Tel Aviv: 13+ fun things to do for first-time visitors

tel aviv fun things to do around the city

Tel Aviv is buzzing and exciting and can offer you many fun things to do around the city. It’s a city full of life where you cannot get bored easily.

From a relaxing day by the beach to crazy parties and everything in between, Tel Aviv is so dynamic and so intriguing that you would not want to leave – at least I didn’t.

Tel Aviv feels somehow alternative, it’s super liberal, open-minded, vivid, and it’s a city like no one else. I can easily imagine myself living there sometime in the future. In Tel Aviv somehow you feel home away from home, welcomed, and simply comfortable.

I always wanted to visit Israel, but the fact that I knew how expensive it is to visit Israel was what was stopping me until now. Last year, I was thinking about visiting Israel, but then I went to Morocco instead. I started this year with a trip to SE Asia. I was planning to return to Europe in March and then visit Israel in April. My plan, of course, changed so I return back in April. I couldn’t get Israel out of my mind tho. Every time when the idea of visiting a place stuck in my head, I need to make it happen.

I bought a ticket and 6 days later I was on the plane from Sofia to Tel Aviv – without thinking or planning it too much.

I spent one week in Tel Aviv, then I went to explore Jerusalem and after that, I got back to Tel Aviv for 2 and a half extra days in my new favorite city.

I spent most of my time in Tel Aviv relaxing by the beach, drinking beer by the beach, watching the sunset by the beach, walking by the beach, etc. Tel Aviv, however, has a lot more to offer than just its beach. Whether you are a history fan, culture geek, food lover, party animal, gay, lesbian, or an alien, there’s something for you in Tel Aviv and you’ll find it and you’ll love it!

Those are my top Tel Aviv fun things to do around the city for first-time visitors:

tel aviv fun things to do around the city

Tel Avin Fun Things to do: Relax by the beach

If you haven’t guessed it already that’s perhaps my favorite thing to do in Tel Aviv.

When I visited Tel Aviv in Mid-May, the water was already warm enough and the weather was perfect for beach days. The beach is a favorite place to hang out for the locals as well. You’ll see people walking by the beach, play games by the beach, smoke shisha by the beach, smoke weed by the beach, and pretty much spending their free time and doing everything by the beach.

The beaches in Tel Aviv, in my opinion, are pretty good and very well maintained – in terms of cleanliness.

Evenings by the beach with good company and a pack of beers it’s one of the best things to do in Tel Aviv.

Tel Avin Fun Things to do: Enjoy the beautiful Israeli sunsets

Can a local Israeli person let me know if the sunsets are that amazing every day, or I just had the luck to spend a week there enjoying fabulous sunsets every single day? Seriously, I need to know – tell me!!

You can enjoy the sunset from many places around the city, but the best one, of course, is the beach.

tel aviv fun things to do around the city

Tel Avin Fun Things to do: Wander aimlessly

I know that some people don’t like to wander aimlessly, not only in a new and unknown city but even back home. Do you? I do – I usually always spent at least one day or a few hours in each place that I’m visiting walking around without any plan, direction, or final destination in mind at all.

In my first few days in Tel Aviv, I was staying away from the center. Each time when I was going out or coming back, I was walking through different streets looking for cool street art on the way, admiring the nice Bauhaus architecture and finding random quirky shops. 

 

Tel Avin Fun Things to do: Explore Jaffa

Jaffa or Yafo (in Hebrew) is the ancient port city of which Tel Aviv has grown to the city that it is today. Old Jaffa is completely different than the rest of Tel Aviv. Exploring Jaffa’s winding alleyways is a wonderful experience on its own – Old Jaffa is so pretty!

