Are you looking for an exciting and one-of-a-kind city trip? Look no further than Tel Aviv, Israel's vibrant metropolis that awaits your exploration! The entire city is bustling with an urban locale that is renowned for its colourful nightlife and historic attractions, but there's much more to discover. From breathtaking beaches to religious sites steeped in history to a burgeoning food scene – Tel Aviv has an endless range of surprises in store.
Whether you're looking for new places to explore or just a break from the routine of everyday life, this amazing city has something to offer everyone. So grab your passport and join me on an adventure through the streets of Tel Aviv – you won't regret it! You won't soon forget the sights, smells, and sounds of this vibrant city. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, grab your camera, and let's go!
Tel Aviv awaits. Let's get exploring!
Israel has built a culture characterised by its rich history, distinctive cuisine, and dedication to inclusivity. It is considered a holy land by the Jewish community, who have sought refuge in Israel since the late 19th century when it became increasingly unstable for Jews to live throughout Europe. In 1948, after the Second World War had devastated the European continent, the nation of Israel was formed and declared its independence. The culture that has grown in such a short amount of time is incredibly diverse and vibrant. Despite having many difficult times throughout its existence, Israel stands as an impressive success story and continues to be incredibly influential worldwide.
Tel Aviv, Israel is an incredible city filled with a rich history that dates back over 3000 years. It is known for being the city center of Israeli culture and the center of Jewish life in Israel. The city was founded by Jews made homeless by World War II and was named after the ancient city of Tel Aviv, an important city in Jewish history since biblical times. In 1949, after the establishment of the State of Israel, Tel Aviv was declared its official capital city. Since then it has grown exponentially and today it is a vibrant city full of life, art, culture, music, film festivals, and many historic sites for visitors to explore and enjoy. No visit to Israel would be complete without experiencing all that Tel Aviv has to offer!
Tel Aviv, located on the Mediterranean sea of Israel, is often referred to as the city that never sleeps. The vibrant metropolis is well known for its vibrant nightlife and cutting-edge fashion, but what truly makes it stand out is its incredible cultural diversity. The city has been legally defined as a pluralistic municipality by the Israeli government since 2005, meaning that it does not only recognize Jewish identity. On top of that, this modern-day melting pot proudly welcomes citizens from more than 100 countries around the world. From over 30 synagogues and multiple churches to local restaurants presenting a mix of cuisines from cultures around the world - there is something unique and intriguing to explore in Tel Aviv every day.
Tel Aviv grew in a development project and has attempted to preserve cultural spaces while allowing adaptation and integration among all ethnically diverse populations living in the city. Equality and respect for different cultures allow people to stay curious about other customs while remaining true to their values and beliefs. A crucial part of what makes Tel Aviv’s multicultural identity so strong is its residents who bring their diverse backgrounds together in a peaceful dialogue that results in mutual understanding and appreciation for one another’s differences. Whether through food bazaars, classical music concerts, or large-scale public events celebrating various holidays, everyone has found ways to enjoy each other’s company while still respecting their diverse backgrounds; allowing them to become one community with an authentic civic identity while also valuing individual cultural traditions.
Old Town Jaffa
Tel Aviv is home to the old town of Jaffa, located along the Mediterranean coast, which makes up part of the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. Famous for its rich history, Jaffa has existed since the time of Ancient Egypt and in biblical times. The unique city is full of sites, architecture, and art that range from incredible Ottoman-era buildings to stunning galleries and breathtaking natural views, making it a popular tourist destination. Visitors can wander through the alleys of Jaffa's old city to get a feel for its captivating atmosphere, discovering bazaars overflowing with seemingly never-ending stalls filled with exotic wares to evoke all your senses. Whether on a historical tour or simply admiring the scenery, exploring Tel Aviv's exquisite old town Jaffa is sure to leave lasting memories.
When you visit Old Town Jaffa, make sure to check out Jaffa Clock Square. Here you can watch a traditional clock tower built in 1866 that still chimes on the hour! Also nearby is Yefet Street, filled with art galleries, cute cafes, and some of the most iconic restaurants in town. Take your time browsing the market stalls for delicious treats or handmade souvenirs.
