30 useful Tel Aviv travel tips: a local’s curated guide

Shalom! Welcome to the city I called home for 1.5 years. This Tel Aviv travel guide and tips will be very useful as I put into detail some important things that you need to know, especially if it’s your first time traveling to Israel.

Known as the “Non-stop City,” it offers an impressive mix of stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, rich cultural experiences, and gastronomic delights.

As a city that seamlessly blends ancient history with modern innovation, Tel Aviv caters to a wide range of interests.

The city’s bustling markets, world-renowned Bauhaus architecture, burgeoning tech scene, and inclusive spirit are only some of the facets that make Tel Aviv a truly unique destination.

Tel Aviv is a melting pot of cultures, reflecting the diverse backgrounds of the Jewish diaspora. This cultural tapestry is vividly depicted in its culinary scene, where you can savor everything from traditional Middle Eastern dishes to modern fusion cuisine.

If you are traveling alone to Tel Aviv and need some local contacts, get in touch with me, and I will introduce you to my friends!

Change how you travel and see the world by going deep into the culture. Come and travel with me!

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ℹ️ Tel Aviv travel at a glance

Currency

The currency in Israel is called the New Israeli shekel (NIS). US$1 = 3.36 NIS. You will see detailed information about the travel budget in the money and costs part of this article.

Power plug

Israel uses type C, H, and M plugs, the same as Europe and the United Kingdom.

Visa

Americans, Canadians, Australians, British, and most European citizens don’t need a visa to visit Israel. You can stay up to 30 days on a tourist visa.

tel aviv digital nomad

Language

The language in Israel is Hebrew. It is not an easy language but I learned it! You don’t need to speak Hebrew while in Israel because everyone can speak English (part of their military background).

I only learned Hebrew because it didn’t make sense not to speak it while living here.

Culture

More than half of the population of Tel Aviv are young people, so you can imagine how vibrant this city can be! This is one of the best destinations for solo travelers – you will meet people instantly!

🫱🏻‍🫲🏽 Traveling to Tel Aviv solo? Get in touch with me and I’ll introduce you to my cool Tel Avivian crew!

nightlife in tel aviv

Book your trip to Tel Aviv

We can personalize your itinerary according to how many days you plan to be in Tel Aviv! The packages start at $1,500 USD (all-inclusive, with accommodations), and we can modify/add some activities for you.

✨ Extremely useful Tel Aviv travel tips

Tel Aviv is safe

What I always tell people when they ask if Tel Aviv Israel is safe: safety is objective and personal. For the 1.5 years I was living in Tel Aviv, I did not experience any gunning on the streets, explosions, or anything violent.

visit tel aviv
I originally came to Tel Aviv for a content creator trip and I never left! I lived in Jaffa for one year!

So I would say that personally, I found Tel Aviv really safe. You can also read my narrative about safety in Israel if you want more insights, but I never experienced anything unsafe in Tel Aviv.

Further reading: Read my op-ed about “Is Tel Aviv safe?” and find a more detailed explanation of this question where I talked about more specific safety experiences (i.e. walking alone after midnight).

Israel will not stamp your passport

One of the common fears about Israel and Tel Aviv travel is the Israeli stamp. Israeli immigration officials no longer stamp passports upon entry or exit.

flying to israel from dubai

Instead, they issue an electronic Gate Pass which includes your picture, personal details, and entry permit.

This move is aimed at avoiding potential issues for visitors who may wish to travel to countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel and could deny entry to visitors with an Israeli stamp on their passports.

🛃 Do not lose this gate pass/entry stamp for the duration of your stay in Israel. You will need it to depart from the country.

The taxi from Tel Aviv airport is expensive

Unlike many countries I’ve been to, I don’t find the difference in terms of convenience when it comes to airport transfers in Israel.

This absolutely means you don’t have to book an expensive taxi to get to your hotel or accommodation.

tel aviv israel

As a progressive and modern tech country, there are many convenient ways to get to your hotel from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport.

The customs line in Tel Aviv is long and can take more than you are used to but there are fast-lane assistance that includes airport taxi service.

