Seven Top Attractions in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv isn’t one of Israel’s top tourist attractions for nothing - it really does have something for everyone - whether you’re looking for a beach holiday, arriving with kids, wanting to explore the nightlife with your friends or visiting to check out the incredible food scene.
Like many other Mediterranean cities, many of the top attractions in Tel Aviv are outside, and because the weather is so good most of the year (from May to November you’ll be hard-pressed to see a drop of rain) you won’t have to pack a sweater and umbrella when you leave your hotel in the morning.
Kid-Friendly, Gay-Friendly and a Foodie Paradise
Furthermore, Tel Aviv is a city that welcomes kids, which means you won’t necessarily feel limited if you’ve arrived with young ones in two. For those in the LGBTQ community, it’s a fine city to visit because it’s so open and friendly, with a wide array of gay bars and a phenomenal Pride
And finally, some of the top tourist attractions in Tel Aviv are actually free, which really makes them even more alluring for anyone travelling to Israel on a budget!
Want to know where to go, what to do and how to see as much as you can in the City that Never Sleeps? Here are ten ideas for things to do when you arrive in Israel.
1. Enjoy some Beach Time
Tel Aviv has a fabulous stretch of beaches, all with white sand, clear blue sea, free workout stations and paths along which you can bike, jog or amble. And because the weather is so pleasant for much of the year, you can be sure of grabbing plenty of vitamin D, whether you rent a chair and umbrella or bring your own towel.
There are beaches that surfers flock to, where dog lovers bring their pooches, where young Israelis drum in Shabbat (!) and where locals gather every Saturday morning to dance traditional Israeli folk dances. The beaches all have endless amenities, including toilets, showers, cafes and bars, and whether you want to swim in the Mediterranean or just admire it, it’s fabulous and it’s free.
2. Laze in Park Hayarkon
This ‘green lung of Tel Aviv’ lies in the northern part of the city, close to the Namal Port, and is the perfect place to spend a few hours, whether you feel like a leisurely stroll, are into running, or love cycling along the river that runs through it.
Park Hayarkon also boasts a bird sanctuary, mini-golf, the Meymadion water park (perfect for a day out with the kids in the summer) and ‘Sportek’ which includes tennis courts, a climbing wall, baseball courts and a soccer area. You can also rent boats - motor, paddle or rowing - and float down the river, drinking in the view.
HaYarkon Park, Tel Aviv
Jaffa is one of the oldest ports in the world and is the perfect place to spend a day since it’s a lovely 40-minute walk (or a quick bus ride) from Dizengoff Street (the heart of Tel Aviv).
Stroll around the port and enjoy a fish lunch, explore the Artists Quarter, with its charming narrow streets and cobblestones, step inside the beautiful Franciscan church of St, Peter and then head to the famous Jaffa flea market (‘shuk hapishpishim’) where you can hunt out bargains, then sit in one of the many trendy bars in the neighbourhood, drinking an iced coffee or a local craft beer.
Old Jaffa Port
4. Visit Sarona
Sarona today is a newly developed complex, popular with locals and tourists alike, full of trendy bars, upscale restaurants and plenty of gourmet food stores, selling all kinds of artisan products. Ten minutes walk north from Tel Aviv’s famous Rothschild Boulevard, It’s a popular place to hang out either by day or at night.
Sarona also has an interesting history - it was once the area where the Templars lived, in what was known as the ‘German Colony’. Established in 1871, it was one of the earliest modern villages to appear in Ottoman Palestine - what’s nice is that the buildings there have all been restored and renovated, in line with traditional architecture.
Sarona Neighborhood Tel Aviv. Photo by Marsel van Oosten on Sarona
5. Explore the Bauhaus Scene
Not everyone knows that Tel Aviv is the world UNESCO ‘Bauhaus Capital’ with more than 4,000 of these buildings erected between 1920-1940, by German Jewish architects had fled the Nazis. Today, many of them have been restored and they are absolutely stunning.
You can explore them just by walking around Tel Aviv yourself (you’ll see examples of them all around Dizengoff Centre, Bialik and Ahad Ha’am streets and on Rothschild Boulevard). You can also take a Bauhaus tour, where a very informed tour guide will show you the beauty of these buildings - abstract, functional, geometric and with lovely curves. Wow!
6. Wander the Carmel Market
The Carmel Market (‘Shuk ha Carmel’ in Hebrew) is the beating heart of Tel Aviv in many ways - it’s a place you can shop for anything and everything (fruit and vegetables, herbs & spices, beach attire, souvenirs from Israel) and it’s also a place to grab amazing Israeli street food and enjoy a slice of local life whilst sipping at a fresh juice or lemonade with mint!
The Shuk ha Carmel lies at the intersection of King Geroge, Allenby and Sheinkin Streets, close to the Yemenite Quarter (’the Kerem’), and is open six days a week. This is the place you should go if you want to get a feel for the Levant and anyone with any interest in cooking should think about taking a Carmel Market Food Tour here.
7. Stroll in Neve Tzedek
Neve Tsedek is, arguably, one of Tel Aviv’s most charming and picturesque neighbourhoods, filled with boutique stores, small cafes, excellent restaurants and the Suzanne Dellal Centre, which is the home of modern dance and the city’s famous ‘Bat Sheva’ dance troupe.
It also has a wonderful history - it was the first Jewish neighbourhood to be constructed outside the ancient walls of Jaffa…years ago it was poor and run-down but the tiny houses have been painstakingly restored and today it’s achingly fashionable.
Whether you want to grab a pastry at Dallal Bakery, eat some fabulous food at the vegan restaurant Meshek Barzilay, grab an ice cream at the Anita Parlour, or wander down to the Nahum Gutman museum or ‘HaTachana’ (the lively ‘Old Railway Station’ development) it’s all yours for the taking.
If you’re thinking of visiting Israel, why not take advantage of our organised tour and day trip service - we offer group and private trips from Jerusalem and the Dead Sea/Masada to northern Israel, where you can explore the Galilee and Golan Heights, and plenty more beside.
Feel free to contact us by email or telephone for more information.