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It’s the startup city. The nonstop city. The vegan capital of the world. The home of Bauhaus architecture. The world’s best gay city. The 7th greenest city in the world, and one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 hedonistic cities of the world. Whether it's the thriving work culture, or the vibrant nightlife, cuisine, art, architecture, or friendly environment that attracts you to Tel Aviv, your summer studying and working in Tel Aviv, Israel, is going to be one to remember!
iX 2017 alum, Brittany Levy, on Tel Aviv's top attractions
Although a small city, Tel Aviv offers the opportunity for a new adventure each and every day. After spending 10 weeks in Tel Aviv, I still left feeling as though there was more to explore! There are so many things happening at any given hour of the day – from watching the sunrise at Gordon Beach, to grabbing a bite on your way home after a long night out, the city is alive with possibilities. Check out my must-dos below.
Hummus, tahini and chickpeas
• Carmel and Levinsky Markets – known as “shuks” in Hebrew, these markets sell everything from spices to fruits & vegetables, pastries to meat, and clothing to electronics.
• Sarona Market – as a sharp contrast to the aforementioned traditional foods markets, Sarona is a gourmet indoor food hall that houses some of Israel’s most popular chefs.
• Authentic Hummus Spots – check out places like Abu Hassan, Mashawasha, Abu Ghosh, Abu Dabi, The Syrian’s Son, and Hummus Eliyahu for a little taste of heaven.
• The Old Man and the Sea – bring friends and an empty stomach for unlimited Israeli salads (includes 18 different salads, warm pita bread, hummus, and lemonade) all for 100 shekel ($28).
• Miznon – as the pioneer of high quality street food, this place offers delicious meat in a pita, and epitomizes the Israeli loud and chaotic atmosphere.
• Vegan places – with restaurants like Anastasia, Café XoHo, Meshek Barzilay, Herzog, Bana, Citizen Garden, and many more, it comes as no surprise that Tel Aviv is known as the vegan capital of the world.
• Lala Land – although a little pricey, this place offers the opportunity to enjoy a delicious meal while having your toes in the sand and watching a beautiful view of the beach.
• Benedict – the 24/7 breakfast place that attracts customers at any hour, whether they're craving a delicious brunch or pancakes after a night out (order the banana pancakes!).
• Ice cream/frozen yogurt – beating the summer heat is the perfect excuse to try some of the delicious ice cream and frozen yogurt that Tel Aviv has to offer, including Anita, Aldo, Tamara Yogurt, Leggenda, and Cookeez.
• Shalvata, Lighthouse, and Litzman: the three clubs on the Tel Aviv port that guarantee a good time on any night of the week (especially Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays). Expect to see a hip, young crowd, and many internationals.
• Bars on Rothschild Boulevard: whether you’re a hipster, jazz music junkie, or a party-goer looking to hit the dance floor, Rothschild has a scene for you! Some popular places include Kuli Alma, Sputnik, Billie Jean, Lima Lima, Jimmy Who, and Radio EPGB. You could also get a feel for the different vibes at several bars in one night by going to the D- TLV Pub Crawl.
• Cocktail bars: Tel Aviv has some lively cocktail bars that offer delicious drinks, including Spicehaus, Imperial, Double Standard, Bellboy, 223, and Room Service.
Weekend exploring in Tel Aviv
Even though the city shuts down for Shabbat between sunsets on Friday and Saturday, there is still plenty to do.
• Attend a traditional Shabbat dinner with a family through White City Shabbat or Inspired Tel Aviv.
• Hit the markets Friday morning, before they close for Shabbat, to stock up for the week! There is also a craft market, with handmade items on Fridays, called Nachalat Binyamin (right next to the Carmel Market).
• Use your day of relaxation to hit the beach on Saturday! There is over 150 miles of Mediterranean coastline in Israel, and over 50 public beaches. Expect to pay up to 30 shekels for a bed… or be Israeli and bring a rug – you can get big ones for about 40 shekels in the Shuk.
• Go on a free walking tour to explore neighborhoods, in Tel Aviv, like Neve Tsedek, Florentin, Jaffa, and Sarona.