Looking for your next holiday destination? Tel Aviv might be the perfect place for you. This buzzing city, situated on the coast of Israel, was dubbed the ‘Mediterranean Capital of Cool‘ by the New York Times and it truly lives up to its moniker.
The Israeli city that never sleeps is the perfect vacation spot, no matter what time of year. With its stunning golden beaches, some believe the best time to visit Tel Aviv is during the summer. However, Israel boasts beach weather almost year round, with the best months to visit being from March to November.
During the summer you can expect inflated prices in Tel Aviv and it can be difficult to find a last minute hotel accommodation, so to get a good room book as early as possible. There’s so much to do in this vibrant city that you won’t be bored if you stay a couple of days or even a few weeks.
Maybe some statistics (number of tourists per year, number of hotels…)
And, because Israel is such a tiny country Tel Aviv is the perfect place to base yourself if you are planning to visit Israel’s many tourist spots around the country.
Getting around in the city
Tel Aviv has 3 railway stations and a central bus station with intercity buses, so traveling outside of the city for those who don’t have access to a car couldn’t be easier.
Getting around the city is easy too. Tel Aviv isn’t very big, so if you are based in a central area you could probably get along without using any form of transportation. It’s easy, and relatively safe to walk around most parts of Tel Aviv at all hours of the day and night.
If you’re up to it, there are green bikes for hire all over the city, grab a bike and return it when you’re done.
Apart from between late Friday afternoon until Saturday evening when buses stop for Shabbat, there is a great bus system in the city and if you don’t feel like taking a bus it’s easy enough to get a taxi.
Boutique hotels in Tel Aviv
These small, chic boutique hotels are like hidden gems in the city, you will find them in beautifully revamped buildings between residential buildings, on the beachfront and even close to the markets.
With their spacious, meticulously designed rooms, and the little luxuries they offer – like breakfasts delivered to the rooms, it’s no wonder that boutique hotels are such a hit in Tel Aviv.
Luxury hotels in Tel Aviv
If you’re looking for a bigger, luxury hotel you won’t be disappointed. Tel Aviv is home to some big international hotels, like the Hilton and the Sheraton, as well as Israeli big brands like the Dan. Whenever anybody mentions luxury hotels in Tel Aviv you’ll be sure to hear about the Norman and the Varsano Hotel (which was previously owned by Gal Gadot and her husband, Yaron Varsano).
Tel Aviv’s luxury hotels have a high level of service and fantastic facilities to meet all their guests’ needs.
Tel Aviv beach hotels
Tel Aviv’s beach strip is lined with hotels and is considered one of the best areas to stay in the city. You’ll find a variety of hotels for every budget along HaYarkon Street, which lies parallel with the coastline.
Hotels right on the beach with a close proximity to everything the trendy city has to offer – what more could you ask for?
Cheap hotels in Tel Aviv
Although Tel Aviv is an expensive city for tourists, it is possible to find less expensive accommodation; like the Olympia, next to the beach; Sun City Hotel or Maxim Hotel.
The hotels in this group offer great value for the money, and although you might have to forgo the swimming pool, it’s not much of a sacrifice with the Mediterranean Sea right there and so many things to see and do around the city.
Hostels in Tel Aviv
Hostels are an affordable and fun way to get to know Tel Aviv. You can take your pick of cool hostels around the city, including the Tel Aviv branch of the famous Abraham Hostel.
The Abraham Hostel offers guests a choice of dorm rooms or private rooms, as well as a bunch of fun facilities, like a lounge, a TV room, a bar, a cool rooftop and a guest kitchen where meals can be prepared and eaten together.
The hostel also holds cool events like parties, concerts and lectures.
Tel Aviv has something for everyone.
The city’s many boutique hotels are prefect for a couples getaway. And despite the city’s reputation as a party city there are plenty of romantic spots for couples to enjoy. Old Jaffa and the Port of Tel Aviv are the first to come to mind.
Israel is a very child friendly country and Tel Aviv is not an exception. You’ll find tons of things to do with kids here, from free playgrounds, beaches, water parks and amusement parks, to the nearby Children’s Museum in neighboring Holon.
Visiting Israel on business? Tel Aviv is the perfect place to stay. It’s the start-up capital of Israel, and even if you’re working outside of the city nowhere is too far away in Israel. Make Tel Aviv your home base and drive or catch the train to wherever you need to go.
Tip: if you can, bring your family, they will love exploring the city while you’re working.
It goes without saying that this party city is the perfect vacation destination for singles. The locals are friendly and there’s never a dull moment in the city.
Things to do in Tel Aviv
A day at the beach
With 13 official beaches, you are sure to find the perfect beach spot. Tel Aviv’s Metzitzim is perfect for a day at the beach with the family, or for singles. There are also dog beaches, gay beaches and religious beaches (segregated for the religious community with separate swimming days for men and women).
