21 Tel Aviv attractions for tourists and natives alike
A visit to Tel Aviv will be one to remember thanks to its gorgeous beaches, the incredible restaurants, energetic nightlife, mesmerizing museums, great shopping, breathtaking landscapes. Still with us? Great because there's so much more. Don’t let yourself get swept up by the coastline’s sea, sun and hummus (we know it’s a challenge!) because the city boasts a lot more 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. RECOMMENDED: Here are our top tips for enjoying Tel Aviv like a local This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.
Top 12 Italian restaurants in little Tel Aviv
You might be surprised to find out that this country of hummus and falafel also churns out its fair share of delicious pasta, pizza and cannelloni! With so many delectable options though, how do you choose? We’ve lessened the load by mapping out the best restaurants in Tel Aviv for Italian cuisine. Head over to these tried-and-true Italian joints for a sinfully wonderful carb fix.
The Israel jazz and blues scene
Whether you’re a secret jazz era flapper seeking music to accompany your Tel Aviv nightlife inspired moonshine, or looking to release those existential blues, Israel’s got just the thing. From daily jazz events at the Tel Aviv Port to Jerusalem nightlife’s famous club, Yellow Submarine, to less traditional Israel jazz and blues venues like an ice cream parlour by the Carmel Market, not a day goes by in the Holy Land without the sweet notes of an alto saxophone ringing through the Middle Eastern air. Marvel at the dexterity of famous jazz musicians as they conquer rhythm changes with a vengeance, join in on a 12-bar blues or just enjoy the atmosphere, anything is possible with our guide to the best places to enjoy jazz and blues in Israel. There's nothing like live music to liven your mood.
Blissful bakeries in Tel Aviv
In a city best known for hummus and falafel, you might be surprised to learn that Tel Avivians have access to some seriously great baked goods. While bargaining for baklava and halava in Shuk HaCarmel is one tasty option, here are the best bakeries in Tel Aviv, all of which are overflowing with heavenly bites. You can burn them off later with a run along the beach, a bike ride in Park HaYarkon or while exploring Florentine or Tel Aviv's first neighborhood.
The Best Breakfast in Tel Aviv
Israeli breakfast is a rite of passage for those visiting Tel Aviv and whether you head to a place that sticks to the classics (eggs, chopped cucumber and tomato salad with a range of house-made spreads) or veers away from the norm with options like shakshuka, bourekas or jachnun, we guarantee you'll be tied over for the rest of the day. So, If you’re looking for some serious a.m. fuel to charge up before a day of activities and shopping in the White City, turn to these Tel Aviv restaurants and you will not be disappointed.
The most romantic restaurants in Israel
Whatever the reason – whether in desperate need of an escape from the children or looking for a pre-theatre prix-fixe in Neve Tzedek – these romantic restaurants in Israel will surely satisfy your hunger and get you in the mood. Five-star quality chefs, fine Israeli wines from wineries near and far and sensational cuisine from seafood to Italian are just the start. Add the arousing atmosphere – from panoramic views of the Golan Heights to candlelit rooftop restaurants in Jerusalem – to the table, and you’ll never want to return to reality again. Book a sitter, find a dog watcher and make reservations at one of these romantic restaurants. And, just in case, make sure the sitter’s schedule is free because if dinner goes well, you may be out all night seeing what other things you can do.
Creative date ideas when you're on a Tel Aviv budget
When your crush runs a Start-Up and you're a little embarrassed by your salary 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.
The diviest of dive bars in Tel Aviv
It’s easy to get lost in the glitter and glam of Tel Aviv’s cocktail bar and club scenes; however, when peeling the residual glitter out of your every orifice at brunch the next morning, it’s important to remind yourself where your loyalty stands. Of course, we are referring to the ol’ reliable dive bars that were always there–in sickness (alcohol dependence) and in health (alcohol independence). There’s nothing like a well-worn, unglamorous bar stripped down to its bare bones, serving up cheap, ‘unfanciful’ drinks to keep the paying customers happy.
Things to do in Israel next month
Save the date! There are tons of big events on the calendar next month. It’s time to mark them down, purchase tickets, and let the anticipation swell over you while waiting for theatre performances, comedy festivals, and concerts to come to town, and new museum exhibits, designer boutiques, and restaurants to open their doors. After tackling the top attractions in the Holy Land, it’s time for some good ole’ fashion entertainment. You deserve the break and you’re bound to save on early bird specials and presale tickets.
