Pro tip: BRING SHECKLES (cash) with you to bargain your life away at Carmel Market in Tel Aviv.
You heard me talk all about my favorite food and must-try bars in Tel Aviv. As much as I want to continue on about my food addiction, if you’re traveling to Israel, however, there are obviously important landmarks to see before heading home. I was never a touristy kind of traveler but Israel has an amazing rep for great mix of things to do you need to check out.
1. Stroll through Jaffa Port
1, Nemal Yafo St, Tel Aviv-Yafo, 6803326, Israel
The best part of Jaffa port is the history behind it since it’s the oldest seaport in the world! Situated in Old Jaffa, the port is referenced in the Hebrew Bible describing the First Jewish Revolt against Rome. The port has been used for 7,000 years, even prior to Egyptians. Today, walking around Jaffa has a special feeling. Many locals and travelers enjoy fishing, bringing their boats here. You can eat and shop your way through Jaffa. Need somewhere to stay in the area? The Jaffa, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Tel Aviv is so beautiful and breathtaking. Of course, make your way to Goldies, they have incredibly tasty pigs in a blanket.
2. Let your artistic inspo flow at Tel Aviv Museum of Art
The Golda Meir Cultural and Art Center, Sderot Sha’ul HaMelech 27, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Tel Aviv Museum of Art is the first art museum in the history of Israel, it houses modern and contemporary collections that highlight international cultures. My friend was dying to go because of a quirky obsession with poodles, so we admired Jeff Koon’s balloon sculptures here. Don’t miss significant pieces from major modern art movements, including: Cubism, German Expressionism, Surrealism, both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism…and much more. In 1950, Peggy Guggenheim donated 36 important works by Jack Pollack, Yves Tanguy, Roberto Matta…to name a few.
3. Grab a quick and delicious lunch at Carmel Market
הכרמל 35, פינת, Allenby St, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
This isn’t your typical market, Carmel has everything you possibly need and more. Built in the 1920’s, Carmel Market is open every day of the week, except for Shabbat (Saturday.) You will never walk out of Carmel without something in your hand. Between fresh fruit to a new handbag, Carmel market is filled with goodies to stuff in your luggage. As a huge olive lover (weird, I know) my trips to Carmel market consisted of buckets of every type of olive possible.
4. Shop designer boutiques on Sheinkin Street
Close to Carmel Market, Sheinkin Street is one of my favorite places in Tel Aviv, located in an area called Neve Tzedek – a high-end district. Sheinkin Street consists of designer shops, jewelry boutiques, trendy restaurants and stylish cafés. Oh, even better, ANITA ice cream is situated here, so take a break from shopping by tasting your favorite gelato. This place reminded me of home.
5. Sun tan & bike along Gordon Beach
Who wouldn’t love going on vacation and sitting on the beach? Gordon Beach is everything you can dream of and more. The main strip is lined with restaurants, coffee shops, biking trails where folks also scooter around – it’s like a world with no worries. Picture this: it’s Thursday afternoon, everyone who works is now off for the weekend. Celebrating, playing on the beach, music is blasting. Now, these days are my favorite. If you walk down Gordon Beach, the famous Tel Aviv man is there for everyone to applaud as he pulls off a handstand. Yes, you must take a picture with him and make sure you capture the water in the background.
6. Wander through iconic Dizengoff and Ben-Yehuda streets
I don’t know what it is that makes these streets so special but the things I would do after waking up on a Thursday morning was walking up and down these local streets. First off, everyone would be strolling around, Dizengoff and Ben-Yehuda streets were always busy. Dizengoff has always been referred to as the “Champs-Élysées of Tel Aviv,” it’s where you can admire the iconic Bauhaus Buildings. I love it because this was close to Gordon Beach, with tasty restaurants and amazing shops.
7. Dinner and drinks at Sarona Market
Aluf Kalman Magen St 3, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Oh yes, Sarona Market! Can’t decide what you want for dinner? You and your friends all want something different? Need some place to walk around and hangout? Similar to the Chelsea Market in New York City, Sarona Market is your answer. With the neighborhood’s past as a military base and industrial purposes, Sarona was Tel Aviv’s hop along the culinary market train with 100 businesses and 40 eateries. International vendors here are ultra-friendly and the history that comes along with the market makes it furthermore special.