🚌 You can also take a taxi service or shuttle from Ben Gurion Airport to all parts of Israel and even to Jordan! This is a really small country and TLV is its main airport. [See all airport transfers]

Use the Tel Aviv Airport train

Also known as the Ben Gurion Airport Railway located in Terminal 3 (Level S), you can take this train to Tel Aviv up to Haifa, the northernmost part of Israel.

If you landed in Terminal 1, there is a free shuttle service that will take you to Terminal 3. This train runs 24 hours a day but does not operate during Shabbat in Israel.

tel aviv travel guide
Follow this direction to get to the train station at the airport.

Most likely, you will land in Terminal 3 (where the train is) because this is the International Arrivals. If you took a local/domestic flight, you will land in Terminal 1.

You can buy the tickets at the vending machines in the terminal, and the prices depend on where you are going—usually just around 13 shekels ($3.52 USD) to TLV center.

🚆 Know before you go: Ask your hotel or accommodation which train station is the best to reach your hotel.

Gett vs Uber in Tel Aviv

Gett is generally more widely used than Uber in Tel Aviv because it operates as a more traditional taxi service.

The Gett app allows you to order a regular taxi, and you don’t have to worry about whether the driver is going the same way as you.

tel aviv travel guide

In Israel, Uber functions as a ride-sharing service, meaning you are technically hitching a ride with someone who is going in the same direction as you rather than booking a private taxi.

🚕 Download the Gett App here: Apple Store | Google Play

March and April are the best months to visit Tel Aviv

This is the best time to visit Tel Aviv because the temperature is perfect! During this season, there will be a lot of random rooftop parties you can crash.

Tel Avivian homes are usually on rooftops, so feel free to crash whenever you hear music. They will surely welcome you.

tel aviv digital nomad

It is a bit cold at the beach, but people go anyway! During this season, you will witness Purim, the Jewish Halloween.

Make sure to bring your Halloween costume, as March is that time of the year for Israel! Israel’s Independence Day falls in April, which is big, too.

July and August are the hottest months

During these summer months, the average high temperatures are around 30-32°C (86-90°F).

shabbat in tel aviv

Heatwaves, which can push temperatures even higher, do occur and can make the city feel even hotter, especially considering the high humidity.

The nighttime temperatures in these months don’t cool off as much as they do in some other climates, often staying above 20°C (around 70°C).

There are no dress codes in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is quite liberal when it comes to clothing. Tel Aviv is often referred to as the “Miami of the Middle East” due to its liberal attitudes and vibrant lifestyle.

As a cosmopolitan city with a lively beach and nightlife scene, the dress code in Tel Aviv is very relaxed.

tel aviv itinerary

During the day, especially in the hot summer months, it’s common to see people wearing casual, lightweight clothing like shorts, t-shirts, sundresses, and sandals.

Given its coastal location, beachwear is also very common. In the evenings, people tend to dress up a bit more, especially if they’re going to bars or clubs, but the overall vibe remains casual and laid-back.

English is widely spoken in Tel Aviv

English is widely spoken and understood throughout the city, making it easy for visitors to communicate, navigate, and immerse themselves in local life.

tel aviv nightlife

From restaurants, shops, and markets, to museums, galleries, and tech start-ups, you’ll find English is commonly used. Many signs and menus are also in English.

🤟🏽 Even if you encounter someone who doesn’t speak English fluently, most people have a basic understanding or will make an effort to help you.

Tel-o-Fun is no longer operational

Tel-O-Fun, the top bike-sharing program in the city was shut down on August 2020 due to the low volume of use and rentals.

tel aviv bike rental

The 1,900 bright green bikes and their docking stations, which have been around since 2011 used to be all-over the city and were a great transportation option during Shabbat.

🚲 The only bike rental company right now that’s operational is Yalla Bikes.

Join my group trip to Tel Aviv!

