Travel to Tel Aviv is an authentic experience for travelers. Tel Aviv, the bustling, vibrant, fun heartland and financial capital of Israel, wears many hats and is known by many names. It is officially called Tel Aviv-Jaffa, but is also the Big Orange, the City That Never Sleeps, The New Capital of Cool and the White City. The Lonely Plant Guide named Tel Aviv as one of the three trendiest destinations for 2011. The largest city in Israel, Tel Aviv is situated on the Mediterranean coast in the centre of the country.
Take a walk along the promenade from Jaffa in the south all the way alongside the green parks and beaches past the Marina and hotel district to the Old Tel Aviv Port, where a multitude of fish restaurants, gourmet eateries and casual dining spots are located – all facing the sea across the boardwalk for the best views possible. Entertainers and musicians frequent this area which is thronged with people day and night, creating the lively and energetic atmosphere synonymous with Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv has developed into a secular and liberal-minded city with a café culture and vibrant nightlife over the past 60 years, which can be seen in the Tel Aviv trips when taking a walk by its great avenues.
There are many colourful and exotic markets in Tel Aviv and Jaffa. Wander around Old Jaffa and visit the Flea Market to pick up interesting antiques from all over the Middle East and North Africa – from where a large proportion of Israel’s population originates. Visit Carmel Market, where the freshest fruit and vegetables (and many other items) are on sale – it is a riot of colour, a cacophony of sounds and the true aroma of the Middle East. On Fridays and Saturdays there is an ecology-friendly and green farmers’ market at the Old Port, known for its handmade and home produced cheeses, olives and olive oils, honeys, natural tehina and halva, and cakes and breads. Go south to the Florentine district where the Levinsky Spice Market sells herbs and spices peculiar to the Middle Eastern kitchen; or head to the Betzalel Market off King George Street in the centre of the city to scrounge for top fashion labels at giveaway prices. Try the national snack – falafel (spiced chick pea balls) – at one of the stalls in the area.
Tel Aviv is known as the White City because of the concentration of Bauhaus (or International Style) buildings, built by immigrants who came from Germany before the outbreak of WWII. These well preserved buildings are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In contrast, Time Magazine named Tel Aviv as a world centre of modern architecture, examples of which can be seen everywhere.
On a cultural note, Tel Aviv has many historical sites, museums and art galleries of note, as well as being home to national ballet companies, the Israel Opera and the Israel Philharmonic. The city’s pulsing night life offers music of all genres to the younger generation in pubs and clubs around the city.
But its beaches are also one of the reasons to visit Tel Aviv and both tourists and Israelis are planning to travel to Tel Aviv, to approach its typical soft sandy shores of the Mediterranean after its famous museums, restaurants and theaters. It helps a benevolent climate of hot summers and strong illumination during all months of the year.
The above snippets offer just a small taste of what is available in this most exciting of cities, so come to visit and have the time of your life.