Ramat Gan (Hebrew: רמת גן) (Translation: Garden heights) is a city in Israel, to the immediate east of Tel Aviv, which almost acts as an extension of it. Ramat Gan is an eclectic town famous for many things totally unrelated to each other, including diamonds, football, malls, chocolates, Iraqi restaurants, a religious university, and an open-space African safari with lions. Small green public gardens are plentiful and all streets are tree-lined.
Ramat Gan was founded in 1921 as a moshav (a communal farming community). Over time the population grew as Tel Aviv sprawled, and today the population exceeds 135,000.
Northwest Ramat Gan features a cluster of sparkling skyscrapers, which, at night, impresses you with a magnificent Manhattan-style skyline. There, you will find the tallest building in Israel (75 floors), right next to the two skyscrapers comprising of the diamond stock exchange. This area, called the Boursa, turns at night into a sleazy collection of brothels and illegal casinos.
The rest of the city, just like its name, is residential with green gardens here and there. Some embassies (including the EU delegation) are located here, instead of Tel Aviv. A lot of political wheeling and dealing goes on at the Ramat Gan Sheraton City Towers, which is a preferred hang out for Likud Party primaries conferences.
In the northeast, you will find the first successful shopping mall in Israel (Kanyon Ayalon) surrounded by huge outlet stores. Next to it are a shooting range ("mitvach"), the biggest soccer stadium in the country, and the Ramat Gan National Park.
On the southeast side of town is Bar Ilan University, which combines university studies with an orientation towards the religious Jewish community.
Ramat Gan is also associated with chocolates, as those passing by the "Elite" factory on Jabotinski Road would catch sweet whiffs of chocolate in the blending.
Last but not least, Ramat Gan is known as Baghdad Town. Most Jewish immigrants from Iraq settled here in the 1950s and made Ramat Gan their home. As a result, many Iraqi restaurants can be found here.
The easiest way to get to Ramat Gan from Tel Aviv is by bus.
- From the Tel Aviv central bus station: Lines 21, 31, 34, 51, 52, 53, 54, 60, 68, 70, 82, 160, 268, 524, 525, 531
- From the Tel Aviv Central (Arlozorov) train station: Lines 42, 51, 53, 55, 60, 61, 65, 68, 69, 70, 82, 142, 160, 161, 240, 268
- From the Jerusalem central bus station: Line 400 goes directly to Ramat Gan. However, if you are going to the western parts of Ramat Gan, it is more efficient to take line 480 to the Arlozorov train station, which is just outside Ramat Gan.
Trains go from most cities to the 1 Tel Aviv Central (Arlozorov) station, which is walking distance to the Ramat Gan business district (Boursa). To get elsewhere in Ramat Gan, take a local bus from the train station.
The city center is small enough to walk around. For longer distances, take a bus. Ramat Gan is integrated into the greater Tel Aviv bus network, so there are few routes that serve Ramat Gan specifically. Line 65 goes almost everywhere in Ramat Gan - the stadium, Bursa, city center, and several neighborhoods, finally ending at the Sheba hospital in the southeast.
- Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum, Jabotinsky 1. Ramat Gan is a center of the worldwide diamond polishing industry. You can learn about it in this museum.
- 1 Spiral House. An architectural landmark by architect Zvi Hecker. The top floors have a rounded shape, and are held up by spiraling columns which include the stairs.
- 1 Ramat Gan Safari, ☏ . ~09:00-sundown, except Fridays which are 09:00-14:00. The main zoo for the Tel Aviv area, occupying 250 acres and including 1,600 animals of different species: 68 species of mammals, 130 species of fowl, and 25 species of reptiles. There is a regular zoo, and also a larger "safari" area where you can drive around in your car with the wildlife just outside. (If you don't have a car or prefer to leave it parked, the zoo operates vehicles through the safari area, at an extra cost of ₪7 per person.) ₪69 (₪62 with discount).
- 2 Maccabiah. This is the Jewish Olympics, where Jewish communities from all over the world send their athletes to compete and mingle at the Maccabiah village at "Kfar Maccabiah" a full scale sports hotel and compound.
- 3 Avraham Krinitzi National Park, Southern Ramat Gan, Ehad Ha'am st. (By bus, lines 33, 57 and 67). Also simply known as 'The National Park', is the biggest park in Ramat Gan and a favourite place for BBQ'ing.
- 1 Ayalon Mall, Sheshet Hayamim 28 / Aba Hillel 301 (Bus lines 21, 32, 33, 42, 52, 54, 57, 67, 128, 142, 238, 240, 531), ☏ . Su-Th 09:30-22:00, F 09:30-15:00, Sa 19:00-23:00. The first shopping mall in Israel. Still contemporary with lots of shops and cafes.
- 2 Bialik Mall, Jabotinsky corner of Bialik 76 (Go by bus, lines 1, 51, 53, 66, 67, 70, 240), ☏ . Su-Th 10:00-21:00, F Sa 10:00-15:00.
- 3 Bialik St.. Bialik street is the main shopping area in Ramat Gan.
Don't miss the best Iraqi-style Shawarma in Israel at Shemesh on Jabotiski Road. There are plenty of fast food joints along Jabotinski. On the edge of Ramat Gan (Next to Bialik Street), practically already in Givatayim, there is the most famous Sabich restaurant in the universe, "Oved".
Clubs and bars are scarce, just catch a taxi to Tel Aviv (₪30).
- Sky Bar, 14 Abba Hillel St..
- Hemingway (Hemingway pool bar and restaurant, a great place to play some billiard.), Jabotinsky rd. 55, ☏ . 24 hours. ₪55.
- 1 Leonardo City Tower, Diamond Exchange District, 14 Zisman Street, Ramat-Gan 52136, fax: .
- 2 Kfar Maccabiah, 7 Bernstien St, Ramat Gan, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Hotel and sports compound.
- 3 Rimonim Optima Ramat Gan, 1 Krinitzi Street, Ramat Gan 52453, fax: . Business lounge with light snacks and Internet corner for free surfing of the web.
When in the Safari, don't get out of your car! The lions or hippos may attack you. That is about the only danger in Ramat Gan.
|Routes through Ramat Gan|
|Nahariyya, Haifa ← Ra'anana ←||N S||→ Bat Yam, Holon, Rishon LeTzion → Ashdod, Ashkelon|
|Ra'anana, Herzliya, Tel Aviv ←||N S||→ Bat Yam, Holon, Rishon LeTzion|
|Haifa ←||N S||→ Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport|