Written by Hadas Aharon from The Fashion Matters
Tel Aviv’s rich history, culture and amazing nightlife makes it one of the most lively and exciting cities in the world. With its beautiful sandy beaches, cosmopolitan culture, UNESCO recognized architecture and vibrant atmosphere- this Mediterranean paradise is a must-visit.
Where to stay on a budget?
Tel Aviv offers wide variety of accommodation options, ranging from Airbnb and budget hostels to luxurious boutique hotels. If you are a budget traveller you can stay at the Beachfront hostel, which has an excellent location. Prices start at 65$, which is an average price for a hostel in Tel Aviv. The hostel is clean, well designed and well situated on the famous Tel-Aviv beach promenade. The promenade is the most popular part of the town among tourists which makes the location ideal. The hostel can be accessible via train from the airport followed by a bus, however I would recommend taking a taxi from the train station, as finding the right bus lane can be tricky for tourists. Some of the best attractions in Tel Aviv are within a walking distance from the beach or just a short bus ride away. With a huge roof-top lounge, friendly stuff, and rooms overlooking the beach- this hostel is perfect for young travellers. Alternatively, you can even do Couchsurfing since it is very popular in Tel Aviv.
On the contrary, if you want to have a unique experience Hotel Indigo Tel Aviv – Diamond District will be a good choice. The boutique hotel is located at the heart of the city, close to Tel Aviv’s shopping district and easily accessible to the beach. It is perfectly situated near Rothschild Boulevard, with its trendy restaurants and bars. Indigo hotel is designed to be an “Art Deco reinterpretation of the world’s most precious stone”. The hotel has a rooftop overlooking the city skyline, with a gorgeous swim pool and a cocktail bar. Prices start at 150$ per night.
Where to eat on a budget?
While visiting Israel, you have to taste the local Middle Eastern dishes. Falafel is one of those local dishes. For those who are not familiar, Falafel is deep-fried balls made from ground chickpeas and fava beans, commonly served with vegetables inside a Pita (suitable for vegetarians). You can find Falafel shops literally everywhere around the city, all of which offer really cheap prices because Falafel is street food. Those shops usually also going to have Hummus and Shawarma (meat), which are also typical dishes. In case you want to go for a proper fancy dinner, Messa is the restaurant for you. The restaurant offers international fusion dishes with prices starting at 96 NIS. If you happen to visit the Jaffa flea market, don’t miss the legendary restaurant Dr. Shakshuka. Shakshuka is the ultimate Israeli breakfast, and the restaurant is the best place to eat it. For pizza lovers, Tony Vespa has the best and most affordable pizza in town, located in Rothschild Boulevard. In additional, Cofix Bar is a coffee shop with branches all around town. They are known for selling everything on the shop, such sandwiches and coffee, for just 5 NIS (approximately 1.30$).
What to do?
Gordon Beach- People in Tel Aviv love to hang out at the beach during the hot summer days (May-August).
Neve Tzedek– This historical neighbourhood is a hidden gem since it is not so known for tourist, even though it’s a must visit for its beautiful old architecture and cultural aspect.
Rothschild Boulevard– The Boulevard is the cultural, culinary and leisure center of the city.
Jaffa- Apart from providing an amazing viewpoint of the beach of Tel Aviv, Jaffa is also known for its ancient port and the beauty of the Old City.
The Carmel Market- This is the place to go if you’re looking for cheap souvenirs.
Rent a bike- Bikes are a huge part of the Tel Aviv’s culture, as it is the preferred transport of choice by many locals. There are bike rental stations all over town. The best bike root would be from Tel Aviv port in the North of the city and all the way down to Jaffa in the South.
Tel Aviv Port- The Tel Aviv port is a fun hang-out place for Tel Avivians. With its cute shops and cool cafes by day and nightclubs by night, the port is one of the hottest places in town.
Nightlife- Tel Aviv’s nightlife is the best at the Middle East. With Tel Aviv offering such a wide variety of places to go out (dance bars, pubs & nightclubs), there’s no wonder tourists love to party in the city. During the summer, the hottest club in town is Clara, which is located on the beach and hosts the best DJs. Alternatively, you can hit Dizingoff st. or Rothschild Boulevard for trendy bars frequent by the city’s Hipsters and bohemians. The gay and lesbian scene is also very strong in Tel Aviv’s nightlife.
What not to do?
Don’t rent a car if you’re only planning to stay in Tel Aviv since it won’t be practical, parking in the city is hard to find and parking lots are expensive. Therefore, taxis and public transportation is your best choice. Also, if you’re into drinking and partying you should know that supermarkets stop selling alcohol after 23:00 and alcohol in bar and clubs is quite expensive. You should also know that you can walk around the city even at night with no worries since the city is quite safe.
3 fun facts?
- Tel Aviv’s annual gay pride is one of the biggest attractions for gay and lesbian tourists in Asia.
- Every August Tel Aviv hosts a Hummus Festival in HaYarkon Park.
- The Facebook group “Secret Tel Aviv” is the best online community to ask locals questions regarding Tel Aviv.
This great guide was written by Hadas Aharon and you can read her blog here. Check her out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. If you are looking for more accommodation then check out Agoda and Hostelworld, I highly recommend them. Travel insurance? Go World Nomads, a trusted and reliable travel insurance company.
Author: My name is Hadas Aharon, I’m 24 years old fashion writer and MA student from Israel. I recently became an expat for the third time, currently living in England. I created my blog “the Fashion Matters” to share my personal travel stories, expat journey, and travel outfits.