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Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv Collage 2.JPG
Top, left to right: Tel Aviv's skyline, Azrieli Center, Dizengoff Square, Jaffa Clock Tower, and Tel Aviv's beachfront
Emblem of Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv flag.svg
Flag of Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is located in Israel
Tel Aviv
District Tel Aviv
Government City
Hebrew תֵּל־אָבִיב-יָפוֹ
Name meaning Spring Mound
Population 393,900[1]

Urban Area: 1,244,800[1]
Metropolitan Area: 3,250,000 (2009)

Area 51,800 dunams (51.8 km2; 20.0 sq mi)
Mayor Ron Huldai
Founded in 1909
Coordinates 32°4′N 34°47′E / 32.067°N 34.783°E / 32.067; 34.783Coordinates: 32°4′N 34°47′E / 32.067°N 34.783°E / 32.067; 34.783

Tel Aviv-Yafo (Hebrew: תֵּל־אָבִיב-יָפוֹ; Arabic: تل أبيب‎, Tall ʼAbīb, lit. "Spring Mound"),[2] usually referred to as Tel Aviv, is the second-largest city in Israel, with an estimated population of 393,900.[1] The city is situated on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline, with a land area of 51.8 square kilometres (20.0 sq mi). It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, home to 3.2 million people as of 2008.[3] The city is governed by the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality, headed by Ron Huldai.[4]

Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 on the outskirts of the ancient port city of Jaffa (Hebrew: יָפוֹ‎, Yafo; Arabic: يافا‎, Yaffa). The growth of Tel Aviv soon outpaced Jaffa, which was largely Arab at the time. Tel Aviv and Jaffa were merged into a single municipality in 1950, two years after the establishment of the State of Israel. Tel Aviv's White City, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, comprises the world's largest concentration of Modernist-style buildings.[5][6][7]

Tel Aviv is classified as a beta+ world city,[8] being a major economic hub and the richest city in Israel, home to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and many corporate offices and research and development centers.[9] Its beaches, bars, cafés, restaurants, upscale shopping, great weather and cosmopolitan lifestyle have led to it being a popular tourist destination for domestic and overseas visitors alike,[10][11] and has given it its reputation as "a city that never sleeps".[12][13]

It is the country's financial capital and a major performing arts and business center.[14] Tel Aviv's urban area is the Middle East's second biggest city economy,[15] and is ranked 42nd among global cities by Foreign Policy's 2008 Global Cities Index.[16] It is also the most expensive city in the region, and 17th most expensive city in the world.[17] New York-based writer and editor David Kaufman called it the "Mediterranean’s New Capital of Cool".[18]



Tel Aviv Skyline at night

The name Tel Aviv (literally "Spring Mound") was chosen in 1910 from among many suggestions, including "Herzliya". Tel Aviv is the Hebrew title of Theodor Herzl's book Altneuland ("Old New Land"), translated from German by Nahum Sokolow. Sokolow took the name from Ezekiel 3:15: "Then I came to them of the captivity at Tel Aviv, that lived by the river Chebar, and to where they lived; and I sat there overwhelmed among them seven days."[19] This name was found fitting as it embraced the idea of the renaissance of the ancient Jewish homeland. Aviv is Hebrew for "spring", symbolizing renewal, and tel is an archaeological site that reveals layers of civilization built one over the other.[20] Theories vary about the etymology of Jaffa or Yafo in Hebrew. Some believe that the name derives from yafah or yofi, Hebrew for "beautiful" or "beauty". Another tradition is that Japheth, son of Noah, founded the city and that it was named for him. The name is also transliterated as Tel-Abib in the King James Bible.



The ancient port of Jaffa
Tel Aviv's skyline rises over Jaffa

The ancient port of Jaffa has changed hands many times in the course of history. Archeological excavations from 1955 to 1974 unearthed towers and gates from the Middle Bronze Age.[21] Subsequent excavations, from 1997 onwards, helped date earlier discoveries.[21] They also exposed sections of a packed-sandstone glacis and a "massive brick wall", dating from the Late Bronze Age as well as a temple "attributed to the Sea Peoples" and dwellings from the Iron Age.[21] Remnants of buildings from the Persian, Hellenistic and Pharaonic periods were also discovered.[21]

The city is first mentioned in letters from 1470 BCE that record its conquest by Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III.[7] Jaffa is mentioned several times in the Bible, as the port from which Jonah set sail for Tarshish;[22] as bordering on the territory of the Tribe of Dan;[23] and as the port at which the wood for Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem arrived from Lebanon.[24] According to some sources it has been a port for at least 4,000 years,[25]

In 1099, the Christian armies of the First Crusade, led by Godfrey of Bouillon occupied Jaffa, which had been abandoned by the Muslims, fortified the town and improved its harbor.[26] As the County of Jaffa, the town soon became important as the main sea supply route for the Kingdom of Jerusalem.[27] Jaffa was captured by Saladin in 1192 but swiftly re-taken by Richard Coeur de Lion, who added to its defenses.[28] In 1223, Emperor Frederick II added further fortications.[28] Crusader domination ended in 1268, when the Mamluk Sultan Baibars captured the town, destroyed its harbor and razed its fortifications.[28][29] To prevent further Crusader incursions, the city was ransacked in 1336, 1344 and 1346 by Nasir al-Din Muhammad.[30] In the 16th century, Jaffa was conquered by the Ottomans and was administered as a village in the Sanjak of Gaza.[29] Napoleon besieged the city in 1799 and killed scores of inhabitants; a plague epidemic followed, decimating the remaining population.[29]

Jaffa began to grow as an urban center in the early 18th century, when the Ottoman government in Constantinople intervened to guard the port and reduce attacks by Bedouins and pirates.[29] However, the real expansion came during the 19th century, when the population grew from 2,500 in 1806 to 17,000 in 1886.[7]

Tel Aviv was founded on land purchased from Bedouins north of Jaffa. This photograph is of the 1909 auction of the first lots

From 1800 to 1870, Jaffa was surrounded by walls and towers, which were torn down to allow for expansion as security improved.[31] The sea wall, 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) high, remained intact until the 1930s, when it was built over during a renovation of the port by the British Mandatory authorities.[31] During the mid-19th century, the city grew prosperous from trade, especially of silk and Jaffa oranges, with Europe.[7] In the 1860s Jaffa's small Sephardic community was joined by Jews from Morocco and small numbers of European Ashkenazi Jews, making by 1882 a total Jewish population of more than 1,500.[7]

During the 1880s, Ashkenazi immigration to Jaffa increased with the onset of the First Aliyah. The new arrivals were motivated more by Zionism than religion and came to farm the land and engage in productive labor.[7] In keeping with their pioneer ideology, some chose to settle in the sand dunes north of Jaffa.[7] The beginning of modern-day Tel Aviv is marked by the construction of Neve Tzedek, a neighborhood built by Ashkenazi settlers between 1887 and 1896.[5]

A view of Tel Aviv's beachfront

Urban development

The Second Aliyah led to further expansion.[7] In 1906, a group of Jews, among them residents of Jaffa, followed the initiative of Akiva Arye Weiss and banded together to form the Ahuzat Bayit (lit. "homestead") society. The society's goal was to form a "Hebrew urban centre in a healthy environment, planned according to the rules of aesthetics and modern hygiene".[7] The urban planning for the new city was influenced by the ideas of the Garden city movement.[32] In 1908, the group purchased 5 hectares (12 acres) of dunes northeast of Jaffa.[citation needed] Following this purchase, Meir Dizengoff, who later became Tel Aviv's first mayor, decided to join Ahuzat Bayit.[33][34] His vision for Tel Aviv involved peaceful co-existence with the Arabs.[7]

Worker carrying bricks in Tel Aviv, 1920-1930

In April 1909, sixty-six Jewish families gathered on a desolate sand dune on what is now Rothschild Boulevard to parcel out the land by lottery using seashells. The lottery was organised by Akiva Arye Weiss, the president of the association. Weiss had an original idea, the names of the families were inscribed on white shells and the plot number on shells of a different color.[35] Within a year, Herzl, Ahad Ha'am, Yehuda Halevi, Lilienblum, and Rothschild streets were built; a water system was installed; and 66 houses (including some on six subdivided plots) were completed.[32] At the end of Herzl Street, a plot was allocated for a new building for the Herzliya Hebrew High School, founded in Jaffa in 1906.[32] On May 21, 1910, the name Tel Aviv was adopted.[32] Tel Aviv was planned as an independent Hebrew city with wide streets and boulevards, running water at each house and street lights.[36]

By 1914, Tel Aviv had grown to include more than 100 hectares (247 acres), including several new neighborhoods.[32] However, growth halted in 1917 when the Ottoman authorities expelled the Jews of Jaffa.[32] A report published in The New York Times by United States Consul Garrels in Alexandria, Egypt described the incident where Jaffa deportation of early April 1917. The orders of evacuation were aimed chiefly at the Jewish population.[37]

Under the British Mandate

Under British administration, the political friction between Jews and Arabs in Palestine increased. On May 1, 1921, the Jaffa Riots erupted and an Arab mob killed dozens of Jewish residents. In the wake of this violence, many Jews left Jaffa for Tel Aviv, increasing the population of Tel Aviv from 2,000 in 1920 to around 34,000 by 1925.[1][5] New businesses opened in Tel Aviv, leading to the decline of Jaffa as a commercial center.[32] In 1925, Patrick Geddes drew up a master plan for Tel Aviv that was adopted by the city council led by Meir Dizengoff.[7] The core idea was the development of a Garden City. The boundaries he worked within, the Yarkon River in the North and Ibn Gvirol Street in the East, are still regarded as Tel Aviv's real city limits although it has since grown beyond them.[38]

Tel Aviv continued to grow in 1926 but suffered an economic setback between 1927 and 1930.[7][32] The Ben Gurion House was built in 1930-1, part of a new worker's housing development. At the same time, cultural life was given a boost by the establishment of the Ohel Theater and the decision of Habima Theatre to make Tel Aviv its permanent base in 1931.[32] Tel Aviv gained municipal status in 1934.[32]

The population rose dramatically during the Fifth Aliyah when the Nazis came to power in Germany.[32] As the Jews fled Europe, many settled in Tel Aviv, bringing the population in 1937 to 150,000, compared to Jaffa's 69,000 residents. Within two years, it had reached 160,000, which was over a third of the country's total Jewish population.[32] Many new immigrants remained after disembarking in Jaffa, turning the city into a center of urban life. In the wake of the 1936–39 Arab revolt, a local port independent of Jaffa was built in 1938, and Lod Airport (later Ben Gurion Airport) and Sde Dov Airport opened between 1937 and 1938.[7]

Historic Tel Aviv town hall on Bialik Street

Tel Aviv's White City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004, emerged in the 1930s. Many of the German Jewish architects trained at the Bauhaus, the Modernist school of architecture closed by the Nazis in 1933, fled Germany. Some, like architect Arieh Sharon, came to Palestine and adapted the architectural outlook of the Bauhaus as well as other similar schools, to local conditions, creating what is claimed to be the largest concentration of buildings in the International Style in the world.[5][7]

Starting in July 1940, Tel Aviv was a major target of the Italian Bombing of Palestine in World War II. On 9 September 1940, bombing of Tel Aviv caused 137 deaths.[39]

According to the 1947 UN Partition Plan that proposed dividing Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, Tel Aviv, by then a city of 230,000, was slated for inclusion in the Jewish state. Jaffa with, as of 1945, a population of 101,580 people, 53,930 of whom were Muslim and 16,800 Christian, making up the Arab population, and 30,820 Jewish, was designated as part of the Arab state.[40] The Arabs, however, rejected the partition plan.[7] Between 1947 and 1948, tensions grew on the border between Tel Aviv and Jaffa, with Arab snipers who were firing at Jews from the "minaret" of the Hassan Bek Mosque. The Haganah and Irgun Jewish forces retaliated with a siege on Jaffa.[7] From April 1948, the Arab residents began to leave. When Jaffa was conquered by Israeli forces on May 14, few remained.[7]

After Israeli independence

Shalom Meir Tower, the first skyscraper that was built in Israel
The inscription on a memorial on Rothschild Boulevard to Tel Aviv's founders translates as, "I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, oh Virgin of Israel".
An aerial look of Downtown Tel Aviv

By the time of Israel's Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948, the population of Tel Aviv had risen to more than 200,000.[1] Tel Aviv was the temporary government center of the State of Israel until the government moved to Jerusalem in December 1949. However, due to the international dispute over the status of Jerusalem, most foreign embassies remained in or near Tel Aviv.[20] In the early 1980s, 13 embassies in Jerusalem moved to Tel Aviv as part of the UN's measures responding to Israel's 1980 Jerusalem Law.[41] Today, all but two of the national embassies are in Tel Aviv or the surrounding district.[42]

