As promised I’m back with the second part of my Tel Aviv story.
Let me start with the topic security, because I know some of you might be wondering.
When I first asked my friend about Tel Aviv she wasn’t too excited either.
But the thing I had noticed on my trips there before is that the city is just as safe as any mid-European city.
Whether at day time or at night I had always felt safe.
I could walk around by myself as a girl at any time. And one thing you’ll realize is that Tel Aviv provides more safeguarding services than most cities. Whether in the malls or at a club, they take good care of it. Nevertheless you should take your general precautions like watching your valuables.
Which trips to take
We had a rental car and went to see masada. It’s an ancient fortress and was declared a United Nations World Heritage Site in 2001. The drive is around 160 kilometers.
The landscape around is amazing, since it’s located right in the Judean desert overlooking the Dead Sea from southwest. You can go by cable railway to the top. We took it up and walked back down. Bring comfy shoes!
Obviously when you’re already driving all the way down there you have to, and I mean have to, bath in the Dead Sea. I’ve travelled a lot. So it takes something to sweep me off my feet anymore as much it used to when I was younger.
But this, I tell you, will blow your mind. Floating is the most heavenly experience and you will feel like a new born. And don’t get me started on the soft skin you will have.
There are places that will offer lockers, towels and even treatments, like mud-wraps. Make sure you don’t get any water in your face. It feels gross to get it on your lips, trust me there.
Don’t wear your brand new white bathing suit as it may discolor. And you might prefer to wear some kind of water shoes to protect your feed.
And most important: Enjoy!
Now I’ll recommend you something before I’ve actually seen it myself. And maybe you will get there before I do, but that’s fine. Just let me know how you liked it.
I’ve only heard amazing things about the Austrian Hospiz in Jerusalem. The place in the Old city is still on my list. It has been recommended to me quite a few times. The rooftop terrace is supposed to have the most incredible view. And if you’ve longed for a great coffee and some apple strudel you take a break in the garden of the Viennese coffee-house.
Take a walk around Neve Tzedek
This is probably my favorite quarter so I can’t keep it from you. It might sound familiar because I’ve mentioned it in the first part of this article.
So the quarter is rather in the south of the city. I’ve often started my day on Ha’Carmel market and walked down all the way to Neve Tzedek. Shalom Shabazi is the greatest. It is full of street art and those Banksy style wall paintings I told you about. You will find beautiful little stores and lovely cafés such as Suzana. Check out locals designs and grab some ice cream on the way.
Anita is probably the city’s most popular gelato place. They serve frozen yoghurt and ice cream of any kind such as soy based, sorbet or sugar free. And whether you pick the vegan strawberry or the poached pears in wine ice cream, you’ll find plenty of toppings to match your choice.
One place I hadn’t discovered for a while though is Ha’tachana.
The old train station from the 1890’s is renovated and nowadays a trendy shopping compound. Due to the original train tracks it is one of a kind.
I personally like the TLV store for funny souvenirs and AHAVA for beauty products.
I also promised to tell you about a hotspot for Woody Allen fans and that brings me to another category.
Love these dinner places
Once you’re at Ha’Tachana you should definitely visit Vicky Christina. The restaurant is known for its delicious tapas and wine and will make you feel like you’re in Barcelona. Indulge while remembering that fantastic movie from 2008 starring Penélope Cruz and Scarlett Johansson.
A dinner place I’ve loved for a long time is Manta Ray, just a 5 minute walk away from the old train station. Located right at the waterfront you have to most spectacular view, no matter if you sit in- or outside. If you are into seafood this is the placed to be.
Choose your appetizers from big platters that come “flying by”.
On my last trip to Tel Aviv I got to try North Abraxas. The extraordinary place is located on Lilienblum Street. We picked seats at the interconnecting bar and it was lots of fun.
The food changes on a regular base, so you always get seasonal products.
Rather than on a plate you will get it wrapped up in a paper, like the cauliflower we ordered. We had read many reviews about it and wondered how surprising a cauliflower could possibly taste. But I swear it was the best I ever had.
Nights in Tel Aviv
Before I get started with night life I want to recommend the Tel Aviv by night walking tour.
Luckily our first day in Tel Aviv was a Tuesday.
That’s when the free tour takes place weekly at 8:00pm. It starts at Sderot Rothschild/Rehov Herzl. It was a great way to get an overview in the beginning of our vacation and took us to quite a few funky spots.
Another way to spend your night outside is the popular Bustan Secret garden.
When you’re trying to find that secret place without a website, check the area behind Ha’Tachana. You can enjoy your drink in this laid-back hotspot while the DJs beats surround you.
Let’s go underground. The cat and the dog club has been around for many years. And the list of DJs it has hosted so far is long. It’s open every night of the week. But due to the regular changing music arrangement, it won’t get boring.
Or you go party in The Block. The club has won an endless list of prices over the years. No wonder, since it’s hosted such amazing line-ups in those 10 years it’s been around by now.
It’s inspired by those clubs in New York back in the days and has strict regulations such as a photo ban. Nice to know: if you arrive past midnight, you only pay half of the entry fee.
There’s one more place you need to know. Maybe that’s because it reminds me of a place in Brooklyn that I might introduce to you at some point.
It’s called Rothschild.
You can already go there by day for some lunch or your coffee. But I really recommend having drinks in their backyard at night. You’re gonna love the trendy and spacious outdoorsy area. And the fun part is: The live bands inside don’t only tend to be great but also play for free. So you probably will take turns on being in- and outside. Industrial style lovers will certainly enjoy the inside.
My last message is that you should spoil yourself.
I don’t want to call myself a hedonist but I love to indulge.
And hey, it’s your vacation right? So what would be a better time to treat you?
I already wrote about Anita before. My absolute favorite ice cream place all over Tel Aviv is actually in Jaffa. Don’t fly back home without stopping by Legganda. You are gonna feel like you died and you were reborn in heaven. I won’t say more.
If you are looking for a nice accommodation, have a closer look at the Norman hotel.
I liked the 20’s style boutique hotel a lot, when we stopped by for a cocktail. Only hotel guests get to sip their drinks on the incredible rooftop bar with the infinity pool. But we still got to take a look and it was so beautiful.
So if you’re seeking a getaway with wellness and a nice dinner, this might be it.
And last but not least take the good feeling home.
I usually get the pure aloe vera gel that you can buy on and around the market. It works perfectly on sunburns and feels nicer if you put in the fridge.
Ha’Carmel is also my first address for mud products such as facial masks. And I love getting the hair masks and shea butter lotions that are sold all over the market. They are mostly free of any harmful substances, pretty inexpensive and yet they smell like the summer of your life.
Even when you are back home the scent might still be a nice memory. And this is probably the best thing to bring home.
Whenever you travel bring some precious memories.