We all know that traveling is not cheap, and the city of Tel Aviv is no exception. But with a little forethought and creativity, it is possible to enjoy Tel Aviv on a budget. Along with the expensive hotels and restaurants, Tel Aviv boasts a number of affordable accommodation options and plenty of cheaper places to eat. With bus passes and bike rental systems, there are plenty of ways to cut down spending in Tel Aviv. In order to stick to your budget in Tel Aviv, we have put together a useful list of tips to help you save money while traveling through this fascinating city.
Getting around Tel Aviv in taxis can get very expensive. If you know your way around the various budget transportation options, though, you can get around quite reasonably.
For a fun and cheap way to get around the city, hop on a bike through the city’s Tel-o-Fun rental system. This fantastic transport system is comprised of 200 bike rental stations across the city that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All you have to do is walk up to a rental station and purchase an access fee.
A daily access fee is 17 ILS (4.87USD), or, a three day access fee is 48ILS (13.75USD). Upon returning the bicycle you will then pay a usage fee depending on how long you have used the bike for. Any journeys less than 30 minutes are free of charge so you should be able to get from one attraction to another for no extra fee. Journeys between 30 and 60 minutes cost 6ILS (1.72 USD). This system enables visitors to explore Tel Aviv and coastal areas by bike whilst saving money on taxis and public transport to experience Tel Aviv on a budget.
Electric Scooters from apps like Bird, Lime, and Wind appear to be all over the city! The simple system allows users to rent scooters and pay by the minute to ride throughout the city. They’re ideal for short destinations, or for cruising around quickly to avoid traffic. The scooters are particularly fun to ride along the beach. The best part is, you don’t need to return them to a docking station, scooters can be left wherever your ride finishes. The app shows users on a map where the nearest scooter is. In order to use the scooters, the app must be downloaded in advance and you must upload a photo of your driver’s license.
Rav Kav (bus pass)
If riding a bike isn’t your thing, Tel Aviv also operates a bus pass known as the Rav Kav. The Rav Kav is a smart card which enables you to pre-load daily, weekly, and monthly bus passes – the good thing: buses in Tel Aviv are fairly affordable. To obtain this pass, visit a Rav Kav service point in the city or purchase one from a central bus station – just be sure to bring your passport for identification.
Eating in Tel Aviv is not known to be very affordable. But with these workarounds, you can save plenty of money on food and still eat deliciously.
A much more affordable way to eat in Tel Aviv is by sampling the local street food. For travelers on a budget, this dining option could save lots of money compared to most restaurants and cafes. There’s nothing as “Tel Avivian” as feasting on a delicious plate of fresh hummus for lunch. Head to Jaffa for one of the most authentic and affordable options, Abu Hassan, or try Garger Hazahav or Hummus Eliyahu in South Tel Aviv. A popular street food restaurant is Sabich Tchernichovsky, which serves up delicious pitas filled with egg, potato, tahini and eggplant. These pitas are ideal for a grab-and-go lunch in between a day of sightseeing in the city center.
For authentic Tel Aviv falafel, head to Falafel Gabay on Dizengoff Street for budget food at its best. The falafel here is simple and fresh, and guests can also enjoy other local favorites such as hummus and shawarma.
For even more street food head straight to Carmel Market. Carmel Market is one of the most popular markets in Tel Aviv selling everything from tasty treats to designer clothes. Along with some of the city’s best-loved restaurants and bars, Carmel Market specializes in locally crafted clothing, accessories, and homeware. Sample local cheeses, freshly squeezed juices, and traditional sweet treats before treating your loved ones back home to a handmade gift or two. The products here are far more affordable than Tel Aviv’s shops and restaurants. Many visitors join a market food tour to experience the market with a local guide.
Seeing the City
When visiting Tel Aviv on a budget, try to do as many free activities as possible. One easy, free activity is walking. Exploring Tel Aviv on foot is the best way to uncover the hidden gems of the city. See the interesting architecture of the UNESCO White City, or, walk along the seafront and visit the Tel Aviv Port for even more places to eat. For hiking enthusiasts, there are a few great hiking spots located just outside the city. So get those walking boots on and start exploring – the best part is that it doesn’t cost a thing!
Time is money, and getting the best out of your time in Tel Aviv is made easier when you go on an organized tour. This will help you get your bearings in the city, and prevent missteps that can end up costing you. Fill a day with an insider tour of the Jaffa and Tel Aviv that covers history, architecture, food and street art. You can do just the parts that interest you, and go back to the places you loved to dig deeper. A Tel Aviv nightlife tour directs you straight to the best pubs for an incredible night out that won’t break the bank. If you like your vacations all-inclusive, this 4-day Tel Aviv city break tour rolls numerous amazing experiences into reasonably priced 4-day urban adventure.
It may seem like an obvious one but those who are visiting Tel Aviv on a budget should definitely consider staying in a hostel. The hostels of Tel Aviv are far more affordable than hotels and could save you hundreds of dollars. Hostels usually have plenty of communal areas for their guests to meet and share travel tips. One of the most popular hostels in the city is Florentin House which is located in a vibrant area with easy access to notable attractions. There are also private rooms and a rooftop terrace. Other affordable hostels in the city are Overstay Hostel in Jaffa, and Little Tel Aviv in the city center. Hotel 75, located around the corner from the Carmel market, is also a great budget option.
If you’re in need of a bit more privacy, AirBnB rentals can kill two birds with one stone. Save money on food by buying delicious fresh groceries at the Carmel Market and preparing some meals in your rental.
Beyond Tel Aviv
Many budget travelers stay in Tel Aviv but want a cost-effective way to see the rest of the country. Car rentals can get extremely costly and driving in Israel is not recommended for all. But there is an easy and budget-friendly solution for day trips to other must-see attractions in Israel. Guided day tours will get you directly to your destination in the company of a few other friendly travelers, saving time and money. Have the beautiful experience of standing atop Masada at sunrise with this Masada Sunrise, Ein Gedi and Dead Sea tour. Head to Jerusalem on a Best of Jerusalem day tour, which efficiently condenses the city’s highlights into one action-packed day. You can also head on a 1-day Petra tour, a cost effective option that includes border fees.
Tel Aviv may be one of the most expensive cities in the world, but that doesn’t mean you can’t visit it on a budget with a bit of smart planning. Follow our tips and see just how budget-friendly Tel Aviv can be!