Tel Aviv is the modern Israel that I wasn’t prepared for, and was so pleasantly surprised to experience. If I lived in Europe, this would easily be a place to visit for a long weekend, and it not just a place to invest in for the future. It reminds me so much of San Diego, CA that I kept making correlations in my head as I was passed by surfers, tattooed coffee drinkers, and exercise enthusiasts along the boardwalk.
Tel Aviv certainly doesn’t hurt when it comes to accommodations! There are some stunningly gorgeous hotels right across from the beach but as you can imagine, you pay for the view, and you will pay dearly. There are other hotels a block or two or more off of the beach which would definitely be worth considering, but if you are looking for something “just off the beach”, I can highly recommend The Savoy Tel-Aviv Sea Side (https://savoyseaside.com/). A smaller, more boutique offering than the larger scale hotels on the beach, The Savoy is well-appointed, has excellent bath products, and the breakfast in the morning is wonderful. 2 rooms on each floor face the street which offers a view to the beach to your right (in most properties, this would be called a partial view), whereas the others look at properties on either side of the hotel. But most outstanding are the staff who are so very helpful and considerate and welcomed you back each day, without every feeling intrusive.
Tel Aviv is a foodie’s paradise! If I only had one night in Tel Aviv, without a doubt, I would go to Meshek Barzilay (https://www.meshekbarzilay.co.il/en/), a stunningly gorgeous vegan restaurant about 15 minutes’ walk from the boardwalk. Located in a funky old neighborhood, Meshek Barzilay has indoor dining, a lovely bar, and outdoor dining on both sides of the building. But it is the food that is outstanding! Often, I find that vegan food (or even vegetarian food), is not well thought out and creative: they either try and reproduce “meat foods” or just put various veg on the plate. Not here. Literally, I am still dreaming about the dosa with tofu and coconut chutney that was unlike anything I’ve ever had before. Put me on a plane right now!
For me, Tel Aviv was all about the beach and eating. Old Jaffa port was a fun venture before and after dinner at Mashya restaurant, and I’m sure there are other places to explore, but the need to relax on an insanely hot day, and swim in the Mediterranean.
The one non-beach thing we did was an excellent and informative tour of the Bauhaus style that is prevalent in Tel Aviv. After a short video at the Bauhaus center (https://bauhaus-center.com/tel-aviv-white-city-tours/), our guide took us on a 2 hour stroll through the residential neighborhoods of Tel Aviv to see various examples of classic Bauhaus design, as well as some new, modern endeavors based on the classic style.
And although I didn’t appreciate the Carmel Market simply because it was mostly clothing and home goods that the local were searching out, the Levinsky Market was pure joy and resulted in my coming home with a bunch of spices that I wouldn’t otherwise typically seek out. (If you’ve never had dried lemons [which are actually dried limes], you must get some and use them in your next soup, or rice, or other dish that would benefit from the bitter fruitiness that dried lemons provide.)