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Tel Aviv may be a small city in a small country, but it packed with culture, art, history, and fun. If you’re visiting Israel, you must visit the best places in Tel Aviv.
Personally, Tel Aviv is one of my favorite cities in the whole world. It has the power to make everyone feel belong, even though it’s the second biggest city in Israel. It allows you to be who you are and feel completely comfortable with it.
Tel Aviv offers everything from nightlife, art, history, amazing food, and shopping. No matter if you’re in your 20’s or traveling with kids, everyone can find what to do in the big city.
Let’s dive into the best places in Tel Aviv!
Tel Aviv Beaches
The BEST beaches! You can surf, swim, and hang out with friends. The most crowded beaches are Frishman Beach, Banana Beach, and Gordon Beach. The Tayelet of Tel Aviv runs along the beaches and you can ride bikes, run and walk. The Tayelet is full of coffee shops, amazing restaurants, and bars you enjoy and relax while you’re visiting.
South of Tel Aviv is the Old City of Jaffa. You can either rent bikes or walk through the streets. I highly recommend visiting Jaffa if you’re looking for unique, cultural, and historical experience.
Things to do in Jaffa:
- Zodiac Fountain
- The Clock Tower
- The view from Gan Hapisga (Peak Garden)
- Abulafiya bakery: my favorite spot to buy knafeh or sambusak with salty cheese and egg. Every visit to the city has to include a stop at this bakery. No matter how full I am and how much I already ate, I can’t say no to either of them. In front of the bakery, they have a meat restaurant and people stand in line for their shawarma.
- Check the streets and the art galleries. There’s plenty of galleries and hidden gems all over the streets. Start from Kikar Kdumim and take the time to explore the place.
- Shuk Hapisphasim (read below)
One of the oldest districts of Tel Aviv. Neve Tzedek was built in 1887 and became the first Jewish neighborhood outside the old port city of Jaffa. Today, the place became an artistic center, full of boutiques, galleries, and craft shops. It is one of my favorite places and truly one of the best places in Tel Aviv.
You can start by visiting the Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theater. Visitors can come inside and ask to visit the studios. If you love dancing and theater, it’s a great place to see. You can keep moving through the streets, stop for a bite, ice cream, or coffee. Take a lot at the beautiful stores and enjoy the unique architecture of the neighborhood. From Neve Tzedek, you can visit the Hatachana. It was the first train station in the Jerusalem-Jaffa line that opened in 1892. Today you can find plenty of coffee shops, restaurants, and bars all around the station.
One of the first streets to be built in the city of Tel Aviv. The street considered one of Israel’s most beautiful locations and offers great architecture, food, night-life, and history.
The street stretches over a kilometer and goes from Neve Tzedek to Habima theatre. No matter when you’re visiting you’ll see people running, cycling, eating, and laughing. It’s one of my favorite streets and the food is AMAZING!
Art and History:
There are plenty of sculptures that spread throughout the street. You can find plenty of art galleries and beautiful heritage buildings. The area is built in Bauhaus style and call the “White City”, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003.
- Tony Vespa- great pizza place close to the Habima. I LOVE this place. I used to go to the Habima Theatre all the time and every time my friends and I would stop there and grab our own pizza slide. The pizza is squared, and you choose the size you want. They offer so many toping and even meat (in Israel most places don’t serve meat on dairy food).
- Max Brenner- if you love chocolate this is the place for you. It specializes in chocolate-based desserts such as crepes, milkshakes, fondues, and waffles. I was surprised to discover that they have 50 locations globally including New York and Philadelphia in the USA.
- Benedict- in 2006, the first Benedict restaurant opened and became the first restaurant in the world serving breakfast around the clock. They serve breakfast from all over the world, sweet or salty, dairy or meat, everyone can find something they love. This is one of my favorite restaurants and I could go there at any hour of the day.
Rothschild street offers restaurants that open 24/7 and tons of bars and rooftops. It’s full of people and considers it safe during the night.
The Yarkon is the biggest park in Tel Aviv and many Israelis love spending their days there. Just like NYC has Central Park, Tel Aviv has Hayarkon. Obviously, you can find joggers, cyclists, dog walkers, children playing, and even a little lake with boats. It’s one of the most popular places in Tel Aviv and during the weekends and holidays you’ll see plenty of people visiting the park.
Things to do in Park HaYarkon:
- Rent a Bike- the Yarkon is the perfect place to rent a bike and explore the park. The trails are about 5km (3.5 miles) and as a young kid, we used to bring our bikes there and explore the different paths and attractions. It used to be one of my favorite things as a young girl.
- Rock Garden- the garden hosts over 3,500 species of plants.
- Bird safari (Tsipari)- the largest bird park in the Middle East. There’s a small petting zoo, a place where you can see bird’s eggs in incubators, and even play areas with climbing apparatus and trampoline games. It is a great attraction for people with kids and bird lovers.
