Tel Aviv itinerary in 7 days
I really like the Atlas hotel chain in Israel. I've stayed in several of their hotels. They offer delicious Israeli style breakfasts and a "happy hour" from 5 - 7 pm with wine and appetizers.
The Center Chic is a lovely hotel located in Dizengoff Square. The rooms have been nicely renovated and are clean and very comfortable. They offer their delicious breakfast in their sister hotel next door. I love the location of this hotel. Although about a 10 minute walk to the beach, it is in a nice area with interesting shops and cafes. Highly recommended.
The Art Plus is a nice hotel centrally located on Ben Yehuda street, just a couple of blocks from the beach. The rooms have been nicely renovated and are clean and comfortable. Recommended.
Tel Aviv is known as the "city that never sleeps" - and rightly so. It is always bustling and lively. The cafes and restaurants are full at all times of the day and night. The beach is beautiful and has a wonderful promenade that stretches the length of the city.
When I visit Tel Aviv I usually spend quite a bit of time there as I have a large family and many friends. It's definitely worth 3 - 4 days if you can spare it.
Arrive in Tel Aviv and check into the Center Chic Hotel by Atlas. I really like the Atlas hotel chain in Israel - I've stayed in several of their hotels (see sidebar). The Center Chic is located in Dizengoff Square which is a great location near shops and cafes. It's about a ten minute walk to the beach.
Head to the beach for a nice walk along the promenade and a late lunch. We ate at La Mer restaurant on the beach, where you can literally eat with your feet in the sand!
We watched the sunset on the beach and then headed to Dizengoff Street for an evening stroll. Dizengoff Street is filled with nice shops and restaurants. It is one of the main north-south streets in Tel Aviv and is very lively.
After our delicious breakfast at the hotel we headed to the beach. The Tel Aviv beach has a wonderful promenade which covers the entire length of the city - from the Port in the north to Jaffa in the south.
This morning we headed south along the promenade to Jaffa. Once we arrived in Jaffa we headed to the flea market (Shuk HaPishpishim) area. This area has many small shops selling Middle Eastern house wares, second hand furniture, carpets, as well as new designer clothes and jewelry. There are little alley ways with small stalls which are really fun to explore. If you want to purchase something don't forget to haggle.
The area is also filled with cool restaurants and shops catering to the hipster crowd.
We ate lunch at Cafe Puaa - in the heart of the Jaffa flea market. It is a well-known beloved establishment that offers unique and delicious food. I ordered from the breakfast menu - the Balkan Breakfast made up of a crispy Turkish burekah, hard boiled egg, vegetables and olives - so good.
From there we walked to the Old City of Jaffa and down the narrow stairs, going into galleries along the way. The stairs took us down to the port, which has some shops, restaurants, boats and fishermen.
We walked back to the hotel along the promenade for a rest.
This evening we met cousins for dinner at the north Port of Tel Aviv, better known as Namal Tel Aviv. The port is lined with interesting shops and restaurants, many of them serving Middle Eastern food with lots of dips and salads. After dinner we walked around the port.
After breakfast this morning we joined some friends for a food tour of the Carmel Market and Yemenite Quarter led by Inbal of Delicious Israel. This was my second time doing a food tour in Tel Aviv with Inbal.
Inbal's tours take you to small establishments that you would not normally find on your own while giving you the history of the neighbourhoods. We tasted many unique foods including the authentic Israeli "Sabich" sandwich made up of hard-boiled egg, humus, fried eggplant, crunchy Israeli pickles and Israeli salad all stuffed into a pita. It was fun and delicious. No need for lunch after that tour!
After the tour we walked to the Levinsky market in the south-east area of Tel Aviv. It is a lesser known market but very authentic. I was in search of the best Halva (a sweet treat made of ground sesame seeds which is very popular in Israel). I found the Halva at Kesem HaHalva, a small shop run by a sweet old lady who makes the Halva herself in an assortment of flavours.
Coincidentally our cousins made a reservation for dinner at one of the restaurants in the Jaffa flea market. We sat outside and it was very lively. The market takes on a whole new life in the evenings - with lots of bars and restaurants.
Guides and Tours
Delicious Israel. Fun and educational food tour of the Carmel Market and Yemenite Quarter in Tel Aviv. Interesting learning about the area while tasting good food along the way. Recommended.
Sarona Historical Tour. This guided tour was very interesting and gave us an excellent history of Tel Aviv and specifically the Templar colony and how the area came to be. Tours are available in English.
La Mer. Right on the Tel Aviv Beach. You can literally eat with your feet in the sand. They have good Middle-Eastern salads, dips and main dishes. It is located just south of Bograshov Street. It's a nice spot to sit and watch the sunset with a glass of cold beer.
Cafe Puaa. This restaurant in the heart of the Jaffa flea market is lively day and night. Excellent breakfasts.
Orna and Ella. Located on Sheinkin street, which is a street filled with nice shops and restaurants. Orna and Ella is a casual and contemporary restaurant which has been around since 1992 and prepares its food with fresh, seasonal ingredients. It is vegetarian and vegan friendly.
Suzana. This restaurant is perfectly located in the heart of Neve Tzedek. It has a beautiful terrace, shaded by nice trees. It serves unique Mediterranean cuisine, including delicious warm and cold appetizers.
Tamara.This kiosk at Dizengoff Street and Ben Gurion Blvd., makes fresh fruit and vegetable juices. The unique combinations are delicious and very refreshing on a hot day.
Manta Ray. This is a well-known high-end fish restaurant right on the beach.
Cafe Europa. This is a bar and restaurant on the elegant Rothschild Blvd. serving contemporary Tel Aviv cuisine. It has a front veranda facing the street so you can people watch and is packed day and night. It would be wise to make a reservation if you want to eat at a particular time.
