This guide to the best area to stay in Tel Aviv will provide you with the ins and outs of Tel Aviv’s different neighborhoods, and the pros and cons of staying in each. From the coastal strip (the ‘tayelet’) to the southern district of Jaffa, and the ‘Heart of the City’ (White City), it feels more and more like every building under construction in Tel Aviv is becoming another boutique hotel. And whilst this means that there is a great range of hotels to choose from, making that decision can be a little difficult!
Before we explore each neighborhood, let’s begin with a bit of context. When deciding where to stay in Tel Aviv it’s important to take into account that Tel Aviv is a small city, and 90% of the city’s hotels are within an area that can be crossed in 10 to 15 minutes by taxi, or 30 minutes by bicycle. With that in mind you can be safe in the knowledge that wherever you choose to stay in Tel Aviv, you will not be too far away from its most popular attractions. Many visitors choose to join this guided Urban City Tel Aviv tour, to gain a better understanding of the city and its characteristic.
Which is the best area to stay in Tel Aviv?
Well, there is definitely no ‘best’ area to stay in Tel Aviv. Each area has its own distinct characteristics, advantages, and drawbacks. So to make your decision a little easier, let us take you on a journey through Tel Aviv:
The Tayelet (beach strip)
The beach strip is definitely one of the best areas to stay in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv’s beach strip (tayelet) is home to most of the city’s larger hotels (Tel Aviv’s largest hotel, the David Intercontinental only contains 555 rooms which is not huge by international standards). The strip spans a few kilometers along the Tel Aviv beachfront and includes luxury 4 and 5-star international hotel chains (Hilton, Intercontinental, Carlton, Sheraton, Renaissance), and the 4 and 5 star Israeli chain hotels (Isrotel Royal Beach, Dan, Dan Panorama, and Herods). It’s important to point out that not all of these hotels are on the beach side of Herbert Samuel or Hayarkon Streets, and some require crossing the road.
Aside from the big hotels, the area has a large number of small 3-star hotels such as the Gilgal, Best Western, Lusky, Seanet, Olympia, Leonardo Beach, Leonardo Art, many suite hotels, and a couple of boutique hotels, noteworthy is the Brown Beach House.
As you can see this beach area is all about the hotels. It is ideal for those who plan to make the most of the beach every day, or, those who dream of waking up each morning with a sea view (only in select hotels). As Tayelet is centered around tourists, there are very few locals that reside here and so when it comes to places to eat this is possibly the weakest area in Tel Aviv. In order to find the best restaurants, cafes, and nightlife in the city, you would need to venture further afield.
Bottom Line on the Tayelet: This is the best area to stay in Tel Aviv if your number one priority is the beach, or (in the case of the big hotels here) you want a hotel with full amenities in house.
Hotels to Check: Brown Beach House (for boutique vibes), David Intercontinental or Carlton (for large 5-star standards), Ultra Hotel (for great value with modern vibes), Best Western Regency Suites or Sea Executive Suites (for a suite hotel). BOOK HERE
CHECK HOTELS IN THE TEL AVIV BEACH AREA, HERE>>
The Heart of the City (white City area)
The heart of the city around Rothschild Boulevard
Moving one or two kilometers inland from the beach is the White City area, positioned around the streets of Rothschild Boulevard and Allenby Street. The area has become Tel Aviv’s cultural, culinary, and nightlife hub in recent years. Fashionable boutique hotels have popped up in renovated historic buildings, with the number of options in the neighborhood standing close to 30, having been zero not very long ago. To explore the impressive architecture in this area, we recommend joining this Tel Aviv architecture tour.
Some of the hotels in this area of Tel Aviv are world-class and highly regarded in the hotel industry. The Brown TLV and Poli House are the city’s only two members of Design Hotels – fashionable places to stay with a commitment to art and design. The Norman and Hotel Montefiore are ultra-luxury and exclusive boutique hotels which have been widely documented around the world. The area has a couple of larger hotels such as Rothschild 22 which sits in the Rothschild 22 Tower.
