The gorgeous Tel Aviv beaches, the incredible Tel Aviv restaurants, the energetic Tel Aviv nightlife, the mesmerizing museums, great shopping, breathtaking landscapes and so much more - all of these make Tel Aviv so great. But, there's more. So don’t let yourself get swept up by the coastline’s sea, sun and hummus (we know it’s a challenge!) because you’d be mad not to visit the city’s other top attractions. To help you get organized, we’ve rounded up the best things to do in Tel Aviv so you can make the most of your visit.
Tel Aviv's must-see attractions
Wander down Tel Aviv’s most beautiful tree-lined boulevard and embrace the classic Bauhaus architecture. You’ll feel like the ultimate Tel Avivian. With everything from charming cafes and lively late night clubs to historical museums and endless charming places to sit and relax, Rothschild Boulevard is the perfect central Tel Aviv spot to explore. We’ve got the low-down on the must see sights along the infamous street.
One of the oldest cities in the Mediterranean basin, the Old City of Jaffa stands on a cliff that protrudes from the water, puncturing the Tel Aviv skyline. The sheer range of attractions in Old Jaffa is startling, from mosques and churches to ancient clock towers; wishing bridges; sculptures; yoga classes; museums; galleries; trendy restaurants and bars, the list of things to do in this new-old city is never ending.
Gracing the walls of this museum are Israel’s most comprehensive collections of modern, contemporary, and Israeli art. The museum boasts an impressive collection of the old masters, diverse temporary exhibitions, displays of photography, design & architecture, a performance hall, and a beautiful, calming sculpture garden to wander around or relax in. When visiting, don’t miss the newest addition to the museum, the Herta and Paul Amir Building, which was designed by professor Preston Scott Cohen. Built around a spiraling, 90-foot high atrium, the Herta and Paul Amir Building is an architectural wonder. The interior space provides a unique setting for the display of contemporary art, a center for architecture, and a gallery.
New York has Central Park, London has Hyde Park, and Tel Aviv has it’s very own Hayarkon Park. The popular green lung (also known as Ganei Yehoshua Park) is nestled in the north of the city with the Yarkon River running through it. Swathes of joggers, cyclists, dog walkers and young mothers taking a stroll, pack the park every day, making it come alive with its own unique personality. Pitch a spot on the grass and spend the day basking in the sun while watching the beautiful people of Tel Aviv go by – something we definitely recommend. But if you’re up for something a little more adventurous, this urban park has plenty on offer for nature lovers right through to extreme sports enthusiasts. Tucked away in the eastern part of the park lies one its biggest surprises – a Rock Garden hosting over 3,500 species of plants, including a massive area dedicated solely to cacti, interspersed among different rock formations. Just across from the Rock Garden is a five-acre Tropical Garden full of palm trees, orchids and vines as well as a lake full of fish. Not far away, also on the east side of the park, is a bird safari known as Tsipari, set in lush gardens with a beautiful mini-lake, as well as a petting zoo, a bird sanctuary, and a large soft play area for kids complete with a climbing apparatus.
Specializing in fresh produce and clothes, Carmel Market is Tel Aviv’s largest and busiest market. With dozens of stalls selling fresh meat, fish, fruit and vegetables and the likes, you can take in all the sights, sounds and smells the Carmel Market has to offer while hunting for the cheapest bargain. The market is especially busy on Fridays, so be sure to get there early for your Shabbat fixings.
Sarona Compound, a 140-year-old former Templar colony, is the first culinary center of its kind in Israel. An 8,700-square-meter market houses dozens of specialty food shops from all around the world. Inside the market, you’ll find everything imaginable from Dutch cheese to waffle towers and even Asian buns. Just outside the indoor market, dozens of clothing, book and shoe stores line its lanes, interspersed with lily ponds and grassy areas to relax.
An institution in Tel Aviv, Gordon Pool is an Olympic-size swimming pool located on the boardwalk right by the marina with the seascape in the background. If you like the atmosphere, but want a clean and organized place to do some serious swimming, this is the perfect place to strap on your goggles and join the locals as they breaststroke their way through the day. Dating back to 1956, this legendary pool underwent thorough renovations a few years ago and the facility now includes pools for children and toddlers as well as a modern wooden deck with sun beds, chairs and large parasols for when you want to rest a little or soak up the sun.
