Azrieli Center and Azrieli Observatory – Highest Observatory in ME

Azrieli is probably the most recognizable complex in Tel Aviv’s skyline. It is also one of the first skyscrapers in Tel Aviv.

Today, we will photograph next to Azrieli and then take an elevator to Azrieli Observatory, the highest observatory in the Middle East.

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Background Information

The construction of Azrieli Center was finished in 1999, and since then, it has been an integral part of Tel-Aviv’s skyline. Before the complex was built, it was used as Tel Aviv’s dumpster-truck parking garage.

Azrieli complex is located at Derech Menachem Begin 132, Tel Aviv-Yafo.

Directions for drivers: Link to Waze and Link to Google Maps
Directions for public transport: Link to Moovit

Interactive map of the area:

Offers:

  • Hotels, hostels, and appartments in this area:
Booking.com
Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv, Israel

As you can see, the Azrieli Center consists of three towers: Circular Tower, Triangular Tower, and Square Tower. The Circular Tower is the highest one (187m), and on the top floor, there is an observatory. Also, on the right side of the photo, the building with a wave-shaped roof is the train station. That makes reaching Azrieli by train very convenient.

Circular Tower

The Azrieli Center Circular Tower is the tallest of the three towers, measuring 187 m (614 ft). Construction of this tower began in 1996 and was completed in 1999. The tower has 49 floors, making it at the time of its construction the tallest building in Tel Aviv and the second tallest in Israel, after the Moshe Aviv Tower in Ramat Gan, which was built in 2001. The top floor has an indoor observation deck and a high-end restaurant, and the 48th floor is home to Mr. Azrieli’s office.

Each floor of the Circular Tower has 84 windows, giving the tower more than 4,000 windows. The tower’s perimeter is 141 meters (463 feet); its diameter is 44 meters (144 feet). Each floor covers 1,520 square meters (16,400 sq ft).

On October 31, 2003, the first annual Azrieli Circular Tower run-up competition was held, in which the participants ran up the 1,144 stairs to the tower’s roof.

Triangular Tower

The Azrieli Center Triangular Tower has a height of 169 m (554 ft). Construction of this tower, like the circular tower, began in 1996 and was completed in 1999. It has 46 floors, and its main occupant is Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecommunications company. The tower’s cross-section is an equilateral triangle.

Square Tower

The Azrieli Center Square Tower was completed in June 2007. The tower has 42 floors and is 154m high. It is the shortest of the three towers in the Azrieli complex. Construction of the third tower was stopped in 1998 due to city planning disagreements and was resumed in 2006.

The lower 13 floors house Africa Israel’s Crowne Plaza business hotel. The upper floors are used as office space.

The source of the quotes: Wikipedia.

Currently, most of the space in the towers is dedicated to offices. Besides offices, there is a mall, gym, observatory, and several other attractions.

View of the mall from above
View of the mall from above

Mall Opening Hours

Sunday – Thursday: 09:30 – 22:00
Friday: 9:30-15:30
Saturday evening: an hour after Shabbat ends until 23:00

Parking

I usually park there whenever I am in the area. I always found an empty spot, and the fee is around Tel Aviv’s average cost.

The first hour or part of it:15 NIS
Second and third hour: every quarter-hour – 3 NIS
Fourth and fifth hour: every fifteen minutes – 5 NIS
Full day – 100 NIS

Evening rate from 17:00 to 04:00 (excluding Chol HaMoed): 12 NIS
Holiday eve: 12 NIS
During holiday: 12 NIS
Friday until 17:00 – 12 NIS
Friday from 17:00 to Saturday at 17:00 – 20 NIS
Saturday from 17:00 to Sunday to 12:00 to 12 NIS

Note: opening hours and parking fees were taken from the official site.

Azrieli Exterior During Sunset

Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv, Israel
Azrieli

As you can see, I had several pre-planned ideas. Thus I checked several spots. I was also returning to the same places as I wanted to create a new photograph for my Day To Night collection.

Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv, Israel

Here I shot straight down, and you can see a car on Ayalon highway with a part of the bridge. What do you think about this photo?

Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv, Israel

As you can see, I was pretty lucky, and the sunset was colorful.

Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv, Israel

By this time, I decided to change the angle. I went across the street so that car trails would create a leading line toward the Azrieli Center. And this is the result:

Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv, Israel

I love shooting in Tel Aviv. Most people are used to people with cameras, and even if you put a tripod, they will go on their way and will not bother you. It is not the situation in smaller cities. I remember once I took my camera (one body + one lens) to the Petach Tikva market. Many sellers were shocked and could not understand what I was doing. Try to explain to a seller why you are shooting his pastries.

Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv, Israel

And these are my latest additions to the Day To Night collection:

Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv, Israel

It was getting dark gradually. About 1.5 hours passed from taking the first photo to the last one.

Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv, Israel

Since I was sick (some virus) and my temperature started to go up, I decided to make this get-out shorter than usual, and this is my last photo from that day:

Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv, Israel

And now, we will enter the Azrieli complex and visit the observatory.