Tour Old Jaffa
Jaffa is the southernmost part of Tel Aviv. Known as “Old Jaffa” it is also the oldest part of the city. This ancient port is a must see for every visitor to Tel Aviv. You can book a walking tour or just wander around the picturesque stone allies lined with art galleries, churches, mosques, and Israel’s most well known flea market (Shuk Hapishpishim). The port area is always bustling and you won’t have to look far to find a delicious meal in Jaffa.
Visit the New Central Bus Station
In the heart of South Tel Aviv you’ll find the new central bus station. Decades in the planning, this huge bus station occupies almost five city blocks. Planned by architect Ram Karmi to be a whole “city under one roof” most of the gigantic structure stands empty, a white elephant in south Tel Aviv.
Although most locals hurry through the station to find their buses, there are plenty of interesting things going on in this offbeat place. In fact, you can even take a guided tour of the new central bus station and see some of its odd treasures, such as a Yiddish culture organization, bat caves, graffiti and street art, and more.
Take in a museum
Tel Aviv is full of all sorts of museums. The Tel Aviv University is situated in north Tel Aviv and so are some of the countries most important museums. Museum of the Jewish People – Beit Hatfutsot tells the ongoing and extraordinary story of the Jewish people. The nearby Eretz Israel Museum is a multidisciplinary museum that exhibits Israeli culture, past and present.
Tel Aviv also boasts one of the greatest modern art museums in the world. Art lovers are spoiled for choice of art and design museums in Tel Aviv. You’ll also find architecture museums and museums that celebrate the history of the city and the lives of some of Tel Aviv’s most prominent figures.
Art and design
If you’re an art lover don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Design Museum in Holon, just a short drive from the city. Visit some of the galleries and art and design shops located all over this artistic city. If you’re in Tel Aviv on a Tuesday or Friday don’t miss the famous Nachlat Binyamin Pedestrian Mall arts and crafts fair, where you can find everything from jewelry and ceramics to photography and home furnishings.
Shop till you drop
Whether you enjoy spending the day indoors in a mall or browsing through independent street shops and markets, you’ll love shopping in Tel Aviv!
Tel Aviv’s three biggest indoor shopping malls are the Azrieli Mall, the TLV Fashion Mall and Tel Aviv icon – Dizengoff Center.
There are also plenty of open malls and shopping streets where you can find just about anything; such as the Namal (Tel Aviv Port), The Tachanah (Old Train Station) Gan Hair shopping center, Sheinkin Street, Dizengoff Street, the Neve Tzedek neighborhood and more.
For a more authentic Israeli experience visit some of the local markets. Shuk HaCarmel is where it’s all happening, you’ll find almost anything you need there. If you’re in South Tel Aviv stop in at the Levinski Market where you’ll find a large selection of spices and delicacies.
The White City
In 2003 UNESCO recognized the historic area of Tel Aviv, also know as The White City, as a World Cultural Heritage site.
In the 1930s Jewish architects, who had studied in the Bauhaus School in Germany, left Europe for Tel Aviv where they integrating the modernist architectural style to replicate the culture of Europe.
This architecture is characterized by its asymmetry, functionality and simplicity. And this style has come to represent the White City of Tel Aviv,
The best way to experience the White City is by walking around Rothschild Boulevard, where many of the buildings have been restored to their original glory. Guided walking tours of the area and its architecture are available.
Culture and Entertainment
Tel Aviv’s nightlife is every evolving, so it’s always best to speak to the locals and ask what’s on and where the hippest place to be is.
Nevertheless, one thing is for sure, you will always find something you like to do in Tel Aviv, whether you’re a sports fan, a jazz fan, you want to take in a show or the Israeli opera, or if you just want to dance.
Tel Aviv has been called the vegan capital of the world, with 400 vegan and vegetarian restaurants. So, whatever your diet, you are in for a treat when you dine in Tel Aviv.
No, not all restaurants in the city are vegan, in fact you will probably find the best burger you’ve ever eaten here.
Like everything else in this city, you’ll find a little of everything. It’s no coincidence that when asked about their vacation, every tourist that has been in Tel Aviv will enthusiastically tell you about the food.
Over 830,000 tourists visited the Greater Tel Aviv area in 2018 and this number is expected to grow in 2019. We suggest booking accommodation early if you are planning a visit during the peak months.
You could probably see most of the city, for a first visit, in three days, but if you have the time – stay longer, it will give you more of a feel for the city and of course you’ll be able to see more. Don’t forget that you can also use Tel Aviv as a home base for day trips to historical sites around the country, like to Jerusalem or the Dead Sea.
If you speak English you’re good to go in Tel Aviv, almost everyone can speak English and you’ll find the locals very helpful.
We hope that this gives you a small taste of what Tel Aviv has to offer.
Be warned: you will probably need to take a holiday when you get back from Tel Aviv.