Israel Travel Blog


7 Best Escape Rooms in Tel Aviv

The Escape Room craze has swept many parts of the world, including Israel, and if you’re visiting Tel Aviv and looking for something a bit out-of-the-ordinary to do then you’re in luck. Tel Aviv’s Escape Rooms are enormous fun, endlessly intriguing and - best of all - many have English language options.Escape Rooms are more than just pure fun - they’re the ultimate ‘team activity’ where you work together to solve logical puzzles, work out hidden cues and follow a storyline in the hope that you’ll solve the mystery.Perfect for a date night, birthday celebration, bachelorette party, team building activity or just a gang of friends looking for an unusual evening out, all you need to do is decide which one appeals most. Here’s our guide to what we think are some of the best escape rooms in Tel Aviv…so get your sleuthing hats on.1.TitanicOne of the most visited and popular escape rooms in Tel Aviv, Titanic (as you’ve guessed) refers to the infamous cruise liner that, after hitting an iceberg, sank in the Atlantic in 1912. The game is set on the ship, with panic and hysteria sweeping the decks as passengers realise there aren’t enough lifeboats and, in the cold and dark, are desperately trying to save themselves and their loved ones.As for you, along with some friends, you had earlier been caught stealing from the upper deck and, as punishment, were locked up. Can you break free and escape death by drowning as this incredible ship slowly sinks to the bottom of the ocean?Titanic comes highly recommended - it’s quite technical and mechanical and has some cool effects (although the flashing lights might be problematic for some) and the problems can be quite maddening. But those who go there say it really forces you to think creatively.An attempt to solve a Mexican-style puzzle2. Motel PanoramaA young woman approaches a private investigator, telling her she spent the night in a motel in south Tel Aviv and felt the presence of someone watching her whilst she slept. The company sends out a woman named Jane to check out the motel but after two nights Jabe goes missing.Where is Jane and has something terrible happened to her? It’s up to you to find out and try and save her - time is of the essence and with a human life hanging in the balance. you don’t have a moment to lose. With a well-decorated room, interesting riddles and even the experience of a live actor, you’re going to love this one.A young team searching for clues on a map while solving a mystery3. Alice in WonderlandIdeal for those with young children, Alice in Wonderland is, as you might imagine, rather a magical experience where, just like Alice, you’ll be following a white rabbit down a hole and into a very special Kingdom named Wonderland. Your task will be to help Alice escape and return home - and who knows what bizarre characters and odd experiences you’ll have in the meantime…With plenty of color and magic, this is an ideal escape room for the little ones (note there are two versions, and the one just for adults is a bit harder). The kids’ version also includes a unique clue book, which will let them solve the puzzles for themselves.Intriguing style escape room4. The IlluminatiMost who’ve experienced this one rave about it but with one caveat - this is not an escape room for the faint of heart! The Illuminati (a secret society which controls the world through shadowy tactics) have - over hundreds of years - amassed so much power and money, they’re causing havoc on the world stage at every turn.You are a group of investigators, whose tireless efforts have led you to the Dizengoff Centre in Tel Aviv, where this ‘shadow order’ has their HQ. Will you be able to get inside, expose them and save mankind in the process?The Illuminati escape room is both challenging and interesting with a room full of unusual puzzles. Complex (probably best for teenagers rather than young children) this is really one for those who want to flex their grey matter.A team looking in the bucket in search of a conundrum solution to get out of the trap5. ShabakKnown as ‘Shin Bet’ to the rest of the world but in the Hebrew language named ‘Shabak’, Israel’s internal secret service is legendary, recruiting the brightest and best for a career in homeland security - gathering intelligence, recruiting informers and protecting the state. But it’s no easy task to be accepted into this agency - there’s a grueling set of challenges you have to deal with before you can become a bona fide spy.‘Shabak’ is perfect for anyone who ever wondered what the world of subterfuge was all about, or secretly fancied themselves as the next James Bond. If you want to find out whether a life of adventure (and some danger) is right for you, then come to this escape room where, in one hour, you’ll be given a set of challenges to see if you’re cut out for a career in this ‘cloak and dagger’ industry.6. Prison BreakAfter having been accused of a serious robbery (in which the police fabricated evidence against you) you’ve been sentenced to life imprisonment at the notorious Etzel Prison. At the moment you’ve almost begun to lose hope, you learn that a small group of prisoners are planning to ‘break out’ and you’re going to be put in the cell with them. Is this your final chance at freedom? You’ll have 60 minutes to make it happen.With excellent background music and lighting just perfect, reviewers say this is a fantastic experience. There are lots of riddles and puzzles that have been very well thought out, this is a game where teamwork is paramount so it’s great for those who want to get to know each other a little better.7. Hotel CaliforniaMade famous by the Eagles rock band, the song everyone knows talks about the hotel you can check out of any time but never really leave. This escape room’s a homage to that theme, with you investigating the mysterious Room 138 of the Hotel California - strange sounds, odd activities. The question is, if you enter this room, will you come out alive?Visitors here talk about the creepy atmosphere, with quite a high ‘fear’ level (though the operator can dial it down if you get too scared!) The plot is fascinating and there are some complex puzzles to decode - this escape room is certainly not for the faint-hearted!
Von Sarah Mann

7 Best Italian Restaurants in Tel Aviv

If you’re visiting Tel Aviv and find yourself in the mood for some Italian cuisine, then you’re in luck. The Non-Stop City has a fantastic dining scene and the city is home to many top restaurants, many of which specialize in Italian fare, whether it’s simple pizza and pasta dishes or elegant Roman cuisine and Sicilian desserts that will make you sigh.Using high-quality ingredients, either grown locally (Israel’s famous for its cherry tomatoes!) or imported from the old country, even with minimal ingredients you’re talking about flavors and textures that never fail to hit the spot.From old-school trattorias to fine dining establishments, and from neighborhood haunts to celebrity haunts, here are what we think are seven of the best Italian restaurants in Tel Aviv…Neapolitan pizza, one of the most popular Italian dishes1. Cafe ItaliaIn the heart of Tel Aviv’s business district lies Cafe Italia, whose approach is ‘classic Italian food, served in a laid back atmosphere by professional yet warm staff’. And boy do they succeed in their mission! The dishes might be simple but they’re always well thought-out and presented and whilst the prices are high, you get good value and - hey - you only live once!From delightfully fresh salads to homemade tortellini, linguine and fettuccine (gluten-free options available) you’ll sigh with delight, and meat eaters will be in heaven with the Osso Bucco. For dessert, try the chocolate mousse or perhaps a classic Italian almond, lemon and polenta cake. And if you really want to indulge, take some of their gelato home…you won’t regret it. The wine list is also excellent by the way!Carbonara pasta. Italian traditional pasta2. ProntoPronto is a veritable institution in Tel Aviv and with good reason. One of the first trattorias in Tel Aviv, it’s headed by chef David Frankel, who has a reputation for creativity in his work…and the entire dining experience here perfectly combines formality. His desire to be innovative (reflected in the modern design) and yet traditional (using simple ingredients, that change with the season) is what makes this dining experience so wonderful.The menu is truly magnificent - buffalo mozzarella with aioli and anchovies and smoked pink trout with creme fraiche are excellent appetizers, not to mention dishes with figs, salty sheep's cheese and red snapper. Meat lovers will delight in the offal ravioli and sweetbreads with tartar, and seafood offerings include blue crabs with Jerusalem artichoke and red snapper with miso butter.With so much consideration taken in the composition of the dishes, truly this is Italian cuisine at its finest, which is why Pronto is consistently rated as one of Israel’s best restaurants).Arancini balls - Italian entree meal3. GemmaClose to the famous Gesher Theatre, in the trendy Noga area of south Tel Aviv, you’ll find this unassuming restaurant which serves tasty Italian fare with a slight Middle East twist, in warm and welcoming surroundings. Start with the artichoke and avocado salad or some crispy bruschetta, then pasta lovers should move on to lamb pappardelle or the gnocchi. The pizzas are particularly good - crispy, with just the right amount of cheese - and the tiramisu is divine.Gemma also has a lovely terrace on which to dine in warmer weather and inside you’ll find high ceilings and minimalist design, which make for a very comfortable dining experience! Afterward, if you’re not groaning from the large portions, take a stroll in nearby Jaffa, where you can enjoy the charm of the flea market and Artists’ Quarter as well as work off some calories!Lasagna Bolognese baked in the wood oven4. RusticoWith three branches across Tel Aviv, whether you dine at Rothschild Boulevard, Sarona or in the Old North you’re in for a treat at Rustico, which is beloved by locals for its intimate atmosphere and consistently good Italian dishes. The menu isn’t huge but everything on it is excellent - from the beef carpaccio and onion bruschetta to the spinach and lemon pappardelle and the mushroom risotto.The stars of the show, however, have to be their pizzas, which are a factor. Pizzas Tartufo (with truffles) and the Rustico (a Margherita with arugula added) are particularly good, and with a bottle of Chianti go down a treat. Plenty of sweet desserts to end your meal mean you’ll leave Rustico content and smiling.Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto with Thyme5. CantinaLocated on trendy and elegant Rothschild Boulevard, and is regularly frequented by the celebrities, artists and intellectuals of Tel Aviv. Cantina, this Italian eatery - with its huge balcony overlooking the people on the street, is the place to be, as well as enjoy authentic Italian food (just be aware that you absolutely have to book in advance!)Food is made with love from fresh ingredients, with all the dishes you’d expect including eggplant with mozzarella, beef carpaccio, pizzas, risottos and meat and fish grilled to perfection. They have an excellent wine list and are also open in the morning, so if you’re looking for breakfast in Tel Aviv then they can accommodate you. For dessert, it has to be the affogato!Afterward, take a stroll in this beautiful historic neighborhood and admire the Bauhaus architecture, or continue onto one of the areas's many trendy cocktail bars.Mushroom-stuffed ravioli pasta with creamy parmesan cheese sauce6. PankinaOn the corner of trendy Dizengoff Street with Gordon, you’ll find Pankina, an Italian restaurant and wine bar that has been delighting diners since it opened in 2017. As well as serving up excellent food, it has two other special attributes - it’s kosher (so perfect for orthodox Jews) and it also caters to those who are gluten-intolerant.Dishes that diners rave about include the Concia di Zucchine (a staple of Roman-Jewish, made up of courgettes marinated with olive oil, mint., garlic and parsley) four cheese gnocchi, arancini (fried risotto balls) and seared salmon. The desserts are all excellent, but the standout choice has to be their creamy, fluffy semifreddo. Cozy and charming, you'll want to return once you’ve eaten dinner on their terrace.Pasta alla Norma with eggplant, tomato, parmesan and basil7. Amore MioLast but not least, we had to include Amore Mio, a local restaurant on our list, because of its fantastic ambiance, great food and reasonable prices. Located on Ibn Givrol, close to Rabin Square, it's a trattoria that’s really stood the test of time and with its large portions and casual is very family-friendly (though not a bad place for a date either!)Whether you’re looking for a salad (their ‘Amore’ with lettuce, arugula, croutons, roasted red bell peppers, walnuts and Parmesan is fabulous) antipasti (the eggplant with tomato sauce comes highly recommended) or an enormous plate of pasta (adventurous eaters will enjoy the ‘Zio Giovanni’ which comes with goose breast) you won’t be disappointed. The pizzas are - without exception - all wonderful and the Millefoglia and chocolate fondant will both leave you speechless.Order a Peach Bellini, a Negroni or a simple glass of house red and enjoy! Amore Mio - what’s not to love?Tel Aviv offers a wide variety of culinary experiences beyond single-cuisine restaurants. In addition to dining at these restaurants, we recommend joining food tours in Tel Aviv to not only taste but also learn about the diverse range of dishes.
Von Sarah Mann

