Tel Aviv, with its golden beaches and lively cosmopolitan outlook is Israel’s most modern metropolis. Most visitors land here to soak up the sun, shop-until-they-drop in cutesy boutiques, and enjoy some serious foodie action at the city’s renowned café and restaurant scene. The beach may be the major tourist attraction, but Tel Aviv has more points of interest than its famous strip of sand. Nicknamed “The White City,” the town was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status in 2003 in recognition of its fine examples of Bauhaus architecture (an early 20th-century Modernist style of building). The city itself is full of things to do, with plenty of small museums and funky art galleries that provide excellent sightseeing opportunities.
Best Time to Visit
The best times to visit Tel Aviv are March through April and September through November. Spring and fall mark this city’s “sweet” tourism spots, boasting pleasant temperatures and affordable prices.
Top Places to Visit in Tel Aviv
1. Tel Aviv Beaches
Tel Aviv is defined by its coastal position. The beaches attract tourists and locals alike. On weekends, Tel Aviv’s strips of sand are crowded with sun-worshippers, posers and people just chilling out. The most popular sandy stretches are centrally-located Gordon Beach, Frishman Beach, and Banana Beach where you’ll find excellent facilities such as fresh-water showers, sun loungers and sunshades for rent. The Tayelet (paved boardwalk) that runs along the beach between central Tel Aviv and Jaffa is prime evening promenading territory and is lined with plenty of cafés and restaurants allowing an easy entire day at the beach.
A short walk south along the coast from downtown Tel Aviv brings you to the old Arab port town of Jaffa, with its preserved acropolis remains and well-restored stone architecture. Much of the original bazaar area is now home to restaurants and artisan boutiques. It’s particularly lively in the evening when the old town throngs with diners. The flea market here is the major attraction for visitors, full of the hubbub of a genuine souk, while St. Peter’s Monastery and the Old Port area itself are also not to be missed. Compared to the big-city hustle of Tel Aviv, Jaffa is a wonderfully tranquil place for a stroll that, despite serious gentrification, still retains its old-fashioned charm.
3. Tel Aviv Museum of Art
A leading light in Israel’s contemporary art scene, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art contains works by Degas, Monet, Van Gogh, Henry Moore, Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and the world’s largest collection of work by Israeli artists. A particular highlight is the collection of Alois Breyer early 20th-century prints and architectural renderings of Ukrainian wooden synagogues.The ultra-modern building, with its sophisticated architecture, houses and highlights the artworks perfectly. As well as the permanent collection, the museum hosts regular temporary exhibits and other events.
This popular seaside resort sits on a beautiful golden sand beach that stretches for more than ten kilometers. The shoreline is the major attraction. Tel Aviv locals flock here during sunny weekends to chill out with friends and family. Downtown is crammed with cafés and restaurants and really buzzes with energy during summer evenings. It’s a quieter alternative to Tel Aviv if you don’t fancy the big-city rush, and there are plenty of accommodation options here.
5. Beit Hatefutsoth
Beit Hatefutsoth illustrates the life and culture of the Jewish people across the world, throughout history. The museum displays a wide variety of exhibits, including film recordings and models, to document the world’s Jewish population through the centuries. In particular, the highlight of a visit here are the exhibits devoted to the Ethiopian Jewish community and the Bob Dylan exhibit. There is also an excellent new children’s section with interactive multimedia displays.