Here are 5 travel tips for tourists in Tel Aviv, these are not major sites or important Tel Aviv landmarks but simply things to do in Tel Aviv that the average tourist would miss unless a local Israeli pointed them out to them. They are also small enjoyable extras that might give a Tel Aviv tourist a more unique travel experience. The Big Orange of Tel Aviv is a fascinating cosmopolitan city with plenty of unique neighborhoods to visit and hidden gems to discover.
Levinsky Spice Market, Florentine
The trendy, slightly bohemian neighborhood of Florentin can be reached on bus, once there you’ll find inviting coffee shops; independent art galleries and communities of foreign workers and immigrants. The rather run-down area is a dynamic cacophony of sounds and colors coming from the stores which spill out onto the sidewalk. Israeli up-and-coming artists find the area inspiring and students enjoy the cheap accommodation. One of the highlights of Florentin is the Levinsky Spice Market. Here you’ll find not only sacks of spices on the sidewalk but also trinkets, household goods, furniture, material and much more. Pick up some of the traditional foods prepared by the Turkish and Greek stall owners, from cheese to pickles. You’ll get snap happy with the interesting characters you’ll see here doing their shopping and you can enjoy some cheap eats from one of the many eateries in the area.
Tel Aviv food Scene
Food is at the center of every culture, and Israeli culture is no different, and perhaps even more food-oriented. Tel Aviv is a melting pot of flavors and culinary style, thanks to its diverse makeup of immigrants from different corners of the world, its Arab minority, and recently, a wave of local culinary masterminds, many of whom have lived and studied overseas before returning to their homeland brewing with new ideas. Our weekly Tel Aviv food tour provides a brilliant introduction to the local food scene, you can also check our recommendations for the best places to eat in Tel Aviv.
The Gaudi House and Tel Aviv’s Architecture
You can’t miss this crazy looking building at 181 HaYarkon Street. The architectural design is reminiscent of Gaudi’s style but it was constructed in 1989 and designed by Leon Geneva. The apartment building appears to be a standard structure which has been wrapped up in paper and then holes ripped out where the windows should be! So there are curls and twists in the exterior walls that almost look soft rather than solid hard concrete. Believe it or not people actually live in this work of art so the building can’t be toured. However across the road you can relax on a Gaudi inspired bench while admiring the crazy house. You can also, of course take an architecture tour of much more of Tel Aviv and explore the White City with its many relatively hidden architectural gems.
Tel Aviv street art
Many of the walls of Tel Aviv are adorned with murals painted by Israel’s ultimate muralist – Rami Meiri. He has a unique technique of highlighting his characters with white to really make then stand out. You may even be tricked into thinking you’re looking at a real person! His work often has a comic or ironic message or twist.
See some of Meiri’s work on Ben Gurion Street, the Habima kiosk on the corner of Dizengoff Street and Ben Gurion Streets and at 5 HaYarkon Street. See where else you can spot his work in Tel Aviv. For the full experience, join the Tel Aviv Street Art Tour.
Gordon Swimming Pool
The Gordon Pool could be mistaken for any normal pool but this Tel Aviv facility is unique! The 56 year old pool (don’t worry it’s been renovated since then) is filled with sea water and is drained and refilled every day with sea water pumped in from a mile off shore. The pool is Olympic size and there are other recreational facilities on-site such as a health club. The pool is located at Gordon Beach and is open from 5am to 7pm.