Tel Aviv, the second largest city in Israel, is a Mediterranean dream and the beaches deserve a spot on your bucket list! A growingly popular destination on the Mediterranean’s less popular coast side. There are endless things to do in Tel Aviv, lots of Tel Aviv attractions and I hope this Tel Aviv Travel Guide will help you make your trip as amazing as ours!
We came to visit Tel Aviv on a whim, as everywhere else was booked. We were pleasantly surprised with what we found here: a Miami and Rio de Janeiro on our side of the Atlantic! In this Tel Aviv travel guide, I will share my favorite Tel Aviv attractions and activities with you. This way, you can get the most out of your stay in this vibrant city!
Top 7 Things to Do in Tel Aviv
As you’ll read on this Tel Aviv travel guide, this beautiful city by the sea provided us with everything we needed to charge our batteries. The bustling city, modern and yet full of history, was a great place to explore, so many Tel Aviv attractions. The beautiful Tel Aviv beaches gave us the chance to just chill in the sun and enjoy life!
There are millennia worth of history in this Middle Eastern metropolis. The district of Jaffa, in the old part of the city, is among the most ancient ports on Earth. It’s received Mediterranean sea traffic for at least 4,000 years! And Jerusalem does not need any further presentation. You can’t visit Tel Aviv without feeling a little humbled by the weight of history. Read all about it in this Tel Aviv travel guide.
With its thriving beach culture, lovely climate and amazing boutique hotels, it’s a city to fall in love. Read my Tel Aviv travel guide below to find out about my favorite Tel Aviv attractions! If you want to know more about my trip, check out my Tel Aviv Travel Story.
1. Embrace the Sea
The Tel Aviv beaches will stay in our hearts forever and for sure a must in any Tel Aviv Travel Guide and the number one among Tel Aviv attractions. This city’s charm oozes Mediterranean vibes, and the beach life is crazy here. The weekends, in particular, fill up with people from nearby cities.
It is my duty as a Tel Aviv travel guide writer to tell you that, while the energy is amazing, it’s also quite crowded, so not necessarily for everyone. Some of the main beaches are Jerusalem, Bograshov and Fisherman. Here, you’ll find sunbeds for rent at about €5 a day and find everything from beach volley, beach tennis to beach party. Just make sure to get there early, as they’re on a first-come-first-served basis.
If you’re looking for the more peaceful Tel Aviv beaches, the Hilton’s is actually very pleasant. For an even more peaceful one head to Jaffa and Alma Beach. However, they don’t offer sunbeds, so it’s best to bring a towel.
The Best Beach Restaurants in Tel Aviv
Throughout the Tel Aviv beaches, you’ll find many restaurants lined up around the boulevard. My favorites were Calypso and Gazoz Beach: great food, drinks, and vibe. Don’t expect anything fancy here, just a good dining experience with sand between your toes and lovely vibe!
2. Be a Cityista – One of my favorite things to in Tel Aviv!
When we came to visit Tel Aviv, there was something I instantly loved: the combo of beach and city life. Two of my favorite vibes in the world in one place!
Shabazi – The Cozy Instagrammable Hood
So down to some more concrete parts of this Tel Aviv travel guide and Tel Aviv attractions. To really get to know the city, start with a stroll down Shabazi. My favorite area in town. There are plenty of shops, cute little designer boutiques and, of course, Anita ice cream.
Really, the area offers a multitude of eateries, and ice cream aside, we loved small Italian restaurant Beccafico. Shabazi is also great for Instagram junkies who visit Tel Aviv. It’s full of cute little spots, lots of urban art and the gorgeous Suzanne Dellal Center.
Rothshild Av – The Place to Eat & Party
Afterward, head over to Rothschild Avenue and get to know its surroundings. A must when you visit Tel Aviv and probably part of any Tel Aviv travel guide and Tel Aviv attractions, as one of the main streets lined by restaurants and bars. It’s one of those places that really lights up at night.
As it often happens with the best cities, one of the coolest local activities is eating! Benedict quickly became a favorite breakfast spot, with its all-day American breakfast. Really delicious and cozy, it’s the perfect place to get a dose of energy before window shopping around Rothschild Avenue. Da Da & Da is another breakfast darling, with strong French bistro vibes.
For a great Japanese style dinner, go for Shiratoya. A hip new restaurant in town, maybe not yet in all Tel Aviv Travel Guides but a true gem. Right next door, you’ll find the Brown TLV Hotel’s rooftop bar, which is super cozy. For a more upscale experience, nearby Zoo Zoo Bar is one of the hottest clubs in Tel Aviv! Even if Middle Eastern food is your favorite, you might want to try out some international flavors. For that, head to Thai House or Mexicana!
3. Carmel Market – A Must in any Tel Aviv Travel Guide
For me, an unmissable city experience is visiting local markets, a must among Tel Aviv attractions. A huge food market, Carmel’s a great place to really see the local foodie culture. It’s full of tasty things and local specialties. So extra cool if you’re into trying out some true Israeli flavors.
When around here, make sure to stop at small meat restaurant M25. A one of a kind place that might not look so exciting from the outside but that offers the best meat in town and an experience you will not forget!
4. Explore Another Time at Jaffa/Yafo
A very distinct place, Jaffa doesn’t really look like anywhere else. However, visiting or staying visit here is one of the essential local activities and a key part of any Tel Aviv Travel Guide. You cannot miss the experience of getting lost for hours in these cozy old streets. This was for sure one of my favorites among Tel Aviv attractions.
