One City Six Ways: Tel Aviv

There are a lot of reasons to love Tel Aviv, and why it’s an exceptional destination for a family trip. Perfectly positioned on the Mediterranean Sea, it offers everything from rich history and vibrant culture to renowned restaurants and plenty of leisure activities. “From the Old North and its Bauhaus architecture-lined streets to the cobblestone alleys in the Old City of Jaffa,” says Ross Belfer, local resident, founder and director, Xhibition Tel Aviv. “Tel Aviv is a micro-metropolis on the Med with incredible restaurants, innovative art galleries and a general joie de vivre sensibility that is nothing short of contagious.”

Cyber Horse, Tel Aviv University. Cyberhorse, land

© Alevtina Zibareva | Dreamstime.com

History & Culture

Dive into the city’s story with a tour of Beit Hatfutsot (the Diaspora Museum), located on the campus of Tel Aviv University. Permanent and changing exhibits include art, artifacts, murals and dioramas that detail the history of the Jewish people. Go deeper with a visit to The Eretz Israel Museum, where a collection of pavilions display myriad historical artifacts uncovered in Tel Aviv, from glasswork and ceramics to fabrics and coins. International guides at Oh So Arty gallery tours are happy to share their insider’s point of view while leading you on a customized tour of Tel Aviv’s art scene, including museums, galleries and studios.

Culinary

Food — and its enjoyment — is serious business in Tel Aviv. Eager Tourist can take you on a guided market excursion to Carmel and Levinsky Markets while providing expert insight into the city’s lively food scene. Stop in for a coffee at Coffee Bar, a modern Israeli bistro inspired by 1990s New York City, then wander through Sarona Market, the largest culinary market in Tel Aviv. Located in the center of town, the market has nearly 100 stalls and shops and is open seven days a week. Also worthy of a visit — preferably while you’re hungry — is the more intimate Shuk Tzafon (North Market) located in the Ramat Hachayal neighborhood. A favorite with locals, the market has 15 stalls and 15 specialty shops.

walking down alley in old Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel

© Noamfein | Dreamstime.com

Active

Take yourself on a walking tour of the city’s world-famous Bauhaus architecture area, collectively known as the White City and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Multiple guided biking tours of the city and beaches are readily available, including TLV Bike Tours, Gordon Active and Tourist Israel. Tours include English-speaking guides and plenty of local lore.

Wellness

The setting may be desert, but classes in yoga and meditation at YafoYoga can take you anywhere you’d like to go — including an inner journey that can help balance your travel soul and help you connect more deeply with your surroundings. Treat yourself to a spa break at Brown Beach House, located just steps from the edge of the sea. Bring someone with you: The spa has a full menu of treatments perfect for couples.

Romance

There’s plenty of nightlife for couples to embrace in this city by the sea, from elegant rooftop wine bars like Speakeasy to jazz at Beit HaAmudim and celebrity DJs spinning dance tunes at The Block, located in the city’s Central Bus Station building. Want to slow things down? Take a leisurely boat tour in Hayarkon Park or visit the Wishing Bridge in Yafo, surrounded by legends of dreams coming true; then head to dinner at Blue Sky at the Carlton Tel Aviv. The stellar menu at this panoramic rooftop restaurant is the creation of Chef Meir Adoni.

Family Fun

Head to the lively port area with its beaches and wide, wooden boardwalk to take a ride on the city’s historic seaside carousel. Seats on the carousel include galloping horses, Hasake rescue boards used by Israeli lifeguards, and carvings of Israeli-made Susita cars that were all the rage in the 1960s and 70s. Built in 1932, the carousel plays traditional Israeli music as it turns. The seaside promenade is nine miles long, and includes a selection of colorful cafés and shops alongside seaside bars and restaurants. Other fun options are amusement parks with plenty of thrills, including Luna Park and Memadyon Water Park.