City Highlight: Tel Aviv

Published on: Wednesday, April 18, 2018

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Easy-going Tel Aviv is a hypnotic blend of beachside adventure, gleaming Bauhaus architecture, thriving café culture and thrumming nightlife.

Jerusalem’s hedonistic younger sibling, Tel Aviv, rests on the temperate shores of Israel’s Mediterranean coastline. This technologically advanced and biblically significant metropolis is truly a city that never sleeps. 24-hour nightlife aside, Tel Aviv’s numerous world-class museums, sandy beaches and UNESCO-listed architecture are sure to keep any tourist busy.

When to go

Spring (March-May) has temperatures that range from around 15ºC (60ºF) to the low 20s (70ºF), perfect for milling about Tel Aviv’s outdoor markets.

Summer (June-August) is the beach season. A perfect time to work on your tan or enjoy a great array of water sports.

Autumn (September-November) makes for a special Tel Aviv experience with the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Autumn’s temperatures are much like the summer season’s.

Winter (December-February) comes with temperatures that settle in around 15ºC (60ºF). Winter is also Tel Aviv’s rainy season, so make time for indoor activities on potentially dreary days.

Getting around

The city’s quick public transport system speaks volumes to its reputation as a technological hub. Most public bus routes operate on a daily basis, and passengers can purchase fares from drivers or use reloadable Rav-Kav transportation smartcards.

Many tourists also opt for taking taxis around the city. All registered taxis use meters to determine fares. A sherut, or a shared taxi, can seat up to 10 people. These shared taxis follow bus routes and charge rates similar to bus fares. To see more information about transportation options, see our Getting Around Tel Aviv guide.

Must-see attractions

Jaffa

Offering a full day of sights, the old town of Tel Aviv, Jaffa, was once an ancient port city, even featured in the Bible and Greek mythology. Watch the fishermen at work in the harbour, bargain for souvenirs with merchants at the Shuk HaPishpeshim flea market, and munch on authentic hummus and pita with magnificent views of the coastline.

Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Escape the heat to admire Cézanne and Monet masterpieces in the cool halls of this art museum. Resembling a floating iceberg, the building holds intriguing temporary exhibitions featuring modern and contemporary art from around the world. Don’t miss pop artist Roy Lichtenstein’s massive mural created especially for the museum.

Rothschild Boulevard

Sleek white buildings built in the Bauhaus style make Rothschild Boulevard a UNESCO World Heritage Site worth exploring. This tree-lined strip is the bustling focal point of Tel Aviv, offering a plethora of cafés and restaurants, boutique hotels and historically significant places like the Independence Hall, where the State of Israel was officially declared in 1948.

Our Things to See in Tel Aviv guide has more must-see recommendations throughout the city.

Quirky & offbeat

Rollerblade through the city with a police escort

If you didn’t pack your trusty rollerblades, rent a pair and join the Tel Aviv Rollers on their 20 km (12.5 miles) course through the city every Tuesday evening. Accompanied by law enforcement supervision, this safe, fast-paced Tel Aviv jaunt will leave you panting for breath.

Duke it out with a racquet on the beach

On any clear day, beachgoers can hear the racket of matkot, a popular game enjoyed up and down the shores of Tel Aviv. Grab a friend, a rubber ball and a set of wooden racquets and spice up the repetitious routine of tanning and swimming with a friendly match of this popular game, considered by many Israelis as their national sport.

For more offbeat suggestions, browse our Things to do in Tel Aviv guide.

Travel trips

Must-try foods in Tel Aviv

  • Hummus – taste the freshly made chickpea dip that sets itself miles apart from the hummus packaged in plastic tubs at the grocery store. Tel Aviv offers variations like hummus masabacha – a spread topped with whole chickpeas, paprika, and spiced tahini.
  • Shakshuka – a light breakfast or brunch of seasoned tomato stew adorned with poached eggs and served with pita or crunchy bread.
  • Limonana – infused with crushed mint and lemon juice, this popular summer lemonade stands out with its neon green colour and can also take the form of a smoothie or icy slush.
  • Falafel – balled and fried fava bean and chickpea paste
  • Halva – a brick of sweet confection served throughout the city, combining flour, sugar, and butter to create a dense treat.

Tipping: Guests customarily tip waiters 10-15% depending on the quality of service. Watch out for service charges, which don’t require further tips from patrons.

For more food and drink recommendations, see our Tel Aviv food & drink guide: 10 things to try in Tel Aviv.

Hotels in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv offers a range of exceptional hotels to fit any visitor’s budget. Stay in the critically acclaimed 5-star InterContinental David Tel Aviv and sip cocktails poolside, or enjoy the views of the Mediterranean from stylish suites. For a more wallet-friendly option, book a stay at the Hotel Metropolitan. Located a block away from the beach, this functional choice includes a variety of room options and a well-equipped fitness centre. For more hotel options, see our Tel Aviv Hotels guide.

Nightlife in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv lays claim to the best of the Middle East’s bars, clubs, and night out attractions with its 24-hour lifestyle. Kosher clubs, underground hangouts, and bohemian bars line Rothschild Boulevard and the quirky Neve Tzedek district. For a more tropical experience, check out a beachside venue where you can sink your toes into the city’s sandy terrain. See our bar and club recommendations in this Tel Aviv Nightlife guide.

Shopping in Tel Aviv

A diverse shopping affair awaits tourists in Tel Aviv. Small handicraft outlets, specialist haberdashers, huge mall complexes and long shopping streets feature Tel Aviv’s latest technological inventions and high fashion, providing shoppers with an unparalleled consumer experience. See what’s available for purchase and where to go in our Shopping in Tel Aviv guide.

Visa requirements to Tel Aviv, Israel

British, Australian, Canadian, American and EU nationals do not need a visa to enter Israel if their stay does not exceed 90 days and remains for tourism purposes. To enter Israel, nationals must have a passport valid for a minimum of six months from the date of entry. For further information regarding documents needed before travelling to Tel Aviv, consult our Israel Visa and Passport Requirements guide.

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