And it is a spell alright.
The atmosphere of this place is absolutely amazing! If you’ve ever been to NY you will experience quite a similar vibe here. Some Mediterranean hybrid of it;) But you might wanna say – while ‘NY is so enormous and diverse, how come the relatively small Tel Aviv could possibly pull this off? Well it could and it does.
You’ll get the atmosphere of coexisting – there are Muslims and Jews picnicking at the beach with family and friends, strolling the streets, jogging. There are rainbow flags everywhere; the city holds one of the biggest Pride Parades out there.
Of course, the country is in a difficult moment as the unrest and straight up riots happen all the time in Israel and Palestine but not in Tel Aviv they don’t. Or at least they have a totally different temperature. It’s almost like a different part of the world for some reason. An orthodox psychoanalytic would call it a classic case of splitting. As a result, you get this open and liberal city right next to the orthodox settlements. You get this rainbow state of mind next to Mea Shearim in Jerusalem. It’s beautiful and frightening at the same time.
What’s in the name?
Tel Aviv was the first all-Jewish city in the modern era. Set up In 1909 by 60 families – it used to be called Ahuzat Bayit. The name was changed soon after – in 1910 – to Tel Aviv – which means “the hill of spring”
So you’re here. What to do while in Tel Aviv?
First of all – take your time. There’s no better way to get to know the city than simply get lost in it. Maybe not literally, but maybe so. Just wander around, see all the tiny streets, and the main tourist hits. Take your time; be there; be present.
What’s worth seeing in my subjective opinion
If you came when it’s warm – and you have like 95% chance to do that – you can start with the:
WATERFRONT – THE SEA, THE PROMENADE, THE BEACHES. Whatever you think about the beach – you cannot deny that the cities with sea have something magical about them. Tel Aviv is no different. You can choose what you’re in need for and select a proper beach. If you’re a teen or a family or single gay or have a dog with you or just want to chill with not too many people around you – there’s a beach for you:
– Gordon Beach – lots of young people hang out here,
– Hilton Beach – the one near the Hilton Tel Aviv hotel is often thought of as a Tel Aviv’s “gayest beach” – it is colorful and has this happy smiley vibe about it,
-if you need more – check out THIS PAGE
If you’re a sucker for great views you need to visit JAFFA to take a shot of Tel Aviv with its sea. With a special bonus at sunrise or sunset – the light is just unbelievable. But Jaffo is also incredibly beautiful. It’s the oldest part of Tel Aviv with very instagrammable spots:) Those narrow picturesque streets will invite you to forget yourself:) You’ll see gorgeous cafes and restaurants, galleries and beautiful boutiques. And port. Of course there’s a port – very picturesque too, and a flea market if you’re into finding old treasures and handmade beautiful jewelry or art.
CARMEL MARKET – a shouk with pretty much everything you need. Fresh produce, and I mean really fresh, all sorts of bread and grains, flowers and spices. Anything you could think of – it’s there. If you needed some pans or clothes or toys or cosmetics – everything is there. After a tiring browsing and shopping, you could sit down and enjoy your falafel and a cold beer or pomegranate juice.
ROTHSCHILD BULEVARD – If I only could I’d copy-paste this place and take it with me at all times. This wide street with lots of trees, playgrounds, cafes and restaurants, dogs, kids and hipsters everywhere:D
WHITE CITY – Part of it is situated along the Rothschild Boulevard. It’s the ‘collection’ of exquisite architecture from the 20’ and 30’. Designed by the Jewish architects educated in Europe. They wanted to transfer some of Europe to British Mandate of Palestine (that’s what this part of the world was then called. Part of it became Israel only in 1948.) The Bauhaus style, that’s what it’s called. UNESCO proclaimed it a World Cultural Heritage Site – “an outstanding example of new town planning and architecture in the early 20 century”. You’ll recognize it by the modernist and also diverse style; simplicity and functionality. Thermometer windows and characteristic balconies.
– And here’s the map of some of the most beautiful examples – must see – TEL AVIV WHITE CITY TOUR:
There’s also a Bauhaus museum that opened in 2008.
STREET ART – You will see a lot, while in Neve Tzedek or Florentin, but if you need some more convincing after seeing just a couple of my pictures go check out THIS ARTICLE
FLORENTIN – As NewYorkish as they get:D When in Florentin you’ll completely forget you’re in Israel. Which you cannot do when you’re in Jerusalem for example. This neighborhood is not orthodox in any sense. Very artsy and grungy. You’ll find here lots of cafes, bars and great little (VEGAN) places to eat. Plus very instagrammable street art all around. You can visit FlorentingOfTheDay to check out the daily pics from this place.
NEVE TZEDEK – I mean – Shabazi Street is THE place to get a taste of Tel Aviv. Artsy and cool. Bit more chic than Florentin if you know what I mean. You can see a lot of Neve Tzedek in this guy’s Instagram feed
You can also visit the AZRIELI TOWERS – just to see the amazing panoramic view of Tel Aviv
MUSEUMS – there are plenty of them. My favourite – TEL AVIV MUSEUM OF ART
NACHLAT BINYAMIN – the art market – the first and biggest in Israel
EAT EAT AND THEN EAT SOME MORE – try everything and everywhere – the food is fresh and interesting and there’s variety of it.
Where to stay
So about hotel arrangements. Since we lived in Israel and hence didn’t need hotels I can recommend what some of our friends used and loved. Of course, there are 5 starts luxury hotels and you can simply find them here:
But those listed below will be much nicer – financially;)
–Florentin Backpackers Hostel – situated as the name suggest – in the Florentin neighborhood, very close to the sea and Jaffa.
If you need something else – there’s PLENTY
That was my Tel Aviv story. This city is so captivating you may wanna go back for more and more.
Have you been here? Ever visited Tel Aviv? Did I miss something that amazed you? Do tell ♥
In the meantime I have a couple of more pics :))
And maybe check out what else to do in Israel 🙂
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