Tel Aviv

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Travel Guide Middle East Israel Tel Aviv

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Introduction

Tel Aviv Beach

Tel Aviv Beach

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Tel Aviv (Hebrew: תֵּל־אָבִיב-יָפוֹ; Arabic: تل أبيب‎, Tal ʾAbīb) is a city along Israel's Mediterranean coastline with several facets. With every visit, you will get a different impression of this fascinating city. The city, the second largest in Israel, has a gamut of cultural creations, which testify to its rich heritage. There are theatres, opera halls, galleries and museums, which serve as windows to peek into the city's past. And, at the same time, Tel Aviv is modern too. On the ring road and Ayalon Freeway, you can see high-rising glass office towers. With its beaches and entertainment centres, the town makes for a satisfying visit.

While Jerusalem is Israel's capital city, where most government departments are, Tel Aviv and its satellite cities form the economic and cultural center. Tel Aviv is known as "the city that doesn't stop", and you will find that the nightlife and culture are active around the clock. In summer it is not unusual to see the beach boardwalk bustling with people at 04:00, and the clubs and bars usually pick up around midnight until morning, giving Tel Aviv a well deserved reputation of being a party town. It is the pinnacle of secular life in Israel.

Tel Aviv is likely the most liberal city in Israel and in the Middle East - as it is no less liberal than the major cities of Western Europe. It has a bustling civil society and is home to many activist movements and NGOs. Its residents tend to have liberal attitudes towards gay and lesbian rights, and, in fact, Tel Aviv hosts the largest gay pride parade in Israel. It is also a destination for gay Palestinian refugees, unable to pursue their lifestyle in the Palestinian territories. With its liberalism comes a dose of sophistication and some will say detachment, and Tel Aviv is often dubbed "The Bubble" or "Medinat Tel Aviv" ("The State of Tel Aviv") by residents and non-residents alike. Some ultra-Orthodox Israelis have even dubbed the city a modern day "Sodom and Gomorrah", due to its hedonistic reputation.

In July 2003 Tel Aviv-Yafo was declared a cultural UNESCO World Heritage site in recognition of the many "International" (or "Bauhaus") style buildings built here during the 1930s-50s. As this style emphasized simplicity and the color white, Tel Aviv is also called the White City.

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History

The smallish gulf of Jaffa was the site of a fortified port town for at least 4,000 years. During the 19th century the town’s population grew from about 2,500 (1806) to 17,000 (1886). The old city walls could no longer contain the population, and they were destroyed in the 1870s. New, more spacious neighborhoods started to appear.

Tel Aviv (meaning literally "Hill of Spring") was founded in 1909 by a group of distinguished Jewish residents of Jaffa. They envisaged a European-style garden suburb, with wide streets and boulevards. Leaving Jaffa wasn’t, however, only a question of an upgrade in lifestyle. Moving out of the Arab-dominated town also represented their belief in the Jewish national movement, Zionism. Before being a city, Tel Aviv was one of the many titles of Theodor Herzl's utopian Zionist book - The Old New Land. Setting out with a grand vision, the 60 Tel Aviv founders started out by building the first mid-eastern urban center with running water, no small wonder in that part of the world in 1909. Houses from this period can still be seen in the Neve Tzedek neighborhood.

Tel Aviv grew steadily under Ottoman law until World War I. By the end of the war the British took over the Holy Land: an event the Jewish community saw as encouraging, while the Muslim community viewed it as a turn for the worse after Islamic rule. Tel Aviv was seen by nearby Arabs as a symbol of the growing Jewish presence in their homeland. In May 1921, an Arab mob attacked a Jewish immigration center, killing dozens of Jews. Another group broke the windows of stores in the Jewish street in Jaffa, and a mob armed with knives and sticks made its way towards Tel Aviv. Before 1921 most Jews worked and lived in Jaffa; after the attack, thousands of the 16,000 Jews of Jaffa moved north to Tel Aviv. The suburb had become a city and within a decade, Tel Aviv had become the center of culture, commerce and light industry for the entire Jewish population of the country (and the British soldiers). 1938 marked the opening of Tel Aviv port, an important milestone in the end of its dependency on Jaffa. By this time, Tel Aviv was already the biggest city in the country, with 130,000 residents. After Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948, Jaffa became a district of Tel Aviv and the city's name was officially changed to Tel Aviv-Yafo.

