Tel Aviv Israel – all you need to know before you go

I heard many interesting and beautiful things about Tel Aviv Israel and a few months ago I have decided to go and visit this cosmopolitan city of Israel.

VISIT Tel Aviv in Israel

I have been to Jerusalem (part of west bank), Haifa, Dead Sea and Eilat, but I must tell you that none of these places compares with this amazing city known also as the White City.

As soon as I have arrived in this city from the Middle Eastern I was amazed by its beauty and I quickly realised why tourists from all over the world name it the City That Never Sleeps!

Tel Aviv Israel is in which continent
visit Israel

Here, in this city, you can find a very interesting and unique combination of old and new, of modern and traditional elements which gives the unicity of the place.

More than that, Tel Aviv is considered to be on Top 10 beach cities in the world with many wonderful beaches close to the Old Town where you can relax and perfect your tan.

 

1. How to get to Tel Aviv

The easiest and most comfortable way to reach the City That Never Sleeps is by plane on Ben Gurion International Airport.

The international airport is located 20 kilometres away from Tel Aviv on the southeastern part of the city and is accessible by car, train or bus.

All major airlines fly to Ben Gurion International Airport; in about 4 hours you get from any city from Central Europe to Ben Gurion Airport.

Israel Tel aviv Airport Ben Gurion going to Tel Aviv
Israel Tel aviv Airport Ben Gurion

The ticket prices for planes going to Israel are not very cheap so my advice is to book the tickets in advance with at least 6 months.

Otherwise, you might end up the outrageous amount of 800 euro or even more for one ticket.

January and February are two of the best months of the year to buy plane tickets as the prices are really low, especially if you are interested in travelling to Israel in September or October.

Security check at the airport

Maybe some of you are afraid of the security check at the airport and think twice if going to Tel Aviv Israel is a smart decision.

You don’t have to worry about this small interview which takes place when you arrive in the country and also when you leave it.

Ben Gurion Tel Aviv Airport
Ben Gurion Tel Aviv Airport

First of all, think that these interviews are for your own safety and you need to stay calm and ask politely to all the questions.

Just to have an idea about how the airport interview goes, I would tell you the questions I have been asked when I landed on Israel:

  • why am I visiting the country
  • how many people are in my group
  • how long do we plan to stay in Israel
  • where have we booked our accommodation and
  • which is our itinerary

As you can see, all these questions are simple and perfectly normal, you don’t have to worry about anything!

And when we left the country, there was another round of questions like how was our stay in Israel, what did we visit, where did we sleep, if we met any Israeli person and what we discussed with him/her.

Although this control is like a routine one, you will feel your heart pumping faster in your chest at the beginning, but this is something normal.

After the interview is over you will receive a small piece of paper with the entry and exit date which you will have to keep it and present it when you’ll leave the country.

Tel Aviv airport Ben Gurion
Tel Aviv airport Ben Gurion

Speaking about documents, there is something I would like to tell you regarding your passport and the visas from it.

You should make a new passport If you previously visited other Arabic countries and have stamps in your passport from these countries.

This is the safest way to avoid a longer and more complex interview and be sure that you will receive your entry card to Israel.

 

2. Is Tel Aviv Israel safe to visit?

It is perfectly normal to ask yourself if is the city safe before going to Tel Aviv and to search on internet articles and reviews about this subject.

What I can tell you for sure is that the city of Tel Aviv is as safe as possible, like all other big cities from Europe or America.

Unfortunately, today the terrorist attacks are possible everywhere in the world, so don’t you think that in Israel you are more exposed.

Israel safe to visit
Israel safe to visit

Don’t feel irritated and don’t behave badly with the security agents from the shopping centres, cinemas, hotels or clubs.

They are paid to protect you and that is why they need to search your bags for suspicious items as they don’t know which are your intentions.

I must confess that first I was terrified when I saw soldiers on the street with arms and security checks at the entrance of every place.

But then I realised that they are there to protect me and I have to treat them with respect as they are just doing their job!

Here, in this chapter, I also have an advice for you and that is not to leave your bag unattended as Israeli people have a short fuse when it comes to abandoned bags.

In a quick time without any notice, the abandoned bags are blown up by special units.

 

3. Getting from the airport to Tel Aviv Israel

Going to Tel Aviv from Ben Gurion Airport is very simple and straight forward. You can take a taxi right from outside of the arrival terminal, rent a car or you can go by bus or train directly to the city center.

3.1 Taxi

The taxis can be found on level G of Terminal 3 and a taxi ride from the airport to the city centre will cost you around 150 shekels (35 euros) and the ride will last for about 20 minutes.

If you choose to go by taxi for longer distances, then you should know that the prices are fixed and you should ask the taxi driver about the price before you get into the car.

