Founded in 1878, Petach Tikva means "opening of hope" and was one of Israel's first agricultural settlements. It has grown into one of Israel's largest cities and now has some of the best medical facilities in the Middle East (including Schneider, the best and biggest children's hospital in the region).
The road to Tel Aviv is always full of traffic jams. Buses from Tel Aviv: #50 and #51 from Central Bus Station, #82 and #66 from the Carmel Market Terminal, and #49 from Tel Aviv University. Minivan shuttles run along routes 51 and 66 and enter Petah Tikva from the Jabotinski road (via Ramat Gan and Bnei Brak) seven days a week, Saturdays included and all night long (but less frequent) for ₪9.50 a ride.
If you like the sounds, smells, colors and athmosphere of a tumultuous city market, then the Petach Tikva City Market (Petach Tikva Shouk) is an extrimely colorful market which would perfectly fit you. Located in the city center and has every imaginable food and vegetable grown this part of the world. Look for figs, passion fruit and other exotic items, all fresh, colorful and tasty, 6 days a week, except Sat.
On the eastern side of the city is a huge Park "Afek" (commonly called "Antipatris") with an ancient medieval crusaders fortress still standing. One mile north is a "Baptist village" where the Yarkon river starts and has some peaceful trails around. The Israel Baseball League plays there.
For other trails around you can contact the Yarkon Field School ("Beit Sefer Sadeh Yarkon", Tel. 03-9301112) which is incharge of the trail marking of this region.
There is a dilapidated football stadium accommodating the City's two national-league football clubs "Hapoel" and "Macabee". Adjacent to the stadium, you can find "Sportan" a large and beautiful sports and country club with swimming pools, tennis Courts, sauna, gym and yoga/pilates classes. You can tan on the sprawling lawn (daily pass ₪60). A very good gym for the body conscious is "SHAPE" at Avnat mall (basement). Across from the mall, go bowling!
Other than shopping at Avnat, you can beautify yourself at the plastic surgery clinic "Ariel" (also at Avnat basement). With so many hospitals in town (including psychiatric facility "GEHA"), no wonder Petach Tikva is the mecca of liposuction and nose jobs.
There are two shopping malls (Avnat and Sirkin).
Like elsewhere in Israel, restaurants that serve kosher food should have a Kashrut certificate issued by the chief Rabbi of the city. If you are seeking authentic Jewish cuisine that has been prepared in accordance with the Kashrut laws, you should seek out an an appropriately certified eatery.
This is a quiet town. There is no rowdy nightlife, to speak of. There are never the less a bar, two cafe/bars (Once near the Osem factory in the Western Industrial zone and one in Segula/Eastern Ind. Zone), a club and a pool/bowling place (behind the large shopping mall in the western industrial zone) all located in the various industrial zones. The bar is called 'Infinity' (Zvi Bergman st., Segula) which has mainly ex-CIS punters and also serves good food. The club is called Chatzriff (also in Segula)and is mostly Eastern Jewish.
There is an HI Hostel & guest house hidden away at Yad Labanim park.