Considered the Central Park of Tel Aviv, Park HaYarkon is a large urban park located on the border of bustling Tel Aviv. The perfect city getaway for a breath of fresh air, some call it the Green Lung, as it’s beautifully brimming with fresh green grass, trees, gardens, a soothing river, a love bridge, sports parks, playgrounds and winding walking and riding paths. From early morning until late at night , Park HaYarkon buzzes with people and activity, from the runners to the climbers to the BBQers, to the friends and families and lovers. Amidst the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv, gazing at green beauty is a reminder to slow down and smell the honeysuckle. Whether on your own or with a group, Park Hayarkon is the right place to refresh, revive and restore.
HAPPY TIP: Take a joyride on a paddle boat, rent a bike or bring a blanket and picnic to soak up the happy energy inside the park.
Escape into the right alleyway on King George Street, look for the seemingly typical café entrance labeled SONYA, and walk straight back to a magical oasis that doesn’t feel like Tel Aviv at all. Here you will discover a charming secret garden brimming with colorfully tiled handmade tables, chirping birds, peace and quiet, and a ceiling of trees to cap off the gardenesque essence. A unique find among one of the most bustling streets in Tel Aviv, Sonya helps slow down the clock with her intriguing story and fairytale menu. Take in each blink of the whimsical surroundings while taking a bite into delicious food and drink in this cozy spot.
HAPPY TIP: The entire menu is tasty but for an assured boost of happy, order the longtime specialty of stellar shakshuka with a side of scrumptious Moroccan pita.
Sonya, Simta Almonit 1,Tel Aviv, Israel, +972 077-526-1234
The Tel Aviv Beach
Layers of beauty break onto the shores of Tel Aviv, starting with the Mediterranean Sea, which meets soft sands and a newly renovated boardwalk. Without a doubt, Tel Aviv’s beach is one of the happiest spots in Tel Aviv. The serene scene with a side of city life provides the perfect escape to clear the mind and relax the body – or just tan it. Steady sunshine drenches the sand while wooden gazebos and palm trees shade beach goers. Cafés, outdoor gyms, reading corners and playgrounds line the boardwalk to fulfill various aspects of human happiness. The combination of sunshine and sea offers an inner cleanse and helps get anybody in touch with nature. It’s an ideal spot for runners, strollers, yogis, couples, families, tourists…or any human who needs some soul soothing.
HAPPY TIP: After a day of work, touring or partying, pop down to the sea for a sunset dip between 18:00-19:00. Bring watermelon and beer for ultimate Tel Aviv moment making. For local vibes, visit the beach by the Dolphinarium on Friday afternoon to drum or dance at the drumming circle.
Various beaches along Tel Aviv’s coast.
Meet Mova, Tel Aviv’s freshest studio promoting a lifestyle of moving, which includes everything from yoga to kickboxing to nutrition and coaching. With an active community and amazing teachers, Mova provides a trifecta of rejuvenation for mind, body and soul. A one-stop shop of knowledge and motivation, the team at Mova not only inspires body movement but also enlightens its visitors with the psychology behind why it’s so crucial. This new lifestyle brand has become an affordable addition to the Tel Aviv health scene and is creating a new way to think about the mind and movement.
HAPPY TIP: Whether you book yoga or TRX, Mova will not only get you moving, but a visit to their gorgeous hand-built rooftop during a sensational sunset will provide an automatic boost of happy.
MOVA, Geula 10, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972 054 673 6470
Enter XOHO, a vegan-friendly café known for its homemade goodies and graffiti, as well as its friendly owners who provide unparalleled good vibes. If you’re in need of an uplifting jar of juice or just some tasty conversation, XOHO always provides the positive. With fresh and flavorful meals made to make every mouth happy, and an on-site bakery which churns out fresh baked anything, the owners pride themselves on ensuring XOHO isn’t just a café, but a community. From the moment they step in, tourists and locals alike will feel the welcoming energy of this colorful and delightful sweet street stop.
HAPPY TIP: Check out the weekly specials handcrafted with care, or stay simple and order the best homemade bagel in the country with a side of sweet beet juice.
