Tel Aviv

Introduction

They say you can’t ever have it all, but Tel Aviv—a Mediterranean metropolis as chic and cosmopolitan as it is effortless and welcoming, may change your mind. A young city known for nonstop sunshine, liberal values, and a work hard, party harder attitude, Tel Aviv has, in the 108 years since its founding, managed to find an easy balance in its dual roles as Israel’s culture capital and the Middle East’s most relaxed, come-as-you-are beach city. From its skyscrapers to its pristine sand, Tel Aviv is always unabashedly itself: a 24/7 city packed with cafes, top-notch culture, and cutting-edge fashion and design. This is a city that can be enjoyed at any pace, so whether your style is to party all night or while away the days with a book on the beach, you’ll fit right in.

Best Time to Go

The city boasts 300 days of tourist-friendly sunshine per year, but visitors in the know book their flights for fall or early spring to avoid the scorching summer or the possibility of winter rains.

Airport Info

Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport sits just 12 miles southeast of the city and operates about 500 flights a day.

Getting Around

The Tel Aviv Municipality operates an extensive, clean, and courteous bus system that keeps the entire city chugging along. Buses do not run on the Sabbath and major Jewish holidays, but cheerful yellow mini-buses, or monit sherut, fill in the gaps on these days by running shadow routes along major thoroughfares. These can be flagged down just like taxis—simply hop on when the driver stops and then tell him where along the route you’d like to be let off.

Taxis in Tel Aviv are plentiful and can be flagged down on any major street. Ask your driver to turn on the meter before you depart to avoid being charged the “tourist fare.” For those who prefer to pay with credit card, the taxi-on-demand services Uber and its Israeli counterpart GetTaxi are hugely popular and available with a simple click on your smartphone.

Can’t Leave Without

1. Bargaining for spices at Carmel Market or Levinsky Spice Market

2. Enjoying a café hafuch, the Israeli version of a cappuccino

3. Getting lost in the maze of ancient streets that is Old Jaffa

Deserves the Hype

The smooth, three-mile Tel Aviv boardwalk offers an unparalleled view of both the city’s beaches and its attractive, super fit citizens. Hop on a bike and pedal your way from north to south to take in the coastline from every angle.

Local Dish to Try

Sabich, a street sandwich with Iraqi origins that consists of fried eggplant, hardboiled egg, and creamy tahini stuffed into a pita. It’s best at Sabich Tchernichovksy, a no-frills pita bar at 2 Tchernichovksy Street that has become a place of pilgrimage for foodies.

Local Drink to Sip

Beat the heat with a refreshing limonana barad, an ice-blended lemonade packed with fresh mint that has the delicious consistency of an old-school slushie.

Seasonal Highlights

WINTER: In winter, the world-renowned Suzanne Dellal Centre holds its annual International Exposure festival, bringing together the nation’s top dancers and choreographers for a week-long celebration of the absolute best Israeli movement artists have to offer. 

SPRING: Spring means the start of beach season in Tel Aviv—from mid-March on, the sand and water are both warm, so grab your SPF 50 and head for the coast.

SUMMER: In the summer, no event in Tel Aviv is bigger than Gay Pride Week, which draws up to 100,000 international revelers for street parties, beach bonfires and 24-hour fun.

FALL: Autumn means harvest time, so make sure to take in both the bursting produce stalls at the city’s farmers’ markets as well as the seasonal menus at its restaurants.

Quick Tips

Same-Day Dry Cleaning

Kviskal
972-03/523-6411

Hair Stylist to Book

Erez Alon
972-052/857-6540

Personal Shopper

Carmit Galili
972-052/328-5933

Top Hotel

The Norman
972-03/543-5555

Extended Stay

AirBnb

Best Restaurant for a Celebration

Mashya
972-03/750-0999

Best Restaurant for a Client Dinner

Catit by Meir Adoni
03/510-7001

Tailor to Know

Benny’s Sewing Room
972-050/822-7217

Gym with Week Pass

Holmes Place

City’s Best Spa

Spa Neve Tzedek
972-03/510-9876
Hotels

Poli House

The Karim Rashid-designed Poli House, a whimsical, color-drenched wonder of a luxury hotel, merges Tel Aviv’s proud past with its tech-centric, sleek and sexy future.
Magen David Square

Townhouse Tel Aviv

Owned and designed by the Kastiel family—Israel’s version of the Kartell or Cassina furniture dynasties—the Townhouse is redefining city-center luxury.
White City

The Rothschild Hotel

Smack in the center of Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv’s grandest thoroughfare, this modern boutique hotel pays quiet respect to Baron Edmond de Rothschild, one of Israel’s founding fathers.
White City

