Tel Aviv travel insider! If you are considering a new travel destination in the upcoming months or searching for future travel ideas, that’s the place for you! How about Tel Aviv, a city that never sleeps?
Tel Aviv (TLV), also known as White City, is one of my favorite travel destinations. I had an opportunity to visit the city multiple times, always impressing myself with it. If you are looking for a warm place with a great seaside, vibes, and food, that’s the place for you! Tel Aviv is also an excellent location to visit more than once. Check the below travel insider and prepare yourself to visit or revisit Tel Aviv soon!
MY TRAVELS TO TEL AVIV
I am a traveling soul! My first travel to Tel Aviv? Back in June 2014. It was a one-week business trip. I extended it to visit other parts of Israel and Palestine. Then another trip to Tel Aviv in June 2015. Again, I stayed longer, that time to visit the north of Israel.
In 2018, I returned to Israel 3 times, twice to Tel Aviv. Back then, I already felt more comfortable. My last visit lasted 3 weeks. My colleagues were joking that I must have relocated to “the city that never sleeps”. That’s where I spent my 2nd month of the pregnancy. Unforgettable November 2018!
Israel changed my life. This is one of the most amazing countries I have ever been to.Frank Grillo
After 5 journeys to Israel, including 4 to Tel Aviv, I feel I can share a bit about the White City with you. I also know that I miss the place a lot. I hope that the future will send me back to Tel Aviv again. There are many reasons to return. You can find them at the end of this post. TLV, see you soon!
TEL AVIV’S UNIQUE FACTS
Tel Aviv is the ultimate east-meets-west city. You have the best of European sophistication and Middle Eastern exoticism – sometimes just a block away.Talya Halkin
Discover some of Tel Aviv’s unique facts:
- You don’t need to worry about the weather in Tel Aviv! It has 300 annuals days of sunshine.
- TLV has 13 official beaches. If you are not in the mood for swimming, you can enjoy Israeli’s ‘national’ beach sport! 🙂 It is the game of Matkot, the Israeli version of racquets, usually played on the sand.
- Israeli’s new ‘national’ commute system is the electric scooters. They can be seen everywhere, also for rental. Weekly, approximately 12% of Israelis use bikes, electric bicycles, and electric scooters. I guess that the number in Tel Aviv is even higher.
- National Geographic has ranked Tel Aviv as the ninth-best beach city in the world.
- People in Tel Aviv take extra care of their bodies and their fitness. It is incredible, very motivating when visiting Israel! People, of all the age, are exercising by the seaside. You will find them running, jogging, doing beach gym exercises, yoga, acrobatics, or playing volleyball. So impressive!
- Tel Aviv is known as one of the world’s most innovative cities. It is a home for unlimited startups, and its only rival is the Silicon Valley in California.
- In Tel Aviv, you will find more than 100 sushi restaurants. Per capita that’s the third global place, after Tokyo and New York.
- Shabbat is observed every Friday. Therefore, Thursday evenings (the last working day in the week) turn into the party night time. Indeed, it is a city that never sleeps.
TEL AVIV’S MUST SEE
TEL AVIV BEACH
Visiting Tel Aviv, no matter the purpose of the travel, you can’t miss its seaside! Going to the beach of Tel Aviv is not only a great relaxation time but also an experience! What is so unique?
Tel Aviv’s seaside has a beautiful promenade, ideal for the walk or jogging. You will find people enjoying the beach time, playing volleyball or matkot (racquets), so popular in Israel! Local people might be playing loud music, exercising, practicing yoga asanas, or walking on their hands. Recently, you will see more and more people passing by on the electric scooters.
And around hotels, restaurants, and cafes. What else is needed?
Take a taxi and visit the Old Jaffa. Or better, enjoy a beautiful seaside walk from Tel Aviv beach to Jaffa! It is a relaxing 45 minutes walk one way (from the beginning of Tel Aviv’s beach). I did multiple times, always so refreshing, no matter the weather.
Old Jaffa is a neighborhood of Tel Aviv-Yafo, the oldest part of the city. It has more than four thousand years of history and remarkable architecture. What else is there? You will find there many art galleries, cafes, restaurants, theaters, museums, and nightclubs. Don’t skip Jaffa’s flea market.
Neve Tzedek Quarter
Neve Tzedek is one of Tel Aviv’s oldest districts. It was the first Jewish neighborhood outside of the Old City of Jaffa. It has an oriental architectural style, combining narrow streets with boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. Nowadays, Neve Tzedek became a retreat to the modern city. Its name means Oasis of Justice. A place worth visiting!
museum of art
If you love art, visit the Museum of Art during your stay in Tel Aviv! What can you find there? The Tel Aviv Museum of Art contains Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Degas, Henry Moore’s artworks. It also has the world’s largest art collection of Israeli artists. The museum hosts regular temporary exhibitions and other events.
TEL AVIV’S MUST EXPERIENCE
CARMEL MARKET (shuk ha’carmel)
The Carmel Market is one of my favorite places in Tel Aviv. I guess I like local markets a lot. They always reflect a lot of the energy and atmosphere of the place. And so happens in Carmel Market. It is vivid, loud, full of yummy food and friendly people, simply Israeli! 🙂 You can reach the market from the side of the city (Allenby Street) or the seaside (Nechemiah Street). Of course, I suggest the second one, as it is a great walk! What can you buy at the market? A bit of everything: souvenirs, household items, clothes, flowers, fruits, food. Even if you don’t want to buy anything, visit for its atmosphere!
Sarona is a famous neighborhood in Tel Aviv. It became a popular destination among local people and tourists thanks to its restored buildings, boutique stores, and restaurants.
