Tel Aviv-Jaffa is a city of 450,000 people that – like Los Angeles - is actually the center of a giant conurbation that interweaves a dozen cities into a sprawling metropolis of more than 4 million Israelis. If Jerusalem is Israel’s “Washington” or Ottawa or Canberra, Tel Aviv is Israel’s New York, Toronto or Sydney – the nation’s center for business, entertainment and the arts. It is also one of the world’s few cities that is also a major Mediterranean beach resort, with 9 miles of beaches, and a 14-mile long promenade lined with beach chairs, umbrellas, lifeguard towers, cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants.
Founded in 1909, Tel Aviv was originally intended as a garden suburb of the ancient port city of Jaffa, 4,000 years old, and traditionally named one of Noah’s sons, Japeth. The first Tel Avivians drew lots in the sand to lay out homes and plots for what would become the first Hebrew-speaking city in 2,000 years. Within 25 years Tel Aviv was a bustling metropolis whose signature architecture was white stucco buildings on stilts – many designed by German Jewish architects fleeing the Nazis. Tel Aviv is now home to more Bauhaus architecture than any city on earth and the “White City” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Like New York, Tel Aviv is a 24-hour city, whose restaurants are some of the world’s most inventive, and whose night-life is among the world’s hottest. Tel Aviv oozes an iconic style, brashness and chic that is displayed in crafts markets, chic boutiques, striking architecture, open air cafes, and a non-stop pulse. Art, dance, music, theatre and opera are everywhere, bicycles are everywhere, both the Tel Aviv and Jaffa ports have been transformed into major entertainment, dining and shopping precincts and Tel Aviv is on the cusp of becoming the world’s first major city that is a complete wi-fi zone. Tel Aviv, like Sydney, is all about the future, yet it is a future that boasts gentrified 100-year-old neighborhoods, restored residential quarters and a host of hotels, from the world’s brand names to dozens of innovative boutique hotels.
Bauhaus “White City”
Jaffa Kasbah and Flea Market
Nachlat Binyamin Street Crafts Fair
Neve Tzedek neighborhood
Tayelet beachfront promenade
Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Tel Aviv Port
IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME:
Ben Gurion House
Bet Hatefusoth – the Nahum Goldman Museum of the Jewish Diaspora
Charles Bronfman Auditorium
Eretz Israel Museum
Helena Rubenstein Pavilion
New Israeli Opera
Tel Aviv Center for the Performing Arts
Yitzhak Rabin Center
Yitzhak Rabin Square and the Yitzhak Rabin Memorial