A Weekend Guide to Tel Aviv, Israel
November 24 2015
Tel Aviv is one of those cities that’s always surprising. Most people don’t realize just how cool of a city Tel Aviv is; not just for the Middle East, but for all of its neighbors in Europe, too. It’s a city where the men walk around topless, the women carry rifles, and just about everyone has a dog. Tel Aviv is famous for its hedonism: its 24-hour nightlife, its world class restaurants, and its picture-perfect Mediterranean beaches. Though there’s a complex and complicated political history, in Tel Aviv, this is all forgotten for the sake of a better world. A new world. They don’t refer to Tel Aviv as “The Bubble” without reason.
And, thanks to a number of budget airlines flying between Tel Aviv and Europe, the city has become one of the hottest hotspots for weekend breaks. While accommodation can be pricey in Tel Aviv – even hostels are sometimes 25€/night for a room in a shared dormitory – there are ways to get the most out of a Tel Aviv weekend trip, even for as little as 69€/day. Including accommodation! Check out the post below to find out how.
1. Spend your days at the beach1. Spend your days at the beach
Tel Aviv, on the Mediterranean coast, has some of the world’s best beaches (and beach parties!). And, while there are many beach bars with lounge chairs to rent per day, you can also enjoy the beach for free. Just bring a towel, maybe some street food from one of the many sidewalk vendors, and spend your day lounging in the sun and sand.
Most twenty-somethings hang out at Gordon Beach, located near downtown/central Tel Aviv. A lot of the beaches in the city center will be crowded with tourists, but make your way further north during sunset for popular drum circles and other outdoor parties.
2. Look for the drink specials at night
Tel Aviv’s nightlife scene is constantly changing, which is partly what makes the city so fascinating and interesting for a weekend city break. Nightlife in Tel Aviv is split between the north and the south of the city, with more of the hipster bars and smaller, underground clubs in the Florentin neighborhood. You’ll find Rothschild Boulevard a popular spot day and night, with restaurants and cafes when the sun is out, and the spaces transforming into nightclubs as soon as the sun sets.
A new trend in Tel Aviv are the “bracelet bars,” where you can buy a bracelet for unlimited drinking all night long. Many Tel Aviv bars also have happy hours, which vary from half-price drinks all night long, to deals where you can get a cheap shot of arak (a local anise-flavored liquor) with a beer.
3. Enjoy the cafe culture
Good food is as important as a fun night out, and Middle Eastern culture relies heavily on food. It’s as much a part of life as it is a meal to eat, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to find Tel Aviv such a food-centric city. Locals spend their days and afternoons – and sometimes, long evenings – at sidewalk cafes.
In the summer, you’ll find iced coffee readily available. The local version is more of a coffee frappe, almost the texture of a milkshake. There’s nothing better to cool down with during the hot summers when temperatures can be as high as 40º C (104º F). Plus, you’ll want the extra caffeine for the long nights out.
4. Eat the street food
Most Tel Aviv restaurants focus on local foods, like hummus, falafel and other specialties, though Tel Aviv has a thriving international food scene as well. But in all honesty, when the local food specialties are so good, there’s no reason not to enjoy it.
Look for the street food vendors with small shops right on the sidewalk, selling everything from fresh fruit juices and shakes, to falafel and shawarma stands.
For more Tel Aviv tips, check out Adam’s full Hipster Guide to Tel Aviv.
Have you ever been to Tel Aviv? What’d you think about it? Let us know your thoughts down below!