- Rent a Boat- another one of my favorite things as a kid. We used to rent a small motorboat/ pedal boat and travel up and down the river. I loved singing on the boat while trying to paddle with my dad (obviously I gave up after 5 minutes, but I always remember it as a good adventure).
- Go to a concert- Hayarkon is one of the most popular and big areas for concerts. When artists stop in Israel on their tour’ they usually perform in the Yarkon. It’s big and everyone loves dancing on the grass, bring blankets and enjoy a good concert.
- Memadion Water Park- largest water park in Israel. The park is open from May to September and offers everything from regular swimming pools to water slides.
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Nahalat Binyamin Market
Nahalat Binyamin is a street market specializing in different arts and crafts from all over Israel. The market runs every Tuesday and Friday from 10 am-5 pm. As an artist, this is probably my favorite type of market and I always enjoy exploring new artists and products. The artists often show the way they work and some of them create your piece in front of you. One of my favorite artists is a glass artist, he’s been there for years and everyone loves staring at his process. The market first started in 1987 with a few artists and now brings more than 200 artists!
Few Things that makes Nahalat Binyamin so unique:
- All work must be original and handmade.
- Each artist must personally sell their works. They do it to create more authenticity and create a community of artists that can share techniques, ideas, and collaborate with one another.
In addition to art, you can find great food and street artists. The close streets King Gorge and Sheinkin streets full of great food, boutiques, and you can easily spend there the whole day. If you’re visiting the city on Tuesday or Friday its the best place to spend your day.
The largest market in Tel Aviv. The market first opened in 1920 and opens on Thursdays and Fridays. It has everything from clothes to spices, electronics, and food. You can explore the market for hours and still discover new places on your next visit. There’s plenty of authentic cultural food, cheap and fresh veggies and fruits, meat, and spices.
I recommend taking a tour, especially a culinary tour when you visit the market. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you enter the market, it’s huge and full of colors, smells, and sounds. Stick to the people you come with because it’s so easy to get lost. If you’re going alone, I recommend trying the things below.
- Baklava- sweet treat during the day. The baklava comes in different flavors- some filled with pistachios, walnuts, and honey. It’s the best with a cup of coffee (usually black coffee) and totally worth trying.
- Halva- there’s nothing like trying fresh halva in the market. It’s sweet and has a unique taste and texture. You can try the different samples in the market and buy your favorite.
- Bourekas- bakes pastries filled with cheese, spinach, mushrooms, pizza, and potatoes. You can try different filling and shapes and I promise you won’t regret it.
- Druze Pita- must eat food when you visit the market. It’s fresh, handmade by the Druze women. Their place is located near the Carmelit bus station near the bottom of the market. The pita is filled with Labneh cheese, olive oil, za’atar, and you can add tabbouleh salad and spicy sauce. You can also get it in a vegan version with hummus instead of cheese.
- Hummus- this list can’t be whole without good hummus. When you visit Israel, you have to try hummus more than once. Each place has its own unique way to cook the chickpeas and its own unique recipe. The market has a few authentic places such as “Hummus HaCarmel” that worth trying.
The largest enclosed market in Israel. The area is packed with boutiques, restaurants, and food stores.
- Max Brenner- another location to the restaurant I recommended in Rothschild street.
- Halva Kingdom- heaven for everyone who loves Halva. Originally from the Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem and sells over 100 types of halva. They come in different flavors and you can try samples before buying.
- Segev Concept- Segev is one of the most famous chefs in Israel. He came with the idea of creating street food that everyone can afford in addition to his famous restaurants. In the Sarona Market, you can find his station with his favorite food around the world. Another station is desserts and both of them are amazing!
- Benedict- another one that I recommended in Rothschild street.
Flea Market- Shuk Hapisphisphim
The Flea market is located near the Clock Tower in the old city of Jaffa. It offers everything from art boutiques, designers’ shops, second-hand places, random stuff, and hidden gems. I love walking around and look for the most unique pieces of jewelry. They literally have everything in this market and sometimes it takes longer to find the best stuff.
- Dr. Shakshuka- you can’t visit Israel without trying Shakshuka. It is one of the most common Israeli food. The meaning of Shakshuka is mixed up and it basically eggs and tomatoes cooked together. Dr. Shakshuka offers unique combinations to the popular dish. You can try it with mushrooms, shawarma, vegan, and more.
- Abu Hassan- as I said before, you have to try hummus more than once if you’re visiting Israel. If you’re a local and you haven’t tried Abu Hassan, save this spot for your next visit. This place has an AMAZING hummus and one of the best I’ve ever eaten. Order “Masabacha” (warm hummus with chickpeas on top) and I promise you won’t regret it.
- Italkiya– great Italian restaurant. Everything is handmade and for a few moments, you feel like you’re in Italy, not Israel. It’s the ideal spot for dinner, a romantic date, and for everyone who loves Italian food.