Discover landmarks in Jewish history
Of the many things to do in Israel, the landmark establishments of the country are rife with Jewish history dating back thousands upon thousands of years through to modern times. From stunning museums that are architectural gems in their own right, like the famous Yad Vashem holocaust museum, to actual excavations and archaeological digs, these centers and institutions bear witness to Israel's prolific Jewish history – a history so extensive and significant, you’ll have to see it to believe it. Check out these attractions, and if your kids get restless, take a break for some family-friendly activities and authentic Jerusalem eats in between sightseeing.
The best kosher restaurants in Israel
There are so many things to do in Israel, but doing them on an empty stomach is definitely not ideal. Israeli kosher food goes way beyond your deli classics or your bubbe’s Shabbat signatures. From Asian to Italian, street food to fine dining, there’s nowhere aside from Israel where you’ll find the level of diversity and quality when it comes to kosher food (and wine!). To help you cover all of your kosher cravings, we’ve rounded up the best Rabbi-approved kosher restaurants in Israel.
Authentic Jaffa street food
Some of the best things to eat on a budget – and eat period – can be found on the streets, Jaffa's streets to be exact. Though the food truck trend has yet to hit Israel, Jaffa is a goldmine for top notch, authentic street food. Most authentic Jaffa street food is not only quick to cook up, but very filling, making it the perfect fuel for a long day of exploring the city, including areas nearby like Neve Tzedek with its incredible jewelry shops and designer boutiques and the ever-so-hipster Florentine. Here’s to joyfully chowing down on the best hummus your taste buds have ever met!
15 tragic truths nobody tells you about being unemployed in Tel Aviv
Taking on the Start-Up Nation title comes with its baggage–while some thrive, most nosedive. We've all been unemployed at one point or another in Tel Aviv, and let us tell you, the "at least I can go to the beach all day everyday at no cost" rationalization only lasts so long before fading into the traumatic reality that a) you're broke, b) you only own one bathing suit, and c) you still have to pay rent. As recovering unemployees, we've created a list of sad truths when you're fresh outta job and fresh outta luck in the White City. 1. Suddenly, that 10 shekel malabi doesn't seem like such a steal anymore. At least Malabia's shesh besh is still free. 2. Fun fact: the water you wash your feet with at the beach is potable. 3. We've all heard of air drying, but you'll soon discover that air washing is a thing too. 4. You don't have to be inside a café to use their wifi. 5. You'll convince yourself that everything is walkable in Tel Aviv because you can't afford a bus pass. "You're having a party in the North? No problem, I'll be there in 40...50 if I stop for malabi." 6. 'Monit Sherut' (aka shared taxis at a higher price)? Hellz nah. 7. Unemployment is the best form of rehab–since it's not like you can afford drugs or booze. 8. You don't need healthcare if you're extra careful. 9. 'Bageleh' are a girl's best friend. 10. You don't need AC, just really strong willpower. 11. T
Clowning Around With Slava
The fantastical "Slava’s Snowshow" makes its grand Tel Aviv re-appearance to unleash everyone’s inner child Once in a blue moon, in a world where far too many adults suffer from a bad case of ultra-seriousness, comes a truly special individual - one who can stretch the imaginations of those suffering from such perils beyond the ordinary and transport them into an extraordinary world of whimsy. Slava Polunin is that individual. In his fantastical theater performance, titled “Slava’s Snowshow,” Slava the clown and his wily cast of ‘fools’ bring audiences from Japan to Spain to Tel Aviv on a journey through time and space to a magical place free of social responsibilities or political restrictions. Time Out got to know the man behind the bright red nose. Slava, were you always the ‘class clown’? It all started with an interest in creativity and art, and in making things. I made my own toys from a very young age and even invented games for my friends. Before getting into clowning personally, I carried out an analysis on the great Russian clowns and clowning as well as the history of silent comedy. And I realized that the kind of comedy that was the closest to me was poetic comedy, because indeed, like poetry, it speaks of topics that are high and tender and poignant. It doesn’t speak of the everyday. How much of an impact did Charlie Chaplin have on your professional and personal path? I had seen Charlie Chaplin films on TV and in movie theaters before, but it was “The Kid” t
Four kick-ass all-female sporting clubs, classes, & leagues