8 Best Nightclubs in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv’s not known as the ‘City that Never Sleeps’ for nothing! Along with its stunning beaches, fashionable restaurants, beautiful Bauhaus architecture and pretty people, this is a city that comes to life when the sun goes down and for party lovers and thrill lovers, the city is packed full of nightclubs, all with their own style and charm.Whether you’re looking for a chilled outdoor scene, clubs that give dance lessons before the party starts, or ‘underground vibes’ with hard-core techno you’ll find it in the Non-Stop City - Tel Aviv has bars and clubs to suit every taste and budget. So prepare yourselves, and rest before you hit the town, because chances are you might not return to your bed before the sun comes up…1. Kuli AlmaNestled in South Tel Aviv, and a bit of a neighborhood institution, you’ll find Kuli Alma (‘The Whole World’ in Aramaic, the language spoken in Israel in ancient times). Owned and operated by a number of DJs, artists and party people, it’s a cool underground bar that’s consistently voted one of Tel Aviv’s best night clubs and if you visit you’ll know why.Kuli Alma has a number of rooms, all playing different music…and the fact that it’s split into levels means it’s a club, bar, art space and entertainment hub all rolled into one. Cool, hip and artsy, if you want to experience Tel Aviv like the locals do, this is where to head. The music tends to be electric (and gets more extreme as the night goes on). Arrive before 11 pm if you don’t want to join a line and expect it to be packed on the weekends. Unmissable. 2. Jimmy WhoThis lounge bar on Rothschild Boulevard is a tried-and-tested favorite on the Tel Aviv club scene, and an ideal spot for clubbers who like electronic music (save for Mondays, when the beats are more techno and house) Split into three different spaces.Jimmy Who offers clubbers a large dance space, a designated smoking area and a buzzy atmosphere. Good drinks, although a little pricey, and themed evenings make for plenty of fun. Prepare to party in the early morning!3. ShalvataIf you want to party next to the Mediterranean coastline, under open skies and aren’t too worried about the price tag, then Shalvata is the spot for you. This lounge bar, in the heart of the Tel Aviv Namal Port area, is popular both with locals and tourists, and because it's set up as both open plan and open air, it’s an amazing place to drink a beer in the afternoon then just dance all evening and into the small hours.Shalvata’s music is quite mainstream, but the atmosphere is great - expensive sound system, modern lighting, live shows - and the vibes chilled. The whole ‘indoor-outdoor’ concept is quite unique by Tel Aviv nightclub standards, and at the weekends - with the DJd in overdrive - expect it to be crowded.4. SputnikDown a small alleyway, off Allenby Street, down in historic Tel Aviv, you’ll find Sputnik, a club that opened in 2016 and in no time at all gained cult status. Describing itself as a ‘multi-retro futuristic bar’ it has wildly cool decor (think mannequins, street signs and odd paintings) and is known for its specialty cocktails and light bites.For those that want to dance, head inside to the large dance floor where. techno music rules the scene but different DJS work each night. With an underground feel to it, Sputnik tends to host a young, hipster crowd but the atmosphere is so welcoming and staff so friendly that, no matter your age, you're bound to have fun.Credit: Sputnik Insagram5. HavanaIf you’re a fan of Latin music and dance, you can’t miss the Havana club down in Tel Aviv’s business district. With three different rooms where you can take lessons at the beginning of the evening, as the night progresses the place fills up. The largest space has an enormous parquet floor which is perfect for those wanting to discover their inner dancer or just strut their stuff and it’s a great place both to brush up on basic steps or simply perfect your moves.Salsa and bachata songs are very popular here and the expensive sound system and great cocktails just add to the magic. The reasonably priced food menu and outdoor seating areas are both bonuses! Be prepared for Havan to be busy on the weekends but if you’re a night owl then you’re in luck because it’s often open until 5 am.6. DuplexWith multiple dance floors and a rooftop space as well, Duplex is known for its diverse music scene, including 90’s rock, hip hop, reggae and themed events. Located in hipster Florentin, the biggest bonus for many is that there’s no smoking allowed inside the club (nicotine addicts can head to the balconies). With DJs who know their stuff and a relaxed crowd, you get several experiences for the price of one ticket!Credit:Duplex Insagram7. Zoo ZooLocated on beautiful and elegant Rothschild Boulevard, you can’t miss Zoo Zoo’s entrance because there are flamingos outside it! Whilst it markets itself as a gastropub, there’s a fun dance floor inside and the music (Latin, reggaeton, hip hop) attracts a great crowd, particularly at the weekends when it’s packed to the gills.Zoo Zoo has outdoor seating, cozy corners and a small but tasty menu - the music pulses, the people are young and beautiful and you can see it’s a spot where Tel Avivis love coming to kick back after a long work week. With every night a new experience, no wonder it's always so busy.8. Lima LimaWith a reputation for epic partying, Lima Lima’s got to be on the list for anyone visiting Tel Aviv. This is a spot that has a reputation for serious partying, with different themes each night (Thursdays are old school hip-hop, Friday's mainstream and each Monday it hosts a gay-friendly evening).With a large dance floor (always packed) and a great seating area outside, it’s well designed and with a great sound system and DJs who know what they’re doing (plus take requests), you can’t not enjoy yourself. They also have deals for ‘all-you-can-drink bracelets’ until certain hours, so head on down to Nahalat Binyamin where you can dance for hours or just sit outside and chill.
Von Sarah Mann

Top 15 Free Things to Do in Tel Aviv

Even if you are in Tel Aviv on a tight budget you can still see the sites and have a great time. Here’s a rundown of the top 15 free things to do in the beautiful city of Tel Aviv.View of Tel Aviv beachfront from Jaffa.Photo credit: © Dmitry Mishin1. Tel Aviv BeachesTel Aviv has some magnificent beaches which run continuously from Tzuk Beach in the north to Alma Beach in the south. Each beach has its own character like the Separated Beach which has separate hours for male and female bathers; Atzmaut Beach which is popular with the gay community and Drummers Beach or Dolphinarium Beach where musicians jam each Friday at sundown. Beach season in Tel Aviv is April to October when lifeguards are on duty.androm2. Tel Aviv MarketsAmong Tel Aviv’s top markets there is the Carmel Market a lively outdoor market where fresh produce and other goods are sold. This market is colorful and exciting, not only that but it is in the heart of the city just off Allenby Street. Adjacent to Carmel Market is Nahalat Binyanim Street Market. This pedestrian walkway hosts an arts and crafts market on Tuesdays and Fridays.There are often street performers at the market. Nahalat Binyamin is lined with great coffee shops where you can sit and enjoy the atmosphere. Levinsky Market is the least gentrified of the three markets. Here you’ll find streets veering off of Levinsky Street from the corner of HaAliya Street to HaMashbir Street. The streets are crowded with small hole-in-the-wall stalls selling fresh produce and everything including the kitchen sink.Orange juice seller, Carmel Market, Tel Aviv.Photo credit: © Dmitry Mishin3. Free Walking ToursTel Aviv municipality offers free walking tours in English on Saturdays at 11 am which meet at 46 Rothschild Boulevard. The tours take a look at the amazing Bauhaus architecture of the White City and introduce participants to a little of the history of Tel Aviv. There is also a tour of Old Jaffa which takes you through the Jaffa flea market and the Old City examining some of Jaffa’s archeological sites and ending up in the Hapisga Garden. This tour meets on Wednesdays at 9:30 am at the Jaffa clock tower. You can also pick up a free map of self-guided walking tours from City Hall. On Mondays at 11 am there is a free tour of Tel Aviv University which gives an introduction to some of the campus’ innovative architecture and environmental sculptures. The university tour meets at the Dyonon bookstore at the campus entrance by the intersection of Haim Levanon and Einstein Streets.4. Self-Guided Tour of Neve TzedekYou don’t need a professional tour guide to explore one of Tel Aviv’s oldest and perhaps most picturesque neighborhoods – Neve Tzedek. This neighborhood was the first Jewish neighborhood established outside of the ancient Port of Jaffa in 1887. Many of the beautiful historic buildings have been restored and now house boutique stores, quaint cafes, and restaurants giving it a small village within a city feel. The neighborhood has some notable Bauhaus and Art Nouveau buildings. A few museums like the Nachum Gutman Museum; art galleries and the Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance are all in this neighborhood. At the southern end of Neve Tzedek is HaTachana, a restored historic train station that has been converted into a shopping and entertainment compound.The lighthouse path, Tel Aviv. Photo by Mor Shani on Unsplash5. Tel Aviv Port The old Tel Aviv Port has been given a make-over and has become a primary entertainment and retail hub for locals and visitors. The port has an expansive boardwalk covering 14,000m² and is lined with interesting restaurants, playgrounds, a carousel, an organic produce market, and fashion stores. When the sun goes down the port becomes the city’s hot nightlife spot. The port is often the site of special events and street performers.6. Ben Gurion HouseThis is one of the city’s smallest museums and is often overlooked by visitors. Ben Gurion House is the former residence of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion at 17 Ben Gurion Boulevard. Visitors to the museum can walk through the Ben Gurion library; see the living quarters and the study where the prime minister worked. There is a free guided tour of the house where you can learn about the house’s history and the life of Ben Gurion.7. SaronaSarona is a former German Templer colony established in 1817 in what is now one of Tel Aviv’s busiest neighborhoods near the Azrieli towers. The Templers were a German Protestant sect which aimed to realize the apocalyptic vision of the prophets in the Holy Land. They established Sarona as an agricultural settlement and at its peak, there were 41 homes, a winery, workshops, a communal hall, and barns. In 1941 the British deported the residents of Sarona who were believed to be Nazi supporters. Today this compound of buildings has been restored and turned into a shopping and entertainment complex. The former Templer homes are now house restaurants, cafes, and boutique stores. The open spaces between the houses are beautiful plazas where you can relax and enjoy people watching special events and street performers.Tel Aviv Promenade (Tayelet). Photo by Shai Pal on Unsplash8. Yarkon ParkAt the northern end of Tel Aviv is this urban oasis; an expansive green Yarkon park with the Yarkon River meandering through the lawns towards the sea. The park is home to many attractions including climbing walls, paddle boat rental, playgrounds, basketball courts, bicycle rental, and if you continue north you can even reach the safari park in Ramat Gan. So even if you are looking for free things to do in Tel Aviv you can relax on the lawns and enjoy the pleasant surroundings and river views.9. Old JaffaAt the southern end of Tel Aviv along the coast is the old port city of Jaffa which is associated with the biblical story of Jonah, Saint Peter, and mythical tales of Andromeda and Perseus. As far back as the Middle Ages, the port was a gateway to the Holy Land, and many travelers, armies, and merchants landed here including Napoleon. Today you can wander along the narrow cobbled lanes between stone buildings leading down to the water and the old port. There are many art galleries, cafes, and restaurants as well as historic sites and museums in Jaffa. Among the sites to see, there is the Libyan Synagogue, St. Peter’s Church, the Zodiac Fountain, the home of Simon the Tanner, the Mahmudiyah Mosque, the Wishing Bridge, Andromeda’s Rock, the Sea Mosque, and the Ilana Goor Museum.10. Tel Aviv RollersDon’t be surprised if you are taking a stroll through Tel Aviv on a regular Tuesday night when a huge group of people on rollerblades whiz by. Each Tuesday skaters meet at Habima Square at 10 pm and the group begins rolling through the city. They roll through the city showing off their skating skills and having fun. Everyone is welcome to join in so get your skates on!Children at Tel Aviv Old Port. Photo credit: © Dmitry Mishin11. Tel Aviv University Botanical GardensExplore the 34,000m² of the university botanical gardens where there are rare and endangered species of plants from around the globe. There are 3800 plant species from Israel and around the world growing in the campus botanical gardens. The gardens are arranged in ecological groups and themed gardens. Sections in the gardens include the ecological garden of Israeli plants and Mediterranean woodlands; tropical plants from the rainforests; plants utilized by humans; medicinal plants; cacti; poisonous plants; a Palm House; succulent plants and root trees in the Sarah Racine Root Laboratory. The gardens are used by university students for research in ecological and botanical studies and visitors are welcomed for free.12. Rabin SquareIn modern Tel Aviv history, this is one of the most significant sites of the city. Back in 1995, this public square that faces the Tel Aviv Municipality building was called Kings of Israel Square. The tragic events of November 4th, 1995 led to the renaming of the square in honor of Yitzhak Rabin, former Israeli political icon and Prime Minister. It was here on that fateful night during a peace rally that Rabin was assassinated while returning to his car. You can see the exact spot where the assassination took place and the memorial which now marks this location in the northeastern corner of the square. There is also a section of wall covered in graffiti which was drawn by mourners who came to pay their respects in the days following the assassination. In addition, there is a memorial sculpture commemorating the Holocaust at the south end of the square, pleasant trees, and an ecological pool in the square. Rabin Square is often used for concerts, special events, and rallies.Rokach House, Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv.Photo credit: © Dmitry Mishin13. The Photo HouseAt 5 Tchernichovsky Street is a store/ archive of historic photographs documenting the early days of Israel. The collection includes posters, postcards, and photographs. The store is legendary; it is still run by the Weissenstein family which established the shop in 1936. It is the city’s oldest photoshop and it is more like a museum than a store. In addition to the displayed photos which are on sale, there are regular exhibitions. The private archive of photographs has won several awards and has been exhibited across the globe. All of the photos in the archives were taken by Rudi Weissenstein and all of the prints and souvenirs featuring photographs are taken from the negatives of Weissenstein’s collection. Weissenstein photographed the first performance of the Palestine Symphony Orchestra in 1936; Weissenstein was the only official photographer to document the signing of the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel in 1948; Weissenstein’s image was featured on an Israeli banknote in 1958 and he won first prize at the International Photography Exhibition in Moscow in 1961.Tel Aviv and Jaffa aerial view. Photo by Shai Pal on Unsplash14. Tel Aviv Art GalleriesTel Aviv has many independent art galleries but there is a particular concentration of galleries along Ben Yehuda Street and Gordon Street which intersects Ben Yehuda Street. You can wander along these pleasant Tel Aviv streets popping into each of the galleries to see current local and sometimes international art. Start with Gerstein Gallery at #101 Ben Yehuda Street and work your way towards Gordon Street. Along the way you will see JOJO Gallery with unique utilitarian and decorative art; Engel Gallery; Gordon Gallery and then on Gordon Street there is the Stern Gallery and Givon Gallery. Along the way and in the adjacent side streets you will discover other fascinating galleries. If you continue on Ben Yehuda Street you will reach Frishman Street where there are even more galleries.15. Musical FountainTel Aviv has a spectacular sound and light musical fountain show to rival those in Barcelona and Las Vegas. The modern music is synchronized to dancing lights illuminating fountains squirting up into the air. This spectacle takes place at Tel Aviv Port during the summer (July and August). There are nightly performances Sunday to Thursday with the fountains at 6:30 pm, 7:15 pm, and 7:45 pm and the sound and lights joining in for performances at 8:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 9:45 pm, and 10:15 pm.If you are interested in Tel Aviv tours and attractions, feel free to check out this article.Hamsas sold at Carmel Market, Tel Aviv. Photo by Bartosz Kwitkowski on Unsplash
Von Petal Mashraki