3.2 Bus

In Israel, many people use to travel by bus not just inside towns but also from one town to another. Unfortunately, there is no direct bus which goes from the airport terminal to the city of Tel Aviv.

Still, if you want to get to the city by bus, then you should do as follows:

Take the shuttle bus to the Airport City; shuttle bus stops are located on the second floor, at gates 21 and 23.

From City Airport you have to take Egged bus number 475 to the central bus station in Tel Aviv.

The good news is that the prices of bus tickets are pretty low and you can buy it directly from the driver.

3.3 Train

Going to Tel Aviv Israel from the airport is extremely simple if you choose to travel by train as there is a direct train straight from Terminal 3 on level S.

The ticket price is just 16 shekels (around 4 euro) and the ride lasts for less than 30 minutes.

Israel Train to Tel Aviv
Israel Train to Tel Aviv

Actually, this is the fastest and most comfortable way to reach Tel Aviv from the airport.

If you choose to get from the airport to the city by public transport, you have to know that on Shabbat ( from Friday afternoon to Saturday evening) there is no public transport.

3.4 Rent a car

Renting car option is perfect especially if you are interested in exploring the area around Tel Aviv.

Car rental Israel Tel aviv
Car rental Israel Tel aviv

A car gives you the freedom and mobility such needed to see the beauty of Israel and to easily reach from one point to another.

Get the best price for your car rental today

I don’t recommend you to rent a car for visiting Tel Aviv if you are not planning to go outside the city and explore the surroundings.

 

4. Best time for going to Tel Aviv Israel

Definitely, the best time to visit Tel Aviv is outside the peak season when the crowds have gone and the prices drop a little.

Peak season is July and August and during these months the country and especially Tel Aviv is full of tourists roaming around.

Besides the crowds and the prices, there are also the temperatures which rise up to 30-35 degrees Celsius and the humidity reach the level of 80% or even more.

That means that you’ll wait in the queues at the most important attractions and you’ll be sweating a lot!

Israel best time to go to
Israel best time to go to

If this is not how you’ll imagine your holiday to Israel, then you’d better avoid visit Israel during this time of the year!

This is why I say that spring and autumn are the best months of the year to go to Israel.

During September or October when in Europe starts getting cold and you need to put an extra blanket on you at night, here in Tel Aviv you can wear your shirt and swim in the sea.

April, May and June are also fantastic for visiting Tel Aviv as you have the unique opportunity to see the city coming out in full bloom.

By the way, did you know that Tel Aviv means “Spring Hill” so just imagine how beautiful this city is during springtime!

 

5. How much time you need to visit Tel Aviv

Although Tel Aviv Israel is not a huge city, it has many interesting attractions and beautiful places which definitely should be on your travel list.

The city is pretty new as it was founded in 1909 and has at this moment around 450.000 inhabitants.

What I like most about this city is that it is completely different than everything I saw in Israel.

It is a multicultural and modern city with a very active nightlife and one of the most libertine policies for LGTB community from all over the world.

visit Tel Aviv in Israel
visit Tel Aviv in Israel

If you want to have enough time to get an understanding of what this city is about, you should book at least one week here.

But if you want to explore all the corners and discover all the mysteries, then think about planning at least 2 weeks.

The best way to explore this city is on foot as the distances between the main attractions are not that great and there are plenty of other interesting things to see on your way from one point to another.

 

6. Moving around

A question which I am sure you have already asked yourself is which is the best way to move around when going to Tel Aviv.

Like I said earlier, the best way to discover this city is on foot or by bicycle as there are more than 40 kilometres of cycle paths across the city.

There are many private companies which offer for rent bicycles, e-bikes and scooters for really reasonable prices.

Israel Tel Aviv things to see
Israel Tel Aviv things to see

The huge advantage of taking one of these is that you can use it to move from one point to another faster and with few efforts and once you don’t need it you can drop it into a designated area.

There are more than 200 rental stations spread all across the city from where you can rent what you want: a bike, a scooter or an e-bike to visit Tel Aviv.

If you don’t want to walk nor to use bicycles than you can choose to take a shared taxi.

These kind of taxis are pretty common in Israel; just look after yellow and red minibuses which stop at the wave of a hand and took you quickly where you want to go.

 

7. What to pack for Tel Aviv Israel

Flip flops, shorts, swimming trunks, swimwear, bath towel, sunglasses, suncream with a high sun protection factor, headgear, T-shirts, denim, sweatshirt, sneakers, summertime dress.

When going to Tel Aviv, you can pack light. Only throughout the winter months from December to February do you require to take a rainproof coat as well as a thick coat.

Tel Aviv is a laid-back city. The New York Times crowned TLV the ‘capital of cool’. You can walk clothed any way you want without people showing you strange looks.

