Known as the “City that never sleeps” in Israel, Tel Aviv is a fabulous location to plan a vacation! There are beaches to enjoy, food that is world renowned, and of course enjoying all of the local history that goes back to the days of Jesus…well before Jesus actually.
Israel, though a tiny country, is a major mixing pot for many cultures. Which means that the food in Tel Aviv is OUTSTANDING! You can find Turkish, Sabich (which is very Israeli), Moroccan, Tunisian, Algerian, or even as far reaching as Russian cuisine.
Tel Aviv is a city that is always seems like it is busting at the seams. Thus, the nickname “city that never sleeps” the whole city seems to buzz at every hour of the day.
One of the great neighborhoods to visit is Nave Tzedek, this was the first truly established Jewish neighborhood in Tel Aviv. Here you can find this great little theater called Suzanne Dallal Center, which hosts the Bat Sheva dance company. Or if you aren’t able to catch a show, this neighborhood is a great one to just wander for the day. There are shops, cafes, restaurants and street vendors that have beautiful and bright colors popping out around every corner.
If you wanted to follow the locals, if you have a weekend planned here you need to visit Sarona. This is a major neighborhood that is mostly made up of old Templar cottages that have been refurbished. With beach side paths and unique little shops you can see why many of the locals enjoy spending their weekends in this area.
Travel tip: While visiting Tel Aviv, if you were only able to visit only one market in the city, you have to visit Carmel Market. This is one of the oldest markets in the city and you can find the most amazing products made locally, spices from around Israel and of course as a photographer the colors of the market is any photographer’s dream!
However, if you can visit more than one market, you should also hit Levinsky Market. Here you can pick up the best Halva (which is a sweet bread) in the city and quite possibly in the country.
When you are walking around Tel Aviv you will won’t be in a short supply of stores to visit if you are wanting to pick up a few local items for your loved ones at home. One of these stores that is recommended by locals is Sind Studio. Located in one of the most beautiful areas of Old Jaffa and a few meters away from the Old Sea Port this is a great place for the last-minute gifts and for the art/design lovers! You can find options for every budget!
Speaking of Old Jaffa, you can’t leave Tel Aviv until you visit the historic town of Old Jaffa. With a history dating back to Ancient Egyptian times, the town is one of the oldest inhabited places in the world. Jaffa has not only been ruled by some of the biggest empires of all time, it is also where historians have been able to date many Biblical events. Now, Jaffa is a major hub for artists, and you’ll find many beautiful art galleries lining the narrow cobblestone alleyways. And this is also where you can find the Jaffa Flea Market, where you can pick up all sorts of vintage knickknacks, as well as range of great bars and restaurants.
Since Tel Aviv is also the “Miami of Israel” it stands to reason, you should visit the beach! Best beach area to visit according to local opinion is the Tel Aviv Boardwalk (better known as the Tayelet, which technically translates to Promenade). The Tayelet stretches all the way from the port of Tel Aviv (the Namal) in the North of Tel Aviv all the way down to Jaffa in the South along the Mediterranean Sea. The Tel Aviv Tayelet is such a gorgeous place to run, bike or walk and, for obvious reasons, has the best sunset views – so get your camera ready!
Without a doubt, Tel Aviv, and Israel as a whole, should be on everyone’s list to travel! With so many different cultures to experience, the history that has built this great city and of course being a metropolitan and artistic haven for many traveling artists – it isn’t hard to see why you absolutely must visit Tel Aviv.
Traveling Photographer Out!