Ultramodern Tel Aviv is a Mediterranean-style beach city, with cosmopolitan cafes, boutique shopping and world-beating museums. The city’s boundless nightlife and 24-hour lifestyle are legendary, but history isn’t far away with the ancient port of Jaffa on Tel Aviv’s outskirts.
Day 1: City Sights
Tel Aviv is a new city, established only a century ago, so it’s a prime location for lovers of modern architecture. In fact, the White City area has such a concentration of international-style Bauhaus buildings, it’s been declared a World Heritage site. Tel Aviv was established on garden city lines, but now the skyline is dotted with skyscrapers and sun-bleached Mediterranean-style apartment blocks stretching along the coast. Beach fun and nightlife hedonism combine with culture in Tel Aviv, with more museums per capita than anywhere in the world. There’s archaeology and history at the Eretz Israel Museum, diaspora history at Beth Hatefutsoth, and a wealth of artworks from classic to contemporary at the city’s museum of art.
Day 2: Culinary Highlights
The dining is multicultural in Tel Aviv, a city that crams more sushi restaurants into its lushly treed avenues and shopping malls than most Japanese cities can boast. Of course, you’re going to want to try some down-home Jewish cooking like gefilte fish, chopped liver and the Tel Aviv specialties, humus and falafel. The regional and historic influences on Tel Aviv’s cuisine are evident in delicious flatbreads, labneh yogurt, tabouleh salads and kebabs. Try tajines and rice dishes from Morocco, Spain and Persia, or enjoy European cafe culture, Italian pizza or seafood on the waterfront.
Day 3: Tel Aviv Day Trips
Tel Aviv is an ideal base for day trips to Israel’s highlights. Tour the Old City of Jerusalem and visit biblical, Byzantine, Armenian and Jewish sites in the city. Have a lighter-than-air float and wellness session in the Dead Sea, followed by a scrub in the natural minerals of the therapeutic mud. Travel through the desert to Jericho, one of the world’s oldest cities, or venture further afield to neighboring Jordan and the sculpted rose-pink World Heritage city of Petra.