It's the longest day of the year and you find yourself in Tel Aviv.
You've heard there are plenty of things to do in the city that never
sleeps but you're not quite sure where to start. This hour-by-hour guide
breaks it down: How to spend the longest day of the year in one of the
most happening cities in the world.
Noon to 1p.m. - Haggle at the Carmel market
may have been out the night before (this is Tel Aviv after all), so we
wouldn't want to start too early. That's why noon is a comfortable time
to begin the adventures. Start in the center of the action at the
junction of Allenby Street, King George, Shenkin, Nahlat Binymain and the Carmel Market.
Walk around the shuk and check out the local produce and
bargains to be had. Make sure to haggle with the stall owners as they
fight for your custom.
1p.m. to 2p.m. - Eat hummus with the locals
Time to eat like a local. Just next to the Carmel market is the slightly calmer, yet just as interesting Yemenite Quarter
with its authentic Yemenite restaurants and shops. While the veteran
neighborhood has undergone some serious gentrification in the past few
years, it still holds a certain charm and allows visitors to explore
what Tel Aviv was like before the high rises came into town. Make sure
to check out some of the great family-run restaurants that offer cheap
and wholesome local food around where Yehya Kapah and Yishkon streets
meet. Erez Restaurant on Nachlieli Street is a firm favorite. The service may not be up to much but the food speaks for itself.
2p.m. to 3 p.m. - Shop till you drop
After recharging with some authentic food it's time to head to Neve Tzedek
for some upscale shops and great ice cream parlors. Twenty years ago
the first neighborhood built outside of Jaffa was a no-go area but after
some serious urban regeneration, today it's the perfect place to pick
up some designer clothes and snap up some of the most expensive real
estate in town. The main street Shabazi is where most of the
action is, but it's worth deviating a little and strolling around some side
streets to check out the beautifully restored homes and cute museums
such as the Nahum Gutman art museum.
3p.m. to 4p.m. - Close body contact
Who said biology was just for the science labs? Just past Neve Tzedek lies the recently-restored Hatahana complex,
which also offers a selection of high-end designer stores and fancy
restaurants. If you're bored of shopping and long for something a little
more educational then head to the BODIES Exhibition
which gives a glimpse of the wonders and mystery of the human body.
This international exhibition visiting Tel Aviv until August is not for
the squeamish, but it does offer a very unique insight into the way the
human body works. Whether you've been busy shopping or visiting the
exhibition, treat yourself to a cold drink at the trendy outdoor bar Vicky Cristina.
4p.m. to 5p.m. - Find a gem among the junk
Moving away from the fancy shops, head over to Jaffa's flea market
and check out the sights and sounds of this unique trading arena.
Nestled between the veteran traders are plenty of new designer shops
too, but we recommend exploring the more traditional sellers who offer
anything from furniture to weird and wonderful clothes. If you have time
and want to check out a Jaffa institution, then head to Dr Shakshuka for traditional food all the way from North Africa.
5p.m. to 6 p.m. - Wonder through the ancient alleyways
in Jaffa, it's now time for some history. Get lost among the alleyways
of the Old City and take a little time to appreciate some of the local
designers and artists studios, which have just as much character as
the designs themselves. Maybe catch a short show at the Arab-Hebrew theater or even the Gesher Theater.
6p.m. to 7p.m. - Get ready for a 'blind' date
No trip to Jaffa would be complete without visiting the Nalaga’at Center, which does amazing work to help blind and deaf people. As well as the Blackout restaurant, in which diners eat in complete darkness, there's Café Kapish
where the deaf and hearing-impaired waiters engage in sign language
with patrons. The center also includes the Deaf-Blind Acting Ensemble,
which integrates deaf-blind people into the community by providing them
with the opportunity to perform on stage and put across their message. A
truly unique experience.
7p.m. to 8p.m. - Jaffa sunset is as good as you're going to get
There really is no better place to watch the sun set on the longest of day of the year than from Jaffa's Old City. Head up to Jaffa's observation point,
which offers a great vantage point overlooking the whole of Tel Aviv.
This is the time to relax and do nothing except watch the rays glisten
on the hot Mediterranean and marvel at the breathtaking view as the city
that never sleeps prepares for yet another action packed night.
8p.m. to 9p.m. - Catch some live music
day in the city that never sleeps would be complete without hearing
some live music. Tel Aviv is a busy and bustling place during the day,
but it's once the sun goes down that things really get started. After
relaxing while watching the sunset it's now time to explore what Tel
Aviv by night has to offer. Head inland to the legendary Barby Club where local upcoming artists as well as music legends like to perform. Comeback Kid will be playing this Thursday and it promises to be quite the performance.
9p.m. to 10p.m. - Eat and be seen in Florentin
Now that we're in Florentin
it would be rude not to hang out in some of the coolest bars and
restaurants in the city. While many say that this neighborhood has
already been overrun by yuppies looking for the next "in" place to live,
there is still an interesting scene and the restaurants and bars here
are always full of colorful characters. Some places that are worth
checking out include Bugsy Bistro Bar, Mezcal Tequila Bar & Mexican food, Norma Jean and Sublime.
10p.m. to 11p.m. - Jam the night away
Head back over to Jaffa to the Container at the port, a great venue that always has a good selection of live music. Local band The Raw Men Empire
will be playing a set to celebrate the release of their new single.
Container also has a seafood menu that will satisfy you if all the jamming makes you hungry.