It’s totally typical to stroll your dog in your pyjamas and sandals in the early morning or to remain on a park bench with curlers in your hair as Tel Aviv has a city hippie flair.

You’ll barely see any men in suits or ladies in pantsuits as eight months a year, the dress code largely includes flip-flops, sleeveless T- shorts, airy dresses.

In the winter season, Tel Aviv people change their sandals for boots and put on coats because 15 degrees celsius for them is considered freezing cold.

 

8. Is Tel Aviv Israel expensive?

The answer to this question is very quick and simple: Tel Aviv and Israel, in general, are pretty expensive destinations, so prepare for paying some good money for accommodation, food and transportation.

The cost of living is pretty high and Tel Aviv is compared with New York or Paris when speaking about this element.

But this is life, you have to eat and to sleep so, instead of crying how expensive this country is let me give you some tips for saving some money:

  • Buy fruits and vegetables in the markets
  • Wifi in TLV is free so you don’t have to spend money on buying internet cards to talk with your friends or search for restaurants, cool places or things to do
  • Go to Cofix as it has very reasonable prices, everything costs 5 shekels (around 1.2 euros): cakes, cookies, beverages and coffee.

Cofix has also a few supermarkets open all over TLV where everything costs 5 shekels so this is a really good way to save some money when going to Tel Aviv.

  • Keep an eye on happy hours at restaurants and business lunch deals. Pay with credit card when possible as you don’t have any additional fee.
  • Try street food as it is cheaper and extremely delicious; I recommend you falafel, hummus and sabich.

In general, the price for one portion is around 5 euros and it is extremely tasty and easy to eat.

 

9. Places to visit

9.1 Tel Aviv beaches

Tel Aviv is defined by its seaside position and its world class beaches.

The beaches bring in tourists and also locals alike.

On weekend breaks, Tel Aviv’s strips of sand are crowded with sun-worshippers, posers and individuals simply chilling out.

Tel aviv Israel beaches
Tel aviv Israel beaches

The most popular sandy stretches are centrally-located Gordon Beach, Frishman Beach, and Banana Beach where you’ll locate superb facilities such as fresh-water showers, sunlight loungers as well as sunshades for lease.

The Tayelet (paved boardwalk) that runs along the beach between central Tel Aviv and Jaffa is prime night promenading area and also is lined with lots of cafés as well as restaurants permitting a simple whole day at the beach.

9.2 Jaffa

A few minutes  from downtown Tel Aviv Israel is the old Arab port community of Jaffa.

Much of the initial bazaar location is now home to restaurants and also artisan shops and the place is specifically lively in the evening when the old town bunches with restaurants.

Old Jaffa in Tel Aviv of Israel
Old Jaffa in Tel Aviv of Israel

The flea market here is the significant attraction for visitors, packed with the hubbub of a genuine souk, while St. Peter’s Monastery, as well as the Old Tel Aviv Port location itself, is additionally not to be missed out on.

Compared to the big-city hustle of Tel Aviv, Jaffa is a splendidly serene location for a walk that, regardless of major gentrification, still keeps its old-fashioned charm.

9.3 Tel Aviv Art Museum

A leading light in Israel’s contemporary art scene, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art includes jobs by Degas, Monet, Van Gogh, Henry Moore, Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and also the world’s biggest collection of work by Israeli artists.

A particular highlight is the collection of Alois Breyer early 20th century prints. Another thing yo see in the museum are the structures of Ukrainian wooden synagogues. Each of them were damaged during World War II.

The modern building, with its innovative architecture, houses and highlights the artworks completely.

Along with the permanent collection, the museum hosts temporary exhibits as well as other events, so you’d better check their website before going to Tel Aviv.

It is located close to Azrieli Mall and just 5 km away from Tel Aviv University.

9.4 Neve Tzedek Quarter

The cool Neve Tzedek Quarter is the city’s oldest community, with European-Jewish inhabitants who first constructing homes here in the 1880s.

These beautiful old buildings have been well preserved, and some of them are currently home of arty stores, cafés, and some of the city’s hippest restaurants.

Cuddled within the quarter on Rochkach Street, you’ll find two of its major points of interest:

  • the Rockach Home, home to a little sculpture gallery, and also
  • the Nachum Gutman Art Museum, which shows the artwork of this Israeli painter.

In the district’s southwest corner there is the old Ottoman railway station called the HaTachana.

This has been restored and also resumed as a rather fashionable complex of cafés, dining establishments, and designer stores.

9.5 The Old Port area

Tel Aviv Israel old port location (referred to as Namal) has actually been slickly rejuvenated and also is currently a hip waterside hang-out strip loaded with stores and cafés.

