32 Pros and Cons of Living in Tel Aviv

3 min read
Yonatan Engler
Yonatan Engler

Thinking about moving to Tel Aviv? Or, already living here?

Here’s everything you can expect, from both sides of the same coin.

Getting Around

1. Advantage: You don’t need a car to easily get around town.

2. Disadvantage: There’s no public transportation (buses and trains) on Saturdays, making it difficult to get outside the city for a weekend getaway.

Keyword: נְגִישׁוּת

Translation: accessibility

Transliteration: neh-gee-shoot

Some people!

3. Advantage: You constantly bump into friends and colleagues around town.

4. Disadvantage: You also constantly bump into ex’s and other people you prefer not to see.

Keyword: לְהִתָּקֵל

Translation: to run into

Transliteration: leh-hee-tah-kel

Long live democracy.

5. Advantage: Tel Aviv is home to Rabin Square, the largest square in all of Israel.

6. Disadvantage: Protests at Rabin Square every other week cause massive traffic jams and sometimes dangerous conditions.

Keyword: הַפְגָּנָה

Translation: demonstration

Transliteration: haf-gah-nah

FOMO is real.

7. Advantage: There’s always something (or 10 things) to do every day of the week.

8. Disadvantage: Your wallet and bank account bear the brunt of it.

Keyword: עִיר לְלֹא הַפְסָקָה

Translation: city that never sleeps

Transliteration: eer leh-loh hahf-sah-kah

Life’s a beach.

9. Advantage: Tel Aviv is one of the best beach cities in the world.

10. Disadvantage: The cost of living makes it seem like you practically live on the beach (even if you don’t).

Keyword: יֹוקֶר הַמִּחְיָה

Translation: cost of living

Transliteration: yoh-ker hah-meech-yah

Let’s get weird.

11. Advantage: Tel Aviv is where people move to be weird (in a good way).

12. Disadvantage: Tel Aviv is where people move to be weird (in a weird way).

Keyword: גִוּוּן

Translation: diversity

Transliteration: gee-voon

There’s something in the air.

13. Advantage: Every place is equipped with good air conditioning.

14. Disadvantage: The air-conditioning units leak from the buildings, directly onto the sidewalks.

Keyword: לִדְלֹוף

Translation: to leak

Transliteration: leed-lohf

Drink responsibly.

15. Advantage: You can drink alcohol in public until 11 at night.

16. Disadvantage: Much of Tel Aviv’s nightlife doesn’t really start before 11 at night.

Keyword: מֻוקְדָּם, מְאֻוחָר

Translation: early, late

Transliteration: mook-dahm, meh-oo-char

Beauty and the Beast

17. Advantage: Tel Aviv is home to the most beautiful people you’ll ever see.

18. Disadvantage: Unless you’re one of them, these people will make you feel super insecure.

Keyword: יוֹפִי

Translation: beauty

Transliteration: yoh-fee

Summer Lovin’

19. Advantage: Tel Aviv has summer weather 300 days out of the year.

20. Disadvantage: People suddenly don’t know how to drive or leave their homes when it rains for a few days during the winter.

Keyword: עוֹנָה

Translation: season

Transliteration: oh-nah

No shoes, no shirt, no service.

21. Advantage: No matter where you live in Tel Aviv, you’re no more than a 30-minute walk from the beach.

22. Disadvantage: You easily forget it’s not acceptable to wear flip-flops and tank tops all the time.

Keywords: כַּפְכַּפִים, גּוּפִיָּיה

Translation: flip-flops, tank top

Transliteration: kahf-kahf-eem, goof-eeh-yah

Dog Days

23. Advantage: Tel Aviv is such a dog-friendly city.

24. Disadvantage: The sidewalks are full of “land mines.”

Keyword: הַפְתָּעָה

Translation: surprise

Transliteration: hahf-tah-ah

Safety First

25. Advantage: Tel Aviv is safer than most people think.

26. Disadvantage: Every now and again, we have what Israelis call “an escalation” with our Middle Eastern neighbors.

Keyword: בִּטָּחוֹן

Translation: safety

Transliteration: beeh-tah-chohn

Up, up, and away!

27. Advantage: Tel Aviv is one of the most up-and-coming cities in the world.

28. Disadvantage: Rent is like Manhattan, but the buildings look like Harlem.

Keyword: שְׂכַר דִּירָה

Translation: rent

Transliteration: s’char dee-rah

How to Save a Life

29. Advantage: Tel Avivians are very open and forthcoming.

30. Disadvantage: Lifeguards at the beach will comment about your appearance on the loudspeaker.

Keyword: מַצִּיל, מַצִּילָה

Translation: lifeguard

Transliteration: mah-tzeel (m), mah-tzee-lah (f)

Take cover!

31. Advantage: Matkot (paddleball) might as well be the official beach sport of Tel Aviv.

32. Disadvantage: Walking on the beach requires a bulletproof vest and a helmet.

Keyword: סַכָּנָה

Translation: danger

Transliteration: sah-kah-nah

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