What better destination for a location from the mild temperatures to stay during the Christmas holidays?
Tel Aviv certainly represents an unusual but definitely avant-garde place and extremely fascinating and fun for those who usually spend Christmas searching for destinations outside the classic tourist spots. Israel, a fascinating, eclectic, complicated and undoubtedly beautiful country that welcomes this city of a thousand faces. Full of unexpected places and where the nightlife is incredibly like that present in any western capital.
On the other hand, the average age in Tel Aviv is 34 years old and, despite being in the center of a country where the intertwining of religions is perceived in every corner, it is undoubtedly one of the most popular and desirable destinations for those looking for temperatures. myths, fun and an unrivaled cultural fervor.
Tel Aviv is to be explored on foot, getting lost in its alleys or along the sea, between futuristic buildings and glimpses that seem to have remained in the sixties, passing from what could be a hipster neighborhood in New York to kaleidoscopic markets able to virtually project its visitors in an Arab souk.
A city of infinite shades, a palette of bold colors, a kaleidoscope of contrasts between the warm and cold tones that turn from the light of the stone to the emerald green and the bright blue of the sea. Bathed by the salty waters of the Mediterranean and those of the Gulf of Aqaba, this city of Israel, which although it shines in the darkness of the desert seems to be a bundle of lights, a flowered pearl on arid stone, is also known as the "Earth of Jacob ”, which blossomed between deserts and white lakes, craters and millenary villages that have become cities.
Although the origins of Tel Aviv date back only 100 years ago, rather recent times for a city, it contains a multitude of legends and tales among its streets and wide beaches.
Despite what the majority thinks, Tel Aviv, today is known as a festive and vibrant city, a creative and technological hub, often also referred to as "Silicon Wadi", due to its affinity with the most famous American "Silicon Valley", a place that welcomes greatest talents in technology and that gives life to the most famous startups in the world. Modern, open and tolerant city, full of markets, open spaces in which to enjoy the sun all year round and trendy bars and clubs.
Here are some of the most interesting places to experience some of its magic:
The visit to discover Tel Aviv can start from Jaffa, the city's ancient commercial port and place where ships loaded with cedar from the forests of Lebanon, used to build the First Temple of Jerusalem, the Temple of Solomon, docked; today it is the oldest part of the city and also the richest in Arab influences.
From the port, you go up into the old city via a stone staircase to a square with the Fountain of the Zodiac. Going further, you find yourself on a panoramic terrace from which you can admire the entire bay. Once here, with your back to the view, you can admire the Ponte dei Desideri.
Legend has it that if you get on the deck and place your hands on your zodiac sign, making a wish while looking at the sea, this will come true.
This part of the city is now the center of artists and artisans, a row of antique shops and booksellers, art galleries and cafes where you can be inspired or where to stop for a gourmet break, before resuming your journey.
Starting from the famous Clock Tower and wandering through the cobbled streets of the Old Town, it is easy to breathe the atmosphere of this ancient part steeped in legends. The real institution of the neighborhood is the Flea Market, an adorable bundle of second-hand stalls. It will be wonderful to let yourself be intoxicated by the scented notes of the small Zielinski & Rozen perfumery, where you can buy natural soaps and personalized essences, and then reach number 7 of Bet Eshel Street, where the Uma Gallery is located, an airy and colorful boutique full of jewelry in colored stones, prints and ethnic objects that it is difficult not to fall in love with.
Another iconic beauty to visit is the house-museum of the artist Ilana Goor and the Maskit Fashion House.
Once in this area, it is a must to stop at the Church of San Pietro, one of the few Catholic churches in the whole country. Not far away, the contemporary sculpture Floating Orange Tree by artist Ran Morin and the Arch of Ramses is also unmissable. Nearby you can stop for refreshment at Kandinof, a super cool place where you can even get a tattoo if you want. Then, walking under the arch and along the stone road that leads back to the port, you can enjoy a relaxing and romantic walk along the seafront.
Another truly suggestive attraction is that represented by the largest open-air market in Tel Aviv, a suitable place to enter the daily life of its inhabitants: the Carmel Market, a swarming and colorful souk (shuk), with kiosks on each side that abound with watermelons and pomegranates, donuts and cucumbers, nuts, avocados and sweets, fragrant bread and supplies of zaatar, meat, fish and ready-made dishes of the best local cuisine, served by rowdy and smiling local hawkers.
Open every day except Sunday, it is an obligatory stop to discover an essential side of the city and its life.
Although it is mainly dedicated to fruit and vegetables, there are stalls of clothing, accessories, objects and wonderful fresh flowers. If you want to taste the most delicious dishes of traditional cuisine this constellation of flavors certainly represents the perfect experience. It is the right place to taste pomegranate juice, the most popular drink in the city along with mint tea.
You can take advantage of this stage to also taste various typical street food dishes, including some traditional sweets such as rugelach, mini croissants filled with jam or chocolate, and kataifi dough rolls with pistachio grains.
This market is also a great place to try falafel on pita with hot sauce or borek, a pie of cheese, potatoes and spinach served hot straight from the oven.
For those who, even on vacation, never give up the pleasures of cooking, and indeed, intrigued by local culinary traditions, yearn to try the best restaurants, absolutely must taste the dishes offered by Ali Caravan, in the heart of Jaffa, famous for serving undoubtedly one of the best. hummus of the city. With an essential and spartan interior, this restaurant offers only 3 types of hummus accompanied by the classic pita and raw onions to use as a spoon.
Another place, with a completely different design and hipster style, is YOM TOV 30. Near Carmel Market, it is perfect for a tasty breakfast, a delicious coffee break or a light lunch based on salads and sandwiches. The outdoor tables are nice, but it is inside that the place gives its best.
