Tel Aviv neighborhoods are so diverse – some are for crazy parties and some for walks with kids and dogs while some are perfect for young artists. Just know your destination.
There is no better walk than promenade along the Mediterranean and Tel Aviv offers one of the best. Herbert Samuel Promenade or Tayelet in Hebrew stretches along the entire city from old Jaffa to HaYarkon Park. Morning is time for dogs, day – for cyclists and night for athletes – there are free sports facilities along the shoreline – no need in pricey gym. So watch out for some sexy athlete with a doggie. It will take you about an hour to reach the Arab district and enjoy the city and the sea view.
This wooden port is the hottest place in town adored both by locals and tourist. Dogs, bicycles, roller blades, cozy seafood restaurants and sunset watching with a milk shake – that's Tel Aviv spirit. Ideal dads playing with their kids, old folks fishing, trendy girls boutique hopping and young curly guys playing their guitars and singing The Beatles. That was love at first sight.
A small and charming neighborhood named after Florentine Street lying in its center. Its locals are nice and friendly, bars open all night and the air filled with a-great-party vibe.
I love this Yemeni neighborhood at the outskirts of Tel Aviv – founded in 1903 by immigrants from Yemen it is so lovely with its narrow streets and small houses. The neighborhood was neglected for many years and the authorities started to fix it up only in the early 90's. Since then many buildings have been renovated and the water and sewage systems restored this area is becoming very popular. Low-rise houses overlooking the sea and the proximity to the market make it a perfect rental; the prices are still quite low but are climbing up all the time. Walking around enjoy the Yemenite cuisine – Medina restaurant is a nice one. Try their meat soup, which is generously seasoned with traditional Yemenite spices or jachnun – rolled sticks of dough of white flower, butter, salt, sugar in the family-run Jachnun Shel Imа.
Tel Aviv boulevards spread from Habima Square like the rays of light with Rothschild shining like the Sun. Sit on a cozy bench with a book or enjoy the scene – beautiful girls on their bikes, dog-walking hipsters and petanque players.
Central Tel Aviv is all about Bauhaus of the 1930-40s – mostly residential buildings, some desperately crying for renovation. However, they are architecturally fascinating reflecting a certain era in Tel Aviv's development and ideology. Apartments in this houses are tiny and middle class-oriented. My favorite here is Hotel Cinema at Dizengoff– a converted movie theater with a beautifully curved vertigo staircase.
Tel Aviv’s Сity Hall Garden
Rabin Square is home to Tel Aviv’s Сity Hall and quite recently a green oasis became its neighbor. The park has a small pond and some lovely bushes and flowers – a bright insertion into grey urban space.
Azrieli and rothschild boulevard skyscraper
Tel Aviv is not only about small white houses but also skyscrapers. Recently, constructors have been inviting more celebrity architects to build some posh houses in the center, which really transfers the urban landscape. Though some high-rises are architecturally curious I find designing a creative one quite challenging. I love the three prismatic towers of Azrieli complex of skyscrapers – circular, triangular and square ones. And my favorite is a skyscraper at Rothschild Boulevard designed by Ieoh Ming Pei (the creator of the Louvre Pyramid) – a deformed construction of green glass which becomes lighter in the sun.
Walking along the promenade you'll see an extraordinary very Gaudi-like building nicknamed Crazy House compared to its Bauhaus neighbors. Its architect Leon Gaignebet fought for the building permission for seven years and his major idea was to separate the sea from the city, that's why the exterior is paneled with industrial concrete and metal but interiors are beautiful shell-embellished mosaics with plants and sand. Walk around and try to get inside to admire this work of art. If you walk southwards, you'll spot another unusual building. It's quite new but looks original amid typical Tel Aviv houses.
The Cymbalista Synagogue
This red-brick Synagogue is located on Tel Aviv University campus and was designed by a modern Swiss architect Mario Botta. Though it's quite new I would call this geometrically shaped building atemporal.
Tel Aviv joined the European bike-the-city family about a year ago. Now, you can take a vehicle at one station and leave at another one, riding across the entire city. The price is 14 NIS during the week and 20 for the weekend. They also offer weekly or annual plans (60 or 280 NIS (Tel Aviv residents have a 40-shekel discount). First 30 minutes are free so you can do a trick – give the bike back, wait for 10 minutes, take another and ride along the boardwalk.
One hour ride costs just 5 NIS and keep the receipt – any violation or extra time means money withdrawn from your credit card and fines can reach up to 45,000 NIS. All information about the service is available on https://www.tel-o-fun.co.il/en/HomePage.aspx. This new cheap and convenient service hit the competitors but those who have no credit card or want a lovely cruiser not a copycat green rental bike should go to HaYarkon – they offer cool bikes with baskets for 35-55 NIS and you should bring them back by 7 pm.