Tel Aviv Travel Guide
Tel Aviv, the cultural heart of Israel, is a vibrant city that excels in culture and fashion, but also in nightlife, restaurants and cafes. Its beautiful beaches tint its distinctly urban character.
The city is famous for its Bauhaus architecture, pleasant cafes, lively markets and a wealth of shops. It is also famous for its restaurants, world-class nightclubs, street art and idyllic sunsets.
Among the city’s many museums is the Museum of the Jewish People. In its facilities it is possible to delve into the old and interesting history of this ancient cultural and religious community.
- Top 5 reasons to visit Tel Aviv
- What to do in Tel Aviv
- When to visit Tel Aviv
- Getting to Tel Aviv
- Where to stay in Tel Aviv
- Getting around Tel Aviv
- Cost of living in Tel Aviv
- Where to eat in Tel Aviv
Top 5 reasons to visit Tel Aviv
Tayelet is Tel Aviv’s seafront, and just walking around there will make you feel that your trip has been worthwhile. The combination of the sea breeze and the sun with its scenic views, the joy of the people and the restaurants on the beach is especially comforting throughout the year.
Located in the heart of Tel Aviv, this lively, colorful and bustling marketplace stretches between the pedestrian area of Nachalat Binyamin Street and the Yemeni neighborhood. The aroma of fruit and spices, the constant hustle and bustle and the sweetness of freshly squeezed fruit juices awaken all the senses.
The ancient city of Jaffa
In the ancient city of Jaffa, you can get lost in the labyrinthine streets and contemplate admirable buildings, elegant restaurants, bars and innovative shops. Here you will find the picturesque Shuk Hapishpeshim market, where antique furniture, carpets and other antiques are sold.
Tree-lined and beautiful, the busy Rothschild Boulevard is one of Tel Aviv’s most iconic streets. It stretches from Neve Tzedek to the National Habima Theatre, and is flanked by attractive Bauhaus buildings, excellent restaurants, cafes and beautiful galleries.
Tel Aviv Museum of Art
This museum exhibits a complete collection of Israeli and international art. In addition, it hosts temporary exhibitions and interesting cultural events, such as concerts and film presentations. Admission to the museum, the general price of which is ₪ 50 (new season), includes admission to the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion.
What to do in Tel Aviv
Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Tel Aviv’s port
Today, the warehouses of the old port of Tel Aviv are home to an elegant and modern area where select restaurants and shops operate. In addition, the area offers a lively nightlife and hosts parties and concerts.
Discovering art in the Kiryat Hamelacha district
Hidden in seemingly drab buildings in the Kiryat Hamelacha neighbourhood are grand artist studios and impressive contemporary art galleries such as Rosenfeld and Raw Art.
Visit the Rock Garden
This wonderful rock garden is located in Yarkon Park, and is one of the largest in the world. In its spaces, which reveal the geological diversity of Israel, the rocks harmonize with an infinite number of plants and cactus of different species.
Enjoy Jerusalem’s beach
It is a beautiful beach of golden sand, which allows fabulous views of the ancient Jaffa and beautiful sunsets. When you feel hungry, remember to visit the legendary bakery Abulafia, where they sell delicious pizzas and sambusak or empanadas.
Have fun at Luna Park
This is Israel’s largest amusement park, located at Ganei Hata’arucha, next to Yarkon Park, and houses numerous attractions for children of all ages. If you ride the Ferris wheel, you can enjoy magnificent panoramic views of Tel Aviv.
When to visit Tel Aviv
The climate in Tel Aviv is pleasant at any time of the year. The city has hot, humid summers and mild winters. Although it can rain, the sun shines brightly almost every day.
If you prefer to escape from the crowds, avoid the high season, which runs from June to mid-September. To attend the International Art Film Festival, held each year at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, you should travel in March.
Getting to Tel Aviv
The Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV) is located in Lod, almost 25 kilometers from the center of Tel Aviv. When you arrive you can get there by hiring a transfer service, whose rate is around ₪ 17, by train, which costs ₪ 16, or take a taxi, which could cost between ₪ 140 and ₪ 175. If you rent a car you will have to take road 1, and in less than 30 minutes you will be in the center.
