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Tel Aviv


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Welcome to Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is a vibrant modern city that is best known for its sun-drenched beaches, pumping nightclubs, designer shopping, crowded street markets and high culture. What it lacks in antiquities, Tel Aviv makes up for in commerce. One third of Israel's population have made this bustling metropolis home. Over weekends, residents from nearby towns head to Tel Aviv looking for entertainment and relaxation and city-slickers spill out onto the city's beaches to soak up the Mediterranean sun along a six-mile (10km) stretch of golden sand. The diversity of the population is reflected in the architectural variations and influences, such as the Yemenite Quarter and the Vodka cafes of Allenby Street. Tel Aviv also provides an ideal base from which to explore other parts of Israel, including Jaffa, the Galilee area and Caesarea.

Information & Facts


The climate of Tel Aviv is subtropical, with hot summers and mild winters. The average temperature in summer is 77°F (25°C) and in winter, 57°F (14°C). Humidity tends to be high all year round and November to April is the wet season. July and August are the busiest months in Tel Aviv, and it is perhaps best to travel to Tel Aviv off-season.

Eating Out

Tel Aviv has an incredible range of restaurants, guaranteed to satisfy every traveller's mood, taste buds and budget.

Fast food in Tel Aviv (usually falafel with humus) is uncommonly healthy, and there are snack shops and small take-away eateries located on basically every street corner. Be sure to try Abu-Hassan (in Jaffa) and The Syrian (near the Carmel Market) - locals are divided on which of these two establishments is the best.

For classier evenings out, Tel Aviv has a wealth of local and international cuisine restaurants - far too many to provide a comprehensive list. Pizza Fino serves highly-rated kosher pizza, while Raphael Restau-Bistro is a chic little place specialising in Moroccan food. Onami makes the best Asian food in Tel Aviv (try their tofu dishes!), while the Yoezer Wine Bar offers a gourmet French and Italian selection.

Getting Around

The easiest way to get around Tel Aviv is on foot or by taxi. Taxi mini-buses ( sheruts) follow the same routes as the public buses, often with more frequency and are slightly cheaper on weekdays. The bus system itself is extensive with a fixed fare in the city-centre. Taxi cabs are not of any particular make or model car, but do have rooftop signs and are plentiful. Fares are metered and more expensive at night. Driving in Tel Aviv is not for the faint-hearted, as local drivers tend to be aggressive and impatient.

Hebrew and Arabic are the official languages of Israel. Most of the population also speak English.

The Israeli Shekel (ILS) is divided into 100 agorot (singular is agora). Money can be changed in the small exchange bureaux found on most main streets, or at banks and hotels. ATMs are prevalent throughout the country and linked to American systems. Most banks are open Sunday through to Friday until noon, and are open again from 4pm till 6pm on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Major credit cards are widely accepted, as are travellers cheques, though commission on these is high.


Tel Aviv is the irrepressible social hub of Israel, and has a great selection of trendy bars, grinding clubs and pubs with enough loud music, dancing and merriment to keep any party person happy.

During the summer months, kick things off with sundowners at one of the many beach bars, such as the popular Jerusalem Beach or Banana Beach. The nightlife in Tel Aviv doesn't usually get going until around 11pm, so it's best to ease into the swing of things by going out for dinner before hitting the bars and clubs. Even on Friday nights during Shabbat the locals go wild, while Thursday nights are another big night out.

Clubs and bars are constantly changing, but the main areas stay the same. Allenby Street is a good place to start, with over 20 clubs centred round the small area offering house, disco, funk and techno music. The Tel Aviv port and Rotschild Blvd. areas are popular too, with clubs such as TLV; while those looking for a gay scene, should head to Vox or to the trendy Florentin district. Expect traffic jams at 2am, as this city that never sleeps is capable of keeping you up way past dawn.


Tel Aviv undoubtedly offers the best shopping options for tourists to Israel. Whether you're looking for speciality items, high fashion, or some authentic Israeli souvenirs, you are bound to find what you're looking for in Tel Aviv.

There are three main types of shopping experience to be had in Tel Aviv. Firstly (and most memorably), are the city's wonderful, colourful market-places (shuks). These open-air markets bustle from dawn to dusk and - over and above the exciting things to buy from their noisy vendors - are tourist attractions in themselves, giving visitors a real taste of the Middle East. The biggest and busiest market is the Carmel Market (near Allenby Street), but the Flea Market (Rabi Nachman Street) is a great place for antique-hunters, and the Levinsky Market (on Levinsky Street) is the place to go for dried foods and spices.

Tel Aviv also has a fast-growing shopping mall culture, and if you're looking for international brands these establishments are probably a good place to start. Even if you're not a mall person back home, you might find yourself enjoying the air-conditioned interiors of these places more than the shopping that's on offer! The biggest and best shopping malls in Tel Aviv are Azriely, the Dizengoff Centre and Gan Ha'ir - all located near the city centre.

Tel Aviv also has a few remaining speciality shopping streets. For those seeking fashion deals, Dizengoff Street is a must (and particularly, the second-hand clothing store Daffodil 11); while those after arts, crafts, jewellery and Judaica products should head to Gordon Street. Finally, haute couture junkies should try coincide their visit to Tel Aviv with the City Designers' Market, where twice a year (in February and August) the city's top designers present their latest creations to the admiring public.

