Let me start by making it overwhelmingly clear – I am obsessed with Tel Aviv. The balmy weather, the pristine beaches, the hummus and the undeniably hip Tel Avivians – it is practically faultless in my mind.
Just a short plane trip from my home in Copenhagen and my reality has switched from grey mornings and a dismal 45 degrees to sunshine and temperatures in the high eighties. Even Autumn boasts temperatures of 85 degrees here.
Tucked along a vast stretch of Israel’s Mediterranean coast, Tel Aviv is a lively, vibrant, cosmopolitan paradise. It has a little bit of everything for everyone, its multiculturalism evident in every street corner.
The ancient port city of Jaffa in the city’s south has all the charm and charisma of a pulsating seaside town. The oldest seaport in the world, Jaffa is an eclectic mix of old and new, and home to a vibrant multiethnic community of Muslims, Christians and Jews.
Navigate through Jaffa’s enchanting flea market, which sells anything from locally made crafts and ceramics, antiques and high-end design wares. Have a bite to eat and a cocktail at Shaffa Bar, a bustling street bar that with a great selection of DJ’s and live music.
Head a little further into the center of town and you will find Rothschild Boulevard in all its glory. Laden in history, the boulevard is now home to some of the most iconic cafes, hotels, restaurants and private residences in Tel Aviv.
For quirky and colourful eats, head to local haunt Bucke Café – a short five-minute walk from the boulevard. With a reputation for serving up the best (and most instagrammable) Israeli breakfasts in town, this is not to be missed. The share platter is a dream come true, and the Shakshuka rivals anything else I’ve ever had before.
I found my spirit neighborhood in Florentin – Tel Aviv’s bohemian district. It’s a hipsters’ paradise and a hub for tattoo parlors, dog cafes and all things vegan. People hoard pets like they are the latest Gucci handbag. Join the hipster hordes at cosy Café Casbah, where you can get anything from Asian tofu stir-fries to extravagant Israeli breakfasts.
Come nightfall, and you will certainly not be short of things to do. Dubbed as ‘the city that never stops’, Tel Aviv has a buzzing nightlife scene and enough bars and clubs to keep even the most avid party animal pumping until the early hours of the morning. Make like the locals and head to trendy Port Said for tapas and a drink in their expansive outside courtyard. Then shuffle on to one of the city’s many, many nightclubs – the Breakfast Club, The Block, Penguin to name a few.
Hummus is a contentious topic in Israel. Many claim to have mastered the art of the Middle Eastern specialty, but when it comes to the best in Tel Aviv, it has to be Abu Hassan. Abu Hassan has been dishing up their hummus for over 50 years, earning themselves a special place in the heart of Tel Avivians. Served with onions and fresh, warm pita bread. I’m drooling at the thought of it. Not to be missed.
Things to know:
- Travel in the shoulder seasons – March to April & September to November – for warm, sunny weather and significantly less tourists.
- While it is not necessary, it is a good idea to brush up on the history and politics of Israel before you travel. It is always nice to be well informed before heading overseas, and in Israel, it may save you from an awkward encounter or two.
Pia Marsh is a freelance journalist and writer, originally from the Northern Beaches of Sydney, and now permanently living in Copenhagen, Denmark. She writes about her travels (and her undying love for Scandinavia) at www.piamarsh.dk.Instagram: pialoui.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the PDS available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.