Israel Railways operates several connections to Tel Aviv. From Jerusalem the train journey is fascinating, thanks to the panoramic views of the route; the journey costs ₪ 23. From Haifa or Beer Sheva to Tel Aviv the train ticket costs ₪ 30.
The Israeli highway network is extensive and very well preserved. From the capital and the east, Tel Aviv can be reached by taking the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway or Highway 1, from the north by the Tel Aviv-Haifa highway and from the south by the Beer Sheva highway.
There are two main bus stations in Tel Aviv, the New Central Bus Station and the 2000 Bus Terminal. The bus ticket from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv costs ₪ 18, and from Haifa ₪ 24.
Airports near Tel Aviv
(TLV) Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport
(SDV) Tel Aviv Sde Dov Airport
Where to stay in Tel Aviv
In Tel Aviv you can find many luxury hotels. The Grand Beach Hotel and the Alexander Tel Aviv Hotel, for example, are great accommodations and close to the beach. Their rates per night are around ₪ 596 and ₪ 810, respectively.
If you prefer to stay at an affordable downtown hotel, you can opt for the Central Hotel, which offers rooms starting at ₪ 250 per night.
Popular neighborhoods in Tel Aviv
Center. This district lies between Allenby Street and the Yarkon River. Here you will find most of the tourist attractions, shops and gastronomic options. From the Azrieli observation point it is possible to see the whole Tel Aviv area from the heights.
Neve Tzedek. Charming and nostalgic, this is the oldest Jewish neighborhood in Tel Aviv. Its quiet streets evoke the atmosphere of the past, and its main street, Shabazi Street, is full of beautiful shops, cafes, bars and wine bars.
Florentine. This elegant Tel Aviv neighborhood borders the old town of Jaffa and is full of exclusive shops and trendy cafes. The Lehi Museum is located there. At sunset, its streets become the stage for street music shows and its bars offer a lively atmosphere.
Getting around Tel Aviv
A very efficient bus network operates in Tel Aviv, covering the entire metropolitan area. A bus ticket costs between ₪ 5 and ₪ 6, although it is advisable to purchase a day pass, which costs ₪ 20, or the Rav-Kav transport card, which can be topped up and reduces the ticket price by 20%.
There are many taxis in the vicinity of the hotels and the downtown area. In the centre, journeys cost around ₪ 20 and ₪ 30, while a run to the outlying area can cost between ₪ 50 and ₪ 60. On Friday and Saturday nights the fares increase.
It is possible to rent a compact car for 4 or 5 people from ₪ 170, approximately. There are several car rental agencies at the airport, including Avis, Hertz and Europcar.
Cost of living in Tel Aviv
In Tel Aviv there are many places to go shopping. Near the port and at the Jaffa train station there are picturesque traditional markets, while in the city there is the impressive Azrieli shopping center. In the central pedestrian area Nachalat Binyamin there is a craft fair. There are also many bargain shops near the central bus station.
Supermarkets and groceries
To buy fruits, vegetables and local products, the best option is to go to the city’s open-air markets. In addition, in the AM:PM supermarkets it is possible to buy all kinds of groceries. As a guideline, consider that a fresh loaf of bread costs ₪ 7 and a dozen eggs ₪ 12.
Where to eat in Tel Aviv
It is common to taste hummus and falafel through ₪ 7 in any corner and in the open air markets of the city. Some of the best restaurants for Israeli food include Falafel HaKosem and Abu Hassan, while if you are looking for kosher dishes you can go to Lilyot or Bruno. Raphael, on the other hand, is a distinguished luxury restaurant offering a modern and international line of cuisine.
On the top floor of the Azrieli Tower is the 2C restaurant, which specializes in gourmet kosher cuisine. Bear in mind that a meal in an economic restaurant costs about ₪ 40 per person; in an intermediate one, about ₪ 60; and in an elegant establishment, the prices per diner start from ₪ 150.