The owners had already established their hip hostel credentials with the Abraham Jerusalem, which is all-but legendary in hostel circles. Their Tel Aviv counterpart has the same great atmosphere and boasts 380 beds (both mixed and single-sex options are available) – the largest hostel in the city. Although it’s located in the city centre and is close to Tel Aviv’s key nightspots, the Abraham Hostel hosts many of its own events, including live music with the occasional dancing, pub quizzes and a Shabbat dinner every Saturday. Murals of biblical figures, especially the one after whom the hostel is presumably named, adorn the walls of common areas, and swinging chairs and hammocks make up its clean, modern look. Guests congregate on the rooftop where there’s a bar and a good mix of both young and old. A full Israeli breakfast is included in the price, and there’s a shared kitchen for those staying indoors.
The Old Jaffa Hostel is housed in an attractive old building. Rooms are spacious and some are fitted with balconies overlooking the vibrant scene on the street below – expect plenty of bars and restaurants in the area. Some are single rooms with double beds, and others are classic dorms with bunks. The rooftop is a great place to hang, drink fresh lemonade with mint leaves, and get a view of the nearby sea. Inside, central rooms are accented with vintage flea market furnishings – it really feels like you’re staying in a relative’s great old Jaffa home.
Overstay is an art-forward hostel, run by creative owners and their equally creative staff, many of whom are volunteers from abroad, and often create some of the art installations on display. The hostel, furnished in finds from friends’ houses and giveaways, provides just the basics to keep costs as low as possible. For instance, towels and locks are available to rent. It’s a fun stay with great experiential events, such as tahini-making workshops on the roof, giving guests plenty to do.
Roger's House Hostel, Tel Aviv, Israel. | Courtesy of Roger's House Hostel / Hostelworld.com
The large dorm-style rooms give Roger’s an institutional feel, but that is more than compensated for by the warm architectural details in this almost century-old house – expect patterned tiles and an elegant wrought iron staircase. The hostel is new on the scene, but it’s in Tel Aviv’s oldest neighbourhood, Neve Tzedek, which is now a gentrified and much sought-after area, with quite narrow streets filled with indie boutiques and restaurants. Roger’s itself has a bar, serving its own craft beer, Birra Rogers, and a big outdoor space to hang out. The communal kitchen is frequently in use and the source of family-style dinners (including a delicious Shabbat meal) that add to the hostel’s friendly atmosphere.
The simple and welcoming Milk & Honey is another great option in Jaffa, though it’s quieter than others. There are private rooms with en suites for couples, and dorms with multiple configurations of bunks. The beds are above average in size and comfort, and some are closed off with vintage curtains. The Milk & Honey offers the necessities sought after by the typical hostel-goer: free use of towels, linens and Wi-Fi, along with handy electrical outlets and coffee and tea in the kitchen.
HaYarkon 48 sits on the famed Israeli beachfront street and is the perfect option for beachgoers. It’s also close to the main city centre drag, Allenby, and the friendly staff are great at helping guests plan their day. The rooftop overlooking the sea is incredible with a great international mix of old and young hanging out on the brightly coloured and comfy outdoor furniture, where a widescreen TV broadcasts key football matches. There are 70 beds altogether, some in private rooms with en suites, others in shared dorms. They also have what travellers sometimes want most of all: laundry facilities.
How about sharing drinks with a new friend on the rooftop of a hostel in Tel Aviv’s ultimate scruffy, hip neighbourhood? Florentine Backpackers is named after the neighbourhood that is Tel Aviv’s answer to Bushwick, a one-time furniture-manufacturing enclave where today aromas from market spices, espresso from third-wave coffee houses, baking from patisseries and weed waft together in the air. Florentine Backpackers channels the neighbourhood vibe where an international crowd has breakfast in the morning or late-night drinks on the hostel rooftop space. They might stay there, whiling away the day on a hammock, or they might go out to explore Florentine together. There is a variety of sleeping options on the hostel’s three floors, where walls are filled with postcards of Israel’s scenes, from private rooms with a double bed and a private room with two singles to various dorm configurations.
Little Tel Aviv Hostel is located just five minutes away from famous HaCarmel market and near the pivotal Rothschild Boulevard, where people can be found leisurely strolling down the leafy promenade, or sitting on a bench while sipping a fresh-squeezed juice from a nearby vendor. The hostel has 58 beds divided into four- and six-bed dorms (mixed and single-sex), and private rooms with twin beds and economy twin beds. Linens, toiletries and free Wi-Fi (even in the rooms) are provided. Each month, the walls in the common rooms are offered to different artists to hang their work on. The hostel owners organise great experiential tours, including a pub crawl on Thursdays and Sundays, and vegan food tours. An on-site restaurant offers a 20% food and beverage discount to guests. The hostel’s best feature might be its open-air shared space with a charming garden.