The 8 Best Cocktail Bars in Tel Aviv

Looking for a fun night out in Tel Aviv with drinks that will make your eyes widen and taste buds tingle? Well, you’re in luck, because the Non-Stop City, known for its pulsating nightlife, is home to any number of excellent cocktail bars, all offering visitors a mixology experience that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.From swish and opulent spaces to 1920’s ‘Speakeasy’ style bars and local ‘down-and-dirty’ drinking dens, you’ll be blown away by the edgy vibes and the flair and creativity of the creations being served up. Here are what we think are some of the best cocktail bars in Tel Aviv…just remember to pace yourself!1. SpicehausThis ‘cocktail lab’ of a bar, on trendy Dizengoff Street, is a must-visit - not just because of the serious mixology going on but for the ‘themed’ element of it all. Staff where white chemists' coats and drinks are often served in lab equipment such as flasks and beakers. Add to the atmosphere the wild decor touches (bras hanging in the windows) and the Edgar Allen Poe poem recording in the bathroom and how could you not be enticed?Spicehaus has ‘sharing cocktails’ (ideal for couples or gangs of friends) and as well as the classics, there are plenty of unusual creations (the ‘Istanbul’) and the bar team are always up for requests. The food they offer really hit the spot - the ‘crack toast’ comes highly recommended and up until 08:30 pm, the happy hour means you’ll get a great deal. Forget your dull days in chemistry class - this science lab is fun!2. BellBoyAt this achingly hip bar, the general premise revolves around the idea that life is something that needs to be enjoyed. So if you’re looking for fun, head to the Berdichevsky Hotel, because fun you will have. Inside, you’ll find BellBoy, where everything at this 1920’s inspired bar is both beautiful and, as the owners remark, ‘out of the ordinary’.Extraordinary cocktail servings - BellBoy (Credit:BellBoy Instagram)Inspiringly-named cocktails include the ‘Tooth Fairy’ (mate-infused pisco, syrup, mint and soda), ‘Holy Water’ (mastika, eucalyptus, lime, Sauvignon Blanc and Myrrh) or ‘Monkey Business (dark rum, sour rum, Vermouth and Benedictine) are all gorgeously presented. As for bar snacks? Order the duck pate, which is actually molded into the shape of a rubber duck. Truly a unique night out…3. ImperialUnder the watchful eye of some veteran cocktail bar staff at this upscale hotel, the Imperial’s aim (as it boasts) is to create a ‘temple to the lost art of the cocktail.’ And this they do - which is why they’ve won award after award for their creations, all served up in upscale, elegant surroundings, with dim lighting and old-world ambiance, swing jazz playing quietly in the background.Credit: Imperial Cocktail Bar Instagram The drinks at the Imperial are nothing short of fabulous. Try an ‘East of Eden’ (Bombay Sapphire gin, Fino sherry, fresh apple juice and bay leaf-white pepper cordial), or ‘Silver Buddha Punch’ (Banana and pineapple-infused Agricole rums, Amaro Montenegro and silver needles tea cordial). Daring drinkers should sip at the famous ‘Prelude to a Kiss’ (Pere Magloire apple brandy, pisco capel, fresh lime and peach jam) and if you’re not in the mood for alcohol, order their ‘Dollar Shake’ (a show-stopping strawberry milkshake creation).4. Bar 223Up in the Old North, on a quieter part of trendy Dizengoff Street, close to the Namal Port and Park Hayarkon, you’ll find 223, a fine establishment, without pretensions, which has been serving up mouthwatering creations since 2008. The bar staff are knowledgeable and expert at their craft, and with a chilled mood and high-quality drinks, you’re assured of a good time.From classics like the Negroni and Old Fashioned to bespoke creations (the bar staff all speak English so don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions) you can’t go wrong. Teamed with their hamburgers and pizza, you’ll never want to leave. Prices are high but luckily they have a happy hour, so get there early and enjoy.The yard is waiting for you at Dizengoff 223 (Credit:223 Bar Tel Aviv Instagram)5. The Library BarCocktail bars in Tel Aviv don’t come much more stylish than the Library Bar at the elegant and luxurious Norman Hotel. Elegant creations, served in this uber-chic space (the decor is 1940’s British colonial style) and, open all day, this means you can begin enjoying cocktails at lunchtime (and in bar this good, you may stay until closing time). With an extensive list of spirits, and an expert team, as night falls the lights are dimmed and the atmosphere is transformed, making the Library Bar a glamorous choice not just for martinis and daiquiris but also some excellent complimentary bar snacks. To say this place is stylish is an understatement - the Library Bar is probably Tel Aviv’s most coveted spot for an evening drink so reserve well in advance!6. MargozaSet in beautiful and historic Old Jaffa, in the heart of the famous Flea Market, lies Margoza, a friendly neighborhood bar where, just like Cheers, everyone knows your name. A gastrofood haven, with a variety of tapas snacks, their cocktails mixed by expert bartenders who are always friendly and ever-obliging, will go down a treat.Margoza has seating both inside and out (perfect for spring and summer evenings) and great cocktails at very affordable prices. The food they serve up is also very good - try the lamb hummus or ‘flea market platter’ with your drink. Margoza is really a place that makes you feel you’ve come home, and with one of their mean Moscow Mules in your hand, just sit back and enjoy the Jaffa vibe.Credit: Margoza Bar Instagram7. FantasticWith its extraordinary design (inspired, as the owners remark, by ‘fairy tales, poetry, literature and wild animals’) there can’t be a bar in Tel Aviv that’s had so much time, money and effort put into it - and it shows. Up in the Namal Port area, Fantastic (owned by the BellBoy group) is a cross between 1920’s glamour and ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and the moment you enter their ‘Ball Room’ cocktail bar you’ll feel the magic immediately.Credit: Fantastic Bar InstagramFantastic serves up well-mixed cocktails, all in their own special cups and glasses (designed specially) with plenty of little gimmicks beside (go and see for yourself if you’re curious). Accompanying food plates are delicious - try the goose breast or the scallop bisque. Oh, and the decor and drinks at this place are incredibly photogenic so Instagram lovers will be in their element. Costly but a great night out and perfect for a special occasion.8. Social ClubLast but not least, don’t forget Social Club, just off beautiful Rothschild Boulevard, a New York-style bistro which is perfect for an early-evening drink, before the restaurant gets crowded. This ‘happening’ spot in Tel Aviv is always lively and whilst it might look chaotic (staff aren’t assigned to particular tables), there’s a method to the madness and a vibrancy to the place which you can’t miss.As well as the classics (their gin-based cocktails are particularly recommended) the bartenders will be happy to listen to your suggestions and the food bar, in the centre of the restaurant, is very well-designed. If you want to eat with your cocktail, the tataki tuna, grilled aubergine and beef bresaola. Social Club also has a space upstairs for private events, if you’re looking to throw a birthday bash or family event. Pricey but, hey, you only live once.
Von Sarah Mann

Tel Aviv Markets

Experiencing Tel Aviv's markets (shuk or souk) is a must on any visit to Israel. All of your senses will be stimulated by the cacophony of sounds; delicious and strange aromas; spices and clothing in every color of the rainbow and the diverse mix of people on the streets. Tel Aviv has markets to suit all tastes and preferences; there are elegant and sophisticated markets; rough and dirty market; markets where the focus is on food and others where you'll just want to people-watch and hang-out with local hipsters. At Tel Aviv markets you'll find produce fresh from the farms; gourmet delicacies; clothing; rip-offs of luxury brands; authentic handmade textiles and junk with a few hidden gems to be discovered. Visit any of these Tel Aviv markets for an experience to remember.One of the Carmel Market stalls, Tel Aviv.Photo credit: © ShutterstockCarmel Market (Shuk HaCarmel) – For Rough and Ready Day to Day ShoppingTel Aviv's most famous and central market, Shuk HaCarmel is the market visited by most tourists to Tel Aviv. The Shuk runs along HaCarmel Street from Allenby Street towards the beach, ending at a park near the Intercontinental Hotel. The market is usually very crowded with streams of people going in both directions; it's loud and a little grubby (authentic). Stalls on both sides sell groceries, fruit, and vegetables, clothing, meat, fish, sweets, spices, household goods, toys, rip-off luxury items, jewelry, perfume, gadgets, and more. Shuk HaCarmel has become a hot spot for foodies who come to sample the food sold at eateries and cafes, each with its own unique dishes. Some of the eateries double as street bars where patrons stand on the sidewalk. The food on offer comes from multiple cultures and is often a fusion of many. Don't hesitate to wander through the side streets that lead off the shuk's main drag. Here you'll find hole-in-the-wall eateries, bars, beautiful crumbling buildings, and some small unique stores and stalls.Spices at Carmel Market. Photo credit: © ShutterstockSarona – For Sophisticated Gourmet Goods and Elegant SurroundingsSarona is a restored German Templar Colony originally established in 1871. Today the historic buildings house sophisticated stores and up-market restaurants. In the complex is the Sarona Market; an indoor culinary market with stylish décor reminiscent of La Boqueria in Barcelona. With a focus on food and kitchen products Sarona is cleaner; more expensive and less crowded than other Tel Aviv markets. The specialty goods on sale make it a destination specifically for buying and eating food and not for souvenirs or people watching. If you are a foodie, then Sarona is a must. The products on sale come from across the globe and are diverse in their flavors and cultural origins. Some of the stalls are operated by top Israel chefs and the adjacent restaurants are also gourmet. Unlike most other Tel Aviv markets, Sarona is open seven days a week including Saturdays. There are regular special events such as cooking demonstrations and musical performances.Assorted necklaces at Jaffa Flea Market. Photo byTamara MalaniyonUnsplashLevinsky - For Hipster Hang-Outs and Ancient Spice StoresThe Levinsky Market in the Florentin neighborhood was once the "bad" end of town; then it morphed into a bohemian neighborhood and finally into a gentrified haven for hipsters with some of the old neighborhood charm thrown in. In the 1950s the market vendors were mainly Iranian and Iraqi Jews selling spices. Now a new generation has blended old with new and stalls sell a mix of traditional market goods and modern necessities. You'll find stores selling Middle Eastern spices from large sacks that spill out onto the sidewalk; dried fruits and nuts; household goods and everyday items. Several restaurants and cafes spread out across small tree-covered plazas and some eateries have even gained a faithful following with customers lining up along the street. Enjoy traditional foods from different cultures from Tunisian sandwiches to Polish salted herring.Jaffa Flea Market.Photo credit: © ShutterstockJaffa Flea Market (Shuk HaPishPashim) – For Antiques, Junk, and Hidden TreasuresThe Shuk HaPishPeshim is perhaps the most unique market you can find in Tel Aviv. At first glance the market offers heaps and heaps of junk – some stalls look like they have been stacked high with all those bits and pieces everyone has in one of their kitchens draws. On closer inspection some of the market stalls sell genuine antiques; others sell second-hand goods in bad condition and some of the stalls sell a mix of the two – so you have to dig out the good stuff. Here you'll find vintage items; authentic antiques; classic furniture; souvenirs; home appliances; top designer stores; musical instruments; accessories; car parts; artwork; jewelry; and clothing – new and second-hand. Like most of Tel Aviv's markets, Shuk HaPishPashim has become a popular foodie destination. After nightfall, the market stalls shut down and the place turns into a vibrant nightlife destination with lively bars and chef-style restaurants.Carmel Market, Tel Aviv.Photo byNicole BasteronUnsplashNahalat Binyamin - For Arts, Crafts, Bauhaus, and Parisian-style CafesRunning parallel to Carmel Market and connected by several lanes is Nahalat Binyamin, a wide, pedestrian-only street lined with Bauhaus houses and some pretty impressive graffiti art as well. The stores in the buildings along Nahalat Binyamin mainly sell fabric but the real attraction is the market set up along the street each Tuesday and Friday. The stalls specialize in handmade arts and crafts and you'll often find the artist or designer manning the stall. Some of the items on sale include wind chimes, handmade soap, unique handmade jewelry, paintings, toys, and organic products. This sophisticated market is somewhat reminiscent of European markets. The outdoor cafes along the street will remind you of a romantic European movie with picturesque bougainvillea dripping over the buildings, umbrellas, and bustling waiters serving brunch. Nahalat Binyamin has a more relaxed atmosphere than Carmel Market; here you can linger, enjoy an ice cream or coffee; watch street performers, and get to know local artists.More Tel Aviv MarketsBelieve it or not, there are even more markets in Tel Aviv! In an addition to the top Tel Aviv markets listed above you can also explore Bezalel Market for budget items on King George Street; Shuk HaNamal, an indoor farmers' market at the old port; Dizengoff Square antique market on Tuesdays and Fridays; the Greek Market in Jaffa; Rothschild Allenby Market for high-end cuisine and the Friday market on Givon Square for vintage everything.Fresh strawberry at one of Tel Aviv markets.Photo bybec s.onUnsplash
Von Petal Mashraki