“I’m strong, I’m tough, I still wear my eyeliner” – Lisa Leslie, three-time WNBA MVP If Gal Gadot has taught us anything this year, it's that wonder women extend far beyond the fantastical Amazonian world in which her character resides. While women's equality in the athletic world – on both a professional and amateur scale – still has a long way to go, these fantastic four fitness centers, gyms, and all-women's leagues are committing their efforts to helping female athletes of all fitness levels excel: Bouldering beauties Performance Rock FB page Sure, we've all heard of Ladies' Night before, bringing girlfriends together over two-for-one cosmopolitans deemed "girlie" based on their pink nature or ability to contain more than one syllable (unlike the "beer" or "Scotch" that real men imbibe), but have you ever heard of Ladies' Day? Every Thursday, from the crack of dawn until the stroke of midnight, Performance Rock – the rock gym with a goal to bring "climbing into the urban space" of Tel Aviv – hosts "Power Thursdays," whereby all women get in for free all day long as a means of breaking the stigma that bouldering is a men's only sport. tlv.performancerock.co.il Ready to roll Tel Aviv Roller Derby FB page What's more badass than roller derby? The dame-dominant full-contact sport played on roller skates with an objective to literally beat everyone else to the finish line by any means necessary. This popular sport has stood the test of time – and more impressively, the te
Tel Aviv’s Winter Festival breathes fresh air into the lungs of the Charles Bronfman Auditorium
While the rest of the world cowers beneath fleece blankets, struggling to escape the warm embrace of their heated homes, Israelis have more than just-bearable weather to nudge them out of the house this winter. After last year’s successful trial run, the second Winter Festival is arriving just in time to cure those mid-season blues. With three consecutive days of diverse talent spanning all genres, ages, and backgrounds, this year’s festival is prescribing a heavy dose of culture in the very suitably-named Culture Palace (otherwise known as the Charles Bronfman Auditorium). “Our goal was to create a wide and varied musical mosaic,” explains artistic director Dudu Zarzevsky. One that includes guest appearances by international singer-songwriters, family-friendly shows and, of course, top-notch performances by Israel’s finest. Yuval Dayan © Tal Avodi In addition to the festival performances, Zarzevsky has worked tirelessly with the Municipality of Tel Aviv to expand their musical scope to include free activities for the public, beer and wine stations, and above all, “a unique festival atmosphere.” Let the intimate stories of Israeli rock troubadour Ehud Banai whisk you away to far off lands in an opening celebration of sounds and words; fall under the spell of the charming Yuval Dayan, then balance young blood with an old soul as rock icon Aviv Geffen surprises audiences with acoustic arrangements; find solace in an unexpected partnership as one of Israel’s most virtuosic
A weird & wonderful living library comes to Musrara
When you step into a library, you leave all worries from the real world behind and enter a magical, stress-free palace: the incessant honking of traffic is replaced by the quiet whirrs of page-turning, the smells of sewage and melting garbage are replaced by the sweet leathery scent of old books, and the walls are stacked high to the sky with stories – of other people's lives, their deepest thoughts, and adventures both fictional and real. On April 27th, in collaboration with the Hebrew University, a new type of library will come to life: the 'Bio-Library.' Inside the Bio-Library, everything magical about the institution's essence will be retained, only the books will be replaced by identities. © PR What does this entail? Instead of borrowing a book, visitors will be allowed to borrow a human encounter – in other words, a personal conversation with individuals who have life experience and a unique perspective to share. The goal of the project is to hear, be heard ad break down the walls built by stereotypes through one-on-one conversations. In addition to these intimate encounters, the school's space will harbor performances, musical recitals, video art projects, and more, as well as host a panel of leading academic scholars who specialize in the field of identity discourse. © Asaf Alboher "This unexpected meeting is a gift. You never know who you will meet and who will meet you." Bio-Library takes place on April 27, 19:00-22:30. 9 HaAyin Chet St, Musrara, Jeru
An Interview with Virtuoso Avishai Cohen - Ahead of the Jerusalem Jazz Festival
