The urban core of Tel Aviv is quite small, so after even a few days in Israel’s capital of cool, you’ll start getting to know its smaller nooks and crannies. In particular, each of Tel Aviv’s several main streets and boulevards has its own identity and feel. King George Street is one of the most iconic roads in Tel Aviv. Centrally located yet peaceful, cosmopolitan yet bohemian, King George Street provides not only a fulfilling tourist experience, but also a glimpse into the everyday lives of local Israelis who call the surrounding neighborhood home.
A Main Tel Aviv Artery
First and foremost among King George Street’s great characteristics is that it’s located literally at the center of Tel Aviv. King George Street is not only a vital hub of activity within Tel Aviv, but is easily accessible from almost anywhere in the city.
Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square and Tel Aviv City Hall are located just a few minutes from King George Street’s northern end. The southern part of the street, on the other hand, dead ends into Allenby Street, another important Tel Aviv transportation artery.
Additionally, the iconic Dizengoff Center shopping mall sit at the intersection of King George Street with Dizengoff Street, which means that King George Street is always bustling with tourists and locals alike. King George Street is likewise only a short walk from Habima Square, a Tel Aviv cultural hub home to several art venues including the Habima Theater.
Tel Aviv’s Capital of Cool
Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital of cool and in many ways, King George Street is Tel Aviv’s capital of cool. While other famous Tel Aviv streets, such as Rothschild Boulevard, have a more sophisticated and upmarket feel, King George Street caters more to younger people, such as students and young creative professionals.
King George Street’s coolness is embodied not only in the stylishness of the people you see walking along it, but also with the types of shops and cafés that line it. Stop in to a boutique to purchase cool clothing and accessories of your own, or simply sit down at as sidewalk café and people watch.
Since King George Street is relatively narrow, a good amount of the traffic that passes along it is food and bike traffic, so there’s a high level of interaction. There’s plenty of opportunity for friendly smiles and eye contact with passers-by, and most of the people you encounter on King George Street are happy to offer you help you if you get lost or confused.
Authentic Tel Aviv
Although King George Street runs through one of the coolest and most dynamic areas in Tel Aviv, it’s also an authentic representation of the city. For example, you’ll find plenty of buildings along King George Street built in the Bahaus style, an iconic architectural movement from the 1930s that’s today best represented in Tel Aviv.
Likewise, even though King George Street’s students and artists are perhaps its most visible demographic, plenty of families and older people can be found in the area. The lush Meir Garden, located a few hundred meters south of Dizengoff Center, is a relaxing place where people from all walks of life congregate day and night.
King George Street is also a place to enjoy authentic regional foods. Scoop up a hearty bowl of amazing hummus at Abu Dhabi, or walk all the way south down King George Street to Carmel Market, where you can buy not only fresh and prepared foods, but also local handicrafts and artwork from Israeli and Arab merchants alike.
Wining and Dining
King George Street might not have the fanciest or most expensive restaurants in Tel Aviv — that honor surely goes to Rothschild Boulevard — but dining and, if you please, drinking on King George Street nonetheless provides a pleasing gastronomical experience.
You can enjoy almost any type of food on King George Street. In addition to authentic Middle Eastern hummus, falafel and shawarma, for instance, King George Street is home to Spaghettim, an Italian pasta house that serves more than 50 kinds of sauce. Feeling more exotic? You’ll also find Argentinean and Yemenite cuisines on King George Street.
King George Street is a great place to drink, too. Although there aren’t as many proper bars and clubs along King George Street as you’ll find in other areas of Tel Aviv, many of the sidewalk cafés where you can enjoy a cup of coffee also serve beer, wine and liquor, such as Cafe Meir and The Streets.
Whether you visit King George Street to feel cool when you’re in Israel’s capital of cool, to get a glimpse into authentic Israeli or just because you happen to be there anyway, few other areas of Tel Aviv provide a better way to experience what the city has to offer.
Robert Schrader is a writer, photographer and travel coach who has visited Israel twice thus far. He edits Leave Your Daily Hell, a blog to which more than 20,000 travelers per month turn for expert advice on how to travel more often. Follow Robert on Twitter, add him to one of your Google+ circles, “Like” Leave Your Daily Hell on Facebook or subscribe to email updates for destination guides, practical advice and inspirational essays delivered daily.