Of all the things to do in Israel, air-conditioned shopping malls, restaurants, concert venues, and Israeli art galleries can be a blessing in disguise (during summer heat and winter rain), there is something magical about the great Israeli outdoors. Perhaps it's the bluer than blue Mediterranean sea or Park HaYarkon's freshly cut grass or maybe it's finding Orion's Belt under a canopy of Negev stars. Whatever it is that draws you out of the house, we've got something for you to enjoy with our ultimate Time Out Israel outdoors guide.
For the thrill seeker
The most exciting summer sports in Israel
There’s nothing like (scuba) diving head first into Eilat’s Red Sea when it’s 40 degrees celsius on a cold day down south; or catching the perfect wave at one of the best surf beaches in Tel Aviv; or even embracing the land and going for a water hike in the Golan Heights or a rock climb at Park HaYarkon’s outdoor wall. The Holy Land is more than tourist attractions, it’s rife with exhilarating summer sports to get your blood pumping. Stretch those hamstrings and hit up Time Out's most exciting summer sports.
A thrill seeker's guide to Israel: activities on land, in water and high in the sky
The annoying question most people who haven’t been to the Middle East ask is always, “is it safe?” There is no safer place than Israel...then again, while the State has you protected, taking part in the country’s most extreme sports may be slightly more dangerous. Take a walk on the wild side, try out these fun things to do in Israel from river tubing in the Golan Heights to wake boarding in Tel Aviv, surfing in Herzliya and snuba-ing down south in Eilat, we dare the most daring to tackle our thrill seeker’s guide to Israel, one crazy experience at a time.
For the 'chill' seeker
Nap time: the best spots around Tel Aviv to take a nap
There's nothing better than some quick shut eye to get through an active day in the nonstop city. Since field studies are the most reliable forms of research, I studied the fields of Tel Aviv (both figuratively and the grassy kind), letting its most enticing nap spots call out to me. After much deliberation and some surprising scientific discoveries, which both supported and rejected my hypotheses, the results are in. Behold! The best places in Tel Aviv to take a nap – from the best parks in town to hotel rooftops, beachside parks, and a very suggestive slide inside Dizengoff mall.
For the beach bum
The best beaches in Tel Aviv
With a welcoming coastline and a selection of some of the best beaches in Israel, we’ve highlighted the most happening Tel Aviv beaches spanning from Jaffa in the south to Tel Aviv Port in the north. For your sand-filled pleasure, spend the day like a local sweating through an intense matkot session, play some volleyball on the Gordon Beach strip, or just lay down and soak up the sun. You don't have to spend a shekel at these beaches; they offer some fun in the sun things to do in Tel Aviv at zero cost. After dark, head for a quick shower at your Tel Aviv boutique hotel or hostel and hit the town for a post-beach bite at some of the best Tel Aviv restaurants serving everything from seafood to Italian.
I can get drinks & munchies delivered right to my beach chair!? I don't believe you!
Temperatures are rising and humidity is enveloping the White City in its sweaty grasp – summer is a’coming. In such weather, there are only two sane places to be: in an apartment with the mazgan blasting, or on the sea shore. Tel Avivians and tourists alike are flocking to the beach to lie alongside thousands of others, sardine-style, on the sand, basking in the sun’s rays. Aside from the sand-in-unwanted-areas issue, the beach presents one major problem: what do you eat?! The options are limited to schlepping snacks from home, which will inevitably become warm, mushy and altogether unappealing, or buying food from the, frankly poor, selection of kiosks and cafes around the tayelet — at prices that would cause Ben Gurion to roll over in his grave. © PR MishloHof, or TapLaya as they are known internationally, are a location-based delivery service of beach-related goods. Via their app, beach-goers can pick from a selection of snacks, drinks, and beach products, which will be delivered within thirty minutes to their specific location. This ingenious solution means more fun in the sun, and ice cold drinks – sounds good to us. © PR Mishlohof is on the App store & Google Play. CLICK HERE to download the app (Andrroid and IOS)
The best beaches in Israel
Israel's beaches are more than just a place to lay out and tan. Hitting the sand is a lifestyle - where friends meet, families frolic and gym rats get fit. It’s a nexus of Israeli life, buzzing every day of the week. With access to four seas: the Mediterranean Sea, the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea and the Red Sea, each of the beaches in Israel offers a distinct experience. Here's your guide to the country's coastline, including the legendary beaches in Tel Aviv.
