Mediterranean vacations are almost synonymous with European getaways, well the Med is bigger than that, reaching the African shores as well as Middle-Eastern shores. One Mediterranean getaway that you need to add to your wanderlust is a visit to Israel’s Tel Aviv. Plenty of things to do in Tel Aviv in addition to 300 days of sunshine, long stretch of beautiful sandy beaches, great nightlife, cuisine, art, and culture, you just cannot go wrong. Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 as a suburb north of the ancient city of Jaffa, believed to be the oldest port in the world. So whether you are in the mood for a beach-bumming vacation for some rest and relaxation or soaking up on culture, there is something for everyone. With hotels in Tel Aviv catering to all budgets. If you need further convincing of why your next Mediterranean vacation needs to to be in this Middle-Eastern gem, how about 10 whole reasons why you need to book flights Tel Aviv now! For more on Israel make sure you check out my other posts on Haifa, Jerusalem, and theDead Sea.
1. Surfs Up – Beaches!
Long stretches of sandy beaches, perfect for sun-seekers, water sports enthusiast, sunset or people watching. Tel Aviv’s west side faces the Mediterranean Sea with miles and miles of beaches. From family friendly, quiet and peaceful, to beaches catering to young, hip and ready for a party. You can rent snorkeling or surfing equipment to kayaks as well as sun loungers. If you are up for exploring the beaches, there are bike rentals nearby. If you want a hote right on the beach there is that too. Read on!
2. The History – Two Sided Tours
Tel Aviv and much like the whole country is steeped in history. Right in the corner of the city is Jaffa, said to be the world’s oldest port cities with history over 2000 years. Today its a multiethnic mix of people with Jews, Christians and Muslims living side by side. Tel Aviv offers many tours to get to know its history through the eyes of Jews, Muslims, and Christians, some of which are in partnership with both Palestinian and Isrealis. So immerse yourself in the history and culture of this beautifully complicated Holy Land.
3. The Food
With the Med right on the shores, you can count on fresh seafood to be on the menu. The food is as diverse and delicious as its people. From food markets, best brunch spots to Tel Aviv’s trendiest eateries, couple that with spots with the best hummus in town and you will be asking yourself why you haven’t considered moving here yet. If you need food tours, these start from around $30 to help you navigate right into the heart of the city’s flavours.
4. Retail Therapy
Shopping doesnt get any better than Azrieli Center Mall offering a great shopping experience, from food courts, clothes shops to tech shops. As far as technology is concerned Israel ranks fifth among the most innovative countries in the Bloomberg Innovation Index with the likes of Whatsapp and Waze having come out of Israel. Fashion is a sector that has grown in recent years, with many well-known brands like Berta, Inbal Dror, Elie Tahari to now having their own fashion week. While Azrieli Center Mall caters to all budgets, for a more high-end affair, you need to head to He Be’iyar Street for Kikar Hamedina. This street rivals New York’s Fith Avenue or London’s Bond Street. This is where brand names and high-end boutique shops are brimming with designer labels. Also check out Jaffa for flea markets, vintage shops as well as one-of-a-kind fashion, art and jewellery. Another spot of
5. Art and Culture
If a vacation filled with culture is your thing then Tel Aviv will quench your thirst. From pop-up art exhibits in Jaffa to gallery spaces for permanent and temporary exhibits at the Design Museum Holon and Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
From Jaffa’s old style buildings to Tel Aviv’s modern and emerging skyline to the world’s largest collection of Bauhaus style buildings. Tel Aviv has an understated collection of buildings with a fascinating history. While taking in contents of the Design Museum, you might want to spend as much time checking out the exterior as the Tel Aviv’s design museum building is an attraction in itself. If you a lover of all this architecture then the walking tours will be up your alley. These start from about $25-30 per person.
Tel Aviv is a city that never sleeps. With a young and diverse population, Tel Aviv folk know how to paint the town red. Clubs and bars don’t get busy until well past midnight. With the bars and clubs open until dawn you can definitely dance the night away. The beauty of it is that you will find Arabs and Jews, young and old chilling to music, a drink, and a smoke which if you believed the news, you would think none of these groups ever sit down without hurting each other.
8. The People
I liken Israeli people to Africans in that you will find all shades and hues in this small country, which a lot people dont expect of Africa. Israel is a mix of people with Yemeni, Moroccan, Ethiopian, Egyptian, Ukrainian, Russian, Argentine heritage and then some, making up a beautiful mix of warm and welcoming people.
9. Gay and Lesbian-Friendly
This is a country that has parties that rage on throughout the week during gay pride, that’s not to say that any other time they don’t tolerate the queer and wonderful. Gay, straight or bi-sexual you can rest assured that Tel Aviv doesn’t care which team you play for. You can come and enjoy the what the city has to offer without worrying about your whether your sexuality will affect the enjoyment of your Mediterranean getaway. Tel Aviv has embraced its status as Israel’s(if not the entire Middle East’s) most liberal city and rebranded itself as the official gay capital of the Middle East. There are hardly any gay bars in the city as bars and clubs cater to all!
10. Where to stay in Tel Aviv
Reasons 1 to 9 will have you exploring the city top to bottom, but after all that fun and games in Tel Aviv one might need to consider getting some Zees in a luxurious bed to recoupe before waking up and doing it all over again. For some shut eye in style, one needs to look no further than Kaufman Street, Tel Avis’s most fashionable neighbourhood for David InterContinental Hotel
or perhaps some of the most stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea views and only a few steps from the beach is Hilton Beach Apartment
, perhaps luxury suites at Sheraton
, also on the Mediterranean shores. If that doesn’t float your boat perhaps Carlton’s luxury on the beach
, Tel Aviv’s only five-star boutique-style hotel with its luxury will make up for where the others lack. There is also the beautifully restored 1920’s style building housing The Norman oozing a sophisticated elegance
. To compare hotel deals in Tel Aviv check out Booking.com
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