Today, Tel Aviv-Yafo is the heart of a thriving metropolis. The greater metropolitan area is home to approximately 3.1 million people, with around 392,700 in Tel Aviv-Yafo itself, making it the second largest city in Israel after Jerusalem. Major suburbs of Tel Aviv include Bat Yam, Holon, Ramat Gan, Givatayim, Bnei Brak, Petah Tikva, Rishon LeZion, Ramat HaSharon, Rehovot and Herzliya. The entire metropolitan area is often referred to as Gush Dan.

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Neighbourhoods

Tel Aviv is a rapidly growing city in the midst of an exciting transition from medium-sized urban center to bustling international metropolis. Its booming population, energy, edginess and 24-hour lifestyle give the city a cosmopolitan flair comparable to few other cities in this part of the world.

Tel Aviv is not really divided into districts, but rather into over 50 different neighborhoods. Some neighborhoods are really distinctive areas with different cultures (e.g. Neve Tzedek, Florentin, Ramat-HaHayal), while others are simply indicating a geographical area. Tel Aviv grew mainly from the south to the north, so the further you go to the north you will encounter newer buildings and wealthier communities.

  • North - The wealthiest district of Tel Aviv (one of the wealthiest areas anywhere in Israel) is north of the Yarkon River. This region is very green, quiet, and suburban compared to the rest of Tel Aviv. The Yarkon Park, Tel Aviv University, and some important museums are here.
  • Center - This is Tel Aviv as most people know it - containing tourist attractions, hotels, beaches, office buildings, and shopping areas. The center is confined by Yehuda Halevi and HaRakevet streets to the south, the Yarkon river to the north, and Ayalon Highway to the east. This district varies from trendy historic neighborhoods in the south, to office skyscrapers in the east, to beachline hotels in the west, to the quiet residential "Old North" neighborhoods in the north.
  • South & East - The south is the poorer district of Tel Aviv, but some of its neighborhoods have become young and trendy. It is also home to many foreign workers and illegal immigrants from southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The east is an often-forgotten residential district east of Ayalon Highway. The two overlap in the southeastern neighborhoods. The New Central Bus Station and Hatikva and Levinsky food markets are in South Tel Aviv.
  • Jaffa - (Yafo in Hebrew, Yaffa in Arabic) is one of the world's oldest ports, from which Tel Aviv grew out in the 20th century. It was here that the prophet Jonah started the journey that left him in the belly of a fish, Andromeda was saved from a sea monster by Perseus, and Peter the Apostle received a vision marking the split between Judaism and Christianity. Nowadays, Tel Aviv's Muslim and Christian populations are concentrated in Jaffa. Other than the port, main attractions are the Old City and a flea market.

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Sights and Activities

Museums

  • The Diaspora Museum begins with 2,500 years of Jewish life in the Diaspora, meaning the settling of Jews outside Israel.
  • Eretz Israel Museum is a national museum presenting facets of Israeli life like folklore, ceramics, handicrafts, and coinage.
  • Ilana Goor Museum in Jaffa is distinct with its romantic stone arches and high ceilings. The museum showcases sculptures in wood, stone, and metal.
  • The Museum of Art houses impressionist collection and sculptures.
  • The Independence Hall Museum commemorates the establishment of Israel.

Beaches

Tel Aviv Beach

Tel Aviv Beach

© All Rights Reserved 5fingerfab

Tel Aviv is known for some of the country's best beaches. Its western border is contoured by Mediterranean sand, making kilometres-long beaches. The sunsets are spectacular to watch on these beaches. Tel Baruch Beach at Namir Road and Propes Street is popular among families, thanks to the lawns and boardwalk. Aviv Beach at Hayakon Street is frequented by singles. The beaches at Hatzuk and Herzliya charge entrance fees. Most beaches are equipped with public amenities, including bathrooms and changing rooms.

Aquatic Activities

With so many scenic beaches around, Tel Aviv has plenty of water sports opportunities. Some popular activities are boating, sailing, scuba diving, swimming and water skiing. One can charter a sailboat or a yacht with skipper of the boat. The divers must head for Dugit Diving Center. The place to go for swimming is Gordon Pool.

