A city of surprises - Tel Aviv

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Welcome to the vibrant city of Tel Aviv, on the easternmost corner of the Mediterranean coast. Lined by stunning sandy white beaches and crystal blue waters, this vibrant cosmopolitan is a unique blend of cultural history steeped in thriving modernity.

Words by Venus Chircop | Extract taken from August's 2023 Il-Bizzilla Magazine

A melting pot of influences from around the world, this dynamic city has a rich tapestry of art, history, cuisine and entertainment to explore, offering even the most seasoned travellers something new to discover.

Tel Aviv is known for its lively art scene and free expression, adding it to the list of 'must-return' destinations for any art enthusiast. Street art culture is strong, with neighbourhoods of colourful murals and graffiti adorning buildings and walls. The city's Bauhaus architecture has also earned it UNESCO World Heritage recognition. Wander and witness the open-air showcase of such architectural heritage, emphasising simplicity and functionality in design, a philosophy evident in beautifully preserved buildings. Many unique art galleries and installations are running at any time throughout the city too. Not to mention the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, featuring a collection of Israeli and international artwork from contemporary and modern art, including paintings, sculptures, and photography.

The city's creativity continues beyond just art. Nicknamed the 'Start-Up' Nation, the entrepreneurial energy is palpable. Locals are known for their innovation, driven by a strong motivation for education, research and development. The status quo for Israelis is to ideate, create and innovate, making the country a hub for hundreds of start-ups every year. A synergy of relentless creation and world-class infrastructure has attracted venture capital, incubators and high-end companies that have birthed revolutionary discoveries on the cutting-edge of medical technology, cyber security and IT.

It's also one of the world's most LGBTQI+ friendly cities. Expect a warm welcome to people from all walks of life into a culture that embraces diversity and authenticity. The atmosphere is radically accepting, leaving no need to hide but rather celebrate your unapologetic self-expression. The city hosts a spectacular Pride Parade every year, showcasing the city's inclusivity and diversity in full colour! But, if you miss the parade, visit  Rothschild Boulevard and join in on the parties at the trendy bars and venues, with something taking place every night.

Unless you want an evening out to satisfy your cravings, visiting Tel Aviv would only be complete with sampling from its wide range of food and dining experiences. Home to a thriving culinary scene, choose from diverse restaurants or street food vendors serving everything from traditional Israeli dishes to international cuisine. You'll also find health-conscious plant-based eating options, with most places catering to vegetarian and vegan diets.

If you'd like to roam around and get some movement in, hop on a bicycle and delight in the cycle-friendly roads. Tel Aviv has a well-established and extensive network of bike lanes and bike-sharing programmes, making exploring the city on two wheels easy. You'll be impressed by locals' dedication to sustainable mobility as cyclists wizz around you, going from place to place. Riding a bicycle is convenient and safe, making transportation ever more sustainable.

Immerse yourself in the local lifestyle with an authentic and enriching shopping experience by visiting the Carmel Market or Shuk HaCarmel. This bustling marketplace opens on full display with fresh produce, spices, sweets, clothing, and more. There is also the charming neighbourhood of Neve Tzedek to explore, known for its narrow streets with boutique shops and art galleries.

And if - after all this - all you'd really crave to do is to sit down in a cosy cafe and simply enjoy a cup of rich Israeli coffee, revel in this city's café culture and find yourself in the beating heart of Tel Aviv.

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