As I have called Tel Aviv home for a while, I decided to share my love for Tel Aviv to readers of this blog by conducting a yearly group trip, best for those who want to travel Tel Aviv solo (but not really!).

tel aviv israel

My group trips take place every June and have limited slots. I love to host small groups to make sure everyone gets the local experience. I would love for you to join me! [See Tel Aviv Group Trips]

Public transportation doesn’t operate during Shabbat

Friday evening just before sunset until Saturday evening after nightfall, most public buses and trains do not operate. This is in observance of Jewish religious tradition.

This means you may need to adjust your transit plans during this period. However, Tel Aviv does offer some alternatives.

shabbat in tel aviv

Taxis are readily available and operate throughout the Sabbath. You can also take a sherut.

Much of the city is walkable so I wouldn’t worry about getting around Tel Aviv during Shabbat. After nightfall on Saturday, regular public transportation services resume.

🕍 I’m sure you’re also looking for things to do or restaurants that are open during Shabbat. Read my Shabbat in Tel Aviv guide.

It’s a walking city!

Tel Aviv is a very walkable city. It’s not overly large, and many of its key attractions are relatively close to each other, especially if you’re staying centrally.

visit tel aviv
Photo: Artem Belinski

For instance, neighborhoods like Neve Tzedek, Florentin, and the areas around Rothschild Boulevard are quite pedestrian-friendly.

The city’s long promenade, known as the Tayelet, runs alongside the Mediterranean Sea, offering a scenic walk between Jaffa to the south and the Tel Aviv Port area to the north.

Jaffa is open on Shabbat

This is the best neighborhood in Tel Aviv, so I chose to live here! Jaffa, or Yafo, is an ancient port city and its history traces back to biblical times.

tel aviv itinerary
@ivydonque

It has been officially part of Tel Aviv since 1950, and a large Arab population calls it home. Which absolutely means that they do not practice Shabbat.

You must visit its flea market on the Old City’s cobblestone streets, check out its vibrant nightlife, and sample its culinary gems.

🥘 Local Tip: The best hummus in the city is in Jaffa! Check out Abu Hassan. It’s always full so come early.

Neve Tzedek is one of Tel Aviv’s oldest neighborhoods

… but has developed itself as one of its trendiest districts. It has oriental-style conserved buildings and narrow vehicle-free roads.

It is charming and one of the most expensive neighborhoods. The serenity of walking down these narrow winding roads, with a scoop of Neve Tzedek’s best ice cream from Anita in hand, makes for a great time.

🧭 Combine your visit to Neve Tzedek to Jaffa. It’s definitely within walking distance! [Book Jaffa and Neve Tzedek Walking Tour]

3 days is the ideal time to spend in Tel Aviv

Within these 3 days, you will be able to see all the important landmarks and things to do in Tel Aviv. Most people who come to TLV to party spend more or make it their base for traveling around Israel.

tel aviv nightlife

I made this 3-day Tel Aviv itinerary which covers all the neighborhoods plus walking routes with maps. Check it out and use it!

The city is known for its vibrant nightlife

I’ve been to Berlin and Warsaw but Tel Aviv nightlife tops the best on the nightlife list. I never experienced going out short because everything is open 24/7!

nightlife in tel aviv

Nightlife in Tel Aviv is not just about getting drunk but it’s really an interesting culture to see.

🎉 If you find yourself widely awake at night and have nothing to do, check out these Tel Aviv bars that I highly recommend! Swear, you can just walk in alone and meet people.

One of the biggest pride parades in the world

It’s not just a gathering for the local LGBTQ+ community but also a warm, inclusive event that welcomes everyone, irrespective of sexual orientation.

This annual spectacle, usually held in June, is renowned for its festive atmosphere, extravagant floats, live music, and participants draped in all colors of the rainbow.

tel aviv travel guide

The parade winds through the city’s main streets and culminates at the Mediterranean Sea with a massive beach party, making it a unique blend of pride celebration and beach festival.

With hundreds of thousands of attendees, including many international visitors, the event is filled with positivity, acceptance, and unity.

“White City” is a UNESCO World Heritage site

Tel Aviv, often called “The White City” due to its distinctive Bauhaus architecture, is a vibrant, modern city with a mix of tradition and contemporary culture.

tel aviv itinerary

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, the White City is a collection of over 4,000 Bauhaus or International Style buildings built in Tel Aviv from the 1930s by German-Jewish architects who immigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine after the rise of the Nazis.