Tel Aviv Street Art

Thanks to Tel Aviv’s unique geographical location and cultural make-up which includes people from across the globe and across the religious spectrum the city’s graffiti holds many poignant political and social messages.Tel Aviv Graffiti.Photo credit: © ShutterstockThe quality and variety of the thought-provoking graffiti are also varied. Among the graffiti you’ll see there are works by famous Israeli artists including the renowned and prolific graffiti artist Rami Mairi; INSPIRE; street art photography artist Millikatz and by the MAS graffiti School. Tel Aviv is also home to the world’s youngest graffiti artist AYA.Art is often born out of difficult social, cultural, and political situations so it is no wonder that here in the Middle East so much art is produced. In Tel Aviv, the municipality has a tolerant attitude to graffiti and if it is deemed artistic it is often left untouched. The Tel Aviv Museum of Art even holds an annual exhibition featuring some of the top street artists.You can learn a little Hebrew even on a short trip to Israel just by noticing signs, graffiti, and bumper stickers. The most bohemian parts of Tel Aviv are known for their artistic graffiti and there are tours that take you on a walk through the streets of these areas pointing out the graffiti and explaining the Hebrew and social messages Graffiti in Tel Aviv, Israel.Photo credit: © Dmitry Mishin1. Tel Aviv Graffiti ToursA graffiti tour of areas like Florentin, Tel Aviv is an innovative and cool way of getting to know the city. Not only will you learn a bit of Hebrew but also get to know the social issues which artists choose to comment on. On a graffiti tour, your guide will also point out interesting street signs and bumper stickers. Tours of this kind are led by young and hip locals who know the best places to go and the most “in” neighborhoods. You’ll find out about the best cafes, bars, and nightclubs and can ask your guide for recommendations. Your guide will explain the artist’s “tags” and signature styles.There are works of art on the walls of Tel Aviv by international and local graffiti artists. Your guide will tell you about the local street art culture and contemporary art scene and the many forms it comes in. A tour of the city’s graffiti and hip neighborhoods usually takes about two hours. Other interesting and unusual tours on the streets of Tel Aviv include cooking tours, restaurant tours, market tours, pub crawl tours, and cycling tours. All of these tours add an extra dimension to regular tours and allow you to really interact with locals and get to know another side of the city and Israeli culture.A touA tourist taking a picture of Tel Aviv graffiti. Photo credit: © Dmitry Mishin2. Top Tel Aviv Street ArtistsIf you’d rather discover these hidden gems by yourself then take a self-guided tour of the city discovering the street art as you go. One of the top street artists is “Know Hope” who has been on the street art scene since 2004 and left his signature image of a man with his heart on his sleeve. He recently exhibited a project entitled Truth and Method at the Gordon Gallery. “Dede” painted the clever and witty piece entitled Wind up Teeth on the Tel Aviv Dolphinarium. His signature image is a band-aid which he says is a symbol of the search for solutions to personal and social problems. His work often comments on current events. He has also left his mark on the walls of New York, Germany, and Switzerland. “Sened” is a stencil artist recognizable by his images of little box people. His work is smaller than most street art and is often found in places you wouldn’t expect. Wonky Monkey is recognizable by the monkey which appears in most of his pictures. He likes to comment on the human condition. “Signor Gi” uses stencils, paste-ups, and painting. His signature mark is of a skull. “Dioz” paints large, colorful street art which fills up entire walls. His work is less political and more about fun and bringing a little light humor to the streets. Green Graffiti in Tel Aviv.Photo byAna KlipperonUnsplash“Nitzan Mintz” was named one of the country’s most prominent artists in 2013 and has since gone on to be mentioned in Timeout and Calcalist. She makes social comments in beautifully formed Hebrew text on the walls of Tel Aviv. “Klone Yourself” is a local artist whose street art often features creatures that are half-human and half animals. His work has been shown in New York. Maya is one of the few female graffiti artists in Tel Aviv. She exhibits in galleries, has featured in TED Talk, and paints on public walls. She uses a wide range of materials and in 2015 created a large-scale installation in Japan of her signature blackbirds.So get out your walking shoes and explore Tel Aviv’s street art either on an organized Tel Aviv street art tour or by yourself, you’ll be amazed at the art you discover!Graffiti in Tel Aviv. Photo byRonit ShakedonUnsplash
Von Petal Mashraki

Jaffa

Jaffa is an ancient port city in Israel, mentioned in the Bible and renowned for its association with Jonah, Solomon, and Saint Peter as well as the mythological story of Andromeda and Perseus. There are many interesting attractions in the Old City of Jaffa plus a church, great fish restaurants, and quaint lanes with specialty stores. However, if you follow those meandering lanes downwards you will find yourself coming out on the water’s edge of the actual port. The Jaffa Port underwent a complete facelift in 2012 when it was cleaned up and new businesses moved into the revamped hanger that stands near the water. The dream was to create a food market similar to the ones at Tel Aviv Port and the Sarona complex however the market didn’t really get off the ground. The port failed to become a top destination and is still a hidden gem to most!Jaffa aerial view. Photo credit: © ShutterstockThe Old JaffaWhen people refer to Old Jaffa they are talking about the restored ancient city perched on a cliff at the southern end of Tel Aviv’s beachfront promenade. Jaffa Port lies directly below Old Jaffa; a historic gateway to the Holy Land which has also been significantly restored. Both these two Tel Aviv-Jaffa attractions offer endless things to see and do. For the last 6,000 years, Jaffa Port has welcomed travelers, immigrants, and armies. The city is associated with the legends of Andromeda and the Biblical figures of Jonah and St. Peter. The city has been ruled by Egyptians, Philistines, Alexander the Great, Romans, Napoleon, Muslims, Crusaders, and the Ottomans. Each has left its mark on the city. Today Jaffa is home to a mixed population of Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Old Jaffa is built from pristine cream-colored stone similar to the Old City of Jerusalem. The windows of Jaffa homes are painted bright blue and window boxes overflow with colorful blooms. Visitors can discover trendy restaurants, picturesque alleyways, historic churches, archaeological remains, and a unique artists’ colony.When you arrive in Old Jaffa’s central Kdumim Square you will see a magnificent fountain with stone characters representing the zodiac signs. Each of the alleyways in Old Jaffa leading down to the port is named after a zodiac sign. On Kdumim Square you will find the Old Jaffa Visitors Center. Here there is the “Images of Jaffa”, a multi-sensory experience that introduces visitors to the history of Jaffa. The Jaffa Old City.Photo credit: © Dmitry MishinThe center also holds archaeological remains from Jaffa’s ancient past. In the restaurants that flank the square, you can find delicious culinary delights from Middle Eastern cuisine and seafood to Yemenite and French food. Some of the restaurants offer brilliant views across the sea all the way to Tel Aviv’s beachfront. From Old Jaffa you can look out to sea and spot Andromeda’s Rock. This group of rocks jutting out of the water is associated with the Greek legend of Perseus and Andromeda. Andromeda had been chained to the rocks as a sacrifice to the sea monster Cetus when Perseus rescued her.Attractions in Old Jaffa include the Home of Simon the Tanner where St. Peter is said to have spent the night. While here he had a dream which was interpreted as a message from God telling Peter that non-Jews should be welcomed into Christianity.Jaffa is the site of Ramses Gate which has survived 4,000 years since Egyptians ruled Jaffa. The intricately carved gate was once part of a grand Egyptian palace. Make a wish on the Wishing Bridge as you enter Park HaPisga. In the park, there are several works of art and canons left here by Napoleon in 1799. Visit St Peter’s Church built in 1654 and dedicated to the saint who visited Old Jaffa.The narrow stone alleyways of Old Jaffa are lined with over 50 galleries, design stores, and art studios. Among the most well-known galleries, there is Adina Plastelina, the Ilana Goor Museum, and a gallery of Ethiopian art. Artists live and work here, displaying and selling their creations to the public. The Antiquities Museum of Tel Aviv-Jaffa is housed in an Ottoman-era building. Here you can see archaeological remains excavated in Jaffa. When the sun goes down Old Jaffa comes alive with restaurants and cafes. People come to Old Jaffa at night to enjoy the cool sea breeze, beautiful surroundings, and the view across the sea to Tel Aviv’s glittering lights.Discover Jaffa PortThe Jaffa Port.Photo credit: © ShutterstockIt is possible to walk from Tel Aviv's beach promenadeall the way to Jaffa Port. At the southernmost point of Tel Aviv is the Charles Clore Park. From here the Sea Wall Promenade leads you all the way to the old port. Jaffa Port has Old Jaffa as a backdrop; built on the cliffs overlooking the water. Today the port no longer welcomes pilgrims and travelers by water but it is a port for fishermen and sailboats.You can walk along the edge of the water and imagine Jonah setting sail for Tarshish; Jaffa oranges being shipped from here across the globe or the first Jewish immigrants arriving in Palestine. As you walk out on the pier look back at Jaffa and see the red and white striped lighthouse. You can also look up towards St Peter’s bell tower.As you immerge from the lane which leads down to the port you will be just a few meters from the water. A jetty juts out into the water where you can get brilliant views of the Tel Aviv coast. Local boys like to show off their acrobatic skills jumping off fishing boats into the water and couples often come down here to get their pre-wedding photos taken. After you’ve enjoyed the waterside you can continue exploring the businesses along the water’s edge. The boats at Jaffa Port.Photo credit: © ShutterstockThe NaLagat (Please Touch) Center is run by and for the hearing and visually impaired. The center has a theatre where you can see performances by hearing-impaired actors about their challenges. There is also a restaurant called Black Out in the center where the diners sit in the dark and are served by visually impaired waiters. The center holds workshops and activities to teach about how handicapped people experience the world. In the large modern hanger alongside the NaLagat Center there are a number of businesses, an ice-cream shop, and fine dining restaurants. The best thing to eat if you dine here is fish; specialty fish restaurants use fish which was probably caught in the waters you see from the windows. There are also several art galleries where local artists display their creations. There are several retail outlets including the Women’s Courtyard at The Port where Israeli designer clothing is sold at outlet prices. On Fridays in the summer from 10 am to 5 pm there is the free live entertainment; market stalls; family activities and yoga lessons all free or for a small fee. The “Almina” Theatre presents children’s theatre productions for a small fee and offers workshop activities for kids after the show.Jaffa Flea MarketJaffa flea market.Photo credit: © Dmitry MishinTo get a feel of a real Middle Eastern character there is nothing better than a tour in one of Israel’s traditional markets or shuks. Perhaps one of the most atmospheric is the Jaffa shuk. The Jaffa flea market consists of several parts. There is a long street where each storefront spills onto the sidewalk selling antiques, some genuine junk.Here many avid antique collectors scourge the second-hand furniture stores, Persian carpet stores, and bric-a-brac stores which sell mainly old things rather than antique things. One street over there is a covered bazaar, a narrow row of vendors sell from hole-in-the-wall stores an assortment of clothing, old and new, jewelry, and second-hand goods. The clothes and other items for sale hang above your head and on every available stretch of wall. Outside in the open air, the Jaffa market continues with household goods, DIY equipment, ceramics, toys, musical instruments, and even the kitchen sink. You will also find local places to eat in this area which is safe to walk about in even if you are on your own.The Jaffa Shuk HaPishpeshim (flea market) is a vibrant, dynamic area with lots to see and many exciting stores and stalls. In the last few years, the area has become not only a fun and unique place to shop and people watch but also a hidden gem for foodies. Among the junk and antiques are several outstanding restaurants some of which are housed in historic buildings and serve both local and international food. Here are just a few of the many Jaffa Flea Market’s finest dining establishments.Shuk Hapishpeshim restaurant, Jaffa.Photo credit: © ShutterstockPuaa, 8 Rabi Yohanan- This unique restaurant/café is in the heart of the flea market. It was established in 1999 and is named after the owner. The place is magical, with décor featuring many authentic antiques and memorabilia including the furniture, pictures on the walls, and tableware. The menu is unpretentious and the food wholesome and homely yet unique and innovative. There are dishes like broccoli and cashew pasta, spinach with raw tahini and faro, and date syrup salad. There is a good selection of Israeli boutique wine. On Tuesday nights you can get amazing fish and seafood cooked on the grill situated on the outside porch and in winter there are live performances on Thursday evenings.Fleamarket, 7 Rabi Yohanan -The décor of this restaurant will take your breath away. The eclectic furniture comes from flea markets in Israel and abroad; the ceilings are high and the walls feature exposed brick and dark wood. Fleamarket has a large bar with an open kitchen. The restaurant is managed by top Israeli restaurateurs led by Shy Gurevitch. Fleamarket serves mainly seafood and Asian menu with several local and European dishes. The restaurant has a breakfast, brunch, and evening menu. At Fleamarket they give some classic Israeli dishes a gourmet twist like adding truffle to Israeli shakshuka. They also give an Israeli twist to some International classics like adding mangold to eggs Benedict. The menu reads like a European fine dining establishment with dishes like beef Carpaccio, sea bream tartar, and mushroom and truffle risotto. There are kid’s dishes and vegetarian dishes as well as a good selection of alcohol and cocktails.Sifo, 3 Nachman Street -This is one of the more recent additions to the Jaffa flea market culinary scene yet it has been attracting the attention of local foodies. It is located down a narrow lane full of character. The restaurant was opened in 2011 and is run by Chef Idan Mezner. As the name implies they specialize in seafood – si (sea) fo (food). The flavors and styles of the dishes are diverse including fusion dishes that blend Middle Eastern flavors with international flavors. Diners have the option of eating from the cold kitchen, hot kitchen, or the chef specials and desserts. Popular dishes on the menu include the fish patties with Ethiopian tahini, the red mullet fish in Arak, and the kubbeh soup with seafood.Leimech, 11 Amiad Street -In among the market stalls is this modest street bar. The bar was named after Noah’s father in the Bible who lived to an incredible age of 777; maybe because he took things easy and enjoyed a good drink like this bar’s patrons. The bar serves Thai beer on tap and simple dishes from the Far East and the Middle East. The bar often hosts live musical performances.Yasso-Saloniki, 4 Olei Zion -This Greek restaurant celebrates the Greek culture in every way – from the décor and music to the menu. On the walls are framed photos of the owner and his family plus some celebs that have eaten here.Onza, 3 Rabbi Hanina Street, Shuk HaPishPeshim -The tables of this popular seafood and Greek restaurant spill out onto the cobbled streets of the market. It is always buzzing with people coming here for the food, music, and atmosphere. Indoors there is a large bar and a few tables while on an upper level you’ll find an area for large groups. The atmosphere is created by great music, dim lighting, and an upbeat vibe. Food is prepared by Chef Yossi Shitrit and on the menu, you’ll find fish, seafood, meat, and vegetarian dishes. Don’t miss happy hour on Saturdays from 4 pm to 6 pm.Charcuterie Restaurant, 3 Rabbi Hanina -You’ll smell the delicious aroma of BBQ meat before you even reach this restaurant. The chairs and tables are spread out over the cobbled stones of a narrow lane as diners wait to sample delicious smoked and barbecued meat as well as handmade sausages. If you’re a confirmed carnivore then this is the place for you. If you prefer fish or pasta you can find some non-meat dishes on the menu as well. The best time to come here is on weekends after 10 pm when the music is loud and the crowd turns the place into a street party.Lima Nippo, 6 Rabbi Tanhum -Where Japan meets Peru! Lima Nippo is a sleek fine dining establishment with refined décor and artistically presented food. The menu includes Japanese and Peruvian fusion dishes, a new trend in the culinary world. When Japanese immigrated to Peru in the 20th century the Nikkei cuisine was born. Dishes on the menu include pineapple duck, beef tartar with miso.Jaffa Old City House decoration.Photo credit: © ShutterstockJaffa flea market is not only a gourmet destination but a one-of-a-kind experience and it's better to explore it with a guided tour. It is possible to combine an excursion to Jaffa with one of various Tel Aviv trips.
Von Petal Mashraki

