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!
ℹ️ Tel Aviv travel at a glance
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.
Israel uses type C, H, and M plugs, the same as Europe and the United Kingdom.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The city’s gastronomic palette rapidly evolved to incorporate elements from Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jewish traditions, contributing to its rich, hybrid culinary identity.
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.
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.
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.
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
Trisha is one of those people who left their comfortable life to travel the world and learn about life. Her style is to stay in one place she likes for 3 months (or more) to know what it feels like to eat, cook, speak, and sleep in another culture that isn’t hers. She’d like to believe she’s not traditionally traveling but she just chooses to be somewhere else all the time. In no particular order, her favorite cities in the world are Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Mexico City, and Tel Aviv.