05 Feb Where to Stay in Tel Aviv and Have a Great Time
Tel Aviv has many amazing areas, each with its own unique feel and culture. The question is where would you feel most comfortable? Keep in mind that Tel Aviv is a small city and many areas are walking distance from one another, so even if you stay in a specific area you can easily get to all of the others. Get to know where to stay in Tel Aviv and have a great time.
I will now explain a bit about the culture and feel of the following areas: The Carmel market and Banana Beach, Charles Chlor Park and the First Train Station, Fishman and Florentine Beaches, The Port Area, The Old North, Ibn Gabirol Street, Southern Dizengoff Street, Rothschild Boulevard, Florentine and Jaffa.
Relax on the beach by the Carmel Market and Banana Beach:
The most relaxing to go to in Tel Aviv is “Banana Beach”. This beach is marked to the north by the Banana Beach Restaurant and to the south by the Charles Chlor Park. One of Banana Beach’s qualities is that the environment feels relaxed with fewer people and those who are near you are quietly sunbathing.
This area is a great place to go surfing or wade in the shallow water. Bring some food and water with you as there is only 1 restaurant in the area and getting there and back to your spot can be a bit of a hassle.
Just across from the base of Banana Beach you will find the Carmelit bus station which marks the entrance (or exit) of the Carmel Market! The other side of the market is on the corner of Allenby and King George streets. The Carmel market is a fantastic market full of fresh fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, street food, juice and smoothie stands, clothing, games, and trinkets! Here you can find a variety of beautiful booths and displays of spices. This market has everything you could want and more in one area. Be sure to make it to the market between 9 A.M. and sundown Sunday through Friday.
Stay near the beautiful Charles Clore Park and in the cozy neighborhood of Neve Tzedek, home of the First Train Station:
Charles Clore Park connects South Tel Aviv to Jaffa and is a fantastic area to walk on the promenade (Tayelet), to sit and play in the grass or to have an afternoon/evening barbecue! The park follows the coastline from the Carmelit Bus Station and the base of the Carmel Market down to the Jaffa Port. You will find people playing Frisbee, working out at the outdoor gymnasium stations, tight-rope walking, playing games, barbecuing and just going for a nice stroll or jog.
Just about in the center of the Charles Clore Park, on the other side of Herbert Samuel Street, you can find the First Trains Station of Tel Aviv, nestled in the center of the artist community of Neve Tzedek. The Train Station has been renovated as a museum with art galleries, amazing restaurants, gift shops and more!
Soak up the sun at the Frishman and Gordon Beaches:
The beach area of Tel Aviv definitely has the feel of vacation. There are many relaxed restaurants, coffee shops and bars that stretch along the promenade (HaTayelet) where you can feel comfortable dining at a full service table with your feet in the sand. Frishman Beach (between Frishman and Gordon Streets) and Gordon Beach (Gordon Street to the Hilton beach) are two of the best beaches in Tel Aviv. Both areas have a slightly different feel and are both worth checking out.
Frishman Beach is livelier with many people having a beer, playing games, surfing in designated areas and swimming! There are a few restaurants here, but again it is worthwhile to bring some food. Gordon Beach is very active with many restaurants, full service on the sand and beach tanning chairs with takeaway waiters circulating. Many people come and go as this is the main stretch of the promenade.
Relax in the Port Area and the Old North:
Tel Aviv’s port is home to some of the best restaurants in Tel Aviv! Whether you want to sit down for some delicious fish with bottomless Middle Eastern salads, a hamburger with fries or a juicy steak, this is the place to come! This area also has some fantastic outlet shopping stores for your pleasure and is the home of the Farmers Market. Come any day and taste the delicious, fresh picked, homegrown fruits and vegetables. Just east of here you can also find Park Hayarkon and the Yarkon River where there are plenty of outdoor river and field activities to be done.
The Old North is a beautiful area on the northern side of Tel Aviv, just south of Park Hayarkon. The area has older Bauhaus style architecture and feels very cozy with lots of trees, smaller streets, and wider boulevards. The area is full of boutique markets, restaurants and shops with a more affluent feel.
In this area you will find people of all ages and lifestyles, from youngsters just out of the military and struggling to get by, to elderly upper middle class, homeowners, students, and everything in between and the area has something to offer to each and every person. In this area, you will find fewer bars and pubs than anywhere else in Tel Aviv making for a quiet stay in a fantastic area! From here you can very easily get to Ibn Gabirol Boulevard or to Dizengoff Street and all of its attractions.Still not sure where to stay in Tel Aviv?
