Tel Aviv is the epicenter of Israeli culture, carpeted with more restaurants, museums, theater, art, music and cinema than you can fit into any single trip. Nobody enjoys making these tough choices, but here are three experiences that reflect Tel Aviv’s one-of-a-kind character that we’re confident you won’t regret.
Located in the southernmost part of the city, the ancient port of Jaffa is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is famous for its association with the biblical stories of Solomon, Jonah and Saint Peter, as well as its important role in the history of the region. You can reach Jaffa from the center of Tel Aviv by walking south along the stunning coastline toward is a walk up from Tel Aviv on the stunning Tel Aviv coastline and is a mixture of quaint and modern, old and new.
Jaffa is a charming mixture of the old and new, with numerous cultural and religious sites to visit, alongside a modern nightlife with stylish bars and restaurants.
For a taste of history, visit Clock Square, the Jaffa Museum, the Libyan Museum, the Greek Orthodox Church and Armenian Monastery and the Al Bahr Mosque.
For a unique dining experience, check out the Fleamarket restaurant in the famous Jaffa flea market. With it’s eclectic decor and items, gathered from flee markets all around the world and locally in Israel, and contemporary menu, the Fleamarket makes for a stimulating dining experience.
Afterward, take a stroll around beautiful Old City and enjoy the fresh sea air, charming narrow alleys and view toward the sea.
Tel Aviv Nightlife
It would certainly be a shame to come to Israel’s nightlife capital and not take advantage of all it has to offer for at least one night.
Start with dinner at one of the multitude of world-class Tel Aviv restaurants or unique local-flavored establishments. If you can’t decide between all the options, check out our restaurant recommendations.
After dinner, see where the night takes you. If you’re looking for a dose of high culture, it could take you to a show at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center, where the best international and Israeli musicians and dancers show off their talents almost every night of the week, or the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, which holds numerous cultural events like the Tel Aviv Jazz Festival and frequently screens Israeli and foreign art films.
For the party people, though, it’s probably best to head out for drinks at any of Tel Aviv’s bars or pubs, which range from every-man joints like (Mike’s Place or Molly Blooms Irish Pub) to upscale lounges and cocktail bars (Imperial Cocktail Bar or Messa Bar) and underground dance bars (Radio E.P.G.B. or Pasáž).
From there, Tel Aviv’s club scene wings into full effect between 12 am and 2 am. At that point, you have numerous options. For mainstream music, beautiful people and a stunning seaside setting, head to Clara. You can also get a similarly mainstream, but more luxurious setting at Valium mega-club. If you want to get into the nitty gritty of Tel Aviv’s underground electronic scene, you can check out The Block, The Cat and the Dog, the Breakfast Club or underground dance bars. And live music holdouts can catch shows at venues like Ozen Bar, Reading 3 and Barby.
If you’re night out has left you hungry, grab some late-night (or early-morning) eats at a shawarma or falafel joint or get a proper meal in you at one of Tel Aviv’s night-owl restaurants, such as Benedict or Brasserie.
Guided Tours of Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv has so many layers that sometimes it’s nice to have some help peeling them all back.
Free walking tours
The Municipality’s Tel Aviv by Night tour sets off from the corner of Rothschild Boulevard and Herzl Street every Tuesday at 8 pm. The tour portrays the foundation of Tel Aviv through interesting stories set against the backdrop of Rothschild’s exciting nightlife scene.
The free tour of Old Jaffa starts at Marzuk and Azar Streets in Jaffa and covers highlights like the Flea Market, archaeological sites and the renovated alleys and buildings of the historic city, culminating with the magnificent view of Tel Aviv from Gan Hapisga (Crest Garden).
Touring Tel Aviv by bicycle is an enjoyable way to see the city. It’s much faster than by foot, and unlike in a car, you get to take in all of your surroundings and enjoy the fresh sea air.
Tarbush tours are run by actors and entertainers turned tour guides, who use their talents to bring the sites to life by acting out past events.
Photo: Noam Chen