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Events and Festivals

  • Jaffa Nights - Jaffa Nights is a 4-day festival dedicated to the rich culture of Tel Aviv. During this festival, the alleys of Jaffa fill with thousands of visitors as they gather to view some of the latest-and-greatest in theater, music, art, and dance presentations. Each night has its own theme and program of events. Visitors can expect to see a variety of locally known and unknown artists coming out to entertain for this great event. This event is held every year in August.
  • Yom Ha'atzmaut (Independence Day) - Yom Ha'atzmaut celebrations mark the day in 1948 when Israel was founded as an independent state, and it is celebrated as Israel's independence day. Grand festivities are held on this day in both the public arenas and private homes. Children are often seen playing with toy hammers on this day, as hammers are a symbol of their country's freedom. This event is full of picnics, barbecues, drinks, and parties throughout the city, and there is a spectacular fireworks display in the evening that can be seen from many locations in Tel Aviv.
  • Abu Gosh - The Abu-Gosh Festival is the leading and most important festival in the Israeli vocal music scene. The festival occurs twice a year - during the Spring and Fall (during Succoth and Shavuoth, respectively), and the festival lasts between 3-5 days each time. The festival features highly trained vocalists from around the world. For those that appreciate classical music and opera, this event is for you!
  • Banana Beach Cinema - For one week every August, Banana Beach hosts a free cinema event to the public. The Banana Beach cafe hosts this event and plays popular classic movies for movie-goers right on the beachfront. Banana Beach is a highly loved beach by locals and tourists alike, and it is a beautiful backdrop to these evening showings.

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Weather

Most suitable time to visit Tel Aviv is from November to March, though some days can be chilly, especially at night. Days are pleasantly warm, with around 18 °C to 25 °C From April to October, the weather is sunny but not unbearably hot. Humidity though is higher compared to areas more inland. Temperatures usually are between 28 °C and 34 °C during this period.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max17.5 °C17.7 °C19.2 °C22.8 °C24.9 °C27.5 °C29.4 °C30.2 °C29.4 °C27.3 °C23.4 °C19.2 °C
Avg Min9.6 °C9.8 °C11.5 °C14.4 °C17.3 °C20.6 °C23 °C23.7 °C22.5 °C19.1 °C14.6 °C11.2 °C
Rainfall126.9 mm90.1 mm60.6 mm18 mm2.3 mm0 mm0 mm0 mm0.4 mm26.3 mm79.3 mm126.4 mm
Rain Days12.8108.53.10.80000.33.27.510.9

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Getting There

By Plane

Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV), 15 kilometres from Tel Aviv is the main gateway to Israel. El Al has flights to and from a number of European cities, including Amsterdam, Madrid, London, Frankfurt and Geneva and flights further away include those to Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Beijing. Dozens of other airlines (including several Israeli based) serve the country, mostly to Europe and the former Sovjetunion republics and to Cairo.

To/from the airport

  • Rail: Israel Railways operates the Ben Gurion Airport Railway Station, which located in the lower level of Terminal 3. From this station passengers may head north-west to Tel Aviv, Haifa and other destinations in the north, or southeast to Modi'in. The journey to Tel Aviv Savidor Central Railway Station takes about 18 minutes The line to Haifa through Tel Aviv runs 24 hours a day.
  • Bus: The airport is served by regular inter-city bus lines. Egged has a shuttle bus for passengers between the terminals and a small bus terminal in the Airport City industrial park where they can connect to regular Egged bus routes passing through the area.
  • Car: The airport is located on Highway 1, the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway and has a total of 11,300 parking spaces, both for short as well as long-term parking. Rental cars and taxis, as well as shuttle vans are widely available at the airport.

By Train

Israel Railways provides trains from Tel Aviv north to Haifa, south to Beer Sheva, and inland to Ben Gurion Airport. Trains to Jerusalem take 90 min, along a slow scenic Ottoman-era line, but a fast line taking only 30 min is undergoing test runs in early 2019. (Jerusalem railway station is far from the main bus terminal and city center.) The coaches are often former Deutsche Bahn double-deckers that seem puzzled to find themselves trundling past orange groves instead of plying the Bremen-Hannover shuttle.

