The city, also known as Tel Aviv-Jaffa, is a city in the central coastal region of Israel on the Mediterranean Sea. The name means ‘Spring Hill’. After Jerusalem, which is just over an hour’s drive away, it is the second largest city in Israel and has about 410k inhabitants. According to Israel itself, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, but many other countries do not recognize Jerusalem as the capital, for most other countries this is Tel Aviv.
The city is clean, public transport is well organized and it has an elongated sandy coast (Gordon Beach) where you can work out before you plant your beach-body on the beach. There are many (expensive, see budget) beach bars along the clean beach. Besides being a modern city, it’s also a sporty city. Especially in the morning, before the temperature rises rapidly, the promenade is filled with runners, cross fitters, yoga fanatics and practitioners of the National sport ‘matkot’ (paddle ball).
Especially the nearby old port town of Jaffa and the traditional ‘Carmel Marked’ is a must-to-see! If you want to relax on the beach in the morning, visit the market in the afternoon and then experience the nightlife in the evening and then sweat your hangover out the next day while strolling around in the alleys of Jaffa, 2 days is enough for you. If you want to see something more or do it more relaxed, add 1-2 days. Oh yes; don’t be surprised if suddenly a man – without wearing a uniform- with a huge rifle is standing next to you together with his girlfriend to buy an ice cream. Just get used to it.
“a must-see… the old town of Jaffa”
“hit one of the beach spots of Gordon Beach”
Visa – Residents of the Netherlands receive a visa on arrival at the airport. This visa is free of charge (If you have another nationality please check the up-to-date information at the Embassy or Consulate website). Note: Having an Israeli visa stamp in your passport can cause ‘problems’ if you are travelling to other, especially Arab, countries. Therefore, ask the customs officer to place the stamp on a separate document instead of your passport!
Accommodation – In the centre of Tel Aviv you will find plenty of hotels, B&Bs and hostels. Hostels range from EUR18-EUR30 per night, midrange accommodation EUR100-EUR200 and high-end EUR200+. A stay in old Jaffa is a recommendable. I spent the night in the centre of Tel Aviv at a local who my travel-mate had met during a trip through India – you won’t get it any cheaper!
Food & Drinks – On every corner -and in between you’ll find foodspots in Tel-Aviv. Falafel-price level (EUR5) midrange-price level (EUR15-50) and first date-price level (EUR50+). Lovers of hummus can indulge themselves here!
In general, Tel-Aviv is pricey, both for food and other items. You won’t find a beer in the supermarket for less than 13 New Israeli Sheqel (1 EUR = about 4NIS = EUR 3.25). They charge you for the same beer in a bar or restaurant NIS32/EUR8 (during happy hours NIS20/EUR5). Expensive affair for alcohol lovers.
Some other examples:
– Schnitzel NIS70/EUR17.5
– Big Mac NIS17/EUR4.25
– Pita Chicken NIS30/EUR7.5
– Pita Shoarma NIS32/EUR8
– Hotdog NIS26/EUR6.5
– Bottle of water (supermarket) NIS9/EUR2,25
– Shakshuka (TIP!! breakfast) NIS25/EUR6,25
– ice-coffee (supermarket) NIS8/EUR2
“Give your vitamin level a squeezed boost at the Carmel Market.”
Transport – From the airport you can take buses to the centre of Tel Aviv, except during Sabbath (Saturday). This is the ‘Sunday’ for Israel and then there no public transport at all. This is why I can tell you that a taxi from the airport to Tel-Aviv will cost you about NIS170/EUR42,5 for 3 persons.
Public transport in Tel Aviv itself is relatively cheap. A bus trip (short) will cost you NIS6/EUR1.5 and a bus trip (long), for example to Jerusalem, will cost you NIS20/EUR5. Funny fact is that as a tourist you often don’t have to pay for short bus rides and the driver lets you walk… according to locals this is a quite normal, but not always the case. You just have to laugh friendly and get lucky!
Climate & Season – Tel Aviv is best visited in May, June, September and October.
Tel Aviv has a midlands maritime climate with hot summers, gentle in-between seasons and cool winters. The average temperature in the summer is 25 degrees and can rise up to 40 degrees. During my visit (late October) the temperature dropped rapidly at the end of the afternoon, by the time of 6pm.
“check-out the local snacks”
Suggested daily budget – 50 EUR per day (low budget) 115 EUR per day (medium budget) 115 EUR+ EUR (high budget)