Unusual pairings and daring international talent return to the Israel Museum for a cultural cauldron of jazz A man walks into a bar. Only it’s not a bar, it’s a museum. And its halls aren’t filled with just art, either; they are filled with whispers — faint overtones, a distant hi-hat, glimmers of a melody, a turnaround, improvisation. “These are the festival’s floating voices,” says Artistic Director Avishai Cohen. Nearly four years since its birth, we caught up with Cohen on a train from Berlin to Poland – a jazz ballad in the making – to learn how he managed to increase intrigue, yet maintain intimacy at the Jerusalem Jazz Festival (JJF). As a cultural melting pot, Israel’s jazz musicians draw from quite the stylistic spice rack. Do you fear that in incorporating so many influences, the local scene could lose its jazz core? Jazz is a wide notion. It’s hard to define. It’s not really a style; it’s a feeling, an essence. It means different things to different people. Of course, if you talk to Wynton Marsalis, he would have a very specific idea of what jazz is (“it must swing”), but it can also include hip hop, folklore, avant-garde. It will never lose its core because there’s no such thing really. Jazz is evolution. Since it’s always moving, if we tried to stop it at any point, then we’d be going against what jazz truly is. © Courtesy of PR Was that the attitude you adopted when assembling the festival program? I wanted a varied program that could stretch the audience’s u
26 ways to spot a Canadian in Israel
Israel is full of Diaspora transplants hailing from all walks of northern life. The warm climate is appealing to colder countries, especially Great White Northerners, who suffer through winters that can last from October to May. While not as loud as their southern neighbours, it's not that difficult to spot a Canuck 'oot and aboot' in the Holy Land, even once they've learned the lingo. Wondering how to recognize a Justin Trudeau loving, maple syrup savvy, three-generation Montreal Canadien hockey fan? Here are the tell-tale signs. 1. They apologize profusely when they bump into you. 2. They line up in single file, even when there isn't a line to wait in. 3. Even if they've lived here for years, they still don't have basic winter wear. 4. They refuse to buy a proper coat because "it's not like the weather is as cold as back home." 5. They are well-accustomed to the concept of loose change in the form of coins. 6. They are the only ones swimming in the Mediterranean in the middle of February. 7. Nonetheless, they're the first to burn when the spring season rolls around. 8. Their winter wardrobe is infinitely better than their summer one. 9. Their infinity scarf collection is on point. 10. They ask for "real" maple syrup at Benedicts. 11. Their A.C. is on full blast, year-round. 12. They've never
Ariel Leizgold unveils his newest cocktail bar creation: Butler
Imagine walking up to a hotel reception desk reminiscent of The Grand Budapest Hotel. The concierge dials a number, hangs up, and as if by magic, the door you barely noticed when you first entered the building swings open and a dapper host gestures you inside. You step into the jazz age: swing music plays fervently from every corner of the bar, bird cages swing by with burgers inside and you nearly trip over a pram filled with oyster shells on ice. © Anatoly Michaello And just when you think things can't get any quirkier, the host escorts you past this alternate universe you've just entered to a hidden door masked as a bookshelf of sorts. Waiting on the other side: a secret passageway into yet another alternate universe (a parallel universe as Leizgold describes it). Only this time, you've traveled more than a century beyond the 1920s into the Victorian era. The quaint one-room bar nestled inside Bellboy is a visual orgasm – the animal-print walls are adorned with period pieces like paintings, key holders and other gems. Mason jars filled with octopi, squids, brains and other organs add a little extra "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" feel to the Victorian ambiance; an old rotary dial sits promptly at one end of the bar, mixology mastermind Ariel Leizgold at the other. © Anatoly Michaello Leizgold, Time Out's 2016 Best Bartender and the man behind 223 and Bellboy, tastes a cocktail whipped up by a bartender, Guy Avner. They are giving the brand new menu its last finishing touche
Bartender Tales: Guy Avner of Butler
Each week, we dive into the world of TLV bars and meet the drink-shaking players behind them. From the latest cocktailing trends to crazy stories on the job, these are the Bartender Tales of the White City. Guy Avner, bartender, Butler How did you get into bartending? I must confess that I am fifth generation in a family that is in the alcohol industry, so I was exposed to the nightlife world and culture of drinking from a very young age. Despite all this, until the age of 20, it didn't speak to me like it did to my brother, who was very fond of drinking and experimenting. After the army, I became more interested in the field and spontaneously decided to take a bartending course with two close friends. What's your favorite thing about bartending? Cocktails are a wonderful thing, especially the classics, but that's not really why I work behind the bar. The reason I come in everyday with a smile is the customers. [Butler] is the smallest bar in Israel (13 seats in total) and during the evening there is only one person behind the bar. This intimacy, combined with a number of alcoholic drinks, creates a wonderful openness. I experience fascinating conversations with people I would not meet anywhere else and develop friendships with people from different parts of the city and world. Have you noticed any trends in the cocktail industry lately? In recent years, the culture of mixology has been developing and there is a demand for quality cocktails at almost every event. Peopl
