Tel Aviv is a fantastic city for beach lovers. The Mediterranean Sea lines this sun-soaked city, and everyone spends their day along the water’s edge. I guess you could say that life here is ‘beachy-keen’. 😉 🏖
While in Tel Aviv, I stayed at Abraham Hostels. This facility is twice as big as the Jerusalem branch, and incredibly hip and modern.
They also had an equally delicious breakfast buffet. Yum!
This 18th century port in Tel Aviv was originally built to welcome Jewish pilgrims arriving in Israel. It is now a network of quaint lane-ways, home to many shops, museums, and restaurants.The population demographic here seems to be equal parts fisherman, beach-goer and pigeon. 😛These yogis on the beach were trying to channel inner peace, but their dog kept nudging them for attention. 😛
Jaffa Flea Market
Near Old Jaffa is Shuk HaPishpushim, a flea market that is a true treasure-hunter’s dream!Some shops were full of antiques, while others looked a hoarders house had exploded onto the sidewalk. 😮This sweet woman happily posed for me. 🙂It was easy to spend a few hours here, wandering and wondering just what you’ll find next.🤔
Tel Aviv’s architecture is heavily influenced by Bauhaus, a German art school well-known for its modern design. German Jewish architects sought refuge here during the Nazi occupation, and began constructing these functional works of art.Tel Aviv now has over 4,000 buildings showcasing Bauhaus Modernist architecture, which is the largest collection in the world, earning it the nickname, “The White City.” The designs are simple, geometrical, and with muted tones.
Shuk Hacarmel is the largest market in Tel Aviv. They sell both food and souvenirs. Some market goods were expected, like these yarmulkes, whiles others were quite unexpected.Just check out this controversial piece. 😮On Friday in particular, the market sells Challah, a braided bread eaten by Jews on the holy Sabbath.
Sabbath in Tel Aviv
The Sabbath, or Shabbat, is one of the holiest days in Judaism. It is observed weekly in Israel, beginning on Friday afternoon, and ending on Saturday evening. During Shabbat, almost all stores, restaurants and public transit close. This gives people the chance to spend time with their families and rest. ❤
In this ‘beachy-keen’ city, there’s no better place to spend time together than along the beautiful beach promenade. 🌴🐚☀️People were dancing, playing volleyball, and bonding with their furry friends.
I also saw people playing Matkot, a popular Israeli paddle ball game.In the water, I saw plenty of surfers, since the intense waves here make Tel Aviv one of the world’s top spots for surfing.
Personally, I spent Shabbat with a new friend I met in Tel Aviv. He is Jewish, speaks fluent Hebrew, and visits this city regularly. He was born in the States, but his parents are from Lebanon. They were forced to flee Lebanon in the 70s, during the civil war between the Muslims and Christians, when the country expelled the whole Jewish community. It sounds like a tragedy turned triumph though, as his family is now happily living in NYC, and he works as a prominent real estate agent. He was visiting Tel Aviv this time to complete a 5-day bike ride in the Negev Desert, in order to raise money for a local hospital. We spent the day sipping beers at a serviced beach, hanging with the rest of his biker friends. This is how I wish I could spend every Saturday! 😀I also got the chance to catch up with my old friend from Mexico. She is now living in Tel Aviv with her adorable 18-month-old son. We took a stroll along the river, and talked about her new job.She is an intern for the United Nations Development Program, aiming to improve access to psychotherapy, for refugees who experience post-crises PTSD. ❤
We met a second time, during her lunch break, at the trendy Sarona Market, an epicenter for international cuisine.We talked this time about her experience living in Tel Aviv. I agreed with her that life here appears quite easy. The residents seem to be open-minded, free thinkers, and as a single blonde female, I feel incredibly safe. There are tons of girls who look just like me, living and working here. The only problem, that we both agreed on, is the high cost of living. In fact, it’s ranked as one of the top 20 most expensive cities in the world!
Personally, I can only attest to the cost of food, which is slightly outrageous, especially at places like this. Sandwiches, salads, and pasta are easily 15-20 USD, which can really throw a wrench in a backpacker budget.
To save money on food, I found a store called Cofix, which has bars, cafes, and grocery stores, all across Israel. EVERYTHING for sale there is ONLY 5 shekels (1.50 USD)! I made sure to stock up on hummus, baba ganoush and pita. All super delish!
Sunset in Tel Aviv
Well, that wraps up my time here in Tel Aviv. Hope you enjoyed this post. Up next, I’ll be heading north to the city of Nazareth. Stay tuned. 🙂