The heart of the city area is the best area to stay in Tel Aviv if you want to treat the city as your balcony, enjoying its boulevards, cafes, restaurants, and nightlife spots. It’s ideal if you prefer to stay in smaller, boutique or design style hotels. The hotels here, with a few exceptions, don’t have swimming pools, in-house restaurants, or, in-house gyms, but they do generally receive better feedback for their personable service and contemporary facilities than the city’s larger hotels. You can also find many options here to store your luggage in Tel Aviv while exploring.
Bottom Line on The Heart of the City: This is the best area to stay in Tel Aviv if you want to experience luxury accommodation and elegant cafes, boulevards, architecture, and nightlife.
Hotels to Check: Brown TLV or Poli House (for design), The Norman or Hotel Montefiore (for luxury), Hotel 65, The Rothschild, White Villa, Cinema Hotel. BOOK HERE
CHECK HOTELS IN THE HEART OF THE CITY AREA, HERE>>
Jaffa’s vibrant flea market is becoming increasingly popular in Tel Aviv
Jaffa is the oldest part of Tel Aviv and it is located within a short distance to central Tel Aviv, Rothschild Boulevard, the beaches (although Jaffa has its own beaches), and the city’s main attractions. By foot, it is a 20-50 minute walk to most parts of the city. The vibe of Jaffa is far more cultural than central Tel Aviv, with the flea market being a melting pot of sounds, smells, and sights. The abundance of new restaurants, cafes, and bars in Jaffa, especially in the flea market, although also in Jaffa Port, mean that there is no longer a need to head north to the center of Tel Aviv, and that gives Jaffa the ability to accommodate visitors who don’t want to feel like they are staying in a ‘big city’.
In recent years the Jaffa has become home to a growing number of boutique hotels including the Market House and Margosa Hotel in the Flea Market area. The number of visitors staying in Jaffa has increased enormously with the recent opening of two large luxury boutique hotels (the W Jaffa and the Setai Tel Aviv). Jaffa also has a growing number of apartment hotels and AirBnBs and it is becoming an increasingly popular place to reside in for both visitors and locals alike.
Bottom line on staying in Jaffa: This is the best area to stay in Tel Aviv if you wish to experience the city’s historic ambiance. Jaffa is the best place to enjoy small cafes intermingled with flea market stalls, older buildings, and beautiful sea views. Click here to see recommended hotels in Jaffa
CHECK HOTELS IN THE JAFFA AREA, HERE>>
Tel Aviv Port (Namal Tel Aviv)
Explore the Tel Aviv Port area on a relaxed walk by the sea.
Tel Aviv Port is the northern-area of central Tel Aviv’s beach strip, and combines the beaches to the south and north, with the restaurants, cafes, and bars that inhabit this sprawling coastal complex. The area around the Tel Aviv Port houses a number of smaller hotels, including Port & Blue, the Alexander Suites, Port Hotel, and Tal Hotel.
Tel Aviv Port is not far from the heart of the action in Tel Aviv, but it is a world away. Extremely busy at weekends when Israelis flock here for family meals, it has an abundance of dining options, and the nearby Park Hayarkon is underrated by visitors to the city yet it is Tel Aviv’s green lung – perfect for visitors looking for somewhere to rest in the sunshine.
Bottom line on staying in the Tel Aviv Port Area: This is the best area to stay in Tel Aviv if you want to sample local food by the sea. It is not as authentic as the Heart of the City or Jaffa, but it boasts beautiful beaches and good quality restaurants, each within walking distance. Click here to see recommended hotels in Tel Aviv Port
CHECK HOTELS IN THE TEL AVIV PORT AREA, HERE>>
Florentin’s streets boast a lot of street art.
Florentin is an artistic neighborhood with bold cafes and uniquely themed bars. The reinvention of this previously industrialized area in South Tel Aviv began in the 1990s when an influx of creative people decided to move into the area’s derelict buildings. Since then this creativity has been displayed across Florentin through its cafes, restaurants, bars, and street décor. Today it is a hipster neighborhood (but don’t let that term put you off by any means), where you can experience both traditional and international street food, street art, and find plenty of affordable accommodation options.
