Tel Aviv is a city completely different from all the others I have visited so far, all continents combined. Derived from a mixture at least unusual, it is the result of cultural interbreeding between Arabs in the region, Jews from Europe after the Second World War and the incessant waves of contemporary immigration from around the world. Add to that the fact that Jewish culture itself is composite and plural and you can get an idea of the unique character of the city!
Security in Tel Aviv Tel Aviv is not really one of the most popular tourist destinations. It must be said that the armed conflict raging in the Palestinian territories has something to tarnish its reputation. It is true that a military attack against Tel Aviv is possible, but in fact it is something very rare. In addition, it must be known that the defense of the Israeli army is tremendously effective, which really dispels the likelihood that an attack will materialize in the city. I speak from experience: one of my best friends has lived there for 5 years and she has experienced a wave of attack in Tel Aviv. The sirens sounded often, but the population then went to shelters scattered throughout the city. The missiles were stopped in the air well before entering the enclosure of the city. If I tell you this anecdote, it is not at all to scare you but on the contrary to reassure you: yes, there is a risk, but it only materializes very rarely and when it is the case, the Israeli army has all the necessary means to protect the city. So we relax and enjoy! In the streets of Tel Aviv, I have been walking alone in Tel Aviv in the middle of the night and I have never felt in danger. On the contrary: I would even say that it is the city in which I feel the safest at night, far ahead of Paris or London. Tel-Aviv is a bubbling city that never sleeps, so there is always animation and people on the street, at any time of day and night. Nothing to fear then!
If you want to take the time to get to know the city well and live it like the Israelis, 5 days seems ideal to visit Tel Aviv. Plan 7 to 10 days if you want to explore the city to explore other jewels of Israel. On the other hand, if you only have a little time and want to have a good overview of the city as quickly as possible, I think that in 2-3 days you can go around. At no pace, yes!
Things to see and do in Tel Aviv I have often heard that if Jerusalem were the heart of Israel, Tel Aviv was its lung. I totally agree with this way of seeing things! The city is full of activities and is the perfect base for discovering the different faces of Israel. Breakfast, an institution in Israel Let's start at the beginning: if you are in Tel Aviv, you will absolutely have to honor the Israeli breakfast. It may seem obvious, but know that breakfast is absolutely sacred in Israel, so it is served at any time in restaurants. It is perfectly normal to brunch at 3am and breakfast at 10pm.
The museums of Tel Aviv Thirst for culture? Do not miss the main museums of the city: Tel Aviv Museum of Art: Israel's largest museum. Opened in 1932, it focuses on modern art and contemporary art through paintings by great masters (Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, Pollock, Rothko ...) and Israeli artists who deserve to be known. Ilana Goor Museum: perched on the heights of Jaffa, the former home of the artist Ilana Goor houses an incredible collection of art. Little more? The spectacular view of the Mediterranean! Holon Design Museum: Located on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, this museum is worth visiting for design and architecture enthusiasts. The building with undulating forms is a feat of contemporary architecture.
The neighborhoods of Tel Aviv Once satiated, you can explore the most emblematic areas of the city during your visit to Tel Aviv. The city center: composed of Bauhaus buildings more or less decrepit, shops of all kinds and a multitude of cafes and restaurants. It revolves around the souk (pronounced "shouk" in Hebrew) Ha-Carmel, a long pedestrian avenue lined with stalls of grilled meat, cheese, olives, fruits and vegetables ... but also sellers of cockles’ portable, nail polish or garish garments. Jaffa, the Arab district: more eccentric, this corner of the city is also much older. It's impossible not to fall in love with its cobblestone streets, pedestrian walkways, art galleries, antique shops and other trendy boutiques. Neve Tsedek: another district full of charm where small colored houses are sometimes craft jewelry shops, sometimes glaciers. The terraces are very numerous, decorated with bougainvilleas in bloom and animated by street musicians. I am completely a fan! The Yemeni district: right next to the souk Ha-Carmel extends the Yemeni district, the first to have been founded outside Jaffa. We go to admire the facades adorned with ceramics and to eat a piece in a quiet corner for 3 times nothing. Florentine: this is the most alternative neighborhood of Tel Aviv. Abandoned in the early 1990s, it gradually decayed until street artists seized the premises. Many colorful graffiti now adorn the walls of old buildings housing fabric and furniture merchants. The waterfront: one of Tel Aviv's key assets is of course its beach, which stretches for miles! The sand is very soft, the sea is good and there are plenty of bars and restaurants on site to let you sip on a mint lemonade or eat a bite of your feet in the sand. A real joy! Small flat anyway about all the towers built by the hotel chain by the sea. But ... we will say that it gives a little side Miami!
Night life After all these visits, you may be (surely?) Exhausted ... Yet, we will have to regain strength because we cannot claim to know Tel Aviv if we did not party! The energy that emerges from the city after dark is absolutely incredible. For a memorable night, head for Rotschild Boulevard and its many bars and clubs. And be prepared not to sleep! (Now you better understand the concept of brunch at 3am?)
Shabbat The only day of rest is of course Friday night and Saturday in the day, on the occasion of Shabbat. If you have the opportunity to be invited by Israelis for the Friday night meal, do not miss your turn! It is a beautiful experience, culturally (and calorically) very rich to do if you visit Tel Aviv.