The top five beaches in Israel for surfing
Surfing is more than just a pastime, it is a lifestyle, and we understand just how important location is when trying to catch those waves. That’s why we’ve combed the beaches in Tel Aviv, Herzliya and farther, in search of the absolute top five surfer’s oases. And guess what? We found them. So grab those surf boards, slip on those wetsuits and get ready for an amazingly active day at these beaches in Israel.
For drinking & eating 'out' (literally)
The best bars in Tel Aviv with outdoor patios
Tel Avivians wait anxiously all winter long for those suffocating plastic patio covers to come down and the fresh White City air to flow in. With the sun shining bright and the rain out of the picture, there is nothing more satisfying than soaking up some rays while drinking the day away on a patio. Watch the people walk by on Rothschild Boulevard, experience front row seats to the new kikar Dizengoff in the making, hipster it up happy hour style around the Great Synagogue, or sip veuve clicquot at Neve Tzedek’s Parisian-packed Israeli wine bars. There’s no going wrong with our list of the best bars in Tel Aviv with outdoor patios.
The best rooftop bars in Tel Aviv
Drinking is fun. But drinking on a rooftop is exponentially more kickass. It feels like summer even when it's not and having a view to gaze out at, whether overlooking Rothschild boulevard or nestled in Neve Tzedek, makes it so much better. Thankfully, Tel Avivians love to get their drink on atop buildings with the beaches of Tel aviv or the Jaffa Port as their backdrop. If wine is your undisputed drink of choice, head to the miles of vineyards in the Golan Heights where Israeli wineries offer a taste of local history, culture and vino. The major party animals, though, will want to stick to the White City where Tel Aviv's nightlife is non-stop and the words 'last call' do not exist unless drunk munch restaurants are in the foreseeable future.
For the parks & rec
The best picnic spots in Tel Aviv
It only takes one summer weekend in Tel Aviv to understand that Saturday picnics are not just an outing, they’re a lifestyle. Save your boozy brunch money for a good ol’ fashion Yogi Bear style picnic in Park Hayarkon, (though the red and white checkered blanket may be slightly more elephant-printed from the Carmel Market). If you’re a fan of those nostalgic lunches that give a whole new meaning to the word 'sand'-wich, head to one of Tel Aviv’s beaches for an ocean-side bite. And when all that homemade food makes you sleepy, it’s time for a quick catnap before continuing the outdoor fun at one of the best outdoor patios or rooftop bars in Tel Aviv.
The most stunning national parks in Israel
If birthright taught you anything, it’s that Israel has its fair share of unbelievable views. The amount of scenic hikes, panoramic lookouts, and brilliantly green national parks visited in just ten days is is impressive. You’ve scaled the country from the Golan Heights to the Dead Sea and while you probably got a taste of the top gardens and national parks in Israel (and of Tel Aviv nightlife, but you struck that from your memory), you definitely didn’t have time to savor every bit of nature. Whether you’re a first time enthusiast or a grass-loving hippie (as in the kind that grows in parks, but no judgment), it’s time to embrace all that is green with our guide to the most stunning national parks in Israel.
A day at Hayarkon Park
The summer days of sand come and go, but the park is here to stay. Although beach season attracts tourists and locals to the Mediterranean coastline like bees to honey, the colder weather tends to scare them off. Hayarkon park, however, is magnificent in its own colorful way year round. Wake up early, hit up Sarona market to pack a picnic of delectable speciality snacks and perhaps a bottle of Israeli wine, then head over to Tel Aviv’s Central Park. From zoos and bird safaris to waterslides, paddle boats and every activity in between, Hayarkon Park is a family’s dream!
When nature calls: the best gardens & parks in Israel
Spring has sprung, the rain has gone (hopefully for good), and it’s time to soak up some rays. While the beaches in Tel Aviv are a decent option, not everyone is a fan of the sand. Alternatively, from up north and the Golan Heights to down south in the Negev and just outside Eilat, Israel boasts some of the most beautiful green spaces. Whether you’re looking for a green escape in the White City (Park HaYarkon is a must) or determined to venture further into the peacefulness of nature, you’re sure to find the perfect park or garden on our list. Put down that cellphone, breathe in the fresh air and embrace the (Holy) land.