The boundaries of Tel Aviv and Jaffa became a matter of contention between the Tel Aviv municipality and the Israeli government during 1948.[43] The former wished to incorporate only the northern Jewish suburbs of Jaffa, while the latter wanted a more complete unification.[43] The issue also had international sensitivity, since the main part of Jaffa was in the Arab portion of the United Nations Partition Plan, whereas Tel Aviv was not, and no armistice agreements had yet been signed.[43] On 10 December 1948, the government announced the annexation to Tel Aviv of Jaffa's Jewish suburbs, the ex-Arab neighborhood of Abu Kabir, the ex-Arab village of Salama and some of its agricultural land, and the Jewish 'Hatikva' slum.[43] On 25 February 1949, the abandoned Arab village of Sheikh Muanis was also annexed to Tel Aviv.[43] On 18 May 1949, the former Arab neighborhood of Manshiya and part of Jaffa's central zone were added, for the first time including land that had been in the Arab portion of the UN partition plan.[43] The government decided on a permanent unification of Tel Aviv and Jaffa on 4 October 1949, but the actual unification was delayed until 24 April 1950 due to concerted opposition from Tel Aviv's mayor Israel Rokach.[43] The name of the unified city was Tel Aviv until 19 August 1950, when it was renamed as Tel Aviv-Yafo in order to preserve the historical name Jaffa.[43]

Tel Aviv thus grew to 42 square kilometers (16.2 sq mi). In 1949, a memorial to the 60 founders of Tel Aviv was constructed.[44] Over the past 60 years, Tel Aviv has developed into a secular, liberal-minded city with a vibrant nightlife and café culture.[7][13]

In the 1960s, some of Tel Aviv's older buildings were demolished and replaced by the country's first high-rises, among them the Shalom Meir Tower, which was Israel's tallest building until 1999. Tel Aviv's population peaked in the early 1960s at 390,000, representing 16 percent of the country's total.[45] A long period of steady decline followed, however, and by the late 1980s the city had an aging population of 317,000.[45] High property prices pushed families out and deterred young people from moving in.[45]

At this time, gentrification began in the poor neighborhoods of Southern Tel Aviv, and the old port in the north was renewed.[7] New laws were introduced to protect Modernist buildings, and efforts to preserve them were aided by UNESCO recognition of the Tel Aviv's White City as a world heritage site. In the early 1990s, the decline in population was reversed, partly due to the large wave of immigrants from the former Soviet Union.[45] Tel Aviv also began to emerge as a high-tech center.[7] The construction of many skyscrapers and high-tech office buildings followed. In 1993, Tel Aviv was categorized as a world city.[46] The city is regarded as a strong candidate for global city status.[14]

Site of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination at Kikar Malchei Yisrael, later renamed Rabin Square

On November 4, 1995, Israel's prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, was assassinated at a rally in Tel Aviv in support of the Oslo peace accord. The outdoor plaza where this occurred, formerly known as Kikar Malchei Yisrael, was renamed Rabin Square.[7]

In the first Gulf War, in 1991, Tel Aviv was attacked and hit by several Scud rockets from Iraq, but hardly anyone was killed. The inhabitants of the southeastern suburb of HaTiqwa erected an angel-monument as a sign of their gratitude, that "it was through a great miracle, that many people were preserved from being killed by a direct hit of a Scud rocket."[47]

Tel Aviv has suffered from violence by Palestinian militant groups since the post-First Intifada period. The first suicide attack in Tel Aviv occurred on October 19, 1994, on the Line 5 bus, when a bomber killed himself and 21 civilians as part of a Hamas suicide campaign. The most deadly attack occurred on June 1, 2001, during the Second Intifada, when a suicide bomb exploded inside a nightclub called the Dolphi Disco, and 21 were killed and more than 100 were injured. The most recent attack in the city occurred on April 17, 2006, when nine people were killed and at least 40 wounded in a suicide bombing near the old central bus station in Tel Aviv.[48]

In recent years, Tel Aviv has become more environmentally aware. City lights were turned off in support of Earth Hour in March 2008.[49] In February 2009, the municipality launched a water saving campaign, including competition granting free parking for a year to the household that is found to have consumed the least amount of water per person.[50]

Panorama of central Tel Aviv, looking west from the Azrieli Center

Historical materials

In 2009, Tel Aviv celebrated its official centennial.[51] In addition to city- and country-wide celebrations, this anniversary saw the public release of several significant digital collections of historical materials. These include the History section of the official Tel Aviv-Yafo Centennial Year website;[51] the Ahuzat Bayit collection, which focuses on the founding families of Tel Aviv, and includes photographs and biographies;[52] and Stanford University's Eliasaf Robinson Tel Aviv Collection,[53] documenting the history of the city. The last of these consists of several thousand photographs, postcards, posters, books, and other historical documents from the 100-year history of Tel Aviv.


The city's Mediterranean beaches are a popular place for matkot games

Tel Aviv is located around 32°5′N 34°48′E / 32.083°N 34.8°E / 32.083; 34.8 on the Israeli Mediterranean coastal plain, the historic land bridge between Europe, Asia and Africa. Immediately north of the ancient port of Jaffa, Tel Aviv lies on land that used to be sand dunes and as such has relatively poor soil fertility. The land has been flattened and has no important gradients; its most notable geographical features are bluffs above the Mediterranean coastline and the Yarkon River mouth.[54] Because of the expansion of Tel Aviv and the Gush Dan region, absolute borders between Tel Aviv and Jaffa and between the city's neighborhoods do not exist. The city is 60 kilometers (37 mi) northwest of Jerusalem and 90 kilometers (56 mi) south of the northern port city of Haifa.[55] Neighboring cities and towns include Herzliya to the north, Ramat HaSharon to the northeast, Petah Tikva, Bnei Brak, Ramat Gan and Giv'atayim to the east, Holon to the southeast, and Bat Yam to the south.[56] The city is economically stratified between the north and south. South Tel Aviv is generally considered to be poorer than Northern Tel Aviv with the exception of the Neve Tzedek neighborhood and some recent development by the Jaffa beach. It also includes the city's "downtown." Central Tel Aviv includes Tel Aviv's Azrieli Center and is also an important financial and commerce district that stretches along the part of Ramat Gan on the Ayalon Highway. The northern side of Tel Aviv is home to Tel Aviv University and some of Tel Aviv's most costly upper class residential neighborhoods such as Ramat Aviv, Ramat Aviv Bet and Ramat Aviv Gimmel. The prosperity of the north stretches to neighboring Herzliya Pituah, Ramat HaSharon, and Kfar Shmaryahu.[57]


Tel Aviv has a Mediterranean climate with hot, rainless, yet humid summers, pleasant to erratic springs and autumns, and typically chilly, wet winters (Köppen climate classification Csa). Humidity tends to be high year-round due to the city's proximity to the sea. In winter, average temperatures are usually between 9 °C (48 °F) and 17 °C (63 °F), with temperatures as low as 6 °C (43 °F) on colder bright mornings. In summer the average is 26 °C (79 °F), with daytime temperatures sometimes exceeding 32 °C (90 °F). Despite the high humidity, precipitation during summertime is rare. Tel Aviv receives 530.5 millimeters (20.9 in) of precipitation annually which usually occur from September to April. Tel Aviv averages more than 300 sunny days a year.

Climate data for Tel Aviv
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 28
Average high °C (°F) 17.5
Daily mean °C (°F) 13.3
Average low °C (°F) 9.0
Record low °C (°F) 0
Precipitation mm (inches) 145.0
% Humidity 74 73 71 65.5 66 68 71 71 70.5 69.5 69 75.5 70.5
Avg. precipitation days 15 13 11 6 3 0 0 0 0 5 9 14 76
Source: World Weather Information Service[58][59]
Source #2: Qwikcast [60]


Park Tzameret district

Tel Aviv is divided into nine districts that have formed naturally over the city's short history. The most notable of these is Jaffa, the ancient port city out of which Tel Aviv grew. This area is traditionally made up demographically of a greater percentage of Arabs, but recent gentrification is replacing them with a young professional population. Similar processes are occurring in nearby Neve Tzedek, the original Jewish neighborhood outside of Jaffa. Ramat Aviv, a district in the northern part of the city largely made up of luxury apartments and including the Tel Aviv University, is currently undergoing extensive expansion and is set to absorb the beachfront property of Sde Dov Airport after its decommissioning.[61] The area known as HaKirya is the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) headquarters and a large military base.[57]

Historically, there was a demographic split between the European northern side of the city, including the district of Ramat Aviv, and the southern, more Sephardi and Mizrahi neighborhoods including Neve Tzedek and Florentin.[7]

Since the 1980s, however, restoration and gentrification have taken place on a large scale in the southern neighborhoods, making them some of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods for the more prosperous north Tel Avivis.[7] In north Tel Aviv, the old port area, which had become run-down since the port was decommissioned in 1965, also saw an urban revival, becoming an upmarket area with shops and restaurants.[7]


Bauhaus Museum
An Eclectic style building on Geula Street

The early architecture of Tel Aviv consisted largely of European-style single-story houses with red-tiled roofs.[38] Neve Tzedek, the first neighborhood to be constructed outside of Jaffa is characterised by two-story sandstone buildings.[5] By the 1920s, a new eclectic Orientalist style came into vogue, combining European architecture with Middle Eastern features such as arches, domes and ornamental tiles.[38] Municipal construction followed the "garden city" master plan drawn up by Patrick Geddes. Two- and three-story buildings were interspersed with boulevards and public parks.[38]


Bauhaus architecture was introduced in the 1920s and 1930s by German Jewish architects who settled in Palestine after the rise of the Nazis. Tel Aviv's White City, around the city center, contains more than 5,000 Modernist-style buildings inspired by the Bauhaus school and Le Corbusier.[5][6] Construction of these buildings, later declared protected landmarks and, collectively, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, continued until the 1950s in the area around Rothschild Boulevard.[6][62] Some 3,000 buildings were created in this style between 1931 and 1939 alone.[38]


In the 1960s, this architectural style gave way to office towers and a chain of waterfront hotels and commercial skyscrapers.[7] Some of the city's Modernist buildings were neglected to the point of ruin. Before legislation to preserve this landmark architecture, many of the old buildings were demolished. In recent years, efforts have been made to refurbish Bauhaus buildings and restore them to their original condition.[63] Tel Aviv has become a hub of modern high-rise architecture due to the soaring price of real estate in the city. The Shalom Meir Tower, Israel's first skyscraper, was built in Tel Aviv in 1965 and remained the country's tallest building until 1999. The Azrieli Center, composed of three buildings— one square, one triangular, and one circular—usurped that title. Since 2001, Israel's tallest building is the City Gate Tower, which is located in the neighboring city of Ramat Gan, although the country's tallest wholly residential building, the Neve Tzedek Tower, is in Tel Aviv. New neighborhoods such as the Park Tzameret are being constructed to house luxury apartment towers including YOO Tel Aviv towers designed by Philippe Starck, while zones such as The southern Kirya are being developed with office towers. Other recent additions to Tel Aviv's skyline are the 1 Rothschild Tower, Be'eri Nahardea Tower and First International Bank Tower.[64][65] As Tel Aviv celebrated its centennial in 2009,[66] the city attracted a number of brand-name architects and developers, including I. M. Pei, Donald Trump, and Richard Meier, who have been flocking to this Bauhaus mecca to help create the next generation of iconic landmarks.[67] American journalist David Kaufman reported in New York magazine that since Tel Aviv “was named a UNESCO World Heritage site, gorgeous historic buildings from the Ottoman and Bauhaus era have been repurposed as fabulous hotels, eateries, boutiques, and design museums.”[68]

Green architecture

The Pagoda House is an Eclectic Styled landmark in the heart of Tel Aviv, built in 1924

In the early 21st century, Tel Aviv's municipality transformed a derelict power station into a garden ("Gan HaHashmal") and pedestrian walkway, paving the way for eco-friendly and environmentally conscious designs.[69] In October 2008, Martin Weyl turned an old garbage dump near Ben Gurion International Airport, called Hiriya, into an attraction by building an arc of plastic bottles.[70] The site, which was renamed Ariel Sharon Park to honor Israel’s former prime minister, will serve as the centerpiece in what is to become a 2,000-acre urban wilderness on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, designed by German landscape architect, Peter Latz.[70]


At the end of the 20th century, the city council awakened to the advantages of restoring the buildings of its earliest neighborhood, Neve Tzedek, the historicist buildings of the 1920s, and the long-neglected Bauhaus architecture of the 1930s.


