The beaches in Tel Aviv are the centre of social life in the city. The shores are perfect for everything from sunbathing to playing matkot (a sport similar to beach tennis). You’ll find countless places on the beachfront offering drinks or dinner with sea views. For those feeling particularly lazy, Mishlohof delivers takeaways directly to your beach towel.
To visit Jaffa
Jaffa is one of the world’s oldest port cities. Its history is reflected in its eclectic mix of old and new architecture, a great metaphor for modern Tel Aviv. Today it is a multi-ethnic community where Muslims, Jews and Arab Christians live side by side. Check out Jaffa’s amazing Old City and explore the winding streets that lead to the recently renovated port, where you can buy fresh fish at restaurants such as The Old Man and the Sea.
Tel Aviv is a foodie city. From amazing restaurants and trendy hipster bistros to the best of Middle Eastern street food, the city has it all. For the tastiest hummus, go to Ali Karavan (known locally as Abu Hassan) in Jaffa; for high-end food, head to Taizu; or, for something more specialised and pricey, go to Port Said or Santa Katarina near the Great Synagogue on Allenby Street.
Tel Aviv’s nightlife is renowned throughout the world, especially when the city goes rainbow for the gay pride parade. Parties rage throughout the week and rarely start before midnight. Whether you’re gay or straight, you can dance yourself silly to all kinds of music when the sun goes down at clubs such as The Block or Bootleg. For something a bit more underground, head to Jaffa’s Anna Loulou Bar, or grab a drink at the Minzar for a more relaxed, local vibe.
The rich history
The city is just over a century old and famed for its cosmopolitan nature. Tel Aviv tells the story of Israel and its birth; it’s an urban manifestation of an early vision of Israel based less on collective values and more on secular and liberal individualism. Check out the beautiful Neve Tzedek neighbourhood or head to the Yemenite Quarter to see the Tel Aviv of the past.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tel Aviv’s so-called White City offers one of the most unique and extensive collection of Bauhaus, or International Style, architecture outside of Germany. The centre of Tel Aviv offers countless examples of fine Modernist buildings, including Avraham Soskin House on Lilienblum Street built in 1933 by Zeev Rechter and Jacobson’s Building on Levontin Street built by Emanuel Halbrecht in 1937. There are a number of great walking tours around this area, but getting lost is always recommended.
The LGBT friendly land
More than 10 years ago, Tel Aviv decided to embrace its status as Israel’s most liberal city and rebranded itself as the unofficial gay capital of the Middle East. In Tel Aviv, the ultra-Orthodox live side by side with people of all orientations. The city doesn’t have LGBTQ bars in the traditional sense, as there’s simply no need for them any longer.