The Tel Aviv beaches stretch along the entire west side of the city. The Mediterranean Sea is the host for all of those beaches. The main bathing season is between May-Sep/Oct when the water temperature is nice and relatively warm.
The local residents of Tel Aviv LOVE the beach and frequent it during
the long season. When I was living in the city I used to go to the beach
with my friends at least once a week to sit next to the water – have a
drink and eat some watermelon…
As I mentioned in my main Tel Aviv page, you will notice many people play Matkot. This is a very popular and fun game and you pretty much can’t escape it as it is being played on all of Tel Aviv’s beaches. So don’t fight it – just get used to it. Or better yet - play it yourself with a friend or some random person (most Israelis are always up for a game of Matkot).
Alongside all the beaches is the long promenade (tayelet in Hebrew) that features plenty of restaurants and beach bars.
Here is the list of beaches from north to south accompanied by a short description, which should help you choose the beach that best fits you:
These two beaches are at the north end of the city. As far as I know these are the only two beaches that charge a small entry fee. Both beaches are very clean and attract mainly Israeli and somewhat upscale crowds of families and teenagers.
This beach has a unique sort of urban charm and is host to many of the 20- and 30-something residents of the city.
It isn’t the cleanest beach so I wouldn’t recommend you to go there if this is your first visit to the city. However the place has its own cult of followers (I admit I used to be one of them in my early 20’s) that only frequent Mezzizzim. The name by the way means the peeking beach – in reference to a popular 1970’s Israeli film.
Religious Jewish people use this beach on alternate days for men and women. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays the men use the beach. On Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays the beach is hosting women only. On Saturday Jewish people go to the synagogue and everybody is welcome to use the beach, which is a nice one actually. In a sort of weird way women that want to bathe topless can do so in this beach – on the days women use it of course.
The Hilton beach roughly divides into three areas: the dog’s beach, the gay beach and the surfer’s beach. The northern part is where you can bring a dog with you to the beach. The middle part is where gay people meet, especially gay men. The southern part is where many surfers come to catch the waves – there is also a big surfing competition there each year. So, if you own a dog or if you are gay or if you surf - the Hilton beach is your spot. I guess the perfect person for this beach would have to be a gay person who enjoys surfing and owns a dog…
These two beaches are probably your best bet as they are both clean and close to all the major hotels. You will find both tourists and Israelis visiting there. The restaurants are good and you will find sun beds and shades along those beaches.
The Jerusalem beach is mainly frequented by non-Tel Aviv residents (perhaps because of its name). It is wide and comfortable but doesn’t have anything special to offer.
The Banana beach is nice and quiet and mostly caters to the older crowd. It is named after the cool café in which you can sit to enjoy a drink and chat.
The Dolphinarium beach is called that because in the past there was a dolphin park nearby. Today it is known as the Drummers beach and every Friday until late at night many people bring their Darbuka (a small hand held Arabic drum) and other drums to play together. At the same time you can see jugglers, dancers and other cool activities that take place. If you want to be part of a different atmosphere come to this beach on Friday late afternoon and spend a few hours there.
The southern most of all Tel Aviv beaches and the last beach before Jaffa. Alma is nice and clean but doesn’t offer many services – not even a lifeguard as far as I know. However you get a great view of the old Jaffa port…
Note: most of the Tel Aviv beaches I mentioned above include many services such as showers, restrooms and a lifeguard on duty during the season.
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