Must-Visit Attractions in Tel Aviv

Jaffa is the oldest part of Tel Aviv-Yafo and is more than worth exploring
Jaffa is the oldest part of Tel Aviv-Yafo and is more than worth exploring | © sfabisuk / iStock

Israel writer

Whether it’s architecture, markets or the beach that piques your interest, here are the top places you need to visit in Tel Aviv.

Tel Aviv may be on the small side, but it’s packed with history, culture and nightlife. These hotspots are where you’ll find the pulse of the city and what makes it such a special destination.

1. Wander down the beach promenade

Natural Feature

Herzliya Beach, Tel Aviv,Israel
© Anna Bryukhanova / Getty Images

Recently renovated, this promenade runs along Tel Aviv’s coastline. It offers easy access to the beach or any of the countless cafés and public gyms dotted along the shore, but most of all, it’s the best place to take in the sunset.

2. Neve Tzedek

Bar, Cafe, Ice Cream Parlour, Israeli

Colorful houses along narrow street as modern buildings on background under blue sky in Neve Tzedek neighborhood in Tel Aviv, Israel.
© Rostislav Glinsky / Alamy Stock Photo
One of Tel Aviv’s oldest neighbourhoods, Neve Tzedek is now a trendy hub of fashion stores and cultural institutions. Grab a cone at Anita – one of the city’s best ice-cream shops – and get lost in the picturesque streets of the area, stopping off at art galleries along the way. Dallal is a great place to have lunch. Take a private tour with a local guide to experience a different side of the neighbourhood. Visit quaint HaTachana market shops, chow down on traditional Israeli foods, soak up the history of Tel Aviv and nearby Jaffa, and wander around Neve Tzedek landmarks.

3. HaTachana, the old train station

Train Station

Old train station in Tel Aviv, Israel
© trabantos / iStock

HaTachana, as it is known in Hebrew, opened in 1891 – making it the first train station built in the Middle East. Located in Neve Tzedek, it has been restored into a compound with boutique stores and trendy restaurants. Check out the weekly events on offer, which range from sunset yoga classes to Israeli art and craft fairs.

4. Jaffa’s Old City and Port

Art Gallery, Market, Ruins, Shop

Jaffa flea market
© Kolderal / iStock
Among the oldest port cities in the world, Jaffa’s Old City is a maze of sun-kissed cobblestone streets, art galleries and cafés that spill over into the area’s flea market, Shuk Hapishpishim, where haggling is a must. Packed with clothes, jewellery and classic Israeli treasures, the market is best explored via a walking tour alongside a local guide who will be able to tell you exactly which stalls to visit, and take you via other notable sights, like the Jaffa Clock Tower, too. Once your tour is finished, head to the port for some fresh fish, or go to the original Abu Hassan restaurant on HaDolfin Street for the best hummus around.

5. Port of Tel Aviv

Market, Natural Feature, Shop

The port and the town, on the background Tel Aviv
© Atlantide Phototravel / Getty Images
A hub of restaurants, shops and other attractions, the Namal (port of Tel Aviv) is a hotspot for young revellers at night and great for spending an afternoon shopping. Check out Kitchen Market for contemporary Israeli fare with sea views.

6. Nightlife at the Great Synagogue

Concert Hall, Synagogue

A bartender prepares a drink
© Scott Harrison / Getty Images

To soak up a typical, hip Tel Aviv atmosphere, check out the plaza surrounding the Great Synagogue on Allenby Street. Dine al fresco at Eyal Shani’s Port Said restaurant, or check out the magic produced by Santa Katarina’s tabun oven. There are several other lively spots in the area, just go and see where the night takes you.

7. White City walking tour

Architectural Landmark

96 Hayarkon renovated Bauhaus building by Bar Orian architects - april 16th 2017, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
© Michael Jacobs / Art in All of Us / Getty Images
Tel Aviv is world-famous for its unique collection of Bauhaus architecture. Brought to Israel by German Jews and embraced by local designers, most of the Unesco-recognised White City homes are in central Tel Aviv. Use this useful walking tour to find your way around.

8. Gay Pride Parade


Tel Aviv became an up-and-coming global city in part because it made the conscious choice to become the Middle East’s LGBTQ capital. If you find yourself in the city in June, the annual gay pride parade is a city-wide event, and people of all orientations and genders are always welcome to join the party.

9. Yemenite Quarter

Building, Architectural Landmark

Yemeni district Kerem Hateimanim, murals
© Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo

Just behind Carmel Market lies the Yemenite Quarter, or Kerem HaTeimanim in Hebrew. This quaint neighbourhood pre-dates the city itself and is home to a number of spice vendors, hipster cafés and humble, generations-old eateries. Shlomo & Doron has arguably the best hummus in Tel Aviv, while Anat’s Kitchen is the place to go for some soul-nourishing home-cooked food from a charismatic Israeli grandmother.

10. Teder

Bar, Market, Restaurant, Nightclub, Israeli

© Ariel Efron - Photograhpy |
© Ariel Efron / Courtesy of Teder
Tel Aviv has earned a reputation for being a cool party city, and spearheading the city’s hip status has been the Teder pop-up bar and radio station. It is now permanently housed in the enclosed courtyard of Beit Romano, a hidden shopping complex in Tel Aviv’s old textile district. Downstairs, there’s dancing and a boutique pizzeria run by Eyal Shani, who also has a trendy Mediterranean restaurant called Romano on the second floor.

11. Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Art Gallery, Museum, Opera House

Tel Aviv museum mural in the lobby of the Tel Aviv museum of art
© Michael Jacobs / Art in All of Us / Getty Images

Home to an impressive collection of local and international art, ranging from photography to old masters, this is the White City’s biggest museum. It is located in a large plaza full of sculptures and is right next door to an even more impressive plaza, which is the site of Israel’s second-largest theatre and main opera house.

12. Bialik House

Building, Museum

Bialik House, museum for the Hebrew national poet Hayyim Nahman Bialik in Tel Aviv Israel
© Eddie Gerald / Alamy Stock Photo
A prominent example of Tel Aviv’s Eclectic Style architecture, the Bialik House was the home of Israel’s national poet (Hayim Nahman Bialik) for a short time. The house’s style merges Eastern and Western elements, part of an attempt in the early years of the city to forge a new ‘Hebrew’ style of architecture. Venture inside to view the beautiful Bezalel-designed (Israel’s national design school) ceramic flooring and European-style dining room.

13. Florentin

Market, Park, Architectural Landmark, Building

Florentin a hip, cool neighborhood in the southern part of Tel Aviv
© Eddie Gerald / Alamy Stock Photo
Florentin is Tel Aviv’s hipster neighbourhood, located in the south of the city. Come here to wander around the recently pedestrianised Levinsky Market, home to some of the best spices and street food in the city, before taking a tour of the street art for which the area’s become known. Florentin comes to life at night, with numerous bars and restaurants buzzing into the early hours. A great place to start your night is with authentic Mexican fare and good tequila at Mezcal.

14. Bialik Square

Architectural Landmark

Bialik Square, Tel-Aviv
© RnDmS / iStock

At the bottom of Bialik Street lies a semi-secret spot that was once the main square of Tel Aviv. Encircling a fountain, here you’ll find some of the city’s most beautiful architecture. Most notable is Beit Ha’ir, which was built in 1924 as a hotel in a grand and classical style, and served as Tel Aviv’s city hall until 1965.

15. HaYarkon Park

Botanical Garden, Park, Sports Center, University, Zoo

Cityscape and Hayarkon park
© trabantos / iStock
Located in the north of the city, Tel Aviv’s biggest green space – HaYarkon Park – runs east to west along the Yarkon River (it’s more of a stream) and has a small petting zoo as well as ample space for picnics and bike rides. You can also rent a boat for a gentle paddle upstream.

16. King Albert Square

Architectural Landmark, Building

Israel, The Norman Tel Aviv - boutique hotel
© Michael Jacobs / Alamy Stock Photo
Located in the quiet backstreets behind Rothschild Boulevard, King Albert Square is arguably the most picturesque square in Tel Aviv. Stunning architecture is provided by The Norman (a luxury hotel) and the Pagoda House, among the most impressive Eclectic Style buildings in Tel Aviv and the first private residence to have an elevator. For lunch, go to Café Noir, which is famous among residents for its veal schnitzel.

17. The PhotoHouse


Tel Aviv. Bauhaus style apartment blocks
© Culture Club / Getty Images
This gem of a store houses a unique collection of historical photographs of Israel and Tel Aviv, which are available to buy in a range of formats, from postcards to large canvases. Tucked away on a sidestreet just a short walk from Carmel Market, this is a must-visit for history buffs, photography enthusiasts or anyone looking for a unique souvenir.

18. Hilton Hill


Hilton Hotel and Independence Park, Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv, Israel, Middle East
© RobertHarding / Alamy Stock Photo
Residents flock to the hill in Independence Park to enjoy the most scenic and romantic sunset spot in Tel Aviv. Located next to the Hilton Hotel in the north of the city, the hill overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and is the perfect place to complete a day of exploring. Bring some wine and chill out on the grass while enjoying the live music (usually on weekends).

19. Rothschild Boulevard

Building, Park

Morning Cafe in Tel Aviv
© Chalffy / Getty Images
As the very first street built in the city, Rothschild Boulevard occupies a central place in the history of Tel Aviv and is home to numerous architectural landmarks. Start at the southern end, on the corner of Herzl Street, to find Tel Aviv’s first coffee kiosk built in 1910 (now operated by Espresso Bar). Head northwards, and admire Levin (or Heseg) House at number 46, a beautiful building with a tumultuous history built in the 1920s in the Eclectic Style. Then check out Engel House, at number 84, which is among the most important Bauhaus landmarks in Tel Aviv. Why? It was the first to be built on stilts – now a hallmark of many Bauhaus buildings in the city and a great example of the unique adaptations made by the design school’s graduates here. After exploring by day, experience a different side of Rothschild Boulevard on a guided pub crawl, where you’ll get to enjoy the nightlife, meet other travellers and residents and enjoy drinks along the way.

20. Carmel Market

Market, Israeli

Carmel Market in Tel Aviv, Israel
© Peeterv / iStock

Skip breakfast and come to Tel Aviv’s largest open-air market, which will send you into sensory overload. Here, you’ll find some of the freshest produce and most delectable street food in the city – don’t miss the gourmet pita bread from Panda Pita.

This article is an updated version of a story created by Bryony Hatherley.

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