Top 5 Things to Do and See in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv = Top 5 Things to do and see - Travel for a Living

Truth to be told, before this year I never considered Tel Aviv a holiday destination. But I have been fortunate enough to visit Tel Aviv not just once, but three times this year, a whole week each time. Yes these were work trips, so sightseeing was limited, but nevertheless we managed to squeeze some in. Allowing me to share with you my Top 5 things to do and see in Tel Aviv.

With less than half a million inhabitants, Tel Aviv isn’t huge, in fact it is only number 2 in Israel, after Jerusalem. And with barely a hundred years of history under its belt, it isn’t ancient either (losing hands down to Jerusalem with over 6000 years). But Tel Aviv is a very vibrant city and an up and coming party location and sure worth a visit.

With my last work trip over, I can’t wait to come back one day. I’d love to get a chance to actually show Mr T Tel Aviv and beyond.

Enough of the introduction. Here are my Top 5 things to do and see in Tel Aviv:

Enjoy the beaches

Tel Aviv has wonderful sandy beaches (unlike so many of our UK beaches, hardly any pebbles in sight). And with it being the Mediterranean Sea, the water is warm and wonderful.

If lying in the sand for hours isn’t quite your thing, there is plenty to keep you occupied. Sport seems to be the number one thing to do at Tel Aviv beach. Whether it is wave boarding, running along the promenade, using the free outdoor gyms or simply playing beach ball and volley ball, there sure is something for everyone.

Tel Aviv as the perfect beach holiday destination (and other places not to miss) - Travel for a Living Enjoy Tel Aviv Beach (and other things to do when visiting) - Travel for a Living

Visit Rothschild Boulevard (Sderot Rotshild)

Did you know that Tel Aviv is home to the biggest selection of Bauhaus buildings? Head towards Rothschild Boulevard and glance at the ‘White City’, over 4000 Bauhaus buildings and Unesco world heritage site since 2003.

Rothschild Boulevard is also perfect for an evening stroll along the tree-lined avenue (but watch out for those cyclists, they are vicious). Follow the ‘Independence Trail’, a set of markers pointing out landmarks like the Independence Hall along its way.

Once you are done with walking, go for dinner and drinks in one of the many restaurants along the boulevard.

Exploring the White City in Tel Aviv (and what else to see) - Travel for a Living Evening stroll along Rothschild Boulevard (and what else not to miss when in Tel Aviv) - Travel for a Living

Go shopping in Shuk HaCarmel (Carmel Market)

As the market closes fairly early, I didn’t get a chance to actually stroll through it until our very last visit. But I am glad I managed.

The street market is open six days a week (closed Saturdays). Take your time to enjoy the wonderful smells and colours. Shuk HaCarmel offers plenty of local foods, from fresh fruit to sweets and spices. It is also the ideal place for some ‘souvenir’ shopping. I just couldn’t resist buying loads of sweets, biscuits and a few spices to take home.

But be prepared (I wasn’t). A lot of the street vendors accept cash only (Israeli Shekel, but also Euros and Dollars, however the exchange rate to the Dollar seemed anything but competitive). So better make sure you have some money on you, otherwise your shopping spree may be short lived.

But when you compare prices at the market to the prices you pay along the beach promenade, you would be silly to ever buy anything at the promenade.

 Visit Shuk HaCarmel when in Tel Aviv - Travel for a Living Shuk HaCarmel - Travel for a Living

Try the sweets at Shuk HaCarmel Tel Aviv (and other things to do and see) - Travel for a Living Visit Shuk HaCarmel when in Tel Aviv (and other things not to miss) - Travel for a Living

Incredible spices and fruits at Shuk HaCarmel (and other things not to miss in Tel Aviv) - Travel for a Living Shuk HaCarmel (and other places to see in Tel Aviv) - Travel for a Living

Try the pastries at Shuk HaCarmel (and what else not to miss in Tel Aviv) - Travel for a Living Try Israeli sweets (and what else not to miss when in Tel Aviv) - Travel for a Living

Explore Jaffa (and walk there)

If you are staying at Tel Aviv Beach, you can’t fail to notice the old city of Jaffa (or Yafo / Yaffa) further down the bay. During our first trip me wanting to walk to Jaffa became the running gag of the week. It wasn’t until our second trip that we actually decided to give it a go. And you know what? It is totally doable. It is actually a really pleasant stroll along the beach promenade. So don’t be fooled. It might seem as if Jaffa isn’t getting any closer, but it will only take you around 45 minutes and you will be rewarded with beautiful Jaffa and a great view back over Tel Aviv beach. Rummage through the flee market (unfortunately this is only during the day, so we only managed to catch the last few stalls as they were closing for the day. The downside of having work ‘interfere’ with your sightseeing plans I guess). Check out Jaffa harbour, particularly picturesque as the sun sets over the bay. Then walk up the narrow winding streets to Old Jaffa and St Peter’s Church (and pop into the little galleries along the way).

What to see in Old Jaffa and Tel Aviv - Travel for a Living Old Jaffa and Tel Aviv - Travel for a Living

 Jaffa in full bloom - Travel for a Living St Peter Church in Old Jaffa (and other places to visit when in Tel Aviv) - Travel for a Living

What to see in Jaffa and Tel Aviv - Travel for a Living What to see in Old Jaffa - Travel for a LivingEnjoy the view over Tel Aviv from Old Jaffa - Travel for a Living

Don’t forget to visit the Wishing Bridge, rub your zodiac sign on the bridge and make a wish. You never know, it might come true (surely worth a try).

Once dusk settles, the flea market in Jaffa closes and the narrow streets become al fresco restaurants with loads of small tables, fairy lights everywhere and cats strolling the streets. Go and check it out, you’ll love it (we sure did and came back several times, not just for the atmosphere, but also for some of the best food we ever had).

Jaffa in the evening - Travel for a Living Jaffa at night - Travel for a Living

Visit Tel Aviv Port

Another stroll along the beach promenade, this time heading the other way. Once you get past Tel Aviv Marina, you will eventually come to the old Tel Aviv Port.

The port is no longer in use, but has been transformed into a vibrant shopping and dining area. Perfect for the evening. Walk beyond the port and you will get to the Tel Aviv sign. So snap a photo for your photo album (or Instagram feed).

Tel Aviv Port - Travel for a Living

Obviously there is a load more than 5 things to do and see in Tel Aviv. And our itinerary would have been quite different was it an actual leisure trip.

So tell me, have you been to Tel Aviv? What else needs to go on that list?

Top 5 Things to Do and See in Tel Aviv - Travel for a Living Top 5 Things to Do and See in Tel Aviv - Travel for a Living

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  5. Jessica

    This definitely made me want to travel here!

  6. Rachel

    Wow Tel Aviv is beautiful! I have never been there but would love to. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Emma

    I want to go to that market right now and I need to eat all of those sweets. What a great looking city

  8. The Homebody Tourist

    What an awesome place to get to experience for work! The market and beaches look so fun!

  9. thesanetravel

    It looks I have missed some great things to see in Tel Aviv. Good reason to go back

  10. thebratpackergals

    I’ve been wanting to visit Israel, but really didn’t have Tel Aviv on the list of essential stops. Knowing it’s got beaches changes everything!

    • Travel for a living

      They have amazing beaches, miles of sand and very clear water. You should definitely include Tel Aviv in your itinerary, when you make it to Israel. It shows you just how diverse Israel is.

  11. Kelly

    Love this! I would really like to visit Tel Aviv and whenever I am finally able to I will make sure to checkout all of these places. Thanks for the tips 🙂