After five days of exploring the different parts of Israel, I found myself being driven to its financial capital city with a very fitting song ” Yahabibi Tel Aviv ” blasting from the car radio. I had no idea what to expect. So far Israel had turned out to be the most delightful surprise and I couldn’t imagine Tel Aviv to be any different. What I hadn’t envisioned was leaving with an extremely heavy heart after two days of exploring this vivacious city. The city is liberal, accepting, and so full of life and colour that no matter how many days you spend in Tel Aviv, it makes you fall in love and not want to leave. Unlike many other cities, there aren’t many historical monuments or specific tourist attractions. One forgets this is a young country born in 1948 but while there are not many traditional sightseeing spots, there are plenty of neighbourhoods that ooze their own charm and make the city come alive. There is enough and more to do, see and experience to, enough to give you a small insight into how to enjoy this vivid city.
Boogie on the Beach – Some of the best beaches in the world are found in Tel Aviv and it would be a crime to spend time in the city without soaking up some fun in the sun. Plenty of activities to indulge in or you can just laze and enjoy a spectacular Israeli sunset but my favourite is taking a segaway tour across the beach where you can spend over an hour zipping up and down soaking up every single sight and sound.
Stroll Through Old Jaffa / Yafo – The southern part of Tel Aviv is a home to the historic port city of Jaffa. Walking through Jaffa ( also known as Yafo ) feels like taking a walk back in time but with distinct hints of the present like the colourful boutique shops and smaller trendy cafes. The walls and buildings are part of the Israeli heritage and home to the old harbour making it an important trade stop. It is unlike any other neighbourhood in the city and well worth your time to walk about and enjoy this almost Mediterranean like neighbourhood.
Explore Levinsky Market – For a real taste of culture and a great representation of the mix of immigrants in Israel, you need to visit the popular Lenvinsky Market. Dedicated to food stores, small cafes, and well established restaurants, this place is bursting with energy in an onslaught to your senses. All sorts of food, fruit, nuts, and pastry are available here and it is where local frequent more than the tourists. The mornings tend to be sleepy here, but with afternoon it’s bursting with people.
Haggle At Carmel Market – When you say Market in Tel Aviv, it usually denotes food but in this case Carmel Market is your one stop shop for some serious souvenir shopping. Don’t be surprised if you have quoted a high price, just use your haggling skills. Be warned though, Israelis are great at this and drive a hard bargain. The main market is full of trinkets and gifts but round the corner there is another street dedicated to food which is another sight for sore eyes.
Experience Electric Nightlife – Tel Aviv is known to be the party hub of the world. It’s full of some of the best nightclubs and bars and the energy in each is electric. Israelis go out late and wind up their night out in the wee hours of the morning. If you don’t know where to go on your own you can opt for a nightlife tour which will take you to various hot spots to give you a glimpse of all the action. Even if you’re not one to dance till the wee hours of the morning, you’ll still want to stroll around to take in this enthralling ambiance especially on a Thursday night.
Eat Like A King – This country overall takes its food very seriously and Tel Aviv is no different. While the markets are all fun to explore, it is the cafes and restaurants that you need to hit in order to experience more culinary delights. Tel Aviv is morphing into a haven for food connoisseurs and top chefs from around the world are flocking restaurants to experiment with food. The huge emphasis on vegetarian and vegan dishes is a big plus as well.
Israel to many seems like a destination that is unsafe or inaccessible but neither could be further from the truth. There is negligible crime in Israel and it would take some seriously brazen folks to mess around in a city that has army cadets running about. As far as being unreachable, there are plenty of flights coming into Tel Aviv on a daily basis but the one I personally prefer is Turkish Airlines as it was supremely comfortable and I’m yet to have a bad flight experience with them.
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