If you’re visiting or moving to Tel Aviv and feel your Hebrew needs improving, then worry not, as there are numerous ulpans ( Hebrew courses) to choose from. Each have their own style and approach to teaching Hebrew, and whether you’re a complete beginner or simply want to improve your accent, you’ll find something to suit.
“Bayit” means “home” in Hebrew, which is certainly what this independent Hebrew school feels like. It is located on a cosy top floor of a building in the heart of Tel Aviv’s hippest neighbourhood, Florentin, which is an added bonus for anyone keen to explore this area. It has passionate, friendly and young teachers, small classes (from eight to 12 students per class), and caters for anyone from beginners to advanced speakers.
They also offer weekly workshops on top of their regular courses, including a book club and accent training. It attracts a young and diverse crowd, thanks to its affordable prices (2000 to 2500 shekels), relaxed atmosphere, and relatively short courses.
It caters to nine levels: each course takes place between two to five times a week, with students able to choose from morning, afternoon or evening classes. In addition to this, it is based in a central location just minutes from the beach.
This is Not an Ulpan
The mantra of this unconventional and informal Hebrew learning group is, “we don’t learn Hebrew. We learn in Hebrew”. Its courses tackle real issues in Israel and encourage critical discussion, catering to all levels of Hebrew. From the status of refugees in Israel to its feminist movement, you will learn a lot about contemporary Israeli society and its history in this ulpan.
Every course comprises of 10 two-hour lessons and meets once a week. Prices are the lowest you’ll find in the city among the non-government subsidised options (600-690 shekels per semester).
Tel Aviv University Ulpan
Highly reputable but expensive ($1,450 to $1,700, plus a $60 application fee), this ulpan is based in the main campus of Tel Aviv University (TAU), in the northern Ramat Aviv neighbourhood. Highly intensive and catering to all levels, classes take place from Sunday to Thursday from 8:30am to 1pm over a period of four to seven weeks, depending on the course.
While you don’t need to be a student at TAU to enrol in this ulpan, most of your classmates will be American exchange students on a semester abroad. Bear in mind that many are obligated to take this course, meaning you might be in a learning environment where some are less motivated than others to study Hebrew.
Citizen Café TLV
This is the latest addition to the Tel Aviv ulpan scene, and a highly-rated one at that. Citizen Café‘s self-proclaimed mission is to “help non-native speakers immerse themselves in the language, culture and lifestyle of modern-day Tel Aviv”, using a natural, non-textbook approach. Their classic 10-week course convenes twice weekly, with classes taking place early in the morning or in after-work hours to fit the schedule of its target audience (young professionals).
Classes are limited to eight people, making it an intimate environment where every student receives personal attention. You can forget about tedious grammar tables – here, you’ll only be learning useful and relevant Hebrew to help you adapt to daily life in Tel Aviv. Courses cater to all levels and prices are in the upper bracket, costing 3,320 shekels (roughly $950). It is also located in a trendy shared workspace where numerous Israeli startups work, so you’re bound to meet some interesting people.
Guy Sharett’s Streetwise Hebrew podcast & graffiti tour
An alternative (and free) option for learning Hebrew is the popular Streetwise Hebrew podcast. Sharett, a vastly experienced Hebrew teacher and former journalist, teaches his listeners Israeli slang and useful phrases in short and regular uploads. In addition to this, he runs urban culture tours around Florentine, Tel Aviv’s hippest neighbourhood.
The tour is in English, with Sharett explaining and translating the provocative and often politically charged graffiti art and messages that characterise the landscape. This is a great way to explore one of the most interesting and vibrant urban neighbourhoods in Israel, while simultaneously brushing up on your Hebrew skills!
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.