Ramat Aviv residential neighborhood
City of Tel Aviv
Population by year
1909 300
1914 2,000
1922 15,000
1925 34,000
1931 45,564
1935 120,000
1937 150,000
1939 160,000
1948 230,000
1960 390,000
1989 317,000
2009 393,900

The city has a population of 393,900 spread over a land area of 51,800 dunams (51.8 km2) (20 mi²), yielding a population density of 7,533 people per square kilometer (19,510 per square mile). According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), as of June 2006 Tel Aviv's population is growing at an annual rate of 0.9%. Jews of all backgrounds form 91.8% of the population, Muslim and Christians Arabs make up 4.2%, and the remainder belong to other groups (including various non-Arab Christians and various non-Jewish Asians).[71] As a multicultural city, many languages are spoken within its borders, alongside Hebrew. These include Russian, French, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Arabic, Amharic and English. According to some estimates, about 50,000 unregistered Asian foreign workers live in the city.[72] Compared with other Westernised cities, crime in Tel Aviv is relatively low.[73]

According to Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, the average income in the city, which has an unemployment rate of 6.9%, is 20% above the national average.[74] The city's education standards are above the national average: of its 12th-grade students, 64.4% are eligible for matriculation certificates, the qualification received by high school graduates.[74] The age profile is relatively even, with 22.2% aged under 20, 18.5% aged 20–29, 24% aged 30–44, 16.2% aged between 45 and 59, and 19.1% older than 60.[75]

Tel Aviv's population reached a peak in the early 1960s at around 390,000, falling to 317,000 in the late 1980s as high property prices forced families out and deterred young couples from moving in.[45] Since the mass immigration from the former Soviet Union in the 1990s, its population has resumed steady growth.[45] Today, the city's population is young and growing.[76] In 2006, 22,000 people moved to the city, while only 18,500 left,[76] and many of the new families had young children. The population of Tel Aviv is expected to reach 450,000 by 2025; meanwhile, the average age of residents in the city fell from 35.8 in 1983 to 34 in 2008.[76] The population over age 65 stands at 14.6% compared with 19% in 1983.[76]


The Great Synagogue of Tel Aviv in the 1930s

Though Tel Aviv has, over the years, developed an image of a secular city, it contains numerous houses of worship. The city has 544 active synagogues with daily prayers,[77] including historic buildings such as the Great Synagogue, established in the 1930s.[78]

In recent years, a center for secular Jewish Studies and a "secular yeshiva" have opened in the city.[79] Tensions between religious and secular Jews before the gay pride parade ended in vandalization of a synagogue.[80]

One of Tel Aviv's famous landmarks is the Hassan Bek Mosque, on the beachfront. Jaffa is home to sizable Muslim and Christian communities. The number of churches has grown in recent years to accommodate the religious needs of diplomats and foreign workers.[81]

The Tel Aviv District population is 93 percent Jewish, 1 percent Muslim, and 1 percent Christian. The remaining 5 percent are not classified by religion.[82] Israel Meir Lau is chief rabbi of the city.[83]


Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on the left
The Yoo Towers, a luxury apartment complex

Forty percent of national employment in finance and 25 percent of national employment in business services is in the city.[45] Since Tel Aviv was built on sand dunes, farming was not profitable and maritime commerce was centered in Haifa and Ashdod. Instead, the city gradually developed as a center for scientific and technical research. Tel Aviv emerged as a high-tech center in the 1990s.[7] Economic activities in the city account for about 15 percent of national employment and about 17 percent of GDP.[45] The economy of Tel Aviv has developed dramatically over the past decades. The city has been described as a flourishing technological center by Newsweek and a "miniature Los Angeles" by The Economist.[7][84] Many computer scientists, their numbers increased by immigration from the former Soviet Union since the early 1990s, live and work in Tel Aviv. In 1998, the city was described by Newsweek as one of the top 10 most technologically influential cities in the world. Since then, high-tech industry in the Tel Aviv area has developed even more.[84] The Tel Aviv metropolitan area (including satellite cities such as Herzliya and Petah Tikva) is Israel's center of high-tech and is sometimes referred to as Silicon Wadi.[84][85] Tel Aviv is home to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), Israel's only stock exchange, which has reached record heights since the 1990s.[86] Many international venture-capital firms, scientific research institutes and high-tech companies are headquartered in the city. Industries in Tel Aviv include chemical processing, textile plants and food manufacturers.[7] The city's nightlife, cultural attractions and architecture attract tourists whose spending benefits the local economy.[87]

In 2008, the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC) at Loughborough University has reissued an inventory of world cities based on their level of advanced producer services. Tel Aviv was ranked as a beta world city.[8]

Nine of the fifteen Israeli billionaires live in Israel; four live in Tel Aviv or its suburbs, according to Forbes.[88][89] The cost of living in Israel is high, with Tel Aviv being its most expensive city to live in. According to Mercer, a human resources consulting firm based in New York, as of 2008 Tel Aviv is the most expensive city in the Middle East and the 14th most expensive in the world. It falls just behind Singapore and Paris and just ahead of Sydney and Dublin in this respect. By comparison, New York City is 22nd.[85]

Culture and contemporary life

Tourism and recreation

Hayarkon Park is the largest and most visited park in Tel Aviv
Hilton Beach

As a major Mediterranean center, Tel Aviv is a magnet for international tourism likened by some to Barcelona and Miami.[10][90][91] It is described as a top international tourism destination by the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the Toronto Star.[92][93][94] According to the Tel Aviv Municipality, it has 44 hotels with more than 6,500  rooms.[74] Tel Aviv has been called "the city that never sleeps" due to its thriving nightlife, young atmosphere and 24-hour culture.[95][96][97]

Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Park is the largest and most visited urban park in the city, with other parks such as Charles Clore Park, Independence Park, Meir Park and Dubnow Park, all located within the city center area. Seventeen percent of the city is covered in plants.[74] Dizengoff Center was Israel's first mall. Tel Aviv has branches of some of the world's leading hotels, among them the Crowne Plaza, Sheraton, Dan, Isrotel and Hilton. It is home to many museums, architectural and cultural sites, with city tours available in different languages.[98] Apart from bus tours, there are architectural tours,[99] Segway tours[100] and walking tours.[101] The nightlife centers particularly around the city's promenade area due to its many nightclubs and bars. NBA player Anthony Parker called Tel Aviv the best basketball city to go out in.[102] The city has a wide variety of restaurants offering traditional Israeli dishes as well as international fare. More than 100 sushi restaurants, the third highest concentration in the world, do business in the city, and an Italian restaurant in Tel Aviv was called the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture.[6][103]

LGBT in Tel Aviv

A fountain at the city's Independence Park

Named by Out Magazine "the gay capital of the Middle East", Tel Aviv is the most liberal and accepting city in the region for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender-transsexuals with a well-established LGBT community.[104][105] American journalist David Kaufman has described the city as a place “packed with the kind of ‘we're here, we're queer’ vibe more typically found in Sydney and San Francisco.’[106] The city hosts an annual pride parade, attracting thousands of goers, which is the biggest Gay Pride in Asia, and early 2008 saw the city hosting Israel's first sex festival.[107][108] In January 2008, Tel Aviv's municipality established the city's LGBT Community Center, providing all of the municipal and cultural services to the LGBT community under one roof. In December 2008, Tel Aviv began putting together a team of gay and lesbian athletes for the 2009 World Outgames in Copenhagen. The event is planned to feature a "Tel Aviv-style beach experience" to celebrate the city's upcoming centennial.[109] Moreover, Tel Aviv hosts a yearly LGBT Film Festival.

Tel Aviv's LGBT community features prominently in Eytan Fox's 2006 film The Bubble


Over the past several years, Tel Aviv has become one of the international centers of fashion and design.[110] Dov Alfon, editor-in-chief of Israel’s leading newspaper, Haaretz, calls Tel Aviv “one of the best-kept secrets in the world.”[111] Others refer to it as the “next hot destination” for fashion.[112] Israeli designers, such as swimwear company Gottex, can be found on the runways of some of the world’s most notorious fashion shows, including New York’s Bryant Park fashion show.[113]


The Cameri Theatre's main entrance, one of the leading theatres in Israel

Tel Aviv is a major cultural center in Israel and within the region.[114] Eighteen of Israel's 35 major centers for the performing arts are located in the city, including five of the country's nine large theaters, where 55% of all performances in the country and 75% of all attendance occurs.[45][115] The Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center is the home of the Israeli Opera, where Plácido Domingo was house tenor between 1962 and 1965, and the Cameri Theater.[116] With 2,760 seats, the Fredric R. Mann Auditorium (Culture Hall) is the city's largest theater.[117] Habima Theater, Israel's national theater, was closed down for renovations in early 2008. Enav Cultural Center is one of the newer additions to the cultural scene.[115] Other theaters in Tel Aviv are the Gesher Theater and Beit Lessin Theater; Tzavta and Tmuna are smaller theaters that host musical performances and fringe productions. In Jaffa, the Simta and Notzar theaters specialize in fringe style.

Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre in Neve Tzedek

Tel Aviv is home to a number of established dance centers and companies. The Batsheva Dance Company, a contemporary dance troupe, as well as Bat Dor and the Israel Ballet are also headquartered in Tel Aviv.[115] Tel Aviv's center for modern and classical dance is the Suzanne Dellal Center in Neve Tzedek.[118]

The city often hosts pop and rock concerts with venues including Hayarkon Park and the Israel Trade Fairs & Convention Center.[119][120][121]

Opera and classical music performances are held daily in Tel Aviv, with many of the world's leading classical conductors and soloists performing on Tel Aviv stages over the years.[115]

The Tel Aviv Cinemathèque screens art movies, premieres of short and full-length Israeli films, and hosts a variety of film festivals, among them the Festival of Animation, Comics and Caricatures, the Student Film Festival, the Jazz, Film and Videotape Festival and Salute to Israeli Cinema. The city has several multiplex cinemas.[115]


Israel is said to have the highest number of museums per capita of any country, three of the largest of which are in Tel Aviv.[122][123] Among these are the Eretz Israel Museum, known for its collection of archaeology and history exhibits dealing with the Land of Israel, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Housed on the campus of Tel Aviv University is the Beth Hatefutsoth, a museum of the international Jewish diaspora that tells the story of Jewish prosperity and persecution throughout the centuries of exile. Batey Haosef Museum specializes in Israel Defense Forces' military history. The Palmach Museum near Tel Aviv University offers a multimedia experience of the history of the Palmach as well as archives depicting the lives of Jewish soldiers who became Israel's first defenders. Near Charles Clore's garden in north Jaffa is a small museum of the Etzel Jewish militant organization, which conquered Jaffa in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The Israel Trade Fairs & Convention Center, located in the northern part of the city, hosts more than 60 major events annually. Many offbeat museums and galleries operate in the city's southern areas, including the Tel Aviv Raw Art contemporary art gallery.[124][125]


Nokia Arena is home to professional basketball team Maccabi Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is home to some of the top sports teams in Israel, including a world-class basketball team. It is the only city with three clubs in Israeli Premier League, the country's top football league. Maccabi Tel Aviv Sports Club was founded in 1906 and competes in more than 10 sports. Its basketball team holds 47 Israeli titles, has won 36 editions of the Israel cup, and has five European Championships, and its football team has won Israeli league titles and has won 22 State Cups, two Toto Cups and two Asian Club Championships. Yael Arad, an athlete in Maccabi's judo club, won a silver medal in the 1992 Olympic Games.[126]

Hapoel Tel Aviv Sports Club was founded in 1923 and has included more than 11 sports clubs,[127] including the Hapoel Tel Aviv Football Club (13 championships, 11 State Cups, one Toto Cup and once Asian champions) which plays in Bloomfield Stadium since 1950, men's and women's basketball clubs. Hapoel sports association which was affiliated with the Histadrut trade union, and supporters of the club were often referred to as communists. This is also one of the reasons Histadrut's Hapoel has is rivalry with Bourgeoisie Maccabi.

Bnei Yehuda (once Israeli champion, twice State Cup winners and twice Toto Cup winner) is the only Israeli football team in the top division that represents a neighborhood, the Hatikva Quarter in Tel Aviv, and not a city. Shimshon Tel Aviv and Beitar Tel Aviv both formerly played in the top division, but dropped into the lower leagues, and merged in 2000, the new club now playing in Liga Artzit, the third tier. Another former first division team, Maccabi Jaffa, is now defunct, as are Maccabi HaTzefon Tel Aviv, Hapoel HaTzefon Tel Aviv and Hakoah Tel Aviv, who merged with Maccabi Ramat Gan and moved to Ramat Gan in 1959.

