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Tel Aviv

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Middle East : Israel : Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv (Hebrew: ?? ????) is the second largest city in Israel after Jerusalem. Tel Aviv is located on the Merranean coast, about 60 km north-west of Jerusalem and some 100 km south of Haifa. The official name is Tel Aviv-Yafo (תל אביב-יפו), and reflects the fact that the city has grown beside (and absorbed) the ancient port city of Jaffa (Arabic Yafa), to the south of the new city centre, in addition to many other neighbouring settlements.

tel aviv Travel Guide :

Tel Aviv

Districts

  • Yafo - also known as Jaffa and as Joppa, depending on who you're talking to / reading....
  • Kerem Hateimanim- a densely populated neighborhood of immigrants from Yemen right next to the Carmel Market, full of Yemenite restaurants.
  • Ramat Aviv- upscale northern neighborhood, north of the Yarkon river, where the Tel Aviv University, Diaspora Museum, and Haaretz Museums are located.
  • Hatikva - another Yemenite quarter located in the South with lively shish kebab restaurants and the home of Ofra Haza
  • Florentin - Said to be the Lower east side of Tel Aviv, a mishmash of small industries and garages with hip and trendy stores and young families
  • Neve Tzedek - a picturesque quarter of artists where the Modern dance hall is found
Tel Aviv

Understand

Tel-Aviv was founded in 1909 as a green suburb of the over-crowded, over-dense Jaffa. It didn?t take it much more than a decade, though, to become a real city, a center of Jewish life and economy in then British-ruled Palestine. The name roughly translates to ?Hill of Spring?. "Tel" being the Hebrew word for a type of archaeological site in which ruins of many cultures are layered, thus representing both ruins, and the renewal of Jewish life, in the modern western way to which Hertzel aspired to in his book "Altnoiland" figuratively translated from German ?old-new country?. That book laid foundations for modern Zionism.

Tel Aviv-Yafo now represents the heart of a thriving, small-scale Israeli metropolis - the greater metropolitan area of Tel Aviv comprises a number of separate municipalities with approximately 1.1 million people living in a 15 km long sprawl along the Merranean coast - and around 360,400 in Tel Aviv-Yafo itself - making it the second largest city in Israel after Jerusalem. Bat YamBat Yam, HolonHolon, Ramat Gan, GivatayimGivatayim, Bnei-BrakBnei-Brak, Petah Tikva, Rishon LeZionRishon LeZion, Ramat Ha-SharonRamat Ha-Sharon and Herzliya are the other major cities in the coastal area commonly known as Gush DanGush Dan.

While Jerusalem is Israel's capital city, where most government departments are located, Tel Aviv and its satellite cities form the economic and cultural centre. Mirroring New York's appellation as "the Big Apple", Tel Aviv is often nicknamed "the Big Orange" (referring to the world-famous Israeli Jaffa orange variety). It is known as "the city that doesn't stop" and indeed you will find that the nightlife and culture are on around the clock. In summer it is not unusual to see the beach boardwalk bustling with people at 4 am and the clubs and bars usually pick up around midnight until morning, giving Tel Aviv a well deserved reputation of being a party town. It is the pinnacle of secular life in Israel.

In July 2003 Tel Aviv-Yafo was declared a cultural World Heritage site by UNESCO for the many "International" (Also known as Bauhaus after the German school it originated from) style buildings built in the city during the 1930s-50s. As this style emphasized simplicity and the white color, Tel-Aviv is also called the White City 1 (http://www.white-city.co.il/english/index.htm).

Tel Aviv must be included amongst the world's most cosmopolitan cities, boasting a huge variety of languages and cultural backgrounds....

Tel Aviv

Orientation

The main thoroughfares in central Tel Aviv are Hayarkon Street/Herbert Samuel Road and Ibn Gvirol Street, both of which run north-south parallel to the sea front.

A number of large city squares form an internal reference to the city: Dizengoff Square, Rabin Square and Hamedina Square.

Tel Aviv

Get in

Tel Aviv

By plane

Tel Aviv's main airport is also Israel's international airport - Ben-Gurion International Airport (http://www.iaa.gov.il/Rashat/en-US/Airports/BenGurion/) (TLV). (NATBAG is the Hebrew acronyms commonly in use), situated about 20 KM away from Tel-Aviv city center.

You can reach the city from the terminal using the train service. Alternatively you can, of course, take a taxi (around 100 NIS or 20 Euro).

Tel Aviv has another airport - Sde Dov (SDV (http://www.iaa.gov.il/Rashat/en-US/Airports/SdeDov/)). This is a primary domestic airport. Frequent flights mainly to Eilat (ETH (http://www.iaa.gov.il/Rashat/en-US/Airports/Eilat/)) and Rosh Pinna (Galilee) (RPN (http://www.iaa.gov.il/Rashat/en-US/Airports/RoshPina/)).

