Tel Aviv is small but packed with culture, history and vibrant nightlife. Whether it’s architecture or the beach that piques your interest, here are the top places of interest you need to visit in Tel Aviv.
The beach promenade
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Recently renovated, the promenade runs along Tel Aviv’s coastline. It offers easy access to the beach or any of the countless cafes dotted along the shore, but most of all it offers the best place to take in the sunset.
Tel Aviv’s oldest neighborhood 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 area. Dallal is a great place to stop for lunch, or if you’re up for a second ice cream, try Granny’s Ice cream (Glida Savta) in the Suzan Dallal Art Center.
Israel’s most famous plaza, Rabin Square a key point in Tel Aviv and a must-visit site. Home to the town hall, it also has a memorial for Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s Prime Minister who was assassinated after a pro-peace rally. The square itself is beautiful and there are free lawn chairs near its fountain.
Jaffa’s Old City and Port
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One of the oldest port cities in the world, Jaffa’s Old City is a maze of stores and cafes that spill over into Jaffa’s flea market. Head to the port for some fresh fish, or get lost in the winding alleys of the Twelve Signs.
A hub of restaurants, shops and other attractions, the port is a hotspot for young revelers at night and great for spending an afternoon shopping and sea gazing. Check out Yahaloma near the farmers’ market inside the port for some great local cuisine.
Another nightlife hot spot is the square surrounding the Great Synagogue on Allenby Street. Home to the original Teder, which has since turned into the Port Said restaurant, it’s great to just show up in this area and see where the evening takes you. There a few bars around the historical structure, and all of them are great.
Tel Aviv’s Habima Square (or The Stage Square) is home to its philharmonic orchestra, the HaBima national theatre, and one of the most beautiful squares in Tel Aviv. Though shadeless, its sunken garden is a dream spot, with classic musical playing around the clock, but audible only to those sitting inside the submerged area.
White City walking tour
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-recognized “White City” homes are in central Tel Aviv. Use this useful walking tour to find your way around.
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. The gay pride parade is a city-wide event, and people of all orientations and genders are always welcome to join the party.
Tel Aviv has earned a reputation for being a super fun and cool party city. Spearheading the city’s hip status has been the Teder pop-up bar and radio station. This hip bar is now permanently housed in the Beit Romano, an amazing structure in Tel Aviv’s old textile district near Florentine and the Levinsky Market. Downstairs there’s dancing and a boutique pizzeria run by chef Eyal Shani, who also has a fancy yet cool fish restaurant on the second floor.
Home to an impressive collection of local and international art, this is the White City’s biggest museum. Tel Aviv Museum is located in a beautiful large plaza full of sculptures, and is right next door to an even more impressive plaza, which is home to Israel’s second largest theatre and main opera house. The museum has recently opened a new wing, so its worth checking out the surrounding area too.
Nothing says Tel Aviv more than Bauhaus architecture. Also known as the “international style”, the prevalence of the architectural style in Tel Aviv earned it UNESCO recognition as the White City. Near the Dizengoff Square’s Hotel Cinema, one of the most prominent examples of the Bauhaus style, the Bauhaus center offers books and postcards showcasing the functional yet pristine design movement, perfect for your arty friends.
The Bialik House in Tel Aviv was home to Israel's national poet | Gellerj, Wikipedia
A prominent example of Tel Aviv’s eclectic architecture, the Bialik House was the home of Israel’s national poet (Hayim Nahman Bialik) for a short time. It’s a gem, both for its form and its content, so make sure to visit inside as well.
Central Tel Aviv’s sole green lung, the Meir Park — named for the city’s first mayor, Meir Dizengoff — is a fun mix of playgrounds, lawns, benches and shaded walking lanes. It also has a free ping-pong table, so bring a ball and rackets.
An extension of the Tel Aviv Museum, the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion is the best place to see contemporary Israeli art. It is also partially hidden inside one of Tel Aviv’s smallest yet most beautiful parks, Gan Yaakov, with a small bridge and upper walkways connecting the treetops to the Culture Hall that houses the philharmonic. It’s a great place to read a book or find shade from the sun.
Tel Aviv is sometimes considered the New York of Israel — independent and a world of its own. But Israel was officially born in Tel Aviv, on the stairs of a house that is now called Independence Hall. For history buffs, this is a must visit.
A bit out of the way, the gem that is Park Hahurshot is the city’s biggest and most impressive park. It has tons of space, a great playground, and is also home to a community garden and one of Israel’s most active and impressive Orthodox churches.
Tel Aviv’s biggest park, Park Hayarkon runs east to west along the Yarkon “river” (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 and try to paddle up stream, but don’t go too far as you’ll hit open sea soon enough.