Leonid A. Agron
The Jewish Museum Director Leonid Agron shares his tips on a perfect day in Tel Aviv. Your essentials will be a bottle of water, a swimming suit and a beach towel.
There is no trip to Israel without trying hummus. Abu Hassan is a must-go. Step inside this iconic place and you’ll find yourself at the communal table and will immediately be asked what you prefer - hummus, masabacha (hummus with whole chick peas) or both – in a second your plates will arrive. There is no place to savor the food – eat not chew that's the motto – it is so busy that you are urged to finish the hummus faster in order to let other people sit. Their fame and huge lines exhaust all supplies by 2 pm so better wake up early to get some.
The most picturesque flea in Tel Aviv with old stuff from Europe – ancient rarities brought here by locals, some good old VHS on the pavements, leather bags, satin purses (hello from the last century), vinyl, shoes, jewelry, silk nighties of someone’s granny, old cameras, music instruments and piles of other things smelling of cardamom and being sold by swearing Arab vendors. The place is opened Sundays through Fridays from 8 to 7.
This old port is still operating though part of it was sublet for a mall with restaurants, shops and bars overlooking the sea. Check this place out – it's 24/7.
Neve Tzedek was the first neighborhood built in the “new” city of Tel Aviv. It is a beautiful blend of classical European architecture and Mauritanian and North African motifs – this eclectics secured the area a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Contrasted to the rest of Tel Aviv its houses have been restored and renovated – some are still residential while others have been turned into restaurants and cafes. Shabazi Street that stretching from Neve Tzedek to Rothschild Boulevard has plenty of wine bars.
This train station in Jaffa was opened in 1857 but stood abandoned for decades. In 2011 it was restored and converted into 20 trendy artistic spaces with cafés, designer boutiques and galleries. A great place to buy new outfit, shoes or souvenirs.
A perfect alternative to ice cream, this fro-yo place offers lots of toppings – Haribo bears, marshmallows and chocolate so you can make your own dessert which is a great grab on a hot day. Get some and head to admire Tel Aviv's Bauhaus.
Tel Aviv Museum of Art
The Tel Aviv Museum of Art is Israel’s largest art museum and forum. Its complex has three buildings housing six art departments and though it seems funny to compare it to Pompidou, MoMA or Tate Modern it actually shows the works of both Israeli and international artists including impressionism and post-impressionism. Permanently on display are the works of such masters Cezanne, Chagall, Dali, Monet, Henri Moore, Auguste Rodin, Picasso, Klimt and Kadinsky. You can also see representatives of all major art schools and philosophies of the early 20th century – fauvism, constructivism, cubism, futurism and surrealism. In 1950, the Museum received 36 works donated by Peggy Guggenheim Collection, including Pollock, Baziotes, Pousette-Dart, Matta and Masson. The venue also offers plenty of concerts, lectures, workshops and educational programs. So even if the purpose of your visit is the sun and the sea spare an hour or two at Sderot Sha'ul HaMelech – Tuesdays and Thursdays the Museum is opened till 10 pm.
The Gordon Beach is one of the cleanest and nicest spots in Tel Aviv frequented by all kinds of folks – local old men doing their morning exercise, tourists from nearby hotels and chilling youngsters.
The beach is clean and pleasant and not overcrowded on weekdays, but on weekends it's quite a different story. The beach is almost bursting with parties, music from the bar and people lining for ice cream. They rent affprdable lounge chairs and umbrellas but you can chill on a towel by the sea. They have one-shekel bathroom.You can join volleyball players or go to the Gordon Swimming pool is a lovely non-sea option in the area and a inseparable of Tel Aviv's summer culture. The water in the pool is salty, so you won't even know the difference from the sea :) The beach is opened till 6-7 pm.
This major central street is named after the city's first mayor – Russian-born Meir Dizenghoff. It seems like a border between two Tel Avivs – this one is so shabby and plain with malls and cleaning supplies shops, ordinary-looking houses that were designed by engineers not architects due to economic crisis.
Chaser is half shot of vodka, whiskey or tequila. A Tel Aviv night out is half pint and lots of chasers. Little Prague has been a drinking destination since the mid-1990s and several years ago Allenby Street where it stands was the hub of dens, whores and drugs. The place opens 12 pm and works till the last client.
Tel Aviv dinner means seafood dinner especially if you know that it is just delivered from Jaffa port. Barbunia bar is lovely and nice and serve great Barbonias (red mullet). Opened Sundays-Saturdays from midday to midnight.
This 24/7 place also serves breakfast. It has several locations but we've chosen the one at Rothschild Boulevard – a great venue to have a lazy breakfast and do some people-watching. The name speaks for itself – eggs Benedict is their specialty – the offer includes fresh juices or champagne-based cocktail. Our choice is Benedict Joe and Benedict's Hamboker.