When you think about taking a vacation on the Mediterranean Sea, the mind often drifts towards Spain, Italy, and France. Those are all worthwhile destinations, but Tel Aviv is quickly becoming a must-visit travel destination for individuals seeking Mediterranean fun in the sun.
Tel Aviv is home to vast stretches of Israel’s 170 miles of beaches. The city’s beaches buzz with life as do the bars, cafes, and restaurants that line the city. Tel Aviv experiences around 300 days of sunlight a year. Compared to other travel hotspots on the Mediterranean, Tel Aviv is not out of control with tourists. Fewer than 5 million people visit the city each year.
If you are considering a break in Tel Aviv, then don’t miss out on these five neighborhoods for history, accommodation, and food and drink.
Lev Ha’ir is quite literally, ‘the heart of the city’ and is situated smack in the middle of Tel Aviv. You will find Tel Aviv’s must-see landmarks and cultural attractions. Lev Ha’ir is perfect for culture vultures looking to discover the best historical parts of the city.
Yet, Lev Ha’ir isn’t just about culture and history. The neighborhood is ideal for nights out on the town. If you fancy spending the day exploring UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the White City before heading out to excellent bars and restaurants, then look no further than Lev Ha’ir.
The area may be home to historical sites, but Lev Ha’ir is firmly focused on Israel’s future. It is home to skyscrapers stretching heavenward where tech start-ups have their headquarters. You will find 1900s history right up against 21st-century design in Lev Ha’ir.
Must-visit attractions in Lev Ha’ir include the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Independence Hall, and the Carmel Market. The Great Synagogue, built in 1922, is an imposing building that Lev Ha’ir has grown around. It is a beautiful religious site and well worth a visit.
Best place to stay in Lev Ha’ir
Hotel Montefiore. Address: 36 Montefiore St., Tel Aviv, 65201, Israel.
Tel Aviv sits right on the Mediterranean Sea. The city offers you warm weather, gorgeous beaches, and great activities to explore. Old North is situated right up against the Mediterranean Sea and is ideal for anyone seeking a beach holiday. Hilton Beach and Metzitzim Beach are two popular spots located in Old North.
The neighborhood was built with plenty of European influence. Trees line the area offering a sense of peace that other parts of Tel Aviv lack. There are high-scale boutiques and accommodation in Old North, making it one of the more expensive parts of the city.
Old North isn’t a popular tourist spot, it is mostly a residential area. However, if you want to escape to a nearby beach, then it is a brilliant place to spend a day. Families can spend hours at Independence Park. Its playground offers parents some peace and quiet, while the kids run about.
For a spot of history, Old Tel Aviv Port is worth exploring. There is an assortment of hotels and accommodation around the port from five-star to three-star.
Best place to stay in Old North
Hotel Brown Beach House. Address: 64 Ha’Yarkon Street, Tel Aviv, 6343220, Israel.
If it is your first time to visit Tel Aviv, Neve Tzedek is a great place to start. The area is filled with cool Bauhaus buildings, which were influenced by the architecture movement in Germany of the 1900s. The building architecture is one of the most striking aspects of the neighborhood, especially with more modern-looking skyscrapers being erected in other parts of Tel Aviv.
Located in the southwestern part of the city, Neve Tzedek was the initial Jewish neighborhood to be built outside of the old town of Jaffa. At one time, Neve Tzedek was in major decline. City authorities were ready to demolish Neve Tzedek and rebuild it. However, the area’s historical buildings and landmarks received protected status, which changed the authorities’ decision on the neighborhood’s future. Neve Tzedek underwent restoration to preserve its history.
The 1980s saw the initial rebirth of the area. It attracted a lot of artists and creative types due to low prices. Today, Neve Tzedek is a fashionable part of Tel Aviv with rising prices. It is a great place to stay on a first-time trip to see the history and experience some of the city’s best bits.
Best place to stay in Neve Tzedek
Hotel Ruby. Address: 11 Yehuda ha-Levi Street, Tel Aviv, 6513519, Israel.
Florentin was previously a major industrial area of the city situated between Jaffa and Neve Tzedek. Like many industrial areas, it fell on hard times and was rundown. Over the years, it received a makeover and is now a hotspot for artists and creatives.
Since the 1980s, Florentin has been on the rise as a trendy place to live. One of the main reasons for Florentin’s revitalization was a 1990s television show of the same name. The TV show was a hit across Israel and it inspired much of the gentrification of Florentin.
