Image by Israeli illustrator Maya Ish-Shalom

Insider Travel Guide to Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is the liberal heart of Israel, where every night out lasts until dawn and life revolves around the beach. Progressive and secular with a strong artistic spirit, the city has become a magnet for creatives, partygoers and LGBTQ travellers. During the day, sunbathers and matkot (Israeli beach tennis) players pack the beaches; food markets buzz with shoppers; and tourists join city workers at the restaurants and kiosks dotted along Rothschild Boulevard, which runs through the heart of the White City. From the early evening, rooftop bars and beachside cafés fill up with people chatting and talking in the kind of glorious sunset you can only find on the Mediterranean. After dark, laidback gastropubs and bohemian hangouts draw in stylish, lively crowds. And, with most clubs not getting busy until 2am – at the earliest – you can expect to be out until the sun comes back up again.

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Tel Aviv points of interest and attractions

For locals, beaches are at the centre of social life – no Tel Aviv trip is complete without a stroll along the promenade. For some highbrow, indoor culture, head to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art to see its extensive collection of Israeli art, from Reuven Rubin paintings to sculpture by Rudi Lehmann, and works by the likes of Pollock, Picasso and Van Gogh. Colourful and often politically charged street art covers the walls of Florentin, the hipster quarter, while the iconic Bauhaus buildings of the White City – now a UNESCO World Heritage Site – will delight architecture enthusiasts. Experience a change of pace by visiting the ancient city of Jaffa, known for its biblical heritage, large flea market and independent art galleries.

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Neighborhoods in Tel Aviv