City Guide: Tel AvivAnne Christine Persson, Saturday 11 February 2017
A weekend in Tel Aviv is ample time to experience this glorious Mediterranean city and this mini city guide to Tel Aviv is just what you need. When I visit Tel Aviv, I mostly spend my time at the beach, enjoying the many amazing restaurants or going out at night. And why not? The weather is amazing almost all year round and the food is to die for.
Where to eat/drink
It is my absolute favourite place in Tel Aviv. It is a Tel Aviv classic. I try other restaurants on my visits, but I always end up eating here at least a couple of times. The food is no nonsense great Middle Eastern food. And it is surprisingly simple dishes that have inspired my own go-to dishes when I cook at home. You cannot make a reservation, so come and start with a drink while you wait for a table. The restaurant closes late, the vibe is always fun, so it is a great place to start a fun night. Har Sinai St 5
This restaurant is in the cutest street in the area of Jaffa. The different coloured houses dressed in leaves and plants line the street, which is lit by coloured lamps at night. Get a table in their outdoor section and enjoy delicious Mediterranean dishes with a twist, while sipping cool lemonade or freshly squeezed pomegranate juice. Rabbi Yohanan St 8
Hidden away in the back of a courtyard on the first floor of an office building in the fun area of Florentine you will find the restaurant Romano. The atmosphere is fun and crazy – and the food is delicious. Come for the night and drink the Israeli liquor Arak with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice like the locals. Derech Jaffa 9
Under a giant ficus tree in the middle of one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Tel Aviv, Neve Tzedek, is one of the city’s most charming eateries. The restaurant Suzanna is close to the beach, so when you find the Middle Eastern sun too scorching, find shade under the tree and dive into the scrumptious menu featuring Mediterranean favourites. I loved the meatballs in yoghurt and cauliflower. Shabazi St 9
The first restaurant of famed Israeli chef Ran Shmueli and it focuses on the Mediterranean cuisine and travels through the various regional kitchens and its many delicious flavours. It is located close to the Sarona Market and its high ceilings and industrial chic look make this restaurant one of the most chic in Tel Aviv. Try the weekend brunch, where you can taste a green shakshuka (a local breakfast dish, which is traditionally red) with eggs, feta, spinach along with the Jewish bread challah. David Elazar 30
Where to stay
The Norman Tel Aviv
This luxurious art deco hotel is located in the White City, the famous Bauhaus inspired area of Tel Aviv. The rooms are large and airy, and the hotel is one of the few in the city with a rooftop pool. Nahmani St 23-25
Market House Hotel
Located in Jaffa this is one of the best hotels in the city with lovely rooms, many with balconies of either the skyline or the ocean. A few blocks away is the mosque, so five times a day you can hear the adhan, the call to worship, which will add to a great Middle Eastern vacation. The included breakfast buffet is delicious with freshly squeezed juices and homemade hummus. Beit Eshel St 5
White Villa Tel Aviv
One of the best boutique hotels in Tel Aviv also located in the White City. The building used to house a family and has since been converted to this hotel, but they wanted to keep the homely feeling to the hotel and rooms.
Ben Tsiyon Blvd 25
What to do
Due to the wonderful weather all year long, you can also have great beach days even in December/January. The city is lined by the beach from North to South, which means more than 10 kilometres of beach. Tel Avivians love going to the beach with their family and friends. Therefore the beaches can be quite busy during weekends and holidays, but it only add to the fun.
Jaffa, now part of Tel Aviv, used to be the port city out of which Tel Aviv started as a city. It is an old Arabic city, which you will experience throughout the area. Spend a day here, explore the market and the harbour, have lunch or dinner at Puaa.
Carmel Market / Shuk Ha’Carmel
Be sure to visit the market and buy fresh fruit before going to the beach. There are lots of booths selling juicy pomegranates, fresh figs, sweet dates, and delicious watermelon. Stock up on all kinds of spices before heading back home. HaCarmel St
Tel Aviv Museum of Art
If you get tired of the heat and/or the beach, then head to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Here you will find several buildings with international modern art and there is an especially strong focus on Israeli modern art. Sderot Sha’ul HaMelech 27
When to go: the weather in Tel Aviv is normally great all year long, but the summers are too hot and the winters are a bit too cold (for a beach getaway), so go in the pleasantly warm spring or in the perfectly hot autumn.
How to get there: Norwegian has direct flights from the Scandinavian countries to Ben Gurion Airport located between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Why: the food (!), the weather and the beaches.