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Tel Aviv's Rabin Square | © israeltourism / Flickr
Tel Aviv's Rabin Square | © israeltourism / Flickr

The Best Things to See and Do in Tel Aviv

Picture of Ben Jakob
Updated: 19 June 2017

With tons of restaurants, attractions and the omnipresent sea, it’s hard to know how best to spend your time in such a cool city like Tel Aviv. From where to eat to what to do, we’ve got you covered with the best things you should check out in the White City and Jaffa.

Try the local food

Tel Aviv is famously known as a foodie town, so make sure you try a little bit of everything. While Jaffa’s Ali Caravan Hummus is probably the best in the world, for contemporary Tel Aviv cuisine, head to the Santa Katarina or the North Abraxas.

Notice the tabun on the left side of the edge of the bar? Tel Aviv’s Santa Katarina’s menu revolves around the ancient stone oven | © Tamuz Rachman / Courtesy of Santa Katarina

Head to any one of the city’s markets

Nothing says the Middle East more than the markets—or shuk, as it’s called in Arabic and Hebrew. Tel Aviv has a few, but the Carmel Market is best for fruits and vegetables or meat and fish; the Flea Market for trinkets and antiques; and the Levinsky Market for spices and the best coffee in town at Café Levinsky 41.

Spend an afternoon at the beach

The beach is probably the city’s best attraction. You can’t understand Tel Aviv without spending some time at the beach, feeling its soothing powers. Ironically, as Israel and Tel Aviv’s most stable border, the beach opens Tel Aviv to the world.

Walk the White City

Tel Aviv is famous for its unique collection of Bauhaus-style homes, sometimes also called the International style. It earned recognition from UNESCO for its “White City”—a loose collection of Bauhaus structures but also others from the eclectic style. Architecture buffs, this walking tour will help you find these hidden beauties that pepper the center of the city.

Take a bike ride

Tel Aviv has a bike-sharing system called Tel-o-Fun; with daily, weekly, and three-day tourists subscriptions, you simply must take advantage of these bikes to explore the relatively small city. Start in Jaffa and head up north along the beach, or go down Rothschild, commencing at the HaBima Square and ending with a coffee or cocktail at Rothschild 12.

Explore the mysteries of Jaffa

While Tel Aviv is young, barely 100 years old, Jaffa has seen more than two millennia. That’s right—its port has been active in various capacities for over 2,000 years. So head for the port and get lost in the winding streets of its Old City, where you’ll find local shops offering Arabic sweets and fresh fish.

Check out the city’s local art scene

Artsy and stylish, Tel Aviv is full of great art shows and galleries. From the Tel Aviv Museum of Art to the Sommer Contemporary Art Gallery, there is no lack of options for good art in Tel Aviv.

Cap your night off with a good party

The city that never sleeps likes a good dance, and parties in Tel Aviv rarely start before midnight. At the pop-up radio station/bar/boutique pizzeria, there’s always something happening, so head there for a slice and dance.

Anna Loulou | © Ben Palhov / Courtesy of Anna Loulou