Rush hour on the trains is Sunday morning, when soldiers return to their bases and students to university. Trains finish on Friday afternoons, and resume on Saturdays after dark, in observance of the Shabbat.

Tel Aviv has four train stations, east of the centre along the Ayalon highway. Trains stop at all four stations daytime, but late night trains stop only at Merkaz/Savidor.

By Car

Tel Aviv is the hub of the country's modern network of freeways. The city is easily accessible from Ben Gurion Airport via the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv freeway (route 1), from the north by Tel Aviv–Haifa freeway (route 2), as well as from Beer-Sheva and the southern parts of the country (route 4). Freeways speed limit is 110 km/h. On other intercity roads the limit varies between 80 and 90 km/h. On urban roads the default speed limit is 50 km/h.

By Bus

Tel Aviv has two main intercity bus stations:

  • New Central Bus Station (Tahana Merkazit) (southern Tel Aviv). Offers routes to most locations in Israel, within a short walking distance of HaHaganah Train Station. The building, which is a combination of shopping mall and bus terminal spanning 7 floors, is extremely confusing - in fact, it is almost unmanageable for the infrequent visitor; tourists might want to use the 2000 Bus Terminal (see below) instead. Several different bus companies operate urban and intercity buses in Tel Aviv: Egged, Dan, Metropoline, Kavim and a few smaller ones. Check the electronic boards in departure halls for info on destinations, platforms and coming-up departures. If this doesn't help, ask at the information booths. Egged and Metropoline have information booths on 6th floor. The Dan info booth is on the 7th floor (they also handle info for lines operated by Kavim). Most intercity bus lines depart from platforms on the north wing of 6th floor, except for buses to Galilee (Afula, Nazareth, Tiberias, Kiryat Shmona etc.) which are on the south wing on 7th floor (accessible by escalator from 6th floor). Most urban lines to Tel Aviv and its suburbs are on the north wing on 7th floor (which isn't connected to the south wing of the same floor), with several lines on 4th floor which is actually at street level (including the popular city lines #4 and #5). Several urban lines stop outside the station building on Levinski street (north side of the station), and some others a block away to the west on Har Zion street. Sherut taxis depart from Tzemach David street outside the east side of the station. All people entering the bus terminal are subject to security screening. Be aware of your surroundings and keep and eye on your property while in and around the main bus terminal especially at night, as the area is a high crime area - really Israel's only urban slum.
  • 2000 Bus Terminal (Arlozorov terminal) (next to Tel Aviv Merkaz/Savidor Train Station). A more user-friendly bus terminal that can replace the central bus station for most trips. It is next to Tel Aviv Merkaz/Savidor Train Station, so it is a good place to make connections between train and bus. There are information desks, and the platforms are all in two areas that passengers can access without security screening. This terminal and its surroundings are safe at all hours. North-bound intercity buses (from the Central Bus Station to Haifa, the Sharon, the Galilee, etc.) stop at Namir Road alongside this terminal, but at peak times they might be full when they get there. Major cities to the south and east of Tel Aviv have dedicated routes leaving the Arlozorov terminal: the 480 for Jerusalem, 380 for Beer Sheva, and 280 for Ashdod.

In addition to the New Central Bus Station, there used to be an Old Central Bus Station, but this no longer is used for transportation. When people say "Central Bus Station", they mean the new one. In general, buses obey the Jewish Shabbat, and stop operation on Friday afternoon, and resume service only Saturday after dark. Some services, however, may start earlier on Saturday afternoon. Minor services may not resume until Sunday morning. A daily bus service is also available to and from Amman through the King Hussein Bridge. Call the operator (+972 4-6573984) for details.

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Getting Around

By Car

Ayalon Freeway (freeway 20) runs north-south and is the main artery of the city.

It is best to avoid commuter traffic in and out of Tel Aviv and its surrounding cities during rush hours (Sunday to Thursday 07:00–09:00 and 17:00–19:00), particularly entering Tel Aviv via Ayalon Freeway in morning rush hour. A popular and effective navigation app based on traffic loads is Waze. Also, remember that Israeli drivers are considered aggressive in comparison to their Western European or North American counterparts. Signage is in English, Hebrew and Arabic. If possible, avoid using a private car in Tel Aviv and use public transportation.