Top five Tel Aviv neuroses
1. You're more hungover than the rest of the office You're hungover...for the third time this week (and you've only had three work days so far). Despite the caffeine-inspired boost that helped you achieve the impossible and physically get to the office, the short-lasting effects of your first cup-o-Joe have worn off. Everyone stares at you as you struggle with the office entry code. You keep your sunglasses on to hide your bloodshot eyes, make a mad dash for the espresso machine, and hope to God your boss is in a morning meeting. © Alena Ploski 2. Everyone is more Tel Avivian than you You've got the style, the studio apartment, and the cold shoulder when American frat bros try to hit on you at the bar down pat. But does that make you Tel Avivian enough? Never. That's why you buy a bike (even though you've never ridden one before), grow unnecessary facial hair, and go out of your way to spend the night at Rokoko, hopeful that the residual cigarette smell will linger on your clothes and skin for at least a day or two. © Alena Ploski 3. Your friends makes more money than you Most Israelis are bold and their first questions are often monetary. Something along the lines of "How much do you make?" or "How much is your rent?" are considered appropriate first date material. You're too gosh darn polite to ask your friends though, even if they constantly nudge you to tell them your salary, expenses, and net worth. One day you crack, as if trapped inside an interrogation roo
The 16 unwritten rules of biking in Tel Aviv...
...well, technically there are no rules. BUT, rather than being a cycling cynic, as both an optimist and an avid Tel Aviv biker, I would like to share my two(-wheel) cents with those squeaky clean new bike-owners ready to hit the road (and possibly a pedestrian or two). 1. Bike lanes are a suggestion more than anything. 2. Streets and sidewalks are fair game - the trick is to alternate between the two as you see fit. 3. Invest in a kryptonite lock, you won't regret it. 4. If you're still nervous, lock it in front of the nearest 24/7 AM:PM - people are afraid to steal bikes in broad daylight, even if it's emulated by the bright grocery store lights. 5. Helmets? What are those? 6. Pay no heed to road signs. 7. Don't play chicken with the pigeons...they'll win. 8. If you can dodge traffic, you can dodge a ball. 9. Riding head first into ongoing one-way traffic is permitted. 10. Ignore the 5-10 average honks you'll receive on any given day. 11. If you're a Florentin-dwelling hipster, it's the unofficial law to own a bike - for form over function. 12. Learn to outrun the bus. 13. Treat every traffic light like a stop sign, if anything. 14. There's a reason Tel-
A party crasher's guide to Tel Aviv rooftops
Dry clean your finest sundress, because you're about to embark on an 'uplifting' journey (at least 3 floors or so). Welcome to Wedding Crashers: Israeli Rooftop Edition. Scream it from the rooftop! Or gesture inaudibly as to not stand apart from the crowd of kind strangers with which you've just spent the past two hours trying to slyly figure out the dirty deets – who's dating who, who's cheating on Itai with Ilai (or was it Omer with Amir?), who's got their life together, who's the reliable hot mess (after you, of course), and most importantly, who's apartment this is. It only takes one Saturday afternoon meander along the boardwalk, through the park, or past any rooftop-laden South Tel Aviv street to know where the party's at. No need to spend hundreds of shekels on overpriced beach beers, overwatered mixed drinks, and over-salted food. Follow our rooftop party crasher's guide instead. The guidelines to crashing a good rooftop party are simple: 1) Replace your "afternoon stroll" with a scouting mission, much akin to bird watching. Tiptoe through the network of streets in and around Tel Aviv North, Kikar Dizengoff, and Shuk Levinsky, listening for the mating calls of the wild Tel Avivians – not to be confused with alley cats, stray children, or worse, the brunch bunch. 2) Get out those binoculars and size up the crew (don't worry, if you don't have binoculars, you can also just look up). An acceptable number for rooftop crashing is usually somewhere between 20 and