Jaffa Port by Dana FriedlanderJaffa Port by Dana Friedlander
(Photo Credit: Israeli Ministry of Tourism)

Tel Aviv Travel Guide

Travel to Tel Aviv, Israel’s capital and your senses will be pleasantly arrested by the smells, and flavours of this colourful city. From coffee to markets, and clubs, Tel Aviv local, Yasmin Shenhav takes us to her favourite places. 

 

Tel Aviv Travel Guide BauhausBauhaus building by Dana Friedlander
(Photo Credit: Israeli Ministry of Tourism)

 
As the slogan says – Tel Aviv is indeed the city that never sleeps. The variety of attractions is endless, from morning to late at night, anyone can find a corner of its heart. Discover authentic local markets, green parks, galleries and museums, all accompanied by excellent food, bustling nightlife and, of course, the sea: blue to the horizon with colourful and endless sunsets. With the sun shining almost all year long in Tel Aviv, it is fun to explore the city by foot, wander the streets and boulevards filled with Bauhaus architecture and discover pleasant, lively places.

The transitional seasons – spring and autumn – are the most recommended for a visit. The weather is perfect, the sun caresses all, and the surrounding nature’s colours are at their best.

 

Tel Aviv Travel Guide Jaffa View to the Sea by Dana FriedlanderJaffa View to the Sea by Dana Friedlander
(Photo Credit: Israeli Ministry of Tourism)

 

COFFEE

Delicatessen – Yehuda ha-Levi St 79/81, Tel Aviv-Yafo

Without a doubt, the quality of coffee in the morning sets the bar for the rest of the day. You can`t overestimate it. The Delicatessen is exactly what you are looking for. It has everything. Coffee and high-quality pastries, hearty breakfasts, a flower stall, a wine shop and if you wish – you can buy cheese, olives and bread to take home. Do not miss the hot smoking salmon.

 

We Like You Too – Ben Tsiyon Blvd 34, Tel Aviv-Yafo

The location, the varied sandwiches and the coffee alone make We Like You Too a winner. On one side, find Habima Square with its blossoming garden, from which you can take a walk on Rothschild Boulevard. And on the other side, Ben-Zion Boulevard, from which on a beautiful day you can see the sea at the end (Bograshov Street).

 

Claro – Ha’arbaa st 23, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

The beautiful restaurant Claro is housed in an impressive old stone building. The food is superb. I recommend trying the Claro “Sabich”. After breakfast, it’s worthwhile walking around the reconstructed Sarona compound.

 

Jaffa Flea Market by Dana FriedlanderJaffa Flea Market by Dana Friedlander
(Photo Credit: Israeli Ministry of Tourism)

 

WHAT TO DO

Jaffa Flea Market – Olei Zion St, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

Shopping in the Jaffa flea market. Imagine small alleys lined with old furniture shops and new delis. Starting the day at the authentic Vietnamese Cafe Puaa is an appropriate beginning, since the place is equipped with old eclectic furniture and “old fashioned” food utensils. After that, simply wander and get lost in the streets of the market. It is recommended to visit the colourful design stores, such as Sofi (love at first sight); and Saga TLV – a gallery store dedicated to the wares of Israeli artists and designers.

 

Tel Aviv Travel Guide Yarkon ParkYarkon Park in Tel Aviv by Dana Friedlander
(Photo Credit: Israeli Ministry of Tourism)

 

Tel Aviv Travel Guide The Yarkon River by Dana FriedlanderYarkon River by Dana Friedlander
(Photo Credit: Israeli Ministry of Tourism)

 

Picnic in the Yarkon Parkthe green lung of Tel Aviv. It covers a wide area and is a pleasant place for walks along the river, a picnic on the many lawns or just a feeling of nature in the middle of the bustling city. The part of the park between Ibn Gabirol St. and the Rokach interchange is fabulous for a lovely riverside walk under the eucalyptus trees. A longer stroll will get you to the vast lawns facing the lake, where you can also feed the ducks and take a boat ride.

 

Tel Aviv Travel Guide Museum of ArtTel Aviv Museum of Art by Dana Friedlander
(Photo Credit: Israeli Ministry of Tourism)

 

Explore art galleries and museums. Tel Aviv is a place for art lovers. Dozens of museums and art galleries are located throughout the city. Starting with the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, which has one of the largest Israeli art collections in the world; The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History which opened just last summer (2018); Nahum Gutman Museum of Art; The Rubin Museum; The Naïve Art Gallery – GINA, and many, many more.