The Flea Market Full of Secrets
You can spend a day looking around, marveling at the mix of flea markets and hip boutiques. Amazing cafés and restaurants everywhere finish this picture perfect! The streets are filled with old buildings and doors, perfect for the photographer or instagrammer. A true gem in my Tel Aviv Travel Guide!
The Skyline & the Old Port
Another gem among Tel Aviv attractions, you will find if you walk up the hill from the old part and then get a gorgeous view of the city skyline. Then, stroll down to the old port, which has undergone innumerable transformations.
You’ll find yourself in a restaurant area with traces of its industrial past. My favorite eatery here is Old Man and the Sea, but the Italian restaurants are also great. It’s a lovely spot to enjoy a nice dinner by the harbor! Old Man and the Sea is one of the most famous restaurants and probably one that is in most Tel Aviv Travel Guides, yet a fun place with great food and service. So make sure to pay it a visit!
Once night falls, Jaffa it’s the ultimate hip area for bars and clubbing. The flea market stands turn into restaurants and bars and the streets are filled with people. The kind of vibe that makes you want to stay until sunrise!
My favorite Jaffa place was Café Puaa ,a furniture store that turned into a colorful iconic café with a bohemian retro style. The food and vibe here was truly amazing! For delicious Turkish food and a party vibe head to Onza and for a hip place with tasty food and drinks, go to Ramesses.
5. Seize the Magic Sunsets
Between the city’s beautiful colors and its beachy vibes, Tel Aviv offers some really outstanding sunsets. As a sunset maniac, of course my Tel Aviv travel guide had to include a few sweet spots!
If you’re visiting this Mediterranean gem in the summer, head off to the beach around 7:30. Facing the calming sound of the waves, that’s the time the coast dresses in pinks.
While it’s always great to watch the sunset at any point on the beach, we had our favorite spots! Alma Beach is a lovely place to catch a sunset, for example.
We found the most enchanting views at different points of Jaffa/Yafo, with totally different perspectives. Stare down into the city atop the neighborhood’s highest point… or right into the sea at the port. Just be sure to look up at the sky’s colorful party!
6. Day Trip to Jerusalem – The Must Among Tel Aviv Attractions
Tel Aviv is only about 60 km northwest of Jerusalem, one of the most popular Tel Aviv attractions and a must when in Israel. We were totally mesmerized to stand in these ancient biblical places. Due to its importance in 3 major religions, Jerusalem Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
How to get to Jerusalem?
There are seemingly endless offers of day tours to Jerusalem and the Dead Sea from Tel Aviv. I’d say the best should cover both in one sitting, so to say. If, like us, you’re more into discovering cities by yourself, it’s super easy. Just take a taxi/Uber to the central bus station and hop into one the express bus to Jerusalem. It’s less than an hour’s drive, very comfy and the roads are in great shape. Just as you reach Jerusalem, a tram outside the bus station will take you to Damascus Gate. And voilà, you’re right outside the Old City!
If you have some extra time, here’s another Tel Aviv travel guide tip: you can get to Jerusalem is via train. This takes the scenic route, created back in the 19th century, and it’s a lovely view. However, it’s about twice as much time, so no good if you’re rushing it. Israeli authorities are currently building a high-speed train between the two cities so soon time will not be a decisive factor!
The Jerusalem Experience
Beyond the Tel Aviv travel guide, visiting Jerusalem is one of those things everyone should do once in their lives and one of the “musts” among Tel Aviv attractions. A city full of history, its vibe is entirely unique. Getting to know these streets, where humanity changed its course thousands of years ago, is incredible. The Old City is almost labyrinthic, full of little colorful streets where you can easily get lost. We surrendered to Jerusalem’s alleys, knowing we were following the steps of countless biblical figures.
It was an incredibly powerful experience, I invite everyone to go through! One of the Tel Aviv attractions that will stay in your memory for a long time!
7. Party All Night Long
Tel Aviv is a city of love, and any Tel Aviv travel guide will inform you it’s one of the most gay-friendly towns in the world. The rainbow flag flies high everywhere here, a powerful reminder of the LGBTQI+ presence in town.
But beyond the city’s famously out-and-open feel, every Tel Aviv travel guide will tell you it’s a party town. It didn’t earn its nickname of “the Miami of the Middle East” in vain! Tel Aviv never sleeps, and there’s a great spot to dance the night away almost in every corner. Our favorite areas in the evening were Rothschild Avenue and Bograshov Street, both full of bars and clubs!
Traveling – How to Get to Tel Aviv?
One airport serves both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. It’s very modern and offers all the amenities you could expect from the airport of a major capital. It receives flights from practically everywhere: Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Asia, Africa. The airport is only about 20 minutes away from Tel Aviv, by taxi. So traveling to Tel Aviv is very a convenient story!
Living – Where to Stay in Tel Aviv
Not part of this Tel Aviv travel guide, but being a boutique hotel lover I have to share my favorite boutique hotels with you.
I was positively surprised by the wide range of boutique and design hotels that Tel Aviv was offering. We stayed in two and visited the rooftop of another and I can wholeheartedly recommend Alma Hotel & Lounge, Market House Hotel and Brown TLV Urban Hotel. You can read all about my experience in them in My Tel Aviv Hotel Review post!
We fell in love in Tel Aviv and everything this city has to offer. There are so many Tel Aviv attractions and activities to enjoy the city. It’s a perfect destination for a weekend or a longer stay. I hope this Tel Aviv travel guide will help you to get the most out of your stay!
For more of my city weekends, check out the Cityista section on the blog! This was the end of my Tel Aviv travel guide and my favorite Tel Aviv attractions!
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