🗺️ Insider Tip: You can do this on your own! See my Bauhaus walking map to see my White City route.

The most vegan restaurants per capita in the world

With over 400 vegan and vegan-friendly establishments, the city boasts the highest per capita vegan restaurants in the world.

tel aviv restaurants

It’s not unusual to find entire menus dedicated to plant-based offerings, ensuring a vast array of choices that go far beyond simple salads.

From innovative vegan takes on traditional Israeli dishes like falafel and shawarma, to exotic fusion cuisine, the diversity is astounding.

Even Tel Aviv’s famous Carmel Market offers vegan delights!

There are many award-winning restaurants

Tel Aviv’s food culture was heavily influenced by Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines due to its strategic location and diverse immigrant populations.

tel aviv restaurants

The city’s gastronomic palette rapidly evolved to incorporate elements from Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jewish traditions, contributing to its rich, hybrid culinary identity.

The restaurants that are awarded the best restaurants in the Middle East and Africa by the World’s 50 Best are: A Restaurant, Animar, George & John, HaBasta, Milgo and Milbar, and OCD Restaurant.

Make sure to add them to your list!

🗺️  I created a map of all my essential restaurants in Tel Aviv! Get the map and save it on your phone. [See Best Restaurants Map]

Best street food stalls

The city that never sleeps ensures that delicious food is always within reach, whether for a quick lunch, a late-night snack, or a meal to satisfy post-party cravings.

street food in tel aviv

The city thrives on its thriving food scene, where the streets buzz with energy, aromas, and flavors that hint at its Mediterranean location and the diverse influences of immigrants from different corners of the world.

🗺️  I have never seen a city where every nationality has its food present. Snatch my best street food stalls map here!

It is a start-up city

Tel Aviv is one of the world’s leading tech hubs. It fosters an innovative environment ideal for digital nomads, with numerous startups, networking opportunities, and tech-related events.

tel aviv digital nomad
There’s always a digital nomad event in Tel Aviv!

Its robust technology sector has earned it the nickname “Silicon Wadi,” ensuring a dynamic environment conducive to digital work.

Tel Aviv has high-speed internet and numerous co-working spaces, promoting a seamless remote working experience.

👩🏽‍💻 I enjoyed being a digital nomad in this city for 1.5 years and I truly recommend this for young people who are looking to find a modern, progressive, and tech base. [Go to TLV Digital Nomad Guide]

It’s a beach city

Tel Aviv is one of those cities blessed with beaches and I can’t believe this daily beach activity became my thing. For many people, going to the beach means swimming, but for Tel Aviv, it could mean a lot of things. Dog and gay beaches are also a thing in Israel. My hangout beach is in Jaffa because I live close to it and most of my dog’s friends like it. When I am with my visiting girlfriends, I bring them to Banana Beach where all the foreign action happens.

Go to the Kerem for Yemenite culture

The area was founded by the Yemenites in the 1880s. It was once considered a neglected neighborhood, but today it is a historic and cultural attraction, with winding alleys and small, modest homes.

is israel safe
Friday brunches with the gang!

This area includes the famous Carmel Market (Shuk HaCarmel), Tel Aviv’s largest fresh produce market, and Nachalat Binyamin pedestrian mall, known for its arts and crafts fair and street performers.

Tel Aviv is a credit card city

All establishments in Israel accept credit cards including the wet markets! You don’t have to worry about bringing cash to Israel if you have a Mastercard or Visa credit card. In fact, you don’t need to worry about bringing cash at all!

Best bank for ATM withdrawals

When withdrawing cash in Tel Aviv, please note that Bank Leumi is the bank for International cardholders. You can also try other banks, but Leumi has the most success rate.

There is always a huge line at Leumi ATM machines, especially on Fridays when many foreigners will need to take cash for the weekend.

🏦 Your bank may charge a separate rate from the $5 USD per withdrawal that Israeli banks charge.