Azrieli Observatory – Highest Observatory in The Middle East

Directions

First, you must reach Azrieli Center, located at Menahem Begin Road 132 Tel-Aviv. The Azrieli Observatory is located on the 49th floor of Azrieli’s Round Tower in Tel Aviv. The entrance to the observatory is through the mall. You go up to the third floor of the mall and enter the round tower. And after purchasing tickets, you take the elevator to the 49th floor.

Ticket Price

The ticket prices were 22 NIS for adults and 17 NIS for children.

In the past, I saw that they offered coupons. But I have not seen anything lately. Nonetheless, it is worth rechecking before a planned visit.

Opening Hours

Sunday – Thursday: 09:30 – 22:00

Friday: 09:30 – 15:00

Saturday: from one hour after the end of Shabbat till 23:00.

Note: one of the problems with this attraction is the lack of precise data. The previous official site, mitzpe49.co.il is no longer working (though their Facebook page is still pointing there). The opening hours were taken from the new Azrieli site. But the previous official site listed irregular opening hours and the fact that they can close this space for a private event. Thus, I would suggest calling them before visiting. The contact phone number is 03-6081990.

I have decided to visit it on Friday morning, and the following photo series is the result.

View of Menachem Begin Tunnel and Begin Rd. towards the south:

View from Azrieli Observatory
View from Azrieli Observatory

Top-down view of Menachem Begin Tunnel:

Menachem Begin Tunnel
Menachem Begin Tunnel

Ayalon Highway (on the right) – north direction:

Ayalon Highway - north direction
Ayalon Highway – north direction

West of Tel Aviv:

Ayalon Highway - north direction
Ayalon Highway – north direction

Ayalon Highway further ahead – north direction:

View from Azrieli Observatory

You can see Herzliya at the far end.

Ayalon Highway - south direction
Ayalon Highway – south direction

On the roof of Azrieli, there is an attraction for children called “Island Park.” It is not on the top roof but instead on the middle one. It is on the third floor of the mall. And this is the top view of its pool. We will visit it later on in this post.

Azrieli Observatory does not give you 360 degrees view. It is about 270 degrees. The missing 90 degrees are the ones pointing east, towards the sea. And it is where the 2C restaurant is located (see further info below). You can see the sea from the observation deck, but not very well.

Azrieli Observatory – Summary & Tips

After visiting the Azrieli Observatory, I left with mixed feelings. I will divide my review into two parts. If you are not coming there to photograph, you will probably be out of there in half an hour max. There are no presentations, no movies, almost no explanations, just the view. Moreover, the uncertainty about opening hours and calling them does not add to the fun.

Thus, I would not consider it a family attraction. Many people will think that driving there, finding paid parking, and purchasing tickets for a 15-minute attraction with lovely views are not worth it. And I thought the same. Thus I visited alone, and the purpose was photography.

For Photographers

If you are coming there to photograph, then you should keep in mind two things:

1. The windows are not always clean. And I would not recommend going after the first winter rains, which have a lot of sand.

2. Windows are highly reflective, and the general rule is to keep the camera closer to the window. It will decrease the number of reflections in the shot. And an even better solution is some black sleeve (rubber, paper, plastic, or wrapping your coat) around the lens. It will keep the number of reflections to a minimum.

If I had to sum up, though the entrance price is not high, there is not much to do there. Unless you are a photographer, you can photograph, create time-lapse movies and easily spend several hours.

Therefore the bottom line is that whether you should visit depends on the purpose. If you are looking for excellent viewpoints of Tel Aviv, check out the viewpoint in Jaffa or the Science Walkway next to Tel Aviv University. And if you are looking for attractions near the Azrieli complex, browse the map at the top of this post.

2C Restaraunt

Another option to see the views without paying for tickets to Azrieli Observatory is visiting 2C Restaurant, located at the top of the circular tower. But, the restaurant is not cheap, and online reviews are not too positive. Thus, I preferred visiting the observatory.

Island Park

Island Park
Island Park

Island Park (official site) is located on the mall’s roof. It offers attractions for kids, mainly aimed at preschoolers and elementary school children. There is a small pool. The depth of the pool is around 40 cm, so you cannot swim there. It is a splashing pool.

One of the attractions for smaller kids is this small train.

Island Park in Azrieli Tel Aviv

Motorcycles:

Island Park in Azrieli Tel Aviv

Ropes climbing for older kids at the top and army boot camp at the bottom can be done by younger kids.

Island Park in Azrieli Tel Aviv

Overall, Island Park offers different attractions, and if you have kids at a suitable age, you can enjoy a half-day there. Also, one note regarding tickets. Full-price tickets are not cheap. Different credit card companies offer discounted tickets with up to 50% off.

Have you ever been to Azrieli? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!

Stay Tuned!

For additional points of interest nearby, see Tel Aviv-Yafo.

   

Additional Resources

Here are several resources that I created to help travelers: And if you have any questions then check out Useful Information For Tourists To Israel.  
Did not find what you were looking for? Leave a comment below, and I will do my best to answer your questions.

Lev Tsimbler

Lev from israel-in-photos.com. You can contact me at hi@israel-in-photos.com

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