There are several clubs in the regional leagues from Tel Aviv suburbs, including Hapoel Kfar Shalem in the South Division of Liga Alef, Hapoel Ramat Yisrael in the South A Division of Liga Bet, and Beitar Ezra, Elitzur Jaffa Tel Aviv, Gadna Tel Aviv and Hapoel Kiryat Shalom, who play in the Tel Aviv Division of Liga Gimel.

Tel Aviv is also the home to Hapoel Ussishkin, a fan-owned basketball club founded in 2007 due to disagreements between the Hapoel Tel Aviv basketball club's management and the fans.

Two rowing clubs operate in Tel Aviv. The Tel Aviv Rowing Club, established as early as 1935 on the banks of the Yarkon River, is the largest rowing club in Israel.[128] Meanwhile, the beaches of Tel Aviv provide a vibrant Matkot (beach paddleball) scene.[129] Tel Aviv Lightning represent Tel Aviv in the Israel Baseball League.[130] Tel Aviv also has an annual half marathon, run in 2008 by 10,000 athletes with runners coming from around the world.[131]

In 2009, as part of the centennial celebrations, the Tel Aviv Marathon was revived after a 15 year hiatus, and attracted a field of 10,000 runners.[132]


Tel Aviv Courthouse

Tel Aviv is governed by a 31-member city council elected for a five-year term in direct proportional elections.[133] All Israeli citizens over the age of 18 with at least one year of residence in Tel Aviv are eligible to vote in municipal elections. The municipality is responsible for social services, community programs, public infrastructure, urban planning, tourism and other local affairs.[134][135][136] The Tel Aviv City Hall is located at Rabin Square. As of 2008, Ron Huldai is mayor of Tel Aviv, having held that office since 1998.[133] Huldai was reelected in the 2008 municipal elections, defeating Dov Henin's list.[137] The longest serving mayor of the city was Shlomo Lahat, who was in office for 19 years. The shortest serving was David Bloch, in office for just two years, 1925–27.

The demographic split in the city has also created political divisions between the Labor Party, usually strongest in the north, and Likud and other right-wing and religious parties, usually strongest in the south.[7] In the 2006 election, however this pattern changed when the new centrist Kadima party gained 28 percent of the city's vote, followed by Labor with 20 percent.[138][139]


Tel Aviv City Hall and Rabin Square
Mayors of Tel Aviv
Name Took office Left office
1 Meir Dizengoff 1921 1925
2 David Bloch 1925 1927
3 Meir Dizengoff 1928 1936
4 Israel Rokach 1936 1952
5 Haim Levanon 1953 1959
6 Mordechai Namir 1959 1969
7 Yehoshua Rabinowitz 1969 1974
8 Shlomo Lahat ("Chich") 1974 1993
9 Roni Milo 1993 1998
10 Ron Huldai 1998


The Engineering Faculty Boulevard at Tel Aviv University

Tel Aviv is home to many schools, colleges, and universities. As of 2006, 51,359 children attended school in Tel Aviv, of whom 8,977 were in municipal kindergartens, 23,573 in municipal elementary schools, and 18,809 in high schools.[74] Sixty-four percent of students in the city are entitled to matriculation, more than 5 percent higher than the national average.[74] Four thousand children are in first grade at schools in the city, and population growth is expected to raise this number to 6,000 by 2012.[76] As a result, 20 additional kindergarten classes will open in 2008–09 in the city, while additional classes will be added at schools in north Tel Aviv. A new elementary school is planned north of Sde Dov as well as a new high school in north Tel Aviv.[76]

Gymnasia Herzliya moved from Jaffa to Tel Aviv in 1909. The school continues to operate, although has moved to Jabotinsky Street.[140] Other notable schools in Tel Aviv include Shevah Mofet, the second Hebrew school in the city, Ironi Alef and Alliance.

Tel Aviv's major institution for higher education is Tel Aviv University. Together with Bar-Ilan University in neighboring Ramat Gan, the student population is more than 50,000, with a sizeable number of international students.[141][142] Tel Aviv University, founded in 1953, is now the largest university in Israel, internationally known for its physics, computer science, chemistry and linguistics departments. The campus is located in the neighborhood of Ramat Aviv.[143] Tel Aviv also has several colleges.[144]


Bridge between the Azrieli Towers and mall, and HaKirya government and military base
Tel Aviv Central Station, the busiest railway station in Israel

Tel Aviv is a major transportation hub, with many major routes of the national road network passing through the city. The main highway leading to the city is the Ayalon Highway (Highway 20), which runs along the eastern side of the city from north to south along the Ayalon River riverbed, dividing for the most part Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan. Driving south on the Ayalon gives access to Highway 1, leading to Ben Gurion International Airport and Jerusalem. Within the city, main routes include Kaplan Street, Allenby Street, Ibn Gabirol Street, Dizengoff Street, Rothschild Boulevard, and in Jaffa the main route is Jerusalem Boulevard. Namir Road connects the city to Highway 2, Israel's main north–south highway, and Begin/Jabotinsky Road, which provides access from the east through Ramat Gan, Bnei Brak and Petah Tikva. Tel Aviv, accommodating about 500,000 commuter cars daily, suffers from increasing congestion. In 2007, the Sadan Report recommended the introduction of a congestion charge similar to that of London in Tel Aviv as well as other Israeli cities. Under this plan, road users traveling into the city would pay a fixed fee.[145] Tel Aviv Municipality is trying to encourage the use of bicycles in the city, aiming to open 100 bicycle-rental stations to serve 74 kilometers (46.0 mi) of bicycle paths. Plans call for expansion of the paths to 100 kilometers (62.1 mi) by 2009.[146] Tel Aviv has four train stations along the Ayalon Highway. The stops are from north to south: University station, Tel Aviv Central station, Hashalom station (adjacent to Azrieli Center) and Tel Aviv Hahaganah (near the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station). It is estimated that over a million passengers travel by train from the surrounding cities to Tel Aviv each month.

The Tel Aviv Central Bus Station is in the south of the city. The main bus network in Tel Aviv is operated by Dan Bus Company; the Egged Bus Cooperative, the world's second-largest bus company, provides intercity transportation.[147]

Tel Aviv's domestic airport is Sde Dov in the northwestern part of the city. Sde Dov is slated to close because it occupies prime coastal real estate near the upscale Ramat Aviv neighborhood.[148] In the future all services to Sde Dov will transfer to Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel's main international airport, lying close to the city of Lod and 15 kilometres (9 mi) southeast of Tel Aviv. Due to the airport being close to Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion International Airport is often referred to as Tel Aviv International Airport though it is not part of any municipal jurisdiction.

In early 2008, Tel Aviv Municipality announced a pilot scheme to build charging stations for electric cars. Initially, five charging points will be built, and eventually 150 points will be set up across the city as part of the Israeli electric car project, Project Better Place.[149] Battery replacement points will be located at the city's entrances.


The three largest newspaper companies in Israel - Yedioth Ahronoth, Maariv and Haaretz - are headquartered in Tel Aviv.[150] Several radio stations cover the Tel Aviv area, including the city-based Radio Tel Aviv.[151] The three major Israeli television networks, Keshet, Reshet, and Channel 10, are based in the city, as well as two of the largest radio stations in Israel: Galatz and Galgalatz, which are both located in the same building in Jaffa.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Tel Aviv has 27 twin towns and sister cities around the world[152] and a partnership with United States Los Angeles, California, USA



  • Sur les traces du modernisme, Tel-Aviv-Haïfa-Jérusalem (CIVA) 2004 (Hebrew and French)
  • L'Atlas de Tel-Aviv (Catherine Weill-Rochant) 2008 (Historical maps and photos, French, soon in Hebrew and English)
  • Bauhaus » - Architektur in Tel-Aviv, L’architecture « Bauhaus » à Tel- Aviv (Catherine Weill-Rochant) mai 2008, Rita Gans (éd.), Zurich, Yad Yearim (German and French).
  • 'The Tel-Aviv School : a constrained rationalism' (Catherine Weill-Rochant)DOCOMOMO journal (Documentation and conservation of buildings, sites and neighbourhoods of the modern movement), avril 2009.


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External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Asia : Middle East : Israel : Tel Aviv
View looking north; Central Tel Aviv from bird's-eye view
View looking north; Central Tel Aviv from bird's-eye view
Full moon rising over the city and its skyscrapers
Full moon rising over the city and its skyscrapers

Tel Aviv (Hebrew: תֵּל־אָבִיב-יָפוֹ, Arabic: تَلْ أَبِيبْ يَافَا) is the second largest city in Israel after Jerusalem. It is on the Mediterranean 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 Yafo (English: Jaffa, Arabic: يافا Yafa), to the south of the new city center, in addition to many other neighboring cities.


Tel Aviv is a rapidly growing city in the midst of an exciting transition from medium-sized urban center to bustling international metropolis. It's the city that many Israelis think of as their New York. While the comparison was once a stretch - and indeed Tel Aviv is still a fraction of New York's size - Tel Aviv's booming population, energy, edginess and 24-hour life give the city a cosmopolitan flair comparable to few other cities in this part of the world.

Tel Aviv is not really divided into districts but rather into over 50 different neighborhoods. Some neighborhoods are real distinct areas with a different culture (e.g. Neve Tzedek, Florentin, Ramat-Ha'Chayal) while others are simply indicating a geographical area. Tel Aviv grew mainly from the south to the north so the further you go to the north you will encounter newer buildings and wealthier communities.

  • North - The wealthiest district of Tel Aviv and one of the wealthiest in entire Israel stretches from the north side on the Yarkon River. These neighhborhoods have very few things in common with the rest of Tel Aviv and are partially treated as Tel Aviv's suburb rather than a part of the city. The entire district is very green in comparison to the rest of Tel Aviv and contains some big and important sites such as Hayarkon Park, Israel's Museum, Tel Aviv University, and more.
  • Center - The city's center contains "The Heart of Tel Aviv" and "The old north". The main metropolitan area of the city contains tourists attractions and shopping areas. This is Tel Aviv as most people know it nowadays. The central area is confined by Allenby Street from on the south and the Yarkon river from the north.
  • South - The original District of Tel Aviv contains the first neighborhoods that constructed Tel Aviv. It is the poorer district of Tel Aviv but has been developing noticeably while conserving its style and history as many of its neighborhoods have become young and trendy.
  • Jaffa — (Yafo in Hebrew, Yaffa in Arabic) is one of the world's oldest ports. It was here that the prophet Jonah started the journey that left him in the belly of a whale and Andromeda was tied to a rock as a sacrifice to a sea monster, before later being saved by Perseus. It was also here where Peter the Apostle received a vision marking a significant ideological split between Judaism and Christianity (Acts 10).


The smallish gulf of Jaffa has been the site of a fortified port town for at least 4000 years. During the 19th century the town’s population grew from about 2,500 (1806) to 17,000 (1886). The old city walls could no longer contain the population, and they were destroyed in the 1870s. New, more spacious neighborhoods started to appear.

Tel Aviv (meaning literally "Hill of Spring") itself was founded in 1909 by a group of distinguished Jewish residents of Jaffa. They envisaged a European-style garden suburb, with wide streets and boulevards. Leaving Jaffa wasn’t, however, only a question of an upgrade in lifestyle. Moving out of the Arab-dominated town also represented their belief in the Jewish national movement, their belief in Zionism. Before being a city, Tel Aviv was one of the many titles of Herzel's Zionist utopia - The Old New Land book. Setting out with a grand vision, the 60 Tel Aviv founders have started out by building the first mid-eastern urban center with running water, no small wonder in that part of the world in 1909.

Tel Aviv grew steadily under Ottoman law until WWI. By the end of the war the British took over the Holy Land. An event the Jewish community saw as encouraging, while and the Muslim community viewed as a turn-for-the-worst from the previous Islamic ruler. In May 1921, an Arab mob attacked a Jewish immigration center, killing dozens of Jews. Another group broke the windows stores in the Jewish street in Jaffa and a mob armed with knives and sticks have made his way towards Tel Aviv. Before 1921 most Jews worked and lived in Jaffa, after the attack thousands of the 16,000 Jews of Jaffa moved north to Tel Aviv. The suburb had become a city and within a decade, Tel Aviv had become the center of culture, commerce and light industry for the entire Jewish population of the country as well as the British soldiers. 1938 marked the opening of Tel Aviv port, an important milestone marking the end of its dependency on Jaffa. By this time, Tel Aviv was already the biggest city in the country, with 130,000 residents. After Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948, Jaffa became a district of Tel Aviv and the city's name was officially changed to Tel Aviv-Yafo.

