We believe Tel-Aviv is one of the coolest cities in the world! Seriously. Once you visit and travel to Tel-Aviv, you'll probably agree with us.
Tel-Aviv as a whole contains an ancient city or section called Jaffa (or Yaffo in Hebrew), which we will talk more about below. This ancient city is combined with the modern city of Tel-Aviv and known together as the Tel-Aviv-Jaffa municipality.
Okay, before we start let's get located. Tel-Aviv stretches along the shores of
the Mediterranean Sea, which puts it on the west coast of Israel. It is
about an hour's drive from Jerusalem.
Click here for a map of the city.
Okay, so now we know where the city is located. The next question is what to see and do...
First of all, you can start by taking a look from above of the entire city.
You can do that by climbing to the 49th floor observatory on top of the
round building in the Azrieli Center. The view of the coastline is
amazing. In the observatory you can catch the 3D film presentation about
the city and use the audio guide.
Also, while “on top” of things you can have a bite at the restaurant on the same floor called “2C” – an appropriate name indeed! The restaurant is a bit pricey but the view is awesome. So order a drink or a bite and ask to be seated next to the window. And enjoy the view.
Your view should look something like this:
The Azrieli Center, with its three distinct geometric towers, is a Tel-Aviv landmark and a representation of the city's modern style. It's also a popular mall amongst the locals (the mall is located on the first few floors), with numerous restaurants, a great food court (2nd floor), plus plenty of clothing and general stores for shopping (including Gap, Forever 21, Castro, H&M and more).
There is plenty of parking at the Azrieli center if you rent a car, and if you take public transport there are also lots of buses that stop right there, not to mention the popular train station right next to the building complex (click here to learn about Tel Aviv transport options).
Provided that you're visiting at the right time of the year when the weather in Tel-Aviv is right, a visit to one of
the city's many beaches is something you don't want to miss.
There are about 10 beaches in the city. I would recommend you to go to Gordon, Frishman or Bugrashov. All of these are clean and friendly.
Bathe in the pleasant, lukewarm water, get some sort of a tan and generally just relax. And...
...Join one of Israel's most popular activities, the somewhat bizarre beach sport called MATKOT! (pictured here)
Matkot is a kind of beach paddle ball, played between two players holding wooden racquets and hitting a small rubber ball back and forth. The purpose of the game is vague, but it’s waaaaaaay fun!!! Don't be surprised to see many Matkot games going on at a Tel-Aviv beach simultaneously - and don't be afraid to try it out! (Don't worry about rules - except just make sure you hit the ball back ;-) )
By the way, parallel to the beach is a wide walkway full of cafés and restaurants (also called the promenade, or tayelet in Hebrew). The tayelet is great for bicycling, jogging, rollerblading or a leisurely walk (see our transport in Tel-Aviv page for info about the city's awesome and convenient public bicycle program).
Somewhat like Jerusalem, Jaffa has been a city for awhile. Probably around 4,000 years or more.
It is the (very) old part of the city. Like many ancient places, this city has a lot of charm.
Start your Jaffa tour at the Clock Tower. Pretty much everyone you meet can guide you there.
Old Jaffa itself is located on a high hill overlooking the sea and Tel-Aviv.
Stop, breathe and look at the view – it's beautiful.
While in Jaffa you might want to stop at the Ilana Goor museum. Click here to read about my recommended museums in Tel-Aviv (including Ilana Goor).
If you keep walking you will reach the Jaffa port.
This port looks like it came out of a painting…
…and has some of the best fish restaurants in Israel.
Want more info about Jaffa? Visit this page where we discuss Jaffa and its various sites in more detail.
If you're looking for an authentic Israeli experience and want to get your Israel shopping done at the same time, there is no other option I would recommend more than Shuk HaCarmel and Nahalat Binyamin.
Shuk HaCarmel (pronounced Shook Hah-Car-mel and translated as "the Carmel market") is Tel-Aviv's largest traditional market, with goods and deals of all types and Middle Eastern storefront owners doing their utmost to sell to streetwise customers and tourists.
The Carmel Market has it all - great Mediterranean food, snacks, fruit and vegetables, souvenirs, bargain clothes, toys, jewellery, trinkets, etc. If you enjoy the "sport" of finding interesting stuff, tasty treats and good deals, you'll love the Shuk.
And even more, if you visit on Tuesdays and Fridays, you'll also find the amazing local artist's market right next door on the walking street of Nahalat Binyamin.
What should you do at night? Mmm… good question. My answer can be very long since Tel-Aviv has a nightlife scene richer than most cities I know.
this city never sleeps. Insomnia city. People just love to go out! I
remember that while I was (a bachelor) living in the city, it wasn’t
unusual to be out – almost - every night.
The possibilities seem endless: Bars, pubs, night clubs and dance clubs, great restaurants and cafes, outdoor concerts, stand-up comedians, theater… and the list goes on and on.
Here is a (slightly old but still great) video that will give you an idea about the city and its many nightlife and entertainment options:
Most bars, restaurants and clubs have a wide variety of beers, wine, cocktails and all sorts of alcohol.
The two major Israeli beer brands are:
You can also get almost any kind of major and minor European and American beers.
People go out very late in the city, especially during the weekends. Restaurants are open at least until midnight and in a lot of cases till 4-5 AM.
The local bars only start to fill up at about 11PM. The dance bars and clubs only really get full at 1AM or so, and people dance until 4-5 AM.
I will give you the best night life areas of the city. As for individual choices – try and see for yourself. As a general rule, if the place looks full or if people are waiting outside (even better), then the place is “hot”.
In the recently renovated Tel-Aviv Port you can find the city's famous and bigger dance clubs, such as the ultra modern TLV club. You can also find bars and restaurants at the port that stay open very late for the club goers.
Another two southern neighborhoods with some spicy nightlife are Yad-Haruzim and Florentin. Both offer plenty of bars and clubs.
During the summer the beachfront bars and restaurants are also a great choice.
That's it! A world-class city with tons and tons to do. Hope you enjoyed our page and wishing you an awesome time with your travel in Tel-Aviv!
Have a question about this Israel topic? Or a suggestion or tip? Maybe even a personal story to share?
Great! Just fill out the fields below and send us your submission...