Notable things to do in Florentin include a trip to the Levinsky Market which is brimming with affordable foodie treats. Go on a walking tour of Florentin’s street art and stop off in some of the neighborhood’s eccentric cafes and cocktail bars along the way. Florentin45 is an intriguing contemporary art gallery that celebrates the artists in the community and sets the scene for the future of the Israeli art industry.
Florentin is far quieter than the more popular neighborhoods of Tel Aviv and it is particularly suited to backpackers who seek affordable accommodation. This part of the city boasts many hostels where fellow travelers gather together and share stories of their adventures. Florentine House is one of the most interesting hotels to stay in the area. It advocates fair employment and takes on an eco-friendly stance.
Bottom line on staying in the Florentin area: This is the best area to stay in Tel Aviv if you want to escape the tourists and uncover a hip neighborhood and it is easy to access via public transport. Click here to see recommended hotels in Florentin.
CHECK HOTELS IN THE FLORENTIN AREA, HERE >>
The Yemenite Quarter
The Carmel Market is closely connected to the Yemenite Quarter of Tel Aviv.
Packed with the bustling sounds and aromatic smells of the nearby markets, the Yemenite Quarter is an ancient neighborhood where visitors can expect to find authentic flavors and crafts. This area connects the famous Carmel Market to the beach, making it the ideal area for those seeking traditional Israeli experiences with some beachside fun.
Along with the popular Carmel Market, which can be explored with this food walking tour, visitors will also find the iconic Allenby Street which is home to some of the city’s best-loved shops and restaurants. This area is full of intertwining back streets and is the perfect place for getting lost and soaking up local culture. The Yemenite Quarter dates back to the late 19th century when it was founded by local Yemenite Jews. Unlike its gentrified neighbors, this area has managed to hold onto its local laid-back charm with run down shops and buildings that add to its authenticity.
Considering how central the district is, it is still a very affordable area to stay in. Alongside stylish boutique hotels, there are also hostels and plenty of AirBnB apartments.
Bottom line on staying in the Yemenite Quarter: This is the best area to stay in Tel Aviv if you wish to stay close to the beach whilst experiencing the city’s authentic charm. With bustling markets and lots of local businesses, it is certainly not a quiet area but it is well connected and most sights are accessible on foot. Click here to see recommended hotels in the Yemenite Quarter.
CHECK HOTELS IN YEMENITE QUARTER AREA, HERE >>
Colorful buildings and narrow streets in Neve Tzedek by Flickr user noam_fein
Neve Tzedek is a quiet residential area in Tel Aviv that is just a walk or bicycle ride away from the center. The skyscrapers in the distance loom over the pretty apartment blocks, which enhances the fact that you are staying in a tranquil suburb. This area was built in 1889 and was the very first Jewish neighborhood outside of Jaffa. Recently it has undergone renovations but that has not detracted from its historic charm. Much of Neve Tzedek’s oriental architecture has been restored making it a truly pretty place to stay.
Expect to wander along narrow winding streets and stumble across quaint independent shops selling traditional crafts and clothing. There are local art galleries and a wonderful dance center with beautiful gardens that transport you back to old Tel Aviv.
There are a number of idyllic boutique hotels in Neve Tzedek. The Neve Tzedek Hotel is a luxury hotel set in a beautifully preserved historic building. A better option would be to stay in a studio apartment in order to fully immerse in the tranquil surroundings of the high-end neighborhood.
Bottom line on staying in the Neve Tzedek area: This is the best area to stay in Tel Aviv if you want to find a quiet place to stay. This is an upmarket area with designer shops and delicious food so those on a tight budget may find it difficult to find affordable accommodation. Click here to see recommended hotels in Neve Tzedek.
CHECK HOTELS IN THE NEVE TZEDEK AREA, HERE >>
If you decide to hop over from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, find out where’s the best area to stay in Jerusalem for an unforgettable vacation in the Holy City.