Speed limits and driving laws are strictly enforced by police. All in all, driving conditions in Israel are much better than in the rest of the Middle East.

Parking in Tel Aviv is hard to find, even for the locals. Parking lots are available, but expensive (usually around ₪25–30 an hour during the day), and can also be full around busier times (i.e., a parking in a central area could be full on a Friday night, when everybody in the area goes out to eat and drink in the city). Parking times and payment is directed by Hebrew-only signs at the beginning of the street. Where parking is available on both sides of the street, instructions are different for every side, and signs are positioned at the beginning of each side. Notice that not all payed parking are marked by blue and white ("kachol-lavan") paint on the curb. When paying to park on the street, there is an hourly parking fee (cheaper than lots), generally between 09:00-19:00 (street signs indicating that are usually just in Hebrew). There are usually no parking meters, meaning you need to use payment apps like Cellopark or Pango. Alternatively, you can buy parking cards in advance from a kiosk or machine, and display them on the window closest to the pavement. Also, some areas of blue-white colored curb are reserved for locals with a zone sticker at certain times of day (mostly 17:00 to 09:00). It is forbidden to park where there are red and white or red and yellow markings, though sometimes only in certain hours, as indicated by signs (but those are usually in Hebrew only as well). The inspectors in Tel Aviv are everywhere and merciless, beware as you can get a fine of ₪100-500! There are generally more parking spaces in the south and the north (north of the Yarkon river that is) than in the center of Tel Aviv.

By Public Transport

Tel Aviv has a modern, regular, cheap and widespread bus network run mostly by Dan and Egged. Bus services start at 05:00 and stop at midnight, though some of the lines stop earlier. Night buses run until 03:30 (Thursday and Saturday nights all year, plus Sunday to Wednesday nights in summer).

An English-language map of bus routes is available here. Several smartphone apps, such as Moovit, offer real-time bus arrival tracking and trip planning. Most buses and trains now have USB chargers.

From Jan 2019, you can't pay cash on the bus. You need to buy a Rav-Kav smart card from a shop, for ₪5 plus however many journeys you need, in 30 or 50₪ increments. The basic fare within Tel Aviv and its suburbs is ₪5.90; each ride includes transfers. As this arrangement is new, locals are still adapting and cussing it, but it's pretty straightforward. Think about how much is left on your card before travelling to an edge-of-city location that might not have a top-up point: your credit is shown after each swipe-in.

Route 5 connects the Central Bus Station (departure from 4th floor, westernmost platform) in the south with the Central Train Station. It goes through Rothschild Boulevard, Dizengoff Street (including the Dizengoff Center Mall), Nordau Boulevard, Pinkas/Yehuda Maccabi Street and Weizmann Street or Namir Road.
Route 4 runs north from the Central Bus Station through Allenby road and Ben Yehuda Street.
Route 18 connects the Central Train Station with the southern neighbourhoods of Jaffa and Bat-Yam. It also has a stop in Rabin Square.

Bus drivers in Tel Aviv speak and understand English reasonably well, and are usually helpful, but always in a hurry. They can't sell or top-up Rav-Kav cards.

Route 100 is a tourist-oriented route which passes by tourist sites all across Tel Aviv. It begins its route on the hour Su-Th 09:00-16:00, F 09:00-13:00, does not run Saturday).

The "sherut" ("sheh-ROOT") or "shared taxi" is a 6-12 seat van-sized minibus which runs on fixed routes, parallel to some bus routes. This alternative is often faster and more frequent than taking a bus. Unlike buses, they operate 7 days a week (on Shabbat too), and when requested will stop in between official bus stops.

In Tel Aviv, sherut service is available on bus routes 4 and 5 (but these taxis don't reach the train station), 16, 51 and 66. You pay after you have found your seat, by passing your fare to the person in front of you, who will pass it along to the driver. If you sit up front, be prepared to pass other passengers' money to the driver and the change back to the passengers. You must tell the driver when you want him to stop. Passengers are not allowed to stand, so if two people want to board and only one seat remains, they will not be allowed to get on together.