Tel Aviv

By bus

The New Central Bus Station in southern Tel Aviv ("Tahana Merkazit", officially the world's biggest bus station!) offers routes servicing virtually every settled location in Israel. It is located close to the Tel Aviv HaHaganah Train Station.

The main inter-city bus operator from Tel Aviv is Egged (the world second-to-largest bus corporation), which operates, among many others, line 405 from Jerusalem, line 905 from Haifa, and line 390 from Eilat. Buses, faithful followers the 4th commandment (?Remember the Sabbath day?), stop at Friday afternoon, and only resume service in Saturday after sunset. Minor services often do not resume until the Sunday morning. Tickets can be bought from the driver, or from the ticket counters in the main stations. For more information visit http://www.egged.co.il/ or call 03-6948888.

The New Central Bus Station also features a large shopping mall over 7 floors, with 29 escalators, 13 fast elevators and more than 1,000 shops. Intercity buses leave from a departure hall on one floor and the local buses leave on two other floors.

Within Tel Aviv itself, the Dan 2 (http://www.dan.co.il/english/) bus corporation operates almost exclusively within the "Gush Dan" area (Dan Block - Tel Aviv greater metropolitan), maintaining routes that service most parts of Tel Aviv and its surroundings.

International Bus Services are available from Cairo (Egypt) and Amman (Jordan). Ask your travel agent.

Tel Aviv

By train

Though train services in Israel have significantly improved in the last decade or so, buses still are the main inter-city (as well as intra-city) means of transportation. Train services connect Tel-Aviv, Haifa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem to each other, as well as various smaller towns. They are fast and comfortable, except on Sunday morning, when soldiers return to their bases and students to their universities. Trains, like buses, stop at Friday afternoon, and resume service in Saturday after sunset.

As of end 2004, Ben Gurion International Airport is also linked to the city by train.

Tel-Aviv has 4 train stations, all along the Ayalon highway. For best access to the city center, use either ?Tel Aviv Central? (a.k.a. ?Arlozorov? and officially named ?Savidor?), or ?Hashalom?. It is around 1h on the train from Jerusalem to Tel-Aviv

More information in the Israel Railways web site (http://www.israrail.org.il/english/index.html), or call 03-5774000;

Tel Aviv

Get around

Tel Aviv

By bus

Tel Aviv has a modern, regular and widespread bus network run by a company called Dan (http://www.dan.co.il/english/). Bus services start at 5:00 and stop at midnight, though some of the lines stop earlier, so do check. Single ticket inside the city and the close suburbs costs 5.20 NIS (August 2004). There?s a daily free-pass called ?Hofshi-Yomi?, which costs less then 3 rides. Note that it is only available after 9:00. There are also monthly free-passes and 10-rides tickets. Everything is available from the driver.

Tel Aviv

Train

If you are told in Tel-Aviv, that something will happen ?when the underground train is built?, they try to tell you it will never happen. The plans for underground are decades old, a campaign promise of every mayor for the last 30 years. Nobody has ever seen anything of it come true. In the meantime, take a bus.

Tel Aviv

Taxi

You can wave for a taxi in the street or call one (with extra surcharge). Insist on the driver using the meter (?MONEH?, in Hebrew). A local ride without meter should be 20 Shekels. Hakastel taxi service, phone 03-6993322 or Shekem 03-5270404. Add 3.30 Shekels charge for the call.

