Israel Part 2. Three Days in Tel Aviv.

I absolutely love Tel Aviv!

No, Seriously!

The city is young, vibrant, and very trendy for a beach town. It’s clean, and well-kept. It has a youth and energy not felt in other places around the region. AND, unlike the international news media would lead you to believe, is generally safe and welcoming!

It’s definitely one of my favorite places to have visited off the eastern end of Mediterranean.

My Hotel Option.

I spent my stay in Tel Aviv at The Gordon Inn. Frankly, I picked it because it was close to the beach and got good reviews. It was also inexpensive … for Tel Aviv.

A note about hotels. There are a lot of properties in Tel Aviv that are listed as hotels, but actually aren’t. They are B&Bs and the like. You won’t actually notice the difference until you book a reservation. After, they will start assailing you to email them copies of your passport and such to secure your stay. I’m not sure what the game is, but I don’t stay in such places. Search out real hotels, especially when it comes to sharing personal information with people you’ve never met.

Back to the hotel. It was excellent, and offered up everything I needed. The two young women that ran the front desk were the best! Super friendly, and super helpful. I enjoyed the stay.

(I have no affiliation with them, I just enjoyed my time there.)

Tel Aviv Hotel Balcony, Brownell, 2019

The view from my hotel’s coffee area in Tel Aviv. 2019

Eating Out.

There’s no way around it, Tel Aviv is expensive. It’s like a level above NYC expensive. You’re gonna burn through some cash while you’re there.

Since I’m naturally the backpacker type, not eating in restaurants and other high end places doesn’t bother me. A beer on the beach, sandwich from a corner stand or coffee shop, that type of thing works for me most days.

While in Tel Aviv I spent a lot of time searching out places that have lunch specials. (there are a bunch.) I also stopped at the outside bars and cafes that had a happy hour deal. (There are a lot of these as well.) even specials can seem a little pricey there, if you’re from somewhere that is more mostly priced. My suggestion is just look around and see where you can shave a shekel or two. Every little bit will help.

Dizengoff Street, Tel Aviv, Brownell, 2019

Dizengoff Street, bar and restaurant central in beachside Tel Aviv. 2019

The Beach Scene.

I don’t live at the beach, normally. I’m what one might call a destination beach guy. When I want to beach, I go to the beach.

The beaches in Tel Aviv are excellent! I was there in June, and the water was beautiful. The beaches were also quite popular, as the heat was turning on for the summer in the Near East.

All the beaches along the section of the city that I was staying in were basically free. There were roped off sections for different hotels’ lounging areas, but the actual water frontage of the beach was open.

Tel Aviv is a young city. Be proxy, it has a young beach scene. It also seems to draw a lot of young tourist groups (think westerners), so that also adds to the young beach scene. The energy on the beach is vibrant, and a good reflection of the city as a whole. You’ll have a good time at the beach there!

Safety note: drink a lot of water. The sun and daytime temperatures in the area are much hotter than Europe or North America. You will dehydrate if you don’t take an active roll in drinking water while you’re outside.

Gordon Beach, Tel Aviv, Brownell, 2019

Gordon beach in Tel Aviv. One of the many great beaches in the city.

Jaffa Port.

A causal walk down the beach from the main part of Tel Aviv city gets you to the Old Jaffa Port area. I confess that this is where I actually wanted to stay, but it’s hotels are higher priced than the ones in the city center area.

The old port is spectacular, and well maintained in that old-but-useable way that many significantly old areas are. A walk around the area is a must-do if you’re in the city more than a day.

The views from the reinforced walls, both out to sea and back up the beach line, are outstanding. You’ll find many small shops in alleyways, and historic markers for different events. There are a couple different walking tour options available, if you’re interested in a thorough history lesson. I kind of just wandered around and enjoyed the views.

Jaffa Port, Brownell, 2019

Old Jaffa Port in south Tel Aviv. An easy walk down the beach.

Old Jaffa Port, Brownell, 2019

Looking back up the beach from the ramparts at the old Jaffa Port in Tel Aviv. 2019

The Walking Tour.

A walking tour, wether impromptu or organized, is a great way to see the city and not necessarily spend a bunch of money. I recommend the idea.

I spent part of every day in Tel Aviv out walking around. There’s a lot to see. The many side streets have pleasant little communities that feel individual. I’d walk for a while and then stop and have a coffee or a beer at some corner establishment. It was a great way to get a little bit more of a personal feel for the place.

Safety note: I’ve walked around in a bunch of super-sketchy places in the Near and Middle East. Most all of those experiences I wouldn’t recommend. You need to have common sense and good street smarts to do those things.

That being said, Tel Aviv is not those places! It feels shockingly safe to move around in. I walked a bunch of it and never felt unsafe in any of it. Seriously, I’ve been in parts of London and Paris that are way less safe than any part of Tel Aviv I was in. Still, keep your wits about you as you explore. The locals know who the tourists are.

Rabin Square Pool, Tel Aviv, Brownell, 2019

Water lilies on the water at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv.

Thoughts?

The prices are big. The beaches are great! The people are friendly. The beer is cold.

Other than price, which is just part of life, I have trouble finding anything to complain about. I had a great time in Tel Aviv! I want to go back, right now! It’s so different from other places I’ve been in the region that it feels like you’re almost not in the “East” anymore.

I would definitely put it on your travel list.

*

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Now get out there! Explore new places! (After corona travel restrictions are lifted anyway.)

3 Comments on “Israel Part 2. Three Days in Tel Aviv.

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