Tel Aviv is a metropolitan city on Israel’s Mediterranean coast. This lively city is home to a young, lively population, and is known, like New York, as the city that never sleeps. For many travelers though, Israel doesn’t immediately come to mind as somewhere to visit on vacation. The country has not always been safe for Western travelers, and with the tight security to get into the country, it can be off-putting. However, Tel Aviv is a modern, fun place to visit.
- Don’t visit in the peak season. During July and August, Tel Aviv fills with tourists, and temperatures soar to up to 34 degrees, with a humidity of around 80%. Instead, visit during the offseason for a cooler, quieter vacation. Spring and Autumn are still warm, but with a much more manageable heat and humidity level.
- All major airlines fly to the Tel Aviv airport of Ben Guiron International Airport. Book early, as flights can get very expensive and often sell out. If you book well in advance you can make some savings on the price of your ticket.
- Stay calm at the airport. Israel’s airport security can be very intense, but try to stay calm, listen carefully to the questions you’re asked and do exactly what you’re told. Be polite and respectful. If you have stamps in your passport from Arab countries, consider applying for a second passport, as this can make the questioning more intensive.
- Pack light, casual clothes. Tel Aviv is a very laid back city and the style of dress is usually very casual. It’s unusual to see men in suits, and instead, you’re more likely to see the locals walking the dog in their pajamas.
- Tel Aviv is an expensive city, but there are some ways to save some money. The city has a free WiFi network throughout the city, so you can get online for free. Eat street food for a budget dish that is a good taste of local cuisines like falafel or sabich. Keep an eye for business deals on food at lunchtimes, or for happy hours.
- Tel Aviv is a mostly flat city, meaning it is very easy to get around on foot or by bicycle. The locals walk everywhere, and this is a great way to actually see the city. Public transport does not run on a Friday, so on foot is the most reliable way to get around. E-bikes are also very popular and can be hired all over the city very easily.
- Tel Aviv is a safe city, but security is tighter than you may be used to. If you’re going to hotels, shopping centers, cinemas or clubs, you will have your bag searched by guards. It’s not uncommon to see armed soldiers around the city, but their guns aren’t actually loaded. Just cooperate and be polite and you will have no problems. Never leave your bag unattended, as it’s likely to be removed and destroyed as a suspicious item.
Brooke has been a connoisseur of back roads and obscure places since she was a girl. Growing up in a small working farm, she knew at a young age that there was so much to see and understand about the world. Since she left home at 17, she’s been gallivanting around the world. She’s a go-to resource for fearless Euro travel and extreme budget adventures. Her colorful experiences moving from one country to another with only time to spare will surely inspire you to leave the rat race and chase your backpacking dreams.