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Tel Aviv

4.3 /5 30 votes

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Best Time: March, April & September to November Read More

Ideal duration: 3 days

Nearest Airport: Tel Aviv Check Flights

"Enigmatic Tel Aviv"

Tel Aviv Tourism

Israel's second largest city is an ever-growing metropolis. Today skyscrapers paint the once Palestine sky. The air is free spirited here, without the political strains felt in Jerusalem, rightfully nicknamed the 'Bubble' by its locals. A mix of a business centre, an art hub and a beach town, Tel Aviv is the strange combination of hip and homely.

Cosmopolitan and exuberant Tel Aviv, is Israel's pride. The city is now known for its International Style or Bahaus architecture, the renowned White City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The old Jaffa Port, the Meditarranean coastline, the Carmel Market all add to the fervour of this charming city. The locals are politically and socially liberal, there even exists a thriving gay scene. The high end restaurants complement the old school eating joints, some days are for the beach others are for chic cafes, some evenings are for art galleries, others are for outdoor bike paths - Tel Aviv is that strange medley, a heterogenous mix, yet very homogenously absorbed. With theatres, concert halls and a live jazz scene, the city is a lot about culture and aesthetics. New comer or returning visitor, Tel Aviv never fails to charm!

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Language of Tel Aviv

Arabic and Hebrew are the official languages. Russian and English are widely spoken as well. Some common phrases: Marhabaan - Hello (Arabic)/ Shalom - Hello (Hebrew) Shukraan - Thank You Min Fadik - Please Kam Thaman Hudha - How much is this?

History of Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv was founded in 1909, a Jewish suburb in Jaffa. It was named after Theodor Herzl's novel, translated to Hebrew, which means 'spring hill'. An autonomous local council was set up for its governance, even though the city was still part of Jaffa. The anti-Jewish riots in 1921, saw a massive infiltration of the Jewish population into Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv was eventually granted township status in the same year and municipal city status in 1934, under mayor Meir Dizengoff. Over the 1920-1930s, Tel Aviv grew economically, culturally and politically, with its Jewish population on the rise, so much so that it surpassed Jaffa. In 1947, when the resolution for partition of Palestine was passed, Jewish military forces took control of the Arab Jaffa, which was amalgamated with Tel Aviv to form Tel Aviv-Yafo. Tel Aviv was further expanded to encompass other neighbouring villages and townships. Till about the 1990s, there was rapid infrastructural growth apart from an improving quality of life. In 1991 Tel Aviv was victim to attacks by Iraqi forces and the early 2000s saw quite a few terrorist attacks. However 21st century Tel Aviv has recovered and has witnessed a real estate boom

Nightlife in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv's nightlife is acclaimed for reverberating through the city relentlessly. Most places operate on the ' until the last customer' policy and are open till almost 5 AM in the morning. Don't enter before 10 pm though, because most of these places are low key during evening hours. Bar, night clubs, lounges, gay clubs and so much more, Tel Aviv has entertainment to offer for all. Head to Zappa Club or Ozen Bar to check out local musicians, the Block or Cat and Dog to groove to DJ tracks, or Radio EPGB for Tel Aviv's underground scene. The bars here are both English as well as Irish, with a few Israeli ones that play local music. The Florentine neighborhood is one of the trendiest nightlife destinations, not known too many.

Shopping in Tel Aviv

Tel Avis is home to some of the most extravagant malls like Azriel, Dizengoff, Ramat Aviv Mall etc. These gorgeous high rises have both Israeli chain stores as well as international labels spread across floors. Brands include Calvin Klein, Versace, Guess, Ralph Lauren, French Connection and the like. Known as the fashion capital of Israel, you will get first hand access to designs of youn Israeli designers creating a furore worldwide. Dizengoff Street, has several such boutiques of local designers, selling fashion which is a class departure from the West. For jewellery and crafts, Neve Tzedek, is the place you are looking for and the Nahalat Binyamin Pedestrian Mall on Tuesdays and Fridays. However the real Tel Aviv shopping experience is in its open air markets. The Carmel Market, in between the Yemenite Quarter and Nahalat Binyamin, is the city's busiest markets. From accessories, fresh vegetables, nuts, cheese, bread and beachwear, however noisy and crowded, this is the heart of the city.

Currency in Tel Aviv

All major Master Card, Visa and American Express Credit Cards are widely accepted. US Dollars are acceptable by the comparatively larger establishments, namely hotels and restaurants. But it is also advisable to carry Shekels with you, for public transport, taxis, cafes and small shops.

Exchanging Money in Tel Aviv

There are plenty exchange bureauxs in Allenby and Dizengoff Street, open till 9 pm. ATMS are also available in plenty, in strategic locations. However you will be charged a little extra for ATM withdrawals.

Daily Budget for Tel Aviv

Israel is an expensive country, and Tel Aviv being the capital is quite pricey. You will be spending atleast USD $ 50 - 60 on an average, even if you are eating shawarma and falafel from the street carts, traveling by local buses and visting few attractions. However what needs to be kept in mind is that Israeli cuisine is best relished in the restaurants, the public transport is messy and Tel Aviv has some fascinating places to visit. So with the latter on the agenda, you will be spending a good USD $ 80 - 100.

Religion of Tel Aviv

Jewish with a Muslim minority

Tel Aviv Customs

Israelis are known to be expressive and direct. Therefore anticipate conversations pertaining to subjects you might not discuss with strangers usually, and try not to express any discomfort while amist one. There are reservations about physical contact between the opposite sex, unless married. While greeting somebody of the opposite sex, wait till he/ she extends a hand. Tel Aviv is a liberal and fashionable city. There are no specific restrictions to dressing and you can wear anything that you are comfortable in. If you are visiting a religious place, ensure that you are appropriately dressed, with shoulders and legs covered. There are no specific rules for tipping. A 10 - 15% tip is expected in the restaurants, while you need not tip the taxi drivers.

Restaurants and Local Food in Tel Aviv

The local cuisine is an odd combination of different culinary cultures from around the world. While the Middle Eastern influence is the most prominent, there are elements of Polish cuisine as well. Israelis believe in a hearty breakfast You can try the Shakshuka, the traditional tomato and egg staple. Abulafia Bakery at Yefet street stands for the typical tastes of Tel Aviv. Since 1879 it has operated 24 hours a day, all through the week. If you want to get as close to old school Israeli cuisine as you can, this is where you need to head. From Sambusak, a dough noodle with feta cheese stuffing, a particular speciality of theirs, to bagels made of pita bread and stuffed with onions, eggs, paprika and hyssop, the little delights of Abulafia are all worth a try. While in Tel Aviv you cannot miss falafel,balls made of ground chickpeas served in pita with salads. Most of us have tried the shawarma by now, but for the most authentic flavour you got to try the ones sold here. And last but not the least, there is hummus, with each street cart or restaurant serving the all time favourite with qwerks of their own! Abu Hassan is a must. Home to immigrants from different origins, Tel Aviv has diversity to offer for your palate. Spicy Yemeni soups with Malawach (spices) and Hawayej (bread), Moroccan couscous, Lamb Tagine, Persian rice and kebabs. Is your mouth watering already? From the far east, there are Chinese, Japanese and Thai restaurants, and traditional Ethiopian restaurants introduced by the immigrants. Europe also makes its presence felt with numerous sophisticated French restaurants and cafes, while America is not far behind with the Burger Kings, Subways and McDonalds!
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