Tel Aviv is known as the Manhattan of the Middle East. It’s Israel’s economic powerhouse. Israel may be a tiny country but its cultural reach is vast. Perhaps no other country boasts such a rich historical legacy. Tel Aviv is a very modern city – its first foundations were laid in 1906.
It’s by far the most liberal and progressive city in the Middle East. Tel Aviv has amazing beaches, buzzing nightlife and many cultural attractions. It’s quite a small city so you can do it justice in one trip.
Tel Aviv Promenade
The promenade is around 5km long. It’s a great spot to begin your Tel Aviv adventure. Take a stroll past the many cafes and shops. Admire the strangely beautiful people who call Tel Aviv home – no one knows why so many good looking people live in Tel Aviv. You’ll find 13 beaches to explore. The promenade will give a taste of the good life in Tel Aviv.
Tel Aviv Museum of Art
The Tel Aviv Museum of Art opened in 1932. Tel Aviv has a big arts scene and its main art museum is older than the country itself. You’ll find works by modern masters like Picasso, Rodin, Kandinsky and Klimt. You can also learn about the history of the foundation of the state of Israel. There are artworks from the Zionist period, prefiguring the emergence of the modern Jewish state.
This is the oldest and perhaps most stylish neighbourhood in Tel Aviv. It was the first neighbourhood founded in what is now Tel Aviv. It was originally a neighbourhood outside the historic city of Jaffa. You’ll find many trendy boutiques to explore and some striking architecture from the Bauhaus era. Neve Tzedek is an affluent area – some members of the Israeli elite keep homes here. It was once quite a bohemian district and you’ll find many remnants in the shape of art cafes and small, quaint shops on winding streets. A great place for an I’m-in-Tel-Aviv Instagram moment.
In Israel you’re never far away from history. The Old City of Jaffa is the oldest part of Jaffa, the oldest part of Tel Aviv. It’s associated with various biblical stories. Jaffa has been influenced by almost all major empires since the biblical period, from the Byzantine to the British Empires. Much of the historical buildings were destroyed during notable wars and earthquakes. There’s still a lot of very old buildings to see.
The Old City of Jaffa is the best bit to explore. It’s a heavily gentrified area that is, inevitably, historically contentious. You’ll also find plenty of street cafes and bars to pause and people watch.
Tel Aviv has a big gay scene and it hosts the largest gay Pride celebration in the Middle East. Tel Aviv has a big bar and cafe scene and most of them are gay-friendly – you’ll be struck by how many LGBT+ people you see in Tel Aviv. There aren’t that many gay-specific bars, but there are many gay club nights.
The bars and cafes do business all day long but the nightlife in Tel Aviv tends to kick off much later at night. Shpagat is the main gay bay bar in Tel Aviv. It opens around 6pm on weekdays. If you can find a chair outside it’s worth a visit and it’s a good place to mingle with some locals. If you’re looking to party in Tel Aviv you’ll have many options. Check out our Tel Aviv gay clubs page for more information.
You’re unlikely to miss Rabin Square if you’re exploring Tel Aviv. It’s the most notable square in Israel – it’s named after Yitzhak Rabin following his assassination. This is where major Israeli events take place, such as Independence Day celebrations.
No trip to Tel Aviv would be complete without a visit to Tel Aviv’s gay beach. In front of the Hilton Hotel, you’ll find gay men sunning themselves most of the year round – with skimpy swimming trunks to complete the view. A younger gay crowd can also sometimes be found on Frishman Beach, whilst Tel Aviv’s gay nudist beach is found a 35-minute drive north of Tel Aviv.
by Alex | On: Gay Tel Aviv