Perched along the azure sparkle of the Mediterranean, Tel Aviv is a boisterous and liberal seaside city that’s committed to having a good time. Determinedly secular and proudly hedonistic, Tel Aviv’s thriving cultural scene boasts art galleries, beguiling boutiques, and fine dining restaurants sitting alongside phenomenal street food stalls. Party hard, then plonk yourself at any one of the picture-perfect white-sand beaches lining the western side of the city.
1/tab.galleryImage.size}Tel Aviv is a lively UNESCO World Heritage city with a sublime setting on the Mediterranean Sea
2/tab.galleryImage.size}Indulge in some retail therapy at Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Centre before climbing to the 49th floor for a panoramic view of the city from the observation deck
3/tab.galleryImage.size}Spend a day lounging on one of Tel Aviv’s city beaches or make your way to Herzliya Beach just outside of the centre
4/tab.galleryImage.size}Wander around the ancient port town of Jaffa near Tel Aviv and enjoy its old-fashioned charm
5/tab.galleryImage.size}Take a day trip from Tel Aviv to Caesarea National Park and stroll around ancient Roman ruins
6/tab.galleryImage.size}Admire the Ottoman architecture of Jaffa’s Hasan Bey Mosque near Tel Aviv, an important historic and cultural site
Tel Aviv is a lively UNESCO World Heritage city with a sublime setting on the Mediterranean Sea
Indulge in some retail therapy at Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Centre before climbing to the 49th floor for a panoramic view of the city from the observation deck
Spend a day lounging on one of Tel Aviv’s city beaches or make your way to Herzliya Beach just outside of the centre
Wander around the ancient port town of Jaffa near Tel Aviv and enjoy its old-fashioned charm
Take a day trip from Tel Aviv to Caesarea National Park and stroll around ancient Roman ruins
Admire the Ottoman architecture of Jaffa’s Hasan Bey Mosque near Tel Aviv, an important historic and cultural site
Things to do
We've chosen the must-see highlights of this fantastic city.
We've chosen the must-see highlights of this fantastic city.
With veteran chef Ran Schmeli in the kitchen, it’s little wonder that Claro rules the roost as one of Tel Aviv’s favourite dining spots. Within the cavernous limestone walls of a former wine distill-ery, Schmeli has created a buzzing restaurant that caters to a young, fashionable crowd. Local dishes made from fresh, seasonal ingredients and innovative specialty cocktails add up to a pricey bill, but it’s worth every shekel.
In a stately building near Rothschild Avenue, Aria’s historic exterior belies the lively bar and res-taurant within. The succinct menu, a medley of seafood and meat dishes, looks to the surround-ing region for inspiration, like a Greek sashimi with tzatziki, crushed tomato, shallots and Spanish mint. For those keen to sample it all, there’s a ‘Taste of Mind’ menu which showcases ten dishes and two desserts; afterwards, head to the cocktail lounge downstairs, which boasts a DJ and outstanding drinks.
Tel Aviv’s vibrant cultural scene is most impressively showcased at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Founded in 1932 by the first mayor of Tel Aviv, the museum now includes the landmark Herta and Paul Amir building, a shining example of modern design. Inside, Israeli art is presented alongside international pieces. For the more design-minded, head to Design Museum Holon, an extraordinary space designed by acclaimed Israeli architect Ron Arad. The terra-cotta walls, whose arcing curves resemble the peel of orange skin, are the first sign that this isn’t your aver-age museum. These suspicions are confirmed by the the cutting-edge exhibitions on design.
Israeli celebrity chef Haim Cohen scores a hit with Yaffo Tel Aviv, a high-ceilinged, relaxed res-taurant that melds the familiarity of local flavours with the haute cuisines of European cooking. Pay close attention to the wine list, which is carefully chosen to inspire diners with interesting, lesser-known bottles.
With panoramic views over the city, uBrown TLV Urban Hotel’s rooftop deck is a favored drinking spot for golden-skinned bon vi-vants. Striped deck chairs, expansive sun loungers, an open-air Jacuzzi and a fully stocked bar encourages two of life’s greatest treats: sunbathing and sipping cocktails. Another glamorous wa-tering hole, B on top Rooftop Pool and Lounge is enticingly sleek and sophisticated. By day, enjoy the infinity pool’s spectacular views - then, as night falls, slip into something slinky as Tel Aviv’s best DJs spin beats. And, although it’s on the tenth floor of an office building, Su-raMare’s glass-enclosed rooftop bar is a world away from working hours. Surrounded by the city’s glittering skyline, their restaurant serves up fresh food and creative cocktails.
Tel Aviv’s coastline stretches for miles, cementing its reputation as a fun-loving, sand-in-its-hair kind of city. But with so many beaches to choose from, which one is best? The unofficial ‘gay beach’ easily recognizable by an abundance of rainbow-colored parasols, is an inclusive and re-laxed stretch of sand populated by bronzed beefcakes in tight swimsuits. Gordon beach is be-loved by locals and tourists alike, ideally located close to dozens of restaurants and bars. Or, if upscale luxury sounds better, the Hilton beach, next to the TopSea surf club, promises beautiful people, beachside service and the occasional celebrity spotting.
An afternoon in Old Jaffa
An ancient port city on the southern outskirts of Tel Aviv, Jaffa is now home to bohemian cafes, vintage shops and art galleries. Start the day with a stroll along the coastline promenade that connects Tel Aviv to Jaffa. Upon arrival, settle into a seat at Manta Ray, a popular seafood restaurant with a terrace looking out over the sea. Gorge on fresh fish then wander over to Zadik Gallery, one of the many small galleries that have popped up in recent years. With a focus on affordable work, the gallery is an atmospheric space that showcases the local art scene. From there, head to Container, a restaurant and bar in a converted warehouse. Enjoy the sea breeze as live music plays.
The name says it all: White City is a unique collection of 4,000 starkly white buildings. Built by German-Jewish architects in the 1930s, this UNESCO world heritage site is the largest number of Bauhaus-style buildings in the world and a striking tribute to the modernist movement. Stop by the Bauhaus Center for a professional two-hour walking tour, which showcases the city’s most prominent architectural examples.
An upscale boutique hotel in the heart of Tel Aviv, The Norman is renowned for its luxurious fa-cilities and immaculate service. Little wonder then that its eponymous restaurant is considered the city’s finest. Drawing inspiration from Italy’s culinary traditions, The Norman’s intricately pat-terned floor and neutral, brasserie-style decor mimics the elegance of its Mediterranean menu. An outdoor pavilion encourages diners to take advantage of Israel’s temperate climate while an extensive wine list begs for indulgence.