By Idan Mor ‘21
Tel Aviv, though not as world famous as Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, is just as exciting. Tel Aviv is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, filled with rich activities and wonderful places to visit. No trip to Israel is complete without exploring this amazing city. As an Israeli who got to experience this wonderful city as a resident, I want to share my favorite places in the city with you so that you too can experience it as a local. So forget everything you knew about Tel Aviv, and come visit this non-stop city with fresh eyes. I can assure you that it will leave you breathless.
Here are my top five spots to visit in Tel Aviv:
No. 5- Tel Aviv’s Port
This is one of my favorite places to go in the city. When visiting, you should rent a Segway at the port and roll down the beautiful wooden promenade by the water. Let the salty waves splash at you while gazing at the spectacular orange sunset over the Mediterranean sea. If you’re hungry, I suggest hopping off the Segway and dining at some of the restaurants in the port. I’m extremely fond of the local ice cream shops.
No. 4- Dizengoff Street
Just as Manhattan has Fifth Avenue, Tel Aviv has Dizengoff Street. This street is filled with the most unique shops in all of Israel. Take a walk around the street and discover some of the best designer clothing shops, local vintage clothing, and little boutique jewelry stores. I recommend eating at some of the many restaurants and food stands the street has to offer, especially the small coffee shops and Susu and Sons, which has the best hamburgers in town. Make sure to allot a few hours to just wandering around.
No. 3- Shopping In Shuk Hacarmel
This is a Tel Aviv must-see. This market, located in the Heart of Tel Aviv, is the best way to get a taste of the Israeli shuk experience. As you wander around you can find small local shops that sell all sorts of things, from “I love Tel Aviv” shirts to hand-knitted kippot. Don’t be scared of the loud noise; it is what makes the Shuk so special, along with the various interesting people shopping there and the strong aroma of different spices. Go for breakfast and try some bourekas and shakshuka from the food places in this market. I especially like the delicious fresh juice stalls. Note that the market is not open during Shabbat.
No. 2- Try The Amazing Hummus in Jaffa
Some people might not know that Tel Aviv’s full name is Tel Aviv-Yafo, and it contain within it the beautiful city of Jaffa. Jaffa is one of my favorite places to visit in the city. It is cosmopolitan, diverse and filled with surprises in every corner. Because of its large population of Muslim Israelis, the place is filled with delicious Arabic food, like malabi (a white jelly dessert with sweet rose sauce on top), kanafeh (a sweet cheese dessert), falafel, and of course, hummus. While you explore the spectacular old city of Jaffa, make sure to step inside one of the local Arabic restaurants and try the most amazing hummus you’ll ever eat. I especially like eating at Abu Hassan restaurant, located on Dolphin Street. Go for their special hummus dish: “triple” or meshulash in Hebrew.
No.1- Tel Aviv’s beach
Tel Aviv’s beach is not only my favorite place in the city, but also one of the favored weekend spots of many Israelis. When visiting, you should rent a stand-up paddle board and paddle around the beautiful blue sea. If you get the chance, try paddling over the breakwater to watch the boats sailing around. This is also another lovely place to watch the sunset from. If you’re into sports, bring a ball and play a game of volleyball in the beach. If you’re more the sitting-down type, bring a towel, place it on the soft sand, and buy a popsicle from one of the many “Arctic Guys” who walk around the beach selling popsicles. The activities are endless and all are enjoyable.
Israel is a spectacular country with many magnificent sites to visit. Tel Aviv is just one of them, and even in this small city, there are so many intriguing things to see. The locations I mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg. In your next visit to Israel, follow my advice, and I can assure you that you’ll enjoy it!