10 Tips To Live Like a Local In Tel Aviv

Photo of Natalie Sutton Balaban
9 February 2017

Figuring out the simplest things in a new city can be tough. Its true that these ins and outs are an inevitable part of developing a daily routine. Use the suggestions and resources below to help you take on Tel Aviv like a local in no time. Don’t forget to watch out for the prowling cats and the electric bicycles!

Catching A Taxi

Flagging a taxi in the city is a challenge as many drivers do not accept payment by credit card. ‘Gett Taxi’ is an application well-used by the locals as it is Tel Aviv’s answer to Uber. Riders can order in advance, pay by credit card and take advantage of GPS services in real time.

Gett Taxi @Krokodyl/WikiCommons: | Gett Taxi @Krokodyl/WikiCommons:

Return Policies

Some stores in Tel Aviv will not process returns to a foreign credit card. In other instances, the return needs to be done through the head office, which can take up to two weeks. Better safe than sorry, always ask before buying.

Shopping @JamesDeMers/Pixabay | Shopping @JamesDeMers/Pixabay


Plan your next trip in the city with Moovit. Type in your final destination and receive route options (walking, bus, and taxi), alternative routes and real-time arrival updates. Browse a list of transit line maps for general planning & more.

Getting Around: @Ynhockey/WikiCommons | Getting Around: @Ynhockey/WikiCommons

Golan Telecom

Purchase a local sim card through Golan Telecom, operating a ‘low cost’ brand. Monthly packages can be purchased for as low as 9.90 shekels a month, which includes 100 minutes within Israel and 56 select countries, SMS, 100MB internet browsing and more (some restrictions apply).

Read Rental Descriptions

In Tel Aviv, apartments are described by their total number of rooms, not to be confused with the total number of bedrooms. For example, a two room apartment would have one bedroom and a living room. Make sure you know the layout of any accommodation before booking.

Finding A Workspace

The upside of living in a city bustling with entrepreneurship, such as Tel Aviv, is that there are available resources to support flexible working. An example is the Misantrope. The main space has a strict no-talking policy, inclusive of cell phones. It costs ten shekels per hour to rent a spot in the main room. The price includes access to coffee, light snacks (usually wafers), a power outlet, and fast internet. Printing is available for an additional fee.

Workspace @Unsplash/Pixabay: | Workspace @Unsplash/Pixabay

Giving Wedding Gifts

On the off chance of getting invited to a local wedding ceremony, money is the best wedding present to give in this city. Wedding gift lists are not commonplace and couples often use the money to payback their wedding expenses. In a city this expensive to live in, a little money goes a long way for newlyweds.

Wedding Gifts @Grauesel/WikiCommons | Wedding Gifts @Grauesel/WikiCommons

Shopping For Cosmetics

Map View
Specialty Cosmetics
Specialty Cosmetics | @aleksandra85foto/Pixabay:
Not all brands are available at your local drugstore in Tel Aviv. For example, very select fragrances by Chanel are available if any. Try April, the cosmetics and fragrance chain, for specialty items. If high-end cosmetics are of interest, a speciality store is a must.

Tipping At Restaurants

Cash is obviously always an acceptable payment for a tip but if you wish to tip by card it is recommended to advise the waiter prior to paying for your meal (10-15%). There is generally no option to add the tip by credit card once the payment was processed and you receive the receipt.

No Advil

Most of the urban supermarket chains do not carry Advil. It’s wise to stock up in advance so there’s no chance Advil users are caught without it, especially during the hours when the pharmacy is closed.

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