Be my guest
TEL AVIV. The joy of living on the Spring Hill.
Tel Aviv is a young, vibrant city. It is modern, open, tolerant; on the one hand very secular, while on the other, religious and traditional. I love it for the fact that its citizens can appreciate fun, art and good food, and that the access to the beach and 360 sunny days a year make the joy of life visible at every step.
Tel Aviv, the most exciting and entertaining city of Israel, was founded only a hundred years ago next to Jaffa, an ancient Arab port. Jews from all over the world came here influenced by the Zionist movement, which was formed in the 19th century. Feeling uncomfortable in the Arab city, they decided to set up their own – this is how Neve Tzedek neighbourhood, the first Jewish settlement outside the walls of Jaffa, was established in 1887. It expanded so quickly that already in 1910 the city received the new name: Tel Aviv – Spring Hill. After the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, Tel Aviv and Jaffa were merged into one agglomeration.
MOST FAMOUS FOR:
nightlife, beach, food, modernist architecture.
IN SEARCH OF HISTORY::
Jewish history – the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, where you will get acquainted with Jewish history, Eretz-Israel Museum – to learn about Islamic works, Jaffa – one of the oldest districts whose history you can learn in the Museum of Antiquities.
MOST INTERESTING MONUMENTS AND ARCHITECTURE::
The White City, a complex of Bauhaus-style buildings, modernism in Tel Aviv and the contrasting ancient Ottoman style in Old Jaffa.
ONE DEFINITELY NEEDS TO::
play matkot on the beach, i.e. hitting a soft ball with racquets.
IN SEARCH OF FLAVOURS::
borekas dumplings, hilbehu soup, shakshuka, etrog tincture.
A PLACE FOR A WALK::
Boulevards by the beach at sunset, HaYarkon park.
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK::
Murals and graffiti in the Florentin district; art galleries in the Shapiradistrict.
Although Tel Aviv is called the State of Tel Aviv, as the prices and costs of living there are much higher than in other parts of Israel, a visit to this city does not have to drain your wallet. Tel Aviv oﬀers many places to see and things to do that do not require fortune. I always encourage tourists to take a walk through the historical districts of the city. The frst one is the already mentioned oldest district of Tel Aviv called Neve Tzedek, considered the prettiest by the citizens. The historic houses located along the narrow streets have a unique character, with some of them being true pearls of architecture.
BUILDINGS AND FAIRS
From the north, Neve Tzedek is connected with the White City, an urban complex consisting of 4,000 Bauhaus-style buildings. The modernist housing estate was designed by a group of Jewish architects who in the 1930s came to Palestine, ﬂeeing from Nazi Germany. The building complex is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. In Nachalat Binyamin district, squeezed between the White City and Neve Tzedek, you can fnd the Nachalat Binyamin Arts and Crafts Fair, one of the largest ﬂea markets in Israel. It is a perfect place to buy cheap souvenirs from the country! I like to take my friends for breakfast to the nearby largest food market in Tel Aviv called Carmel. Food at Carmel Market is very cheap, which is why it attracts large crowds, especially on Fridays. If you have a chance, it is better to visit the market during the week. On Sabbath, i.e. Saturday, the market is closed.
Among the most popular places to visit in Tel Aviv, is of course Old Jaﬀa. There you can fnd one of the oldest seaports in the world, where ships of ancien merchants, and in the Middle Ages – crusaders, docked. Today, Jaﬀa is inhabited mainly by the Arab community, and the atmosphere of the old city is more oriental than the entire Tel Aviv itself. I like to stroll lazily through the ancient stone streets and look into small alleys. I also recommend visiting the Mahmoudia mosque from the 12th century.
I defnitely encourage every visitor to try some local food. Israel oﬀers much more than hummus and falafels. I love Israeli cuisine for its fusion of tastes from the Middle East, Africa and Europe. For breakfast I often have shakshouka. It is a dish with eggs slowly poached in a skillet with fried peppers and tomatoes. As for desserts, the most popular one is called knafeh. It can be described as fried goat cheese, sprinkled with some dough, pistachio nuts and glazed with orange syrup. However, I am not able to eat too much of it because it is too sweet! Some other examples of Tel Aviv delicacies is aubergine (e.g. as baba ganush dip) as well as diﬀerent kinds of bread, olives, dates, pomegranates, fgs or nuts.
However, what I love the most about Tel Aviv and the reason why I want to come back there every now and then is people. The city is bursting with energy and itis easy to see that its inhabitants live their lives to the fullest. They are open, sociable and happily spend time outdoors with their friends and family. They live as if there was no tomorrow. We can encounter crowds of people on the beach stretching along the city, but the place to be on Fridays is defnitely its southern part, which becomes the Drum Beach every week. Diﬀerent kinds of drummers, dancers, street performers as well as party lovers gather together to start the weekend in the rhythm of music.
Mimo że miasto bawi się 24 godziny na dobę, to jednak Tel Awiw słynie ze swojego bogatego życia nocnego. W mieście mnóstwo jest barów i klubów, a te najbardziej popularne i najlepsze znajdują się w okolicy bulwaru Rothschilda. Zwykle zapełniają się dopiero po północy, a sami telawiwczycy nie wychodzą z domów przed godziną dziesiątą wieczorem. Jadąc do Tel Awiwu, skupmy się więc nie tylko na zwiedzaniu, ale też spróbujmy życia nocnego – tego, co w TLV najlepsze! Śmiało mogę polecić takie kluby jak Lima-Lima czy Valium.
OFF THE TRACK
Tel Aviv has also a district similar to London’s Soho. Florentin, as it is called, used to be a workingclass neighbourhood inhabited mainly by the immigrants and the poor. In time, the districtevolved into the centre of art. Bars, restaurants or art galleries started to emerge in the narrow streets of Florentin, whereas nightclubs popular with the young inhabitants of the city were established in old warehouses and basements. If you want to experience the real life of Tel Aviv apart from most common tourist destinations, I recommend to spend a day and night in Florentin.
LIKE A LOCAL
In order to feel like a local, you should goto the south of Tel Aviv. You can start yourone-day trip from the Main Bus Station,which is the second largest facility of thistype in the world. Further, it is worth goingthrough the Shapira and Florentin districts,where charming local art galleries are located,finishing at the Levinsky market full offine restaurants.
Fresh Paint Fair, Opera in the Park; Tel Aviv Illustration Week
EPOS International Art Film Festival, Docaviv; TLVFest; Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival
Tel Aviv Marathon; Tel Aviv Night Run; Cycle Tel Aviv; Sail Tel Aviv
Other festivals and events
Pride Week; Dragon Boat Festival Laila Lavan; Purim festival and street parades (20-21 march)