Tipping in Tel Aviv is encouraged

It is mandatory to tip in Israel as this is the salary/source of income of most restaurant staff. The ideal tip is 10% of the total bill, but if you like the server (which I guarantee you will), you can add more.

More neighborhoods you should visit

Tel Aviv has everything you need, beaches, shopping, art, culture, heritage, and many unique dining and nightlife options.

  • Florentin: With everything from vegan delights, and tattoo parlors, to indie art galleries and independent cafés, Florentin is Israel’s hipster haven. Over the past few years, Florentin has emerged been an important place for artists, and musicians. It has a grungy charm.
  • Lev Ha’ir: Lev Ha’ir literally means ‘heart of the city’ in Hebrew. The area is bordered by Neve Tzedek, Florentin, Kerem Hateimanim, Sarona, and the old north. This area is the most vibrant part of the city and includes a lot of restaurants and Rothschild Boulevard, Habima (the national theatre), and ‘The White City’ UNESCO World Heritage Site, a collection of over 4,000 buildings constructed in the Bauhaus style and countless bars and cafés.
  • HaZafon HaYashan (The Old North): It is one of the prominent areas in Tel Aviv and includes Ben Yehuda, Ben Gurion, and Dizengoff avenues. Here, you will find an incredible variety of shops, restaurants, bars, and cafés in close proximity to some of the city’s best beaches. It is the favorite choice for youngsters to reside.

🇮🇱 Tel Aviv travel recommendations

  • Find your way through local markets, unique eateries, and traditional restaurants, exploring the city’s rich culinary history and diverse flavors with a food tour in Tel Aviv.
  • Discover Tel Aviv’s dynamic street art scene through a walking graffiti tour. Uncover hidden gems in alleyways, explore colorful murals in hip neighborhoods, and learn about the city’s culture through the eyes of its artists.
  • Explore the winding alleyways of Jaffa, one of the world’s oldest ports, rich in history and culture. Visit ancient landmarks, marvel at the stunning architecture, and experience the vibrant atmosphere of bustling markets.
  • Experience Tel Aviv’s 24/7 nightlife in the Rothschild area. Dive into the city’s thriving music scene, sip cocktails in stylish bars, and dance until dawn in underground clubs.
  • Carmel Market (Shuk HaCarmel): This bustling outdoor market is a feast for the senses, offering a variety of fresh produce, local spices, baked goods, clothing, and more. A great place to experience local life and taste traditional Israeli food.
  • Tel Aviv Museum of Art: Home to a broad spectrum of contemporary and classic art, the museum hosts works by leading Israeli and international artists. The stunning architecture is a masterpiece itself.
  • Jaffa Port and Old City: Steeped in history, Jaffa offers a mix of ancient ruins, art galleries, and trendy boutiques. The picturesque port area offers stunning views and excellent dining options.
  • Neve Tzedek: Tel Aviv’s first neighborhood, Neve Tzedek’s charming streets are filled with beautifully restored Bauhaus-style buildings, boutiques, and cafes. It’s a hub of culture and architecture.
  • Tel Aviv Beaches: Stretching along the city’s western edge, the beaches offer a perfect spot for sunbathing, surfing, volleyball, or simply enjoying the lively beachside promenade.
  • Shila – Sharon Cohen’s Kitchen & Bar: A culinary hotspot in Tel Aviv, Shila serves modern Israeli cuisine in a lively, bustling environment. Known for its top-quality meats and seafood, the menu offers a variety of dishes that reflect Israel’s diverse food culture.
  • Port Said: A local favorite for Middle Eastern cuisine, Port Said offers a creative menu with an Israeli twist. The vibrant setting, excellent food, and inventive cocktails, combined with music from vinyl records, create a unique and enjoyable dining experience.
  • Ouzeria: Offering a Mediterranean-inspired menu, Ouzeria serves dishes that showcase the richness of Israeli cuisine. Its stylish decor, creative and flavorful food, and extensive wine list make it a great place for a culinary adventure.
  • Radio EPGB: This underground bar offers a unique mix of music, art, and alcohol. Known for its eclectic crowd and electric energy, it’s an ideal place for meeting new people and enjoying Tel Aviv’s vibrant nightlife.
  • Sputnik: A trendy bar in the heart of Tel Aviv’s nightlife district, Sputnik offers a large outdoor space, cozy corners, and creative cocktails. It draws a friendly, diverse crowd, making it a great spot for socializing.
  • The Norman Tel Aviv: A luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Tel Aviv, The Norman blends the elegance of the 1920s with modern comfort. It features beautifully designed rooms, a rooftop pool with city views, a wellness area, and top-class dining options.
  • Brown TLV Urban Hotel: Centrally located in Tel Aviv, this boutique hotel offers comfortable, stylish rooms with a vintage touch. Enjoy amenities like a rooftop lounge, complimentary bicycles for city exploration, and a cozy bar. The personalized service and convenient location make it an excellent choice for a mid-range accommodation option.
  • Florentine Hostel: This modern, clean hostel offers a range of private and dormitory rooms in the hip Florentin neighborhood. Its communal kitchen, cozy lounge area, and friendly staff provide an excellent opportunity to meet fellow travelers. Its location offers easy access to restaurants, shops, and nightlife.
  • Israel is currently experiencing a housing shortage for locals because of platforms like Airbnb or Vrbo. The local community would appreciate it if you book local-run hotels and accommodations.
  • Tel Aviv is a walking city so there’s no need to worry about transportation. You can walk anywhere, take a bus, or rent a bike. Just make sure to book an airport taxi transfer as the airport is far away from the center.
  • Don’t travel to Tel Aviv without insurance. Ekta Traveling is the recommended insurance (for travelers ages 2 months to 100 years old).

