With the end of tests and quarantine on arrival for those flying to Israel, and no tests required pre-departure either from 21 May — not to mention the long-awaited opening of the David Kempinski Tel Aviv — it’s the perfect time to book a city break.
Whether it’s the art and culture or the nightlife which tempts you, quite apart from sunshine and a chance to revisit some favourite places (and people), there’s plenty lined up.
Drink with a twist
You’ll never be short of choice when it comes to bars and clubs for a great night out in Tel Aviv, but there are some more unusual options on the menu too.
Try a Walking with Wine tour: choose from routes focused around the history of Tel Aviv, or exploring different areas including Sarona and Jaffa, with guides helping you to drink in the best of the city and discover how wine is woven into its story.
New wine bar Tirza, in Levinsky market, also has around 50 wines by the glass and food from Chef Raz Rahav — a chance to try his dishes without waiting the six months needed to get a reservation for his restaurant OCD.
And less than 10 minutes away, 7:1 Lab calls itself the first cocktail lab in Israel, with concoctions prepared in its lab in Neve Tzedek, alongside Japanese food from TYO’s kitchen.
If you haven’t yet had chance to discover Tel Aviv’s Whiskey Bar and Museum, which opened a couple of years pre-pandemic, it’s another experience you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Set in Sarona’s Templar tunnel, which housed the Knights Templar for centuries before serving as the headquarters of Mossad, you’ll find more than a thousand varieties of whisky on offer, including bottles from over 13 countries around the world.
From its Bauhaus buildings to the street art of the Florentin neighbourhood, galleries to major museums, art is at the heart of Tel Aviv — and after two years of closed borders, there’s plenty that’s new for tourists to discover.
The Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the country’s oldest museum and home to the world’s largest permanent public display of Israeli art, reopened earlier this year with a new approach to its exhibitions, including less well-known works by key names, as well as featuring many artists who have not previously been on display.
And in November, International arts festival Regarding is also coming to Tel Aviv, with its mix of dance, music, drama and visual arts.
This being Tel Aviv, you can even combine your art with a night out, with a series of gallery bars that have popped up across the city. Kuli Alma is owned and run by some of the city’s top DJs and artists; start the evening looking at its murals and art on display, before enjoying a cocktail on the patio then heading downstairs to the dancefloor. Heder 140 on Ben Yehuda is another good option to add to your list.
Or for a mix of architecture and great food, check out Fed and Bev. The tapas bar and restaurant from Masterchef finalist Chef Shahar Levi is set in a Bauhaus building in Nahalat Binyamin, with a series of quirky dishes and cocktails on the menu.
Tour Tel Aviv
If you’ve always wanted to explore more of Tel Aviv, you’ll find thousands of free tours being offered every day across Israel this year, including in the city.
Part of a project from the Ministry of Tourism to help guides affected during the pandemic, and to encourage people to get out and discover more of the country, there are English-language tours available, among other languages. Visit i-israel.co.il for the latest availability.
It’s easy to pick up a self-guided tour too: the Independence Trail takes visitors past some of the city’s key landmarks, as well as providing a background to the founding of Tel Aviv and Israel. Tablets are available to rent at the information centre opposite 11 Rothschild Boulevard.
Or the Bauhaus Center has its own audio tours to help you learn about the city’s architecture.
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