Open-air kiosk in the city center, where you can enjoy a typical kebab in all its flavors is Hakosem. This place also offers an exceptional chickpea hummus and the typical falafel. A must try!
Real institution in Tel Aviv is Dr. Shakshuka. The shakshuka, in fact, is a typical dish based on eggs and tomatoes, usually served directly in a pan. In this case, the place is also very suggestive, from the Ottoman era and full of trinkets and antiques inside.
Abufalia, in Jaffa, is the most famous bakery in all of Tel Aviv, and its adjoining restaurant across the street is said to be the place to offer the best hummus in Israel.
In fact, more than a bakery it is a paradise for the eyes, and in fact, once you arrive in front of its counter you can contemplate every type of baked product, both sweet and savory, in constant production to satisfy the always present queue in the street in front. at his counter. All truly exceptional. Only advice: arrive hungry.
THE ART MUSEUM AND THE NEVE TZEDEK AND FLORENTIN DISTRICTS
Not far away is the interesting Yemeni district, which is worth a visit or, for fans of modern and contemporary art, further north, a stop at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art cannot be missed. Established in 1932 and today one of the most important cultural and ancient institutions in the country, this museum is a stop basic. The museum building, divided into 3 departments, houses not only paintings from the 20th century to the present day, and by famous authors such as Van Gogh, Kandinsky and Chagall, but also dedicates part of its rooms to other disciplines, including photography , design and architecture.
Another unmissable pearl of the city is the "White City", that is the famous district full of buildings built in the Bahuaus style typical of the 1930s. In Tel Aviv there are over 4,000 Bahuaus houses, built between the 1920s and 1940s and the Bahuaus Center illustrates their history and characteristics.
In perfect combination with the passion for art and architecture, the trendy Neve Tzedek neighborhood is certainly inspiring, where you can spend some time among its colorful and ultra-chic streets. Here, among art galleries, small but refined boutiques, trendy shops, open-air restaurants and ice cream parlors, young people in Tel Aviv are used to shopping and sharing a brunch with friends. The relaxed and bohemian atmosphere of this ancient part of the city, a stone's throw from Jaffa, is truly amazing.
The Neve Tzedek district, also known as the French quarter because at its center there is, in fact, the French Center, is dotted with beautiful and refined shops and is surrounded by a row of cafes and bars with wrought iron tables in the garden. enchanting. Lovers of romantic Parisian alleys or New York's modern hipster neighborhoods can only appreciate it.
Another district full of ideas for fans of fashion, style and the latest trends is Florentin.
Nestled between the city center and Jaffa, these young and trendy neighborhoods are full of little shops and places to stop for a coffee and snack on one of the local honey cakes. Once in this area of the city, the Levinsky Spice Market and the old railway station, now transformed into a small open-air shopping center, are also worth a visit.
For nature lovers, on the other hand, it is possible to enjoy a break of peace and relaxation, taking a walk in the greenery at Hayarkon Park, a sort of "Central Park" in the heart of Tel Aviv.
Perhaps the most beautiful, fun and evocative part of the city, however, is the one overlooking the sea. Reaching the panoramic terrace of the Hotel Carlton you can enjoy the most exciting view of some of the most beautiful beaches and the distant horizon in contrast with the vibrant colors of the sea that bathes the city.
If you are in this exclusive place you can admire the golden beaches of Tel Aviv Marina and, during the sunniest and clearest days, get to see the white city of Haifa in the distance. During the summer, then, it is a must to enjoy a walk along the 14 km of beach that lines the whole city.
This part of the city is known for its wide beaches, to be enjoyed in any season and at any time of day. To end this day in the best possible way, it is recommended to wait for the sunset on the beach to enjoy a breathtaking and certainly unforgettable view. The view you have at this time of day certainly repays the wait: the bright colors of a purple sky that slowly fade into the blue of the sea give a dreamy atmosphere to all those who can enjoy this spectacle of nature.
To conclude with a flourish, you can also treat yourself to a romantic moment by tasting typical dishes of Israeli cuisine in its best form, less than six meters from the sea, by booking a table on the terrace of the Manta Ray Restaurant. Overlooking the beach of Alma, it has an offer of traditional and delicious dishes complete with all the flavors of the area that are certainly worth knowing.
One of the things that Tel Aviv is famous for is its nightlife. There is no shortage of trendy bars and clubs in the city, especially once you arrive on Rothschild Boulevard. Trendy disco-pubs, bars and clubs follow one after the other.
To be able to stay in this enchanted city in the best possible way, the most suitable place is certainly the Jaffa Hotel in Tel Aviv, a new Luxury Collection Hotel of the famous Marriott group. 5-star property located within a restored 19th-century complex that once housed the French hospital of Jaffa, this hotel is centrally and strategically located, within walking distance of the sea and the historic port of Jaffa. Attractions such as the Shuk Hapishpeshim flea market, the Museum of Antiquities and numerous local boutiques are also nearby. This hotel is the perfect base to explore the ancient port city and discover the local culture, enjoy the epicurean delights made by award-winning chefs, relax in a setting of personalized luxury by staying in one of the 120 exquisite suites in the structure and furnished by the designer John Pawson, and finally let yourself be pampered by the L.RAPHAEL Spa.
A trip to Tel Aviv leaves a new and regenerated spirit in the soul of those who experiences it. The enchanting city of a thousand shades stimulates the imagination of its visitors. With its scents with oriental notes, the colors of its markets, the shimmer of the waves warmed by the sun and the inspiring muse of dream itineraries.
Tel Aviv, a unique city in the world where contemporary and modern lifestyle meets hundreds of years of history.