The Norman

When the Norman opened its doors in 2014 following the painstaking $10-million renovation of two 1920s Bauhaus mansions nestled in a picturesque Tel Aviv square, it set an entirely new standard for luxury accommodations in the White City
White City
FH&R

Market House Hotel Jaffa

This design-centric hotel sits at the heart of Jaffa’s culture nightlife district, with art galleries, al fresco restaurants, and vintage shopping all just steps away.
Jaffa

Hotel Montefiore

Located in an elegantly renovated 1920s mansion in the heart of Tel Aviv’s UNESCO-lauded White City, this was the city’s first true boutique hotel when it opened in 2008.
White City

Hilton Tel Aviv

Set along scenic Independence Park directly facing the sea, the Hilton is favored among high-tech business people and visiting CEOs.
Old North

Intercontinental David Tel Aviv

Perched just south of Tel Aviv’s main hotel zone near historic Neve Tzedek, the InterContinental is favored by visiting political power brokers and celebs.
Neve Tzedek
FH&R

Brown TLV

Located near the artsy Neve Tzedek district, the hip Brown TLV is credited with jumpstarting Tel Aviv’s boutique hotel boom.
Neve Tzedek

Alma Hotel & Lounge

This newcomer inhabits a meticulously restored, Eclectic-style landmarked building from 1925 in the city’s historic core.
White City
Restaurants

Shila

On trendy north Ben Yehuda Street, this always-packed temple to creative seafood attracts a stylish crowd.
City Center
Mediterrean Seafood

Manta Ray

With its prime location on the Mediterranean Sea, Manta Ray radiates atmosphere from moment one—especially in the morning.
Tel Aviv-Jaffa Border
Mediterranean Seafood

J’asia

The bright flavors of the Far East meld with the warmth and hospitality of Old Jaffa at this raucous sushi joint.
Jaffa
Asian Fusion

OCD

This restaurant-cum-event has no set menu, and offers two seatings a night in a renovated loft in Tel Aviv’s trendy Noga neighborhood.
Jaffa
Israeli Chef Restaurant

Mashya

This gorgeous gem of a bistro, located in the smart lobby of the Mendeli St. Hotel, is an homage to the tastes and textures of Chef Yossi Shitrit's Israeli childhood, but the result is utterly modern.
City Center
Israeli Chef Restaurant

Kitchen Market

It doesn’t get fresher than Kitchen Market, whose upscale open kitchen competes for attention with the jaw-dropping views outside of its sweeping second-story windows.
Tel Aviv Port
Israeli Chef Restaurant

Dallal

This lush, romantic bistro serves up a menu of beautiful French-Mediterranean dishes all day long.
Neve Tzedek
Romantic French-Israeli

Delicatessen

This tri-level grocery-cum-eatery in the city’s Bauhaus-rich historic core is the latest venture from lifestyle entrepreneurs Mati and Ruti Broudo.
City Center
Jewish-Israeli

The Salon by Eyal Shani

The Salon is Tel Aviv’s ultimate dinner-as-theater experience.
Nachalat Yitzhak
Israeli Chef Restaurant

Restaurant Hotel Montefiore

On the ground floor of the stylish Hotel Montefiore sits its excellent and eponymous restaurant, a dapper, hushed brasserie whose Francophone menu has only benefitted from an injection of Vietnamese charm.
City Center
Vietnamese-French
Bars + Lounges

SuraMare

Located on a 10th floor rooftop, SuraMare mixes breathtaking city views with delicious and creative cocktails.
City Center
Rooftop Bar

SpiceHaus

Atmosphere is everything at this highly stylized concept bar, but it is also deadly serious about its drinks.
City Center
Cocktail Bar

Rothschild 12

This lounge focuses on Israel’s increasingly award-winning wines, though the house gin and tonic can’t be beat.
City Center
Lounge and Cocktail Bar

Rooftop Lounge at Brown TLV

Three years after its original debut, the Brown opened a formal lounge on its already fun-filled rooftop.
City Center
Rooftop Bar

Kuli Alma

Spread over two graffiti-splashed levels and playing the roles of dance hall, sleek lounge, midnight snack mecca, and art gallery, Kuli Alma is a nightspot that refuses to be defined.
City Center
Club

Jajo Vino

This 18-seat wine bar oozes romance and charm, and is the ideal place to pause during an evening stroll.
Neve Tzedek
Wine Bar

Imperial Cocktail Bar

This colonial-inspired hotspot features mind-blowingly creative drinks is responsible for single-handedly igniting a new mixology craze throughout the city.
City Center
Classic Cocktail Bar