 

Tel Aviv Travel Guide Neve TsedekRothschild Boulevard by Dana Friedlander
(Photo Credit: Israeli Ministry of Tourism)

 

WHAT TO SEE

Rothschild Boulevard-Neve Tzedek Neighbourhood. On a bicycle or by foot, day or night, Rothschild Boulevard is a magical route. The impressive Ficus trees on either side of the sidewalk, the beautiful and unique houses and its location, make it one of the most popular places in Tel Aviv, and rightly so. At its end is the picturesque neighbourhood of Neve Tzedek. Neve Tzedek is one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Tel Aviv, which has become a hot trendy area over the years, with boutique shops, young designers and little cafes. It is worthwhile to wander the streets and alleys browsing the colourful houses of the neighbourhood. Do not miss the excellent Anita Ice Cream on Shabazi St (the main street).

 

Tel Aviv Travel Guide BeachTel Aviv Beach by Dana Friedlander
(Photo Credit: Israeli Ministry of Tourism)

The Sea

Tel Aviv is not complete without it. Going for a morning walk, you’ll be gifted with a pleasant breeze. And in the afternoons gazing towards the sunset, it is peaceful as you watch the waves and the beautiful sun that paints the sky in magnificent colours.

 

Carmel Market – HaCarmel St 48, Tel Aviv-Yafo

The best way to get to know a city is through its markets. Indeed, the Carmel Market is colourful, joyful, boisterous and stimulating. Beautiful local fruits and vegetables are on display, spice shops with a dizzying selection, clothing stands and souvenirs. It is worthwhile roving in the narrow streets leading to the market and enjoying the small cafes and authentic food stands. You can grab something to eat at one of the many stalls or sit in the upscale restaurant, The HaBasta, where fresh, seasonal ingredients are served directly from the market.

 

WHERE TO EAT

Hotel Montefiore – Montefiore St 36, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

The award for best-business-lunch-in-the-city goes to the Hotel Montefiore. The warm little baguettes accompanied with delicious butter setting the tone for the rest of the meal. Vietnamese-French food, appetizer, main course, coffee and something sweet – all for the price of a main course. Located in a renovated and beautiful building, the feeling inside is of a colonial fantasy.

 

The Thai House – Bograshov St 8, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

It is rare to find true authentic Thai food that doesn’t try to cater to the Western palate. The Thai House will bring you back to the flavours and landscapes of this gorgeous country. I like the “Pla Nn Tao Ti`yao” (steamed sea bass), Goong Tche Naam Pla (Crystal shrimps) and, of course, the Som Tam Salad – it’s local version is one of the best I’ve known.

 

Santa Katerina – Har Sinai St 2, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

In my opinion, Santa Katerina restaurant best represents contemporary Israeli cuisine today. The dishes are seemingly familiar with an original twist. They use the best raw ingredients, and have quality Israeli wine on offer. My recommendation is to go for the calamari spaghetti, and a Shvo Vineyards glass of Israeli wine.

 

Jaffa Panorama at Night by Dana FriedlanderJaffa Panorama at night by Dana Friedlander
(Photo Credit: Israeli Ministry of Tourism)

NIGHTLIFE

Hanoi – Lilienblum St 18, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

The entrance to Hanoi restaurant is like a small jump to the Far East. The eating utensils arranged in a pot on the table, menu and smells – for a moment you can close your eyes and imagine yourself wandering the streets of Hanoi’s Old City. We enjoyed “Har Gaw” and sea fish in lemongrass sauce, accompanied by a cool Hanoi cocktail, and our hearts were filled with joy.

 

Herzl 16 – Herzl St 16, Tel Aviv

The Herzl 16 complex is a cool place with a vibe that sweeps you. The bustle of Herzl St and Rothschild Boulevard are forgotten and a new world is revealed. The entrance to this marvellous restored building offers a number of possibilities for its guests. Live performances, a lively bar with a Japanese-style menu or a more formal atmosphere in the Disco-Tokyo restaurant.

 

Levinsky Market – Levinsky St, Tel Aviv-Yafo

It is also worth walking around the Levinsky Market during the day, eating a good sandwich at the Yom Tov delicatessen and buy tea infusions at Tavlinsky‘s. At night however, the story is completely different. Pubs and restaurants open and the whole area is thriving, there is a joyous atmosphere on the bustling market streets. Among the recommended places: OuzeriaPimpinella and Dalida.

 

ABOUT YASMIN SHENHAV

Previously a pastry chef and a baker in boutique bakeries and restaurants across Israel; Tel Aviv local, Yasmin Shenhav is passionate about new flavours, and exploring new places and cultures. She has a particular interest in visiting new wineries, restaurants and discovering small producers. An avid traveller, Yasmin has visited 27 countries. So far her favourites include, but are not limited to: Vietnam, Laos and the Far East, South Africa, and New York. When it comes to her favourite travel experiences, she counts discovering the wine regions of Marlborough New Zealand and Stellenbosch in South Africa, trekking the rice terraces of northern Vietnam, seeing the amazing glaciers in Argentina, relaxing on the beaches in Thailand, and dining in New York City.