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21 Free Things To Do In Tel Aviv, Israel

21 Free Things To Do In Tel Aviv, Israel

Picture of Stefanie Amini
Updated: 9 February 2017
It is no secret that Tel Aviv is a dynamic city brimming with interesting things to do, and some of the best activities don’t require spending a single shekel. Enjoy our guide to 21 free things to do in stunning Tel Aviv.

Ben Gurion House

This small and manageable museum, is an overlooked yet worthwhile place of knowledge to visit. The centrally located Ben-Gurion House was once the abode of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion. It is fascinating because it shows the way of life of Israel’s great leader, a man who pioneered so much to get Tel Aviv to the place it is today.

Sderot Ben Gurion 17, Tel Aviv-Yafo

Namal Tel Aviv
The Port of Tel Aviv | © Stefanie Amini

Port of Tel Aviv

Set in the White City’s North, a former port with a fascinating history now serves as a social and entertainment hub for the city and a great place to visit for free. You can find a wonderful farmers’ market located in the middle, along with multitudes of weekend attractions, street entertainers, people-watching opportunities and plenty of eating and drinking venues. While years ago there were many bars and clubs in the port, it has transformed into a family place. This area draws in Israelis and tourists to enjoy the sea views and the crowds. The Port even holds exciting festivals all throughout the year.

The Port of Yafo

The Yafo port is based in the south of Tel Aviv, in the area of Yafo. Unlike the bustling and modern Tel Aviv Port, the Yafo Port wears its nautical past more on its sleeve. Here there’s an active yacht dock and plentiful seafood restaurants. Jaffa port is said to be the oldest port in the world, so the ancient streets are paved with history and culture.

Retsif ha-Aliya ha-Shniya St, Tel Aviv-Yafo

The Jaffa Clock Tower | © Daniel Winter/WikiCommons
The Jaffa Clock Tower | © Daniel Winter/WikiCommons

The Old City of Yafo

Walk up the steps from the ancient port, and you will stumble upon an ancient city steeped in history. Yet the Old City is not just a place with an inspiring and multilayered history – it is also a hub for designers and artists to carve out their galleries and studios in the ancient city walls. All roads lead to the suspended orange tree installment, an iconic testament to the legendary Yafo oranges.

Mifrats Shlomo Promenade

A Free Walking Tour of Tel Aviv

The city of Tel Aviv has set up walking tours for residents and tourists to enjoy the architecture, the sights and stories with English-speaking guides. The municipality offers many different types of tours at different times of the day. The White City tour, which begins every Saturday at 11am (except for Yom Kippur) takes visitors on a great survey of Bauhaus architecture and Tel Aviv’s history via Rothschild Boulevard.

Meeting point: 46 Rothschild Boulevard (corner of Shadal Street).

Another picturesque and informative tour meets every Wednesday at 9.30 am. It runs through Old Jaffa, and travels through the Flea Market, the Old City area and even some of the city’s archeological sites, culminating with a visit to the beautiful Hapisga Garden.

Meeting Point: The Clock Tower

Travelers of a scholarly persuasion can line up for the Tel Aviv University tour, held every Monday at 11am. This tour provides an introduction to the Israeli architecture on campus, such as the styles, international influences, campus lore, environmental sculpture and landscape design. The tour is offered in cooperation with the Friends of Tel Aviv University.

Meeting point: Dyonon bookstore, campus entrance (intersection of Haim Levanon & Einstein streets).

An added bonus for free spirits: You can pick up a map for a self-guided tour at the city hall.

Rothschild Boulevard | © מצילומי יהודית גרעין-כל
Rothschild Boulevard | © מצילומי יהודית גרעין-כל

People Watching on Rothschild Boulevard

This one is pretty simple. Grab a friend, a bench and get started. Sit down, and enjoy the bustle of eclectic people going past, meeting their friends and taking their dogs for walks. The energetic vibes of Tel Aviv are sure to inspire and revitalize your soul.

 

 

Sunset
Sunset on the Beach | © Stefanie Amini

The Beach

Tel Aviv is lined with eight distinct beaches, each with a different personality and cultural scene. You can watch the day go past, and enjoy the sun setting over Tel Aviv. Some beaches to look out for are Banana Beach, Frishman Beach, and Gordon Beach.

Frishman and Gordon Beach (Retsif Herbert Samuel St)

Nahalat Binyamin Street Market

The Nahalat Binyamin Arts and Crafts Fair happens every Tuesday and Friday along the pedestrian mall (the street of Nahalat Binyamin). You will probably see more than 200 Israeli craftsman and artists set up stalls to exhibit and sell their interesting and often humorous creations. If you want a new wallet made out of the wrapper of the classic Israeli snack, Bamba, then this is the place for you. The market is open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am until sundown.

Nahalat Binyamin Street Market

The Carmel Market

The Carmel Market lays parallel to the Nahalat Binyamin arts fair, and is the place to go get your fresh food and vegetables and all things in between. The prices are cheaper than they are in the supermarkets and the faces of the people there are buzzing with Tel Aviv’s good vibes and happiness. You will also get some of the best food around in this oasis of Israel.

