The two Hebrew words “tel” and “aviv” roughly translate into “old” and “new,” which are certainly appropriate words to describe Israel's most vibrant city. Although it was founded in 1909, Tel Aviv is fairly young in comparison to the rest of civilization in this part of the world, where things date back 5,000 years or more. Tel Aviv and the old port of Jaffa have grown into one vibrant metropolitan area that's linked with great public transportation, bike trails and community events. A city rich in history, culture and activity, it's well worth a visit for at least 48 hours.
9 AM - EXPLORE ROTHSCHILD BLVD.
ROTHSCHILD BLVD. TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
Rothschild Boulevard runs right through the heart of Tel Aviv and is one of the great streetscapes of the world. A broad avenue lined with fica trees and a combination of Bauhaus and mid-century modern architecture, Rothschild is where hipsters, business and visitors blend into the melting pot that is modern-day Tel Aviv. A stroll or bike ride is a great way to settle into the city and get a feel for the locals and the pace. Find a coffee shop or cafe - there are dozens - to people watch and get a lay of the land.
12 PM - DR. SHAKSHUKA
BEIT ESHEL 3, TEL AVIV-YAFO, ISRAEL
Located in the midst of Shuk Ha'Carmel, Tel Aviv's largest street market, Dr. Shakshuka is a popular spot you won't soon forget.The owner, Bino Gadsu, is renowned for making the best shakshuka in the Middle East. Served in a skillet, it's is a tomato-based dish with lots of spices and oils. Once the sauce is bubbly, an egg is dropped in and served with warm bread.
2 PM - EXPLORE SHUK HA'CARMEL
ALLENBY, KING GEORGE & SHENKIN ST. TEL AVIV-YAFO, ISRAEL
The largest street market in Tel Aviv sprawls about ten blocks and offers plenty of shops and restaurants to peruse. You'll find antiques and souvenirs mixed in with brand name clothing and household knickknacks to haggle your heart out. Be careful about take too many pictures because not everyone is comfortable with that. It's important note that shops close early on Friday evenings and all day on Saturday for Shabbat.
4 PM - HATACHANA, TEL AVIV'S OLD TRAIN STATION
HAMMERED & KOIFMAN ST. TEL AVIV-YAFO, ISRAEL
Located in the colorful Neve Tzedek neighborhood, the old train station dates back to 1892, a good 20 years before Tel Aviv itself was founded. A well-known gathering place in the city, Hatachana is home to old rail cars that now house cafes and boutiques and warehouses turned art and fashion centers. One particular shop not to miss is Made in TLV. As the name suggests, everything is made locally, which includes clothing and unexpected souvenirs. Plan to visit on a Thursday afternoon or evening, which is when local bands set the backdrop for fashion shows, art expos and other events showcasing Tel Aviv’s creative community.
9 AM - BIRNBAUM CAFE
31 NAHALAT BINYAMIN, TEL AVIV-YAFO, ISRAEL
This family-owned cafe serves one of the best breakfast buffets you'll ever experience. In typical Israeli style, you'll find huge platters of sliced fruit, salads, olives and cutting boards of cheese, bread, fresh jellies, and more. From the menu, choose from a number of quiches and omelettes, all prepared in a Kosher kitchen.
10 AM - EXPLORE OLD JAFFA GALLERIES & MARKETS
YEFET ST. SOUTH TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
Old Jaffa is one of the oldest port cities in the Middle East with impressive views of Tel Aviv from across the bay. Referenced in the Old Testament as the place where Jonah tried to escape God's calling by sailing out to sea only to be eaten by a whale, you'll see images of whales and fish around the neighborhood. Explore the markets, enjoy a glass of fresh pomegranate juice from the street vendors and shop for hand crafted jewelry and other local artwork. One of the most popular stops is the home and gallery of Ilana Goor, who often hosts rooftop concerts in her studio.
3 PM - TEL AVIV MUSEUM OF ART
27 SHAUL HAMELECH BLVD. GOLDA MEIR CULTURAL CENTER TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
The largest collection of Israeli art in the world along with an impressive collection of contemporary and international art beginning in the 16th century, you could spend hours wandering the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Housed in three buildings connected via the Lola Beer Ebner Sculpture Garden, it's a lovely place to spend a beautiful afternoon outdoors. Note the museum is closed on Sunday.
7 PM - THE BLUE ROOSTER RESTAURANT
REHOV NISIM ALONI 10, TZAMERET PARK, G SHOPPING MALL TEL AVIV-YAFO, ISRAEL
One of the trendiest restaurants in Tel Aviv, the dishes at Blue Rooster have both international flair and creativity. Pumpkin salads, corn polenta, shellfish risotto, and a number of pasta plates remind you that you are in the Mediterranean. Arrive early to secure a balcony seat overlooking the main dining room, adding a healthy dose of people-watching to your evening.
WHERE TO STAY: DAVID INTERCONTINENTAL
12 KAUFMAN ST. TEL AVIV-YAFO, ISRAEL
With knock-out view of the Mediterranean from the upper floors, the David InterContinental is centrally located in the trendy Neve Tzedek neighborhood. You're within walking distance of the train station and beaches and just a short ride to Old Jaffa.