Tel Aviv, a city on Israel’s Mediterranean coast is best known for its cultural astuteness, liberalism, Mediterranean beaches, incredible food, and nonstop nightlife. Not to mention the savvy tech companies and high-rise buildings that line the shore.
Founded in 1909 as a suburb north of the ancient city of Jaffa, the areas reunited after Israel’s independence. Today, Old Jaffa is all quaint lanes and Old World charm, while Tel Aviv proper is at the heart of Israel’s hi-tech industry known as Silicon Wadi. Attractions include the Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot, whose multimedia exhibits cover the history of Jewish communities worldwide, and the Eretz Israel Museum. The city has a large number of art museums and galleries, including the world-renowned Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Museum of the History of Tel Aviv-Yafo, and the Bauhaus Museum, which tell the story of Tel Aviv.
Since the 1980s, gentrification has come to formerly neglected neighbourhoods, which have been transformed into some of the trendiest quarters in the city. Among these is Neve Tzedek, with its avant-garde design stores, fashion boutiques, and restaurants, as well as the weekly farmers’ market in HaTachana, a restored railway station. Other sites to seek out are Florentin and Sheinkin Streets, as well as the redeveloped Tel Aviv Port. Tel Aviv moved into an era of tall skyscrapers and hi-tech industry in the 1990s, with the Azrieli Center and its observation deck with views across the city, the tallest and most impressive of these.
The city’s dreamy beaches run nearly nine miles along the Mediterranean Sea, with 13 official areas demarcated to suit the specific sunseeker. The seaside promenade is popular with dog walkers, runners, and cyclists — and there you will see some of the city’s most beautiful residents lingering for chats at coffee kiosks along the way.
The White City
Tree-lined Rothschild Boulevard Square is one of the city’s trendiest areas and at the heart of its financial district. Running from Neve Tzedek to Habima Square, it houses the 4,000 Bauhaus-style buildings with white-washed facades that were constructed between 1920 and 1940 by German-Jewish architects based on teachings from the Bauhaus art school. Giving Tel Aviv its White City moniker, they accommodated the 60,000 plus immigrants fleeing Germany at the time.
Tel Aviv is buzzing with so much life, you could bottle it and sell it as honey.
** This post forms part of my 100x Magical Places series which offers an introduction to my favourite destinations.