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Tel Aviv’s Hipster Neighborhood of Florentin

Florentin: It’s a lot like Brooklyn, except everything is in Hebrew and there are way less Orthodox Jews. A bit grungy, you can find some of the best bars in Tel Aviv on Florentin Street and down by the intersection with Vidal Street. Lots of cafés, too. On Vidal, you’ll also find some of Tel Aviv’s best cheap eats and casual dining. The Florentin neighborhood is in south Tel Aviv, only a short, 10-minute walk from the popular Rothschild Boulevard in central Tel Aviv.

Photo by 37873897@N06 / CC by 2.0

The first thing you notice when you enter the Florentin area is the trash — it’s everywhere. Rubbish in the streets, piles of boxes stacked up outside storefronts. It all looks a bit rough, but once you walk around it and find yourself in the heart of the neighborhood, the streets get a bit cleaner. There’s the Levinsky Market (Tuesdays and Fridays) in Florentin, and its mishmash of food stalls and vendors makes the place look totally in disarray; but, there’s a bit of an order to the chaos. The Levinsky Market is a bit more interesting and exciting than the more touristic Shuk Ha’Carmel, about 10 minutes away in Tel Aviv’s tourist center. You’ll find locals shopping for their groceries and great deals on the local cuisine.

Wandering down Florentin Street, you’ll spot what makes this neighborhood so popular these days. A lot of the rubbish has been cleared away, the cloth shops cleared out, and gentrification is in full force. There are trendy cafes and furniture stores set alongside the longstanding shops, selling electronic equipment and other brick-a-brac. Head down to the Café Casbah, a small oasis from the noisy streets of Florentin. With a small garden terrace and top-quality foods served at lunch (with a business lunch special, too!), it’s a great place to chill out and relax.

Besides the daytime cafés and casual restaurants, Florentin is also home to some of Tel Aviv’s best nightlife. A few of the warehouses in the district have been converted into club and art spaces. One of the most famous is Comfort 13, but Haoman 17 also hosts a number of parties. These mega-clubs even host gay nightlife, like the notorious “College” party, popular with young gay guys. The best way to find out about

Tel Aviv’s parties is by following some of the local blogs, like DIY Tel Aviv or the Tel Aviv Gay Vibe app.

It’d be quite easy to spend an entire weekend exploring the Florentin neighborhood, because there are so many different, cool places and things to do. A number of companies offer street art tours through the area, and there’s even a vegan food tour. Florentin is a great representation of the diversity of Tel Aviv, on the fringes of the city center and on the way to Jaffa. It’s also within walking distance to some of Tel Aviv’s other less visited areas, including the Noga complex, Neve Tzedek, and the Jaffa Market. Each area of Tel Aviv is worth visiting for its own unique qualities, but Florentin — with its raw and rough style, its authentic bars, and local vibe — will always be my favorite.

Photo by 51042163@N00 / CC by 2.0

And a bonus! If you want to win a trip to Tel Aviv, I’ve partnered with my friends from Abraham Hostels to give away a 10-day trip to the Middle East, including a $500 flight voucher and accommodation, tours, and activities through Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, the West Bank,and even an excursion to Petra, Jordan! Enter here: http://travelsofadam.com/contest/

Have you ever been to Tel Aviv or the Florentin neighborhood? If so, what’d you think? If not, would you like to go? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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