Tel Aviv: Israel’s unofficial cultural capital and the beating pulse of the country. Boasting miles of Mediterranean coastline, and a population of locals that just can’t seem to sit still. If NYC is the city that never sleeps, then Tel Aviv isn’t far behind. But who says you can’t stay up all night and then indulge in an afternoon siesta? After all, that’s the Mediterranean pace, and we’ll take it! From sunrise to sunset, dusk until dawn, we’ve got you covered with the best things to do in Tel Aviv. One thing’s for sure: in Tel Aviv, a good time is practically guaranteed.
Feast On An Israeli Breakfast
One of the quickest way to fall in love with a destination is through your palate. And Tel Aviv will lure you in like a siren’s call after just one taste. With a bounty of fresh produce and innovative personalities, the city has claimed its status as a top culinary destination. In addition, with more vegans per capita than any other city in the world, Tel Aviv is plant-based paradise. Your mother may have told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And Ima knows best. Which is why, in Israel, it’s the most exciting meal of all. A traditional Israeli breakfast is a full-on feast. Sample a variety of meze-style salads and spreads to accompany your mouthwatering shakshuka or herb omelet. There’s just one rule here: tahini-on-everything.
Explore the Outdoor Markets
One of the best things to do in Tel Aviv is, without a doubt, exploring the markets. Locals may pretend that the iconic Carmel Market is for tourists and Taglit crowds, but no-one is immune to its vibrant energy and charm. Wander the labyrinth-like alleyways surrounding the main strip to discover eclectic shops and some of the best food in all of Israel. For a more local experience, head to Shuk Levinsky, for a hip urban vibe and the best deals on tea, coffee, and spices. If you’re up for a walk along the coastal promenade, Jaffa’s Shuk Hapishpishim is a charming flea-market bursting with unique treasures.
Soak Up Some Vitamin Sea
You can’t visit Tel Aviv without having a proper beach day! The stunning shores stretch along the city, tempting you into lounge chairs and turquoise waters. If you love to people watch, there is no better place. Bronzed, athletic figures jog along the coast and dart about playing matkot. Groups of internationals gather to practice capoera, volleyball, and acro-yoga in the sand. Musicians and folk-dancers line the tayelet. Gym buffs make use of the community equipment. And, for those who prefer the leisure life, restaurants serve up chilled rosé and sumptuous seafood. Because spectating is a sport, and you need your fuel.
Get a Lesson in Design
When you think of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an urban city rarely comes to mind. The coveted designation is generally reserved for more antiquated sites, but Tel Aviv is anything but conventional. Get an education in design with an architecture tour, and you’ll discover why Tel Aviv – positively bursting with chromatic intensity – is known as the White City. Boasting more Bauhaus architecture than any other city in the world, Tel Aviv is a design-lover’s playground.
Picture the old-world architecture of Jerusalem, but with stunning views of the Mediterranean. Add warm light – typical of the south of France. Sprinkle charming art galleries throughout winding streets. Finally, add a generous dash of Middle Eastern spice. This is Jaffa. A city that harmonizes ancient and modern, simplicity and luxury. When in Tel Aviv, make sure to pencil Jaffa into your itinerary. Trust us, you don’t want to miss this ancient gem. Stroll along the coastal promenade until you reach the clock tower and watch the fishermen bringing in the daily catch. Then venture into Old Jaffa to explore the hidden treasures within its walls. If you feel like a splurge, head to one of Jaffa’s luxe spas: the Setai and Yoko Kitahara Japanese Spa will not disappoint. Then continue to the flea-market to shop for treasures boasting more past-lives than a Tel Aviv street cat. Finish your Jaffa adventure with an atmospheric dinner in the harbor or within the market. Or, if your night is just getting started, Jaffa transforms after dark into an artistic playground for the effortlessly intriguing crowd.
Join a Tour
Tel Aviv is the perfect launch-pad for a tour! With daily departures to top-attractions, it’s easy to join a sunrise hike to Masada or even hop on a shuttle to the Red Sea resort city of Eilat. Scuba diving weekend? We thought so. And after you’ve explored the Holy Land from top to bottom, Jordan and Egypt are just a hop, skip, and a jump away! While in the region, take full advantage of ticking off main bucket-list attractions. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even visit Israel, Jordan, and Egypt all in just over a week!