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 this stunning city.
North of the White City, a former port with a fascinating history now serves as an entertainment hub. You can find a wonderful farmers’ market located in the middle, along with multitudes of weekend attractions, street entertainers, and plenty of places to eat and drink. While years ago the majority of the venues in the area were bars and pubs, in recent years, the port has been transformed into a more family-friendly space. Exciting festivals are held here all throughout the year.
The Jaffa port is based in the south of Tel Aviv. Unlike the bustling and modern Tel Aviv port, the area is steeped in history and culture—in fact, it is said to be one of the oldest ports in the world. There’s an active yacht dock and a plethora of seafood restaurants in the vicinity.
Walk up the steps from the ancient port, and you will stumble upon an ancient city. Yet the Old City is not just a place that reflects Tel Aviv’s multi-faceted history; it is also a hub for designers and artists who’ve set up their galleries and studios in nooks and crannies between the city walls. All roads lead to the suspended orange tree instalment, an iconic testament to the legendary Jaffa oranges.
The city of Tel Aviv has set up walking tours for residents and tourists so that they can enjoy the architecture, sights and stories with English-speaking guides. The municipality offers many different types of tours at different times of the day. Visitors can choose to discover Bauhaus architecture, the Flea Market and archaeological sites, the Hapisga Garden and even Tel Aviv’s university.
This small and manageable museum is an overlooked yet worthwhile place to spend an afternoon. The centrally located Ben-Gurion House was once the home of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion. Within its walls, you’ll be able to find out how the man himself lived, both in private, as a family man, and in the public eye, as an influential politician.
Tel Aviv is lined with various beaches, each with a different atmosphere and cultural scene. You can watch the day go past, sunbathe, and enjoy the sun setting over the city. Some beaches to look out for are Banana Beach, Frishman Beach, and Gordon Beach.
Nahalat Binyamin Street market is testament to creativity in all its forms. Vendors can turn everyday objects into colorful creations to sell, such as wallets made out of chocolate bar wrappers. All artists wanting to sell their work must be approved by a public committee, which allows for quality control within the market. Open every Tuesday and Friday, this fair is perfect if you’re looking for gifts or souvenirs.
Lying parallel to the Nahalat Binyamin arts fair, the Carmel Market is Tel Aviv’s largest fruit and vegetable market. However, the market offers a far more varied experience than the average trip for groceries; prices are cheaper than they are in the supermarkets, and the atmosphere is buzzing with happiness. The surrounding restaurants are supplied by the market, and they serve up some of the best food in the city.
This lesser-known market is based in the southernmost district of Tel Aviv, and is therefore often overlooked by tourists. Nevertheless, it is one of the most historical places in the city, having been established by some of the original settlers of Tel Aviv. The market is packed into narrow streets and the friendly vendors won’t hesitate to tell you stories as you peruse their goods.
The locals call this street “the Strip”, much like the famous Vegas strip—not because it’s lined with casinos and hotels but because it’s the place to be, the place to go shopping and the place to go grab a bite and drink a beer. This is the perfect area to hang out in after a day of exploring.
This street is lined with stores and cafés for the locals of Tel Aviv to eat, drink and shop at. Full of cutting-edge boutiques and a bohemian-chic aesthetics, Shenkin Street is the perfect runway for Tel Aviv’s hipsters and trendsetters.
The Tel Aviv-Yafo promenade is a bustling walkway that connects Old Yafo in the south to the northern neighborhoods of the city. Enjoy the stunning sunsets, feel motivated watching runners pass you by, stop for a snack at one of the restaurants, or listen to the buskers playing songs by the sea.
Located in the north of the city is an oasis of green, a park filled with opportunities for family-friendly fun. You’ll find plenty to do here; rent out a basketball court, try out a climbing wall, or bring your bike and explore a trail. If you’re a fitness fanatic, or if having a riverside picnic in the park sounds like your idea of a perfect day, then this is the place for you.
Neve Tzedek was the first neighborhood established outside of the Old City, as a means to combat overcrowding in Jaffa. The streets are romantic and evocative of Europe, with Bauhaus-style houses that interspersed between narrow alleyways. Today, Neve Tzedek has become known for its upscale and refined dining options, as well as being home to a plethora of art galleries. At the heart of this charming neighborhood lies The Suzanne Dellal Center for dance and theater. As well as boasting a relaxing courtyard, 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 Ha 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.
Dating back to the 1930s, Bauhaus-style architecture can be found everywhere in Tel Aviv, and is the reason behind the nickname “the White City”. UNESCO has labelled Tel Aviv a world heritage site, in large part due to this style of architecture.
This space is home to a recently renovated national theater, and the main square features a colorful flower garden and fountain for residents to enjoy. Families make the most of the open space at the weekend, as children can explore the outdoor facilities, which serve as an ideal playground. During the week, the spot is a popular place for people to enjoy an after-work break.
Tel Aviv Rollers
Next time you’re 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 impressive skills. It’s an exhilarating experience to watch the hundreds of skaters flying past—and if you want to join in, all you need is a pair of skates and a smile.
Tel Aviv is the perfect place for people watching. Simply sit down for a coffee and watch passersby engage in everyday activities to get a sense of the city’s character. You will return home with a story or two to tell friends and family.
Sunset is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful times of the day. Luckily, you’ll soon discover that in Tel Aviv, there is an abundance of places where you can watch the sun going down. Try the multitude of beaches, rooftop bars or any place where you can also catch a view of the sea for a magical evening experience.