Tel Aviv, Israel
”Jerusalem pray, Tel Aviv play” is a saying that captures this young – average age 36 – and dynamic city.
I would say that Tel Aviv is – with one exception that I will come back to – as close to the ideal weekend destination as you get.
First and foremost, there’s The Beach. Tel Aviv is centered around the beautiful, 14 kilometers long beach. Different areas call their own little part various names, but it’s really only one golden stretch of sand and sea. Here, you sunbathe, date, swim with your kids, celebrate, run, bike and play racquetball/matkot.
The Tel Aviv roof top pools and bars are great. Above you see the hotel Carlton.
Poli House above is another favourite http://thepolihouse.com/en
Don’ forget trendy and warm hearted Brown http://www.browntlv.com/ and of course iconic Norman and it’s great bar. www.thenorman.com
Alma hotel in the Rotschild area has a cosy roof as well http://www.almahotel.com
If you feel like a more hipster, urban trendy place overlooking, Nachlat Binyamin, The Prince is cool.
The Prince opens at five PM ”until early morning”, according to themselves.
Fridays, The Prince is open in the afternoon. (Check on Facebook, no web adress)
When looking at young, relaxed bars and restaurants, if you want vibes as in a huge party in the outdoor living room of old friends, check around Puaa (above) on the pedestrian street Rabbi Yohanan in the old flea market, Jaffa.
Old furniture, rugs on the street/floor and odd porcelain from some grandmothers kitchen. http://www.puaa.co.il
Then sleep well at The Market House. http://www.atlashotels.co.il Great breakfast too.
The food scene in Tel Aviv is highly interesting, based on local produce and new influences from eastern Europe, America, Asia and of course the middle east kitchen. I really like the use of vegetables, legumes and fruit.
Trendy Romano, on Jaffa Road 9, by the celebrity chef Eyal Shany, is hard to find, on the second floor in an inner courtyard of an old crafts or industrial area, where 70 year old tailors still work daytime. But it’s worth a reservation; all media and tech bohemian wannabies of Tel Aviv gather here.
DJs play funk and reggae, electro and hip-hop – until the early hours of the morning. I loved the Eggplant lines and the Golden baby cauliflowe melting into itself. Look for Beit Romano on Facebook. https://m.facebook.com/romanotlv/
Social Club http://www.socialclub.co.il, Oasis http://www.oasistlv.com and a few outlets at the smart Sarona market are also pretty nice, to say the least.
And finally, dont miss the Bauhaus architechture, still 2 500 buildings remaining, created by the disciples of the Bauhaus school in Berlin, 1930’s. A tour with a guide is a must. You can stay in trendy Poli House, or Rotschild 71 http://www.ro71.com or Cinema Hotel http://www.atlas.co.il to get your arms around the real Bauhaus spirit. https://info.goisrael.com/en/
PS One negative aspect where authorities need to shape up if they seriously want foreign weekend tourism: the queuing on departure from Israel is close to humiliating and takes hours and hours, especially since a specific visible group of locals permit themselves to pass in front of the poor tourists waiting, without bothering a second to stand in line. DS