How to Get from Tel Aviv to Eilat: From Culture to Chillout

A great many of Israel’s visitors want to see as much of the country as they can on their trip, and two of the spots they prioritize are Tel Aviv and Eilat. Tel Aviv, the beating heart of the country’s centre, is close to Ben Gurion airport and an ideal place to spend a first night after arrival and even a few more days afterwards, enjoying cafe life, cultural pursuits and some fine dining. Eilat, nestled on the Red Sea, is a popular destination too, especially in the winter when temperatures are warm and swimming and sunbathing are a top pastime. With its breathtaking views (look one way you can see Jordan, look the other there is Egypt, and look behind you for pinkish, orange-red hued mountains) it’s perfect for chilling out, snorkelling and a little hiking in the nearby Timna Park. If you’re feeling adventurous you can also join aPetra tour from Eilat.Eilat beach.Photo credit: © ShutterstockFrom Tel Aviv to Eilat - Four Ways to Do ItThe distance from Tel Aviv to Eilat is 281 kilometers. There are 4 ways to travel from Tel Aviv to Israel's southernmost resort: bus to Eilat, rental car, plane, and private transfer. Below, we’re going to give you some helpful pointers to make sure everything goes as smoothly and easily as possible along the way. Luckily, Israel is a small country, so no journey ever takes that long (even when on desert roads!) but having the ‘lie of the land before you set off is always a good idea.Unfortunately, Israel does not yet have a direct train running between the two cities. The proposed high-speed rail link has been talked about for years but, unfortunately, the project is currently at a standstill. To date, the furthest you can travel by train is to Beer Sheva and Dimona (a tiny town a little way on). There is a small stretch of railway that passes beyond Dimona, running out to some phosphate mines in the Tzin Valley, but the train that heads there is for cargo only and functions on an 'as and when' basis.Red Sea, Eilat, Israel. Photo by Vitaliy Paykov on UnsplashInsider TipsOf course, you could take the train as far as Beer Sheva and then catch a bus onto Eilat, but this would mean making a change and, if you have a lot of luggage or small children, it could be inconvenient and tiresome. Still, it’s possible - and let’s give you some insider tips. Firstly, reserve a seat on the Beer Sheva - Eilat bus three days in advance. Try and book one in the middle (not over the wheels) - number 18 is ideal! Look for a seat on the shady side (no. 17 if you’re traveling in the morning and no. 19 if in the afternoon).Book a train to Beer Sheva and make sure you leave plenty of time for your connection. After arriving (the journey is approx. 1 hour 10 minutes), exit the train station and turn left. You will see the bus station right in front of you. If you need to use the bathrooms, it’s better to do so in the train station - they tend to be cleaner than the ones in the bus station!Grab a snack or a light bite in the bus station, which has all kinds of eateries, plus coffee shops. We recommend the shawarma and also the bourekas (pastry filled with salty cheese or potatoes). Pick up some water too - the driver will probably stop for a coffee break at Yotvata Inn, but that won’t be for another two hours or so, and if you’re traveling in the summer, it’s essential not to let yourself become hydrated. Egged intercity buses in Israel. Image: via Egged Facebook pageA tip: when you arrive at Yotvata, you’ll have time to stretch your legs but also to pop inside and treat yourself to one of their famous Italian-style ice creams, which come in a marvelous range of flavors (we recommend the mascarpone and figs). There’s also a fantastic date-flavored frozen yogurt and mango sorbet for those who prefer to avoid dairy. Yotvata also has a gift store where they sell boxes of juicyMedjool dates, all grown on their own kibbutz. Now onto the direct options.Getting from Tel Aviv to Eilat by BusThe bus is a pretty good option and, as buses go, it’s a comfortable journey with varied and beautiful landscapes. At around 70 NIS one-way, it’s also rather cheap (public transport is heavily subsidized in Israel). The national bus service is called Egged and their green and white logo is easily recognized. We’d recommend booking a seat in advance, just to guarantee that you won’t be turned away, but if you want to take a chance, just show up with cash (or a loaded Rav Kav card) and if there’s a spare seat, the driver will welcome you aboard. Tickets can be ordered online via Egged’s website (in Hebrew) or by phone at 03 694-8888 or *2800 (many of the operators speak English as well) using a credit card. Vintage Egged bus from the Egged Bus Museum in Holon.Photo credit: © Dmitry MishinEgged ScheduleSunday-Thursday: This is the Israeli work week and buses leave regularly, with line 394. This is located at Platform 601, on level 6 of the Central Bus Station on Levinsky Street. Buses leave regularly i.e. every 90 minutes, with the first one departing at 06.30. On Friday, the last bus usually leaves around 14.00. This is because the Jewish Shabbat begins when dusk falls on Friday and public transport in Israel generally stops running a couple of hours before. On Saturdays (i.e. the Jewish Shabbat) buses depart a little before the end of the day (i.e. before night falls) - sometimes as early as 14.00 from Tel Aviv. Always check the timetable carefully and, if possible, call up in advance to confirm your departure, as all times are subject to change, depending on adverse weather conditions (e.g. flash floods in the Negev).Self-Service Tickets with EilatomatAnother thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to book tickets in advance (through the website or the Customer Service Center) you will need to collect them from a self-service ticket machine named Eilatomat. These machines can be found in the central bus stations of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Rishon le Zion, Haifa Hof ha-Carmel, Haifa Central, Hadera, Rehovot, Beer Sheva, and Netanya. A ticket can be collected from an Eilatomat ticket machine up to 2 hours before boarding and then shown to the driver when you enter through the front door. We recommend arriving 20 minutes in advance, as the lines can be long! Antique Egged buses from the Egged Bus Museum in Holon. Photo credit: © Dmitry MishinGetting from Tel Aviv to Eilat with a Rental CarIt’s relatively simple and not particularly expensive to rent a car in Israel if you want to drive. Both Ben Gurion airport and Tel Aviv have a number of car rental businesses, including Eldan, Hertz, Tamar, and Shlomo Sixt. Just bring your passport and driver’s license and you should be issued with a vehicle within 30-45 minutes. The journey from the country’s center to the far south will take between four to five hours (depending on your speed and if you stop for a coffee break in Mitzpe Ramon, where you can admire the views of the crater and even pop in on the Artist’s Quarter or if you’re with young kids, the Alpaca Farm). From Mitzpe to Eilat, the road is winding and narrow (and it’s where accidents often happen) so please take particular care, especially at night, when there will be long stretches of road with no light. If you are easily car sick, we would advise taking this journey in the day, when it’s easier to stop and take a breath! The scenery is also beautiful - the desert landscapes are arid and rugged, and as you drive through the Arava, the rocks will turn pink, orange, and red in color.Sunset inEilat area. Photo credit:© Oksana MatsGetting from Tel Aviv to Eilatby PlaneThis is a fast option and an excellent idea if you need to travel straight to Eilat, after arrival in Israel at Ben Gurion Airport. The internal flight will take just under an hour and Arkia, Israel’s domestic carrier operates a service every couple of hours. After a long, international flight, taking trains, buses, or renting a car could quickly turn into an ordeal, particularly if you’re very jetlagged. Flights cost around $100, so save yourself time and energy - with Arkia, you’ll be in Ramon airport in no time. From there, it’s a 15-minute journey to Eilat, either by taxi or local bus. Of course, if you want to see desert scenery, you can always catch the bus back to Tel Aviv, on your return leg, or rent a car.Musical fountain in Eilat.Photo credit: © Oksana MatsGetting from Tel Aviv to Eilat with a Private TransferIf you are based in Tel Aviv, the quickest and most convenient way of all would be to book a private transfer to Eilat. This ‘door-to-door’ service means you’ll be picked up and dropped off exactly where you choose - and you can also break the journey if you choose (a pit stop at Beer Sheva, Mitzpe Ramon, or the famous dairy store at Yotvata Kibbutz - see above). Make sure to choose a trusted tour operator, who will answer all your questions in advance and tailor the experience to your specific needs.Now you’re ready. Don’t forget your COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a snazzy bathing suit. Everything else is optional! Trust us, you’re going to have a fine time. Shalom and enjoy!Getting to Eilat by camel is not an option anymore.Photo credit:Muhammad Abo Omar
Von Sarah Mann