Piazza Rustico. Located in Sarona, this Italian restaurant serves delicious pastas as well as fish.
Max Brenner. You can't go wrong if you go to a chocolate restaurant for dessert. They have several locations in Tel Aviv. We went to the one in the Sorona Market.
Pankina. It is an Italian restaurant located off of Dizengoff Street. It has simple and tasty salads and pasta.
Roladin Cafe. Famous for their sweet, Jewish Rugelach treats - chocolate rolled in a light and airy dough.
Uri Buri. If you are in Akko, this is the restaurant to eat at. This fish restaurant is located on the promenade facing the sea. The fish dishes are delicious as are the desserts.
Tel Aviv Museum of Art. This beautiful gallery has been recently renovated and has an excellent permanent collection of art. We spent a few hours wandering around the museum.
Today was Saturday, Shabbat, in Israel. This is a day when things slow down. Although most restaurants are open in Tel Aviv, the shops are all closed.
We had a late breakfast and decided to head to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. This beautiful gallery has been recently renovated and has an excellent permanent collection of art. We spent a few hours wandering around the museum.
We stopped for lunch at Orna and Ella on Sheinkin street, which is a street filled with nice shops and restaurants. Orna and Ella is a casual and contemporary restaurant which has been around since 1992 and prepares its food with fresh, seasonal ingredients. It is vegetarian and vegan friendly.
From there we strolled back to the hotel for a rest before going to the beach promenade for a stroll.
This evening we had tickets to see a show by the world renowned Batsheva Dance Company at their home theatre, the Suzanne Dellal Centre, in the Neve Tzedek neighbourhood of Tel Aviv. Trained by one of the worlds preeminent contemporary choreographers, Ohad Naharin, this dance performance is amazing and incredibly unique. If you are able to get tickets to a show, I highly recommend it.
After the show we had dinner at Suzana, which is perfectly located in the heart of Neve Tzedek. It has a beautiful terrace, shaded by nice trees. It serves unique Mediterranean cuisine, including delicious warm and cold appetizers.
After breakfast we went for a long walk along Dizengoff Street and then up Ben Gurion Boulevard. This beautiful boulevard is lined with trees, bushes and flowers as well as kiosks along the way with different types of food.
It was quite hot and I needed a drink so I stopped at a kiosk at the corner of Ben Gurion and Dizengoff. This kiosk, called Tamara makes fresh fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies. I chose a banana, date and pineapple smoothie made with almond milk. It was so refreshing.
We met an old friend and we walked along Bograshov street to the promenade along the beach. We stopped for lunch at Manta Ray, a delicious beachfront fish restaurant.
After lunch we walked into the Neve Tzedek area, which is one of the oldest Jewish neighbourhoods in Tel Aviv. It has been revitalized over the last twenty years and is bustling with nice shops and restaurants. One of the most well-known Israeli jewelry designers, Ayala Bar, has a shop there on Shabazi street.
We went for a light dinner at an Italian restaurant just off of Dizengoff, called Pankina. It had simple and tasty salads and pasta.
Including day-trip to Akko
Day trip to Akko
Today we headed north to the ancient port city of Akko (Acre). It is steeped in medievil Crusader history. It is a mixed city that includes Jews, Muslims, Christians and Bahai's. There are several mosques, crusader buildings and fortifications, as well as narrow streets, alleyways and a Shuk (market).
We visited the Ahmed El-Jazzar Mosque which has a lovely and colourful courtyard.
We then walked down the alleyways, past the colourful Shuk to the Citadel and the Knight's Kingdom. This was a beautiful museum showing the history of the Citadel which was used as a prison during the British Mandate.
Underneath the Citadel is the Crusader City, made up of a series of beautiful vaulted halls which were the headquarters of the Crusader army.
We had a relaxing lunch at the well-known Uri Buri fish restaurant located on the promenade facing the sea.
After lunch we walked along the old walls to the harbour where we saw fishermen with their fishing boats.
We went out for dinner on Bograshov Street. We ate at an Italian pizza restaurant.
This morning we headed to the Carmel Market and the Nachlat Binyamin Arts and Craft Fair.
This arts and crafts fair is the first and biggest of its kind in Israel. It takes place every Tuesday and Friday in a pedestrian street surrounded by beautiful historical buildings which have been restored. The fair is full of hand-made creations, street performers, live music and coffee shops. It is a lively experience and a great place to pick up gifts.
We stopped on Allenby Street on the way at Roladin Cafe, famous for their sweet Jewish Rugelach treats - chocolate rolled in a light, sweet dough. We took some to go and walked around snacking on these delicious pastries.
Carmel Market is Tel Aviv's biggest food market and is next to Nachlat Binyamin.
From the market we headed to Sarona, which was originally a German Templar colony established in 1871. It is now a newly renovated area in the heart of Tel Aviv. The old Templar houses and buildings have been restored and the area has been developed into a beautiful park, with many stores and restaurants.
Our cousins arranged a guided tour through the Visitor's Centre. This tour was very interesting and gave us an excellent history of Tel Aviv and specifically the Templars and how the area came to be.
After the tour we had lunch at a delicious Italian restaurant in Sarona, called Piazza Rustico. We sat on their lovely patio.
For dessert we decided to go to the new Sarona Market, which is an indoor market inside a new building. The market consists of little independent food and gift shops. There was lots to choose from. We had some sweet snacks at Max Brenner chocolate restaurant.
We had a late night and headed to Rothschild Boulevard for dinner at Cafe Europa. At 11 pm on a Monday night the restaurants are filled with people eating, drinking and enjoying the warm weather.
Cafe Europa is a bar and restaurant serving contemporary Tel Aviv cuisine. It has a front veranda facing the street so you can people watch.
After breakfast we checked out of our hotel and headed to the airport for our flight home.