Travel in Israel: Beachy-Keen in Tel Aviv

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’. 😉 🏖 

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Jaffa Beach

Accommodation

While in Tel Aviv, I stayed at Abraham Hostels. This facility is twice as big as the Jerusalem branch, and incredibly hip and modern.

DSC_6742DSC_6740DSC_6741They also had an equally delicious breakfast buffet. Yum!

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toast topped with yogurt and orange marmalade, and tahini and seasoned cheese

Attractions

Old Jaffa

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.DSC_6759The population demographic here seems to be equal parts fisherman, beach-goer and pigeon. 😛DSC_6744DSC_6756DSC_6758These yogis on the beach were trying to channel inner peace, but their dog kept nudging them for attention. 😛DSC_6750
Jaffa Flea Market 
Near Old Jaffa is Shuk HaPishpushim, a flea market that is a true treasure-hunter’s dream!DSC_6765Some shops were full of antiques, while others looked a hoarders house had exploded onto the sidewalk. 😮DSC_6764This sweet woman happily posed for me. 🙂DSC_6763It was easy to spend a few hours here, wandering and wondering just what you’ll find next.🤔DSC_6762

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street art near Old Jaffa

Bauhaus Architecture 
Tel Aviv’s architecture is heavily influenced by Bauhaus, a German art school well-known for its modern design. DSC_6791German Jewish architects sought refuge here during the Nazi occupation, and began constructing these functional works of art.DSC_6777Tel 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.DSC_6800
Carmel Market
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.DSC_6775Just check out this controversial piece. 😮DSC_6774On Friday in particular, the market sells Challah, a braided bread eaten by Jews on the holy Sabbath.DSC_6771
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. 🌴🐚☀️DSC_6812People were dancing, playing volleyball, and bonding with their furry friends.DSC_6813DSC_6793

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Notice the statue of Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, known for doing yoga moves on the beach. 😛

I also saw people playing Matkot, a popular Israeli paddle ball game.DSC_6815DSC_6822In the water, I saw plenty of surfers, since the intense waves here make Tel Aviv one of the world’s top spots for surfing.
DSC_6799Personally, 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! 😀DSC_6819I 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. DSC_6804We took a stroll along the river, and talked about her new job.DSC_6801She 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.DSC_6862DSC_6863DSC_6865DSC_6864We 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. DSC_6781The 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. :/

Budget Eats

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!IMG_0567

Sunset in Tel Aviv

By far, my favorite attraction in Tel Aviv, is enjoying the beach around dusk. It’s the perfect time to catch surfers hitting the waves, and have an unobstructed view of the sunset.DSC_6823prof4

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. 🙂

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