Hearing from people around me raving about Tel Aviv before I went, my expectations were pretty high regarding this middle-eastern city. Especially because the Israeli second most populous city always felt like far away. Not only because it is on another continent but also because of the different culture and circumstances this region is in. After spending roughly three days in this beautiful city I can honestly say that my expectations were not only met but also exceeded.
Although the trip was not only a holiday but also work-related, I really got a good impression of this charming city and its culture in the short time I have been there. The preparation was key here, so I researched online beforehand on what would be the best options to see, eat and do in the limited amount of time me and my travel buddy had. Luckily, Tel Aviv is not a huge city so even when you have just a day or two it is still worth to fly over because you can get around pretty quickly. Especially if you want to escape the cold temperature in Vienna this time of the year. A flight of just 3.5 hours and hello sea, beach and temperatures around 20 degrees. Scroll down for the complete travel diary.
Tel Aviv Travel Diary
We lived in an Airbnb with a lovely host near Old Jaffa and the location could not have been better. Within walking distance, we were able to explore charming streets, lovely shops and a variety of restaurants serving mouth-watering local food. There are gorgeous boutique hotels in Old Jaffa that I discovered while walking around but if you’re on a tighter budget I really recommend staying in an Airbnb. The city offers cool apartments for very good prices.
So the first evening after arriving from the airport we walked around our neighborhood and found Puua, a restaurant I highly recommend. The atmosphere is so cosy and the Israeli food is delicious. Definitely try the fried cauliflower, catch of the day (daily changing fresh fish grilled to perfection) and the delicious salads and sides. We also loved Onza just around the corner. The charming restaurant serves a crossover between Turkish and Israeli food and didn’t disappoint either. Pro Tip: Don’t get too excited and order a lot of dishes when you’re hungry because portions are mostly huge and we often couldn’t finish our meals. Carmel Market is another must-see in Tel Aviv when it comes to food. From a variety of traditional bread, fresh fruit everywhere you look and tasty dishes you can take-away, this is truly a food-lovers dream.
The neighborhood we lived in was a pretty good starting point to explore Tel Aviv. We walked from there and reached Old Jaffa within a few minutes, which preserves ancient buildings and hosts one of the oldest ports in the world. From there we walked up north to explore the famous Rothschild Boulevard. It is one of the main streets in the city and hosts plenty of fascinating architectural buildings and sights. To end the day we stopped by HaTachana, an old railway station turned into a hotspot for the creative scene of Tel Aviv with a bunch of concept stores, restaurants, and bars.
And as this beautiful city is still on my mind I didn’t think of it as a “Goodbye” when I left but rather as a “See you later” because I’m definitely coming back to a place that welcomed me with open arms, inspired me and made me crave so much more.