Tel Aviv has been named the third best city in the world by travel guide company Lonely Planet.
The coastal destination was beaten only by New York and Tangier to the top spot of Lonely Planet’s annual list of top cities.
Describing it as “the total flipside of Jerusalem”, the judges called it “a modern Sin City on the sea rather than an ancient Holy City on a hill”.
They said: “Scratch underneath the surface and Tel Aviv…reveals itself as a truly diverse 21st century Mediterranean hub.”
They also praised Tel Aviv’s art, film and music scenes and said the city is “by far the most international city in Israel…a kind of San Francisco in the Middle East.”
Other cities on the 2011 top ten include the Amazon city of Iquitos and Chiang Mai in northern Thailand.
Newcastle is also on the list; that is, Newcastle in Australia, not Newcastle in the north of England.