Tel Aviv

See

Tel Aviv

Landmarks

  • Old Yafo
  • Kerem Ha'Temanim
Tel Aviv

Museums and Galleries

  • Eretz-Israel (Land of Israel) Museum 3 (http://www.eretzmuseum.org.il/), 2 Haim Levanon Street, Ramat Aviv, tel 03 6415244, open Su-Th 9am-3pm, Fr-Sa 10am-2pm, admission adult NIS 35, child NIS 24, University student or soldier NIS 27, pensioner NIS 17; Planetarium: additional 23 NIS - history, archaeology and culture - includes the archaeological site of Tel Qasile, the remains of an early Philistine settlement
  • Beit HaTefutsot - Museum of the Diaspora 4 (http://www.bh.org.il/) - The Nahum Goldmann Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, Tel Aviv University Campus, Klausner Street, Ramat Aviv, bus:7, 25 from city center, entrance through Matatia Gate 2, tel +972 3 6408000, fax +972 3 6405727, mailto:bhwebmas@post.tau.ac.il, open Su-Th 10am-4pm admission (includes audio guiding) adults NIS 34, students, new immigrants, soldiers, policeman & disabled NIS 24, senior citizens NIS 17, children up to 5 years old free - this multimedia museum tells the story of the 2000 years of Jewish life throughout the entire world. It?s less about history and more about people: how the lived, worked, celebrated or prayed. A must-see if you like to know more about Jewish heritage. The museum is situated inside Tel-Aviv University 5 (http://www.tau.ac.il/) campus, so you can walk around a bit to see how the Israeli student looks like. The university gallery 6 (http://www.tau.ac.il/~gallery/) sometimes features interesting exhibitions. The newly built Smolarsh Auditorium is nicknamed The Atomic Reactor, due to its strange shape; the red-brick synagogue is referred to as The Petrol Distillery because its resemblance to the country main distilleries north of Haifa.
  • Tel-Aviv Museum of Art 7 (http://www.tamuseum.com/museum/), 27 Shaul Hamelech Boulevard, Bus:9, 18, open Mo, We, Sa 10am-4pm, Tu, Th 10am-10pm, Fr 10am-2pm - the main municipal art museum for Tel Aviv focuses on modern and contemporary art. Check for the changing exhibitions ? they sometimes are very interesting. The children's wing is great fun, and not just for kids. The museum also hosts chamber music and Jazz performances on occasions. In the museum's courtyard you will find the municipal library, with books in Hebrew, English and other languages, and Hebrew newspapers and magazines collection. You can read there, but you?ll need a subscription to borrow. Follow the trail north of the library to get to ?Golda Meir Center of Performing Arts? (or simply: Golda Center). This complex, newly-built, is the home of the Israeli Opera (http://www.israel-opera.co.il/) and the Cameri Municipal Theater. Ballet performances and classical music concerts are also held here from time to time.
  • the Bauhaus Center Tel Aviv 8 (http://www.bauhaus-center.com/), 99 Dizengoff Street, tel/fax 03 5220249, mailto:info@bauhaus-center.com - despite its compact size, the Bauhaus Centre manages to survey almost the entire gamut of the Bauhaus design genre. Detailed exhibitions, books, maps and posters, multimedia and a great little shop.... The Center also conducts tours of the Tel Aviv Bauhaus White City (Fr, 10am, duration 2 hours - book ahead) and other destinations.
  • the Haganah Museum, 23 Rothschild Boulevard, tel 03 560 8624, Su-Th 9am-3pm, Fri 9am-12noon, admission NIS 10 - recounting the fascinating story of the embryonic Israel Defence Force, from British Mandate days to Israeli independence in 1948 and beyond, lots of interesting artifacts, weapons and memorabilia
  • Raw Art Gallery 9 (http://www.rawartint.com), 12 Hasharon Street, Tel Aviv, +972-3-5373249, open daily, 07pm-2am. The place to see contemporary emerging Israeli artists, with monthly exhibits.
Tel Aviv

Do

  • Dip into Tel Aviv's fantastic beach scene - at its best in summer (of course), especially during Friday afternoons, as Shabbat comes in, crowds of beachgoers and partymakers, the smell of barbecues, the 'thwock, thwock' of beach tennis, massed Brazilian drums and dancers. Tel Aviv has a gay beach, too, under the Hilton hotel.
  • A craft fair is held in the Nachalat Binyamin pedestrian zone every Tuesday and Friday (every day during the summer and other holidays). In addition to the truly original crafts (which can make good gifts), that are presented by their creators, you can enjoy good atmosphere and street shows.
  • For seeing Tel-Aviv and the area from above, head to Azrieli (?Hahsalom?) center. This relatively new complex, with its three sky-scrapers, one circular, one triangular, and one (not yet built) square, is quickly becoming the graphical symbol of the city. It contains an American-style mall with a theater that shows latest Hollywood hits. But we?ve come here in order to climb to the 49th floor of the circular tower, from which, they say, you can see on a good day the snow-cupped Mount Hermon (but don't count on it). There?s also a restaurant upstairs, which naturally charges extra for the location ? but, well, the romantic view at twilight or in the dark might actually be worth it.
Tel Aviv

Entertainment

  • Billiards (Pool)- Gypsy - Kikar Atarim (Atarim plaza), located in Hayarkon St.

Lincoln - located in Lincoln St

  • Clubs - Top International DJs are being imported on every weekend from the United states and Europe by the Clubs in Tel Aviv, even Junior Vasquez and Victor Calderone. Clubs in Tel Aviv invest a lot in making each night more memorable than the other, and this shows by the energies and vibrations. A huge mega club (mimicking New York's Roxy) has recently opened Haoman. Other clubs are Dome, TLV, Vox, LEX (Hasharon 12) and Powder. The last two are both gay on Fridays, and compete with each other.

You can also find a few rock clubs active with Israeli and international bands almost every evening.

