Tel Aviv things to do

P.S. I’m On My Way’s top things to do in Tel Aviv

Israel COVID travel update: As of January 10, 2020, you need to request for a travel permit in order to enter Israel. For more real-time COVID updates about Israel, get in touch with Trisha via Instagram, @psimonmyway.

Reader Mail: Dearest Trish, I know you lived in Tel Aviv for a whole lot and I am going this June for the pride parade! I bet that it’s going to be fun but can you suggest more things to do in Tel Aviv? My partner and I are staying a week after pride. Hope you can suggest something! If you are in the city, we’d love to meet you. Thank you for all your help!
– Tim Berg, Sweden

This post was last updated on January 10, 2021.

Hi Tim,

Thank you for writing! I am so thrilled that you are going to visit the city I love the most! There are many things to do in Tel Aviv and if you’re going to the pride parade, then more events are going to happen in the city. There will be so many parties on the streets on the week of pride – all establishments will make a gimmick.

Anyway, I’ve listed a few things you can do in the city after the pride, but if I were you, I’ll take it slow. Pride parade can take so much of your energy!

Have fun for me and enjoy Tel Aviv!

Xx,

Trisha

A little background about Tel Aviv and I: we have a lot of history. I lived here from 2016 – 2018 and it was one of the biggest whirlwinds of my life. I got denied a resident visa thrice for no reason until I gave up. Bureaucracy in Israel is not that easy to understand so my ex-boyfriend and I was forced to separate because of these rules.

Right now, I am still trying to move on from this crazy event but I still love Israel the same, especially Tel Aviv. The best years of my life happened when I was living here and even if they won’t give me a resident visa, I still will promote Israel as one of the best (and easy to navigate) tourist destinations in the world.

Here are the best things to do in Tel Aviv, according to my experience from living there. I am constantly updating this list so please feel free to bookmark or pin it on Pinterest!

Things to do in Tel Aviv

#1: Go to the beach every day!

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.

On my first day moving into my apartment in Tel Aviv, my friends already texted “hot boys alert. Go to the beach pronto.” See, my friends are all foreigners and are very much drawn to the Israeli physique. It became a daily habit to buy beers at a convenience store called “AM/PM” then lay our blankets at the beach.

Matkot is also a big deal – it’s like beach tennis but not really. Loud sounds of the matkot ball blaring on the racket echoes all over Tel Aviv. You will even hear it just before reaching the beach!

Safety for women in Israel

Experience the life in the city, in front of the Mediterranean sea. This is Tel Aviv!

Dog and gay beaches are also a thing in Israel. My hangout beach is 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 foreigner action happens.

Tel Aviv beaches

Metzitzim Beach. Normally flocked by families because the waters are shallow. If you are going with kids, there are lifeguards here so don’t worry!

Religious Beach. Most tourists don’t really go here as it is meant for, of course, the more religious community of Tel Aviv. This beach is said to be surrounded by walls. Women can go on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday; men can go on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Shabbat (Friday sundown to Saturday sundown), religious people can’t go to the beach so this will be empty!

Hilton Dog Beach. I don’t really bring my dog here as it is too far from our home but if you want to see a lot of dogs playing, this is your beach!

Gay Beach. When two of my gay friends visited me in Tel Aviv, we spent every waking day hanging out on this beach. Tel Aviv is the biggest gay city in the world so you can imagine how free-spirited the gays on this beach are. No limits!

Gordon, Frishman, and Bograshov Beaches. Most of the bars are here so this is a place to go after lunch. These beaches are a bit touristy than the rest in this list. I only tried eating at the beach-side restaurant once and they are so expensive! You can buy a beer at a convenience store and simply bring it here.

Geula Beach. When I was living in the city center, this is my beach!!! I love Geula Beach because you will see a more local scene (a lot of matkot players!). I almost joined a matkot tournament on this beach! There is also a gym-like structure here so you will see a lot of people working out.

Banana Beach. As I mentioned before, this is where I go when my girlfriends visit.  It is almost in the southmost part of the city (where I live) so you will see that this beach is more relaxed than the other beaches. Only a few crowds go here.

Jaffa Beach. My home and my every day! This is a surf beach so it’s also kind of empty at times. Dogs are allowed, too!

Things to do in Tel Aviv

#2: Eat, eat, and eat!

