Catch some rays on one of Tel Aviv's gorgeous beaches
With the Mediterranean at its feet, Tel Aviv is famous for its amazing beaches. Boasting 200 kilometres of coastline and more beaches than you can count, you’re sure to find a Tel Aviv beach that suits your vibe. Flock to Hilton and Top Sea beach to rub shoulders with Tel Aviv’s high society, chill out with a smoke at Geula Beach or party it up at Gay Beach – there are so many options for sea-side fun. Connected by the famous Tel Aviv Promenade that stretches along the coastline, this walkway is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Walk, ride or rollerblade down this boardwalk after spending a few hours soaking up the Israeli sun.
Explore the neighborhood of Neve Tzedek
Neve Tzedek may be one of Tel Aviv’s oldest districts, but it’s definitely one of the coolest. Built in 1887, Neve Tzedek was the first Jewish neighborhood outside of the Old City of Jaffa. Its oriental architectural style, colourful buildings, narrow laneways and old-world feel make it something of an old-school oasis in a booming metropolis. Having become increasingly fashionable in recent years following restoration works, Neve Tzedek is something like Tel Aviv’s Brooklyn. Home to Nobel prize laureate Shmuel Yosef Agnon and famous Hebrew artist Nahum Gutman, explore the lively suburb that inspired some of Israel’s greatest creative minds. Oh, and it’s a pretty good place to go dancing, too.
Haggle, haggle, and haggle some more at Carmel Market
One of the best things about exploring the Middle East is experiencing its amazing markets. Tel Aviv is no exception. With shuks littered all around the city (a legacy of Arab settlement), there’s no shortage of markets in this bustling city. But if you want to head to the biggest and the best, look no further than Carmel Market. Selling everything from spices and fresh produce, to textiles, jewellery and electronics, it’s easy to spend hours getting lost in its winding lanes. Our tip? Make sure you haggle – everything is negotiable here! Open every day of the week, it best to avoid Fridays, as most of the city will be here doing their Shabbat dinner shopping.
Step back in time to Old Jaffa
Looking like a scene from Amalfi, the Old City of Jaffa is one of the oldest cities on the Mediterranean. Located on the southern point of Tel Aviv, this ancient port is still one of the liveliest parts of the city. With Ottoman-era laneways and Levantine architectural influences, the winding streets of Old Jaffa are packed with churches, mosques and ancient clock towers. But it’s not all ancient history – Old Jaffa is quickly becoming one of the coolest corners of Tel Aviv. Packed with hot new restaurants, hip wine bars, galleries and yoga studios, it’s also a cultural hot-spot. Explore the markets by day and party at night; you’ll love every second in Old Jaffa.
Enjoy Tel Aviv’s new foodie & shopping hub, Sarona
Did we mention that Israelis love to eat? One of the best examples of Tel Aviv’s love of food is its newest foodie hub, Sarona. The Sarona Compound, which is housed in a 140-year-old former Templar colony, is the first of its kind in Israel. This massive indoor market is home to dozens of restaurants, bars and speciality food shops, serving up dishes from around the world. Chow down on Dutch cheese, waffles, bao buns and falafel in this amazing food hall. With grassy areas and lily ponds around its periphery, gather some friends, buy a few dishes and create your own DIY picnic at Sarona.
Things to do in Tel Aviv
One of the major events on the Jewish calendar, Passover is an annual celebration of the emancipation of the Jews from Egypt. This week-long festival occurs every April, and every day calls for a slightly different celebration. Signifying new starts, this springtime festival is celebrated by all Jewish families all over the world.
Celebrating the beginning of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah marks the day the universe was created. Usually occurring at the start of September, this festival is celebrated with services at synagogue, before feasting with friends and family. Street vendors will sell Israeli sweets on Rosh Hashanah, symbolising a sweet start to the new year.
The holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur is known as the day of atonement. For nearly 26 hours, Jewish people fast from food and water, avoid leather footwear and goods, and go to synagogue to pray for forgiveness and purification. The city of Tel Aviv pretty much shuts down on this day, which usually occurs in September, just after Rosh Hashanah.
Purim celebrates the survival of the Jewish people in Persia. Embraced by both religious and non-religious Israelis, this May celebration sees street parades and parties break out in Tel Aviv. With live music performances, food vendors and general good vibes, Purim is not to be missed!
Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival
Held every year in June, the Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival is a huge showcase of student films from around the world. Considered the most prestigious event of its kind in the world, this is the chance for young filmmakers to showcase their talents and break into the film industry.
Top 5 Festivals in Tel Aviv
As a city that loves to party, the Tel Aviv calendar is jam-packed with different cultural festivals and celebrations. From Jewish holy days to showcasing the talent of young filmmakers, here are five festivals you should hit up in Tel Aviv.
Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Art lovers, this one’s for you. The Tel Aviv Museum of Art has an amazing collection of modern and contemporary art. Boasting some of the impressionist masters as well as local Israeli artists, it’s easy to spend hours wandering its halls. Plus, it’s the perfect escape from the hot Israeli sun.
The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot
The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot connects Jewish people to their roots and strengthens their personal and collective Jewish identity. Telling the fascinating narrative of the Jewish people and their culture, faith, purpose and achievements, this museum is an important cultural hub for Jewish people all around the world.
Eretz Israel Museum
Literally translating to ‘the Land of Israel,’ the Eretz Israel Museum covers a wide range of Jewish and Israeli history. With exhibits covering archaeology, anthropology, history, folklore and modern arts, this is a great place to learn as much as you can about Tel Aviv and Israel.
Yitzhak Rabin Center
Built to honour the legacy of the assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the Yitzhak Rabin Center tells the story of the development of the State of Israel and its society. Home to over 200 fascinating films on Rabin and the State of Israel, this museum also has an amazing view of the city of Tel Aviv.
Nahum Gutman Museum of Art
Set in the Writers’ Home, one of the oldest buildings in the Neve Tzedek neighbourhood of Tel Aviv, the Nahum Gutman Museum is an art and history museum. Housed in what was once a newspaper hub, which gave rise to many famous Israeli authors, the museum focuses on contemporary art with a political agenda.
Top 5 Museums and Galleries in Tel Aviv
As a country and people with so much history, there’s no better way to get a grip on Israeli culture than by visiting some of the city’s fascinating museums. Covering archaeology, art and Jewish history, here are our picks for five Tel Aviv museums that you should check out.
A staple of Israeli cuisine, falafel is one of Tel Aviv’s most popular street foods. Made from fava beans, chickpeas, or a combination of the two, the mixture is formed into balls and deep-fried. Crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, pick up this moreish snack from Falafel Gabai in Tel Aviv.
Best eaten at Falafel Gabai, Bograshov St 25, Tel Aviv
What better to eat some piping-hot falafel than some freshly-made hummus? This chickpea dip is Israel’s most popular, and is eaten with just about anything. Made from ground chickpeas and garnished with olive oil and paprika, pick up some hummus and pita bread from Hummus Ha Carmel in Tel Aviv.
Best eaten at Hummus Ha Carmel, Ha Carmel St 11, Tel Aviv
Traditionally served on Shabbat morning, jachnun has a special place in Jewish culture. This rolled puff pastry is slow-roasted overnight with whole eggs, before being served with a spicy tomato salsa. Try this delicious dish at Saluf & Sons in Tel Aviv.
Best eaten at Saluf & Sons, Nahalat Binyamin St 80, Tel Aviv
Eggplant is a staple of Israeli cuisine, eaten with almost every meal. One of the best ways to enjoy eggplant? As baba ganoush. This dip is made from roasted eggplants that are peeled and blended into a paste, mixed with tahini, lemon juice and garlic. Served with pita bread, you can try some fresh baba ganoush at Abu Hassan Restaurant in Tel Aviv.
Best eaten at Abu Hassan, Ha Dolfin St 1, Tel Aviv
When it comes to breakfast, Tel Aviv does it right. Our favorite? Shakshuka. Served in a hot griddle, this dish sees eggs cradled into a tomato, capsicum and coriander sauce, which is then baked and served with pita bread. The Mendeli Hotel serves one of the best shakshuka in Tel Aviv at their breakfast buffet.
Best eaten at Mendeli Hotel, Ha Mendeli 5, Tel Aviv
Food in Tel Aviv
From huge religious celebrations to bringing the family together, food plays an integral role in Jewish culture, so it’s safe to say that your trip to Tel Aviv is going to be pretty tasty. Here are five Jewish dishes that are crucial to the Tel Aviv food scene.