A WEEKEND IN THE BEST CITY IN THE WORLD - TEL AVIV
A DETAILED PLAN FOR A WEEKEND IN TEL AVIV FOR TOURISTS AND LOCALS
Unlike most of the countries in the world in Israel, the Israeli weekend begins on Friday and ends on Saturday night. Moreover, on Friday, when the sun goes down, Shabbat begins, and most of the shops, supermarkets, markets, as well as all kosher establishments are closed until Sunday. Public transportation (trains and buses) does not run on Shabbat, and you can only get around the city by bike, minibusses, taxis, rented cars, or private drivers.
Unexperienced tourists are often caught off guard by Shabbat. It is better to plan your weekend in Tel Aviv to know how to spend it interesting and enjoyable. In this article, I will tell you where and how you can spend your weekend in Tel Aviv in the right way.
what to do on Friday morning?
The Locals spend Friday mornings in deep preparations: shopping for food in the market, clean the apartment and start preparing on Shabbat, especially the orthodox people, which means either a few hours of cooking before guests arrive or a trip to another city to visit friends or relatives since many observe the Shabbat and cannot drive all weekend.
Tourists can join the bustle of the city: buy groceries at the Carmel market or any other available supermarket in town, so do not panic about where to eat on Shabbat, go shopping (but remember the shops will be packed with people), but it is much better to get comfortable at a table in some cafe on the crowded street (for example, on Rothschild Boulevard or Shenkin ) and observe the circle of life in Tel Aviv.
SHOPPING IN TEL AVIV ON THE WEEKEND
After a good Israeli breakfast, head to the local artist market on Nahalat Binyamin Street or King George Street. In both places, you can find interesting things for yourself or as a souvenir for friends. The artists present their works of art only 2 times a week and Friday is one of them if you intend to buy local art this is the right place to shop and don't forget to negotiate the price a bit.
For people who love antiques the best place for shopping in Tel Aviv will be the famous flea market of Jaffa! carpets, old furniture, lamps, ancient coins, and Judaica. don't forget to taste the famous Malabi desert in the heart of the flea market to return yourself to the optimal sugar level in your blood.
Shopping Malls - A weekend in Tel Aviv can be entirely spent in the shipping malls such as the Dizengoff Center or Ramat Aviv Mall, these shopping centers have all the famous chain shops such as Zara, Mango, Renuar, and many others but I don't recommend to spend all your time in a closed mall, after all, there are so many great things to see outside.
The ultimate culinary shopping in Tel Aviv will be definitely the central Carmel Market and Levinsky Market, for more luxurious culinary shopping you can visit the Sarona Market and perhaps eat a quick branch in the local restaurants inside the Market.
MUSEUMS TO VISIT DURING A WEEKEND IN TEL AVIV
Tel Aviv museums and exhibitions can also be visited on Friday, but keep in mind that they close early on this day, usually at 14-15 hours. The best museum is probably the art museum of Tel Aviv, where you can enjoy the Israeli local art and also some international exhibitions changing every few months, the second museum that I recommend is the Itzhak Rabin museum dedicated to the Israeli prime minister who was murdered in 1994, this is a great chance to learn about the wars and history of Israel in case you are a history lover.
Tel Aviv can also offer an open sky museum on your weekend, walk the Rothschild BLVD and enjoy the Bauhouse architecture, would you like to take a quick tour in another museum? the "Libling" museum will tell you all about the architecture of Tel Aviv in one hour.
By the way, the main Tel Aviv museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, is open on Saturday - you can spend a couple of hours here. And not far from the museum there is the Sarona market, which is also open on weekends. There are tons of restaurants, playgrounds, picnic areas.
FRIDAY EVENING ON A WEEKEND IN TEL AVIV
Those who celebrate Shabbat with a family stay in the city and usually gather with friends in bars. On Friday hours, from 9 pm, all bars are filled with noisy, hot wine and beer from Tel Aviv's local youngsters. Usually, they come in large groups, sit for a long time, leave after midnight, or go to clubs. The most crowded place is Dizengoff Street and The central square.
Here bars alternate with restaurants, everywhere you will notice the smell of weed, music is loud, but the voices of visitors are even louder. Israelis always talk all at the same time, everyone tries to shout down the interlocutor - and this is considered completely normal! Do not even think of taking offense if someone cuts you off in dialogue - they will not understand this! The culture in Israel is different than in Europe so just ignore it and enjoy the evening! Today the bars and restaurants will be not as crowded as before since many young people left Tel Aviv after the pandemic, in my opinion, this is even better.
The clubs are scattered throughout the city center. The most popular are Radio RPGB, Kuli Alma, Sputnik. Radio, R'n'B, all clubs have different music. Sputnik plays electronics, Kuli Alma plays R'n'B and Latin. There is practically no dress code everywhere, casual style will be enough. after the clubs, people usually float to jaffa the "Abulafia" bakery to eat some pastries at 4 am, so for the full weekend experience in Tel Aviv consider visiting there also.
The trendy restaurants in Tel Aviv on the weekend will be the Zepra, Messa, Tompolopompo, Catit, Shila, and Deda, here you are required to follow an elegant dress code, the atmosphere is very happy but keep in mind that you have to book your seat in advance.
HOW TO SPEND YOUR SATURDAY MORNING ON A WEEKEND IN TEL AVIV?
Everybody sleeps off on Saturday and gets away from hangovers until noon except families with small kids. Larks, on the other hand, gather in cafes for a great Israeli breakfast: shakshuka with a basket of different types of bread, salads, fresh juices and smoothies, yogurt with granola, and, of course, wonderful Israeli coffee.
Then everyone goes to the beach during the summer. They take fruit, beer, Matcot (game, a hybrid of badminton and tennis) or frisbee with them and spend the whole Saturday like that. You can follow their example or choose something more original. For example, swim on a paddleboard or surf on Gordon Beach, or cycle around a half-empty city and open roads.
If you love sightseeing the perfect morning of a weekend in Tel Aviv will be a private walking tour in the city, consider hiring a licensed tour guide and spend a few hours exploring the highlights that the city has to offer! go to Neve Zedek and learn about the foundation of Tel Aviv, stroll old Jaffa and find out everything about the history of the ancient part of Tel Aviv, walk the famous port of Jaffa, and don't forget to eat some fresh seafood in one of the popular fish restaurants.
In the evening you can walk along the promenade to the northern port called Namal. There are many good fish restaurants there, so you can have a nice dinner overlooking the moonlit night sea. For complete romance, you can take a blanket, buy a bottle of good Israeli wine, and have an evening picnic by the sea.
Tel Aviv is one of the best cities in the world, it is young, vibe and full of amazing history, restaurants and excellent places to shop, next time when you plan another traditional weekend in Europe think about a weekend in Tel Aviv and try it, believe a tour guide in Tel Aviv, you will be surprised how fun and memorable your visit will be.