In Old Jaffa, you’ll find historic stone buildings, churches, many restaurants, boutique shops, and galleries. Don’t miss the Jaffa Flea Market, where you can find a diverse range of cool things that you would like to buy!

tel aviv fun things to do around the city

Tel Avin Fun Things to do: Tel Aviv – Jaffa Promenade 

The Tel Aviv – Jaffa Promenade is a series of boardwalks extending along the beach between the Tel Aviv Port in the north to Jaffa Port in the South.

tel aviv fun things to do around the city

Tel Avin Fun Things to do: Feel the Israeli hospitality

The Israeli people are cool, nice, friendly, and fun. You’ll find yourself in situations when people will just ask you if you need any help, or just starting a random conversation with you. The people living in Tel Aviv are very open-minded so you can easily discuss everything with them. Everything in regards to political matters could be a delicate topic – but they won’t mind hearing your opinion. 

Girls, you need to know that the Israeli guys are very straightforward. A guy came to me at the beach and after talking with me for 2 minutes he asked me if I ever kissed an Israeli guy before. He probably expected that I haven’t done that but I have, so he tried something else and told me that he never kissed a Bulgarian girl before. How original? – lol. After I told him that I’m not interested in making out with him, he just walked away.

Another guy started speaking to me when I was randomly passing by. He then walked with me for a few minutes and offered me to spread coconut oil on my body and massage me – that was hilarious! 

Tel Avin Fun Things to do: Tel Aviv’s street art 

Walking down the streets of Tel Aviv, you’ll be going to notice the gallery of street art and graffiti around the city. Some artists address political issues directly, others just want to make the streets more beautiful with their art.

I am a street art fan, so I always look for street art. In Tel Aviv, you don’t need to look for it because it’s everywhere. I only regret not taking my camera with me so often and missing on taking shots of some nice pieces!

tel aviv fun things to do around the city

Tel Avin Fun Things to do: Party hard

Tel Aviv is famous for its crazy nightlife scene and for its parties. It’s also often being called the city that never sleeps. When you’re in Tel Aviv you simply need to experience that for yourself. Period.

Tel Avin Fun Things to do: Rothschild Boulevard

Rothschild Boulevard is one of the most popular streets in Tel Aviv. It’s one of the most expensive ones too. On the way, you can find numerous galleries, theater, restaurants, cafes, shops, and kiosks.

Tel Avin Fun Things to do: The Carmel Market

The Carmel Market is the largest market in Tel Aviv. At the market, you can find everything from fresh fruits and vegetables, street food, clothes, electronics, sweets, spices, cosmetics, and souvenirs. Here you can also find some of the cheapest products in the city. The Carmel Market is a favorite place for both locals and visitors.

Tip: At the Carmel Market you can also find the cheapest falafel pita and perhaps the most delicious one. You’ll easily find the place as the guy selling it is shouting ”7 shekel falafel pita” out loud. Make sure to ask about the mango sauce too. 

This is one of my best Israel travel tips for first-time visitors, to get delicious food and save some money. 

tel aviv fun things to do around the city

Tel Avin Fun Things to do: Day trips from Tel Aviv

Israel is a small country and day trips are a popular way to explore the country while basing yourself in one place. I did two day trips from Tel Aviv – one in the West Bank and another one to see the sunrise from Masada and float in the Dead Sea. If you have more limited time and you don’t want to spend a few days in Jerusalem, you can also just do a day trip to the Holy City. Have in mind that Jerusalem is closer to both and the tours from there are a little bit cheaper than from Tel Aviv.

I didn’t know in advance when I’m going to Jerusalem, so I decided to do both tours starting from Tel Aviv. 

Visiting the West Bank

Visiting the West Bank in Palestine was definitely one of the highlights of my overall trip to Israel.

I visited the West Bank in Palestine on a tour organized by Abraham Tours. During the day tour of the West Bank, we visited three of the highlights of the region –  Ramallah, Jericho, and Bethlehem. Whether you are interested in the conflict, a backpacker who seeks a new adventure, or a believer and a fan of the Christian sites, I’m sure that visiting the West Bank will surprise you.

I have written more about my visit to the West Bank, so if you’re interested in going there check it out on the link above. 

tel aviv fun things to do around the city

Masada & Dead Sea

The day trip to Masada & Dead Sea is one of the most popular day trips across Israel. Of course, there is a reason for that – it’s awesome! You can either do the day trip on your own (if you have a car), or join a tour as I did.