Today, Tel Aviv-Yafo represents the heart of a thriving, Israeli metropolis - the greater metropolitan area comprises a number of separate municipalities with approximately 3.1 million people living in a 25 km long sprawl along the Mediterranean coast - with around 392,700 in Tel Aviv-Yafo itself making it the second largest city in Israel after Jerusalem(760,800 inhabitants). Bat Yam, Holon, Ramat Gan, Givatayim, Bnei-Brak, Petah Tikva, Rishon LeZion, Ramat Ha-Sharon, Rehovot and Herzliya are the other major cities in the coastal area commonly known as Gush Dan.

Whilst Jerusalem is Israel's capital city where most government departments are located, Tel Aviv and its satellite cities form the economic and cultural center. 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 4AM 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 UNESCO World Heritage site for the many "International" style (also known as Bauhaus after the German school it originated from) 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.


Tel Aviv lies alongside the Mediterranean coastline. With few exceptions, all points of interest for tourists are in a rectangle defined by the sea to the west, the Yarkon River to the north, the Ayalon highway to the east, and Shlomo (Salame) Road to the south. This rectangle is separated into two long strips by Ibn-Gvirol Street, starting from the Yarkon River and changing its name to Yehuda Halevy. Most of the attractions are in the western of these strips.

Tel Aviv developed from south to north. To the south-western corner of the rectangle you will find old Jaffa. To its north, the first Jewish neighborhood outside "Jaffa" and "Neve Tzedek". To Neve Tzedek’s east, Florentin, a 1920s light-industry quarter turned ultra-chic; and then the Central Bus Station area, now home to foreign workers from around the world.

To the north of Neve Tzedek is "Kerem Ha'Temanim", a crowded but picturesque neighborhood dating to the early 20th century and east and north of here lies the city center, a chiefly residential area built in the 1920s and 1930s, where the majority of Bauhaus ("International") style architecture is to be found. Further north and east, the "old north" (not to be confused with "the north" on the other side of the Yarkon), is a more spacious residential area built during the 1940s and 1950s.

Israeli's often speak of a north-south divide in Tel Aviv-Yafo. The north is usually associated with a continental, chic, and suburbanite lifestyle centered around Kikar haMedina and "Ramat Aviv". To the south, the city takes on a more rugged and eastern, albeit evermore trendy, urban feel. A crude divide would be that all neighborhoods north of the Yarkon River are considered "north"; the area between the sea in the west, Ayalon Highway in the east, Yarkon River in the north and Salame Street in the south is considered "central" Tel Aviv. The area south of Salame Street is generally south Tel Aviv, and Jaffa lies to the South-West. North Tel Aviv is generally more residential and family-oriented; central Tel Aviv is the hipper-younger area with many single people and couples in their 20s and 30s; south Tel Aviv is a rapidly gentrifying area with a mixed population - from artists to migrant African workers.

Tel Aviv is probably the most liberal city in the Middle East - as it is no-less liberal than Western Europe's liberally-inclined major cities. Its residents tend to have liberal attitudes towards gay and lesbian rights, and, in fact, Tel Aviv hosts the largest gay pride parade in the Middle East. It is also a destination for gay Palestinian refugees, unable to pursue their lifestyle in the Palestinian territories. With its liberalism comes a dose of sophistication and some will say detachment. Tel Aviv is frequently referred to critically in Israel as "The Bubble", due to its hedonistic lifestyle. However, it boasts a bustling civil society and is home to many activist movements and NGOs.

Most international visitors to Israel pass through the Arrivals hall at Ben Gurion Airport
Most international visitors to Israel pass through the Arrivals hall at Ben Gurion Airport

Tel Aviv's (and Israel's) main entry point for the international traveler is Ben Gurion International Airport[1] (referred to by its Hebrew initials Natbag by locals). The airport comprises all the usual amenities expected from a first class airport and contains one of the world's largest duty-free shopping malls for an airport of its size. The airport is the hub for a number of airlines, most notably El Al. It's also one of the most secure airports in the world, given its location.

Even though the airport is called TLV it's not actually in Tel Aviv, but rather 15km away in the town of Lod. A further 20 minute drive is needed to get to Tel Aviv. This trip can be done by train, or taxi from Ben Gurion airport. There is no bus or sherut taxi to Tel Aviv from Ben Gurion.

By train: The airport train station is easily accessible at the lower level on Terminal 3 (one level below the arrivals hall). It offers good connection to many parts of the country, including the city of Tel Aviv, with a single-ride ticket to the city for only 12 NIS (roughly $3US). Buy a ticket from the cashier or from an automatic machine, and use it to enter the platform area. Keep the ticket for use to exit the electronic gate at your arrival station. The train service operates around the clock on weekdays, with 3 trains per hour most of the day and one per hour at night. On weekends and Jewish holidays, from Friday afternoon till Saturday evenings, it doesn't operate (As of November 2007, the last departure from the airport on Friday is at 14.37, the first departure on Saturday at 19.35. During day-light saving time trains start 2 hours later on Saturdays). Trains stop at all four Tel Aviv stations, with the exception of late night trains that stop only at Tel Aviv Merkaz/Savidor station. The stations are, in order of arrival from the airport: Tel Aviv HaHagana (8 minutes travel), Tel Aviv HaShalom (13 minutes), Tel Aviv Merkaz/Savidor (18 minutes), Tel Aviv University (25 minutes). For most travelers, HaShalom or Merkaz/Savidor would be the place to disembark. Most stations are suitable for non-Hebrew speakers, nonetheless, passengers will often be glad to assist.

By taxi: Working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, this is the most comfortable and of course, expensive way to reach the city center, with a typical ride price of around 100 NIS (circa $24US). If you travel with a friend or two, it can be a good idea to share a taxi. It is not inappropriate to sit in the front seat in taxis in Israel. It is obligatory by law to use the taxi meter, unless agreed otherwise by the passenger and driver, and a typical ride to the city center should not take more than 15-20 minutes, without heavy traffic. Be sure not to accept fix-priced rides with taxi drivers unless you're sure of what you are doing; you will always end up paying more than you could have had you asked to use the meter.

Tel Aviv has another airport, Sde Dov [2] (SDV). This is a primarily domestic airport, with frequent flights to Eilat [3] (ETH) and Rosh Pina (Galilee) [4] (RPN).

By car

Tel Aviv is the hub of the country's modern network of freeways. The city is easily accessible from Ben Gurion Airport via the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv freeway (freeway 1), from the north by Tel Aviv-Haifa freeway (freeway 2), as well as from Beer-Sheva and the southern parts of the country (freeways 4 and 20). Freeways' speed limit varies between 90km/h and 100km/h. On other intercity roads the limit is 80km/h. On urban roads the default speed limit is 50km/h.

The city is divided west-east by the Ayalon Freeway (freeway 20), which is the main artery of the city. It is best to avoid commuter traffic in and out of Tel Aviv and its surrounding cities during rush hours (Sunday to Thursday, 7:00-9:00 and 17:00-19:00); especially to be avoided is the entrance to Tel Aviv via Ayalon Freeway in morning rush hour, as it is one of the most busy freeways in the world. Also, it is important to note that Israeli drivers are considered to be rather rude and aggressive in comparison to their Western European or North American counterparts, but, The Israeli roads are modern and easy for orientation (the signposting is in English, Hebrew and Arabic).

Israeli highway police are strict and speed limits and driving laws are strictly enforced. All in all, driving conditions in Israel are much better than in the rest of the Middle East, though accident rates are considerably higher than in North America or Western Europe.

By bus

The New Central Bus Station in southern Tel Aviv ("Tahana Merkazit", officially the world's biggest bus station!) offers routes servicing most locations in Israel. It is located within a short walking distance of the HaHaganah Train Station. The building, which is a combination of shopping mall and bus terminal, is more than a bit confusing - in fact, it is almost unmanageable for the infrequent visitor; tourists might want to avoid it and instead take buses destined for the 2000 Bus Terminal (see below). Nevertheless, most inter-city bus lines depart from platforms on the north wing of 6th floor, except for buses to Galilee (Afula, Nazareth, Tiberias, Kiryat Shmona etc.) which are on the south wing on 7th floor (accessible by escalator from 6th floor). Most urban lines to Tel Aviv and its suburbs are on the north wing on 7th floor (which isn't connected to the south wing of the same floor!), with several lines on 4th floor which is actually at street level (those are popular city lines no. 4&5, and 44&46 to Bat Yam via Yafo). Several urban lines stop outside the station building on Levinski street (north side of the station), and some others a block away to the west on Har Zion street. Sherut taxis depart from Tzemach David street outside the east side of the station.

Check the electronic boards in departure halls for info on destinations, platforms and coming-up departures. If this doesn't help, ask at the information booths. For most intercity and some suburban lines you should go to Egged booth on 6th floor. Metropoline, which operates service to Beer Sheva (and destinations enroute), also has an info booth on that floor (on the right from Egged booth).

For most bus lines within the metropolitan area of Tel Aviv you should go to Dan info booth on 7th floor (they also handle info on lines operated by Kavim).

If you need info on other companies and can't find it on the boards, that's tough luck, because they don't bother to operate info booths...

Several intercity and many metropolitan destinations are also served from the more user-friendly 2000 Bus Terminal (AKA Arlozorov terminal), next to Tel Aviv Merkaz/Savidor Train Station. North-bound buses stop at Namir Road near this terminal, but at peak times they might be full when they get there. Ramat Aviv Junction (near Namir Road/Levanon corner) is another place where you can board buses to the north, but your chance of a vacant seat is even smaller. Most south-bound buses stop at Holon Junction. The above warning is also valid there.

In general, buses follow the Fourth Commandment ("Remember the Sabbath day"), stopping on Friday afternoon, and only resuming service Saturday after sunset. Some services, however, may start earlier on Saturday afternoon. Minor services may not resume until Sunday morning. Tickets can be bought from the driver, or from the ticket counters in the main stations. For information, call 03-6948888, or *2800 from any phone within the country, [5]. A daily bus service is also available to and from Amman through the King Hussein Bridge. Call the operator (04-6573984) for details.

By train

Israel Railways +972-3-5774000, [6] operate train services within Israel. Train service has improved significantly during the last decade or so, and today they are a fast and comfortable alternative to buses for many destinations. Train services connect Tel Aviv to Haifa and Beer-Sheva, as well as numerous smaller towns whilst a direct train line connects Tel Aviv to Ben-Gurion airport.

Note that the train ride to Jerusalem follows the 19th century path, and this scenic route is worth taking at least once, even though taking the bus on the modern highway takes half the time. A new high-speed line between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is currently being constructed, with eventual travel time of only 28 minutes.

Trains do tend to be crowded during rush hours, especially on Sunday morning, when soldiers return to their bases and students to their universities. Train service also stops on Friday afternoons, and resumes on Saturdays after sunset, in observance of the Jewish Sabbath (Shabbat).

Tel Aviv has four train stations, all along the Ayalon highway. For best access to the city center, use either "Tel Aviv Merkaz" (a.k.a. "Arlozorov" and officially named "Savidor"), or "Hashalom". "Tel Aviv Ha-Hagana" Station is close to the New Central Bus Station.

Get around

By bus

Tel Aviv has a modern, regular and widespread bus network run mostly by a company called Dan [7]. A lot safer than the bad reputation it burdens, bus services start at 05:00 and stop at midnight, though some of the lines stop earlier, so do check. Single tickets within the city and the close suburbs (Bat Yam, Holon, Ramat Gan, Bney Brak, Givatayim) cost 5.80 NIS, around $1.5US (as of Januray 2010). Daily free-pass called "Hofshi-Yomi" is also available, and cost less than the price of three rides. Note that this ticket is only valid from 9:00. There is also 10-rides ticket (which cost the equivalent of 8 single tickets, so offering 20% discount) which could be used by several passengers. Visitors for long period would find monthly free-pass (Hofshi-Hodshi) the most economic transport ticket.

Tickets can be purchased either at the driver of any bus line, or at the New Central Bus Station. Exact change is not necessary, but a driver may refuse payment by notes of 100 or 200 Shekels.

Suburban lines are also operated by Egged (mainly to the southern suburbs) and Kavim (to Kiryat Ono region) companies. Multi-ride tickets are not exchangeable between companies.