By Bike

Given Tel Aviv's flat and coastal geography, mild weather, and a growing number of bicycle paths throughout the city - bicycle travel in Tel Aviv is an ideal way to get around. Several shops throughout the city offer bicycle rental, and cheap Chinese made bicycles can be purchased for several hundred shekels on longer stays. A bike rental service called Tel-O-Fun is available in Tel Aviv. (It's a pun - the Hebrew word for "bicycle" is pronounced o-fun-ayim.) Tel-O-Fun offers hundreds of bikes for rent, at rental stations across the city, in a simple and convenient manner using a credit card. An English language Google map of docking stations is available. Be sure to lock your bicycle at all times and don't leave it outside at night - even proper locks get cut by electric cutters in under 15 seconds.

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Eat

Tel Aviv has an amazing variety of restaurants for every taste.

There are plenty of fast food restaurants, offering both international and local Israeli food. One can get a decent and inexpensive meal, including felafel or hummous on every street corner. You can also eat a toast, sandwich or some other snack at one of the cafes around the city. Many fruit juice parlors are around.

Catit, Raphael and Messa are considered to be Tel Aviv's most elegant restaurants, serving gourmet and unique plates, inspired both by local and foreign cuisine although not kosher. There are many good kosher restaurants in Tel Aviv including Meatos, Bruno and of course 2C which although pricey, offers gourmet food with great views of the city as it is at the very top of the Azrieli round tower.

The city is also known for being one of the best destinations for plant based eating. More than 30 restaurants cater to vegans with a wide range of cuisines and price ranges. The landmarks are Meshek Barzilai in Neve Tzedek, Anastasia on Frishman street and 416 near Sarona. You will also find many plant based options on the menu of most restaurants.

Finally, Tel Aviv's ice cream parlors offer much more than basic flavors, as the taste buds are eclectic and strive for new flavors, such as Halva, poppy seed, and even a touch of alcoholic liqueurs in the ice cream (Try these places: Vaniglia, Iceberg, Gelateria Siciliana, Dr. Lek and Aldo).

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Drink

Tel Aviv is called "The city that never stops" by tourists and locals alike. It has a wide range of pubs, bars, clubs and it is known worldwide for its nightlife. The entire city is crawling with nightlife attractions and you would actually have to work pretty hard to find yourself further than 500 meters away from a place to have a drink. People from all the surrounding region come to Tel Aviv to have a drink or a party so on weekends traffic is hectic at late hours and finding a parking spot is somewhere between hard and impossible (so sticking to cabs is not a bad idea). Buses stop running at sundown on Friday and only start again after sundown on Saturday, so if you go out on Friday night you may find yourself forced to take a cab if you cannot walk! But any day is a good day to party in Tel Aviv, not just the weekends.

New places are opening and closing every day and the "hottest spots" change every couple of months, so no internet guide will be able to direct you to the hippest place (even though some may try). Checkout up to date event and party sites. Many places in Tel Aviv have minimum age limitations that vary from 18 to 30. Usually the limitation is different between males and females and while some spots may be flexible others will be as strict as possible.

Israel has no unique drinking culture so any place with any self-respect will have the entire world wide alcohol selection available, from Wine and Beer to Tequila, Arak, Vodka, Whiskey and Cognac. One of the most popular drinks is the local Goldstar beer and the Arabic drink, Arak (it means "sweat" in Arabic) was all the rage in pubs and bars in 2010.

The entire city is full of spots to hang out, and there are streets and areas that stand out with even more pubs/clubs, have a look at the districts detailing the scene.

There are a few well-known pubs that specifically cater to foreigners. Mike's Place, next to the American embassy, is an American-style bar which attracts a mostly-Anglo 20-30 something crowd. Molly Bloom's Irish pub and the English Pub, not far from Mike's Place, host many people from the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Coffee shops have been an inseparable part of the Tel Aviv cultural lifestyle ever since the city was founded, as cafés were always the favorite hanging spots of the local bohemia. It is therefore no surprise that Tel Aviv boasts many cafés, which can be found everywhere in the city, offering aromatic Italian Espressos and Capuccinos (called "Hafukh", meaning upside-down, in Hebrew). Espresso-bar, Cafeneto, Café-café and arcaffé are some of the local chain-cafés. Aroma's the biggest among them. Feel free to spend hours in a coffee shop - no one will slap the check on your table or require you to order more stuff.

