Tel Aviv wasn’t what I thought of when I thought of Israel. After a great stay in traditional, religious Jerusalem, I kind of expected more of the same. But when I traveled to Tel Aviv by sherut, or shared taxi, I discovered a place as cosmopolitan and trendy as any beachside city on the Mediterranean.

Sculpture by the beach in Tel Aviv Israel

I had heard tell of Tel Aviv’s beautiful beaches and great nightlife, but it wasn’t until I got there that I understood just how true the stories were. The beaches stretched all down the coast, offering no shortage of pristine sand.

Coastline in Tel Aviv Israel as seen from Jaffa

On my first evening in the city, I walked along the waterfront promenade, taking in the atmosphere, the beach bars, and the beautiful sunset behind the tall masts in the harbor.

Sunset in Tel Aviv Israel

On my first full day in the city, I hit the sand once again. A fellow London travel blogger introduced me to some of his friends in Tel Aviv via Twitter, and off we went to Mezizim Beach. It was one of the first spectacularly warm weekends of the year, and locals and visitors alike flocked to the shore.

Beach in Tel Aviv Israel

After sunbathing, we headed over to a beachside bar called Mike’s Place. It was popular with the American and British expat crowd, not least because it aired the games and matches of those countries’ popular sporting teams. That night it was a soccer game, and the place was packed with punters.

Colorful building in Tel Aviv Israel

After the match we ventured out into the warm evening to experience more of Tel Aviv’s famous nightlife. We made our way to a bar called Mate on Dizengoff, where we spent the evening drinking local beer and playing pool.

Pool table at Mate bar in Tel Aviv Israel

The next day I was up early to explore some of Tel Aviv’s historic areas. Despite the city’s stylish flair, I knew that it—like Jerusalem—had its share of cultural treasures.

Jaffa as seen from Tel Aviv Israel

One of those was Jaffa. Located at the southern end of the city, the port of Jaffa is one of the oldest in the world. Today the area is home to a mix of historic buildings, contemporary shops and restaurants, and bustling markets.

Furniture for sale in Jaffa Israel

I walked around for a bit before sitting at an outdoor table at Sifo, a seafood restaurant in Jaffa that came recommended by one of the people I had met the day before. My lunch consisted of a two salads and a large portion of fresh fish. It was the perfect seaside meal.

Lentil salad for lunch at Sifo restaurant in Jaffa Israel

After lunch I walked up the high hill overlooking Jaffa before heading back into the city to see another of its gems: the Carmel Market. The bustling food market offered everything from fruits and vegetables to sweet baklava and fresh juices. The streets around it were packed with trendy cafes where Tel Aviv’s beautiful people sat sipping drinks and watching the world go by.

Tower in Jaffa Israel

As I went by, I made my way to the famous Rothschild Boulevard, which was famous for its Bauhaus architecture, wide pedestrian path, and abundance of cafes. It was there that I spent my last hours in Tel Aviv, and the beauty of the surroundings made it worth my while.

Building on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv Israel

Soon I was on the train from Tel Aviv to the airport, where I checked in for my flight back to London. I was surprised at how little trouble the border agents gave me given that I had stamps and visas from so many of Israel’s neighbors in my passport. Both on the way in and the way out, I breezed through without any problems.

Tower in Jaffa Israel

After having such an easy time at the border, I knew I wouldn’t hesitate to travel to Tel Aviv again in the future. That is true not least because I now know that the city offers an amazing mix of the cosmopolitan and the historic. And that’s to say nothing of the sun. Given that it has been pouring rain in London for the past month, my next visit might come sooner than later!

13 Comments on Lady in Tel Aviv

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one that didn’t expect Tel Aviv to be so cosmopolitan, Pam! You’ll have to visit someday to see it firsthand!

      • Thanks Pam! I’m really glad I got to be in Jerusaelm at such a special time of year. And the hummus was amazing!

  1. I didn’t expect Tel-Aviv to be like that at all. Beaches and bars – sounds like a place i would enjoy! 😀

  2. I knew Tel Aviv was a modern city, but for whatever reason even though I know it’s on the coast I hadn’t realized it would have such nice beaches. Looks like the perfect spot for a getaway since it seems to have a bit of everything.

    • I didn’t realize the beaches would be so nice either, Emily. It was a very pleasant surprise!

  3. Discovered your own write-up and photos incredibly interesting. I’ll save this blog for the future! Really outstanding write-up.

  4. Tel Aviv is amazing!! I ran in the 2012 Tel Aviv Gillette Marathon last year and it was unbelievable. The course was through the city (so much to see!), the weather was perfect, and the finish line was right on the beach! The vibes in this place are unbeatable.

    • Hi Sara! That’s really impressive that you ran a marathon in Tel Aviv! I imagine it would be a great place for it.

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