Tel Aviv is Israel’s cultural and commercial capital. Named “The Mediterranean Capital of Cool” by the New York Times, Tel Aviv is a city with a savvy attitude and cultural astuteness. “The city which never sleeps” is a center for nightlife, cuisine, culture, and liberalism. The city is bordered on one side by the Mediterranean and long stretches of sandy beaches, and on the other by glass towers housing technology companies in what is considered to be the world’s second most important hi-tech area. Prominent museums, restored neighborhoods such as the ancient Port of Jaffa, Neve Tzedek and the White City of Bauhaus style buildings, and a young and diverse population, make Tel Aviv a city which you can never stop exploring. The best way to see the hidden corners of this unique city is with a tour of Tel Aviv.
A short history
Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 as a suburb north of the ancient city of Jaffa, believed to be the oldest port in the world. The suburb grew and grew and eventually overtook Jaffa in size, merging with it after Israel’s independence to form a single municipality. Today, Old Jaffa is a pretty collection of quaint alleys in the southern part of the city. To explore the area we suggest a Jaffa and Neve Tzedek Walking Tour. Meanwhile downtown Tel Aviv lies at the heart of the Israeli hi-tech industry known as Silicon Wadi. The Tel Aviv Diamond Exchange, the largest diamond trading center in the world, is also situated in the city.
Immigrants have come to Israel’s cultural capital from far and wide, bringing with them their own styles, cuisine, culture, and architecture. As such, no matter what you are after, you’ll be sure to find it here. Tel Aviv is world-renowned for its high-quality restaurants and a world-class cafe culture, as well as a superb nightlife scene.
Cultural Center of Israel
The cultural scene in Tel Aviv is rich and diverse. All accross the city you’ll find theaters, dance centers, and concert halls. Many events in Tel Aviv take place almost every week, so you might even be able to snag a concert from one of your favorite performers during your stay.
Tel Aviv also has a large number of museums and galleries, which are sprawled around the city. These include the world-famous Tel Aviv Museum of Art; as well as smaller, more specialist museums, such as the Museum of the History of Tel Aviv-Yafo.
In 2003, Tel Aviv received UNESCO World Heritage Status for its White City. This is an area around Rothschild Boulevard in the center of the city. It has the world’s largest collection of international, Bauhaus, and eclectic styled buildings. The area is slowly being restored to its original glory and is the heart of the city to this day. To explore the area, we recommend joining a Tel Aviv Walking Tour. This explores the city’s history, architecture, street art, and most importantly, food.
Tel Aviv Neighborhoods
One of the coolest things about Tel Aviv is that every neighborhood of the city has a completely different vibe. Some exciting areas to visit include Kerem Hateimanim, adjacent to the Carmel Market, Tel Aviv’s largest food market (featured in this food tour), and the Tel Aviv Port (Namal Tel Aviv) in the north of the city.
Since the 1980s, gentrification has taken place in many of the formerly poor southern neighborhoods of the city. Now, these areas are some of the trendiest quarters of this cool city. Among these are Neve Tzedek and Florentin. In Florentin you can find the Levinsky Market, one of the most exciting pedestrian-only streets to spend time at. Join the Levinsky Market and Cooking Workshop Tour to learn about the local spices and foods used to make iconic Israeli dishes.
A visit to Tel Aviv wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Tel Aviv Beach. Running the length of the city, from north to south, are beach-view hotels. However, the real scene is not among the bigger hotels but rather in the city’s growing collection of unique, trendy, boutique hotels which are the hottest places to stay. Check out our guide to the best area to stay in Tel Aviv to understand the city’s layout better, or explore all Hotels in Tel Aviv.
Exploring Tel Aviv
Exploring Tel Aviv is easy as the city isn’t big and sites are accessible. This is a city built for walking and biking. There are wide, picturesque boulevards stretching from north to south, and bike rentals and scooters to rent on practically every block: simply walking or rolling around the city is an amazing passtime all on its own. For a more unique take on the city, join one of these unique tours taking place in Tel Aviv. This Tel Aviv bucket list is a great starting point for visiting this metropolitan city.
Tel Aviv is also a great starting point for exploring other highlights of Israel, like Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, Masada, and the Galilee, and Petra. Tours starting from Tel Aviv are often the most convenient and cost-effective way to travel.