excellent beachfront restaurant whose specialty is fish dishes (which are also, of course, kosher). Burger and steak fans will have no problem finding a restaurant in Netanya – Rubinstein, Alabama, and BBB Burgus Burger Bar are among the best places to find juicy steaks and burgers. Compared to other Israeli cities, Netanya offers fairly diverse food options where you can find Japanese and even South American cuisine, apart from the usual Israeli and Middle Eastern fare.