The Carmel Market

Levinsky Market
Levinsky Market | © Stefanie Amini

Levinsky Market

This lesser-known, but more exotic market is based in South Tel Aviv and often overlooked by tourists. This market basks in tradition and local culture, having been established by some of the original settlers of Tel Aviv. Levinsky Market is packed into narrow streets and the people tell stories with their faces, stories you can only witness in this market.

Corner of Levinsky St & Hertzl St

Dizengoff Street

The locals call this street “The Strip”, much like the famous Vegas strip – not because it’s lined with casinos and hotels but it’s the place to be, the place to go shopping and the place to go grab a bite and drink a beer. You can walk up and down, see people you know and talk to locals about all things nice.

Dizengoff Street

Shenkin Street

This street is lined with stores and cafes for the locals of Tel Aviv to eat, drink and shop. Full of cutting-edge boutiques and a bohemian-chic aesthetic, Shenkin Street is the perfect runway for Tel Aviv’s hipsters and trendsetters.

Shenkin Street

Tel Aviv-Yafo to Tel Baruch Promenade

The Tel Aviv-Yafo Promenade is a bustling walkway that connects Old Yafo in the south to the northern neighborhoods of the city all the way up to Herzilya. Enjoy the stunning sunsets, people-watch the runners staying fit for summer, indulge in the fine selection of food at one of the cafes or restaurants, or listen to the buskers play your favorite song.

The Tel Aviv-Yafo Promenade

Park HaYarkon | © Deror Avi/WikiCommons
Park HaYarkon | © Deror Avi/WikiCommons

Park Hayarkon

Located in the north of Tel Aviv, this is an urban oasis of green. The park is filled with activities for families and individuals, including basketball courts, rock climbing walls and a bike path that leads to the safari in Ramat Gan. If you are a health buff, or if having a riverside picnic in the park sounds like your idea of a perfect day, then this is the place for you.

Park HaYarkon

Neve Tzedek and the Old Train Station (Tachana)

Neve Tzedek was the first neighborhood established in Tel Aviv proper, a result of overcrowding from the ancient port city of Yafo. The streets are romantic and evocative of Europe, with Bauhaus-style houses that dot narrow alleyways. Today, Neve Tzedek has become known for its upscale and refined dining options, as well as its plethora of artists’ galleries.

At the heart of this charming neighborhood lies The Suzanne Dellal Center for dance and theater, which has a relaxing and attractive courtyard as well. The Center is surrounded by great cafes and gourmet restaurants, designer stores, boutique hotels and lovely shops. On the southern edge of Neve Tzedek is the historic train station known as the Tachana. This newly restored compound now serves as a cultural center packed with restaurants, and often holds conferences and tech events for the start-up nation to enjoy.

Neve Tzedek (Shabazi St)

Bauhaus
Bauhaus Architecture | © Stefanie Amini

Bauhaus Architecture

Bauhaus design and architecture lines the streets of Tel Aviv, and is the reason behind Tel Aviv’s nickname, the White City. UNESCO has named Tel Aviv as a world heritage site, in large part due to this style of architecture that dates back to the 1930s.

Tel Aviv Greeter

Tel Aviv Greeter is a program that offers free walks of the city with local residents. As a volunteer initiative, it matches visitors with residents who take pleasure in sharing their passion for the city with travelers. The Tel Aviv Greeters are part of the Global Greeter Network, a virtual association of Greeter programs around the world. It is advised to reserve a tour at least three weeks ahead of time.

Habima Sq
Habima Square | © Stefanie Amini

Habima Square

The beauty and tranquility of this spot is none other than perfect. The newly renovated national theater features a colorful flower garden and fountain for residents to enjoy, and even offering relaxing classical music. The weekends are packed with children playing in the mini sand pit, and the week is filled with adults who flock there for rejuvenating break during a long work day.

Kikar HaBima 1, Habima Square

Tel Aviv Rollers

Next time you are out on a Tuesday night, keep an eye out for the Tel Aviv Rollers. The streets fill with a group of rollerbladers and rollerskaters, whose mission is to ride across the city, having fun and displaying their often impressive skills. It’s an exhilarating experience to witness the hundreds of skaters rolling past – and all you need to join is a pair of skates and a smile. The Tel Aviv Rollers meet at Habima Square at 10pm every Tuesday night.

Kikar HaBima 1, Habima Square

People Watch

The whole city is a center for people watching. You will never have a dull moment when you sit for a coffee or simply on a bench, especially with all of the interesting characters walking around the city. And if you want the people to come to you, holding a cute dog has never failed anyone. You will get home with a story or two to tell friends and family.

Enjoy the Sunset

Sunsets are always be beautiful and you guessed it – free. Luckily for Tel Aviv, there is no lack of places to catch a stunning sunset, from any beach, any rooftop and any place or office with a view of the sea.