Tel Aviv is a modern metropolitan area that absorbed the older port city of Yafo. This international city is a financial, technological, and tourist hub with a unique and vibrant atmosphere.
While the northern portion of the city is more chic and suburban, the southern portion of the city has retained all the charms of the old port of Yafo. Most of the city's tourist attractions are located in the Center area.
Tel Aviv is a city that will surprise you with its busy street markets, modern nightlife, and Bauhaus architecture. This is the only place in the world where you can see one of the oldest Mediterranean ports right next to modern dining and shopping options.
The more modern areas of the city were designed to accommodate pedestrians with large boulevards. You are going to love walking through the green and luxurious promenades of the northern area, exploring the older and more intricate streets of the southern portion of Tel Aviv, or taking a stroll through the Joshua Gardens.
The Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Nachum Gutman Museum of Art will satisfy art enthusiasts with their incredible collection of paintings and sculptures. You can learn about history at the Museum of the Jewish People and the Museum of the History of Tel Aviv-Yafo.
Visit Tel Aviv in late June or early July for the White Night festival. There is live music, special events, and a lot of cultural attractions are open throughout the night. The Night Flea-market at the Jaffa market in August is also an incredible experience with shows and live music.
You could spend hours strolling through the many markets of Tel Aviv to shop for food and souvenirs or just to people watch. The Levinsky Market on Levinsky Street is the best place to shop for dried fruits and vegetables and the flea market near the Jaffa port is the best place to shop for souvenirs, antiques, and Judaica.
The beach is a very popular activity during the summer, especially on Friday afternoons, with a lot of locals heading to the coast. You can also splash in the water at the Meymadion Water Park or at the Yamit Water Park.
You can expect colder temperatures and even rain from December through early May, which is not ideal if you want to enjoy the beach, but traveling to Tel Aviv during the winter is ideal if you want to avoid crowds. The busy season typically lasts from June to mid-September.
The Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV) is located nine miles away from Tel Aviv in Lod. You can take a shuttle from the airport to Tel Aviv for ₪17, take the train for ₪16, or take a taxi, which could cost anywhere from ₪140 to ₪175. You can also drive from the airport to Tel Aviv by taking the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv freeway.
Israel Railways has several routes that lead to Tel Aviv. Getting from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv by train is an amazing experience because of the scenic route. Train fare from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv costs ₪23 and you can take a train from Haifa or from Beer-Sheva to Tel Aviv for ₪30.
There are a lot of well-maintained freeways in Israel. You can drive to Tel Aviv by following the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv freeway from the east, the Tel Aviv-Haifa freeway from the north or the Beer-Sheva freeway from the south.
There are two main bus stations in Tel Aviv, including the New Central Bus Station and the 2000 Bus Terminal, which is a lot smaller and much easier to navigate. Bus fare from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv should only cost ₪18 and you can catch a bus from Haifa to Tel Aviv for ₪24.
Tel Aviv is a popular destination and you will find many luxurious accommodations. The Grand Beach Tel Aviv Hotel and the Alexander Hotel Tel Aviv are ideal choices if you want to be near the beach. Consider staying at the Cinema Hotel, or at the Hotel Mercure Tel Aviv City Center if you want to be in the Center area.
Center - this area stretches from Allenby Street to the Yarkon River. This is where you will find most of the touristic attractions, shopping, and dining options. Go to the Azrieli Lookout point to see the entire Tel Aviv area from above.
South - the southern portion of Tel Aviv is the original city. This area is less developed and has conserved all the charm of an old Mediterranean port. Visit the Neve Tzedek neighborhood if you like art galleries and traditional restaurants.
Jaffa - this is one of the oldest ports in the world. Make sure you spend an afternoon at the flea market near the port.
There is a very reliable bus network that will take you anywhere in the metropolitan area. A bus ticket should cost between ₪5 and ₪6 but you can buy a daily pass for approximately ₪20, or charge a card to get a 20% discount on bus fare.
You will easily find taxis near hotels and in the Center area. Taxi fares should be between ₪20 and ₪30 if you stay within the Center area, while being dropped off in a nearby suburb should cost ₪50 to ₪60. Expect to pay a surcharge if you take a taxi on a Friday or Saturday night.
You can rent a car for ₪150 to ₪200 a day, which includes insurance. There are many car rental agencies near the airport, including Avis, Hertz, and Europcar. The downside of renting a car is that finding parking space can be difficult.
There are many options for shopping in Tel Aviv. You will find traditional markets at the flea market near the Jaffa Port and at the Jaffa railway station. The Nachalat Binyamin Zone in the Center is a pedestrian zone with a craft fair and a more modern mall. Head to Azrieli to shop at the largest mall in Israel, or go to the Central Bus Station to find bargain stores.
The many outdoor markets are the best places to buy fruits, vegetables, and local delicacies. You can purchase groceries at any of the AM:PM locations throughout the city. Expect to pay ₪7 for a loaf of bread and ₪12 for a dozen eggs.
Make sure you try hummus and falafel, sold on most street corners and at outdoor markets. You can try these traditional street foods for only ₪7. Falafel Hakosem and the Abu Hassan Restaurant are the best places to try Israeli fare. Lillyot and Bruno are excellent choices if you want a more traditional kosher dining experience. Raphael is among the best upscale restaurants, offering a more modern cuisine with international influences. Book a table at 2C for some amazing gourmet kosher food and an incredible view from the top of the Azrieli tower. A fast food meal should cost ₪40, a mid-range restaurant should cost ₪60, and upscale places can cost ₪150 or more.