How to Get from Haifa to Tel Aviv

If you’re visiting Israel, whether it’s for the first time or the tenth, the chances are you aren’t going to want to stay in one place. And why should you? Israel has it all - beaches, archaeological sites, wineries, places of worship, nature trails, mountains, deserts and so much more besides.View of Bahai Gardens, Haifa.Photo credit: © ShutterstockTo give you an idea of the size of Israel, it’s about equivalent to the US state of New Jersey or half the size of Switzerland. Its total area is 22.145 square km (8.630 square miles) of which 21. 671 km is land. Israel is bordered by Lebanon to the north, Egypt to the southwest, Syria to the northeast, Jordan to the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the west.And something else that’s really great about travel in Israel is that the country has a highly developed infrastructure - highways and public transportation in Israel are both modern and efficient, making it easy to move around - and reach one end of the country from the other - quickly and with not too much effort. This means that even if you’re just in the country for a few days, you can see several areas without wasting too much of your precious time.In this article, we’ll be looking at how to get from Haifa to Tel Aviv. Haifa is the ‘capital’ of the north of the country and a real Mediterranean city, perched on the slopes of the lovely Mount Carmel. Historically a port city, and today very mixed (Jews and Arabs continue to live and work together here) it’s a lovely place to visit or even spend a few days.Within the city itself there is lots to explore - the Wadi Nisnas neighborhood, with its bustling market and small alleys, the German Colony (home to the German Templar movement, over a century ago) and, of course, the world-famous Bahai Gardens (affording spectacular views of the city), with its perfectly manicured lawns and shimmering gold dome. Haifa Maritime Museum, Israel.Photo credit: © Dmitry MishinOutside Haifa, less than an hour’s drive from the city you can find nature reserves, the Crusader City of Acre, the Herodian ruins of Caesarea, Druze villages, charming vineyards, rustic zimmers (upmarket ‘cabin style’ accommodation, usually in pastoral settings), Nazareth (where Jesus spent many of his early years) and the Sea of Galilee. And if you want to head as far north as possible, there’s also Rosh Hanikra, with its spectacular caves, close to quiet and pristine beaches. Of course, we haven’t yet mentioned Tel Aviv - Israel’s largest and most lively city, in the heart of the country, close to Ben Gurion airport and also situated on the shores of the Mediterranean. Just 92 km (50 miles) separates the two cities, so traveling between the two is really very easy - whether you want to go for a few hours, make a day of it or take a mini-break in the ‘White City’ giving you time to explore its cafes, boutiques, Bauhaus architecture, and excellent restaurants.Below, we’d like to give you some detailed information on the different ways to make the journey - taking the bus from Haifa to Tel Aviv, catching a train, a private or shared taxi, using a private transfer, opting for a shore excursion from your cruise ship or simply renting a car. This will give you a better idea of how to plan, for when you arrive in Israel and start planning your trip around the country. The distance from Tel Aviv to Haifa is approximately 94 km.The Bahai Temple in Haifa.Photo credit: © Dmitry Mishin1. Getting from Haifa to Tel Aviv by BusIsrael’s bus service is modern, comfortable, inexpensive, and reasonably efficient. Traveling from Haifa to Tel Aviv by bus is a popular option since buses leave regularly. If there is no traffic on the road, the journey should take between 1 hour 15 minutes and 1 hour 30 minutes, and a one-way ticket costs 24 NIS (approx. $7.50).Haifa Bus StationsThere are two different bus stations at which you can catch an Egged bus (Israel’s national bus line) including Haifa Merkazit Hamifrats/Inter-City Platform and Hof HaKarmel station. HaMifratz central bus station is the main bus station of the Haifa Bay district. It is next to Haifa's central railway station (see below under the ‘train’ section) and also the Lev HaMifratz shopping mall.Egged bus 910 leaves Haifa Merkazit Hamifrats/Inter-City Platform bus station from Floor 3, every 20 minutes and runs directly to Tel Aviv Central bus station. It takes between 60-90 minutes and a one-way ticket costs 21 NIS (6,5 USD). You can pay the driver in cash when boarding or use your Rav Kav Card. View of Haifa Bay from the top terrace of Bahai Gardens.Photo credit: © ShutterstockIt will drop you directly at the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station (see below). It is also possible to alight on the Namir Road, at the Arlozorov (Savidor) bus station, if you are heading to the north (rather than south or central) Tel Aviv. Buses can also drop you further down, at the Azrieli Centre (ideal for connections with the HaShalom railway station).The green Rav Kav cards are used widely in Israel - they can be purchased either at bus and train stations or stores and pharmacies in cities and towns. It is possible either to pre-pay specific amounts (with cash or credit cards) or purchase daily/monthly passes. For more information, take a look at the official Rav Kav website.From Hof HaKarmel, bus number 910 can also be caught. Also known as the Carmel Beach bus station, it opened in 2003. Passengers are entitled to receive a free transfer to urban buses when they buy their intercity ticket to continue from one central bus station to the other one, or into the city.Banana Beach,Tel Aviv.Photo by Daniel Klein on UnsplashTel Aviv Bus StationsTel Aviv’s Central Bus Station is located in the south of the city on Levinsky Street. The 910 bus alights at the seventh floor and from there it is possible either to take a private taxi, a yellow van shared taxi / monit sherut (see below) or Dan local buses to your destination. The Levinsky bus station is a gateway to cities around Israel, and also operates buses that run every two hours down to Eilat, for those wishing to connect on for their trip to Petra, Jordan. Tel Aviv’s second bus station is in the north of the city, on the corner of the Namir Road and Arlozorov streets, next to the Savidor Railway Station. It is close to the Ramat Gan Bourse, as well as a half an hour walk to the beachfront. Many local buses run from this station around the city, as well as out to Ramat Aviv and the university, as well as intercity buses onto Jerusalem and Beer Sheva.2. Getting from Haifa to Tel Aviv by TrainTaking the train from Haifa to Tel Aviv is highly recommended. It’s a fast, frequent and very efficient way to travel and trains leave every 20 to 30 minutes, making it easy to change your plans at the last minute. And because, on Israel Railways, you can buy a ticket at the last minute and it won’t cost you any more than if you book it in advance, you don’t even have to worry if you’re delayed - simply take the next train!The journey from Haifa to Tel Aviv takes approximately 1 hour 4 minutes on the fastest train, which runs directly between the two cities. There are also slower trains, which take up to 1 hour and 26 minutes. A one-way ticket costs 31 NIS (approx $9.50) and trains run from 5.25 am to 11.35 pm. A train is also an excellent option if you’re time conscious since you won’t have to factor in traffic jams and tailbacks which, unfortunately, are very common on the main highway during commuter hours.Yachts in Jaffa Port.Photo credit: © ShutterstockHaifa Train StationsThere are three train stations from which you can begin your journey from Haifa to Tel Aviv - Center HaShmona, Bat Galim, and Hof HaKarmel. HaShmona is the largest of the three and is located on Independence Road, at Plumer Square. The station opened in 1937 and was built by the British (under the Mandate) and has a Bauhaus design.Bat Galim was Haifa’s primary train station from 1975 until the early 2000s. If you are staying close to the port or coming from Rambam - the city hospital - this station is within walking distance. Hof HaKarmel situated on Sakharov Street is the city’s busiest train station. It is conveniently located next to the Carmel Beach central bus station and walking distance from the MATAM high-tech park.Payment can be made by buying a ticket from the cashier's office, by booking through the Israel Railways website, using a green Rav Kav card loaded with pre-paid credit (which can be purchased from any station and many pharmacies and stores in Israel), or the Rav Kav mobile telephone app. Please note, much like the bus services, there are no trains in Israel on the Jewish sabbath. From two hours before Shabbat commences (Friday afternoon) and an hour after Shabbat ends (Saturday evening) public transport in Israel does not run. Israeli train.Photo by John Adeoye on UnsplashTel Aviv Train StationsSavidor (Arlozorov) - this is located at the intersection of Namir Road and Arlozorov street and is next to the bus station, providing quick access to local buses. From here, it's a quick journey to Tel Aviv University and north Tel Aviv. HaShalom is the train station closest to the Azriel Towers and many large offices in the city center. HaHaganah train station is Tel Aviv’s most southern railway station and is located about 400 meters from the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station (Tachana Merkazit).3.Getting from Haifa to Tel Aviv byPrivate Taxi / Shared Taxi (Monit Sherut)Taxis in Israel are easy to come by - you can either hail them in the street, use one of the many operators in Haifa or Tel Aviv (ask your hotel concierge or check online) or book a taxi from Haifa to Tel Aviv directly through an app such as Gett. You should look to pay somewhere between 700-900 NIS ($215 to $280) for the drive.Another useful service in Israel is the monit sherut from Haifa to Tel Aviv (in Hebrew this means ‘ shared taxi’). These little yellow vans are operated privately and seat 10 passengers. They run between cities and you simply get in and pay the driver. The only ‘catch’ is that they don’t leave until the van is full, so if you’re the first one in you might have to wait a few minutes. The upside to the monit sheruts is that because they are not state-operated, they operate on the Jewish sabbath. They are an excellent option for those who wish to travel late Friday or on Saturday. Sheruts in Haifa can be found in HaNevi’im street in the Hadar neighborhood and run to Tel Aviv’s Levinsky Station. Expect to pay a few shekels more than you would for a bus ticket.Cozy streets of Old Jaffa.Photo credit: © Shutterstock4. Getting from Haifa to Tel Aviv with a Private TransferPrivate transfers are a comfortable way to travel between cities and in Israel they are easy to arrange. However, we do advise that you book them through a trustworthy tour operator - this means you’re likely to get a fair price and an honest driver. Once you have been given the price and are comfortable with it, your credit card will be charged and everything afterwards will be taken care of, meaning you won’t have to deal with any aspect of the journey. At Bein Harim, we are always happy to help with private transfers in Israel - please call us or send us your details on our ‘Contact Us’ form and we will get back to you promptly, with a competitive offer.5. Israel Shore Excursions from Haifa PortHaifa is a famous port and, as the years have passed, has become an increasingly popular destination for a cruise. So if your ship is stopping in northern Israel for the day, making a trip to Tel Aviv is a fantastic idea. With shore excursions from Haifa Port, the moment you disembark, you will be met by a private guide and set off quickly for Tel Aviv.Just over an hour later, traffic permitting, you’ll be at your destination, giving you several hours to explore this buzzy, cosmopolitan city.Take a stroll along Rothschild Boulevard and admire the Bauhaus architecture, wander the streets of the charming Neve Tzedek neighborhood, book a tour to the Jaffa flea market or simply stroll along the boardwalk and enjoy lunch at one of the many fantastic restaurants in the city. With a ship-to-shore excursion from Haifa to Tel Aviv, you can really make the most of your free day and, rest assured, we’ll get you back up north in plenty of time before your scheduled departure.Lifeguard Station, Tel Aviv. Photo credit: © Shutterstock6. Getting from Haifa to Tel Aviv with a Rental carRenting a car in Israel is an excellent way to see the country, leaving you in control of when and where you travel. It is not incredibly expensive to rent a car (indeed, prices are quite competitive) and the freedom it gives you is unparalleled - you can travel before dawn breaks, on Shabbat, and to the tiniest villages in the Galilee and Negev desert that public transport won’t get you to.Parking in Tel Aviv, however, can be an enormous headache so if you are planning on driving from Haifa to Tel Aviv, think about either paying to leave the car in a lot (although it won’t be cheap). Alternatively, there is some free parking up at Reading, in the north of the city, near to the Tel Aviv Port and you can then take a bus, electric scooter, taxi, or even bike into the city.Driving from Haifa to Tel Aviv, via route 90 (Yitzhak Rabin Highway) will take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half (depending on how much traffic you encounter and how fast you drive!) Popular rental hire companies in Israel include Shlomo Sixt, Hertz, Eldan, Thrifty, and, on average, renting a car costs around 260 NIS (80 USD) per day. All of the representatives will speak good English and their hubs are accessible. Take a look beforehand online - if you shop around, there are some great deals to be had.Namal (Tel Aviv Port), Israel.Photo credit: © Shutterstock
Von Sarah Mann

7 Best Kosher Restaurants in Tel Aviv [2023 Update]

It used to be that if you were an orthodox Jew, looking to keep kosher in Tel Aviv (which means observing the dietary laws) you’d be wandering the streets for hours, searching for hours for a place which kept their milk and meat dishes separate. The best kosher restaurants in Jerusalem were the place to head to if you wanted to eat well; in Tel Aviv, you’d have to settle for falafel and shawarma.Luckily, all that’s changed: Tel Aviv is a vibrant, international city, boasting not just amazing beaches, world-famous nightlife, and charming old neighborhoods full of tiny alleyways, but it’s also a city with a growing food scene. And, the reasoning goes, why shouldn’t those that keep kosher be able to partake?We’ve picked out the 7 Best Kosher Restaurants in Tel Aviv which we really think deserve applause - and the good news is that you don’t have to be religious (or even Jewish!) to eat in them. Go on and try one when you visit the city, whether you're on a Tel Aviv Tour or just exploring on your own.Gourmet Dinner and Kosher as well? You've come to the right place1. Regina - Meat, MediterraneanThe Old Railway Station complex, situated between the Neve Tsedek neighbourhood and Old Jaffa, is a great place to visit whilst in Tel Aviv, and many of the restaurants there are really worth a visit. Set up in a 19th-century building, which is beautifully preserved and boasts original features, Regina, which serves a range of tasty, ‘homestyle kitchen’ tasty meat and fish dishes in a gorgeous setting, is a good place to head if you like relaxed dining.Meat eaters will love the chopped liver, veal kebab and Hungarian goulash and those craving fish should try the salmon or tilapia (which is served with roasted beans). Veggies and vegans will love the seitan burger and meat-free shawarma, not to mention the beetroot carpaccio.As for dessert, you can’t go wrong with their apple strudel or coconut malabi (an classic Middle Eastern pudding, made of milk - or in this case a non-dairy option - topped with sweet syrup or rosewater)Accompanied by one of their famous cocktails (we’d recommend ‘Malka’ which consists of mango, run, mint and orange sorbet), you’re guaranteed to walk out happy.Location: Old Railway Station (close to the Charles Clore Park and the parking lot on Kaufman street), Tel: 03 736-7474Great food, great atmosphere2.Pankina - Dairy, ItalianIf you’re hankering for a taste of Bella Italia, then head to trendy Dizengoff Street and the corner of Gordon. There, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv, you’ll stumble upon Pankina, serving pasta (and a few other dishes besides) that’s almost as good as the bowls you’d find in Rome.Where should we begin? Well, for starters, it’s owned by an Italian so you're in safe hands. The atmosphere is welcoming and cosy, and will make you nostalgic in a heartbeat. The food is incredibly fresh, and a lot of love is put into it - just the right amount of flavoring, balance, and dressing…it’s kosher dairy heaven!What to eat? The focaccia is super yummy, the pistachio-crusted tuna steak is to die for, the blue cheese gnocchi is heavenly (and they have gluten-free pasta options too) and the sea bass comes with grilled vegetarian vegetables and buttery mashed potato that’s perfection. There are plenty of veggie and salad options and the deserts? Well, the tiramisu is a must: not too sweet, very creamy, and with just the right hint of coffee.The staff are so helpful and pleasant, the atmosphere is unpretentious and warm and all we can say is book a table, otherwise, you might have to stand outside and wait quite a while.Location: Gordon 39 Street. Tel: 03 644-9793The gnocchi will please every pellet3. Nini Hachi - Meat, Sushi, AsianThis kosher Asian-Japanese fusion restaurant, in the ‘Old North’ of Tel Aviv (close to the port) is a great favorite with the locals, which should tell you everything about the place before you even walk through the door. The combination of stylish decor, excellent food, and an intimate atmosphere inside is already enough, but the fact that it serves kosher sushi is an even bigger plus.The menu is diverse and the chefs (who are really skilled) use high-quality ingredients, producing dishes so creative you won’t feel compromised by the kosher element at all. Dishes that come highly recommended include the Teppan Yaki chicken, the sushi platter (which is a work of art and looks so lovely you almost won’t want to tuck into it), and the futomaki.The salmon caterpillar rolls are also excellent and veggies can feast on sweet potato maki, and coconut curry. spicy tofu and pad thai. If you’re looking for some ‘quick bites’ their gyoza and wontons are also yummy. As for the desserts - well, who doesn’t like a plate of mochi to round off their meal? And if you don’t care for mochi, then try the tapioca with coconut…or just enjoy a cocktail (their creations with ginger are stand-out).Something else about Nina Hachi is the incredible staff - they are so thoughtful when it comes to recommending dishes and accommodating individual needs (they have a special menu for pregnant women, by the way), whilst being incredibly professional the entire time they’re working.Location: 223 Ben Yehuda Street. Tel: 03 624-9228Yes! Sushi can be Kosher. And fabulous4.West Side TLV - Meat, NYC-style eaterySat inside the upscale Royal Beach Hotel, overlooking the Tel Aviv shoreline, West Side TLV really is high-end in every sense of the world, serving up excellent meat and fish dishes in a relaxed and elegant setting, with a beautiful terrace for good measure!What to eat? Well, for meat-eaters, try the Nebraska sirloin with Jerusalem artichoke, oxtail gnocchi, red tuna tartar, goose liver, or beef carpaccio. Veggies will love the mushroom risotto and the tomato salad with citrus dressing - the superb chef Omri Cohen sends out plates that are beautifully balanced.As for the deserts, you will find it hard to believe there’s no dairy in them. Highly recommended is their version of the British dessert ‘Eton Mess’ - with strawberries, meringue, and cream - but the chocolate mousse and their millefeuille, served with raspberry sorbet gives it a run for its money.Designed in typical ‘NYC style’ - spacious, comfortable, and contemporary - the service is exceptionally professional. This is not going to be a cheap night out, but it really will be worth it.Location:Royal Beach Hotel, 19 Hayarkon Street. Tel: 03 740-5054A meat-lover's dream5.Florentina - Dairy, MediterraneanThis fancy yet quite affordable kosher dairy restaurant located in the hipster neighborhood of Florentin, inside an old stone building, hits the spot in every way you can imagine, with a varied menu selection, generous portions of food, a buzzy, trendy atmosphere, low-key music and an owner and staff who always go the extra mile to accommodate their clientele.What to eat? The salads with halloumi and also goat cheese are fantastic. The ravioli with eggplant comes highly recommended, the stone oven-baked pizzas are yummy and the arancini - well, you won’t be disappointed. They also offer plenty of good fish dishes, a fine risotto and a ‘tapas plate’ selection.. In the spring or summer, you can sit outside in their lovely outside area, and soak up the atmosphere.The desserts are an experience in themselves - anything with choux pastry will leave you smiling, and their chocolate cake - well, it’s extremely good! This is a really special place that is guaranteed not to disappoint.Location: Abarbanel 56 Street. Tel: 03 605-0061The Arancini is great!6.Ca Phe Hanoi - Meat, AsianIf you’re craving the taste of the Far East, then head to Rabin Square (just a 10-minute walk from Gordon Beach) in the direction of Ca Phe Hanoi, where you’ll soon be forgiven for thinking you’ve been transported to Vietnam.Ca Phe serves all the typical South East Asian food this country is famous for, including Bo buns (with beef and lemongrass or chicken and ginger), traditional salads, and, of course, the country’s signature dish, Pho. All served in traditional bamboo baskets, you can compliment your food with a range of delicious cocktails, served up at their Moo Shoo speakeasy bar.Those who don’t eat meat won’t suffer either - there are veggie spring rolls, hot-cold noodle salads, and a few dishes with tofu and eggplant that are truly delicious! Ca Phe Hanoi believes in offering a ‘multi-sensory food experience’ and the fact that they import quite a few of their ingredients from Vietnam means you’re getting the real deal.Fun fact: the decor is festive, fun and fabulous and - yes - you really should visit the restrooms, to see what all the fuss is about (we will not say more…)Location: Malkhi Yisrael 3 Street. Tel: 03 677-1184Traditional Pho meal7.Fish Kitchen- Dairy, MediterraneanLooking for a gourmet, kosher restaurant in Tel Aviv that really knows how to serve up great plates? Then look no further than Fish Kitchen, the sister restaurant to Meatos, which offers fish, vegetable, and pasta dishes (some gluten-free) in a vibrant Mediterranean environmentThe appetizers are good, the salads tasty and the cheese platter is excellent. As for the fish, we’d have to recommend the sea bass, which is perfectly cooked and utterly succulent, as well as the tempura battered whitefish. Their fish tartare with tabbouleh also comes recommended. For dessert, it’s got to be the malabi or something with chocolate.Fish Kitchen is not cheap but the food is good quality and, even better, it’s close to both the Tel Aviv Opera House and Tel Aviv Art Museum, so makes for a good place to grab dinner after a cultural outing…Location: Shaul HaMelech 33 Street. Tel: 03 693-2002Quality Fish Dish Don't forget: Great culinary is just one part of the celebration that is Tel Aviv: if you'd like to see every special historical spot and learn about the city's art and culture, you can do as many other visitors and pick a guided Tel Aviv Tour. And If you want to make the most of your visit to the holy land, just take a classical Jewish Israel Tour Package.
Von Sarah Mann

