Our favorite things to do in and around Tel Aviv

In Tel Aviv

  • Go for a stroll on Rothschild Boulevard – Rothschild Boulevard was one of the very first streets built in Tel Aviv. Influenced by new ideas about city planning, Rothschild was built as a wide boulevard with plenty of grass and trees and its buildings were influenced by the new Eclectic and later Bauhaus style of building. All the lovely trees, ample space for pedestrians, fantastic architecture and beautiful Tel Avivians makes it the perfect place for a stroll and some people watching!
  • Beach! Beach! Beach! – Moses may have wandered the desert for 40 years, but he sure ended up by some beautiful beaches! The beautiful Mediterranean beaches have been an important part of Tel Aviv since its creation, and the city has been greatly influenced by its location. Each beach has a slightly different character and while our personal favorite is the dog beach where dogs are allowed off leash, there are beaches for the LGBT community, for volleyball, for religious Jews, for surfers and anything else you can think of. Find a complete guide to Tel Aviv’s beaches here or here.
  • Rabin Center – Yitzhak Rabin was involved in almost every major event in Israel from before the state was created until his assassination by a Jewish extremist in 1995. This amazing museum follows the course of his life and, through it, the history of the modern state of Israel.
  • Beit HaTfutsot, Museum of the Jewish People – this recently renovated museum tells the story of the Jewish people in all of its diversity. It shows a variety of Jewish communities around the world and tries to pull out the things that have bound the Jewish People together.
  • Live Music or Dance – Tel Aviv, as the cultural center of Israel, has an incredible variety of live music, dance and theater (and more!). Our favorite venue for live music is Barby in South Tel Aviv and the Batsheva Dance Company is famous internationally for its amazing modern dance, but opportunities for culture abound!
  • Jaffa – This is the ancient port city in the area (going back to Biblical times!) and you can immediately feel the contrast with Tel Aviv. We suggest spending a full day in Jaffa including a walking tour of Tel Jaffa and St Peter’s Church, visit the famous Flea Market and Artist Market in the Old City, a stroll around the Jaffa Port and a meal at the Old Man and the Sea
  • Gallery Hop – Tel Aviv is the center of Israel’s art scene and has dozens of great galleries in a few main areas. One of our favorites is the Kiryat Melacha area in South Tel Aviv (be aware this area is 100% safe, but it’s in the poorer part of town). If you’ve got the time and budget we highly recommend spending a few hours with fantastic local artist Shirel Horovitz for one of her tours for a deep dive into the art scene.
  • Ayalon Institute – Prior to the foundation of Israel this kibbutz was an underground bullet factory preparing for the War of Independence. Today it’s a museum telling the story of the amazing men and women who operated this factory right under the noses of the British. It’s located in the Tel Aviv suburb of Rehovot. If you’re going, consider making a day of it with a stop at the Weizman Institute Visitor’s Center and Gojo Ethiopian Restaurant for lunch.

Outside of Tel Aviv

  • Jerusalem – an absolute must for any first time visitor to Israel. There are dozens of sites offering recommendations for Jerusalem, but a few of our favorite things to do are the Mahane Yehuda food market, the free downloadable audio tours provided by the municipality and the Israel Museum.
  • Caesarea – the ancient Roman capital. King Herod turned a small fortress into what would eventually become the capital of the Roman province. You can see incredible archaeological remains from the Romans and the crusaders, all on the beautiful Mediterranean coast. Plus it’s an easy day trip from Tel Aviv by train + cab.
  • Haifa – It’s a beautiful city going up the slopes of the Carmel Mountain. There’s plenty to see, but our favorites are the Bahai Gardens (they have daily free tours) and the street art and food in the Wadi Nisnas neighborhood. It’s easily accessible from Tel Aviv by train or bus.
  • Acre (also spelled Akko) – The ancient crusader capital has incredible ruins from the Crusader period, but it’s also got amazing modern history (it’s the site of a famous jailbreak) and a fantastic market. It’s easily accessible from Tel Aviv by train.
  • Galil (northern Israel) – there are lots of amazing things to do in this part of the country from fascinating archaeology to beautiful hiking to Christian holy sites. We suggest renting a car or joining a group for this part of your visit, as it’s not so convenient to get to the various sites by public transportation. Highlights include Nazareth, the Christian sites around the Sea of Galilee, Safed (home of Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism), Tel Dan and a jeep tour of the Golan Heights.
  • Negev Desert – 60% of Israel is desert and it’s absolutely beautiful. We suggest basing yourself in Mitzpeh Ramon and doing some hiking in and around the Ramon Crater, a unique geological phenomenon.