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In dramatic contrast to the nation's capital, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv isn't a city steeped in its historic past as much as it is a living, breathing urban center, one that boasts burgeoning cultural, culinary, and nightlife scenes. Made up of several starkly different neighbourhoods, Tel Aviv has something to offer for the history-lover and the hip young traveler curious about modern Israeli culture in equal measure.
One of the city's oldest areas – the Ottoman-era Jaffa – is now as old as three millennia, and entices visitors with ancient buildings, biblical artefacts, and a still operational, charming fishing port.
Another neighbourhood to be written into any visitor's route is that of Neve Tzedek – stroll around the charming streets of one of Tel Aviv's oldest parts (the first Jeweish neighbourhood to appear outside the city walls), and sit down for a slow meal at one of the beautiful neighbourhood's many restaurants and cafes.
The famous Bauhaus buildings, Tel Aviv's so-called 'White City', do not occupy an area of their own, but are scattered throughout the entire town. Tel Aviv also enjoys a breezy coastal setting on the Mediterranean, with kilometers of beaches beloved by both locals and tourists.
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While many who come to Tel Aviv will do so in search of the city's gorgeous beaches and unstoppable nightlife, there is much more to see and do. It offers a combination of historical sights and attractions with cutting-edge art galleries and boutiques, the city's look ranging from modernist Bauhaus buildings and millennial architecture in Jaffa.
With a seemingly never-ending selection of places to eat, ranging from fine dining to street food, Tel Aviv is one of the region's best culinary cities. Daring chefs push the envelope when it comes to fusing tradition with innovation in the city's top restaurants, while street stalls take quick, cheap and delicious to whole new levels.
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Cafes play an important role in the life of the locals of Tel Aviv. These are the places where they go not only to catch up with friends or family but to do business, as well. Talented baristas serve up expertly-prepared coffee, and decadent desserts are abundant. Be sure to try some local baked goods and bread products, too.
Tel Aviv is known as the party capital of the Middle East, and for good reason. The seaside location and pleasant climate mean that beach parties go on until dawn, and world-class clubs, bars and music venues draw huge crowds all year.
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Shopping in Tel Aviv is ubiquitous and eclectic. From designer fashion from both local and international brands, to second-hand and vintage clothes, to antiques and local delicacies, this city has it all. Markets make up one of the most essential parts of everyday life in Tel Aviv, and should not be missed, both for the experience and the great finds.
Ben Gurion Airport is the main international airport serving Tel Aviv, located 19 km to the southeast of the city.
To travel to the city centre from the airport you can use the national bus company called Egged bus. There are two locations where you can take the bus from. One is the Airport City and the other is the Ben Gurion Airport - inbound and outbound terminals.
The second way to travel from the airport is by train. Israel Railways operates the Ben Gurion Airport Railway Station, located in the lower level of Terminal 3. The train goes to the north-west of Tel Aviv, Haifa and other destinations in the north, south-east to Modi'in, or south to Beersheba via Lod, Kiryat Gat and Lehavim. The journey to Tel Aviv Savidor Central Railway Station takes around 18 minutes.
The taxi service from the airport is provided under the supervision of the Israel Airport Authority. Passengers are recommended to avoid the use of non-authorized taxi services. The taxi station are located in front of the Terminal on Level G, near the exit through Gate 01.
Address: Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv
Phone: +972 3 975 5555
Passport / Visa
To visit Israel you need a passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry. If you hold an Israeli passport, you will be required to present it upon arrival.
Many countries have a Visa Waiver Program with Israel, which allows their citizens to visit Israel without a pre-arranged visa. Citizens of Australia, Canada, the EU, and the USA do not need a visa for touristic stays up to 90 days. Citizens of other countries can check if they need a visa at www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/ConsularServices/Documents/VisaRequirements-Tourists.pdf
Because of diplomatic issues, you might not be able to travel to some Arab or predominantly Muslim countries if your passport shows an Israeli visa or stamp. To solve this problem, your visa will be stamped on a separate entry card when you arrive in Israel.
Remember to bring your passport with you on trips to Palestinian territories: it will probably be required at checkpoints and border crossings.
Best Time to Visit
The best months to visit Tel Aviv are March through April and September through November, as spring and fall bring reasonable and pleasant temperatures as well as the lowest prices. Moreover, during this period you will avoid the tourist crowds, so you can fully enjoy outdoor cafés and markets.
However, if you are heading to Tel Aviv for your summer holidays, then May to August is your time. The sun is bright and warm and the Mediterranean is perfect for a swim, but remember to book at least two months in advance, as this is the peak tourist season.
The main public bus company that operates in Tel Aviv is called Dan and the national bus operator is Egged.
Tickets and Fares:
There are discounts for children, senior citizens and the disabled. You can either buy single rides, monthly subsections or an all-in-one public transportation pass. Tickets and passes can be obtained on the bus or at central bus stations.
Tel Aviv-Yafo has four train stations, all of which are situated along the Ayalon highway. All trains to Tel Aviv-Yafo stop at all four stations. For best access to the city center, use either "Tel Aviv Merkaz" (also known as Arlozorov), or "Hashalom" which is located in a large shopping mall.
Website: www.egged.co.il/eng / www.dan.co.il/english
Taxi-il operates all around the country.
+972 50 5266133
+972 1 700 503 300
+972 03 696 7070
There are post offices conveniently located all around the city.
Address: King George St 60, Tel Aviv
Phone: +972 3 528 6909
You can find several pharmacies all over Tel Aviv, but most of them are closed on Saturdays.
Address: 14 Weizman St, Tel Aviv
Phone: +972 03 609 0995
Country code: +972
Area code: 3
There are a few things you should know about the electricity in Israel.
The supply is single phase 220 volts and it is at 50 Hertz. The European double plugs will work here as well, even though most of the sockets have 3 holes.