Florentin is still a grittier part of Tel Aviv. The artistic area is young and trendy with clothing boutiques, tattoo studios, and cafes found around nearly every corner. Florentin attracts people from all over Tel Aviv for nights out. Its bars are major attractions for individuals seeking fun after dark.
The neighborhood is definitely an alternative to the rest of Tel Aviv. If you want to get away from the tourists and the landmarks that attract visitors, then Florentin is certainly a place to stay on your vacation.
Best place to stay in Florentin
Hotel The Drisco. Address: 4-6 Auerbach Street, Tel Aviv, 6811911, Israel.
Jaffa can trace its history or at least its mention, back to before the common era (BCE). The Persians and Ottomans came and went over the centuries adding to the neighborhood’s incredible history. You really cannot get more historic than Jaffa when visiting Tel Aviv.
The neighborhood didn’t become a part of the city until the 1950s when they grew into each other. The historical neighborhood is well worth exploring on a full day of sightseeing. The Bronze Age-built Canaanites fortified the area and exudes ancient history. You can get lost, figurative and literally, in the neighborhood’s alleyways that snake through it.
The Ottoman Clock Tower is a must-see and Jaffa Market is located around it. New, modern cafes and boutiques have popped up around Jaffa due to the number of visitors that seek out the area.
Jaffa is arguably the most charming place to stay on vacation. Your social media followers will be green with envy over the amazing selfies you post from Jaffa. This old-world part of the city shouldn’t be missed.
Best place to stay in Jaffa
The Jaffa, A Luxury Collection Hotel. Address: 2 Louis Pasteur, Tel Aviv, 6803602, Israel.
Where travel critics stay in Tel Aviv
Want to know where travel critics from publishers like The New York Times, Frommer’s, Fodor’s and Lonely Planet stay in Tel Aviv? Check out our overview of all recommended hotels, hostels and B&Bs in Tel Aviv.
“This mammoth hostel is one of the best places to meet other travelers, and it has some of the cleanest and best-kept budget rooms. It offers excellent suites for couples or families with bathrooms, kitchenettes and TVs; it also operates tours in town and around Israel.” — Lonely Planet.
Address: 21 Levontin Street, Tel Aviv, 6511604, Israel.
“In a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, this glossy, digi-pop inspired hotel pays homage to its urban neighborhood with the right balance of history and high-end fun. Guests are whisked from its street-level entrance and art gallery to the neon rooftop lobby via translucent elevators.” — New York Times.
Address: 1 Nahalat Binyamin st., Tel Aviv, 6516101, Israel.
“Two fabulously restored historic buildings in central Tel Aviv make up this contemporary urban hotspot that evokes Bauhaus-era elegance and old world charm. Guest rooms are furnished with exquisite vintage decor, sumptuously comfortable beds, and signature-scented bath amenities.” — Fodor’s.
Address: 23-25 Nachmani Street, Tel Aviv, 6579441, Israel.
Best things to do in Tel Aviv
There are a lot of things to do in Tel Aviv and surrounding areas, including day trips, attractions, museums, sightseeing tours and many other activities. Here’s our list of 3 things you should definitely do when you’re in and around Tel Aviv:
Day Tour to Jerusalem and Bethlehem from Tel Aviv
Travel the distance from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by air-conditioned coach, and enter Old Jerusalem to see the Western Wall (Wailing Wall), Via Dolorosa and other age-old religious and historical sights. Price: $121. More info.
Caesarea, Haifa & Akko Day Trip from Tel Aviv
Travel from Tel Aviv on this full-day tour to explore Israel’s Mediterranean coast and sites such as the terraced Baha’i Gardens in Haifa, the natural limestone grottoes of Rosh Hanikra, and the ancient port city of Acree in Western Galilee. Price: $110. More info.
Tel Aviv Jaffa Guided Bike Tour
In just 3 hours we will cover almost all Tel Aviv &Jaffa highlights. You will get a good idea of why Tel Aviv is such an exciting city. Price: $60. More info.
Deciding where to stay in Tel Aviv
As you can see, there are a lot of things to explore, and deciding where to stay in Tel Aviv is important. Whether you stay in Jaffa, Florentin, Neve Tzedek, Old North or Lev Ha’ir, all those neighborhoods are in good locations.
The atmosphere of the area, whether you travel for leisure or business, whether you travel with your family or friends, and proximity to the attractions you prefer to visit should probably be the deciding factors. Whatever your preference is, you’ll have a great time in Tel Aviv.
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