Tel Aviv Travel Guide

Israel  
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Courtesy of Ilan Shacham/Getty Images

Free Things To Do in Tel Aviv

If you have extra time, Jaffa is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Things to do in Tel Aviv
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    #1 in Tel Aviv
    Recreation, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Recreation, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    It's easy to see why walking and biking are the preferred modes of transportation here: With a 3-mile-long beachside boardwalk to cruise, taking a taxi or a bus just feels like a missed opportunity. Tel Aviv's Tayelet – a pedestrian-only street – runs along the Mediterranean from the Old Tel Aviv Port to Jaffa, offering bikers and strollers spectacular views of the sea. On the inland side, the Tayelet grants easy access to Tel Aviv's prime hotel areas, as well as numerous restaurants and nightlife venues. On the other side of the promenade, you'll find beautiful beaches, including hot spots like Gordon Beach. 

    Previous guests praised the Tayelet as one of the best places in Tel Aviv to relax and enjoy the sunshine. The coffee shops and restaurants that dot the boardwalk also received rave reviews. Visitors also insisted on renting a bike to see as much of the coastline as possible. There are several Tel-O-Fun stations along the promenade.

  • #2
    Neve Tzedek
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    #2 in Tel Aviv
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Sitting about halfway between downtown Tel Aviv and Jaffa is Neve Tzedek, one of Tel Aviv's original settlements. Composed of beautifully restored houses, boutique shops, thriving cafes and trendy art galleries, this neighborhood is undeniably one of the city's most beautiful areas. Recent visitors described Neve Tzedek as Tel Aviv's SoHo and insist that future travelers check out the array of offerings available. This trendy neighborhood houses some of the city's premier art venues, including the Rokach House Museum and the Suzanne Dellal Centre, where the Batsheva Dance Company performs. While you're exploring, keep your eyes peeled for the murals adorning many of Neve Tzedek's walls.

    You can easily reach this vibrant region by bike or taxi from anywhere in the city. It can also be reached via bus Nos. 41 and 240. You can wander Neve Tzedek's streets 24 hours a day without spending a shekel. To learn more, visit the Israeli Tourism Board's website.

  • #3
    Jaffa
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    Jaffa
    free
    #3 in Tel Aviv
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    This ancient city located just south of Tel Aviv can trace its roots back to the Bible. Jaffa is said to have been named for Noah's son, Japhet, who constructed the beautiful city walls and winding corridors after the Flood. And it is from here that Jonah embarked on his adventure with the whale. This once thriving port has played host to the Roman and the Ottoman civilizations. Steeping the area even further in lore, Saint Peter performed miracles here, and Richard the Lionheart and Napoleon both laid claim to it. Jaffa is also the city from where the founders of Tel Aviv originated.

    Previous visitors describe walking through Jaffa as similar to strolling back in history. Beautiful views of and stone buildings delight travelers who make the trek. Except now, the interiors of these ancient buildings have been transformed into art galleries and cafes. Throughout the city, narrow alleyways funnel you past jewelry-makers and fruit vendors into the primary square, where a thriving flea market sells everything from antiques to regional snacks.

  • #4
    Old Tel Aviv Port
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    #4 in Tel Aviv
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    From the 1930s to the 1960s, the Old Tel Aviv Port acted as Israel's primary gateway to the sea. Day in and day out, ships brought merchandise to Israel's shores from all over the Mediterranean, as Israeli exports increased. Since the port closed in the '60s, major revitalization efforts have turned this area into one of the most exciting entertainment districts. Today, the wooden docks support cozy cafes, trendy shops, delectable restaurants and seaside bars.

    Previous visitors describe the Old Tel Aviv Port as an ideal place to take in the city’s culture. Tourists can alternate between people-watching and taking in the stellar views of the Mediterranean while they enjoy a coffee or drink.

  • #7
    Nahalat Binyamin Market
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    #7 in Tel Aviv
    Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Every Tuesday and Friday, the Nahalat Binyamin Pedestrian Mall in downtown Tel Aviv is taken over by more than 200 outdoor stalls, displaying everything from glassware to jewelry to local crafts. The historic market is the largest arts and crafts market in Israel. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., this popular shopping district overflows with browsers and buyers looking for the perfect souvenir. 

    Recent visitors described the Nahalat Binyamin Market as the perfect place to pick up a souvenir or just people watch. The only caveat is the market does get extremely crowded, so some tourists recommend that those who don’t do well in crowds skip this particular attraction. 

  • #8
    Carmel Market (Shuk HaCarmel)
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    #8 in Tel Aviv
    Shopping, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Sandwiched between Allenby Street to the north and HaKovshim Park to the south, the buzzing Carmel Market is the largest open-air marketplace in the city. Here, crowds converge on stalls that sell everything from colorful spices to knock-off sunglasses. This is a great place to stop for picnic supplies before heading to the beach.

    Within a few minutes of exploration, you'll be engulfed by the hustle and bustle of Carmel. Various vendors try to serenade you with songs of pricing and claims about their merchandise. Previous visitors say that shopping here can be a bit of a stimulation overload, but the experience is definitely a net positive.

  • #11
    White City
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    #11 in Tel Aviv
    Sightseeing, Tours, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Tours, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Design aficionados won't want to miss the opportunity to wander this pearly neighborhood in central Tel Aviv. Extending from Allenby Street to the Yarkon River, this district – now a UNESCO World Heritage site – earned its nickname, the "White City," from the cream-colored walls of its Bauhaus architecture. This building style is based on the use of clean geometric shapes in an asymmetrical way. The architectural style gained popularity in Germany during the 1930s and was brought to Tel Aviv by German Jewish immigrants. Today, the city houses the largest collection of Bauhaus architecture in the world.

    Previous visitors said the White City is especially appealing to architecture buffs but is worth a quick trip regardless of your enthusiasm for building design. You're welcome to wander the White City on your own, but you’ll want either a good guide or a good guidebook to get the most out of it. Many past tourists recommend the guided tours offered by the Bauhaus Center, which is located on Dizengoff Street. Tours cost 80 Israeli shekels (around $22). If you only have a short amount of time, spend it strolling Rothschild Boulevard, where many Bauhaus buildings now house charming cafes and shops.

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