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10 Comments

  1. Wow, this is a very extensive guide and a fun place to explore and check out all the cool fun attractions, day time and night time in Tel Aviv, looks like it is easy and safe for solo travelers

  2. That’s so impressive that you went for a trip and decided to stay, and even more impressive that you decided to learn Hebrew. Great round up for those looking to do the same as you. I always trust guides by people who are considered local or spend significant amount of time in a place before considering them an expert in a destination.

  3. I’ve always wanted to visit Israel, and your comprehensive guide on Tel Aviv is further encouragement! With your helpful recommendations on where to stay and eat, planning a trip is far less overwhelming than I’d previous thought. Plus, it’s great to know it’s safe for solo travelers. I especially love the idea of volunteering with Worldpackers, too!

  4. Thanks for this long and detailed guide on staying in Tel Aviv! The solo travel experiences are impressive and how a set of young people always find things in common and enjoy together. Tel Aviv sure looks like a safe place to visitors. 🙂

  5. You are the compleat traveler! You have lived and imbibed the culture of so many places. And solo at that!!! I thought Tel Avib was a no-no place!

  6. Thank you for sharing this detailed post. This is so helpful for first-time travelers like me. Happy to know that everyone speaks in English since I have zero background in Hebrew (I would love to learn though!)

    It’s exciting to meet the young people of Tel Aviv. Looking forward to visiting them soon.

  7. I love this mega guide of yours. You have got me completely covered – from what is the best time to visit (autumn I think works) to the commute (love the bikes ) and finally what to see. You have even answered the safety concerns that I had. There is also, useful info on the currency and what really works there in terms of tipping. Brilliant stuff!

  8. This is so helpful and gives a great insight into Tel Aviv. I love coastal cities they always have a more of a relaxed atmosphere. I had no idea that the population there had so many young people and how green Tel Aviv is.

  9. Ok…i have been reading a lot about Tel Aviv and I have to say thsi is the most comprehensive and helpful blog i have read on teh city. great work! also, as a vegan (6.5 years now)….super pumped to hear how many amazing options there are. #OpensGoogleFlights 🙂

  10. Ive been checking a lot of materials, blogs and vlogs in the internet about traveling to Israel, particularly Tel Aviv, since I am going alone next week. Im nervous and excited at the same time. Hope I see it the way you do. I will check some places you mentioned. Thanks for a detailed guide ☺️

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