Given the fact that the whole of the city's western edge is one long strip of gorgeous Mediterranean coastline, it's unsurprising that going to the beach is one of Tel Aviv's most popular tourist activities. Blessed with fine, dry and sunny weather for most of the year, sandy beaches and warm sea temperatures, Tel Aviv is a great choice for travellers seeking a beach holiday abroad. The coastline is divided into about ten beaches, all of which have their own appeal. The best beach for swimming in Tel Aviv is the Hilton Beach, while Gordon Beach is popular with tourists and has some good bars and cafes. Drums Beach is popular among backpackers (there are evening drumming sessions at the local hangout, the Chinky Beach Bar), and gay travellers will feel especially at home at Atzmout Beach. Most beaches in Tel Aviv are free, and boast decent facilities (such as toilets, showers, umbrellas and deck chairs).

The Carmel Market - or Shuk Ha'Carmel - will entrance all visitors to Tel Aviv with its bustling atmosphere and fine selection of goods and produce. Located in the 'trendy side' of town (just off Allenby Street), the Carmel Market is basically one long alley, jam-packed with shoppers and vendors loudly advertising their wares. Although you can buy almost anything at the Carmel Market - from clothing and footwear to flowers, trinkets and cell phone accessories - and usually at better prices than you'll find elsewhere in the city, the real attraction is its mouth-watering array of fresh produce. Shop for the freshest fruit and vegetables, cheeses and baked goods, while soaking up the typically Middle Eastern market atmosphere. The Carmel Market operates every day of the week except Saturday.

Located at the northern tip of the Red Sea, Eilat is a popular holiday resort that boasts wonderfully warm temperatures that seldom drop below 70°F (21°C). Many visitors travel to Eilat to enjoy its fantastic diving and snorkeling opportunities in the Red Sea, one of the world's most magnificent marine preserves. Brightly coloured coral fish, moray eels and even manta rays can be seen, while landlubbers will enjoy lazing on the beautiful beach and splashing in the shallows.

A lesser-known activity in Eilat is bird-watching, as more than one billion birds navigate between the Mediterranean coast and the Jordan Mountains, making the area one of the best places to watch migratory flight. The Timna Valley National Park is located just north of Eilat and is a wonderful excursion for those wanting a day in the desert on camel-back or by jeep, while the more active can enjoy hiking in the desert mountains.

The Eretz Israel Museum has a unique layout and character, more in the nature of a museum park clustered around the ancient mound of the Tel Kasile, where ongoing archaeological excavations are in progress. The museum consists of various pavilions, each displaying different cultural facets and collections. Visitors can purchase a map to help them navigate through this fascinating campus, which covers 3,000 years of history, culture and art relating to the land of Israel.

The historical port city of Jaffa is easily reached from Tel Aviv by foot or car. Its inhabitants have included notable biblical, Greek and Roman figures, and its name is said to have been derived from Japhet, Noah's son. Archaeological finds indicate that Jaffa existed as a port city 4,000 years ago, serving both Egyptian and Phoenician sailors on their sea voyages. The entrance to the Old Town is marked by the Ottoman Clock Tower, a prominent landmark and meeting-point. Jaffa has become a popular tourist attraction filled with interesting shops, Mediterranean-style restaurants and sun-drenched cafes. There are artist quarters, studios and galleries as well as shops specialising in Judaica and archaeology. At night the historical walls are illuminated, revealing a beautiful architectural backdrop offset against the soft lapping of the sea against the ancient port walls. An exploration into Jaffa's history can be experienced at the Jaffa Museum, which contains a dazzling collection of artefacts. (The museum is located at 10 Mifratz Shlomo Street, Old Jaffa and is open from Sunday to Thursday between 9am and 1pm.)

The focus of this museum is to convey the story of the Jewish people, from the time of the expulsion of the Jews from Israel by the Romans 2,500 years ago, to their subsequent return to Israel. The multi-storey displays and exhibitions reflect the diverse Jewish communities that have been sustained over time by common cultural and religious links. The Jewish Music Centre has thousands of recordings of Jewish music, from traditional fare to the music of communities that were wiped out in the Holocaust, as well as works by Jewish composers. There is also a genealogy centre where visitors can explore their ancestry from thousands of records of Jewish families from around the world, and register their own family trees for future generations.

The Tel Aviv Museum of Art has boasted the country's leading exhibition of modern art since its inception in 1932. A permanent collection of European and American art features prominent Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings by Chagall, Dali, Cezanne and Monet. The museum offers an active program of changing exhibitions, as well as exciting cultural programs such as music and dance performances, cinema screenings and public lectures.

Visitors to the Underwater Observatory Marine Park just south of Eilat can enjoy viewing all kinds of fantastic marine life in the gigantic 360,000-litre seawater aquarium. Animals such as eels, sharks, turtles and stingrays can be seen, while the rare fish aquarium is home to some exquisite (and poisonous) fish. There is even a kids club for younger visitors to enjoy, where they can learn about the wonders of the ocean.

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