Known as a worldwide gay haven, Israel is a sliver of human rights and progressive ideology in a historically conservative region. While the Holy Land may not have a large amount of typical gay bars, cities like Tel Aviv have large gay communities, which seem to blend into the local hipster bars that line Florentine, the Carmel Market and beyond. One of the beaches in Tel Aviv is even a designated gay beach with distinct rainbow umbrellas, yet gay-specific bars and clubs are less common. What Israel does have, however, is a large number of gay party lines from fetish to twink. So, while a wealth of Tel Aviv’s clubs and bars are gay-friendly, be sure to check out these gay-specific venues and plan your trip accordingly.
Insider's guide to Gay Israel
Located on the bustling Nachalat Binyamin Street, Shpagat – Hebrew word for “splits” in gymnastics – is the unofficial queen of Tel Aviv’s vibrant gay nightlife scene. If you aren’t strictly gay, and bi-sexuality is your preference, Shpagat doesn’t discriminate. All shapes, sizes, and ages are welcome here. Enjoy its intimate seating surrounding the large performance stage-like steps and dance floor/schmoozing area, and stay for the groovy tunes, delicious drinks and guest DJs from around the world.
Known as Tel Aviv’s premier lesbian bar, Amazona Bar is only open two times a week, Thursday nights and Friday afternoons, but that doesn’t stop it from being a popular and exciting LGBTQ destination. With oldies-themed nights as well as classic club nights, this secret hole-in-the-wall bar manages to continuously attract a diverse local and international crowd. With an inviting and casual energy, visitors will have no problem walking through the small doorway in this judgment-free zone and letting their inhibitions run wild
As the name states, this sweet little spot is filled with a cute staff and awesome DJs. Located right next to the well known Shpagat bar, Mini Club is open on specific nights for gay-friendly and themed events. With amazing electronic music and a beautiful colorful mural on the front, this hipster haven attracts a large late-night crowd. Unlike other clubs that are held in massive spaces, Mini Club is the cute alternative to the colossal club, creating a sweet ambiance. From hip-hop to house, check out what's going on at Mini Club this week.
Israel continues to be the leader of gay rights and activities worldwide. There are many opportunities to get involved within the LGBTQ community, specifically in Tel Aviv-Yafo. The Gay center exists as a safe environment for LGBTQ individuals to seek resources and stay connected with the LGBTQ community. The Gay center has a full-time employed staff, interns, and volunteers that spearhead and facilitate events all over the city of Tel Aviv-Yafo.The Gay Center is the mainly leader and organizer of gay programs and activities in Israel. The leaders of the center are extremely welcoming and invite you to explore the center and take part in the variety of services and activities offered.
The Video, together with its retro-80s design, cool music and friendly staff, is a great choice for a night out in Jerusalem and is very popular amongst Israelis, Palestinians and tourists. With a variety of DJs and themed nights, you are guaranteed to find an enjoyable time to come visit this wildly welcoming spot in the conservative city of Jerusalem. With a happy hour that runs from 20:00-21:30, come for an early drink with some drag queens in the only place that it’s possible in Jerusalem.
Located on the popular Allenby Street, Apolo Club is a centrally located gay dance bar and club. Apolo Club offers a wide bar, and an lower level with two dancefloors and a darkroom. This dive is definitely Tel Aviv’s raunchiest gay club, advertising itself as a half dark room and half disco, creating an environment where one can grab a drink and dance or explore the dark room. Apolo Club is unique in being the only men-only gay club in Tel Aviv. The upstairs is a bar for socializing, meeting new people and drinking, and the dance floor downstairs is where the dark parties happen.