Café Europa

Set amid new glass towers and boxy Bauhaus buildings, this lounge-style restaurant lures the city’s famously fickle art and media set.
City Center
Classic Cocktail Bar

Aria

Aria's upper level is an eclectic bistro, but real insiders know that Aria’s best offerings are in the lounge on the ground floor, where Middle East cocktail guru Custer Thompson whips up concoctions like the Sumac Gimlet.
City Center
Classic Cocktail Bar

Anna Loulou

Calling itself an underground bar and cultural center, Anna Loulou has earned a place of pride among Jaffa’s young creatives.
Jaffa
Club
Shopping

Tonari

This micro-boutique of delicate Japanese fashions occupies a humble corner of the larger Hibino shop/design gallery.
White City
Japanese Design

Sketch

Sketch is the first Israeli label to specifically—and elegantly—target the nation’s well-dressed men.
Neve Tzedek
Menswear

Shlush Shloshim

This light-filled gallery is an artisan collective specializing in handmade ceramics from a small roster of local talents who create and display their wares in a highly curated environment.
Neve Tzedek
Ceramics

Sarona Market

On the grounds of what was once a thriving German Templar Colony, the Sarona Compound–a neighborhood-sized open-air commercial center with boutiques, high-end restaurants, and manicured gardens–has sprouted.
Sarona Market
Market

Numero 13

This massive shop has the distinction of being Tel Aviv’s first ever design concept store, and it’s 350 square feet of housewares and interior design products continues to delight.
Neve Tzedek
Housewares

Jaffa Flea Market (Shuk HaPishPushim)

By day, the Jaffa Flea Market is a maze of bric-a-brac, genuine antiques and wizened peddlers announcing their wares in competing singsongs and shouts.
Jaffa
Flea Market

HaTachana

Since opening in late 2010, HaTachana (Hebrew for “the station”) has become an unexpectedly charming urban-regeneration success.
Neve Tzedek
Shopping Center

Comme Il Faut

One of Israel’s oldest design houses, Comme Il Faut’s all-female team has set the standard for avant-garde power fashion in Israel.
Tel Aviv Port
Avant-Garde

Alma Banker

One of the city’s best and most extensive boutiques, this chic shop in the heart of Tel Aviv’s shopping district offers a great cross-selection of Israeli designers paired with curated vintage pieces from across the globe.
Old North
Designer and Vintage

One Bedroom

Just on the outskirts of Jaffa’s Flea Market sits One Bedroom, a gorgeous housewares store packed with sweet and surprising knick-knacks and home goods.
Jaffa
Housewares
Things To Do

Tel Aviv’s Bauhaus Buildings

At the heart of Tel Aviv-Jaffa is a cluster of some 4,000 buildings built in the Bauhaus or International Style, an architectural imprint of the many German Jewish architects who settled here in the years before World War II.
White City
Architecture

Tel Aviv Museum of Art

The Herta and Paul Amir Building here is the city’s boldest and newest architectural achievement.
Kikar Rabin
Museum

The Tayelet

Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean coastline is hugged by a paved boardwalk dubbed “The Tayelet," featuring restaurants, ice cream parlors, and a jogging path.
Hayarkon
Boardwalk

Ozen Bar

The Ozen Bar, Tel Aviv’s undisputed center of alternative music, is a rocking local venue that sits on the third floor above one of the oldest vinyl shops in the country.
Center City
Music Venue

Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theater

This center is Israel’s primary dance venue and also serves as the home of the Batsheva Dance Company, the nation’s best and most-respected modern dance troupe.
Neve Tzedek
Performance Space

Sommer Contemporary Art Gallery

Longtime gallerist Irit Sommer’s namesake Tel Aviv gallery is where local art-world stars like photographer Adi Nes are making their mark.
White City
Art Gallery

Old Jaffa

Jaffa, one of the oldest ports in the world, has been a center of commerce and community for centuries, and today its cobblestones and courtyards are enjoying a renaissance.
Old Jaffa
Historic Port

Dvir Gallery

Dvir is one of Tel Aviv’s most established contemporary art dealers, with spaces in the city center, Jaffa, and the Noga district.
Noga
Art Gallery

Gordon Gallery

Gordon Gallery has long been one of Tel Aviv’s flagship galleries with dual locations in the city’s posh north, but when it opened its third, it signaled a grand revolution for art in this city’s industrial south.
South Tel Aviv
Art Gallery

Carmel Market and the Nachalat Binyamin Art Fair

Tel Aviv’s one-stop shop for fresh produce, meat, spices and hummus is also a temple of cut-rate clothing, hole-in-the-wall gastronomic gems, and in-your-face Israeli culture.
South Central Tel Aviv
Market