For those wanting a true taste of Israel, make sure to experience the local cuisine. From shakshuka and falafel to hummus and sabich, you won't be disappointed with the array of flavors available. I'll talk more about the food later on but there are plenty of places to eat here. The Old Town Jaffa is very tourist-friendly, so most of the places here are filled with people, so the prices will be higher.
Best Time to visit Tel Aviv
Although Tel Aviv is one of Israel's most popular tourist destinations, many visitors enjoy the city even more during its quieter off-season months. Off-season runs from November to March. Not only is the off-season a lot cooler than the summer season but it is also a lot cheaper. During this time, travelers can find great deals on accommodations and flights, while still taking in all of the attractions that make Tel Aviv such a vibrant destination. From exploring beautiful historical sites to visiting nearby beaches, there are plenty of amazing experiences to be had for less during the off-season. Plus, by visiting outside of the peak season, visitors may find that they're able to better explore some of the city's local hotspots and come away with an intimate understanding of Israeli culture. For a truly unique experience in Tel Aviv, consider a visit during its off-season months.
How to get to the city of Tel Aviv from Ben Gurion Airport
If you're looking for the easiest way to get to Tel Aviv from its main airport, Ben Gurion International Airport, then the best option is to take a Taxi. Taxis are relatively affordable and will get you directly to your destination quickly and comfortably. However, if Taxi doesn't fit within your budget there's always the bus. Although it takes longer (and depending on traffic at rush hour can also be slower than taxis), buses are very cheap and convenient when compared with taxis. All in all, whichever method of transport you decide on taking, getting from Ben Gurion Airport to Tel Aviv should be a breeze.
The city of Tel Aviv does have Uber, but they also have Gett Taxi/Yango which I found to be a bit more affordable than Uber in my experience.
If you are anything like me, you like to make your reservations well in advance. The easiest way to do this is by booking an Airport Transfer from Welcome Pickups. I suggest that you book ahead for your trip to Israel because you will not be able to use the Wifi when you get there. Booking Welcome Pickups, a driver will be there waiting for you.
Day Trips from Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is a vibrant hub of entertainment and cultural hotspots, but don’t let that distract you from the many incredible day trips available beyond the city limits. Whether it’s exploring Jerusalem's winding cobblestone alleys and their ancient sites of historical significance or soaking up the sun at the Dead Sea, a unique opportunity to experience two very different pools of culture awaits. If you manage to find yourself with extra time on your hands consider heading south to Bethlehem, a fascinating crossroad between east and west known as ‘the birthplace of Jesus’ - contains several sites that pay tribute to its deep religious history. No matter what your interests are, there is no shortage of fascinating destinations just outside of Tel Aviv.
From Tel Aviv, I recommend the following day trips as the best day trips to take.
*Disclaimer- you can always find a guided tour to help when you visit other cities.
Top recommendations for things to do in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv does not have to be expensive - But Get Ready to Spend
Visiting Tel Aviv is a beautiful and potentially expensive experience, but with a few tips, you can visit without breaking the bank. Consider visiting Tel Aviv in the shoulder season from May to June or October to November when room rates are cheaper than during peak summer months. Pack snacks and picnic items for meals as restaurants can be costly compared with at-home prices. Furthermore, get an Israel Railways card that will allow multiple trips from one purchase - it is more economical than single tickets and holds up to 32 tickets in each card. Don’t forget to do your research on strong Euro to Shekel exchange rates before you plan your trip. All of these wise decisions should save you both time and money while exploring all that Tel Aviv has to offer.
If you want to eat in tourist areas in Tel Aviv, then the cost of eating in these areas can be very high. If you find a local restaurant, you will be able to get better food for a lower price. Many local restaurants offer delicious Israeli food, both traditional and modern. You can also try the famous falafel stands in the city for a quick bite or go to the shuk (market) for fresh produce. Eating in Tel Aviv does not have to be expensive if you know where to look. If you spend a little time looking ahead on platforms like TripAdvisor you are sure to find good places to eat that won't cost you an arm and a leg.