The biggest attraction there is the Sarona market. It is a trendy place of gourmet food stores selling local products, with restaurants of Israeli chefs. It is an ideal place. You can buy there, high-quality local products and enjoy yummy fresh food. And don’t worry! There are also plenty of bars serving cocktails and craft beers.
Marina is another must-visit location in Tel Aviv. Yes, you can admire boats and yachts over there. However, the key reason to visit it is food! Marina of Tel Aviv has a great collection of restaurants. Most of them serve the food in Mediterranean style: unlimited mezze starters or fixed price lunch menu. I miss that place a lot!
If you have an opportunity to stay in Israel for at least one week, make sure you plan well for Shabbat. Shabbat is followed in the entire country, also in Tel Aviv, a very modern city. For me, it was something very fascinating to experience a bit of Shabbat during my travels to Israel.
And I need to admit, I wasn’t ready for its granularity, especially during my first visit (Crowne Plaza hotel). I wasn’t aware of many things! That during Saturday breakfast, I would not be able to enjoy my cappuccino or fresh orange juice. That in the hotels there are ‘Shabbat elevators’. And, of course, I pressed a button and turned on some beeping alarm. Travels are the best learning! The best experience ever!
TEL AVIV’S MUST TRY
My number one in Israel! Shakshuka is a staple breakfast dish in Israel. Eggs baked in the tomato sauce. A taste that I brought with me home back in 2014. It is always present in our homes, both in Poland and India. Best shakshuka in Israel? The Crowne Plaza hotel!
Hummus and falafel
It can’t get more traditional than yummy hummus and falafel (at least on my list!). Which place would I recommend in TLV to taste the fried chickpea balls and hummus? Falafel Gabay in the city center.
It is the paste from the sesame seeds. It is used for hummus and other dips and dressings. Buy one jar and take it home with you. In Israel, you will find it very fresh and also cheap. My favorite brand? Har Bracha Tahini, produced by my friends, Good Samaritans!
The Jaffa oranges are also known as Shamouti oranges. That’s a variety with few seeds and tough skin, ideal for export. If you visit Jaffa, don’t forget to buy some or enjoy fresh orange juice!
Bread, bread, bread
I love the bread in Israel. My three favorite countries in the world for the best bread are Poland (of course!), France and Israel! The best bread? In the Old Jaffa, the historic Abouelafia Bakery. Must try!
Labneh with olive oil and za’atar
One of my favorite dips, maybe as it combines thick yogurt, the taste of za’atar (so unique), and olive oil. Excellent with bread or pita bread. Try it in one of the local restaurants.
I could live on the seafood diet! 🙂 Tel Aviv, although expensive for seafood, has a great offer! My favorite spot is in the Marina. Another great restaurant, just by the seaside (direction of Jaffa), is the Manta Ray.
My biggest surprise during my travels to Israel. How super yummy eggplant can be. I mean, I like eggplant a lot but how it is prepared in Israel is simply a wow! Try in any of the local restaurants. My favorite one was in the office’s canteen. 🙂
If you like fresh fruit juices, try a pomegranate one! It is available in many places across the city. I used to buy it at the entrance of the Carmel Market and then wander around.
Now that I think of the Israeli roasted cauliflower salad, I feel like preparing it at home! The recipe of my favorite chef (after My Better Half of course!), Yotam Ottolenghi, is here!
Tel Aviv is the most exciting place to eat in Israel.Yotam Ottolenghi
TEL AVIV’S PLACES TO STAY
Tel Aviv, with its immense diversity, offers a diverse range of accommodation. From luxury hotels to cheaper hotels or hostels. Yet, hotels in Tel Aviv are quite expensive, so opt for the one that sounds more reasonable to you or shorten your stay in Tel Aviv (but not in Israel! :-)).
My top recommendations (also with top prices) are all from the Old Jaffa area. Such a beautiful and charismatic part of Tel Aviv. Amazing seaside views, small cafes, and bakeries, street markets, plus the architecture! I hope that during my next visit, I will stay there.
Casa Nova – Luxury Suites & Boutique Apart-Hotel
The Drisco – The Leading Hotels of The World
That’s my favorite category of hotels! Yet, all three choices are unique. During my last stay in Israel, I stayed in 3 different hotels, relocating every week in Tel Aviv.
Crowne Plaza City Centre hotel is located three steps from the train station and the mall. Yet, very comfortable as it provides a shuttle to Crowne Plaza Beach a few times a day. Poli House hotel, with its interior design by Karim Rashid, is another great option. It is located just by the Caramel market.
Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv City Center, an IHG Hotel
Lighthouse Tel Aviv a member of Brown Hotels
If your budget is lower, don’t worry. There are other options too; cheaper hotels, apartments for rent, or hostels. Tel Aviv offers it all. A great plus: many hotels in Tel Aviv provide a happy hour. You can snack or drink something complimentary. Enjoy!
Artist Hotel – an Atlas Boutique Hotel
TEL AVIV’S REASONS TO RETURN
- You will start missing it as soon as you reach home, or maybe earlier.
02. That atmosphere, food, seaside vibes… can’t be compared to other places in the world.
03. It is an ideal city for wandering around, discovering new spots and streets.
04. Sunsets in Tel Aviv are magical.
05. Travel to Tel Aviv (and Israel) is a journey. Trips stop; journeys don’t.
Have you been to Tel Aviv? If yes, add to the list of suggestions! I am sure that my list is not complete as visiting Tel Aviv is like a never-ending journey. If you are yet to visit, what would you see or try first? Share! Sharing is caring!
Moments that matter, no matter where in Tel Aviv.
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