Being a local in the vibrant cultural hub of Tel Aviv comes with quite a few traditions and quite a lot of fun! Here’s our list of ways you can live, learn, and enjoy the local culture like a typical Tel Avivian.
Don’t worry guys, our list doesn’t include wearing a man-bun with a side shave, though that’s totally an option. 😏
1. Join the Pre-Shabbat Chaos at the Carmel Market
If you visit the Carmel Market (שוק הכרמל) on any day of the week, you may not feel so local. Many tourists flood the length of Ha’Carmel Street, and some merchants might even speak out to the crowd in English. On these days, we suggest you hit up the lower, less crowded streets of the market. If you want to get a real local experience, visit the market before Shabbat rolls in, just before sunset on Friday. A mass of locals are in a chaotic rush to get their last purchases, merchants are trying to get rid of all of their produce with the cheapest prices since they will be closed for the weekend, and exciting weekend party vibes fill the market. Yalla, balagan!
2. Host, but Without the Pressures of Hosting
3. “Do Sport”
If a Tel Avivian asks if you “do sport”, they aren’t asking if you are on a football or basketball team, they are asking if you jog, practice CrossFit, or the like. Many Tel Avivians keep an active lifestyle and are dedicated to their weekly workouts. Throughout Tel Aviv there are countless gyms that offer a huge array of challenging classes from olympic powerlifting, to battle-ropes, though TRX tends to be the favorite amongst many Tel Avivians and you’ll see people practicing with them everywhere. If you want a push to get involved in the local “sport” scene, try contacting a gym near your home– many offer a first time free or low cost trial class!
4. Adopt the Friday Hummus Tradition
This is Tel Aviv– the city where anything goes, and anytime can be hummus-time, right?
Well, kind of, except after 4pm at most places that specialize in fresh hummus.
So let’s just focus on when it’s the best time to eat hummus– Friday afternoon! This tradition is common to many Tel Avivians, and it is quite a yummy one to partake in. Join the locals in the fun (and sometimes regretful) tradition of getting a happy-Friday-afternoon-hummus-baby (overstuffed belly), followed by a nap of course.
5. Have an Opinion About Coffee or… Anything
Tel Avivians are known for being determined and driven. This attitude can come from a place of knowing what you want and why you want it, or just acting as if you do (which can be just as useful). Either way, it requires you to make confident decisions. A simple, but important part of most Tel Avivians’ days are their coffee breaks. Whether they stick strictly to soy cappuccinos (הפוך סויה, literally translated to “upside down soy”), prefer black coffee with cardamom (הל: “hail”), have opinions about milk only in the mornings, or are dedicated to their budget friendly 5 shekel coffee slushies from Cofix, having a Tel Avivian attitude means (at least practicing) having a confidence about your choices. So start with coffee, it’s the easiest.
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