It could get a little expensive but you cannot NOT eat in Tel Aviv. This city is the capital of Israeli and Middle Eastern food. Israel has the highest percentage of vegans all over the world. 5-10% of the population is vegan so vegan food is served everywhere!

Tel Aviv is really a food capital – I think this is the only city I’ve been to where there are many places open till late. Israelis are voracious eaters. The culture here is eating out after a long day at work. I don’t have a lot of friends who cook a lot in their homes!

Tel Aviv Food Guide

Below are some of the places I recommend to try in Israel:

  • Best breakfast: Cafe Xoho at Gordon Street 17
  • Best vegan: Anastasia at Frishman St 54
  • Best hummus: Abu Hassan at Ha-Dolfin St 1
  • Best sabich: HaKosem at Shlomo ha-Melekh St 1
  • Best burger: Vitrina at Lilienblum 40
  • Best pizza: Teder.fm at Derech Jaffa 9
  • Best Thai food: Thai House at Bograshov St 8
  • Best Mexican food: Taqueria at Levontin St 28
  • Best Indian food: Bunny Chow at Rothschild 36
  • Best Chinese food: Xing Long at Shalma Road 134
Things to do in Tel Aviv

#3: Discover the Tel Aviv nightlife

I’ve been to Berlin and Warsaw but Tel Aviv nightlife tops the best in nightlife list. I never experienced going out short because everything is open 24/7! I would normally start my night at The Prince because all the people I know hang out and work here. However, when they opened their sister bar in Jaffa called Cuckoo’s Nest, I frequented there because it’s a 5-min bicycle ride from my apartment!

nightlife in tel aviv

Read also: Best bars and clubs in Tel Aviv

Some bars in the residential areas like The Prince has to be closed by 23:00. This is a city mandate for all the bars operating in Tel Aviv but there are a lot of places that are not in the housing area.

If you’re not familiar with the cost of living in Israel, you will find the drinks very expensive. A pint of beer starts at 35 NIS ($9.70 USD) but you will be able to find places with cheaper prices like Salon Berlin. It’s always happy hour here!

Things to do in Tel Aviv

#4: Go to museums and art galleries

Tel Aviv is home to artists and has a lot of new galleries and museums popping out all over the city. Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the primary museum of the city, you will see a lot of paintings by Van Gogh, Chagall, Picasso, and Jackson Pollack.

things to do in tel aviv

Here’s a list of the museums and art galleries you should visit in Tel Aviv:

  1. Rubin Museum
  2. The Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art
  3. Bauhaus Center
  4. Chelouche Gallery
  5. Sommer Contemporary Art
  6. Beit Ha’ir
  7. Nahum Gutman Museum Of Art
  8. Ilana Goor Museum
  9. Meshuna
  10. Alon Segev
  11. Gallery Har-El
  12. Centre for Contemporary Art
  13. Indie & Hanina
  14. Binyamini Ceramic Centre
  15. Dvir Gallery
  16. Art Space TLV

My favorite hangout in Jaffa, Cuckoo’s Nest is a bar but they do different art installations every month. You should swing by for drinks and art!

Things to do in Tel Aviv

#5: Explore Tel Aviv's neighborhoods!

The Tel Aviv neighborhoods are really interesting as none of them looks like each other. They all have their unique traits. Of course, my favorite is Jaffa, where I lived.

Jaffa, or Yafo, is an ancient port city and its history traces back to biblical times. It is officially part of Tel Aviv since 1950, and a large Arab population call is home. You must visit its flea market, on the cobblestone streets of the Old City, check out its vibrant nightlife and sample its culinary gems – from some of the best hummus in Israel to trendy Asian restaurants.

I would put Kerem Hateimanim as my second best neighborhood. I was once obsessed about living here! This area was founded by the Yemenite 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.

things to do in tel aviv

Neve Tzedek is another obsession. I couldn’t find a cheap apartment here but I would also want to live here! It 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.

Florentin is also a different world. With everything from vegan delights, 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, musicians. It has a grungy charm.

Things to do in Tel Aviv

#6: Visit all the markets in Tel Aviv!

You don’t have to buy, but you can look. Going around the markets in the city is one of the top things to do in Tel Aviv! You can buy spices, antiques, clothes, souvenirs — each market in Tel Aviv sells something different.

