Everything to Do Your First Year in Tel Aviv, According to Locals

3 min read
Yonatan Engler
Yonatan Engler

We surveyed Tel Avivians to find out their top 20 recommendations for discovering Tel Aviv as a local:

1. Wander the beautiful streets of Old Jaffa.

Old Jaffa is home to stone-walled alleys filled with shops and art galleries. At night, it opens up its doors to bars and restaurants.

Keywords: סִמְטָה

Translation: alley

Transliteration: seem-tah

2. Taste authentic food in the Yemenite Quarter.

Experience the Yemenite kitchen straight from its roots. Try some jachnun on a Friday morning for the real deal.

Keywords: מִטְבָּח

Translation: kitchen/cuisine

Transliteration: meet-bahch

3. Experience a concert in the dark.

Na laga’at Center is a cultural center dedicated to experiencing the arts and food through the eyes of the blind and deaf.

Keywords: עִוֵּור, חֵרֵשׁ

Translation: blind, deaf

Transliteration: eeh-ver (blind), cheh-resh (deaf)

4. Scarf down a bowl of hummus at Abu Hassan.

With the original branch located in Jaffa, many Tel Avivians consider it to serve the best hummus in all of the land.

Keywords: לְהֵחָשֵׁב

Translation: to be considered

Transliteration: leh-heh-chah-shev

5. Marvel at the amazing street art in Florentine.

One of Tel Aviv’s up-and-coming neighborhoods, Florentine is famous for its stunning street art, including pieces from one of our students, Kristopher Kotcher.

Keywords: אוֹמְנוֹת רְחוֹב

Translation: street art

Transliteration: oh-mah-noot reh-chov

6. Party on a Friday morning at the original Saluf and Sons.

The original branch of Saluf and Sons is located in the Tikvah Market in south Tel Aviv, and turns into a party on Friday mornings. Try the authentic hummus or lahuh dishes, and you’ll feel like you’re in Yemen.

Keywords: אוֹתֶנְטִי

Translation: authentic

Transliteration: oh-ten-tee

7. Take a visit to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

Permanently on display include the works of Cezanne, Chagall, Dali, Monet, Henri Moore, Auguste Rodin, Archipenko, Picasso, Klimt, and Kadinsky. It’s a must-visit for everyone!

Keywords: תַּעֲרוּכָה

Translation: exhibit

Transliteration: tah-ah-roo-chah

8. Watch Israel’s top modern dance ensemble.

Bat Sheva Dance Company has stunning performances at the Suzanne Dallal Cultural Center. Founded by world-renowned choreographer, Ohad Naharin, they’ve won numerous titles for their numbers.

Keywords: מָחוֹל

Translation: dance

Transliteration: mah-chol

9. Test your skills in one of Tel Aviv’s escape rooms.

Be sure to take the infamous “We escaped!” photo before you leave.

Keywords: חֲדַר בְּרִיחָה

Translation: escape room

Transliteration: chah-dar bree-chah

10. Party on one of Tel Aviv’s rooftops.

One of the greatest ways to experience the city’s nightlife is in the clouds. Our favorite rooftop venues include Suramare, The Prince, and Speakeasy.

Keywords: מְסִיבַּת גַּג

Translation: rooftop party

Transliteration: meh-see-baht gahg

11. Join a beach volleyball game.

Tel Aviv has plenty of public volleyball courts for you to get sandy. Try joining a pickup game.

Keywords: כַּדּוּרְעַף חוֹפִים

Translation: beach volleyball

Transliteration: kah-door-ahf choh-feem

12. Enjoy Tel Aviv’s boutique bakeries.

Tel Aviv has become known for its boutique bakeries, such as NOLA and Abulafia.

Keywords: מַאֲפִיָּיה

Translation: bakery

Transliteration: mah-ah-fee-yah

13. Explore Tel Aviv’s many markets.

Tel Aviv prides itself on its outdoor markets, such as Shuk HaCarmel, Shuk Levinsky, Sarona, and Shuk Tzafon. Explore the rich culture in each one of them!

Keywords: פֵּירוֹת, יְרָקוֹת

Translation: fruits, vegetables

Transliteration: peh-rote (fruits), yeh-rah-kote (vegetables)

14. Eat a gourmet-style pita at Miznon.

Founded by famous Israeli chef Eyal Shani, you can find locations on King George, Ibn Gbirol, and in Ramat HaHayal.

Keywords: יָחִיד בְּמִינוֹ

Translation: one-of-a-kind

Transliteration: yah-cheed beh-mee-no

15. Join the Facebook group “Secret Tel Aviv.”

Perhaps the all-time greatest Facebook group.

Keywords: קְבוּצַה

Translation: group

Transliteration: k’voo-tzah

16. Participate in a protest at Rabin Square.

After all, it’s the largest square in Israel.

Keywords: הַפגָנָה

Translation: demonstration

Transliteration: hahf-gah-nah

17. Go rock climbing at one of the many such gyms.

Keywords: לְטַפֵּס

Translation: to climb

Transliteration: leh-tah-pes

18. Play the Israeli version of paddle ball on the beach.

While you’re taking in one of Tel Aviv’s many breathtaking sunsets, of course.

Keywords: מַטְקוֹת

Translation: paddle ball

Transliteration: maht-kote

19. Cruise the city on a bike or scooter.

Just watch out for the pedestrians!

Keywords: לִרְכּוֹב

Translation: to ride

Transliteration: leer-cove

20. Indulge in a frozen dessert.

For yogurt and fruit shakes, it’s Tamara (pictured). And for ice cream, it’s Anita’s.

Keywords: קִנוּחַ קָפוּא

Translation: frozen dessert

Transliteration: kee-noo-ahch (dessert) kah-foo (frozen)

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