Feel the history on Ibn Gabirol Boulevard:
This area of is more to the eastern side of Tel Aviv and is full of life! You can enjoy the hustle bustle of daily life, people going to and from work, restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and of course there is plenty of shopping to be done! This area has a vast amount of specialty item shops, electronics stores, mom and pop shops, toy stores and more! You can easily spend a full day meandering through all of the shops. Not far from here is the new Sorona Compound with delicious restaurants, the refreshing Beer Garden and outdoor workshops along with a series of shopping outlets. This is a great place to sit for an afternoon meal and some relaxing nightlife.
You will also find the historical Rabin Square, full of history and rich with people lounging, eating, singing, laughing and playing. The south-western corner of the square leads to Chen Boulevard where you can take a naturally shaded stroll down a beautiful tree covered parkway and enjoy a cool breeze on a hot summers day. This street leads you down to HaBima Square and Rothschild Boulevard.
Where to Stay in Tel Aviv: Getting at the City’s Heart
The area of southern Dizengoff is a rambunctious area in the heart of Tel Aviv. From this location, you can get to anywhere in Tel Aviv with ease. Public transportation runs every few minutes to anywhere in the city and walking is also a viable option. Just at the base of Dizengoff Street, you will find the Dizengoff Center, King George Street and Meir Park, lots of smaller restaurants of all sorts, bars and foot traffic. This is one of the most heavily traveled areas as it holds most of the main attractions of Tel Aviv in one concentrated area.
Just a few minutes down King George Street you will find Allenby Street with all of its small shops, the infamous Carmel Market where you can find trinkets, clothes, and gifts or fresh fruits and vegetables. A few blocks down you are already at the Tayelet (promenade) and the beaches.
Enjoy the nature and night-life of Rothschild Boulevard:
Rothschild Boulevard is a great place to de-stress and unwind with its beautiful arching trees and the parks that travel down the center of the street, or to get crazy with the locals! This amazing dynamic changes about half way down the street from Habima Square toward Allenby Street. On the northern side of the street you will find peaceful areas where you can lounge and read, play Bocce Ball or sit and watch the children in one of many playgrounds. People walk their dogs and bikers follow their path. There are quaint coffee shops where you can sit for an intimate drink with friends and lovely restaurants scattered about.
As you near Allenby Street it gets a bit more rowdy with larger restaurants, bigger coffee shops, bars, clubs and shopping. You will find more people walking the boulevard. Sometimes you will see wonderful street performers playing music, doing tricks, and from time to time movies or tv series’ being filmed. The night life in this area is amazing. The streets, bars, clubs and restaurants stay full until the wee hours of the morning and the trees are lit with white lights. If you get the chance, don’t miss the “White Night” party.
Check out the hip nightlife in Florentine:
The Florentine area is the “Up and Coming” area of Tel Aviv. With all of the renovations throughout Tel Aviv, Florentine has become the new “hip” area to be. The multicultural feel of the area is friendly and welcoming. Nestled in this small neighborhood you will find a variety of international foods, young people from all over the world, tons of restaurants and coffee shops where people sit all day studying or working from home.
The nightlife in this area is unbelievable! There is something going on every night of the week. The corner of Vital and Florentine streets is always poppin’. There is something here for everyone; a small and calm bar where you can play games, loud and rowdy pool bars, rock bars, electro music, oldies, Israeli music and more. Each place has its own style. There are also multiple clubs in the area, so find your dance moves and bring down the house. Remember that clubs and bars stay open late and there is always an after party so prepare yourself for a long night out.
Enjoy the culture of Jaffa:
Jaffa is a city in and of itself, so it would really need its own full blog, but I’ll try to make this a quick overview. Jaffa follows the Mediterranean Sea from Tel Aviv to Bat Yam and has a very interesting dynamic; Arab and Jews living together in a clash of old and new civilizations. You will find some of the most beautiful architecture with the old stone houses and cobblestone walkways to Bauhaus style apartments and large boulevards. Certain areas of Jaffa, including the Pishpishim Flea Market are still handling things in the old fashion way of setting up and tearing down shop daily in booths on the side of the roads while other areas of the Market have large shops overflowing with beautiful items into the streets.
The port of Jaffa is also an amazing experience with some of the best food in the area and you will always have an amazing view of the Sea. Just around the corner here you can visit the ancient Egyptian ruins settled at the top of the hill and in Old Jaffa just a few blocks away you can find the floating orange tree. Jaffa truly is a magical area and don’t worry, there is always public transportation to Tel Aviv!
Now that you have a light intro into the different areas of Tel Aviv you can decide where to stay in Tel Aviv and where you would like to spend your time. Remember that everything is close by so even if you want to stay in a calm place and go out in the evening, or stay where there is action and go out to calmer areas, you can always do that as well. From the center, you can walk pretty much anywhere and if you feel that you can’t make it there are always cabs, buses, and minibus to take you around. You can catch them anywhere at any time.
Enjoy your trip and make sure to stay safe!
Written by A.J. (Erez) Hughes
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