In It’s really happening! series I will rumble about places that we’ve just decided to cross off from our to-do list. Big trip or bank holiday city break – it doesn’t really matter – we have to prepare few things! Making general research and writing about interesting spots, will keep me comfortable while making ad hoc decisions.
Everyone had to pass on an excellent ticket deal just because of lack of knowledge about (potentially) very interesting city. I’m not going to let it happen again!
First one in the line is:
The White City of Tel Aviv
Let’s start with some basics: Second biggest city of Israel, hip and hedonistic, called “Mediterranean Manhattan of Israel”. Completely different from it’s older brother – Jerusalem. Devout religious traditions are pushed into the background and nightlife culture is taking over the city. Shabbat – day of rest is treated much more liberal than in other parts of the country. Currency NIS – Israeli New Shekel. 10 ₪ = $3.00 = €2.45.
Speaking of money – Israel is a quite expensive country and Tel Aviv is definitely not an exception. As per expatistan.com for a cappuccino, you will have to pay around €3.00, at least €10.00 for the cocktail in a club and dinner for two (in a decent restaurant) will set you back over €65.00. Ouch… Well, nobody said it will be cheap!
Of course, Tel Aviv is not only for CEOs of Forbes 500 companies.
Street food joints packed with tasty falafels, shawarmas and shakshuka are waiting for you! Not as cheap as in continental Europe but still provide massive savings vs restaurants.
According to Airbnb, modest one bedroom apartment with a little bit of outside space will cost something between €30-60 per night. It’s not that bad, especially when compared to European big cities. For real OG backpackers, there is always space in numerous hostels, but unfortunately, with the low price comes low (or at least below average) standard.
Ok, basic stuff is covered, let’s move into the next part of the show:
What to do in Tel Aviv
Just a short list of things what we would really like to do and see. Most probably everything will change when we will arrive, but maybe right now I am helping YOU! Also, I am leaving it open as I would love to add few more things later on.
Is there anything better and more relaxing than afternoon stroll along the wharves of one of the oldest ports in the world? I don’t think so. Renting a bicycle in the area sounds tempting as well.
Tel Aviv Museum of Art and Design Museum Holon
As a big fans of modern art we can’t skip visiting Museum of Art and Design Museum. The latter one is located in Holon, so taking a bus might be a good idea. Entrance fees are around €10 each.
The number of internets top-lists “nightlife places you must visit” is really staggering and it proofs that one evening is definitely not enough to visit them all. Probably it’s enough of them for a whole year. I really want to check out Spicehaus, Port Said, and Twenty Two Rothschild, but the real possibilities are endless.
Also – just for the future reference I will leave it here – Secret Tel Aviv.
Most famous and biggest market of Tel Aviv. Besides fresh fruit and veg, you will find there wallet-friendly food joints, where you’ll feel and eat like a real local. Bar Ochel deserves a special highlight – located exactly in the middle of the market – lets you eat and watch the never-ending stream of people.
Masada and the Dead Sea Day Trip
The last thing on our list is not really in Tel Aviv but the city is quite a good place to pick up excursion trip to the Dead Sea. A short visit to the natural spa for sure will leave my skin healthy and silky smooth! On the way there, there’s a chance to take a cable-car and see Masada – impressive ancient fortress overlooking the desert and the Dead Sea.
Is it safe to travel there?
The border with Syria (Golan Heights) and Gaza Strip are no-go areas but Tel Aviv remains safe. It’s good to be up to date with the local news as violent protests may occur. I will end up with a lovely quote from gov.uk’s foreign travel advice:
Rockets have been fired from Gaza towards Israel on a number of occasions in 2016. Further rocket fire is possible and you should familiarise yourself with the safety actions that you should take in the event of a warning siren.
So it looks like that old saying “keep calm and carry on” is still alive!