Gearing up for Tel Aviv Pride

It’s June and summer is upon us in earnest. Moreover, after two long years of Corona, visitors are back in Israel in earnest and none more so than those who’ve turned up this week for the famous Gay Pride parade, culminating this Friday.Love is Love Gay Pride poster in Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo byYoav HornungonUnsplashTel Aviv Pride - Taking to the Streets to Celebrate!Since its humble beginnings, around 25 years ago (when, in 1997, fewer than a thousand people turned up for a ‘Love Parade’, Tel Aviv Pride is now one of the city’s biggest events in the year and one of the most popular Prides throughout the world. So much so that many tourists arrive here not just for the parade but for all kinds of gay-friendly events that take place in Israel before and after - it’s not just one day of celebration but several - this year between 8th and 12th June 2022.Same-Sex Couple Rights in IsraelIsrael has a great record when it comes to supporting sexual equality - for sure it’s got the most progressive culture and legislation in the Middle East. It’s also fair to say that Tel Aviv is probably one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world - when you come and visit, don’t be surprised to see two men pushing a buggy - the LGBTQ community here can adopt kids and fertility treatment is widely-available (and not costly, indeed often free).As well as enjoying rights as parents, same-sex couples in Israel also have the same medical, pension and inheritance rights as heterosexual couples. And since 1993, discrimination in the military has been formally outlawed, which means you can be ‘out’ and serve in the army, navy and air force.Rainbow flag lighting over Tel Aviv city hall building for Tel Aviv Pride.Photo credit: © ShutterstockTel Aviv - the Ultimate Gay-Friendly CitySo there really is a lot to celebrate in Tel Aviv, which is a very liberal city. The mayor, Ron Huldai, emphasised this back in 2017 at the Parade, stating that the city “will continue to be a lighthouse city - spreading the values of freedom, tolerance and democracy to the world.”And if you come to Tel Aviv for Pride, not only will you be spoilt for choice in terms of Tel Aviv restaurants, bars and gay-friendly hotels, but you’ll also get a chance to see City Hall (in Rabin Square) lit up in rainbow colours to celebrate, not to mention Pride rainbow flags on every street corner. Where and When is Tel AvivPride2022?The Pride Parade this 2022 isn’t in its usual spot - in the past, it always began in Gan Meir (the home an LGBTQ community centre). This year, it begins at the Sportech Centre on Rokach Boulevard 22. It will wind its way all throughYarkon Park towards Joshua’s Garden. There are going to be more floats than ever this year too, which - if the participants have anything to do with it - are bound to be creative, colourful and festive! After the parade itself, an enormous afterparty is planned, which will probably involve dancing and music going on late into the night. “The Love Stage” party and concert has famed Australian DJ Iggy Azalea in charge of the music, as well as plenty of Israeli singers including Harel Skaat, Anna Zach and Shahar Saul.Gay Pride Tel Aviv, Israel.Photo credit: © Dmitry MishinSpending a Few Days in Tel Aviv?Still, coming to Israel for Pride isn’t just about the parade…there are endless things to do in the ‘Non-Stop City’ - from exploring Bauhaus architecture to rummaging in theJaffa Flea market, cycling Rothschild Boulevard or soaking up rays on one of the city’s beautiful beaches.Tel Aviv has all kinds of charming neighbourhoods to wander in too, including the vibrant Kerem HaTeimanim (the Yemenite Quarter) which sits next door to the Carmel Market, the city’s biggest and most lively market, selling everything you can imagine from fruits and vegetables to household goods, flowers and clothing. It’s also home to all kinds of street stalls selling world foods, the famed ‘Beer Bazaar’, hummus joints (hummus is a food locals just can’t get enough of) and coffee shops. On Friday afternoons, a few hours before Shabbat comes in, the ‘Shuk ha Carmel’ is bustling like you can’t imagine, and a great place to grab a drink and engage in some people-watching.LGBT Rights Poster.Photo bySharon McCutcheononUnsplashFrom Day to NightBy night, Tel Aviv is home to some incredible restaurants - the variety of foods is astonishing, from Israeli street food (think falafel, sabich and shawarma) to high-end Chef restaurants, where plates aren’t cheap but the experience you’ll have will wow you. Whether it’s sushi, tapas or contemporary Israeli cuisine (courtesy of famous chef Haim Cohen who runs the restaurant ‘Yaffo-Tel’) you’re bound to leave bowled over.And if you’re less of a foodie than a party animal, don’t fear because, with cocktails bars like Bell Boy, the Imperial Bar, Spicehaus and Concierge, you’re going to see a side of mixology you never knew existed. Finish it off with a trip to a club - The Block, Breakfast Bar or Sputnik - and that’s a night well spent! Day Trips outside Tel AvivFinally, although Tel Aviv is an incredible city, there’s so much more to Israel than just its largest city. The other good news is that Israel is a small country which has excellent and well-connected public transport links. Or you can book a private transfer from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem if you prefer comfort.Whether you want to take a train, hop on an Egged bus or rent a car in Israel, you can be in another part of the country in no time at all.Indeed, travelling from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem became even simpler in the last couple of years, thanks to the opening of a fast train which links the Non-Stop City with the Holy City in just 40 minutes.Folks preparing for sunset on Tel Aviv beach during Pride festivities 2018. Photo byGuy TsroronUnsplashNon-Stop to Holy GroundOnce in Jerusalem itself, you can hop on the light railway and be at the gates of the Old City in less than 15 minutes. Walking through the four quarters of this historic place is something that should not be missed. For Christians, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the spot at which Christ is assumed to have been crucified and then rose from the dead. For Jews, a trip to the Western Wall (the last remaining wall of Herod’s Second Temple) is incredibly moving. And for Muslims, the Dome of the Rock and Temple Mount are the place at which it is believed Mohammed flew over on his night journey to Mecca. There’s also plenty to do and see in the more modern part of Jerusalem - take a trip to Mahane Yehuda Market, the city’s lively market, visit the world-famous Israel Museum or take a tour of Yad Vashem, the country’s monument to Holocaust survivors. Jerusalem may not be ‘non-stop’ in the way Tel Aviv is, but it has an atmosphere few fail to experience and wonder at.We like you too, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel. Photo byYoav HornungonUnsplashDay Trips to the Dead Sea and MasadaOf course, if you’re travelling independently but don’t want the hassle of renting a car, would like to learn more with the service of a guide or are just looking for some company, then taking an organised day trip in Israel is a great way to see more of the country.The Dead Sea and Masada, which are high points of any tourist’s visit, are easily reached within a day (especially if you set off from Jerusalem) and combining floating in salty water at the earth’s lowest point, with exploring an ancient Herodian fortress, makes for a fine day out. (Our tip: if you want a first-hand account of the day trip to Masada and the Dead Sea we offer, take a look at our blog post written by Sarah Mann, talking about travelling with a group there).Trips to Northern Israel and Jordan from Tel AvivNorthern Israel is also very beautiful at this time of the year - whether you’re at the Sea of Galilee (full of historic churches), in Acre (an ancient Crusader city) or further afield, in the lofty Golan Heights - you’ll be amazed at how beautiful and tranquil this part of the country is.And finally, for the more intrepid adventurer, we also run trips to Jordan - for 3 days or more - giving you the chance to explore the ancient Nabatean city of Petra, carved out of rocks that turn colour throughout the day. Jordan and Israel have friendly relations and it’s an easy journey from Eilat to Petra(not available at the moment), in an air-conditioned bus, with a guide who’ll deal with all the Jordan visa formalities at the Jordan-Israel border crossing.So whether you’re staying in Tel Aviv for Pride or want to see a bit more of our country than the non-stop city, enjoy yourself. And if you need any more information on any of the trips and tours we offer, don’t hesitate to contact us.Now go and celebrate!Rush hour in Tel Aviv is a sight to behold.Photo byShai PalonUnsplash
Von Sarah Mann