The most popular bus route in the city is bus route number 5, which connects the Central Bus Station (departure from 4th floor, westernmost platform) in the south with the Central Train Station. It goes through Rotschild Boulevards, Dizengof Street (Including the Dizengof Center Mall), Nordau Boulevard, Pinkas/Yehuda Maccabi Street and Weizman Street or Namir Road.

Another popular bus route is number 18, connecting the Central Train Station with the southern neighbourhoods of Jaffa and Bat-Yam. It also has a stop in Rabin Square.

Like most Israelis, the bus drivers in Tel Aviv speak and understand English well, and in most cases will kindly answer questions about the destination of their bus.

By taxi

You can hail a taxi ("mo-NIT", מונית) in the street or call one (with extra surcharge). Taxis are obliged to give you a metered ride unless you settle for a price, so insist on the driver using the meter ("mo-NEH" in Hebrew, pronounced like the painter "Monet"), unless you are sure what the price to your destination should be. And no, the meter is never broken. A local ride without meter should be 20-30NIS in the downtown core, and up to 70 or 80 to the immediate suburbs. If you go for a price fixed in advance, haggle with your driver a bit, you can generally knock a few shekels off the price. Cutting a deal in advance is especially recommended on Friday night and Saturday, when there is a surcharge. Plus, if you get stuck in Tel Aviv's notorious traffic, you won't sit there watching your money tick away. Hakastel taxi service, phone +972-3-6993322, Palatine +972-3-5171750 or Shekem +972-3-5270404 (add 3.30 NIS charge for the call).

In addition to normal (called "special") taxis, there are 6-12 person van-sized taxis that supplement some bus routes ("sheh-ROOT"). This alternative is often faster, slightly cheaper, and more frequent than taking a bus, and they operate 7 days a week. If requested, the driver will stop outside the designated bus stops. Such service is available on bus routes no. 4, 5 (but note that these taxis don't reach the train station), 16, 51 and 66.

Tel Aviv after dark
Tel Aviv after dark

By bicycle

Given Tel Aviv's flat and coastal geography, mild weather, and a growing number of bicycle paths throughout the city - bicycle travel in Tel Aviv is an Ideal way to get around. Several shops through out the city offer bicycle rental, and cheap Chinese made bicycles can be purchased for several hundred shekels on longer stays. Be sure to lock your bicycle at all times.


Tel Aviv is a big place, and these listings are just some highlights of things that you really should see if you can during your visit. The complete listings are found on each individual district page alongside many more things to see in each district.

  • Old Jaffa (יפו העתיקה). located in Jaffa is a must see for any visitor to Tel Aviv. This is the reputed point where Jonah boarded a ship and was later swallowed by a whale. It is also likely one of the oldest ports in the world.  edit
  • Rabin Square. The biggest public square in Israel and site of PM Rabin's assassination in 1995 is in Central Tel Aviv  edit
  • Azriely Lookout (מצפה עזריאלי). Watch the entire Tel Aviv area from 200 meters high in Central Tel Aviv  edit
Azrieli Center towers; for a good view of the city, climb up to the circular tower observatory
Azrieli Center towers; for a good view of the city, climb up to the circular tower observatory
Small section of the beach at Tel Aviv
Small section of the beach at Tel Aviv

Again, there’s a lot to do in Tel Aviv, and for the biggest selection, check out the individual district articles. These are some of the highlights.

  • A visit to Tel Aviv isn't complete without a dip into its fantastic beach scene which is at its best in summer, especially during Friday afternoons as Shabbat comes in, when crowds of buff beachgoers converge to take in the Brazilian drums, the smell of barbecues, the thwock, thwock of "matkot" as the sun sets, but in early summer be careful as there are jellyfish sometimes, but if you ask the lifeguard he will probably tell you if there are any that day.
  • A craft fair is held in the Nachalat Binyamin pedestrian zone in Central Tel Aviv

Amusement and water parks

Most amusement/water parks in Israel are open only on Saturdays and jewish holidays.

  • Luna Park Tel Aviv is Tel Aviv's main amusement park. While the rides it has to offer are no competition to ones that can be found in other countries, it should still be considered for a visit by thrill-loving tourists, especially families with kids, since the park has a large amount of child-friendly rides. The park has two rollercoasters. It is located very close to the Meimadyon water park.
  • The Meimadyon is a large waterpark very close to Luna Park Tel Aviv. It offers a varied selection of waterslides, both for thrill seekers and for children. During summer vacations the lines get fairly long, so it is recommended to try and visit the park at a time other than summer vacation.
  • "Superland" is a name of an amusement park within an hour's drive from Tel Aviv. It is in the city of Rishon Letzion and is often visited by people from Tel Aviv seeking better thrills than the ones at Luna Park Tel Aviv. While it has less rides, the rides it has to offer are often bigger and built more for the thrill seeker in the family. The park has two rollercoasters.
  • "Yamit 2000" is a waterpark within a half-hour bus ride from Tel Aviv, located in the nearby city of Holon. It is a large waterpark, parts of which are enclosed in a building. The park operates 364 days a year(it is closed on Yom Kippur). During the winter when there is low attendance, or cold/rainy weather, many of the park's slides(usually the outdoor ones) open on rotation, whereas during warmer days with higher attendance all the park's attractions are operational. The park is both child and thrill-seeker friendly.

Performing Arts

Tel Aviv has the widest selection of performing arts in Israel.

Fans of classical music might enjoy Israel's Philharmonic Orchestra [9] and the New Israel Opera [10].

The Barby (52, Kibutz Galuyot st., 03-5188123), and the Goldstar Zappa (24, Habarzel st., 03-6499550) present Israeli (and sometimes foreign) rock daily.

For more alternative and indie music with occasional jazz shows and electronic parties, head to Levontin 7 [11] named after its street address or Brazilay Club [12].

Tmuna Theater (8, Shontsino st., 03-5629462) alternates between local acts, both famous and unknown, and fringe theater productions in Hebrew.

Dance can be enjoyed in Suzanna Dellal Center in Neve Tzedek [13].

Theater is mostly performed in Hebrew, naturally, but English interpretation is available is some of the shows for extra-fees in Habima National Theater (03-6295555) and HaCameri Municipal Theater [14].

Underground music: hardcore, punk, ska, emo, club Patiphone (Yitzhak Sade st. 32) [15]

  • Football - The most popular sport in Israel. Tel Aviv has 3 major football clubs that are usually in Ligat Ha'al (Top division):
    • Maccabi Tel Aviv' [16]
    • Hapoel Tel Aviv[17]
    • Bnei Yehuda[18] - Represents the "Hatikva" neighborhood.
  • Basketball - While not as famous Basketball is a much more successful sport in Israel in European caliber.
    • Maccabi Tel Aviv[19] - The most successful club in Israel and one of the best in Europe, dominating the Israeli basketball league with over 40 championship seasons and 5 European titles.
    • Hapoel Tel Aviv[20]
    • Hapoel Ussishkin [21] - A Club founded by Hapoel Tel Aviv supporters frustrated by the management of their former team.

The match between Hapoel and Maccabi Tel Aviv is a major event in the city as the teams are as huge rivals as they come.


Tel Aviv hosts many festivals and happenings. Something is going on almost every weekend so make sure you're updated!

  • White Night Festival. This annual event, usually taking place late June or early July, is a celebration of Tel Aviv's White City's proclamation as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site and organized by Tel Aviv's municipality. During the "White Night", cultural institutions, as well as commercial ones, are open to the public all night long, and many special event take place.  edit
  • Tel Aviv Fashion Market, [22]. A highly recommended biannual event (Winter/Summer) where Tel Aviv's top clothing designers show and sell their stuff. Focused on urban clothing.  edit
  • Night Flea, [23]. Every August, Jaffa's burgeoning flea market is active all through the night on weekends, with special events, shows and exhibitions taking place.  edit
  • Docaviv, The Tel Aviv Cinematheque, 2 Shprintzak Street, [24]. Tel Aviv's International Documentary Film Festival. Every year in May, Docaviv presents the most innovative, provocative and important documentary films of the year from around the world.  edit
  • The Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival, The Tel Aviv Cinematheque, 2 Shprintzak Street, [25]. Lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender film festival. Celebrating gender diversity. Happening in June.   edit
  • The Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival, The Tel Aviv Cinematheque, 2 Shprintzak Street, [26]. One of the world's most important student film festivals. Happening in late May.   edit
  • Tel Aviv University[27] - One of the biggest universities in Israel, situated in Ramat Aviv.
  • Tel Aviv-Jaffa Academic College[28] - A smaller college in Tel Aviv.



Tel Aviv's markets are the best show in town, and they're bustling all day long. A Middle Eastern mélange of tastes, scents, sounds, colors – and lots of people.

  • The Carmel Market
  • The Flea Market
  • The Nahalat Binyamin Pedestrian Mall
  • Creative Artists Fair
  • Antiques and Secondhand items fair
  • Levinsky Market in Florentin — the best place in Tel Aviv to buy spices, dried fruits, and different kinds of legume. This small market is stretched along Levinsky Street in southern Tel Aviv, between Har-Zion and Ha-Aliya streets, ten minutes of walking from the Central Bus Station.
  • Hatikva Market in HaTiqva — a good place for Jewish-Iraqi cuisine, in the south-eastern "Hatikva" neighbourhood.


Israel has the highest ratio of shopping mall sqm per capita, in the world. As malls are good places to catch some air-conditioning in the hot Israeli climate, they have quickly become a preferable place of entertainment for the locals. The variety is usually mid-range, mainstream, with both international and local brands.

Tel Aviv has 5 major malls.

  • Azriely, the biggest mall, Dizengoff Center, the first mall and Gan Ha'ir are located in the center.
  • Ramat Aviv mall is a slightly more upmarket than your usual mall located in the north.
  • Central Bus Station is a huge, mostly bargain stores mall located in the south.

Shopping Streets

The air-conditioned malls threaten to destroy the concept of shopping streets, but some of the more special ones still survive.

  • Most of the shopping streets can be found in the center

If you're lucky enough to be in Tel Aviv in February or August, you can find the city's most talented designers gathered together in one place with the best of their collections on display – and for sale. Twice a year, for three days each time, a giant fashion fair called City Designers' Market is held in Tel Aviv. Whatever you do, don't miss this colorful carnival of cutting-edge fashion!

Books and music

The country's widespread Steimatzky and Zomet Sfarim chains are a good source for current books. Almost every shop has at least a selection in English. Allenby st. has a number of second hand bookshops, most sell (and buy) English books. For music, check out Tower Records shop in the opera tower, on the corner of Alenby and Herbert Samuel. For the more alternative crowd, Krembo Records in Shenkin Street and Third Ear on King George Street will satisfy your needs.

Art, Craft, Judaica, Jewelry

Gordon Street is famous for its art galleries. The best contemporary art gallery in Tel Aviv is Raw Art Gallery [29] which is in the southern part of Tel Aviv - with free transportation. Ben-Yehuda Street has several Judaica\Jewelery\souvenirs shops. You can buy jewelry from Michal Negrin, a world-famous Israeli designer, in her shops at the Azriely mall and on Sheinkin st. The prices are much better than abroad. For more original crafts and Judaica, try the Nahlat Binyamin craft market mentioned above.

This guide uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget budget
Mid-range midrange
Splurge splurge

Tel Aviv has an amazing variety of restaurants for every taste. There are plenty of fast food restaurants, both international and local which offer Israeli food. One can get a decent meal, including felafel or hummous (Try Mshwawsha on Bugrashov st. and Abu Hasan in Yafo) on every street corner, for less than $7.

You can also eat a toast, sandwich or some other snack at one of the cafes around the city. Many fruit juice parlors are around.

Raphael, Cordelia, Orca, and Messa are considered to be Tel Aviv's most elegant restaurants, serving gourmet and unique plates, inspired both by local and foreign cuisine.

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: Iceberg, Gelateria Siciliana, Dr. Lek and Aldo.

Tel Aviv is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.

