Tel Aviv is trendy, lively, colorful, artistic and to top it all off is located in the beautiful and magical setting, by the Mediterranean Sea. I’m so happy, privileged really to be able to call this FAB city my home!
Tel Aviv is famous for a great number of things, its stunning beaches, rich culture, museums, NYC style nightlife, it is a definite foodie heaven, and due to immigration from Germany in the 1930s, the German style of Bauhaus architecture transformed Tel Aviv into the UNESCO-recognized ‘White City.’
So you have just 48 hours to explore this bustling metropolitan, how should you spend this time you ask? This is how, welcome to my Tel Aviv :)
A great way to explore Tel Aviv which is both easy and fun is on a bike. TIP: If you’re coming from Europe and is used to biking remember, Tel Aviv is different! This is a relatively new concept here and though the infrastructure in Tel Aviv is good, drivers are less used to bikers so please be careful!
We’ll start the day bright and early in Hayarkon park, the ‘green lung’ of the city set along the banks of the Yarkon river. This walk will take you to the port of Tel Aviv which is about 25 minutes’ walk. The port is at the end of the river where it connects to the sea, and is it FILLED with lovely high-end shops & boutiques, restaurants all along the water front down to Jaffa, and it features the first ever indoor farmers market. Here you can find beautiful fresh and organic items, traditional desserts such as halva and basically everything you heart desires from fruit & veg to fish, meat, cheese and even fresh pasta. There are small restaurants inside which are really delish! It’s a great place to wander around and take in the vibes, colors and smells. Have a fresh fruit smoothie btw, they have beautiful mixes.
The best breakfast / brunch spot is just a few minutes’ walk past the market- It’s called Café Nimrod and it’s right on the water front.
If it’s lunch you’re up for than you have many options in this area..
Top 5 lunch spots recommendations:
For the freshest pasta dishes with unusual colorful and tasty flavor combinations: https://www.facebook.com/Pastabanamal/
For Mediterranean cuisine, meat, fish and seafood delights stop by ‘The White Pergola’
For a meaty lunch: www.lechembasar.co.il
Humus! ’Humus banamal’ and it’s right next door to Lechem basar :)
Continue along the promenade until you reach the stretch of breathtaking beaches. After having beautiful food, chilling in the sun watching the waves and surfers is the only logical thing to do right?...Hang out and ENJOY until the sun sets. It’s a wonderful way to spend your time here!
Gordon, Frishman and Bograshov are the most lively beaches. My favorites are Hilton & Frishman beach. Both have sunbeds and shade you can rent during the season and both have a beach restaurant which is awesome! Prefect for a dip, drinks & snacks and of course working on that tan line!
Come late afternoon early evening (after you had a chance to refresh) head down the promenade towards Jaffa. Stroll around the ancient port, go up to the top of the hill to enjoy the old city and stunning views overlooking Tel Aviv. Lots of restaurants here for dinner, you can also head down to the local flee market turn nightlife hotspot in the evening for dinner and drinks, or to the beach front where you’ll find a string of trendy restaurants and bars overlooking the sea.
If you have extra time during the day stop by this 100 years old flea market located in the heart of Jaffa. It really is a treasure hunt of antiques, art, handmade and secondhand items. Copper, jewelry, Judaica items and tons of secondhand clothing and furniture can be found there. Don’t be afraid to bargain yourself a good deal, it’s how it’s done.
Qua Nightlife Tel Aviv has so much to offer! It all depends on your individual taste, do you like restaurants and bars? Are you looking to dance the night away?
Scroll down to check my nightlife BONUS tips!
Start the day with a stroll down the beach and possibly a swim, later walk down the beach and head to the Carmel market, this a MUST visit! I call it an open air people’s museum and it doesn’t get more authentic than this place :)
It is an absolute party for the senses, a sensational experience combined of spices, colors, flavors and people! You can find anything here! From here you can continue to the Neve Zedek neighborhood heading down to the southern part of the city, it has great character and vibes and is quite different from the northern part where we started yesterday.
Next walk up to Rothschild Avenue, enjoy the green and the yummy little food joints you’ll find all along the Avenue. From traditional Israeli food such as falafel, to vegetarian to sushi and smoothie stands. For the foodies who love to experience unique and authentic flavors while tapping into the typical southern Tel Aviv vibes go to the Levinsky market. Narrow streets and alleys filled with little stores / stands of traditional foods, spice sacks, a marzipan factory and small shops selling authentic delicatessen like Turkish bourekas which I personally tried this past summer and it was to die for!
The hip bohemian Florentine neighborhood is not far away and is home to colorful street art. It is full of hipster coffee shops and is the perfect place to take a load off and do some people watching.
There are many museums to choose from however it will take a serious chunk of your time. In 48 hours (unless you want to rush it which of course is no fun) it is tricky. I’m assuming you would like to take your time to explore without being on the clock so to speak.
I have two solutions: Try another approach - The outdoor approach!
Enjoy a Bauhaus tour: Many of these stunning buildings are now renovated, they are in the heart of the city and easy to find.
For the history buffs: Walk in the footsteps of the Templars. The Sarona complex is a Templar’s village above ground but there are also underground tunnels to walk in, dug by hand by German Templars arriving in 1871. These tunnels were even used by the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence! This indoor market has unique food stands, restaurants and shops you can check out.
Choose a smaller museum that won’t eat too much of your time:
This one for example can be found on Rothschild Avenue and is of great importance! This is where Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of the State of Israel: http://www.eretzmuseum.org.il/e/99/
Here is a list you can choose from:
It’s your last night in Tel Aviv so you should end it with a culinary bang don’t you think?..
Top dinner recommendations in Tel Aviv:
If you’re a sushi lover like me than try ‘TYO’ on for size. Another option is ‘Disco Tokyo’. Both are delicious!
If it’s Italian you’re in the mood for than check out ‘Toto’, ‘Pronto’ or ‘Coco Bambino’.
For the seafood (and chic) dining experience check out ‘Mashia’ or ‘Shila’.
For an authentic Tel Avivian vibes ‘Onza’ is a great option!
‘Mapu’: One of my favs located in the Prima City Hotel. A Mediterranean menu created by Chef Nir Zuk.
‘Tompolopompo’: It will blow your mind! Food as well as wallet wise..
‘Oasis’ for lovers of the Asian kitchen. For something more low key but super popular and loved by locals go to the ‘Thai House’.
For lovers of the French kitchen go to ‘Elena’ in the Norman Hotel or to ‘Hotel Montifuri’.
‘Hasalon’ belonging the super creative and artistic Chef Eyal Shani.
‘Yafo-Tel Aviv’ belonging to celebrity Chef Haim Cohen.
There are many more options of course but these guys are at the TOP!
There are many rooftop bars to choose from, I won’t be covering that in this post. Feel free to contact me for more details.
‘Imperial’ cocktail bar: Absolutely superb!
‘Otsar’ is a bar and casual nightclub, boasting quality cocktails and a fine dance floor.
‘Double standard’: An authentic Tel Avivian experience for sure!
‘Motel de Lux’
‘Hamisrad’ – And in English-The Office J
I hope that you enjoy your time in Tel Aviv! Have you been to Tel Aviv using my tips? I would love to hear about it in the comments.
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