Tel Aviv is a vibrant cultural hub famous for its gorgeous Mediterranean beaches, wild nightlife scene and incredible food. The city’s UNESCO Heritage architecture, world-class museums and trendy shopping destinations are some of the many reasons millions of travelers fall in love with the city every year. While you could spend months wandering the streets of Tel Aviv and never see (or eat) the same thing twice, if you’ve only got 48 hours in Tel Aviv you can still get to enjoy Tel Aviv’s must-see sites (a squeeze, but very doable!).
What better way to begin your 48 hours in Tel Aviv than by the water? Start your day early and walk south along the coast until you reach Jaffa, the ancient port city, where you can stop at a cafe and enjoy Arabic coffee and endless baklava.
Take a Tel Aviv City Tour
So, since you’re in Jaffa – and before we take you exploring in Tel Aviv – you’ll want to learn how the bustling seaside metropolis arose from sand dunes and desert in just a few decades. Take Sandeman’s Free Tour of Old Jaffa, departing daily from the Jaffa clock tower at 11am and 2pm. On this tour, you’ll explore the ancient port city’s winding stone streets and learn the biblical history that catalyzed Tel Aviv’s development.
Browse the legendary Carmel Market
Head to the famous Carmel Market, commonly known as “The Shuk,” for one of the most authentic experiences in Tel Aviv. This vibrant marketplace – one of Israel’s absolute must-sees – gives you a true sense of Israel’s diverse culture, filled with endless fresh products to touch, taste and smell. Stacks of dried fruits, spices and produce line the crowded walkway, and you’ll love the vendors competing (and screaming) for your business. You can find anything ranging from halva to a new pair of jeans in the shuk.
Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to bargain – it’s expected!
Hang Out on the Beach
Anyone staying for 48 hours in Tel Aviv has to pack some suntan lotion and towel: Tel Aviv’s eight-mile stretch of sandy beaches attract a diverse crowd of tourists and locals alike all year round. Although there are many beaches to choose from, you can’t go wrong spending the day at any of them. From April-October you can rent chairs and lounge beds on the sand, and even order drinks and food. Stay until sunset and take in the dramatic view.
For a quick heads-up: Gordon, Frishman and Bograshov are the most active and lively beaches, where you can sip on a drink and hang out among the masses. Head to North beach if you’re a canine lover (dogs run free on this beach, which is just north of Hilton beach), Middle beach if you’re looking for a gay-friendly beach, and Jaffa or Alma beach if you’re looking for a chill southern beach away from the main central beaches.
…or try a City/Beach Bike Ride
You can also trade lying in the sand for a scenic bike ride! Begin at the Southern end of Tel Aviv near Jaffa, and take a bike along the sunny coastline! Tel Aviv has an extensive bike sharing system available called Tel-O-Fun, or you can take Abraham Hostel’s Tel Aviv Bike Tour! After touring some of Tel Aviv’s must sees, conclude your bike ride in northern Tel Aviv at the Old Tel Aviv Port area, where you can relax and catch dinner among locals. Although called the “Old Port,” this modern strip of fashion shops and restaurants is one of Tel Aviv’s newest and funkiest developments!
Day Two (of 48 hours in Tel Aviv)
It’s another beautiful day in Tel Aviv, and there are loads of things for you to do and see in the next 24 hours!
Pro Tip: The Florentin neighborhood is full of hipster coffee shops and is the perfect place to grab a bite after the tour!
Explore HaYarkon Park
Escape the city’s hustle and bustle and visit this oasis, known as the “green lung” of Tel Aviv. This large park surrounds the Yarkon River, which runs all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. Boasting botanical gardens, lakes, two mini zoos, bike paths and play areas for children, you can have a relaxing morning picnic or an active sports-filled day.
Visit a Museum
Don’t miss out on a chance to see some of Tel Aviv’s greatest museums. For history buffs, visit the Independence Hall, where you tour the very place Ben Gurion declared Israel’s independence in May 1948. Learn the history and struggles Israel faced before becoming a nation. See videos and hear lectures of how Israel rose to become the resilient country it is today.
For art lovers, consider the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, known for its outstanding collection of modern art and contemporary exhibitions. You can spend hours strolling through timeless works of Van Gogh to Picasso or take in contemporary Israeli pieces.
Work those taste buds at Sarona Market
Head to the upscale food hall, Sarona Market, for some of Tel Aviv’s finest dining options. The Sarona Market is a contemporary, culinary experience showcasing endless boutique shops and restaurants, featuring craft wines, imported cheeses, homemade pastries and much more. You may notice that you feel slightly like you’ve left the Middle East and traveled to Europe, as you stroll in this elegant market full of endless food options.
Shop or view some stunning vistas at Azrieli Center
Less than a ten minute walk away from Sarona Market is the towering Azrieli Center. While the first few floors are merely a typical shopping mall, the real treasure here is the 49th floor observatory. Awaiting you is an incredible 360-degree view of Tel Aviv. Stare out and thinking about how less than 100 years ago, this incredible metropolis was just desert.
Pro tip: It’s free to visit the observatory if you mention you are eating at the 2C restaurant, or you can pay the reasonable 22 shekels fee.
Enjoy a Pub Crawl
Celebrate your last few moments of your 48 hours in Tel Aviv by experiencing the city’s bustling nightlife scene. Abraham Hostel’s Tel Aviv Pub Crawl takes you to some of the hottest bars and clubs the city has to offer. With VIP entrances, drink specials, and free shots, you’ll end your night on table tops dancing the night away!
Looking for a great place to stay during your 48 hours in Tel Aviv? Check out the Abraham Hostel in Tel Aviv for an affordable, fun, and comfortable experience that is suitable for all.