The boardwalk here is a favoured for promenading young people, while families gather in this area on weekends. The area is home to tiny personal art galleries and a superb indoor market.

Tel Aviv Old port area
Tel Aviv Old port area

During the weekends there are often free live songs performances as well as various other events and family members-friendly amusement.

This is a fantastic place ahead if you have youngsters in tow as there’s normally plenty to maintain them occupied.

9.6 Beit Hatefutsoth

Beit Hatefutsoth, know as the Diaspora Gallery was referred to as the Museum of the Jewish Individuals.

It shows the life as well as the culture of the Jewish people across the world, throughout history.

The gallery shows a wide variety of displays, consisting of film recordings and designs, to record the world’s Jewish populace through the centuries.

Specifically, the highlights of a browse through here are the displays devoted to the Ethiopian Jewish area as well as the Bob Dylan exhibit.

There is also a superb brand-new kids’ area with hypermedia display screens where you can spend some quality time with your family when going to Tel Aviv.

9.7 Lod

Although now recognized generally for being home to Ben-Gurion International Flight Terminal, Lod is a beautiful town which has an abundant history, the perfect day trip destination from TLV.

The town being founded by the tribe of Benjamin after the Israelite occupation of the Promised Land,  Lod was later on ruined by the Assyrians during the 8th century BC.

From the 4th century onwards, it was settled by Greeks who relabelled it Lydda.

During the Oriental period, Lydda/Lod came to be an important Christian centre, and also St. Paul is said to have actually healed a bedridden guy here before taking a trip on Caesarea.

It’s likewise one of the towns discussed on the renowned 6th-century Madaba Map of the Holy Land in Madaba, Jordan.

Today, you can check out Lod’s Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, which was rebuilt in 1870 over the initial Crusader-era church here, as well as the El-Chodr Mosque, built in the 12th century.

9.8 Rothschild Boulevard

This central city street is home to several of Tel Aviv Israel finest Bauhaus architecture and also is a fantastic location for a walk, specifically in the early evening.

Along the road are 2 museums where you can stop between admiring the preserved structures.

The Self-reliance Hall (Beit Dizengoff) is the previous house of Tel Aviv’s very first mayor.

It is the place where David Ben-Gurion announced the state of Israel on May 14th, 1948.

Along the road you can find Haganah Gallery, the house that was occupied by Haganah Leader Eliyahu Golomb.

The gallery shows how the Haganah guerilla proactively attacked the British authority.  There are weaponry exhibitions and also information on the Haganah’s tasks inside.

9.9 Netanya

This prominent seaside resort sits on an attractive gold sand beach that stretches for more than 10 kilometres.

The coastline is the major tourist attraction and is the place where Tel Aviv locals flock in weekends to chill out with loved ones.

Downtown is crammed with cafés as well as dining establishments as well as actually hums with energy throughout summer nights.

It’s a quieter option to Tel Aviv if you don’t face the big-city rush, and there are a lot of holiday accommodation alternatives here.

The Jewish Legion Museum documents the achievement of Jewish military units in the British army during World War I.

 

10. Where to sleep

After reading all these useful and interesting information about Tel Aviv I am sure you have already decided on going to Tel Aviv as soon as possible.

I guess there is only one thing to figure it our: where to sleep during your trip to this amazing city.

Well, there are plenty of options when speaking about accommodation in TLV.

You can easily found hostels, apartments, hotels and guesthouses where to spend your night.

Depend on you and on how much money you are willing to spend on your accommodation.

Here are my recommendations for your stay in TLV:

  • Abraham Hostel Tel Aviv is the place where many famous digital nomads used to stay when visiting this city. The hostel is located right in the centre of the city, a few minutes away from Rothschild Boulevard and right next to the legendary Levontin 7, the best music pub from TLV.
  • Lily and Bloom is another great option when searching for boutique hotels in Tel Aviv Israel as this hotel is built in Bauhaus style and is located right near cool bars and restaurants.
  • Cucu Hotel is the right place to stay if you are looking for a central hotel, close to the beach with modern and urban design and wonderful rooms.

 

11. Travel experiences you have to try

And now, before ending my article I would like to recommend you some travel experiences which definitely you have to try when going to Tel Aviv:

  • Eat a bowl of ramen soup at the delicatessen market in the Sarona district
  • Drink a cup of coffee at a kiosk on Rothschild Boulevard
  • Stroll along with the Shuk Ha’Pishpishim flea market in Jaffa
  • Take a break and visit the Hayarkon Park and admire the beauty of the Yarkon River in the park with the same name.

This is everything you know before you visit Tel Aviv for the first time: where to stay, what to see, when to go, how to move around, all you need to know before you go!

There are just two things left to do: buy your plane tickets and pack your luggage as this amazing and vibrant city is waiting for you!