A Local’s Guide to Tel Aviv

Welcome to Tel Aviv, the city that never sleeps. This ever-growing metropolis is definitely the place to be. It has everything one might want: sunny beaches, broad avenues, vibrant nightlife, buzzing cafés, and gourmet restaurants. So if you’re looking for a place to go to in the evenings after the conference, or you’re staying on for a few days and want to make the most of your time in Tel Aviv, keep reading for a comprehensive guide to the city.

Hit the Beach

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Tel Aviv’s beach

 

There is no better way to relax from a long and tiring conference day than lying on the beach with a cold beverage in your hand. Luckily for you, Tel Aviv is just the place for that. Tel Aviv’s entire western side lies on the Mediterranean Sea. A long promenade runs alongside the 8.7 mile stretch of beaches, waves, and blue horizons.

The 13 beaches of Tel Aviv offer many of the basic (and less basic) amenities, such as clean toilets, shower stalls, changing rooms, and even free Wi-Fi hot spots. In addition, you’ll find beach loungers and chairs for rental, free outdoor workout gyms, and volleyball nets (on the Aviv and Gordon beaches). On and along the beaches there are many restaurant and cafés that will allow you to grab a quick meal or a chilled ice-coffee. It’s important to mention, though, that the prices at these venues are often murderously high. Better, saner (and often tastier) alternatives can easily be found in the adjacent streets.

For more details, check out the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality’s Beaches page.

Spend a Cultural Afternoon at the Museum

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Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Those preferring a more cultural venue than the beach, should visit Tel Aviv’s museums. The city has a large number of museums covering a wide range of subjects. The city contains three of Israel’s leading museums, alongside many small museums, which attract above a million visitors every year.

The Tel Aviv Museum of Art is considered one of Israel’s leading artistic and cultural institutions. It displays a comprehensive collection of local arts and international works, from the 16th century to the present. In addition to its large permanent art collection, the museum offers a selection of changing contemporary art exhibitions.

The Eretz Israel Museum is a multidisciplinary museum that focuses on the history and culture of the Land of Israel through comprehensive permanent and temporary exhibits in the diverse fields of archeology, ethnography, folklore, Judaica, cultural history, and local identity. The museum spreads over an area of some 20 acres, and comprises about 15 pavilions and buildings. One can easily spend a whole day exploring the museum’s diverse collections and exhibitions. The museum currently displays several highly recommended temporary exhibitions, including ‘The Dancing Machine,’ a stimulating, humorous, and thought-provoking exhibit of mechanical wooden toys and automata; ‘War Medals’ – a collection of WWI medals and medallions; and ‘Seeing Through’ – rare historic glass plates of photographs taken between 1921 and 1960.

For further museum recommendations, check Visit Tel Aviv’s Museum’s page.

Explore the City

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The ‘Fire and Water Fountain’ in Tel Aviv Square

Tel Aviv has a lot to offers to those wandering its streets. Boutique shops, vibrant cafés and trendy restaurants are strewn across the city’s busy streets and wide, green boulevards. Among the city’s many interesting streets, Rothschild Boulevard, as well as the streets of Sheinkin and Dizengoff, are especially recommended.

Other than stores and restaurants, Dizengoff Street offers a big (and easy to get lost in) mall, and an antiques, crafts and second-hand fair, next to the iconic Dizengoff Square, on Tuesdays between 12 and 10 pm, and Fridays from 7 am to 4 pm.

Rothschild Boulevard has less shopping opportunities, but boasts many restaurants, cafés, and bars. The beautiful boulevard is framed on both sides by special Bauhaus-style buildings, creating one of the largest concentrations in the world of this unique architectural style, and earning the boulevard and the city the title of a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Neve Tzedek
Neve Tzedek

If you have a couple of hours to pass, it is recommended to explore the historical neighborhood of Neve Tzedek. Established in 1887, this neighborhood is one of Tel Aviv’s oldest districts. In fact, it predated Tel Aviv by over 20 years. At the beginning of the 20th century, Neve Tzedek was home to many renowned artists and writers, including Shmuel Yosef Agnon (a Nobel Prize winning author), and famous artist Nahum Gutman. The quaint architecture of Neve Tzedek, beautifully restored and renovated, along with its newly reacquired vibrant and stylish atmosphere that came with the influx of yuppie residents, the hip galleries, and the boutique designer shops, make this neighborhood one of the highlights of Tel Aviv. While you’re there, make sure to try one of Anita’s wickedly delicious ice cream flavors or sorbets.

Another location worth checking is the historical German Colony in Tel Aviv, known as Sarona. This recently renovated neighborhood was originally established as an agricultural settlement in 1871 by a group of German Templars, and reached, at its height, a size of 269 people and 71 buildings. The area, along with 31 of the original German houses, was restored and renewed after decades of neglect, and became a vibrant high-end commercial center housing elegant cafés, upscale restaurants, art galleries, and specialty shops. The shops and cafés are smartly embedded in the lush lawns, among ficus trees and houses of the historical colony, turning Sarona into an oasis of relaxation and leisure in the middle of the bustling city.

Take a Culinary Walk through the Market

Spices at Shuk HaCarmael
Spices at Shuk HaCarmael

There’s no better way to get to know a culture and a place than through one’s taste buds, and the best places for that is the local market. Visit the Carmel Market (Shuk HaCarmel), the most famous of Tel Aviv’s marketplaces. Stroll down the market’s main street, and let your senses guide you along. Inhale the aroma of freshly-brewed, locally-roasted coffee, of freshly baked pastries, fresh spices, and Middle Eastern foods. Taste a piece of sweet halva at one of stalls and drink a freshly squeezed juice. In addition to the various shops, the Carmel Market also sports an assortment of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and chef-owned food stalls which capitalize on the surrounding fresh ingredients and offer delicious hand-made culinary experiences. The market’s main street ends a short walking distance from the beautiful Charles Clore Garden and the beach. In addition, Nahalat Binyamin, the street adjacent to the market, hosts a unique arts and crafts fair twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10:00 to 18:00.

Those looking for a more upscale experience should check out the Sarona Market, a high-end urban gourmet and consumer produce market complex with 91 shops, stalls, and restaurants of all kinds. Another great option is to check the Port Market – a farmers’ market located at the Tel Aviv Port, a beautiful commercial and entertainment district in northwest Tel Aviv.

Visit the historical Jaffa Port

Port of Jaffa
Jaffa Port

The ancient port of Jaffa has a history spanning over 7000 years, serving fishermen, merchants, pilgrims, and conquerors. Although the port is still active, its main function these days is as a tourist attraction, offering an array of cultural, commercial, recreational, and historical activities. Explore the charming art galleries and souvenir shops which are tucked in in the old city’s narrow stone alleys. Dine at the local restaurants and cafés perched upon the historical walls and houses and enjoy a breathtaking view of the setting sun. Relax in the lush, green park in the middle of the port, smell the sea, and take pleasure in the serene, quiet and beautiful atmosphere.

 

Coming to Tel Aviv to attend Casual Connect? Schedule a meeting with our team and come visit our office at Rothschild Boulevard. 

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