Shuk HaCarmel – HaCarmel St 11 [get directions]

The most famous of them all where people buy food. The bulk they are selling in this shuk are fruits, vegetables, and spices. Locals come here every day as the prices are a lot cheaper than the supermarket. There are also a lot of food stalls you can try! Clothes are also sold here.

Sunday to Thursday: 7am-7pm; Friday: 7am-4pm (closes earlier during winter)

things to do in tel aviv

Levinsky Market – Levinsky, Tel Aviv [get directions]

If you think you’ve seen spices at the HaCarmel Shuk, Levinsky Market has double. This market is full of Iraquis, Indians, and even Chinese! This is where I go whenever I want to make Asian food – they have ingredients from Asia that I couldn’t find anywhere in Israel! This is also near Florentine, a quirky neighborhood of hipsters where you can sit down for coffee.

Sunday to Thursday: 8am-6pm; Friday: 8am-4:30pm (closes earlier during winter)

Jaffa Flea Market – Olei Zion St, Tel Aviv [get directions]

Also known as Shuk HaPishpishim, Jaffa Flea Market is frequented by antique collectors and of course, the hipsters. In this market, you will find second-hand vintage pieces that are well taken care of. The sellers here speak antique! Vintage sofa, vintage headpiece, vintage clothes – everything “vintage” is in this market. I promise you will love it! There are also a lot of good street food here so if you ever get hungry while looking (or buying), food is just around the corner.

Sunday to Thursday: 10am-6pm; Friday: 9am-2pm

Nahalat Binyamin Craft Market – Nahalat Binyamin St [get directions]

Now, these guys are not on this street permanently. They are only here every Tuesdays and Fridays, literally on the street selling arts, crafts, jewelry, organic soap — anything you can think of that an Israeli can make by hand. I met a lot of great artists here selling their crafts and what they make are pretty out of the normal – you’ll love it!

Tuesdays and Fridays 10:00 am – sundown

Things to do in Tel Aviv

#7: Go around Tel Aviv on a bicycle

Biking is part of the Tel Avivian lifestyle. When I moved here, I had to get a bike myself! Everyone uses it as a mode of transport but tourists can experience the city through a bike with Tel-o-fun. If you are walking around Tel Aviv, you will see a lot of green bikes on every corner – they are for rent so try them out!

Tel Aviv is a small city so you’ll never have a hard time navigating it yourself. You can take them from point A and then return them anywhere you see the green bike station (which is all over the city). You don’t have to return them where you got them! You can also use a credit card at the Tel-o-fun stations.

things to do in tel aviv

Tel-o-fun bike rental prices:

  • Three-day access –  48 NIS ($13 USD)
  • Daily Access Fee – 17 ILS ($5 USD)
  • Daily Access Fee (Saturdays and Public Holidays) – 23 ILS ($6 USD)
  • Weekly Access Fee – 70 ILS ($19 USD)
Things to do in Tel Aviv

#8: Experience the best Israeli craft beers

Are you a craft beer fan? I normally don’t drink beer but craft beer is my jam! Having a vibrant nightlife, Tel Aviv is big on drinks and an Israeli craft beer tour is a good way to get to know this industry.

things to do in israel

I’ve been to lots of craft beer breweries in Israel and they are really good at this! Please note that all these beers are 100% locally made. There are over 10 types of craft beers in Israel and I sincerely recommend this activity.

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.

Comments

  • Danik
    May 5, 2019

    I have to admit, Tel Aviv is a much better city than the others in the country and much more relaxed. When i went one January I was so lucky with the weather that I was checking out the beach for a few hours and loving life. 🙂

    reply
  • Nicole LaBarge
    May 8, 2019

    I can’t wait to go to Tel Aviv. There is so much to do! I had no idea about the beaches though – that’s a plus!

    reply
  • Suruchi
    May 9, 2019

    Tel Aviv looks amazing and the best thing is it’s blessed with so many beautiful beaches. I think I too will be hound there everyday. Nightlife too looks great here and architecture too. Great write up. Loved it

    reply
  • Medha Verma
    May 9, 2019

    Wow, Tel Aviv actually sounds like a pretty cool city to explore! I love the fact that it has great nightlife and fantastic food. And going to a beach everyday is something I can get totally used to, I am such a beach bum (and having some hot men to look at wouldn’t hurt either lol). Seems like Tel Aviv should be on my bucket list!

    reply

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