Tel Aviv

Buy

  • Dizengoff Center Mall (Known for is indoor fairs and uniqe shops).
  • Gan Hair mall next to City Hall.
  • Ramat Aviv mall (the more upscale one)
  • Central Bus Station itself is half a shopping mall, half bus station.
  • Dizengoff Street (boutiques).
  • Shinkin Street (bohimian, near Dizengoff).
  • Nhalat Beinyamin and HaKarmel markets.
  • Kikar Hamdina (Italian labels from Prada to Gucci).
  • Gordon Street (for art galleries only).
  • Yaffo flea market.
  • Azrielly (HASALOM) center
  • Ayalon Mall
  • Arena mall (Vegas Style Mall, in the Herzelyia port).
Tel Aviv

Eat

Tel Aviv has an amazing variety of restaurants for every taste. As a city of immigrants, no wonder ethnic food rules here. 10 (http://www.dinnersite.co.il/telaviv/index.htm). There are plenty of fast food restaurants, both international and well-known to every western tourist (such as McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, etc.), and both local which offer Israeli food. You can also eat a toast, sandwich or some other snack at one of the cafes around the city. A few restaurants specialize in nouvelle Israeli cuisine. Yes, there is such a thing, and you should look for it! Many fruit juice parlors are around, but Israelis love a freshly squeezed carrot juice the most. Finally, Tel Aviv's ice cream parlors offer much more than basic flavors, as the taste buds are eclectic and strive for new flavors, such as Halva, poppy seed, and even a touch of alcoholic liqueurs in the ice cream (Try these places: Vanilla, Iceberg, Sicilian, Beer Sheva(careful- that's also a name of a city!) and Dr. Lek).

The best place for Arabic food and seafood is the many restaurants in Yafo.

Tel Aviv

Drink

Tel Aviv has a huge variety of pubs, bars, cafes and nightclubs. The Lilinblum district offers chic and trendy bars, including some strictly for pick up: Mishmish, Abraksas and others. Tel Aviv old central bus station also offers some trendy bars and lounges such as East Kitchen Bar and Raw Bar, Alcohol runs like water until the last customer leaves. One of the best old fashion pubs in the Tel-Aviv area is the "Molly Bloom's Irish pub", it's located at 2 Mendele St. The pub has a great atmosphere and reasonable prices, and is quite busy on weekends. Also, it's close to the hotels.

The "Gordon Inn", 17 Gordon St, is an intimate, Irish-oriented pub with a local crowd. It offers a calm atmosphere, mellow music and a pool table. There is a guesthouse next door by the same name.

There are many popular bars on Allenby St, including The Goodbar, Joey's Bar, and Bloom Bar.

The legendary 'Cafe Tel-Aviv' is very good for a tough Israeli drink, such as Botz or Maccabee

Tel Aviv

Sleep

Tel Aviv has a wide variety of accommodation options, from camping and backpacker hostels, right up to luxury 5-star hotels.

Many of the best hotels are associated though the Tel Aviv Hotel Association (http://www.telavivhotels.org.il/eng/intro.php).

Tel Aviv

Budget

  • IYHA Tel Aviv (Israel Youth Hostel Association) 11 (http://www.youth-hostels.org.il/english.html), 36 Bnei Dan St, PO Box 22078, Tel Aviv 62260, Telephone 03-5441748, Fax 03-5441030, email: telaviv@iyha.org.il. The hostel is located near Hayarkon Park, offering easy access - by foot or a short bus ride- to the city's main cultural and tourist attractions.
  • HaYarkon 48 Hostel 12 (http://www.inisrael.com/hayarkon48/), 48 HaYarkon Street, tel 03 516 8989 - located in the heart of Tel Aviv about one minute's walk from the beach, double room from USD$42, dormitory USD$10.50 with good discounts for booking ahead
  • No 1 Hostel 13 (http://www.inisrael.com/sleepinisrael/pages/no1-hostel.htm), 4th floor, 84 Ben-Yehuda Street, tel 03 523 7807, rates include breakfast
  • Gordon Inn 14 (http://www.inisrael.com/sleepinisrael/pages/gordon-inn.htm), 17 Gordon Street (on the corner of Ben-Yehuda Street), tel 03 523 8239 - a 31 room guest house with private, family and dormitory rooms, basically but comfortably furnished. Close to the beach and with its own great little bar, open late, with cold Guinness on tap...
Tel Aviv

Stay safe

The usual warnings regarding being alert for bomb threats also pertain to Tel Aviv - beware of suspicious packages in public places and suspicious behaviour on the part of people around you; if in doubt, report it!


When going to the beach, stick to the patrolled areas with lifeguards - every year people drown off Tel Aviv when strong currents get them into difficulty.

Tel Aviv

External links

  • Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality (http://www.tel-aviv.gov.il/english/) - official website
  • the White City (http://www.white-city.co.il/english/index.htm) - the municipality's official website documenting the World Heritage listing as a centre of Bauhaus design and application
  • Tel Aviv 4 Fun (http://www.telaviv4fun.com/english/) - A guide to the fun places in Tel Aviv
  • Tel Aviv Guide (http://www.telavivguide.net) - An up to date Travel Guide

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