“Haifa works, Jerusalem prays, Tel Aviv plays.”
This famous quote perfectly sums up the colourfulness and versatility of Israel. The mixture of the traditional Arab Jaffa and modern, energetic, hedonistic playground of Tel Aviv is perfect for a prolonged weekend getaway.
The seafront Mediterranean metropolis boasts an amazing shoreline with 14 kilometres (9 miles) of beaches right in the city centre. With its secular vibe, Tel Aviv is a perfect choice for visiting during Shabbat.
Things to do in Tel Aviv
Spend a day (or two or three…) at the beach
Tel Aviv offers plenty of beaches to choose from, 16 to be exact. In 2012, it was even named one of the best beach cities in the world by Lonely Planet!
Trumpeldor beach, located just across the Beachfront Hostel, is clean, sandy and quite calm in comparison to some other beaches.
Some other possibilities include:
- Religious Beach – a segregated beach surrounded by walls; women can go on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, men can go on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
- Hilton Dog Beach – perfect for canine lovers
- Gay Beach – a hot spot for the gay community
- Jaffa Beach – perfect for surfers (no wave breakers here)
- Gordon, Frishman and Bograshov Beaches – most popular beaches
To sum it up, Tel Aviv has a beach for every taste, as well as a wide offer of activities (open gyms, volleyball courts, etc.). Or you can just pack a towel and a good book and you are good to go for the day.
With an average of 300 sunny days a year, Tel Aviv makes it possible to bask in the sun all year round. Of course, don’t forget sunscreen!
One of the world’s oldest ports, a visit to Jaffa is a must when in Tel Aviv! Take a long walk along the Tel Aviv – Jaffa Promenade and explore the old city on your own or join a free tour starting at the Clock Tower. While in Jaffa, admire the view of the shoreline and observe the Andromeda’s rock from atop of the hill, make a wish at the Zodiac Bridge, shop at the flea market and explore the history at the port.
Admire the White City
The White City refers to a collection of over 4,000 buildings built in a unique form of the Bauhaus style from the 1930s by German Jewish architects (WHS since 2003). Tel Aviv has the largest number of buildings in the Bauhaus/International style of any city in the world. Many of the buildings can be found on Rothschild Boulevard, which is one of the principal streets in the centre. Here you will find bike and walking paths, playgrounds, parks and the cutest coffee stands, as well as many restaurants and shops.
Shop at the Carmel Market
The Carmel Market or Shuk HaCarmel is the largest market (shuk) in Tel Aviv. Open every day from Sunday to Friday from the early morning until around 7.00 PM (earlier on Fridays), here you will find everything from fruits to clothes, souvenirs to spices, and many more, making it a favourite place for both locals and tourists. Don’t let the sounds, smells and liveliness intimidate you from visiting this colourful and authentic marketplace, easily found in the city centre.
WHERE TO STAY
The Beachfront Hostel is quite pricey and in desperate need of renovation, yet located right next to the promenade and the Trumpeldor beach. The location and the view from the room are a huge plus, while the rest is fine for a short stay. From the rooftop you can admire a nice view of the beach, however, the terrace and its bar could also use some refurbishing.
WINING & DINING
Plenty restaurants can be found by the Tel Aviv – Jaffa Promenade, as well as on Rotschild Boulevard, so you won’t have a hard time finding a good meal. Indulge in hummus and other traditional dishes or splurge on some delicious seafood in the famous and romantic Manta Ray (highly recommended!).