The Eurovision 2019 song contest is only three weeks away – and you still have time to book a flight to Tel Aviv and even buy tickets to the event itself!
If you’re in Tel Aviv for the first time, here’s your Tel Aviv touring list for you to share and save:
The City That Never Sleeps
There is always something happening in every corner of the city. The real action doesn’t start before 11 pm, especially on the weekend, and Thursday nights are packed so if you can book a place in advance – please do. If you can, go for an early drink at around 6 or 7 pm, then go back to take a nap and go out again to celebrate.
Photo by Shai Pal on Unsplash
Speaking on public transportation, the Israeli systems are quite efficient. There’s a railway system, an excellent bus system that has both inter and intra city buses, shared taxis, private cabs, a shared bike system and shared electric scooters. We recommend downloading the relevant app to what you need or check the websites for the updated info:
– You can take the train from Ben Gurion Airport directly to Tel Aviv (https://www.rail.co.il/en)
– Using Google Maps or Moovit is the go-to method for trip-planning via bus – A super important thing to know – you cannot purchase a ticket when you get on the bus, which means you have to come prepared. Bus fare is only accepted through a card called a Rav Kav – an electronic, rechargeable, ticketing passes for buses (like the Oyster card in London). Getting it is a bit of a hassle, but once you do – it’ll be easier to get around and even easier to recharge it
– There’s no local Uber or Lyft service, so download Gett Taxi cab rides. On most cabs you’d be required to pay cash, so if you don’t use an app, make sure you have the sufficient amount
There’s a Beach for That!
Along Tel Aviv’s 14km of coastline, there are “themed” beaches, among them a beach for dogs, beaches split by gender (make sure to check the relevant days for you), an accessible beach and an (unofficial) gay beach. Each beach has its own restaurant or café – be prepared to pay quite high prices… and don’t forget your sunscreen.
Unlike the rest of the world, the Israeli working week starts on Sundays and ends on Thursdays. Fridays and Saturdays are the weekend – stores and public transportation are still operating on Friday, till late noon, – after that public transportation and many businesses will shut down for the weekend. Restaurants are still opened and some convenience stores. Things reopen on Saturday evening at sunset.
Tel Aviv is Super LGBTQ Friendly
Israel has been supporting gay rights for decades, and Tel Aviv has become the centre for LGBTQI travel in recent years. Everyone can feel very safe and welcomed.
Photo by yoav hornung on Unsplash
Most places accept credit cards (although not everyone accepts Amex), and in most cases, you can always add a tip on your card, but it’s a good thing to have some cash on-hand. In restaurants, customary practice is to tip 10-15% of the bill (more if the service was excellent). There’s no need to tip taxi drivers.
The Real Important Meal of the Day
Once you eat an Israeli breakfast, you won’t be able to go back to eating your everyday breakfast again. A standard Israeli breakfast contains eggs (try a Shakshuka!!), salad, bread, pastries, spreads, coffee and juice. You’re going to love this. In general, Tel Aviv (and Israel) is a foodies’ heaven – there’s a huge range of cuisines and options and if you’re a vegetarian or vegan you’re going to have a hard time choosing what and where to eat from the abundance of options.
Photo by Sara Dubler on Unsplash
Tel Aviv is the Perfect Base
There’s a lot to explore and to do in Tel Aviv, but if you fancy a change of atmosphere, you can go on daily tours to Jerusalem, up north or even enjoy a jeep trip through the heart of the Judean Desert. If you have more time, you can go scuba diving in Eilat for a couple of days.
Happy Tel Aviv-ing and Happy Travels!