  • Tel Aviv Sea Port [30]
  • Whitehall [], 6 Mendele st. (opp. Dan Hotel), 03-5249282. Open every day 12PM-12AM.
  • Noa Bistro enjoys a unique, sophisticated and authentic atmosphere, providing its guests with both a visual and a culinary experience.
  • Sub Coch Milega [31], 22 Ha-Mashbir Street (Florentin), 03-6813412 - Popular budget Indian restaurant. One of the best places in Tel Aviv for vegetarians.
  • The 11th Floor Restaurant, Crown Plaza City Center Hotel, Azrieli Towers, Tel Aviv (Azriely), [32]. Breakfast: Sunday – Friday: 6:30 am – 10:30 am.. The 11th Floor Restaurant overlooking the urban landscape of Tel Aviv was designed with customers seeking something different in mind The restaurant offers innovative standards down to the finest detail. The spacious restaurant features parquet flooring and extensive use of white, brown and mustard. In line with the restaurant’s design, also the dishes served from the kitchen are surprisingly creative. The combination of style, excellent food, top-class service and views from above afford the restaurant the ambience of the finest New York restaurants. Chef Eitan Mizrahi has created an outstanding kosher menu offering sumptuous aromas and flavors. The restaurant concept was created especially for food-lovers, hotel guests and guests from outside the hotel to enjoy.  edit


Tel Aviv is called "The city that never stops" by tourists and locals alike. It has a wide range of Pubs, Bars, Clubs and it is known worldwide for the Pub Scene of Tel Aviv. The entire city is crawling with nightlife attractions and you would actually have to work pretty hard to find yourself further than 500 meters away from a place to have a drink. People from all the surrounding region come to Tel Aviv to have a drink or a party so on weekends traffic is hectic at late hours and finding a parking spot is somewhere between hard and impossible (so sticking to cabs is not a bad idea). Any day is a good day to party in Tel Aviv, not just the weekends.

New places are opening and closing every day and the "hottest spots" change every couple of months, so no internet guide will be able to direct you to the hippest place (even though some may try). Many places in Tel Aviv have minimum age limitations that vary from 18+ to 30+. Usually the limitation is different between males and females and while some spots may be flexible others will be as strict as possible.

Israel has no unique drinking culture so any place with any self-respect will have the entire world wide alcohol selection available, from Wine and Beer to Tequila, Arak, Vodka, Whiskey and Cognac. One of the most popular drinks is the local Goldstar beer and the Annis based Arak.

Even though the entire city is full of spots to hang out, there are a few places that have an unusual amount of pubs/clubs:

  • Tel Aviv seaport - Located at beach side to the west of the Yarkon Park right between Tel Aviv center and north is the old seaport. The entire place is full of clubs, pubs and restaurants right next to each other door by door. Notable places: TLV Club, UpTown, Erlich, Shalvata, Seabreeze, Whiskey a gogo and more. Very busy in weekends during the summer and on warm days during the rest of the year, as this area attracts people from all around the city and the wider Gush Dan area.
  • Dizengoff - Ben Yehuda st. - Mostly the north of these streets are full on chic bars that are full almost every day with 22+ crowd. Sometimes it's just hard to breath there. Notable: Friends, Bergman, Rosa, Yermiyahu.
  • The Boardwalk - The entire beach area from the seaport in the north to Jaffa in the south is full of mainly cafes, restaurants and bars. Some are normal open bars while others actually spread to the beach with tables on the sand. This is the more "touristy" area of Tel Aviv's nightlife scene, that the "real Tel-Avivians" try to avoid.
  • Allenby St. - Going from the Beach to the west all the way to the south-east of Tel Aviv, Allenby is one of the longest streets in the city. The western area is full of mainly pubs and dance-bars, not the hippest clubs but stable places that have been there for years and are occasionally full of tourists. Allenby Street may sometimes feel a bit dodgy but fear not. It's cheap but mostly not recommended to eat.
  • Lilinblum - Levontine - Nahlat Binyamin st. - A few streets around the east side of Allenby with many trendy pubs with an extremely sophisticated crowd, and many dance bars that range from the bluntly commercial to the leftfield indie. Any arrivals to this area will ensure a good drink. Notable: Shesek, Lima Lima, Atara, Betty Ford, Bordel, Flame, Academia, Abraxas, Minus one and more.
  • Ha'Masger - Ha'Rakevet St.' - Mainly a clubbing area for Tel Aviv's younger crowd (18-19) with huge clubs and dance bars. Notable: Dome, Vox and more.
  • Florentin - Mostly small neighborhood bars for a cool fun night out in a chic area in Tel Aviv. Most spots in Florentin appeal to the artsy and indie crowd. Florentin has a "rugged" appearance, especially at night, but it is totally safe. Notable: Hudna (Abarbanel street), Comfort 13, Haoman 17 and all the little places on Florentine st. and Vital st.
  • King George-Tshernechovsky - in the close to Shenkin st. upper side of King George you can find some alternative cafes and bars, like "Geatzel Shapira" on Almonit lane and "little prince" which is the center of the young poetry revival movement that connected to "Maayan" poetry magazine and others interesting poetry or art fanzines. On Tshernechovsky, not far from there, there are several cafes and cheap restaurants. close to Dizengoff Center, you can find "Bacho" cafe, a nice place with too-artistic atmohphere, "Hakosem Falafel" and the "Yemen Falafel", both recommended.
  • Even Gvirol - A lately very developed pubbing area with some of the coolest pubs in Tel Aviv. During the day appeals to the many lawyers and businessmen working in the area. Notable: 2 clubs - Vila Sokolov and Landen, and the pubs-restaurants Dorothy Gale, Brasserie and Liliroz.
  • Ramat Ha'Chayal - Located at the north near the rich neighborhoods. This area has been developed to accommodate the vast high-tech industry around it, so one can expect somewhat commercialized and rather upscale spots. Notable: Leo Blooms, Molly's, Frame, Sushi Samba.
  • Karlibach - A new clubbing area with pubs growing in every corner. Notable: ZiziTripo, Hachatul Ve'Hakelev.
  • Mike's Place, 86 Herbert Samuel (Next to American Embassy), [33]. An American style bar located right by the American embassy that features live music every night of the week. Also features outdoor seating in the more pleasant weather, pool table and televised sporting events. Mostly Anglo 20-30 something crowd, very good bar with several kinds of beer on tap.  edit
  • Clara Mega Bar. very trendy open-air mega bar located on the southern part of the Tel Aviv beach, close to the David Intercontinental hotel. All wooden deck floor with a very long bar, multiple seating areas by the sea view, or all around this huge bar. At summer times usually full of French and Belgian Tourists.  edit
  • Molly Bloom's Irish pub, 2 Mendele St.. The first Irish pub in Tel Aviv. The pub has a great atmosphere and reasonable prices, and is quite busy on weekends. Also, it's close to the hotels. Usually hosts many people from the UK and from the Republic of Ireland.  edit
  • The English Bar, (Allenby st. near the beach). A UK based sports bar and if you happen to end up there during a Premiership game, you're in for a native UK experience.  edit

Tel Aviv Gay Scene

Tel Aviv is home to the leading gay community in Israel and all of the Middle-East, and is generally a very friendly city towards gay people. The most popular gay bar in the city is the "Evita" on Yavneh street. There are many gay clubs and parties. Some of which have been running for several years already (Shirazi's FFF line, which is currently taking place in the 'Haoman 17' club. The electro 'PAG' line). Others are changing from time to time. In Tel Aviv there is only one 100% gay accommodation- the Pink House TLV which is in Nachalt Benyamin, in the center of the city. There is one famous gay beach in the city, next to Hilton Hotel (the gay beach called "Hilton Beach"). It is full of young gay Israelis, especially in the weekends. Next to Dizengof Center you may see everyday gay couples walking in free 24/7.


The Tel Aviv club scene is comparable to those in most European capitals. Top international DJs regularly perform in Tel Aviv, with clubs constantly vying to outdo each other with ever more extravagant parties. The biggest and newest club (mimicking New York's Roxy) in the city is Haoman 17 (Florentin quarter). Other fantastic clubs are TLV, Dome (gay; Offer Nissim is the resident DJ), Vox, Powder and the "indie" Cafe Barzilay and Studio 46.

Rock clubs include Barbie Club, in Kibutz Galuyot Street, or the Zappa Club, in the northeastern neighbourhood of Ramat haChayal, among others, host concerts almost every night of the week. whilst billiards (Pool) clubs include Gypsy on Kikar Atarim (Atarim plaza), located in Hayarkon St.

  • Cafe Barzilay [34] (13, HaaRechev St., 03-6878090 - what used to be part cafe part club turned into a full fledged club. Hosts various off-mainstream parties throughout the week be it techno, drum and bass, hip hop, or 80s, to sophisticated student crowds.
  • Salsa clubs include Hazira Club, 45 Itzhak Sadeh Street, 03-5623456 (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, classes start at 9:15PM and party starts at 10:30PM, on Mondays about 50% line dancing 30% ballroom dancing, 20% salsa). The Bailatino Club, 29 Karlibach Street, [35] (entry is a little difficult to find - its on the other side of the building) 03-6240186 (Su,Tu,W, classes start at 9:15PM and party starts at 10:30PM, Fridays no classes and starts at 12:30AM) Entry is 40 NIS in both places and each day has a different style of Salsa music. There are other dance clubs with Latin/Brazilian music once a week.


Coffee shops have been an inseparable part of the Tel Aviv cultural lifestyle ever since the city was founded, as cafés were always the favorite hanging spots of the local bohemia. It is therefore no surprise that Tel Aviv boasts many cafés, which can be found everywhere in the city, offering aromatic Italian Espressos and Capuccinos (called "Hafukh", meaning upside-down, in Hebrew). Espresso-bar, Cafeneto, Café-café and arcaffé are some of the local chain-cafés. Aroma's the biggest among them. Feel free to spend hours in a coffee shop - no one will slap the check on your table or require you to order more stuff.

Bohemian 'Puah' (located in the Jaffa flea market), Café Noah, Chic 'Le Central' (Rothschild av.), and 'Tolaat Sfarim' (Rabin sq.) are recommended for their very distinctive and Israeli café-drinking experience.


Tel Aviv has a wide variety of accommodation options, from camping and backpacker hostels right up to luxury 5-star hotels. The main area for a short term stay is in the center with a big hotels strip on the beach and many accommodation options all around. The center should be your default place to stay. Some places can also be found in the south and will usually be cheaper (except the David Intercontinental).

Another option to cut expenses a bit is to sleep in the nearby towns instead of actually staying inside Tel Aviv. This is a very common practice for young Israelis that want the Tel Aviv lifestyle without the Tel Aviv cost. The most common options are Ramat Gan, Bat Yam, Holon and Givatayim.

