Creative date ideas when you're on a Tel Aviv budget

The best things in life are (mostly) free
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By Jennifer Greenberg |

It's Tuesday night. You've finally recovered from that two-day post-weekend hangover that made Sunday and Monday a blur. Everything after the lineup at Sputnik is hazy, yet you somehow stumbled home (barely) alive at 7 a.m.  Did you even go into the offic–Bzzzz...your thoughts are interrupted by a Whatsapp message from a "Matan": "Hey. Had so much fun at the club the other night. When can I see you again?" Matan? Matan? Matan! Right, he was nice, a decent dancer, and really into Jameson...sold! Except for one minor thing: you're broke. Matan runs a Start-Up and you're a little embarrassed by your salary so it's time to get creative with some first (but hopefully not last) date ideas that are either free or very cheap to match your budget.

Cheap date? No problem

© Yael Tamar

Don't worry, eat Malabi

icon-location-pin Tel Aviv City Center

There's nothing more romantic than spoon feeding each other silky custard while taking in HaKerem's hipster vibes. If you haven't become addicted to this 10 shekel snack, it's because you've yet to try it. The custardy rose-flavored dessert is served with your choice of toppings, from sauces and nuts to cookie bits—you’ll love its versatility, and so will your date!

Alon Segev
© PR

Please your palettes

When it comes to contemporary design, Israelis do two things very well: fashion and art. From photography and sculpture to painting and multimedia works, Israeli art galleries are rife with burgeoning talents and veteran artists, championing both local and international names. With the large pool of artists, comes a large pool of FREE galleries, which means many, many gallery openings paired with all the free wine in the world. Let your spidey senses guide you towards the shekeless sauv-blanc and colorful ambiance. 


Be cliché, seas the day

No camera can quite capture the gallery-worthy watercolor paintings one calls Mediterranean sunsets. Grab a bottle of Israeli wine and walk hand-in-hand down to any beach in Tel Aviv. If things are going swimmingly after the first bottle, a midnight dip in the bathtub-like ocean can really 'wet' your appetites.

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Restaurants, Cafés

Pass GO, collect 200 shekels

icon-location-pin White City

You haven't truly tested your relationship until you've reached the island of Catan and tried to convince your partner that three sheep is worth one brick. Plus, one round of Monopoly helps you to gauge whether your potential partner is responsible or not: Can they pay their rent and utilities? What about property ownership? Are they willing to splurge on a hotel room? All these questions can be answered at the roll of a dice at Hour Space's "Game Night"–unlimited board games for a 20-shekel note (NOTE: Hour Space does not accept Monopoly money).

Bike ride
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Soul cycle

icon-location-pin Park  HaYarkon

If you're the more active type, going for a romantic bike ride along the tayelet is a perfect way to go. While sweating profusely in front of the potential man of your dreams might sound repulsive, it may just give off the pheromones you need to inspire another date. 

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Attractions, Sightseeing

Play footsie

icon-location-pin Tel Aviv Beach 

Every Saturday, as Shabbat comes to a close, a friendly Co-ED football game takes place at the stunning Charles Clore Garden. Followed by a sunset beer along the shoreline, this unbeatable combo lets you show your date what you're made of, but also grab a beer all in one. (Check out the football club FB page).

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Laugh a little

While the free English-speaking comedy scene is much smaller here (limited to the Dancing Camel on Wednesdays or Jessica Bar on Sundays), there's still something special about sitting in the front row of a comedy club hand-in-hand with your date as each comedian tries to single you two out in a different embarrassing way. Just remember, if you can make it through a comedy roast, you can make it through a roast dinner with your significant other's parents.

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