While Tel Aviv is the international hub of Israel, one of the most special things about it is that it is very small in comparison to other major cities, making it both local and familiar, but also progressive and versatile.
Tel Aviv has a little bit of everything: beaches, shopping, art, culture, heritage, and many unique dining and nightlife options. Another significant advantage is that all of its neighbourhoods are actually very close together, so in a 10-minute walk, you can discover completely different styles and characters. Find out which of these areas is best suited for you.
With everything from vegan delights, tattoo parlours, indie art galleries and independent cafés, Florentin is Israel’s hipster haven. Much like other famous hipster destinations around the world, this neighbourhood used to serve as the industrial section of the city until approximately 25 years ago, when efforts were made to repopulate the area with young crowds. In the past few years, Florentin has served as a habitat for artists, musicians, hipsters, and anyone looking for some of its grungy charm.
Neve Tzedek is not only one of Tel Aviv’s oldest neighbourhoods but also one of its trendiest districts. With charming oriental-style conserved buildings and the narrow vehicle-free roads, Neve Tzedek resembles a small European village, which also makes it one of the city’s most expensive neighbourhoods when it comes to real estate and shopping boutiques, as well as most of the dining options. Still, the serenity of walking down these narrow winding roads, especially with a scoop of Neve Tzedek’s best ice cream from Anita in hand, is something you don’t want to miss.
Lev Ha’ir means ‘heart of the city’ in Hebrew and refers to the city’s core centre, bordering Neve Tzedek, Florentin, Kerem Hateymanim, Sarona, and the old north. This area is the most vibrant part of the city and includes the lively and restaurant-packed Rothschild Boulevard, Habima (the national theatre), and ‘The White City’ UNESCO World Heritage Site – a collection of over 4,000 buildings constructed in the Bauhaus style – not to mention the countless restaurants, bars and cafés.
HaZafon HaYashan (The Old North)
The old north is one of the most bustling areas in Tel Aviv and includes Ben Yehuda, Ben Gurion, and Dizengoff avenues. As it is home to an incredible variety of shops, restaurants, bars and cafés, and is in proximity to some of the city’s best beaches, this is probably the most popular area for Tel Aviv youngsters to live in, especially for bachelors and bachelorettes. Indeed, Dizengoff Street is home to some of the best pick-up bars in the city.
The name Kerem Hateymanim means the Yemenite Vineyard – Yemenite immigrants founded the area in the 1880s. While it was once considered a poor and neglected neighbourhood, today it is a historic and cultural attraction, with winding alleys and small, modest homes. This area includes the famous Carmel Market (Shuk HaCarmel), Tel Aviv’s largest fresh produce market, and Nachalat Binyamin pedestrian mall, known for its arts and crafts fair and street performers. Kerem Hateymanim, which is currently undergoing regeneration, is also home to some of Tel Aviv’s coolest restaurants and bars, as well as boutique hotels.
Sarona is a Templer colony in the heart of Tel Aviv, which underwent massive reconstruction and conservation and recently opened as a dining and shopping hub in 2014, attracting tourists and locals alike. A year later, Israel’s biggest and trendiest indoor food market, Sarona Food Market, also opened. The compound includes fine-dining restaurants, bars, artisan pastry, cheese and meat shops, and fashion stores, but that’s not all. Sarona is conveniently located near the exclusive new Fashion Mall, Ibn Gabirol Street, and Habima Square, ensuring you will never leave this area hungry.
With Arabs and Jews living together as neighbours, this area is one of the most fascinating and unique districts in Tel Aviv historically, culturally and, of course, tourist-wise. From the beautiful Jaffa port to the charming old city and the famous flea market, Jaffa is not short of attractions. Walk along the coastline and tour the old city to admire Jaffa’s heritage and ancient architecture, and top it all off with some bargain-hunting at Jaffa’s flea market. Don’t miss out on the flea market in the evening when the bars open up and the streets light up, attracting Tel Aviv’s local crowds.