11p.m. to midnight - Sip the finest of champagnes
summer Rothschild Street was transformed into a tent city full of young
people who brought their own unique brands of entertainment, especially
on Thursday nights. This summer the tents have not yet reappeared, so
its business as usual barhopping among the trendy establishments that
line the southern part of the street. Shampania
is the place to be if you want to sip on the best champagne and watch
the world go by on a massive balcony overlooking the busy intersection with Allenby.
Midnight to 1a.m. - Gay it up with the guys
wouldn't be a night out in Tel Aviv without checking out the city's
famous gay scene. On this longest day of the year the best option would
have to be Cheesecake at the Breakfast Club.
Dance the night away with the local boys as the DJ spins the best
electronic sounds. If you're looking for something a little cheesier we recommend joining the tourists down the road at Evita for their weekly student night.
1a.m. to 2a.m. - Go underground for an alternative party
Looking for something with a little less sparkle but just as much punch then head to one of Tel Aviv's best underground clubs, Radio E.P.G.B.
When we say underground, we mean underground, so don't get put off by
the fact that you have walk down a dingy alley and then some even
dingier stairs. Once you peel back the curtain you'll be transported
into one of the hottest clubs in town where this Thursday DJ Eliezer Perez will be playing a unique set.
2a.m. to 3a.m. - Raise the roof
parties and summer in Tel Aviv are a match made in heaven, so it's
almost compulsory to visit at least one of these awesome places with
incredible views during a night out. As it's close by we recommend Gag at Saadia Gaon 24 for the opportunity to dance the night away while taking advantage of the panoramic views.
3a.m. to 4a.m. - Chill out in a secret garden
Gan Yaakov between
the Habima Theater, Mann Auditorium and Helena Rubenstein Pavilion for
Contemporary Art is a quiet oasis in the bustling city and is a perfect
place to take a moment out, especially late at night. Established in
1964, the park underwent a face lift during the recent changes at Habima Square but it still holds a certain charm as you climb up the stairs and find a romantic bench under a tree to sit on.
4 a.m. to 5a.m. - Treat yourself to a Brasserie breakfast
spending all night enjoying the best that the nightlife scene has to
offer, it's time to have some breakfast. Tel Aviv
institution The Brasserie is just
as busy at 4:30 a.m. as it is at dinner time. Open 24 hours, this is the perfect place to treat yourself to a
fancy breakfast and imagine you are in Paris eating fine
5a.m. to 6a.m. - Watch as the sun heats up the city
now time to watch the sunrise over the city that never sleeps. While
with the sunset it's best to face the sea, with sunrise you want the sea
behind you and for this reason we recommend going to the top floor of
one of the many high rise hotels on the beach and looking east to watch
the sun rise as it heats up the city before your eyes.
6a.m. to 7a.m. - Take a ride on the wild side
Being at the beach is a great excuse to rent a bike from the Tel-O-Fun scheme and take a leisurely ride northwards towards the Tel Aviv Port.
The bike rental system is easy to use and you can either rent a bike
for the day or opt for a yearly subscription. Either way, it's a great
way to get around the city and there's nothing better than an early
morning ride along the beach when the clubbers have just gone home but
the tourists have yet to leave their hotels. There's something magical
about this hour in Tel Aviv so take advantage of it.
7a.m. to 8a.m. - Pamper yourself at the port
At the port, take a walk around the farmer's market
where you can find a whole host of fresh produce. The port is also a
great place to sit and relax and if you feel in the mood to indulge Coola Spa
is a hidden gem, offering women a full range of spa treatments. This is
the time for the women to do some pampering while the men enjoy the
cool sea breeze.
8a.m. to 9a.m. - Pedalo through the park
The port is a perfect starting point to explore Park Hayarkon.
The park has lots to offer such as renting a
pedalo to cruise the river with family and friends. If that sounds
like hard work then you could always check out the petting zoo or if you
really are feeling lazy then just pitch up a place on the grass and
watch all the runners pass by.
9a.m. to 10a.m. - Fill your face at the food fair
getting a bit of exercise you'll probably be hungry again (well maybe
not, but Tel Aviv has so many great food options and we only have 24
hours) so Dizengoff Center is the place to be on a Friday morning because of the famous food fair.
With different foods from all around the world as well as the best
local delicacies there are no excuses for not finding something you
like. The Tunisian women
located right outside the SuperPharm pharmacy who cook hearty food for
Shabbat are not to be missed. They may not smile as they serve you their
offerings but you can be assured their food is made with love.
10a.m. to 11a.m - Build up your Bauhaus knowledge
a tour of the city's architecture can be more fun than you think. As
well as being known as the city that never sleeps, Tel Aviv is also
known as the White City, mainly
because of the abundance of Bauhaus architecture. Now we wouldn't want
to bore you with looking at white buildings all day but it's definitely
worth heading to the Bauhaus Center
on Dizengoff Street and taking their quick tour of the best buildings
to see. The shop itself is full of great gadgets and the exhibition
about called Paris discovers Tel Aviv which opens Thursday is definitely
worth a visit.
11a.m. to noon - Search for the perfect gift
mornings in Tel Aviv cannot be beaten. With the streets alive and the
sun shining, one of the best places to be at this time of day is the Nahlat Binyamin craft fair.
Among all the tourist kitsch and handcrafted creations, there are some
real gems to be found. If you get hungry again after all the shopping
then we recommend a stop at legendary burger joint Agadir for one of the best gourmet burgers in town.
are now back where we started, right in the thick of the action. From
here you could crash out after having an exhausting 24 hours, but hey -
this is Tel Aviv and the sun will still be shining for another eight
hours. We say go to the beach to chill out for a bit and then carry on
exploring. It is the weekend after all!