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Tel Aviv travel guide

About Tel Aviv

Energetic, hedonistic and endlessly fun, Tel Aviv is in many ways the counterpoint of nearby Jerusalem. Having only celebrated its centenary in 2009, this is also one of the world’s newest cities.

Tel Aviv is liberal, easy-going and incredibly diverse. It has a great café culture, impressive architecture and pulsating nightlife and feels like a beacon of modernity compared to the hotly contested Israeli capital.

Head to Old Jaffa for an overview: it’s from this biblical port town that Tel Aviv began, now sprawling east into an ever-wider metropolitan area. Climbing the ancient stone streets to the heights of Jaffa, you’re rewarded with a vista of golden sands glistening against the Mediterranean Sea, while ranged in the distance are Tel Aviv’s skyscrapers.

A few blocks over from the beach you’ll find the bustling Carmel Market, full of local produce and spices. Continue on through the art and crafts fair of Nachlat Binyamin, which in turn leads onto the elegant Rothschild Boulevard. This important thoroughfare is lined with handsome houses and trendy cafés, culminating in the impressive national theatre, Habima. Steering back seawards brings you to the iconic Bauhaus buildings on and around Bialik Street, which have earned Tel Aviv the name of ‘White City’.

The city is constantly changing and developing, with some districts labouring under the rubble of regeneration. Several post-industrial areas have been adopted by artists and various creative types opening galleries and dive bars. The most renowned example is the hipster paradise of Florentin, glowing with graffiti and wafting of irreverence.

You won’t have trouble finding Tel Aviv’s fabled nightlife – bars and nightclubs abound, with locals tending to head out late, and continuing into the early hours. Great for languishing on during the day, the beach nearly always has something happening at night too.

A city of immigrants, Tel Aviv is rich in culture. European, American (both North and Latin), Arab and African incomers are plenty, and you’ll notice large Yemenite and Ethiopian-Jewish communities too. Restaurants blending Mediterranean, Middle-Eastern and other influences sum up the atmosphere of Tel Aviv: progressive, informal and thoroughly cosmopolitan.