The Suzanne Dellal Center, located at the heart of the picturesque Neve Tzedek neighborhood, has been the spot for Israeli and international dance performances (as well as the home of one of Israel’s most famous troupes, the Batsheva Dance Company) since 1989. A performance at the center and dinner in the restaurants nearby make a great night out.
Jaffa Port, a renewed culinary, shopping and entertainment stop set in the city's ancient harbor, is home to various merchants and stalls that offer a vibrant and exciting experience inspired by the historical, cultural, and, of course, culinary legacy of its location. Take a stroll around the charming port, watch as elderly, weather-beaten fisherman hook calamari, stop off for an ice cream, or for a spot of live music at the Port’s Container bar. Jaffa Port Market combines traditional and ethnic elements with modern, urban touches. The 1,200 square metered area is set up like a race track, one path going through its entire length with shops, restaurants, galleries and booths on either side. Passageways peering into open-plan kitchens offer a carousel of tastes, smells and colors.
Nothing beats walking – or cycling – along the seaside promenade, breathing in the fresh, salty air of the Mediterranean. With Old Jaffa stamping the horizon to the south and the city’s skyscrapers to the north, it’s no wonder the Tel Aviv boardwalk is considered one of the world’s most beautiful. Sit on a bench and watch Tel Aviv life unfold before your eyes with beach-goers, paddle players and joggers doing their thing as the sounds of the waves gently crash on the shore.
The Eretz Israel Museum is more than a series of exhibits exploring the history and culture of Israel. Inside the multidisciplinary museum sits a magical place that is literally “out of this world.” At the Planetarium you can sneak a peek at the stars the same way that Galileo did through his telescope. Watch a riveting presentation about the mysterious galaxies that exist all the while spinning in revolving seats or learn about Israel’s first ever astronaut, Ilan Ramon, and view real time pictures of outer space provided by NASA. The Planetarium is a great place to bring your children and also expand your adult minds to the boundless worlds of science. English presentations are available by reservation.
Poor quality bric-a-brac lies alongside vintage treasures and antique furniture in Jaffa’s flea market. Of all the places to work your haggling skills, this is it. Even just wandering among the clothes stalls, traipsing around secondhand stores or grabbing some authentic street food is enough to make for a blissful day.
In 2001 the Tel Aviv Port, known locally by its Hebrew name Namal Tel Aviv, was completely revamped to the tune of NIS 100 million, becoming one of the biggest attractions in Tel Aviv. The wooden wave-shaped deck is replete with stores, cafes, bars and leisure centers. Even if you don’t fancy dining, shopping or drinking, just walking around to soak up the atmosphere and ocean spray is well worth the time. There’s an indoor market at Hangar 12 which offers the freshest and finest of Israeli food – but prepare for boutique prices. There is also plenty to keep the little ones occupied. With three playgrounds spanning over 9,000 meters, the Namal’s Yarid HaMizrach aims to cater to kids of all ages – including those in their forties! The playground equipment, designed in England and Germany, is outstanding – both from the perspective of childs-play and visually – and includes slides, climbing ropes, a boat swing, a cable pyramid with hammocks and a 30 meter long zip-line.
For adventurous locals and vacationers, Tel Aviv’s Begin Park offers Lake TLV, a man-made lake with world-class cable waterskiing facilities. Though the lake, open year-round, hosts tournaments for athletes in October and May, July is the high season for families and beginners. First-time visitors watch a short instructional video and receive safety tips from instructors before diving in. Some quick learners might advance to the lake’s seven obstacle courses, which contain jumpers and gliders frequented by professionals. But if you’re exhausted, you might conclude your visit by sipping a cold drink at Lake TLV’s quaint outdoor bar-café. For young athletes, Lake TLV provides one and two-week long summer programs, where campers learn Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) and acrobatics as well as cable water skiing.
Ever wanted to experience a hot air balloon? Look no further! Floating up to 120 meters high, this giant balloon is an amazing and unique Tel Aviv attraction. Carrying up to 30 people per ride, this massive helium-filled balloon provides a 360 degree view of Tel Aviv, day or night. Located in the beautiful Yarkon Park this adventurous attraction is sure to impress any visitors to Israel.