The day trip to Masada & Dead Sea consists of three parts: hiking the snake path to the top of Masada to enjoy the beautiful sunrise and views, walking and hiking in the En Gedi National Park, and finally, floating in the Dead Sea.

I went to the Sunrise at Masada & Dead Sea Tour with Tourist Israel. You can read more about my experience on the tour on the link above.

tel aviv fun things to do around the city

Jerusalem 

I strongly recommend sparing 2 or 3 days to visit Jerusalem – I stayed there for 6 days, which was a little bit too much. However, if you have limited time, then try at least to go for the day and spend the night there (Jerusalem is pretty during the night).

tel aviv fun things to do around the city

What to do in Jerusalem in one day? 

  • Get lost in the Old Town – even if you don’t want to get lost, you most likely happen to be anyway. The narrow labyrinthine streets in the Old Town of Jerusalem can be very confusing.
  • Visit the Church of Holy Sepulchre – if you’re into religion, or even if you don’t, but you just want to see the place where they say that Jesus was buried, that’s the place to go to. Note, there are crowds of tourists there.
  • Walk Via Dolorosa – Via Dolorosa is nothing more than a street in the Old Town of Jerusalem. However, it is believed to be part of the path that Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion. Thousands of people are visiting Jerusalem just to walk the same way he did.
  • Temple Mount – the holiest place for both Jews and Muslims.
  • The Wailing Wall – another very holy place in the Holy city. Every day, thousands of Jews are coming here to pray.
  • Mount of Olives – according to the Bible, that’s the place where Judgment day will start. People are visiting the Mount of Olives mainly to enjoy the beautiful views from up there. If you’re spending one day in Jerusalem, head there to see the sunset.
  • Mahane Yehuda Market – Just a regular market where you can find great food and a cool atmosphere. You can finish your day there sampling traditional Israeli foods.
  • Party – Tel Aviv is not the only party city in Israel, people in Jerusalem love to have fun too! Jerusalem is also home to the Hebrew University. The student community is big and the students love to go out and party.

Tip: If you’re going to spend only one day in Jerusalem, make sure to go there during the week. The weekend days in Israel are Friday and Saturday. Everything is dead on the weekend and almost everything is closed.

Tip 2: When you’re visiting Jerusalem dress modesty – that’s absolutely mandatory for the religious sites and some areas of the city. Have a scarf with you, in case you need to cover any parts of your body.

The cheapest place in Tel Aviv? 

Israel is an expensive country, so it is its capital city, Tel Aviv. (Tel Aviv is the cultural and commercial capital of Israel)

Not to worry, someone has started the Cofix chain. Cofix is an Israeli coffee shop, bar and supermarket chain. The chain offers its products at a fixed price of 5 NIS. Of course, some things do cost more than that, but it’s still probably the cheapest place in the city.

Where to stay in Tel Aviv? 

Crown Sea Hostel – I stayed in this place for a few nights and absolutely loved this place! The location is excellent – the hostel is just 2 minutes walk from the beach and its close and within a walking distance to the center and to the Carmel market. It’s a quiet hostel, so you can also sleep and night and they do have a great breakfast buffet.

Book with Booking.com / Book with Airbnb ($30 credit)

Abraham Hostel – I did my Best of the West Bank tour with Abraham, but I didn’t stay there – I stayed in the Fauzi Azar in Nazareth tho. I also used their tour services for my transfer from Nazareth to Amman, Jordan.

However, the Abraham Hostel in Tel Aviv is known as the best hostel not only in Tel-Aviv but as one of the best in Israel and worldwide.

Abraham has hostels in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Nazareth.

Book with Booking.com

Couchsurfing – The Couchsurfing community in Tel Aviv is huge. I was Couchsurfing my first few days in Tel-Aviv and I had a great experience.

And that’s all folks. Those are my favorite fun things to do in Tel Aviv. Looking forward to visiting the city again in the future and discover more of it. Do you have any suggestions on things to see and things to do in Tel Aviv? Please, let me know in the comments below – I would love to read your suggestions! 

Thanks for reading, 

Bilyana

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