Laila Lavan in Tel Aviv 2022
There’s a saying attributed to Tel Aviv - that it’s the city that never sleeps. Well, this coming Thursday, it really will be true. Back by popular demand (after the pandemic kept us all off the streets) is Laila Lavan - which, translated from the Hebrew, means ‘White Night’.
Jaffa Port, Israel. Photo by Faruk Kaymak on Unsplash
What is Laila Lavan?
Laila Lavan - White Night - is an event that takes place every year, across Tel Aviv and Jaffa, where the city basically hosts a range of musical and cultural events which are free to the public and continue on into the wee small hours, with a couple of them actually culminating at sunrise the following day.
When is Laila Lavan?
This year, it’s taking place on Thursday 30th June.
Where exactly in the city does Laila Lavan take place?
All over. Seriously. Whether you’re in the Old North (close to the Tel Aviv Port), wandering Rothschild Boulevard, hanging out in Neve Tzedek, or bopping around Jaffa, you’ll find an event to join. And, as we said before, it’s all funded by the municipality so it’s not just an amazing night out, but it really won’t break the bank either.
Jaffa Clock Tower, Israel. Photo by Yaroslav Lutsky on Unsplash
What time does Laila Lavan actually go on until?
Put it this way - if you’re a night owl, you’ll be in your element. Some events begin earlyish by Tel Aviv standards (around 8 pm) but many go on until 2 or 3 am, and things such as sunrise yoga happen (as the name suggests) only when the sun makes its debut, around 5 am the following morning. So whether you want to catch some early events and be in bed long before midnight, or head out after midnight and party until the wee hours, it’s your choice.
What kind of events does Laila Lavan play host to?
Every year it differs, but you can expect a wide range of events and performances across Tel Aviv. In the past, the city has thrown open the doors of some of its museums, the Opera House puts on outside performances, there are cover bands playing all down Rothschild, jazz and klezmer concerts dotted across the city, as well as street events, food festivals and beach parties in many neighborhoods. Even better, shop and bar owners are giving late licenses, so you can grab a bite after midnight, or a cocktail at 4 am!
The stairs lead to Kedumim Square and St Peter's church in Jaffa. Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash
What’s on at Laila Lavan 2022?
To date, we know of quite a few different events taking place (although there are bound to be many more we haven’t even heard of yet). These include:
1. Rothschild Boulevard - there won’t just be all kinds of bands, but also street performers, circus acts, and dancers almost always dressed in white. Rothschild Boulevard runs from Allenby Street all the way up to the Habima Theatre and this is always a place where people will flock, on White Night. Just be prepared for it to be absolutely packed!
2. Jaffa - Jaffa will be buzzing, with the Jaffa Flea Market (‘Shuk HaPishpehsim) and the many cafes and bars around it open until the wee small hours.
3. Bauhaus Buildings - many of the Bauhaus buildings in Tel Aviv will be lit up and it will be possible to take guided tours through them.
4. Headphone Party - the traditional dance party (complete with headphones) will take place at Rabin Square. Put them on and prepare to boogie - only you can hear the music, but you’ll be surrounded by fellow dancers (and some bemused on-lookers too).
Aerial view of Tel Aviv Port. Photo by Shai Pal on Unsplash5. Tzuk Beach - usually starting between 1-2 am, take a blanket (and a bottle of wine) and enjoy a concert packed with Israeli singers. What can be better than sitting next to the Mediterranean Sea and listening to fabulous Israeli music?
6. Suzanne Dellal Centre - there’s usually a street party in the Neve Tzedek neighborhood, centered in the plaza outside the Suzanne Dellal Center. This is a charming area, full of tiny side streets, beautiful houses, and stylish bars.
7. Gordon Beach - you’ll be sure to find dancing at Gordon Beach, one of Tel Aviv's best beaches, which in the past has hosted ‘Bollywood in White’ style events.
8. Sunrise Yoga - as well said before, sunrise yoga is a popular activity at Laila Lavan and usually takes place at the Tel Aviv Port (the Namal). A really fantastic way to end your cultural experience.
Finally, we’d warn you that on a night like this, the streets are going to be very crowded. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times (it is summer in Israel, after all), and put on some comfy shoes. Buses are often caught up in traffic and bringing your car into the city is a mad idea, so get prepared to tramp the mean streets. Have a great time!
People enjoying sunset at Tel Aviv Beach. Photo by Daria Dyachenko on Unsplash