  • Hotel Bell Tel Aviv (Bell Hotel Tel Aviv), HaYarkon St. 50, +972-3-5104105, [36]. Located on the eastern shore of Tel Aviv in the heart of Tel Aviv and just few minutes walk from the business and cultural centers in Tel Aviv.  edit
  • Adiv Hotel Tel Aviv, Mendele St. 5, 972-3-5229141, [37]. Adiv hotel is located in the center of Tel Aviv, just a two minute leap to the Mediterranean beach and minutes away from the shopping centers  edit
  • Dizengoff Suites Tel Aviv (Dizengoff Suites), Gordon St. 39 Tel Aviv, 972-3-5234363, [38]. Dizengoff Suites is located at Gordon 39 in the corner of the famous Dizengoff street and have a perfect location within a short walk distance from the city’s main attractions and from Tel-Aviv’s beaches.  edit
  • Golden Beach Hotel (Golden Beach Hotel), Herbert Samuel St. 56, 972-3-5162727, [39]. Golden Beach hotel Tel Aviv located on the promenade of Tel Aviv, facing the magnificent beaches of the Mediterranean.  edit
  • Sun Aviv Hotel (Sun Aviv Hotel), Montifiori St. 9A, 972-3-5174847, [40]. Sun Aviv Hotel is located in the business center of Tel Aviv, next to the picturesque neighborhood of Neve Tzedek and walking distance from the beach and nightlife areas.  edit
  • Sun City Hotel (Sun City Hotel), Allenby St. 42, 972-3-5177913, [41]. Located in the heart of the city, just a few paces away from the beach, the shopping opportunities on Sheinkin St., the arts and crafts fair at Nahalat Binyamin, the Bezalel Market and many additional sites and activities.  edit
  • Armon Nayarkon Tel Aviv, 268 Hayarkon St. (Tel Aviv), 97236055271, [42]. is business and pleasure hotel in Tel Aviv Located on Hayarkon Street, in one of Tel-Aviv's most lucrative areas, two minute from the sea.  edit
  • Hotel Leonardo Hotel Basel Tel Aviv (Leonardo Hotel Basel Tel Aviv), 156 Hayarkon Street Tel Aviv, +972 (3) 5207711, [43]. The Leonardo Hotel Basel Tel Aviv is centrally located across Tel Aviv beach, at the Hayarkon Street Hotel Area. Just minutes away from the renewed Tel Aviv port and a short walk to the famous Dizengoff Street with all kinds of shops and restaurants. The Leonardo Hotel Basel Tel Aviv offers 120 comfortable rooms, bar, coffee shop, cocktail lounge and a fantastic restaurant serving a range of Israeli and Mediterranean cuisine, buffet style, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  edit
  • Hotel Marina Tel Aviv Official Site (Hotel Marina Tel Aviv), Marina Tel-Aviv Hotel, 167 Hayarkon St. Tel Aviv 61032, Israel,, Fax: 972-3-5211770 (Marina Hotel Tel Aviv is located on the sea shore promenade of the city of Tel Aviv.), 972-3-5211777, [44]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Hotel Marina Tel Aviv , one of Tel Aviv Hotels, located on the sea shore promenade and provides its guests a magnificent view of the fabulous marina. 80$.  edit
  • Mercure Tel Aviv Hotel (Mercure Tel Aviv Hotel), 14 ben yehoda st., 972-3-6288888, [45]. Mercure Tel Aviv hotel, a 4-star hotel, become the hotel of choice for the modern business traveler in Israel, living up to the promise of Business & Pleasure. US 136  edit
  • Savoy Tel Aviv (Savoy Hotel Tel Aviv Sea Side), Geula St. 5, 972-3-5140500, [46]. Savoy Hotel located at the center of Tel Aviv and just a short walking distance from the Mediterranean beach, combines advanced facilities, striking elegance and designed for the business travelers  edit
  • Basel Hotel Tel Aviv (Basel Hotel Tel Aviv), HaYarkon St. 156, 972-3-5207711, [47]. The renowned Basel Tel Aviv Hotel is centrally located on the Mediterranean seashore, enables you to combine your business day with pleasure  edit
  • Grand Beach Hotel (Grand Beach Hotel), Hayarkon St. 250, 972-3-5433333, [48]. Located literally across the road from the Mediterranean and a series of excellent beaches, minutes away from Tel Aviv's bustling centers and nightlife.  edit
  • Tal Hotel Tel Aviv, HaYarkon St. 287, 972-3-5425500, [49]. Tal Hotel is located within walking distance of the nightlife of Tel Aviv city, the beautiful Mediterranean sandy beach and the famous Dizengoff shopping street.  edit
  • City Hotel Tel Aviv, Mapu St. 9, 972-3-5246253, [50]. City Hotel located in the heart of Tel Aviv tourism and business district and a short walk from the citys most popular leisure spot – the expansive Mediterranean beaches.  edit
  • Pink House Tel Aviv, Rambam St. 3, 972-54-4438800, [51]. pink house tel aviv located in the heart of Tel Aviv gay and center district and a short walk to the beach – this is the only gay guest house in Israel. It's better to try to book in advance, only 4 rooms in this nice and small guest house.  edit
  • Leonardo Plaza Hotel Tel Aviv (Hotel Leonardo Plaza Tel Aviv), 155 Hayarkon Street TLV, +972-3-5216666, [52]. Located in the heart of Tel Aviv, the Leonardo Plaza Hotel Tel Aviv is situated in front the famous beach promenade with the magnificent view to the Mediterrenean Sea. Specially designed and suited for business and leisure travellers its guest benefit from the central and unique location. Overlooking the Tel Aviv promenade the hotel is close to cultural sights such as different museums, the Yarkon Park, old Jaffa or the Tel Aviv port night life.  edit
  • Hotel Leonardo Boutique Tel Aviv (Hotel Leonardo Boutique Tel Aviv), 17 Habarzel Street Tel Aviv (From Ben-Gurion Airport take Route 1 West), +972-3-5110066, [53]. Welcome to the Leonardo Boutique Hotel Tel Aviv Opened since 26th July, 2009 - In the heart of Tel Aviv in the center of Ramat Hachayal, Tel Aviv`s business & high tec district, the brand new Leonardo Boutique Hotel Tel Aviv looks out across the entire city. The urban adventure, daredevil design and luxury are ideally combined in the Leonardo Boutique Hotel Tel Aviv.  edit
  • Carlton Hotel Tel Aviv (Carlton Hotel Tel Aviv), Eliezer Peri st. 10, 972-3-5201818, [54]. The Carlton Hotel Tel Aviv offering 280 guestrooms recently refurbished to an exceptional world class standard of style & elegance.  edit
  • Dan Hotel Tel Aviv (Dan Hotel Tel Aviv), HaYarkon St. 99, 972-3-5202525, [55]. Dan Hotel Tel Aviv A shoreline lapped by the blue Mediterranean, the urban sophistication of Tel Aviv - the Dan Tel Aviv is in the center of everything yet away from it all.  edit
  • Dan Panorama Tel Aviv (Dan Panorama Tel Aviv), Kaufman St. 10, 972-3-5190190, [56]. Overlooking the sea, close to Jaffa and Tel Aviv highlights. Cross the road and you're on the great beaches and soft sands of the Mediterranean  edit
  • David Inter-Continental - Tel Aviv (David Inter-Continental), Kaufman St. 12, 972-3-7951111, [57]. Magnificent, breathtaking architecture prevails in this stunning new hotel, perfectly situated for business and pleasure in Tel Aviv’s commercial and cultural heart.  edit
  • Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv Hotel (Crowne Plaza), HaYarkon St. 145, +972-3-5201111, [58]. Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv suits life in the big city with its espresso bar open 24 hours a day, Pacific Bistro gourmet and sushi bar restaurant and trips to Neve Tzedek and the Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre.  edit
  • Crowne Plaza Hotel City Center Tel Aviv (Crowne Plaza City Center), Menachem Begin St. 136, 972-3-7774000, [59]. In the heart of the city that never stops, amidst the center of the business, trade and shopping districts of Tel Aviv, the new Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv City Center overlooks the metropolis  edit
  • Isrotel Tower Tel Aviv (Isrotel Tower), HaYarkon St. 78, 972-3-5113636, [60]. The Isrotel Tower Tel Aviv stands on Hayarkon Street, in the heart of the bustle and excitement of the "city that never sleeps" and yet moments from the Mediterranean shoreline.  edit


Most coffee shops/fast food places have free wifi, however Israel has some of the most ridiculous Wifi costs in hotels (for example $40 for 90mins!!!)

You can save some serious cash by taking your laptop to a cafe.

Stay safe

Tel Aviv remains a safe city to visit. The usual warnings regarding being alert for bomb threats also pertain to Tel Aviv - beware of suspicious packages in public places (though don't over panic), and suspicious behaviour on the part of people around you; if in doubt, report it! The local police are generally very friendly and many of the law-enforcers can speak understandable English. Also be aware of pickpockets, like in every big city, mostly in HaCarmel Market, Nachlat Binyamin market, the old and new central bus stations, the beach promenade and all of Jaffa and the flea market area. Nevertheless, regular crime rates are much lower in Tel Aviv (and in all of Israel) than in most other cities of similar size.

Security control checks are a necessary annoyance when entering shopping malls, markets the central bus station, and most hotels, cafes and restaurant. You are frequently requested to let the guards look into your bag - this is a farily common procedure. It is best not to find it offensive or intrusive, and this check shouldn't take more than 20 seconds and end with a smile and a green light. It is also best advised to carry some sort of identification documents on you at all times.

Given the amount of security checkpoints at commercial premises, the presence of military facilities and decent police patrolling, firearms carried in public by both servicemen and civilians are such an everyday occurrence that most people don't even notice them.

As buses are the best (some might say the only) way to tour the city, it is advised not to think twice before using them. Despite their reputation as "terrorism targets", the city buses remain a very safe way to travel, where reality is far different than the image most tourists would have on them. They are safe at all times of day and night, frequent, cheap, reliable and easy to handle. You can always approach the driver with any relevant question and the passengers are usually keen to assist tourists.

Although street crime is rare all around Tel Aviv, it would be best advised to avoid walking parks alone at night, or wandering alone in the southern neighbourhoods, which are a bit more rugged (south of Salame/Eilat Street - except Florentin) late at night. If necessary, a companion would be a good idea.

When going for a swim in the Mediterranean, stick to the patrolled beaches with lifeguards, marked with flags and signs - every year people drown off the Tel Aviv coast when strong currents get them into difficulties. Also, at the beginning of the summer, keep an eye out for jellyfish (called meduza in Hebrew, medusot is plural). Remember that during the months of winter, though the weather may allow a bathe, the lifeguard service is inactive (Official bathing season begin on April 18th and ends late in October).

Be mindful that Tel Aviv has a hot climate so be sure to drink a lot of water and use sunscreen.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Proper noun

Wikipedia has an article on:


Tel Aviv or Tel-Aviv

  1. City in Israel. Official name: Tel Aviv-Jaffa.



Proper noun

Tel Aviv m.

  1. Tel Aviv, city in Israel


Proper noun

Tel Aviv m.

  1. Tel Aviv, city in Israel

See also

Simple English


תֵּל־אָבִיב-יָפוֹ (Hebrew)

تل أبيب (Arabic)
—  City  —
Coordinates: 32°4′N 34°47′E / 32.067°N 34.783°E / 32.067; 34.783
District Tel Aviv (Mehoz Tel Aviv)
Founded 11 April 1909
 - Mayor Ron Huldai
 - City 51.4 km2 (19.8 sq mi)
 - Metro 1,469 km2 (567.2 sq mi)
Elevation 5 m (16 ft)
Population (2009)[1]
 - City 393,900
 Density 7,606/km2 (19,699.4/sq mi)
 Urban 1,244,800
 Metro 3,250,000
 - Metro Density 2,119.7/km2 (5,490/sq mi)
Time zone Israel Standard Time (IST) (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) Israel Summer Time (IDT) (UTC+3)
Area code(s) +972 (Israel) + 3 (Tel Aviv)
Website (English)

The city of Tel Aviv-Yafo (Hebrew: תֵּל־אָבִיב-יָפוArabic: تَلْ أَبِيبْ-يَافَا) is a municipality in Israel, often just called Tel Aviv. It is Israel's second largest city and main commercial, financial, and industrial center. It is on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea.

In 2009, 393,900 people lived in the city of Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv is a part of an area of cities called Gush Dan. About 3,250,000 people live in this urban area.[1]

The city calls itself Israel's capital of culture, economy and trade.[2]



In 1909, Jewish people started building Tel Aviv northeast of Jaffa. Tel Aviv was part of Jaffa at first, but it became a separate town in 1921. Tel Aviv grew quickly as Jewish immigrants arrived, mainly from Europe. It was Israel's first capital when the nation was established in 1948. The capital was moved to Jerusalem in 1949, but the Israeli Ministry of Defense and many foreign embassies stayed in Tel Aviv. Most Israeli government departments have offices in Tel Aviv.

In 1950, Tel Aviv and Jaffa (called Yafo in Hebrew) joined to into the city of Tel Aviv-Yafo. Tel Aviv-Yafo is the official name of the city, but it is almost always called Tel Aviv.

Tel Aviv continued to grow quickly in the 1950s and 1960s. The fast growth of the Tel Aviv area caused problems such as air pollution, slums, and traffic that took until the 2000s to fix. Most of the people of Tel Aviv live in apartment buildings.

During the Persian Gulf War of 1991, Iraq fired about 25 missiles toward Tel Aviv. Several missiles and falling debris struck residential areas in or around Tel Aviv. Two people were killed, and about 7,500 apartments were damaged.

Cultural life

The cultural center of Tel Aviv is a downtown intersection of streets at Dizengoff Circle. Fashionable shops and sidewalk cafes line the nearby streets. The 37-story Shalom Tower is in the city's financial district, several blocks south of Dizengoff Circle. It is the tallest building in Israel. The southwestern part of the city was once the separate town of Jaffa. Jaffa, an ancient port from Biblical times, has many historic place that have been restored by archaeologists. Jaffa also has many art galleries, cafes, restaurants, and nightclubs.

The Israeli opera, and Habima Theater, Israel's national theater, was are in Tel Aviv.[3] Tel Aviv is home to a number of dance centers and companies. The Batsheva Dance Company, a contemporary dance group, as well as the Bat-Dor Dance Company and the Israel Ballet are headquartered in Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv's center for modern and classical dance is the Suzanne Dellal Center.[4]

Museums in Tel Aviv include Haaretz Museum and the Tel Aviv Art Museum.

Tel Aviv University is one of the city's several institutions of higher learning. Bar Ilan University is in Ramat Gan, a suburb of the city.


The Tel Aviv area is Israel's main manufacturing district. About half of the nation's business companies are in the area. Their products include computer software, electronic equipment, machine tools, building materials, chemicals, clothing, and processed foods. The city is also the nation's main center for banking, publishing, and trade and the home of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Other websites

Official website


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