7 Best Vegan Restaurants in Tel Aviv [Taste-Tested!]

Tel Aviv is known for being one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the world, with dining options at every turn for those who crave plant-based cuisine. Whether you’re looking for a casual eatery or a chic dining experience, the chances are you can find it here. From seitan burgers and south Indian thalis to healthy salads and dairy-free desserts, one thing’s for sure- you’re not going to go hungry when visiting the white city.Here are what we think are some of the best vegan restaurants in Tel Aviv…the only question is which one are you going to try first!1. Meshek BarzilayIn the picturesque neighborhood ofNeve Tzedek, you won’t just find beautiful-renovated houses and leafy side streets but the ‘Boho chic’Meshek Barzilay, which serves upscale and elegant food in relaxed yet intimate surroundings. A trailblazer when it comes to serving locally sourced and seasonal produce, their creative and regularly-changing menu and always crowded restaurant show just how good vegan fare can be.Semolina bowl filled with soy, lentils, and chickpeas in beet soup (Image source: The official Meshek Barzilay website)Appetizers we’d recommend include the eggplant ceviche. The avocado mousse with oyster mushrooms and the black bean pate (served with an onion and garlic confit). All of the mains are delicious, but the beetroot tortellini, artichoke pizza, and veggie ‘beef bourguignon’ are exceptional. For dessert, it has to be the seasonal fruit panna cotta, served with coconut butter crumble and matcha ice cream.Service is professional, the drinks menu varied and there’s even a deli next door where you can pick up products to take home. What more can you ask for? (Our tip: take home some of their ‘chocolate leaves’).2. GoodnessIf you’re the kind of vegan that hankers after the occasional plate of ‘junk food’ then head toGoodnesson Tel Aviv’s King George Street. Their varied menu has something for everyone but what many diners seem to return for are their burgers and fries, which are all plant-based but taste incredible (particularly the cheeseburger with the ‘egg’ on top). Onion rings, ‘chicken’ nuggets, and their famous vegan shawarma also go down a treat and if you’re not too hungry, their hot dog will really hit the spot.A burger made from Beyond Meat (Image source: The official Godeness website)Other dishes on the menu worth trying include the beetroot soup, cauliflower crepe, sliced tofu, and, of course, their famous milkshakes (which are divine). Goodness is always busy (with good reason) and the friendly, helpful staff are just another reason to give this place a try. And for anyone interested in vegan food, nearby you can take awalking tour of Tel Aviv’s Carmel Marketand pick up some local goodies yourself.3. Dosa BarIndian food lovers alert! Up in the Old North, close to the Namal port and a stone’s throw fromTel Aviv’s Hilton Beach, there’s a spot you have to visit - the Dosa Bar - which, in its own words, offers 'healthy power food’ from the East which is not just 100% vegan but also sugar and gluten-free. Yes, this cute little eatery, which has plenty of outdoor seating and fairy lights strung up all over, has made a name for itself for serving the famous pancakes (dosas) filled with delectable ingredients, for which Southern India is so well-known.The vegan charm of Dosa Bar (Image source: The official Dosa Bar website)Choose from the original (made with potato batter, spicy onion, black mustard, and cumin seeds, the sweet potato (‘the orange’) the beetroot, Thai pumpkin, and sweet peas (‘the green’), or the beetroot, spinach and tofu curry (‘the purple’) and gobble it up with some delicious chutneys that accompany it.Dosa Baralso serves curries and thalis (round platters with a little bit of everything) and makes a mean mango lassi.This really is authentic Indian food at a pretty reasonable price and the quick but friendly service makes this one not to miss.4. OpaThis chic and innovative restaurant headed by chef Shirel Berger has really made its mark on the Tel Aviv vegan scene with its meticulously prepared dishes that have locals and tourists alike singing its praises from the rooftops. The emphasis atOpais less on large portions and more on quality food that’s beautifully presented - so both a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds.Image source: Opa's official Google Maps page; Pic uploaded by OpaRather than ordering a la carte, the restaurant offers diners a fixed ten-course tasting menu which is designed to be both creative and surprising. Dishes are not trying to ‘recreate’ non-vegan food and the waiters will give you explanations of everything they put before you. Original creations include smoked blueberries in an asparagus green sauce, ‘lion’s mane’ mushrooms, and dishes entirely composed of fennel/tomato and hazelnut ‘ice cream’ and all of the flavors are complex and precise.Opa isn’t a place to go if you’re ravenous - even though it’s doubtful you’ll leave hungry - but more for a culinary experience. Book in advance for this artistic food experience!5. Cafe MichelangeloThe fact that so many committed carnivores rave aboutCafe Michelangelomeans they must be doing something right. This stylish little eatery, on a quiet and rather nondescript street very close to the famousJaffa flea market, ticks all the boxes if you’re looking for tasty veggie and vegan food - not to mention delicious dairy-free cakes for an afternoon treat.Image source: The Cafe Michaelangelo official Google Maps page; Pics uploaded by Cafe MichaelangeloThe ‘Jaffa breakfast’ which comes with spreads like tahini, hummus, and sweet potato is very yummy. The artichoke sandwich, couscous and mushroom burger, and Asian noodle salad all come recommended. As for dessert, don't miss their lemon tart. Wash it down with some of their homemade lemonade or a latte with turmeric and - if you’re sitting outside - engage in some people-watching in this historic and beautiful neighborhood.6. The Green CatIf you’re a veggie who wants to go vegan but isn’t sure you could give up cheese, then before you give up head over tothe Green Catin south Tel Aviv. This Italian vegan restaurant has gained a stellar reputation in the city for serving ‘cheese’ atop its Neapolitan pizza that’s so good even cheese-lovers can’t tell the difference - and whether you order a slice, a personal pie or a huge family pizza, you’re guaranteed to smile when it arrives.Try the Green Cat Pizza! (Image source: The official Green Cat website)Yes, the Green Cat only uses cashew ‘mozzarella’ cheese, not to mention other high-quality vegan ingredients for the toppings - think yam, olives, and slices of seitan (‘pretend pepperoni’). The homemade tomato sauce is rich and flavoursome and the herbs they add in just make it even more heavenly. The Green Cat has a chilled vibe, plays laid-back music, and serves beer on tap - and next door is a club named Levontin 7 that has regular live concerts. Easily one of the best vegan pizzerias in Israel.7. AlegriaAlegria, which means ‘joy’ in Spanish, is a small restaurant, somewhat off the beaten track in Tel Aviv, but that shouldn’t be a reason to deter you from dining here, because this is a place where high-quality vegan food and joyfulness go hand in hand and with a menu that’s always got something new to offer the customer, no wonder it’s a regular haunt for so many locals.Alegria: High-quality vegan food (Image source: The official Alegria website)Where to begin? The sabich (a traditional Iraqi sandwich, served with a delicious mango-like sauce) is fantastic, the sandwiches are made with fluffy focaccia and the fennel soup is heaven in a bowl. Alegria is also famous for its salads - healthy creations and generous portions too - not to mention their vegan cheese (which you can also buy, along with pastries, at their specialty shop next door, to take home). Mains include tofu patties and vegan burgers, and if you’ve got a sweet tooth, try their ‘cheesecake’ along with an iced frappuccino. Not cheap, but undoubtedly worth it.If you’re visiting Israel and looking for things to do, why not consider taking one of our popularIsrael day tripsincluding Jerusalem’s Old City, the Dead Sea and Masada, and the Galilee? Or, for a more urban experience, think about one of our guidedTel Aviv tours- from markets to biking and graffiti art to Bauhaus architecture, you’ll find something intriguing.For more information,contact usby email or phone, and to read more about life in Israel, take a look atour blog.
Von Sarah Mann

How to Get from Ashdod to Tel Aviv

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re either in Israel or planning a visit so let’s first say ‘welcome - you’re going to have an amazing time!’ Israel’s relatively small by North American or European standards but it has an enormous amount to offer and, because it doesn’t take hours and hours to drive between cities, that means you’ve got more time to enjoy yourself - whether it's exploring historical sites, wineries, nature parks, pristine beaches, Crusader fortresses or Herodian ruins. A ship dragged anchor at Ashdod, Israel. Photo by Felix Tchverkin on UnsplashThe other thing we should say, off the bat, is that Israel is very well developed in terms of its infrastructure. The roads and highways are in good condition and public transport is pretty cheap and, for the most part, efficient. This means if you don’t want to stay in one place (and most people don’t) you’re going to be able to move around with little fuss and maximise your free time.In this article, we’ll be looking at how to get from Ashdod to Tel Aviv, a distance of just 35 km (22 miles). Both cities are situated on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and have fantastic beaches, marinas, boardwalks and plenty of options for lunch and dinner.Tel Aviv, Israel’s biggest, and just a short drive from Ben Gurion airport, is a must-see for any tourist in Israel. Situated, like Ashdod, right on the seashore, it’s full of trendy restaurants, lively bars, cute cafes and charming neighbourhoods, not to mention a wealth of museums, art galleries, theatres and live music venues. So, without a doubt, spending a day (or several!) in the "White City" won’t disappoint.So here below is you plenty of information on the various ways you can travel between these two cities - whether it’s taking a bus from Ashdod to Tel Aviv, booking a train journey, using a private or shared taxi, booking a ship-to-shore excursion from your cruise ship or putting your foot down in a hire car. Once you’ve read through the options, you’ll have a better idea of which one is right for you, so you can plan a trip that suits you.Tel Aviv Beach Promenade.Photo credit: © Shutterstock1. How to Get from Ashdod to Tel Aviv by BusIsrael’s bus service is modern, comfortable, inexpensive and reasonably efficient. Taking a bus from Ashdod to Tel Aviv by bus is a good option, with buses running regularly from early in the morning (6 am) until late at night (11 pm). If you don’t travel in rush hour (7-9 am and 4-6 pm) the journey will likely take about 50 minutes. The bus number you need is 320 and is operated by Veola. A one-way ticket from Ashdod to Tel Aviv costs approximately 10 NIS (3 USD) and you can pay the driver as you board. There is also a second bus departing from Ashdod to Tel Aviv, numbered 280, which can drop you at Tel Aviv’s second bus station, in the north of the city.Another popular way to pay for buses (and trains) is by using a Rav Kav card. These small green cards can be purchased easily all over Israel (in all bus and train stations and sometimes in stores and pharmacies). Once you’ve bought one, you can load it with credit or buy a daily/monthly ticket. Just swipe it in front of the electronic device next to the driver, when you board the bus and it will automatically deduct the payment, showing you on the receipt how much credit you have left. For more information, check out the official Rav Kav website.The Ashdod Festival of the Nations and Their Tastes.Photo credit: © Oksana MatsAshdod Central Bus StationThe Ashdod Central Bus station is located on Menachem Begin Boulevard, in the heart of the city, and an 18-minute walk to the Marina. Check inside with information to see which platform the bus departs from (there are signs in English and staff who can point you in the right direction). Tel Aviv Bus StationsTel Aviv’s Central Bus Station (Tachana Merkazit) is located in the south of the city on Levinsky Street. The bus will drop you on the building’s sixth floor and after that, there are a number of possibilities to continue your journey - either by private taxi, shared yellow van taxi, (see below), or the local Dan buses, which run all over the city. The Levinsky bus station is also a gateway to cities around Israel, and also operates buses that run every two hours down to Eilat, for those wishing to travel on, for a trip to Petra, Jordan. Tel Aviv’s second bus station (‘Terminal 2000’) is in the north of the city, on the corner of the Namir Road and Arlozorov streets, conveniently located next door to the city’s Savidor railway station. It is a half an hour walk to the beachfront and you can also take intercity buses on to Jerusalem and Haifa.Saint Peter's Church, Jaffa, Israel.Photo credit: © Shutterstock2. How to Get from Ashdod to Tel Aviv by TrainTaking the train from Ashdod to Tel Aviv is an excellent way to make the trip - it’s fast and efficient and trains leave reverie 15-20 minutes at peak time. The journey itself takes between 50-60 minutes, depending on which of the three Tel Aviv stations. A one-way ticket costs 20 NIS (approx 6 USD) and trains run from 5 am to 11 pm.Ashdod Ad Halom railway station is in the Ad Halom area, near the eastern entrance to the city. The station contains a small beverage and refreshment kiosk and you can buy tickets there from machines (using different language options) or at the counter or online through different smartphone apps. Tel Aviv has three stations - Savidor, HaShalom and HaHaganah. Savidor is situated on the corner of Namir Road and Arlozorov street in the north of the city. It’s next door to the Terminal 2000 bus station (see above). HaShalom is the train station closest to the Azriel Towers and many large offices in the city centre. HaHaganah is Tel Aviv’s most southern railway station and is located about 400 metres from the Tel Aviv (Levinsky) Central Bus Station.The interior of the Israeli train.Photo by Lital Bamnulker on Unsplash3. How to Get from Ashdod to Tel Aviv byPrivate TaxiTaking a private taxi in Israel is easy - you can either flag one down in the street, book one through an App (such as Gett) or order one from a reputable taxi firm (your hotel concierge can help you). The cost of a private taxi from Ashdod to Tel Aviv will probably be somewhere between 230-420 NIS (70-130 USD). It is customary to tip the driver 10-15%, depending on how helpful he is. You can also travel from Ashdod to Tel Aviv with a sherut (shared taxi service).4.How to Get from Ashdod to Tel Aviv with a Private transferPrivate transfers are very easy to arrange, but we advise you to book them through a trustworthy tour operator, to ensure you will be put in touch with a reputable and honest operator. You will be given a price and if you are satisfied with it, you can pay by credit card and from then on all matters will be handled expertly by the company and you don’t have to worry about a thing.At Bein Harim Tourism Services, we are always happy to help obtain quotes for people visiting Israel who need a private taxi - please call us or send us your details on our ‘Contact Us’ form and we will get back to you promptly, with a competitive offer.A building inRothschildBoulevard, Tel Aviv.Photo credit: © Shutterstock5. Shore Excursions from Ashdod PortMaking a shore excursion from Ashdod Port to Tel Aviv is a great way to spend your free day since you can be in Tel Aviv within an hour and have plenty of time to see many of the sights that this buzzy, fashionable city has to offer. With Ashdod Port Cruise Excursions, as soon as you step onto dry land, you will be met by a private guide and within minutes you’ll be in a comfortable vehicle, heading off to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.In less than an hour, all things being equal, you’ll be in the ‘White City’ of Tel Aviv (so named for its fabulous Bauhaus buildings) and the next few hours are yours. There’s so much to do, you won’t be disappointed - stroll along the boardwalk and admire views of the Mediterranean, take a bike tour around the city, or wander along the famous Dizengoff Street, known for its cafes, restaurants and boutique stores.There’s also a number of beautiful small neighbourhoods that are lovely to explore - the Kerem (close to Tel Aviv’s famous Carmel Market), Neve Tzedek (with its charming houses and tiny alleyways) and, of course, Jaffa, one of the world’s oldest cities, famous for its port (where Jonah fled God and, for his trouble, ended up in the belly of a whale), a charming artists quarter and the famous Jaffa flea market, where you can hunt for bargains before eating lunch in one of the many lovely cafes around. Finally, we promise that when you book with Bein Harim we’ll get you back to your ship in good time for your departure. (Just for the record, if you want to travel to Tel Aviv from your cruise ship independently, please note that the bus terminal is about 6 km from the port so walking there is not possible. You can, of course, grab a taxi, (which should cost about 50 NIS (15,5 USD) and take a few minutes) or even bus number 2, which costs 5.30 NIS and will take about 15 minutes.A street in Jaffa, Israel.Photo credit: © Shutterstock6. How to Get from Ashdod to Tel Aviv with a Rental a CarRenting a car in Israel is a wonderful way to see the country on your own terms. You can decide how long you want to spend in a city and also stop off on the way if the mood takes you. Prices for car rental in Israel are quite reasonable and, with a car, you have a level of freedom that no other kind of transport affords you. Moreover, since there is no public transport in Israel from Friday afternoon to Saturday evening (the Jewish sabbath), options for moving around are limited - obviously, when you have a car, this is not a problem.Driving from Ashdod to Tel Aviv, via Route 4, without too much traffic should take you around 45-55 minutes. Just bear in mind that parking in Tel Aviv is notoriously difficult to come by - free parking is almost impossible to find and even parking lots can get crowded on weekends. Of course, if you are patient (and ready to pay up!) you will always find somewhere to park but if you want to save money (and hassle) you can always park just outside the city and travel by public transport.One way to do this is to park up in the north of Tel Aviv, near the Tel Aviv Port (Namal, Reading area) where there is some free parking, then just catch a bus/sherut/taxi into town. For the adventurous, there are also bikes and electric scooters that can be rented easily, with just the swipe of a credit card!Well-known rental hire companies in Israel include Eldan, Hertz, Shlomo Sixt, Hertz, Eldan and Thrifty. Prices can be quite competitive and, on average, renting a car should cost you around 260 NIS (80 USD) per day. All of the representatives you encounter will invariably speak good English but you might also want to shop around online beforehand - there are always bargains available so why not take advantage of them?Enjoy your journey!Aerial overview of Tel Aviv Port (Namal parking).Photo by Shai Pal on Unsplash
Von Sarah Mann
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