04 October 2017
There are few cities I find as exiting and absorbing as Tel Aviv. Founded in 1909 Tel Aviv actually used to be a suburb of one of the worlds oldest ports Jaffa which is now the old town and arab district of the city. The center of Tel Aviv has become the buzzing core with boulevards, markets, shopping districts and a 14km stunning sandy beach with the sun setting over the ocean.
I had the pleasure to travel here for the second time in collaboration with lastminute.ch and collect all the hot spots for you. It was not hard to find super cool places, and I there is an abundance of many more to discover which are not on my list. But if its your first time to the city, you have some great locations to discover if you follow this post.
Tel Aviv 88
I stayed at the Tel Aviv 88 Hotel which is an estimated 150m from the beach. Its simple but comfortable, friendly team and cute restaurant serving a nice breakfast. Theres a rooftop terrace to hang out, enjoy the sunset and drink a glass of champagne. Its not a design or luxury boutique hotel, but it upkeeps the standard that it promises on its website.
- Dinner -
I love the food culture here! An uncomplicated wholefood approach to eating rich in flavours. Theres are lots of streetfood places where one can find fresh juices, frozen yogurt or shawarma and falafel on the Go. But also the hippest restaurants are quite unconventional. Food is served on parchment papers and popular starter dishes are things such as whole roasted vegetables like cauliflower, eggplant, sweetpotato or carrots. Salt is served directly on the table in a pile to pinch with the hands. I love veggies as much as I love salt: So it couldn’t get much better for me. The vegan food scene is huge here, but you also find ‘traditional’ or mainstream popular dishes such as pizza’s burgers and co. Try North Abraxas and Port Said: open kitchens and charcoal grilled dishes give you that unique flavour of the urban Tel Aviv. Dress casually here, this is not the place for make-up. The crowd is very unconventional and laid back. Its about getting together, making conversation and breaking a piece of bread dipped in tahini. Its about getting a table too: both places are crazy busy so its suggested to make reservations (North Abraxas) or come before 20.00 (Port Said, as they don’t do reservations). Once your seated: Enjoy!
- Bars&Clubs -
Nightlife is huge here in Tel Aviv and the city is buzzing at night. Its not hard to find popular bars, easily spottable by the crowd lingering around outside. Many places also play loud music so you can just navigate using your ears. There are plenty hidden cellar locations as well as rooftop bars to be discovered. Just look out for the doors with people queuing. Getting inside hip locations without reservations is possible - the locals are very laid back and casually dressed so we were able to enter fantastic locations such as the Speak Easy Rooftop Bar (my favourite one so far) wearing torn jeans, sneakers and a roundneck sweater. They do have door selection however - So entry is not guaranteed and I heard some doors can be pretty hard. If you wanna be one the safe side anywhere in Tel Aviv making reservations is recommendable.
- Breakfast -
Check out the Bread Story - I had the classical breakfast plus the shakshuka which was served baked inside a whole bread - Yum! The place is located in the shopping street Dizengoff - so after you’ve enjoyed your morning meal you can head for some shopping straight after.
- Lunch -
To not break up our schedule too much we pretty much kept lunch spontaneous. Also to make room for the occasional icecream or frozen yogurt shake street side. We had late Breakfast and then spent the day exploring, before we headed for a casual dinner. But if you walk along the beach, Dizengoff Shopping Area or Boulevard Rothschield you will find plenty of pretty restaurants and coffeeplaces serving every type of cuisine you could ask for: from Burgers to Sushi, the choice is yours!
- Districts and Leisure -
There are plenty of areas to stroll around and discover here. Walking at the Beach of course if beautiful! But also the Dizengoff Street or Boulevard Rotschild are great to walk around and enjoy the afternoon vibes. I also suggest to visit Jaffa - the arabic quarter of Tel Aviv where you’ll find a different vibe regaring food, architecture (old town) and merchandise.
- Get around Town -
Tel Aviv is a town that can easily be managed on foot actually, especially if you are staying in a central Hotel like the TLV88. UBER also works fantastic in Tel Aviv, plus its possible to spontaneously rent Bikes and E-Bikes at many shops as well as public stations by the beach. Tel Aviv by Bike is a fantastic experience and really lets you explore the town in a fast and uncomplicated way.
- Safety and Airport Security -
Israel employs a very strict and efficient security system at the airport. When entering and leaving the country you will be asked questions, also of a personal nature. Don’t be discouraged by these questions though. They are not meant to harrass you, and its actually less about the answer that you give, rather than how you give it. This questioning is meant to single out people who will be nervous because their story dosn’t check out. So just stay patient, cooperative and true to the facts and you will be passed without worry. The questioning may be annoying - but this extensive security protocol has resulted in not a single incident happening at the airport by Tel Aviv in 40 years, and this is essentially what matters the most: Safety!
Once inside the country I have always felt very safe, & I am already looking very much forward to my next visit.
till then - Lehitraot - להיתראות (goodbye:)