If you plan ahead your accommodations tend to be cheaper than if you book at the last minute. Since I enjoy shopping at local grocery stores and buying fresh bread, fruits, and vegetables to have with me, I chose to rent an apartment in Tel Aviv. Booking an apartment allowed me to have a kitchen that worked perfectly for myself and my partner me. By doing this, we won't have to go out for breakfast in the morning, which is already a cost-saving measure. I always pack snacks with me when I go out for the day, and I know my partner needs fresh fruits, so I always plan ahead to have them on hand.
Neighbourhood's Worth Checking Out
Tel Aviv-Yafo Neighbourhood - Tel Aviv-Yafo is a vibrant and bustling neighbourhood known for its diverse culture, chic boutiques, and trendy cafes. Home to several historical landmarks such as the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Jaffa Port, and the ancient clock tower, it is the perfect destination for a full day of exploration and adventure.
Florentin Neighbourhood - Florentin Neighbourhood in Tel Aviv has gained massive popularity in the past few years, mainly due to its eclectic mix of modern architecture and old-world charm. It's a hotspot for young creatives and is known for its abundance of cafes, restaurants, boutique stores, and nightlife spots. The area is suitable for taking a stroll or just sitting back and enjoying the vibrant hipster and bohemian vibe. Personally, this is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Tel Aviv.
Neve Tzedek Neighbourhood - Neve Tzedek is a historic and picturesque neighborhood in Tel Aviv, Israel. It was originally built in 1887 and is the first Jewish neighborhood outside of Jaffa's city walls.
Lev HaIr Neighborhood - A colorful district with a rich mixture of cultures, restaurants, commerce, and entertainment in Tel Aviv. The area has been popular among international tourists for its lively atmosphere, interesting architecture, and history. It is also a major center for the art scene in Israel, hosting numerous galleries and cultural institutions.
Kerem HaTeimanim - It is home to a diverse community of locals, immigrants, students, artists, and many other people that come together to create a wonderful atmosphere. From its colorful markets to its amazing food, this neighborhood has something for everyone.
Ramat Aviv neighborhood - Located in the northern part of Tel Aviv, Israel. It is one of the most prestigious and affluent neighborhoods in the city, with many luxury apartments, houses, and upscale restaurants. The neighborhood has numerous parks, including Gan HaBanim Park, which has a playground for children.
Tel Aviv Port - An amazing place to visit. Its serene atmosphere provides a great sense of peace and tranquility. There are a variety of activities to do at the port such as boat rides, shopping, dining and much more.
South Tel Aviv - A vibrant and dynamic area of the city, famous for its diverse cultures, excellent food, and nightlife. The neighborhood is located south of the Yarkon River and near some of Israel's most famous historic sites.
Popular Streets - Worth Checking Out
Rothschild Boulevard starts at the beginning of Neve Tzedek. One of the most expensive streets in Tel Aviv. Offers a lot of high-end shopping where you can find locals from Tel Aviv owning their shops.
Shlomo Ibn Gabirol Street - a bustling yet charming thoroughfare lined with restaurants, cafes, and shops offering a variety of wares. Its iconic Art Deco buildings are adorned with intricate, colorful murals and provide a unique backdrop for visitors to explore the city's vibrant culture.
West bank - a lively thoroughfare lined with quaint cafes and specialty shops. This vibrant street has been a go-to destination for locals and tourists alike, offering an array of cultural experiences such as art galleries, concerts, and exhibitions.
Allenby street - vis is home to many attractions and points of interest that are worth checking out.
Dizengoff Street vis beach is a must-see when visiting the city. It stretches for miles along the Mediterranean Sea and offers plenty of opportunities to relax, sunbathe, or take part in water sports such as windsurfing and kayaking.
Tel Aviv Boardwalk
Not a street or a neighbourhood. It deserved its section it's worth mentioning and worth visiting. One of the most famous attractions in Israel is the Tel Aviv Boardwalk, which stretches along the Mediterranean Sea and offers stunning views. It’s also an excellent place to take part in many activities like biking, running, volleyball, and more! Whether you want to stroll down the boardwalk or get active, it’s the ideal destination for all kinds of beach-goers. There are also plenty of places to eat, shop, relax, and enjoy the sun! The boardwalk is an excellent way to experience Tel Aviv’s culture and embrace its beauty.
