Of course, if you’re going to be visiting Israel, then the thriving metropolis that is Tel Aviv has to be on your must-see list!
Tel Aviv is a great place to visit, and is packed with some awesome things to see and do. There is a catch, however, and it is one that is likely to hit the budget traveler right where it hurts the most; in the wallet. Yep, it ain’t cheap in The City That Never Sleeps!
As with all major cities, however, there are less expensive food, accommodation, and transport options to be found, if you scratch just below the service.
And yes, we’ve rounded up some great traveler tips for you to ensure you get the most out of your stay in Tel Aviv: here they are, our TOP TIPS for visiting Tel Aviv on a budget…
Finding budget accommodation in Tel Aviv
If you are looking for inexpensive accommodation that is close to the action, there are plenty of clean and friendly Tel Aviv hostels to be found. Hostels are no longer the flea-ridden dives they used to be in the 90s, and especially in Tel Aviv they’ve seriously upped their game.
With a night in a shared dormitory costing as little as $22.50 including free Wi-Fi and a complimentary breakfast, you would have to be crazy to say no. Shared or double rooms for parties travelling together are available at not a great deal more and there are plenty of choices if you are prepared to hunt them down.
If you have slightly more budget for something a little nicer, then one of these Tel Aviv boutique hotels (pricier than a hostel, but still way cheaper than the big brand hotels) could be right up your alley.
Getting around Tel Aviv on a budget
Forget taxis if you need to travel around the city on a budget because there are other inexpensive transport options available to the budget traveler.
With bike hire at under 50 shekels for THREE days (using Tel Aviv’s very decent Tel-O-Fun service) and deals on longer periods of rental, getting around couldn’t be easier or cheaper. If you’re into something a little funkier, how about renting an electric scooter? There are now a couple of great providers that can get you around Tel Aviv a lot faster, namely Scutt, and Bird (who have recently arrived from wowing the US).
If you would rather that someone else does the driving, Tel Aviv has an excellent bus service that promotes something akin to a bus pass called Rav Kav and gives a whopping 20% discount off all day travel on the network.
Eating on a budget in Tel Aviv
Street vendors are the hands down winners when it comes to good tasty food at sensible prices and the famous Carmel Market is one of the best places to grab some (as is the more hipster Levinski Market). If you’re staying for more than just a long weekend, you may also want to shop here for your groceries – it’ll be a lot cheaper and fresher!
Restaurants and trendy cafes should be on your no, no list unless you have the cash to spare. But do head for some local hummus joints, who will fill you up with some delicious fresh hummus and at a very fair price (around 25 shekels for a plate of the lovely stuff)! Our fave hummus joint in Tel Aviv is currently this one – try our hummus check-list for others!
Similarly, try some felafel too (you’ll find a felafel stand on almost every street) – just watch out for the tehini sauce dripping down your chin! And if you’re quickly tired of hummus and felafel, try the local branches of Cofix, who sell everything for 6 shekels only! Their drinks are usually well worth the money (have to say I’m partial to their passion fruit juice!).
Out & about in Tel Aviv!
Tel Aviv is a pretty safe place for walking and there is no better way to take in the local atmosphere and places of interest.
Of course, Tel Aviv beach is FREE to access and a definite highlight of any visit to Tel Aviv. And if you love browsing the local markets, you could also spend time at the artisan market known as Nahalat Binyamin or the Flea Market in Jaffa.
Out and about at night can get expensive, with beers often proving to be very costly in many bars in Tel Aviv. Try and catch the happy hours though, which many bars have, some even for a lot longer than an hour! Many clubs will have no cover charge during the week, so yes, avoid the weekend madness if you want to save some money.
One great option is to try a Pub Crawl (we can highly recommend this one). You usually get a free drink in each bar, you get whisked straight in without queuing up, and it gives you a genuine taste of some of Tel Aviv’s most happening nightspots. And all at a fraction of the cost (and time!) you’d typically have to splash out on a night out in Tel Aviv.