Bohemian 'Puah' (in the Jaffa flea market), Café Noah, Chic 'Le Central' (Rothschild Av.), and 'Tolaat Sfarim' (Rabin Sq. and Mazeh street near Allenby and Rothschild) are recommended for their very distinctive and Israeli café-drinking experience.

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Sleep

Tel Aviv has a wide variety of accommodation options, from camping and backpacker hostels, boutique hotels, right up to luxury 5-star hotels. The main area for a short term stay is in the center with a big hotels strip on the beach and many accommodation options all around. The center should be your default place to stay. Some places can also be found in the south and will usually be cheaper (except the David Intercontinental).

Another option to cut expenses a bit is to sleep in the nearby towns instead of actually staying inside Tel Aviv. This is a very common practice for young Israelis that want the Tel Aviv lifestyle without the Tel Aviv cost. The most common options are Ramat Gan, Bat Yam, Holon and Givatayim.

View our map of accommodation in Tel Aviv or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

Israel is a technologically advanced society, and internet cafés are widely available in most cities and towns. The regular price for paid internet cafés is about 15 shekels per hour but you can get it for about 10 shekels in some of the more local places. Free Wi-Fi access is common in cafés (check individual articles). All branches of 'Aroma Espresso Bar', 'Arcaffe', 'Café Café', 'McDonalds' and 'Yellow' convenience stores have free Wi-Fi access, though in some you will have to approach the staff for a password.

Recently, the "Jerusalem Wi-Fi" project started. This government started project aims to cover the entire Jerusalem area with Wi-Fi although at the moment the only areas covered are in the city center. A similar project has started in Tel Aviv and in Karmiel in the north. Some other cities are following suit.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international country code for Israel is 972. Emergency numbers include 100 (police), 101 (ambulance) and 102 (fire). 112 is supported in mobile networks.

Currently Israel offers support for all the available networks including GSM/UMTS (Pelephone, Cellcom and Orange), CDMA (Pelephone) and iDen (Hot Mobile). In any case, you must check with your carrier about the roaming option and the compatibility of your device in advance. A valid suggestion otherwise is to turn off data services.

You can rent a cellphone for use in Israel either before your trip or once you arrive from several firms. You can also rent smartphones with sim cards included sometimes for lower than the cost of renting just a sim card. Vendors such as Israel Phone Rentalsoffer the advantages of a sim card rental without having to worry about bringing your own phone to Israel. If you have a GSM cellphone without a SIM-lock, you can buy a SIM-card. Prepaid SIM cards are available at Pelephone (Talk & Go), Cellcom (Talk Man) and Orange (Bigtalk) phone stores throughout Israel. Almost all shopping malls will have a Pelephone, Cellcom or Orange kiosk or store.

There are many public phones scattered around. Public phones can be always found at hotels, post offices, central bus stations and train stations. These phones use a Telecard, which, today, is a pre-paid calling card that works only with pay phones and can be purchased at post offices and some stores, as well as ordinary calling cards. Some phones also accept credit cards, usually those in hotels and post offices.

Post

The Israel Post is the national postal service of Israel and generally has fast, reliable and affordable services. Efficiency means that letters and postcards send by airmail just take about 3-7 days within Europe, a few days more to the USA and Australia. Express Mail Services (EMS) is available, with which you are guaranteed to have the postcard or letter delivered within 72 hours anywhere in the world. You can buy stamps at post offices, or newspaper stands/kiosks or some souvenir shops and hotels. The main post offices are usually open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Sunday to Thursday and 8:00am to 2:00pm on Friday, though some might keep longer hours. Branch offices and post offices in smaller towns keep shorter hours, usually with a break from 12:30pm to 3:30pm, and on Wednesday and Friday only during the morning. Parcels can be send by the regular post offices or with companies like TNT, UPS, FedEx and DHL.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 32.0554
  • Longitude: 34.7595

Accommodation in Tel Aviv

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Tel Aviv searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Tel Aviv and areas nearby.

Contributors

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Tel Aviv Travel Helpers

  • IsraelReisen

    For over 20 years i organize trips and guide individual travellers in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Negev desert and all of Israel as a passion and profession. We are specialists for groups of all sizes, confessions and constitutions. Originally Swiss, living in Israel for many years, we are licensed as guides in five languages.

    Ask IsraelReisen a question about Tel Aviv

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