Café XOHO, Gordon 17, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972 072-249-5497
The Dog Park
Humans with pets live longer and feel happier, and that’s a fact. Enter happy heaven, also known as the dog parks of Tel Aviv, which flourish with playful pups on a citywide basis. Over 30,000 dogs live in the city of Tel Aviv, so it’s only natural for the dog park to be a meeting place of not only happy pooches who get to run free, chase, roll, and fetch – but their even happier humans who chat, catch up on reading, or watch with pride as their pup play with friends. No pet? No worries. Dog-sit for a friend for an afternoon, or visit Gan Meir on Fridays to adopt or foster your own pooch.
HAPPY TIP: After a session at the happening Gan Meir dog park, stroll through the trees to the Gay Center to support ongoing Pride events or for an iced coffee at the local café.
Music-loving night owls rejoice! Kuli Alma slid into Tel Aviv nightlife over one year ago and has easily remained the star of the scene thanks to its cutting edge enthusiasm for art, culture and of course, music. Bringing together the creative community with ease, creatives and clubbers worldwide can explore this majestic maze of rooms splashed with murals from local artists and vintage films. This thriving scene suits any soul who is looking for a grand time, every time. For an extra dose of happy, order one of their specialty slushies or dive in to the perfectly decadent dessert pizza.
HAPPY TIP: For consistent Kuli vibes, follow their vibrant and eclectically amazing mix of musically magical DJs on SoundCloud.
Kuli Alma, Mikveh Israel 10, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972 03-656-5155
Tel Aviv Art Studio
Creative self expression is the superstar of Tel Aviv Art Studio, where the happy hub has been open since 2009. Guests are greeted by a homemade mosaic when they walk into this wonderfully decorated space brimming with paints, tools and other inspirational goodies to get the creativity rocking. Believe it or not, everyone has artistic potential, and using your hands to create a personal piece is an important form of expression.
HAPPY TIP: Join a Drink & Draw class to combine two favorite activities, or work one on one with the owner who will encourage your creative exploration.
Tel Aviv Art Studio, 128 Ibn Gvirol, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972 052 786 3483
Kikar HaTizmoret Garden
A fairly recent addition to an already blossoming area of Tel Aviv, Kikar Hatizmoret Garden at Habima Square is decked with seeds of cultural joy and urban good vibes on the daily. Located at the start of the bustling Rothschild Boulevard, the flower garden offers a moment of colorful calm to any passerby who chooses to stop and smell the roses. Find a local dance crew practicing or enjoy watching the babies crawl the boards in an abundance of petal pleasure. Stop here during a busy day to catch your breath or sit at one of the many coffee shops nearby to eye the mid-city flower affair.
HAPPY TIP: Choose a corner to plop down on and take in every sensational sight. Listen to the classical sounds surrounding you (which are only heard when sitting in the Garden). Close your eyes and set an intention for when you choose to get up. Use the peaceful place to create a more serene path for the rest of your day.
School of Shine
Imagine a worldwide community of women filled with kindness, connection and wisdom. Join School of Shine, one of the brightest new corners of the world (and web), headquartered in the heart of Tel Aviv. Dedicated to being an open and positive community for women, School of Shine hosts various types of fun events with the purpose of providing tools and inspiration to encourage self-awareness, self-appreciation and self-exploration. Using the science of happiness and other wellness tools such as yoga, meditation, creative expression, and coaching, SOS is bringing like-minded women together to focus on what matters and to create a happy place for women to find a sense of self and support.
HAPPY TIP: Belonging to a community is one of the easiest ways to become happier. Try something new and show up to any SOS event which peaks your interest. With a focus on mind, body, soul and fun, you’re bound to meet a new partner in shine with which to explore Tel Aviv.
By Zo Flamenbaum
Based in the startup city of Tel Aviv, Zo is a hippie entrepreneur who is professionally passionate about creative writing, social good, and chocolate croissants. By day, she works as a consultant, and by heart, she founded School of Shine, a movement for spirited women who aspire to love, laugh and learn in order to live a happier and healthier life every day. Connect with Zo on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.