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9 Reasons Why You Should Visit Tel Aviv

Picture of Ben Jakob
Updated: 24 April 2018
Tel Aviv is Israel’s most happening city. Whether you are searching for beaches and clubs or great food and architecture, Tel Aviv has it all. It doesn’t matter if you are staying for a weekend or a week; friendly locals will ensure that you’ll get a warm welcome in a city that is proud of its past and is cultivating an optimistic future.

The amazing beaches

The beaches in Tel Aviv are the epicentre of social life in the city. The shores are perfect for everything from sunbathing to playing matkot (similar to beach tennis). You’ll find countless places on the beachfront offering drinks or dinner with sea views. For those feeling particularly lazy, website Mishlohof delivers takeaways directly to your beach towel.

Givat Aliya Beach
Givat Aliya Beach | Kimberley Grant / © Culture Trip

To visit Jaffa

Jaffa is one of the world’s oldest port cities. Its history is reflected in its eclectic mix of old and new architecture, a great metaphor for modern Tel Aviv. Today it is a multi-ethnic community where Muslim, Jews and Arab Christians live side by side. Check out Jaffa’s amazing Old City and explore the winding streets to the recently renovated port, where you can buy fresh fish at restaurants like The Old Man and the Sea.

Steps to the port
Steps to the port | Kimberley Grant / © Culture Trip
Jaffa's flea market
Jaffa’s flea market | Kimberley Grant / © Culture Trip

Top-notch food

Tel Aviv is a foodie city. From amazing chef restaurants and trendy hipster bistros to the best of Middle Eastern street food, the city has it all. For the best hummus go to Ali Karavan (known locally as Abu Hassan) in Jaffa, for high-end food head to Taizu, or for something more specialised and pricey go to Port Said or Santa Katarina near the Great Synagogue on Allenby Street.

Kimberley Grant / © Culture Trip
Kimberley Grant / | © Culture Trip
Kimberley Grant / © Culture Trip
Kimberley Grant / | © Culture Trip

The people

Tel Avivians like to think of themselves as the new Berliners, the ‘it crowd’ of the non-European West. Despite their super-fashionable attire, Tel Avivians still have their feet firmly planted in the Levant. With the perfect mix of style and gall, your average Tel Avivian will gladly help you out with recommendations or directions.

Kimberley Grant / © Culture Trip
Kimberley Grant / | © Culture Trip
Kimberley Grant / © Culture Trip
Kimberley Grant / | © Culture Trip
Kimberley Grant / © Culture Trip
Kimberley Grant / | © Culture Trip

The raucous nightlife

Tel Aviv’s nightlife is renowned throughout the world, especially when the city goes rainbow for the gay pride parade. Parties rage throughout the week and rarely start before midnight. Whether you’re gay or straight, you can dance yourself silly to all kinds of music when the sun goes down at clubs like The Block or Bootleg. For something a bit more underground, head to Jaffa’s Anna Loulou Bar or just grab a drink at the Minzar for a more relaxed, local vibe.

Anna Loulou Bar
Anna Loulou Bar | © Ben Palhov / Anna Loulou Bar

Its rich history

The city is just over a century old and famed for its cosmopolitan nature. Tel Aviv tells the story of Israel and its birth; it’s an urban manifestation of an early vision of Israel based less on collective values and more on secular and liberal individualism. Check out the beautiful Neve Tzedek neighbourhood or head to the Yemenite Quarter to see the Tel Aviv of yesteryear.

A worker carries bricks to build the first Hebrew city, Tel Aviv
A worker carries bricks to build the first Hebrew city, Tel Aviv | © American Colony Jerusalem / WikiCommons

The architecture

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tel Aviv’s so-called White City offers one of the most unique and extensive collection of Bauhaus, or International Style, architecture outside of Germany. The centre of Tel Aviv offers countless examples of fine Modernist buildings, including Avraham Soskin House on Lilienblum Street built in 1933 by Zeev Rechter and Jacobson’s Building on Levontin Street built by Emanuel Halbrecht in 1937. There are a number of great walking tours around here, but getting lost is always recommended

The 'Crazy House'
The ‘Crazy House’ | Kimberley Grant / © Culture Trip
Hotel Cinema
Hotel Cinema | Kimberley Grant / © Culture Trip
The Great Synagogue
The Great Synagogue | Kimberley Grant / © Culture Trip

The business opportunities

Tel Aviv has sometimes been called Silicon Wadi – an Arabic spin on the nickname of the high-tech capital of California – due to its propensity for cultivating start-ups. Tel Aviv has more apps and tech companies than cafés (and it has a lot of cafés!) With dozens of conferences, meet-ups and hubs, Tel Aviv might be the place for your idea to blossom into a young start-up.

DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival 2016
DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival 2016 | © Hubert Burda Media

It’s liberal and gay friendly

Over 10 years ago, Tel Aviv decided to embrace its status as Israel’s most liberal city and rebranded itself as the unofficial gay capital of the Middle East. In Tel Aviv, the ultra-Orthodox live side by side with people of all orientations. The city doesn’t have gay bars in the traditional sense, as there’s simply no need for them any more.