(photo: travelettes.net)

(photo: travelettes.net)

By Kathi Kamleitner - May 19, 2015

Originally appeared here on Travelettes.net  

Sand dunes, camels and oriental markets, or glassy high risers, cats and crazy nightlife – what is your idea of Tel Aviv? Mine was probably a little bit of both. Having met Israelis before, I knew Tel Aviv was a city that never sleeps. I knew it was by the seaside and surrounded by desert. I knew it was considerably secular and welcoming. I had heard about the local food and the diverse cultural mix of people. But, oh dear Travelettes – I had no idea what all this would mean thrown together in reality!

Tel Aviv took my heart by storm. A couple of days where enough to lay the foundation for a future life. Or at least a month or two. Any longer and I would roll around, rather than walk… but let’s talk about Israeli food on another occasion. Right now, I want to help you decide to visit Tel Aviv as well, and give you an overview of things to do, places to see and where to spend your shekels. Read on for the Travelettes Guide to Tel Aviv…

Tel Aviv is potentially the smallest metropolis I have ever been to. Only 400,000 people live here, although the Greater Tel Aviv area counts well over 3 million. If you talk to a real central Tel Avivian, don’t even try to define the suburbs as Tel Aviv though – they will tell you, what is and what is not ‘the city’. Back to its surprising size though – despite it’s smallness, it feels so big and diverse, a new neighbourhood behind every corner, vibrating with life, young, beautiful people whereever you look. One could think you’re in Berlin, New York or London.

The city is not only a city that never sleeps, it’s also the start-up capital of the world (closing in on San Francisco & Silicon Valley). Google is here and Amazon, but also new start-ups like Roomer or TravelersBox. The creative energy is always buzzing. Young people from around the world are magnetically drawn here like flies are to light. You’ll find a lot of likeminded souls in a very small space, unfortunately this also means that living here is not on the cheap side… Either way, exploring Tel Aviv is a lot of fun. There are so many sides to it, that you need at least 4-5 days to only meet its most obvious faces. To dig deeper, take some more time, befriend locals and stay for a while. Read More