If you’re planning on visiting Israel, a stopover in Tel Aviv is an absolute must!
Tel Aviv, often called The City That Never Sleeps, has slowly evolved over the past few years into an enthralling and engaging city, a city that will amaze, delight, and have you begging for more!
We’ve done our best to condense the very best Tel Aviv attractions into a list of TEN essential things we feel you have to see and do, but just be aware these are the tip of the iceberg. With ten miles of glorious sandy beaches, 300 days of sunshine a year, and locals ever more hungry for more culture, art, and good times, there’s just so many more things to see and do in Tel Aviv for those ready to explore further! And even if you’ve got just a couple of days, you’ll be amazed at what you can squeeze in – check out our guide to spending an amazing 48 hours in Tel Aviv!
In no particular order, here are the TEN things you really have to see and do in Tel Aviv…
Catch some rays on one of Tel Aviv’s gorgeous beaches
The place to be in the summer (and the summers are long in Israel!), the beaches of Tel Aviv are hard not to fall in love with! Just a step away from the noise and hustle of the city, it’s always a pleasure to find yourself opposite the blue, sparkling Med.
With 10km of fine, sandy beaches, it’s really just a matter of picking your favorite spot! Read our full guide to Tel Aviv beaches here.
Explore the gorgeous neighborhood of Neve Tzedek
Probably Tel Aviv’s prettiest neighborhood, it regularly attracts swarms of visitors, all keen to stroll the many narrow streets and marvel at the amazing architecture of the area. There’s also some great little galleries and shops, and cute little cafes and restaurants to check out.
Definitely one place not to forget your camera! Read our full guide to Neve Tzedek here.
Haggle, haggle, and haggle some more at Carmel Market
There’s nothing quite like a visit to a local market to mix it up with the locals, and Carmel Market is THE one to see. It’s an amazing place, what with the astounding array of sights, sounds and smells that assault your senses! And the colors, oh boy…!
You won’t ever forget your visit to Carmel Market – and you might also learn to haggle like a pro! Read more here.
Step back in time to Old Jaffa
The delights of Old Jaffa are located at the southern end of Tel Aviv, and those very picturesque alleyways are a must stroll down! They are a complete contrast to the modern bustle of Tel Aviv, and simply ooze with charm…
And while in Jaffa, we’d highly recommend a visit to the port, where you can see some stunning coastal views of Tel Aviv, and the legendary nearby Flea Market where you can get your haggling hat on once again! Read more about Jaffa here.
Eat out at one of Tel Aviv’s amazing restaurants
Tel Aviv has over the last few years turned itself into a food connoisseur’s delight, with anything and everything on offer! Forget felafel and hummus, we’re talking about some awesome restaurants, host to some of the most talented and adventurous chefs in the world.
Spend some time in charming Tel Aviv Port
This charming port has been transformed over the last few years from a derelict, rundown old thing into a site alive with culture, leisure, shopping and entertainment options.
Usually packed at the weekend, it’s a place for ALL: from families out with the kids or grandparents during the day, to party revelers at night – the place is buzzing! Read more here.
Get an overdose of culture at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art
The Tel Aviv Museum of Art is home to one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Israeli art in the world. Here you can find the work of many Israeli artists who have made it big internationally, as well as the works of masters such as Van Gogh, Monet, Chagall, and Modigliani. With activities for the kids too, you could easily spend all day here!
Read more about the Tel Aviv Art Museum here.
Browse the delights of the Nachalat Binyamin art market
The Nachalat Binyamin market is one of Israel’s biggest arts and crafts markets and a superb place to browse for original Tel Aviv souvenirs (think ceramics, toys, paintings, framed photos and Judaical pieces); all handmade and sold by their artist creators!
This awesome market also runs parallel to Carmel Market, so makes a perfect day out! Read more here.
Enjoy Tel Aviv’s new foodie & shopping hub, Sarona
The Sarona complex, located in the heart of Tel Aviv, includes a number of very chic designer shops and cool little restaurants. But it’s the even newer Sarona Food Market (it was opened some time after the initial Sarona complex, which includes some lovely restored buildings and gardens) which draws the masses.
You’ll find almost everything your tastebuds desire at Sarona, just bear in mind that you won’t get the cheap foodie prices you’ll find at the Carmel Market (see above); this place is very boutique-oriented, so expect the prices to match. Read our guide to Sarona here.
Stroll the streets and see amazing Bauhaus buildings
Tel Aviv has some amazing architecture to see, and in particular, watch out for the many white Bauhaus buildings which dominate the Tel Aviv landscape, and which have led Tel Aviv to be known as The White City.
Take a stroll down Rothschild Blvd, and Dizengoff and Bialik streets for the best of the White City! Read our full guide here.
There are great additions to this list that we just couldn’t squeeze in to a Top 10, including the fabulous hot air balloon rides over Tel Aviv, the newly opened (in 2018) Natural History Museum, the entertainment hub at HaTachana (The Station), a walk down the famous Shenkin Street (now newly pedestrianized and upgraded), Tel Aviv’s amazing and world-renowned nightlife, and even the Luna Park, the amusement park your kids will love you for! There’s just so much to see in one of the world’s most happening cities…
And to add yet another reason to visit this cool city, and to give you an idea of how open, accepting and liberal Tel Aviv is, it was recently voted the Top Gay City in the world by a leading gay website.
See also: How to visit Tel Aviv on a budget