For those who don't want to walk, you can always rent a bike or a scooter to enjoy this long stretch. Bike lanes are available and are very convenient. If you sign in to your Uber app you will notice that you can rent scooters or bikes. I suggest you take the opportunity to enjoy this long stress as it's a beautiful boardwalk. If you book ahead you can always rent a bike here.
Places to Stay In Tel Aviv
I've organised the places to stay based on the neighbourhoods
Tel Aviv's Food or Israeli Cuisine
Israel is known for its amazingly diverse cuisine and food options, with influences from Middle Eastern, Asian, Mediterranean, and North African cultures. If you’re planning a visit to Israel or just curious about what they have to offer when it comes to food, here are important things to know.
Hummus is popular throughout the Middle East and can be found in almost every restaurant in the country.
Falafel is a deep-fried chickpea ball typically served as part of a sandwich. They are good no matter where you go.
Shawarma is seasoned thin strips of chicken or lamb served on flatbread with vegetables and sauces like tahini or garlic mayonnaise. I probably ate one lamb shawarma a day while in Tel Aviv.
Jachnun is an overnight pastry dish made with rolled dough dipped in butter and honey. I'll take two, please.
Shakshuka is a poached egg dish cooked with tomatoes and onions in tomato sauce topped off with feta cheese, herbs, and spices.
Burekas are flaky pastries stuffed with cheese or mashed potatoes that make for a great snack.
Sabbich is another sandwich filled with Israeli salad and whitefish or tuna, boiled eggs, potato salad, olives, pickles, and pickled mangoes.
Bamihi pita is similar to pizza but made using pita bread instead of dough - this Israeli version features olives and beef cheek meat!
It doesn't matter if you are eating at a fine dining restaurant or a food cart on the street, the food is amazing in Tel Aviv. Here's a list of my favourite restaurants:
Internet access - Free Wifi everywhere you go, including outside
Shabbat - Shabbat is a day of rest and spiritual elevation in the Jewish tradition. Shabbat starts on Friday at sundown and ends Saturday night after dark. During this special time, many Jews refrain from work, spend time with family and friends, eat festive meals, and pray together. This means things are shut down between Friday (around 3 pm) and back open on Sunday.
There are a lot of Jewish Holidays so I would consider looking up the holidays before booking your travels. During the holiday's nothing is open and everything is closed.
The currency is New Israel Shekel (NIS) or shekel for short
Plenty of ATMs around the city
Car - I would avoid driving in the city. Lots of one-way streets and parking is very expensive.
Passport Control in Israel
Tourists visiting Israel will need to present their passport at the airport upon arrival for registration and inspection by the Passport Control officers. The officer will then issue the relevant documentation, such as an entry visa.
It is important to note that traveler's with a passport issued by an Arab country may not be allowed to enter Israel.
Visitors should check the specific entry requirements and visa regulations for their own country prior to arrival as these can change frequently.
Israel operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz. This means their outlets work the same as European countries.
Climate Tel Aviv is right on the Mediterranean Coastline so it is very warm.
During the winter months the weather can get as high as 40 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 5 to 15 degrees Celsius
During the summer months the weather can get as high as 80 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 35 degrees Celsius
Tel Aviv's Population - is the biggest city in Israel, with a population of roughly 447,000 people. It's estimated that about 80% of the people living here speak Hebrew, but many speak English, Russian, and Arabic.
Tel Aviv is an incredible city that has so much to offer to those who visit it, truly living up to the hype and making everyone’s experiences unique. It's a beautiful, modern place full of charm and culture, with a fascinating history and diverse culture. There are numerous attractions suited for all ages, and you will have plenty of time to explore the Old Town of Jaffa, as well as dozens of parks, museums, galleries, and more. Tel Aviv is ideal for budget travelers who want to skip expensive hotels to enjoy the city’s many wonderful experiences, such as its amazing nightlife scene and delicious cuisine from around the world. Whether you plan on taking day trips from Tel Aviv or visiting the lively beach boardwalk, each corner in Tel Aviv will provide something special for you to remember about your time in this truly incredible city.