Tel Aviv Mini Guide
What can you Tell me About Tel Aviv?
If you think Middle Eastern cities are all about dust, smells and religion then Tel Aviv will make you think again. It’s the most western thinking of the cities of the area and has a vibrancy that is unmatched in the region. Skyscrapers dot the skyline and top restaurants and bars cater for the young and rich of the city. It’s very much a 24 hour city and a powerhouse of Israel’s economy. It has a great beach which is very popular with the citizens and tourists, upon which you can do water sports, meet friends, eat, drink or just relax.
How do I Get to Tel Aviv?
Tel Aviv is home to Israel’s biggest international airport, Ben Gurion. Last year over 12 million passengers used it to travel to and from the city. Nine miles from the city centre, the airport is connected by buses, train links, taxis and more to the centre and was voted best Middle Eastern airport for its facilities and service. Many airlines fly from the UK to Tel Aviv including BA, El Al and budget carrier easyJet. If you're renting a car in Israel
for the first time, we recommend you learn the rules of the road before you take to the roads.
What is There to See and Do in Tel Aviv?
For anyone interested in the origins of the city, head to Old Jaffa, the biblical city and departure point of Jonah before he was consumed by the whale. The city is an ancient monument in itself and carefully protected by the Ministry of Antiquities. Back in the city, take a walk down Rothschild Boulevard, considered to be the prettiest street in Tel Aviv and lined with stunning, protected Bauhaus designed buildings. For a poignant afternoon, visit the Museum of Israel where, whatever your viewpoint on Middle Eastern affairs, you can’t help being moved by the sacrifices made by the Jewish nation in order to establish and protect their identity and country.
What can I buy to Take Home With me?
Shopping is fabulous in Tel Aviv, whether it’s the modern air conditioned malls or the ramshackle bazaars and narrow streets, there’s a great selection. Many go there especially for the diamonds and diamond jewellery that are made by experts and turned into exquisite and often unique pieces. Elsewhere, the huge art scene in the city means that there are some great works for sale at very reasonable prices with a good chance you’ll pick up a piece by a future genius.
What is There to eat in Tel Aviv?
Much of what there is to eat in the city is based on international cuisine although there are many outlets that serve traditional Middle Eastern food such as falafel and hummus. With its eclectic mix of cultures, much of the food on offer is a fusion of different styles and the food aficionado will be in heaven in the city.
How do I Party in Tel Aviv?
Matching its 24 hour lifestyle is Tel Aviv’s 24 hour party scene. Parties can begin with a group of friends relaxing, drinking and chatting on the beach followed by a great meal in one of the city’s top restaurants. After that, maybe one of the city’s bars, before going on to some of the best dance clubs in the Eastern Mediterranean. When that finally closed in the small hours, many then retire to coffee shops.
Tel Aviv is a surprising city. You’d imagine a large commercial centre like this would be low on attractions but Tel Aviv has a lot to keep the tourist busy. Old Jaffa, which merged with Tel Aviv in 1950, is one of the world’s oldest ports and the site from which Jonah set sail for his encounter with the whale.
If you’ve got a hire car, take a look at Rabin Square, the largest square in Israel and the place where Israeli Premier Yitzak Rabin was assassinated by a right wing Israeli protesting at the terms of a peace treaty.